17 October 1888
BRITISH HOSPITAL FOR DISEASES OF THE SKIN. - One hundred and eighty-six patients were relieved at this hospital in the course of the week ending Oct. 13.
THE TRAFALGAR-SQUARE MEETINGS. - Since Mr. Vaughan, at the Bow-street Police Court, consented in August last to state a case for the opinion of the Queen's Bench Division, communications have been passing between the Solicitor to the Treasury, on behalf of the Government, and Mr. Edward Dillon Lewis, as representing the leaders of the movement,in support of the alleged right of public meeting in Trafalgar-square and open spaces generally, with a view to an agreement as to the points of law to be stated, but so far without result. The case, as prepared originally by Mr. Dillon Lewis, and as altered by Mr. Poland on behalf of the Crown, together with the correspondence, has now been submitted to Mr. Vaughn, who, in default of agreement between the parties concerned, will now settle and state a case.
The information from a person at Llanelly, SOuth Wales, to the effect that on the Saturday before the discovery at Whitehall he saw a man climb the railings, other men, with a truck on which was a bag, being in waiting, has been investigated by the detective officers who have the case in hand, with the results that the incident has been ascertained to have no connexion with the placing of the trunk in the vault. A workman got over the railings in Cannon-row to open a door which was fastened from the inside, so as to enable another man to carry in a bag of sand which was on the truck. Inspector Marshall and Sergeant Rose yesterday morning were pursuing their inquiries in the neighbourhood of Pimlico. A theory has been advanced that the murdered woman was a foreign "unfortunate."
Thomas Onley, 62, traveller, and Frank Hall, 20, seaman, both living in Hornby-street, Peckham, were charged, before Mr. Biron, at the Lambeth Police Court yesterday, with attempting to murder Sarah Brett, by cutting her throat with a carving knife.
The startling story published with reference to the finding of a bloodstained shirt, and the disappearance of a man from a certain house in the East-end, proves (the Press Association states) to be not altogether devoid of foundation, though on Monday afternoon the truth of the statement was denied in the most unqualified way by the detective officers, presumably because they were anxious to avoid a premature disclosure of facts of which they had been for some time cognisant. The police have taken exceptional precautions to prevent a disclosure, and while repeated arrests have taken place, with no other result than that of discharging the prisoner for the time being in custody, they have devoted special attention to one particular spot, in the hope that a few days would suffice to set at rest the public anxiety as to further deeds of murder in the district. A Press Association reporter yesterday elicited the fact that from the very morning of the Berner-street and Mitre-square murders the police have had in their possession a shirt saturated with blood. Though they say nothing, they are evidently convinced that it was left in a house in Batty-street by the assassin after he had finished his work. Having regard to the position of this particular house, its close proximity to the yard in Berner-street where the crime was committed, and to the many intricate passages and alleys adjacent, the police theory has, in all probability, a basis of fact. From an examination of the surroundings, it seems probable that, in the whole of Whitechapel, there is no quarter in which a criminal would be more likely to evade police detection or observation of any kind. At the inquest on Mrs. Stride, one of the witnesses deposed to having seen a man and woman standing at the junction of Fairclough and Berner-streets early on the morning of the murder. Assuming that the man now sought was the murderer, he would have gained instant access to the house in Batty-street by rapidly crossing over from the yard and traversing a passage the entrance of which is almost immediately opposite to the spot where the victim was subsequently discovered. The statement has been made that the landlady of the lodging-house 22, Batty-street - the house in which the shirt was left - was at an early hour disturbed by the movements of her lodger, who changed some of his apparel and went away, first, however, instructing her to wash the cast-off shirt by the time he returned. But in relation to this latter theory the question is how far it is affected by a recent arrest. Although during Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the police answered negatively all questions as to whether any person had been arrested or was then in their charge, there is no doubt that a man was taken into custody on suspicion of being the missing lodger from 22, Batty-street, and that he was afterwards set at liberty. The German lodging-house keeper could clear up the point as to the existence of any other lodger supposed to be absent from her house under the suspicious circumstances referred to, but she is not accessible ; and it is easy of understanding that the police should endeavour to prevent her making any statements. It is believed, however, that a further development is very likely to take place.
On the reading of Sir Charles Warren's letter upon the administration of the police, at the meeting of the Whitechapel District Board of Works yesterday, Mr. CATMUR moved - "That this board regretfully concludes that the Metropolitan Police, as at present organised, are not sufficient, either in numbers or efficiency, to protect the lives and property of the ratepayers so as to secure, in the words of Sir Charles Warren, that 'crime is reduced and brought to a minimum by rendering it most difficult to escape attention.' This board therefore asks that a committee of the House of Commons may be appointed as early as possible to inquire into the whole subject of the police arrangements in the metropolis."
In the course of the discussion that followed Mr. HARRIS, C.C., demurred to so sweeping and unjustifiable a resolution, and counselled patience to see whether better fortune attended the exertions which the police were undoubtedly making to track the criminal or criminals.
Mr. ILSLEY (Metropolitan Board of Works) said that the notion that to the absence of local popular control the failure to detect crime was to be ascribed, seemed ridiculous, when it was remembered that the Mitre-square murder was committed in an area under local control, and well watched privately as well. A public board should not sanction random and violent denunciations of the police for not having succeeded where - owing to the peculiar nature of the crime - success was nearly impossible.
Mr. RICE said the mistake consisted in making a man chief of the police who knew nothing of the force under his control. There were numbers of subordinate officers who knew London's wants and peculiarities intimately, and promotion to the the chief control should be made from them, and not from army officers. The first thing in London police reform was to get rid of the military element in command, and to throw promotion open to the best qualified men in the force itself.
Mr. NICHOLSON said he felt quite ashamed to hear the violent and unjustified attacks upon Sir Charles Warren. Why, could it not be remembered that in every case of the series of atrocities the murderer and his victim were alike in hiding from the police? Did anybody really suppose that, with the police reconstituted on the newest principles which Trafalgar-square orators could imagine, the force could be answerable for the safety of those who sneaked away into dark corners on purpose to avoid the constable? The fact was that Sir Charles Warren, a good soldier, was an able administrator and a first-rate commissioner of police, and the partisans of rioting were finding in the recent crimes a pretext for attacking him and grossly misrepresenting all he was doing.
Mr. A. TURNER (clerk to the board) expressed the opinion that the resolution was a very unwise one, and not one that a deliberative assembly should sanction. Apart from the suspicion of political policy, it would be a pity to lend countenance to charges so sweeping upon evidence so slight and undefined.
Mr. BROWN said that he must ascribe much of the notorious inefficiency of the police and the distrust with which they were regarded, to their being employed to surpress free speech in political affairs.
Mr. ROBERT GLADDING (the chairman) said they had nothing like a case for submission to Parliament. It had been declared that crime had "culminated" in these atrocities ; but the truth was that these atrocities were sui generis. Nothing of the kind had occurred before ; they had a character peculiar to themselves, and that character made detection under any imaginable police system unlikely.
In the end the board divided on the resolution, and rejected it by 16 votes to 15.
At the Clerkenwell Police Court yesterday James Phillips, 37, and William Jarvis, 40, both cab washers, were charged, on remand, before Mr. Bros, with cutting and wounding Detective-sergeant Robinson, G division, in Phoenix-place, St. Pancras, early in the morning of Tuesday, the 9th inst.; Jarvis was further charged with assaulting and wounding Henry Doncaster on the same occasion. - Mr. Keith Firth, instructed by Mr. Ricketts, appeared for the defence. - The evidence given at the first hearing of the case was to the effect that at the time of the occurrence Detective-sergeant Robinson was on duty disguised in women's clothing, watching, in company with Detective-sergeant Mather, Mr. Doncaster, and others, a man whose actions had laid him open to suspicion in connexion with the East-end murders. While so engaged they were attacked by the two prisoners, and Robinson received two stabs in the facr from Jarvis, and kicks in the arm and ribs from Phillips, while Doncaster received a stab in the face and had his jaw dislocated. - Michaelo Rainobe, an Italian ice cream vendor, said he was with the detectives on the morning of the 9th watching "the man who was supposed to have killed all the women," when the two prisoners came up and asked what they were doing. Robinson took off the woman's hat which he was wearing and said, "I am a police officer." The witness saw Jarvis strike Robinson in the face, and cause it to bleed, and he also saw Jarvis, who had something in his hand, deal Doncaster a blow in the face. Phillips called out to some men in a yard close by to come to his assistance, and witness went to fetch some more police. - Cross-examined : The witness denied that the disturbance was commenced by the prisoners asking Robinson and the others what they were doing near the cabs, and by Robinson replying "Mind your own business," and thrusting Jarvis back by putting his fist against his chin. It was Jarvis who struck the first blow. He (the witness) saw Jarvis on the ground, and heard some men cry out to Robinson, "Shame! Leave off hitting him." Jarvis was in a fainting condition, and was bleeding when taken to the police station. - Guiseppe Molinari gave corroborative evidence. - Detective Charles Mather, G division, said he was in company with Robinson. At the time of the occurrence he was watching the suspected person, but he saw the two prisoners come up to Robinson, and he heard someone say, "What are you messing about here for?" Robinson replied, "I am a police-constable ; you know me. We are watching something." The same voice then said, "Why, it's Robinson." The witness then described the assault, corroborating the previous witnesses. He arrested Jarvis, who tried to throw him. Afterwards Jarvis, who was bleeding, began to feel giddy. Witness admitted, in cross-examination, that none of the plain-clothes oficers had shown their warrant-cards to prove themselves detectives. They had, he said, no opportunity of doing so. - Police-constable Frank Mew, 301 G, arrested Phillips, who, when told he would be taken to the police-station, said, "All right, governor ; it is not the first time I have been there." - The prisoners, who reserved their defence, were committed for trial - Jarvis on the charge of unlawfully wounding, and Phillips for assaulting the police. - Mr. Bros consented to all bail, two sureties in 20£.