Monday, 15 October 1888
In reference to the writing on the wall of a house in Goulston-street, we are requested by Sir Charles Warren to state that his attention having been called to a paragraph in several daily journals mentioning that in the Yiddish dialect the words "Jews" is spelt "Juwes", he has made inquiries on the subject and finds that this is not a fact. He learns that the equivalent in the Judeo-German (Yiddish) jargon is "Yidden."
It has not been ascertained that there is any dialect or language in which the word "Jews" is spelt "Juwes."
Mr. Lusk of 1, Alderney-road, Mile-end, has received the following communication from the Home Office, Whitehall, in answer to suggestions with regard to the proclamation of a reward by the Government, with a free pardon for an accomplice of the murderer:-
Sir, - I am desired by the Secretary of State to thank you for the suggestions in your letter of the 7th inst. on the subject of the recent Whitechapel murders, and to say in reply that, from the first, the Secretary of State has had under consideration the question of granting a pardon to accomplices. It is obvious that not only must such grant be limited to persons who have not been concerned in contriving or in actually committing the murders, but the expediency and propriety of making the offer must largely depend on the nature of the information received from day to day, which is being carefully watched, with a view to determining that question.
"With regard to the offer of a reward, Mr. Matthews has, under the existing circumstances, nothing to add to his former letter.
Last Friday Mr. George Lusk, who is a member of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, received the following letter:-
"I write you a letter in black ink, as I have no more of the right stuff. I think you are all asleep in Scotland-yard with your bloodhounds, as I will show you to-morrow night (Saturday). I am going to do a double event, but not in Whitechapel. Got rather too warm there. Had to shift. No more till you hear me again.
This letter was shown to the police. It bears a Kilburn postmark, and the handwriting is very similar to that of the post-card sent to a news agency, which had been copied and posted on the hoardings throughout the East-end by the police.
To the Editor of The Times
I have been a good deal about England of late, and have been a witness of the strong interest and widespread excitement which the Whitechapel murders have caused and are causing. Everywhere I have been asked about them; especially by working folk, and more especially by working women. Last week, for instance, in an agricultural county I shared my umbrella during heavy rain with a maid servant, who was going home. "Is it true, Sir," said she, "that they're a-cutting down the feminine seck in London?" And she explained herself to mean that "they was a'murdering of 'em by ones and twos." This is but one of many examples, and my own main interest in the matter is, that I myself have been taken for the murderer. And if I, why not any other elderly gentleman of quiet habits? It may therefore be well to record the fact by way of warning.
Two days ago I was in one of the mining districts, I had just called on my friend the parson of the parish, and was walking back in the twilight, alone, across certain lonely, grimy fields among the pits and forges. Suddenly I was approached from behind by a party of seven stout collier lads, each of them about 18 years old, except their leader, who was a stalwart young fellow of 23 or so, more than 6ft high. He rudely demanded my name, which, of course, I refused to give. "Then," said he, "You are Jack the Ripper, and you will come along wi' us to the police at _____;" naming the nearest town, two miles off. I inquired what authority he had for proposing this arrangement. He hesitated a moment, and then replied that he was himself a constable, and had a warrant (against me, I suppose), but had left it at home. "And," he added fiercely, "if you don't come quietly at once, I'll draw my revolver and blow your brains out." "Draw it, then," I said, feeling pretty sure that he had no revolver. He did not draw it; and I told him that I should certainly not go with him. All this time I noticed that, though the whole seven stood around me, gesticulating and threatening, not one of them attempted to touch me. And, while I was considering how to accomplish my negative purpose, I saw a forgeman coming across the field from his work. Him I hailed; and, when he came up, I explained that these fellows were insulting me, and that, as the odds were seven to one, he ought to stand by me. He was a dull, quiet man, elderly like myself, and (as he justly remarked) quite ready for his tea. But, being an honest workman, he agreed to stand by me; and he and I moved away in spite of the leader of the gang, who vowed that he would take my ally in charge as well as me. The enemy, however, were not yet routed. They consulted together, and very soon pursued and overtook us; for we took care not to seem as fugitives. But, meanwhile, I had decided what to do, and had told my friend that I would walk with him as far as our ways lay together, and then I would trouble him to turn aside with me up to the cottage of a certain stout and worthy pitman whom I knew. Thus, then, we walked on over barren fields and slag heaps for half a mile, surrounded by the seven colliers, who pressed in upon me, but still never touched me, though their leader continued his threats, and freely observed that, whatever I might do, I should certainly go with him to the town. At last we came into the road at a lonesome and murderous looking spot, commanded on all sides by the mountainous shale hills of disused pits. Up among these ran the path that led to the pitman's dwellings which I was making for. When we reached it, I said to my friend the forgeman, "This is our way," and turned towards the path. "That's not your way," shouted the tall man, "you'll come along the road with us," and he laid his hand on my collar. I shook him off, and informed him that he had now committed an assault, for which I could myself give him in charge. Perhaps it was only post hoc ergo propter hoc, but, an any rate, he made no further attempt to prevent me and my friend from ascending the byway. He stuck to us, however, he and his mates; swearing that he would follow me all the night, if need were. We were soon on the top of the col, if I may so call it, from which the pitmen's cottages, lighted within, were visible in the darkness against a starry sky. "That is where I am going," I said aloud. To my surprise, the tall man answered in a somewhat altered tone, "How long shall you be?" "That depends," I replied, "you had better come to the house with me." "No," said he, "I shall wait for you here;" and the forgeman and I walked up to the cottage together. At its door I dismissed my ally with thanks and a grateful coin; and, entering in, I told my tale to my friend the stout pitman and his hearty wife, who heard it with indignation. In less than a minute, he and I sallied from his dwelling in search of the fellows who had dogged me. But they had vanished. Seeing me received and welcomed by people whom they knew, they doubtless felt that pursuit was futile and suspicion vain.
Now, I do not object to adventures, even in the decline of life; nor do I much blame my antagonists, whether their motive were righteous indignation, or, as is more likely, the hope of reward. But I think them guilty of a serious and even dangerous error of judgement in not distinguishing between the appearance of Jack the Ripper and that of your obedient servant, An Elderly Gentleman.
At Worship Street, three children, named Albert Bentley, 11 years of age; Florence Bentley, aged five; and William Shepherd, aged eight, were charged by Mr. Stevenson, an officer of the Reformatory and Refuge Union, Charing cross, with being found living in the company of prostitutes in a common lodging house, 8 White's row, Spitalfields. The rescue officer deposed to going to the place mentioned at about midday on Saturday and to finding the children in the kitchen of the house among a number of men and women, some of the latter being undoubtedly prostitutes, as he had seen them at all hours of the night about the street corners of Spitalfields and Whitechapel. The house was registered to accommodate 102 persons in 51 double beds. The house was usually a quiet one, where cohabitation was, he thought, the normal condition between the inhabitants rather than active prostitution. The boy Shepherd was in care of his father, a hawker, who had told witness that he was parted from his wife and that the boy occupied the bed with him. At the same time the boy was left to pass his time in the lodging house or the streets during the day, the father being away. The children Albert and Florence Bentley were in the lodging house with their mother. She was willing to part with them, so that they could go to industrial schools. The boy witness proposed to get admitted to Feltham if he passed the doctor. Mr. Montagu Williams said he supposed the kitchen of the lodging house was where the women passed the day, the children being among them and the men. The officer said that was so, and there were some other children even still younger. The magistrate said he would like to see the parents, and to enable them to attend he remanded the children to the workhouse.