21 September 1888
THE POLICEMEN'S NIGHT BEATS
THE PRESENT PRECAUTIONS
A Correspondent has obtained exact details of those police beats covering the area within which the Buck's row murder was committed. From this it will be seen that the murderer had no doubt a considerable time in which he was quite sure of being undisturbed by a police constable, assuming he knew the beats. It seems that, notwithstanding the frequent repetition of murders round Whitechapel, under circumstances leading to the conclusion that they were the work of one man, not one single extra police officer was put upon the ground until after the commission of the fourth and last murder. Then the streets were filled night and by by police in and out of uniform.
During the month of August, and up to the 8th instant, when Annie Chapman was killed, the following beats were covered by the men of the J Division quartered at Bethnal green, these forming what is known as the "Second Section night duty." The first police constable would commence his two beats at Wilmot street, three Colt land, Cheshire street, Mape street, Bethnal green road, to Wilmot street, and the interior, this consisting of a few streets, courts, passages, &c. The second constable would cover Three Colt lane, Collingwood street, Darling row, Dog row, Whitechapel road, Brady street, to Three Colt lane, and the interior, this consisting of about twenty streets, courts, passages, &c; the third constable would commence at Brady street, cover Whitechapel road, Baker's row, Thomas street, Queen Anne street, and Buck's row, to Brady street, and all the interior, this consisting of about ten streets, courts, passage, &c. The fourth constable would commence at Baker's row, go through Nottingham street, White street, Bethnal Green road, Mape street, London street, to Baker's row, and all the interior, consisting of about thirty streets, courts, passages, &c. The fifth and last man of the section would cover Whitechapel road alone, this making a total of nine beats for the five constables. The third beat was the one within the limit of which Mrs. Nicholl (sic) was murdered. The exterior of the beats are at least a mile in extent, and to this distance must be added the interiors.
APPLICATION TO BE MADE
Considerable interest is now being aroused by the assertion that next Session an application will be made to Parliament for a provision for the eldest son of the Prince of wales, if not for other members of his family. The story has been contradicted and reaffirmed, and contradicted again; but this morning the Leeds Mercury London correspondent declares with emphasis that - "There is no doubt whatever that in the course of next year application will be made for a provision for Prince Albert Victor." An increased allowance to the Prince of Wales himself, or to other members of his family, is, however, apparently not intended.
The gossip prevalent on the subject includes the London correspondent of the Sheffield Independent to give some interesting facts concerning the Queen's income:- "Her Majesty, as everyone knows, has (he says) an annuity drawn from the Consolidated Fund of £885,000, which is specially allotted to meet those expenses connected with her high position; the partial weight of which has been transferred to the heir apparent. But that is only a portion of the enormous income which good fortune and frugal habits have placed at the disposal of the Royal Family. The new Doomsday Book discloses the fact that the Queen's estates extend over 37,372 acres, the annual rental, even at the lately depreciated prices, being £20,733. This does not include Claremont, which, in the year 1865, was granted to the Queen for life, with the reversion to the country. Some years ago Her majesty, acting under the advice of Lord Sydney, purchased the property for the sum of £78,000, estimated at the time as being a little over half its market value. It is said to be worth, today, £150,000. The Queen also possesses property at Coburg, and the Princess Hohenlohe left her the Villa Hohenlohe at Baden one of the best and most valuable residences in the Places. As to personal property, there was the bequest of a quarter of a million left to Her Majesty by James Camden Neild. This will was proved in 1852, and at compound interest upon which it has been nurtured the bequest must now have reached magnificent proportions. Then there was the property left by the Prince Consort, estimated to have reached nearly £800,000; but as the will was never proved, and so escaped Probate Duty, the exact amount is not known. These items are over and above the Queen's annual savings. The aggregate money sum at Her Majesty's disposal for family purposes would hence appear to be, at the lowest computation, such as rendered unnecessary national solicitude in the subject."
Sir - As the question has once or twice arisen, in connection with the last murder in Whitechapel, as to whether an image of the murderer might be found in the retina of the victim, perhaps you will allow me to say that, under the circumstances, such a thing would be impossible.
I have gone somewhat deeply into the subject of the effect of light on the retina, and I know, from repeated experiments, that an impression of an object can only be retained on the retina by fixing the eye immovably on one particular point in the object for several seconds; and, even in that case, the object must be strongly illuminated. It is not conceivable, in the terrible struggle which must have taken place, that the woman's eye could have been immovably fixed for any appreciable period; but, even if it had been, the retina would require to be chemically treated almost instantly to retain even a faint impression.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
19 Pont street, Sept. 20.
Sir - I live in a street which might be a very quiet one but for the ear splitting sounds emitted by a band of Salvationists who occupy a hall therein. The street, having no thoroughfare, is exceptionally handy, through the absence of traffic, for these people to hold their open air meetings in, which they do pretty often. On Sundays they prefer to hold a kind of festival, or rather festivals, for they disturb the street three or four times each Sunday. A dozen or so of the worst instrumentalists it is possible to imagine parade the street, followed by a crowd of roughs, who indulge in wanton horseplay, while a horde of dirty children of every age tumble about the gutters, and yell in most discordant unison with the strains of the music (?) discoursed by the members of this so called religious body, and which the police - whose functions I have always been led to believe are to keep order and restore tranquility - profess themselves powerless to stop. Therefore the householder must, forsooth, bear this unseemly procession, and be preached at in front of his house; and why? Because the police do not possess the requisite authority to stop such nonsense. It is high time summary powers were conferred upon the police to stop all such things, and although the Salvation Army may mean very well, still their constant attendance about one's doorstep is not calculated to be a joy for ever. Hoping some other and better pen than mine may have a word to say on this growing evil, and trusting you will be able to grant me a corner in your valuable paper,
I remain, Sir, yours truly,