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LONDON. THURSDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER, 1888.
THE public are greatly indebted to Mr. WYNNE BAXTER, the Coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, for his able and lucid, and in many respects startling, summing-up at the inquest on ANNIE CHAPMAN, the last victim of the Whitechapel murderer. On reading the remarks of the Coroner, terse though they be, one gets strange and instructive glimpses of the life lived by the unhappy class to which ANNIE CHAPMAN belonged, and one also finds a clear picture of the circumstances under which she met her death. It throws, as the Coroner suggests, a ghastly light on our civilisation in the greatest metropolis of the world, to learn from the details given at the inquest the kind of existence which tens of thousands of people endure at the East-end of London. We see houses occupied from basement to attic with a population crowded together in disregard, not merely of every dictate of decency and mortality, but also of cleanliness and health. We are able to see the kind of existence that women of CHAPMAN'S unfortunate class are compelled to live. She slept in common lodging-houses, sometimes at one, sometimes in another. Probably she did not rise until the shades of night enabled her to ply her hideous trade, and she then seems to have spent her time in passing from liquor shop to liquor shop with the fitting companions, male and female, of such orgies. Finally, on the night of the murder, she is traced to one of these lodging-houses at between one and two o'clock in the morning. She has by this time spent all the few pence she had, and accordingly she is refused admission; and at that hour she, who had perhaps a happy and innocent girlhood, and was once a wife, had to turn out and seek through the sale of her body the price of a bed. A few hours afterwards, she was found a corpse.
We have already dealt with the questions - searching and discomforting - which such stories of how human beings live, suggest to the minds of all of us. We have also pointed out that even the journals of reaction have been shocked or terrified into a change of tune; and that those who, but a few months ago, had no better remedy for the anguish-cry of hunger and despair than Mr. MATTHEWS'S philanderings and Sir CHARLES WARREN'S batons, have come to declare that these things require consideration and treatment. We do not mean to again denounce the unreal gush and the resourceless confusion of mind which are for the moment the only real products of this newly-awakened sympathy. For the Coroner has given us in his summing-up matter for more immediate and more startled consideration. For the first time in the history of the case we are presented with something that has the resemblance to a clue to a murder, as remarkable for its apparent want of motive as for its boldness and its savagery. The Coroner tells us that some time ago an American came to one of our medical schools and asked for specimens of a uterus, offering for each the sum of £20. This is an amount, unfortunately, high enough to tempt the greed of many people living in a great city like this. It would not have suited the purpose of this strange specialist if the uterus were not removed from the body while still living or immediately after death. The next step in the Coroner's reasoning is that the particular portion of the body which this enterprising American specialist sought, was taken from ANNIE CHAPMAN. It was taken out, also, the Coroner is convinced, by a man who must have had a very intimate acquaintance with anatomy, and must have been accustomed to do the work of dissection, not merely with rapidity, but also with great skill. As to the skill with which the work was done, the evidence of the Coroner and of the Doctor must be held to be conclusive, and the rapidity with which the foul murderer carried on his operations is proved by the comparative shortness of the time which the murder must have occupied. We have here, therefore, at last something like an adequate motive, and one that fits well in with all the facts of the case.
Unfortunately, we are not able to dismiss this theory because we shrink back in natural and instinctive horror from the idea that any human being could be found base enough to commit a crime for so small a motive. The case of BURKE and HARE will occur to everyone as almost identical in the motive which the Coroner suggests in the Whitechapel case. If then, we find the theory of the Coroner difficult to accept, it is not because we can't believe there are creatures capable of acting on the motives he suggests; it is rather from the inherent improbability of the story. For the theory implies not one, but two murderers; and two murderers, equally savage, equally callous; equally reckless in daring. If ANNIE CHAPMAN were murdered to supply a special organ, the receiver placed himself in a position almost equally criminal with that of the murderer. The purchaser and the seller were equally guilty. This necessitates several conditions, the existence of which is extremely improbable. First you require a communication between the two, a communication which placed in equal peril the neck of both the one and the other, for it was perfectly impossible that with all the details of the murder scattered throughout the civilised world, anybody who received the organ, could be ignorant as to the manner in which it had been obtained. It requires a great stretch of imagination to realise persons carrying on this fiend's traffic, each conscious that he was entrusting his life to the safe keeping of the other. Then you have to further picture the murderer, fresh from his ghastly work, with possibly the tell-tale stains of guilt upon his clothes, passing through the streets with his hideous burden concealed about him; and you have to imagine his guilty accomplice receiving it with the perfect knowledge that his prize came from a woman on whose mangled remains the attention of the whole world was at that moment focussed. The person on whom the Coroner throws suspicion, was in a position that makes his detection at least a certainty. He was publishing, or about to publish, a medical work. He thus placed himself in a category comparatively small. He further identified himself from the ranks of a small class, by the special and peculiar nature of the work which he was publishing. Then this person had already made himself known to one, if not more, of our medical schools. In short, he had marked himself out so plainly as to be unmistakable. It is impossible to conceive that any man who intended to murder, or to profit by murder, would be guilty of such folly. While, then, the public has a right to be thankful to the Coroner for suggesting something like an intelligible clue where the Police authorities seem hopelessly and wildly at sea, we cannot, for our own part, accept the clue as satisfactory. The Whitechapel mystery remains, in our judgement, as much a mystery as ever.
DOWN, down, still going down. To-day the Times has twelve pages; in those twelve pages it has only 29 columns of advertisements. The Daily Telegraph has only eight pages, and in those eight pages it has 39 columns of advertisements. The Daily News with eight pages has 27 columns of advertisements, or within two columns of the Times with its four additional pages.
A few more items from "Contemporary Medical Men" - the interesting volume from which we quoted the other day. Sir Spencer Wells, who has made his name famous in many branches of the medical art, and in connection particularly with diseases of women, gained much of his confidence in dealing with the peritoneum by his service in the Crimean War. Prior to that he had actually given up attempting the operation for which he has made himself famous, but on his return to London in 1856 he was certainly much less afraid of abdominal wounds, for he had seen a number of cases which had taught him the peritoneum would bear rough handling. Experience has so lessened the dangers of the operation with which Sir Spencer's name is associated, that he succeeds in about 97 per cent. of his cases.
Among other questions to which he has paid attention, Sir Spencer is an ardent advocate of cremation. His Hunterian oration, and other public addresses, have had a marked effect on medical opinion, and on matters affecting health, such as smoke abatement, sanitary conditions of ships, hospitals, &c. He is an Honorary Fellow of the King and Queen's College of Physicians, and of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.
Sir Morell Mackenzie, M.D., owes his proneness to the study of medicine to his widowed mother, who put pressure on him in early life to study natural history. When about a score years old he obtained the senior gold medal for surgery at the London Hospital, and also the senior gold medal for clinical medicine. He subsequently studied at Paris, Vienna, and Italy.
Early in his career his speciality forced itself into notice. He published his "Use of the Laryngoscope" in 1865, and "Growths in the Larynx" in 1871. But his great work is "Diseases of the Throat and Nose," on which he was engaged 12 years, and the second volume of which appeared in 1884. In this he gave an historical account of every variety of disease affecting the throat, from the time of the Greeks to our own day. His idea of specialism in medicine is that it is simply a recognition of the natural limitation of the powers of the human mind, and a deliberate concentration of a man's best powers on a single object.
Since his connection with the Emperor of Germany Sir Morell has received professional visits from all the members of the English Royal Family. The Queen, on the occasion of his last visit to Osborne, presented him with a photograph of herself, and attached her sign manual at the bottom.
Sir Walter Foster's fame as a doctor needs no telling. One of his distinguishing features is his advocacy of the use of ether in the treatment of phthisis, by which oleaginous foods can be digested, and the nutrition of patients greatly improved.
But Sir Walter Foster has for years devoted his leisure time to the study of political and social questions, especially to such as lie on the borderland of medical science. Although he possessed one of the largest consulting practices in the kingdom, he in 1885 made the enormous sacrifice of time necessary for a Parliamentary career, and sat for Chester in the Liberal interest. When Mr. Gladstone resigned office the following year knighthood was conferred on Sir Walter by the Queen, on Mr. Gladstone's recommendation, because of his distinguished position in his profession and his general services to the country.
Dr. Clifford Allbutt, who has the biggest practice in Leeds, and is known not only throughout the north of England but throughout the profession, has the characteristic feature of disliking mystery and vagueness in dealing with patients. When called in for consultation, he usually examines in the most minute fashion each organ of the body, and then, suddenly brushing aside all technical minutiæ, he delivers himself of a positive, distinct opinion of the case. It is a tenet with him to be thus outspoken, even at the risk of being sometimes wrong.
In the hospital wards, too, another striking characteristic is seen by the doctor's persistent iteration to dull students. It is almost an axiom with him that dunces become the best practitioners, and his constant aim is to find out what pupils know, not what they do not know. For more than a quarter of a century Dr. Allbutt has conducted one of the largest consulting practices outside London.
LYCEUM THEATRE. - Sole lessee, Mr. Henry Irving. - TO-NIGHT at 9.0, MR RICHARD MANSFIELD, in DR. JEKYLL and MR. HYDE. (Last Three Nights.)
Preceded at 8 by LESBIA, Classical Comedy in one Act, by Mr. Richard Davey. LESBIA, Miss Beatrice Cameron.
MORNING PERFORMANCE SATURDAY NEXT at 2.0.
MONDAY NEXT, Oct. 1, A PARISIAN ROMANCE. Mr. Mansfield as THE BARON CHEVRIAL.
Box-office (Mr. J. Hurst) open daily from 10 to 5.
The police interference with the unemployed has reached a new development. They have attacked the processions and stolen the flags, but up till yesterday they had refrained from interfering with the meetings themselves while in the Park. Yesterday, when the audience began to gather in the usual place opposite the Marble Arch, the police roughly ordered those standing about to move on. The consequence was that the meeting was for some time a scene of disorder. The man M'Cormack, who was committed to prison in default of surety, has been released.
THE CANONBURY MURDER.
An Important Point of Law to be Raised on Glennie's Behalf.
The man Glennie, who is charged on suspicion of being connected with the murder of Mrs. Wright at Canonbury, was brought up on remand before Mr. Horace Smith at Clerkenwell Police-court to-day. No evidence was taken, and the prisoner was formally remanded till tomorrow.
Mr. C. E. B. Bowker, who defends the accused, will apply on behalf of the prisoner to have expunged from the depositions all the alleged incriminatory admissions made by Glennie, his contention being that after the decision of Justice A. L. Smith in "Regina v. Gavin" questions put by the police to persons in their custody render the statements in answer thereto inadmissible as evidence against them.
At a meeting of the St. James' Vestry (Westminster) this morning, Mr. William Tapping moved - "That a letter be addressed to the Home Secretary, calling his attention to the inadequate protection against assaults and robbery afforded by existing police arrangements in the metropolis, and suggesting a return to the former practice of keeping experienced constables on the same beat for continuous periods, an extension of the system of horse patrols, or the adoption of such other measures as may appear calculated to ensure greater protection to the public and allay the prevalent feeling of alarm," and further recommending that additional police be employed in densely-populated neighborhoods. In moving this he condemned the practice of employing young men in the police force, and also of shifting them from one district to another, which made them powerless to watch criminals who infested certain neighborhoods. Mr. Pool seconded the motion, which several members supported. On a division, however, being taken the Vestry threw it out.
A MAN IS MYSTERIOUSLY, AND PERHAPS MORTALLY WOUNDED.
His Injuries are Discovered After a Fight with his Brother, but he Denies that his Brother Used the Knife.
A stabbing affray, in which a man is supposed to have wounded himself while attempting to stab his brother occurred near Smithfield Meat Market yesterday. About noon yesterday a butcher named Algernon Prebble, better known as Charles, arrived at his home, 18, New Charles-street, Goswell-road, in a cab. He appeared to be in pain, and complained of having been kicked in the abdomen. Every attention was being paid to him, when it was discovered that
from the side. On an examination it was found he was stabbed in the left side of the abdomen, near the thigh, having a wound about an inch wide. Dr. Richardson, of Goswell-road, was summoned, and subsequently Dr. Yarrow, and later Dr. Jennings, of Brook-street, Grosvenor-square, were also summoned. After a consultation, it was decided to remove the man to the hospital, but it was not until late in the evening that the police were acquainted of the affair, and the man was conveyed by them on an ambulance stretcher to Bartholomew's Hospital, where he arrived about eight o'clock. The case was found to be of
that the hospital authorities sent for the head house surgeon, Dr. Smith, to come and operate on Prebble. Dr. Smith and several other medical gentlemen were continuing the operation at eleven o'clock last night when very little hopes were entertained of his recovery, and his wife and friends were in attendance at the hospital. The injuries are internal, and it is considered extremely doubtful whether the doctors can check the discharges, which are inwardly. It is the general impression that the case is one of misadventure. From a statement made by a butcher named John Over, residing at Albany-place, Peter's-lane, Cow-cross, it seems that about ten o'clock yesterday morning Charles Prebble entered a coffee-house kept by his mother-in-law, in St John's-street-road, near the Meat Market. His brother Joseph, who was originally a butcher, but who had for the past 18 years worked for Mrs. Grove, the proprietress of the coffee-house, was standing in the private portion of the shop when Charles, who is stated to have been intoxicated, entered and disputed with his brother.
ensued, in which Charles was struck between the eyes, and he immediately afterwards drew forth a knife, which he opened, at the same time threatening his brother's life. Over leaped from his seat and "claimed" Charles's hand which held the knife, and by his prompt action, undoubtedly prevented very serious consequences. A struggle ensued, in which he succeeded in closing the knife and putting the enraged brother into the street, where he afterwards gave him the knife and his hat, which he had left behind him, but he refused to re-admit him. Charles appears to have gone to the Great Northern beer-house in Turnmill-street, Clerkenwell, where he complained to the proprietor, whom he knew, of having a stomach-ache, and brandy was obtained for him. As he did not recover, he asked the landlord of the house to procure a cab and send him home, which he did. What transpired on his arrival home is made clear above. On the police learning of the affair their first endeavors were
as nothing was known by his relatives as to where he was sent from, and all that could be ascertained from the injured man was that "It happened at Joe's." He was delirious, and frequently contradicted himself with great promptitude orders were issued throughout the metropolis for the cab ranks to be searched for the missing cabman, who was subsequently discovered to be a man named Green, living in Winford-road, Barnsbury. He stated that the man walked into his cab and walked out of it without assistance. He knew nothing more of the affair. The brother "Joe" was then called upon at the coffee shop and taken to see his brother, who, however, exclaimed "It is not you, Joe," or words to that effect. Joseph Prebble nevertheless was able to name the persons, about five in number, who witnessed the occurrence. The police appear to be satisfied that the case is one of misadventure. The knife bearing stains of blood was taken by the police from the wounded man.
was this morning seen by a Star man at the coffee-house where he is employed, 29, St. John-street-road. He seemed a hard-working, steady man, and impressed one by his manner that his word might be implicitly relied upon. He said that his brother, who is a married man without family, and 42 years of age, was by no means a steady man, and was indeed very seldom sober. "When he came to this house at ten o'clock yesterday morning," continued Joseph Prebble, "he was very drunk. I and he had a word or two over a family squabble of years ago. He said I owed him £2, but I paid it him years ago, and my mother is a witness of that. He had been in three or four times before, I must tell you, threatening that he would make me so as nobody would ever know me again. I was advised to get a summons out against him for using threatening language, but I didn't like to proceed against him, being my brother. However, when he came in yesterday morning he made a blow at me, and I hit him in the face, cutting his nose. It is altogether
and I knew nothing about him having one till I was told afterwards. A customer, John Over, saw a knife in his hand, and took it from him, and he then went out. I feel sure he was not stabbed then. Of course, if he had been there would have been blood about, but there was no blood at all beyond that on his nose, which did not run on to the floor. Over gave him his knife back, and he went away, and Over also is confident he was not stabbed then. I see it has been stated that I was arrested, but that is wrong altogether. The police came to me at about eight in the evening and asked me to tell him what had happened. I did so, and I said, 'I suppose you will detain me,' but they said, 'No, only you had better come and see your brother.' I went and saw him before he was removed to the hospital, and he exonerated me from all blame."
Prebble is a man of 40, and works at Smithfield Market, but is not very regular in his employment. He is married, but has no family. According to all accounts he is a heavy drinker, and was the worse for liquor when he entered the coffee-house at seven yesterday morning. This was evidently the cause of the quarrel. The knife which he drew was a large-sized pocket-knife with two blades. The large blade which he opened is as sharp as a razor. He was able to walk after he had been wounded, and remained in the Great Northern beerhouse for over an hour. The cabman states that he walked into and out of the cab without assistance. Inspector Burnham, G Division, who has been investigating the case, with the assistance of Detective-inspector Peel has questioned Prebble, but has received
Instead of answering questions addressed to him by the police and others he used foul and brutal language. He understood perfectly what was said when he was asked to make some statement, as he was dying, but he only replied with an oath that it was a "good job." He stated once that he was stabbed while being put out of the coffee house. "By your brother?" he was asked. "No," he replied, "Joe was at the other end of the room then." His brother was taken to the hospital last night, but Prebble gave no explanation in his presence. The brother says he knows nothing of how Charles was wounded. Prebble's deposition will be taken before a magistrate this forenoon.
Alderman Sir Henry Lusk attended at St. Bartholomew's Hospital shortly after one o'clock this afternoon, and took Prebble's statement. There were present besides the Alderman and surgeons Inspector Burnham, Joseph Prebble, the brother of the injured man, John Arbor, and Henry Barrfather, the two last-mentioned having also been witnesses of the scuffle. In response to the Alderman's question as to whether he considered himself about to die, he replied in the affirmative. He was in such a weak state that his answers were with difficulty heard by those present, but his statement, as read over to him and sworn to, was to the effect that he had gone to his brother's shop yesterday morning and had had some words with him about a money matter of long standing. Words led to blows, and in the excitement of the moment he drew his knife. During the continuation of the scuffle he received a wound, but
He remembered someone taking the knife away from him, and thought it was Over, but did not know whether it was before or after he was stabbed. The Alderman asked him several times whether he knew who inflicted the blow, but he insisted that he had not the slightest idea. He had no quarrel with anyone else who was present at the time, and the words with his brother were about an affair of long standing. He had been drinking a little, but did not think he was drunk at the time.
A Man Makes a "Confession," but Doesn't Know the Date of the Crime.
A man giving the name of John Fitzgerald gave himself up at Wandsworth Police-station last night and made a statement to the effect that he was the murderer of Annie Chapman in Hanbury-street. He was taken to Leman-street Police-station, where he is now detained. He is a plasterer or a bricklayer's laborer, and is believed to have been more or less under the influence of drink. In appearance he does not tally with the description given of a man seen with the woman on the morning of the murder.
From later inquiries it seems Fitzgerald first "confessed" to a private individual, who gave information to the police. A search was made, and the man was discovered in a common lodging-house at Wandsworth. He is known to have been living recently at Hammersmith. His self-accusation is said to be not altogether clear, and it is even reported that he cannot give the date of the murder, so the authorities do not place much reliance on his statements. The police are nevertheless making inquiries.
It will be seen from the above that there is not the slightest importance to be attached to this "confession."
From inquiries made at some of the great medical institutions it has been ascertained that requests similar to that of the American gentleman have before been made, but the peculiar conditions attaching to the request could not possibly be complied with unless the operation were performed before or immediately after death. Ever since the Coroner communicated the facts to the police authorities no stone has been left unturned to follow up the clue, and active inquiries are still proceeding.
The blood-stained clothing found in Great Portland-street, and believed to be connected in some way or other with the Whitechapel murder, has been examined and found to have no bearing whatever on the crime.
The police officers engaged in the Birtley Fell murder case have come to the conclusion that the crime was committed by some local man, not by any stranger, and for the present they are practically concentrating their efforts on the discovery of the man Waddle. Waddle is said to have been a steady man, but on Saturday he went to his lodgings the worse for drink - an unusual thing for him, and notwithstanding the dissuasion of his landlady, persisted in going out again. He has never been heard of in the locality since. The description given of the man's habits for a short time before the murder points to a slight mental derangement on his part. To his fellow workmen he had been explaining for days the methods he would adopt if he had to despatch anybody, and his reading the details in connection with the Whitechapel murders seems to have made a powerful impression upon his mind, for he was constantly talking about them. The searching of the old pit-shafts seems now to have been suspended, and for the present it is supposed that the police are following up certain rumors that have got about that Waddle has been seen in the neighborhood. The latest news, indeed, from Birtley is that the officers in charge of the case have obtained an important clue, and before many hours are over there may be some important light thrown upon the affair. The funeral of the victim took place yesterday afternoon in the presence of enormous crowds of persons, many of whom had travelled considerable distances. The coffin was followed to the grave by a cortège fully half a mile long. The interment took place in the parish church of Birtley, and at the grave the Rev. Mr. Watts made a few touching remarks.
A singular story was told in Manchester Bankruptcy Court yesterday by a debtor named William Clydesdale, a grocer and draper. He informed the Official Receiver that his failure was partly due to the Moston murder. When Mrs. Miller was killed by her lodger, Alfred Gell, her daughter, who was also wounded, fetched the bankrupt, and he was the first to enter the house. He looked after Miss Miller, and had to appear as a witness, and thus his business was neglected. Then his wife took care of Miss Miller's baby, and it died at his house on the day the murderer was sentenced to death. Miss Miller also stayed at his house, and the people in the neighborhood, having a prejudice against her, would not enter his shop whilst she was under his roof. Trade fell off, and he became insolvent.
Mr. Matthews went to a smoking concert at the Duddeston Working Men's Conservative Club, Birmingham, last night, and spoke in commendation of such innocent or rational recreation. He said he had learned in the few minutes he had passed among them a good deal that it was useful to everybody to know. He had heard one song, for instance, which embodied all the pathos and the poetry of the Irish nation. He called upon those present to contrast the song of "The Pride of Kildare" with the discord and the strife, and the hatred of man against man, and of class against class, which would be preached to them on Saturday.