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Unmasking Jack the Ripper
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JACK THE RIPPER
A CAST OF THOUSANDS
BY CHRISTOPHER SCOTT
(c) 2004

Thomas and Charles Cutbush

Thomas Cutbush was detained in Lambeth Infirmary in 1891 but managed to escape and subsequently attacked two women. He was charged with malicious wounding and eventually died in Broadmoor in 1902. Thomas was born in 1866 and appears to have started behaving irrationally some time about 1888, the year of the Whitechapel murders. In February 1894 The Sun newspaper published a series of articles suggesting that Cutbush was the Whitechapel murderer and it was specifically to refute this theory that Melville Macnaghten prepared his confidential memorandum in which he famously named his three identified suspects - Kosminki, Druitt and Ostrog. Thomas's paternal uncle was one Charles Cutbush who became a superintendent in the Metropolitan Police and who eventually committed suicide by gunshot in 1896.
The first census in which Thomas would appear would be that of 1871 and indeed we find a listing of his family resident at 14 Albert Street, St Mary Newington, London:
John L Hayne aged 61 born Oxfordshire - Furniture Dealer
Wife;
Anne Hayne aged 65 born Oxfordshire
Visitor:
Kate Hayne aged 26 born Philadelphia, N.America (British subject) - Clerk's Wife
Grandson (i.e. of head of household)
Thomas Cutbush aged 5 born Kenington (sic)
Servant;
Sarah Green aged 18 born Oxfordshire - Domestic servant
Lodgers:
John Kirk aged 23 born Kegworth, Leicestershire - Journeyman
George Kirk aged 17 born Kegworth - Journeyman
Kate Hayne (Thomas's mother) is listed under her maiden name, despite the fact that she had married Thomas' father, Thomas Taylor Cutbush, back in the third quarter of 1864 (Newington Volume 1a Page 300.) However, by the time of this census Thomas's' father was no longer in the country, having left England in 1866 for New Zealand. A legal notice published in The Times on 15th June 1892 tells what is known of Thomas Taylor Cutbush's background and movements subsequent to leaving England:
Pursuant to a Judgement of the High Court of Justice Chancery Division made in an action CUTBUSH v CUTBUSH 1891 C.4182 an enquiry is directed to be made who are the PERSONS INTERESTED in the HEREDITAMENTS in the Statement of Claim delivered in the said action mentioned and for what estates and interests and in what shares and proportions. The said hereditaments are known as Nos. 6 and 7 Fieldgate Street in the Parish of St. Mary Whitechapel in the County of Middlesex.
Thomas Taylor Cutbush one of the persons interested in the said hereditaments left England in November 1866 for Wellington, New Zealand and in or about the year 1871 went to Melbourne. In the year 1885 he is believed to have resided in Pickles Street, Port Melbourne. The said Thomas Taylor Cutbush if living or his representatives if dead are on or before the 7th November 1892 to come in and prove their claims at the Chambers of Mr. Justice Chitty at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London or in default thereof the Court will make such order as may be just. Tuesday the 15th November 1892 at eleven o'clock in the forenoon at the said Chambers is appointed for hearing and adjudicating upon the claims dated this 3rd day of June 1892.
John Wm. Hawkins
Chief Clerk
In the 1881 census listing the Cutbush family was still living at 14 Albert Street:
Head
John K. Hayne aged 71 born Witney, Oxford
Wife
Annie Hayne aged 75 born Witney, Oxford
Daughter
E Hayne aged 37 born Witney, Oxford Income derived from property
Daughter
Kate Cutbush (Widowed) aged 33 born New York - Assistant
Son
Thomas Cutbush aged 15 born Newington - Commercial Clerk
Lodger
John Bodrick aged 26 born Glamorgan, Wales - Schoolmaster
Lodger
Edgar T Clark aged 22 born Whyddom, Norfolk - Ironmonger
In the same year Thomas's uncle, Charles and his family were living in Newington, where Thomas was born:
Address
36 St Pauls Road
Newington
Surrey
Head:
Charles Cutbush aged 36 born Ashford Kent
Chief Inspector of Police
Wife:
Ann Cutbush aged 36 born New Romney Kent
Children
Amelia aged 13
Ellen aged 10
Winfred aged 5
Caroline aged 3
Charles aged 7 months
Mother:
Amelia Cutbush (widowed) aged 66 born Hythe Kent
Annuitant
Other:
Winifred Warrell aged 36 born Chelsea
Lady's help
Because of the surname, Charles, the police inspector, must be Thomas Cutbush's paternal uncle i.e. he was the brother of Kate Cutbush's deceased husband. Also the Amelia Cutbush mentioned must also be the mother of Thomas' father.
I have also traced that Amelia Cutbush died in 1900 at the age of 84.
Charles Cutbush is listed in the 1871 census under the spelling of CULBURT. For once this is not a copying error into the index. I have looked at original page and it has been written in the original as Culburt. However all the other details - age, place of birth, family details etc - make it clear this is Charles Cutbush:
Address:
10 North Street, Westminster
Head:
Charles Culburt aged 27 born Ashford, Kent - Police sergeant
Wife:
Ann Culburt aged 27 born Romney, Kent
Children:
Amelia aged 3 born Westminster
Ellen aged 2 months born Westminster
In 1891 Charles Cutbush and his family had moved to Lambeth and is listed as a Superintendent:
Address;
3 Burnley Road, Stockwell, Lambeth
Head:
Charles Cutbush aged 47 born Ashford, Kent - Superintendent Met. Police.
Wife:
Ann Cutbush aged 47 born New Romney, Kent
Children:
Amelia aged 23 born Westminster - Clerk Civil Service
Helen aged 20 born Westminster
Winifred aged 15 born St Martin's
Caroline aged 13 born Newington, Surrey
Albert H aged 7 born Newington, Surrey
Mother of head of household:
Amelia Cutbush aged 77 born Hythe, Kent - widow
In 1891 Thomas Cutbush was arrested on 9th March, just a few weeks before the census, which always took place in the first week of April. At that time Thomas was in custody in Holloway Prison:
Her Majesty's Prison, Holloway, Islington
Thomas Cutbush aged 27 born Kensington - Clerk
Prisoner
Single
I found a 1901 listing for Thomas's mother, Kate Cutbush/Hayne at which time she was living with her sister, Clara Hayne, in Brixton:
16 Durand Gardens, Brixton, London
Head:
Clara E Hayne aged 61 born Wallington, Oxfordshire - Living on own means
Sister:
Kate Cutbush aged 57 born America (British subject) - Manageress (China and Glass) - Widowed
Boarder:
Joseph Petrolei aged 55 born Italy (Foreign subject) - Litho artist
Thomas finally died in 1903 and his death is registered in the BMD index as follows:
Cutbush, Thomas - 37 - Easthampstead - Volume 2c Page 233
One last story, seven years after Thomas's death. Kate Cutbush was attacked and burgled as reported in The Times of 17th August 1910:
OUTRAGE IN SOUTH LONDON
Yesterday morning Mrs. Cutbush, a widow who lives alone at the corner of Daneville-road and Denmark-hill, where she carries on a china business, was found gagged and bound on her premises, which had been ransacked by burglars. Her shop-boy arrived about 9 o'clock, and being unable to get an answer to his knocking, gained admittance to the shop by means of a window at the back, and on making a search found Mrs. Cutbush lying on the staircase.
Her hands and feet were tied, and there was a piece of rag in her mouth. Mrs. Cutbush stated that as she was leaving her bedroom about 7:30 yesterday morning she was met at the door by two men, who were wearing masks. She screamed and was at once seized by the men, and a struggle followed. She succeeded in getting two or three steps down the staircase, but was then overpowered, thrown down, and had her hands tied.
She continued to shout for the police, and one of them forced a piece of dirty rag into her mouth. In this condition she remained until found by the boy. It was discovered, subsequently, that the thieves had taken 18 pounds in cash and a considerable quantity of jewelry. The police were informed, and found that the house had been entered by means of a window at the back, which had been broken.
From the above information we can trace the full family relationship between Thomas Cutbush and Superintendent Charles Cutbush. Thomas Haynes Cutbush (1866-1903) was the son of Thomas Taylor Cutbush (dates unknown) and Kate Cutbush née Haynes (born 1848). Thomas Taylor Cutbush was the son of Amelia Cutbush (1815-1900) but his father's name is at present unknown.
He was the brother of Charles Cutbush (1844-1896). Charles Cutbush married Ann Cutbush (born 1844) and they had five children - Amelia (born 1868), Ellen (born 1871), Winifred (born 1876), Caroline (born 1878) and Charles (born 1880). Kate Hayne (Thomas's mother) was the daughter of John K. Hayne (born 1810) and Annie Hayne (born 1806) and had two siblings, Clara Hayne (born 1840) and Elizabeth Hayne born 1844.
What prompted Charles Cutbush to commit suicide in 1896, and whether there is any connection with the actions or the mental instability of his nephew Thomas, will probably never be known. It is reported that Charles had suffered from depression, headaches and delusions for some years before his suicide. It is quite possible, if not probable, that Charles' suicide was in no way related to the illness or the deeds of his nephew but the fact that a man who had been named in the press, however erroneously, as the Whitechapel murderer was connected to a high ranking police officer was bound to cause speculation as to what links existed between them.


Related pages:
  Thomas Cutbush
       Message Boards: Thomas Cutbush 
       Official Documents: The Macnaghten Memoranda 
       Press Reports: Sun - 13 February 1894 
       Press Reports: Sun - 14 February 1894 
       Press Reports: Sun - 15 February 1894 
       Press Reports: Sun - 16 February 1894 
       Press Reports: Sun - 17 February 1894 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 15 April 1891 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 15 June 1892 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 17 August 1910 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 24 March 1891 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Myth 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - Thomas Haynes Cutbush 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: Through the Mists of Time