SIR JAMES RISDON BENNETT'S letter to the Times must be held to give the Burke and Hare theory of the Whitechapel murder its quietus. From the first we threw doubt on it; and we are now convinced of its utter untrustworthiness. Sir James points out (1) that no scientific end would be answered by the collection of specimens of the uterus in order to illustrate a medical book; (2) that such specimens are attainable in any quantity either here or in America without the payment of such a preposterous sum as £20 apiece; (3) that the man who proposed such terms must have known that he was inciting to the commission of horrible crime.
NOW let us see where these statements and admissions land us. We must either (a) dismiss the American as a myth, and the story of his applications to the Pathological Museum as a hoax; or (b) we must regard him as a medical maniac, who (and not any supposed emissary of his) is the real murderer. Reverting to a, we must confess our astonishment that the matter has not already been cleared up. What is the American's name? Did he leave an address? What is the nature of the work to illustrate (!) which he is prepared, should he print 1,000 copies, to pay £20,000 for "specimens?" Did the authorities of the Pathological Museum or any other institution (what institution?) treat him seriously, or did they not at once see that he must be either a madman or a practical joker of an uncommonly grim kind? All these are questions to which we expect a definite and a rational answer.
WE come now to b. If the American exists, he is a maniac, and is the probable murderer. But then he is a foolish murderer as well, and has put his neck into the noose. According to the Burke and Hare theory, he has been roving about London, applying for specimens of the uterus, offering large sums for them, and, apparently failing to get amateur murders done on a sufficiently large scale, has gone into business on his own account. If so, the scent must be hot indeed, and there is no need of bloodhounds, human or other, to run down our mad "Experimentalist Abroad."
BUT then why adopt this theory at all? In the first place, it destroys the sequence of the murders. It compels us to suppose that the first two - or at least the second - which resembled the others in a startling fashion, were entirely dissociated from the later crimes. Nor is it at all clear that the vital point of the Burke and Hare theory - viz., that the mutilations in the third murder were made for the purpose of extracting the uterus - has been made out. We come back therefore to the theory we ourselves prefer - viz., that of the slaughterman. We are not convinced that a slaughterman's anatomical skill is not fully equal to such operations as were conducted on the bodies of these poor victims of a terrible fate. Similar operations are, we know, performed by slaughtermen with vast celerity.
WE invite our readers' attention to the fact that slaughtermen are in the habit of working till between four and five on Friday and till between five and six on Saturday mornings, that the woman Nicholls was murdered about four on Friday morning, and that the woman Chapman was murdered at a later hour on Saturday morning. There are other facts within our knowledge, which we reserve. But for the present we are content to repudiate the Burke and Hare theory, and to insist that a more rational explanation lies much nearer at hand.
MEANWHILE, it is of the utmost importance that the true moral of the murders should be kept steadily in view. Lord William Compton is very far from being an extreme man, but he sees that until Whitechapel is looked to, we may give up the problem of governing London, or England either. "The homes of the working classes," says Lord William, "are a disgrace to working-class London. Rents are exorbitant, and the tenement rooms scarcely fit for habitation."
THIS is the heart of the matter. Landlordism is the enemy in Whitechapel as elsewhere, and no candidate for the County Council - especially East-end candidates - ought to obtain the support of Radical electors unless he pledges himself to strong measures against the men who rob it of light, air, work, land, and house-room. That should be the principle; and meanwhile candidates should be asked to pledge themselves (1) to as heavy a tax on ground rents as possible; (2) to the provision of model lodging-houses; (3) to sweeping out of the rookeries, and replacing them by model dwellings, facilities for acquiring which will be placed in the hands of the Council; (4) to better lighting and draining, and better sanitary inspection, both of sweating dens and rookeries. All this will help us on to the Whitechapel we wish to see - in which the fruits of Whitechapel's labor will be available for purifying and beautifying it, and not for piling up senseless luxury for Belgravia.
THE question of child insurance is again attracting attention, and there can be little doubt that it is a prolific source of cruelty and death. But how to remedy the acknowledged evil of the system is a difficult problem to solve. Parliament would hardly take the extreme step of prohibiting child insurance, and it must be borne in mind that the law as it stands, if only put into force, is sufficient to prevent the evils complained of.
NOT only does the law prohibit child insurance above £6, but it requires certificates and other documents to be furnished, which are intended not only to convince the insurance company that there has been no foul play, but also that there has been no second insurance. Unfortunately these requirements are evaded. There are many cases in which a child's life is insured in two or three offices, and the registrar's certificate, which ought to be forwarded to the office, is not asked for. The prospect of obtaining such a small sum as £6 at the death of a child often affects the conduct of a parent; how much more must it be affected when the gain by death is two or three times that amount?
IT may be thought that the insurance companies would refuse to pay doubtful claims, but competition is so keen that most of them are afraid to do their duty in this matter. If one is squeamish another has no scruples, and this knowledge prevents any of them from insisting upon the law being obeyed. Possibly something might be done to lessen the evil of child insurance by means of police supervision, but all experience shows that, whether with goods or with lives, it is most difficult to prevent over insurance.
LYCEUM THEATRE. - Sole Lessee, Mr. Henry Irving. - TO-NIGHT at 9.0, MR. RICHARD MANSFIELD.
LAST TWO NIGHTS and MATINEE of DR. JEKYLL and MR HYDE.
Preceded at 8 by LESBIA, Classical Comedy in one Act, by Mr. Richard Davey. LESBIA, Miss Beatrice Cameron.
MORNING PERFORMANCE TO-MORROW 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.
SIR, - As a Conservative reader of your pleasant, chatty, smart, but vilely Radical, journal, I write to ask you whether you are going to allow personal hate to exalt the already dominant position it seems to occupy in the conduct of your clever paper. Hang it all, you can't be so chockful of malignity as one would argue from the tone of your paper when writing of political opponents.
But leaving politics alone, I have to congratulate you on your writing at the head of your sheet 26 Sept., 1888, instead of Sept. 26, 1888 - and further, I have never found your paper guilty of "different to" - that damnable solecism tolerated by nearly every one of your contemporaries. On the other hand, do give us back the letter u. - I have the - (not I!), your obedient servant,
John Allison, 52, general dealer, of 123, New-road, Battersea, was brought up at Westminster yesterday charged with attempting to murder his wife by cutting her about the head and body with a chopper. Mrs. Allison was to-day able for the first time to attend the court. She deposed that as she was going into the Army and Navy Co-operative Stores manufactory in Ranelagh-road, Pimlico, where she was employed as a shirt maker, her husband, whom she had left a fortnight previously, rushed at her with a chopper, and said
Seeing that he raised the chopper, she screamed and ran into the office door of the Stores. Her husband followed, and knocked her down with a blow over the head with the chopper. He struck her again and again, until the handle broke. She recollected being struck three times, and then she lost her senses. "It's God's mercy the handle did break," said the woman, "or else I should have been dead." She put up her hands to protect her face, and her fingers were nearly chopped off. In reply to the magistrate the woman said she was compelled to leave her husband through his brutality, and he had threatened to kill her before she left him. She had been married 19 years. Her husband had given way to drink lately, but when he attacked her with the chopper he appeared to her to be sober.
Mr. Alfred Williams, timekeeper at the Army and Navy Stores, said he heard the woman scream, and saw the prisoner, who had pursued her, wrestling with a gentleman. Allison said, "Don't hold me, I won't go away. Is she dead inside? I hope she is. If not I will swing for her. She got a man to fight me before, and I got the worst of it." He appeared to have been drinking, but he knew perfectly well what he was about.
Mr. Frederick W. Parker, house surgeon at St. George's Hospital, described Mrs. Allison's wounds. The wound on the head was about an inch and a half long. The force of the blow given was broken by the bonnet. He thought the blows on the back must have been given
After receiving the statutory caution, prisoner said he was very drunk at the time, and he did not recollect much about what had occurred.
Mr. Biron committed him for trial for attempted murder.
From the evidence given at the University College Hospital yesterday, it seems that Mary Stevens, aged 36, who lived at 97, Ossulton-street, Somers Town, performed the office of "laying out" a dead friend, and then asked for some brandy. She took up a bottle from a shelf, and poured out half a tumbler full, drank it off, and immediately became sick. She shrieked out, "I think I have drank poison." It was then found that she had taken by mistake some carbolic acid which had been bought for disinfecting the apartment. The jury returned a verdict of death from misadventure.
At the Thames Police-court Levi Richard Bartlett, 57, a general dealer, of 248, Manchester-road, Cubitt-town, Poplar, who has only just sufficiently recovered to be brought up, was charged with wilfully murdering his wife, Elizabeth Bartlett, on Sunday, 19 Aug., by battering her head in with a hammer. He was further charged with attempting to commit suicide by cutting his throat. He seemed in a very weak condition, and was accommodated with a seat. His throat was also still bound up. Besides suffering from the wound in the throat, he was suffering from a severe attack of gout, and could not walk.
Inspector Crawford stated on 19 Aug., a few minutes after five a.m., he was called to 248, Manchester-road. He there saw, in the first floor front room, the wife of the prisoner lying on the bed
from her head on the pillow. She had several wounds in the neck as from stabs, and a quantity of blood had spurted up on to the ceiling. She was still alive, but unconscious. She died in witness's presence, never having recovered consciousness. When witness first arrived prisoner was lying on the same bed held down by four policemen. He had a wound in the neck. He was removed in custody to the Poplar Hospital. The hammer, with fresh bloodstains on it, and a bloodstained knife and razor were found. The razor and knife had evidently
At the inquest on the woman a verdict of wilful murder was recorded against the husband. This morning witness arrested prisoner at Poplar Hospital, and told him a coroner's jury had returned a verdict of wilful murder against him. He said "All right. How are they all down at the Island?" Witness replied, "Very well." "The firm is not cracked up then," he replied.
The accused was remanded, and conveyed to the gaol in a cab. His sister is to have an interview with him.
Levi Richard Bartlett has had a somewhat remarkable career. His parents were well-to-do people near Billericay in Essex, and he was placed in business by them as a carman. He also became well known as a hay and straw merchant on the Whitechapel market. But marriage in his case was a failure, and domestic unhappiness, said to be the result of drink, caused him to dispose of his home and business and enlist in the Royal Marines. He was sent to the Baltic, and
but after the ship returned to the Downs he deserted, making his escape by swimming to the shore, notwithstanding that he was observed and fired upon by the sentry. From that time he passed in the name of Freeman. His friends again started him in business, this time as a contractor in Victoria Docks, and he subsequently took a beerhouse. It was then he became acquainted with the deceased, a handsome, well-made woman, who was known as the Eastern Star. In spite of the fact that she had a husband living, she went to live with Bartlett. On the opening of the Millwall Docks some 20 years ago Bartlett took up his residence in the Isle of Dogs, and amassed considerable wealth as a contractor and stevedore, and as the proprietor of a large eating house. He again took to drink, and his wife turned up and annoyed him, and the parish authorities compelled him to support her until she died, seven years ago. Through drink and continual quarrels with the deceased, whom he then married, he seems to have lost trade and become reduced to comparative poverty. The woman he murdered has been regarded as a sober, hard-working woman by the neighbors, but "Mad Dick's" quarrelsome propensities were well known.
Roland Gideon Israel Barnett, charged under the Fugitive Criminals Act with fraud alleged to have been committed in Canada, was up again at Bow-street to-day. He received permission of the Court to change his trousers, which his solicitor said he was very anxious to do.
Among the charges at Hammersmith was one against Sarah Ann Rans for being drunk and disorderly, but she could not be found. - Police-constable 391 said he saw her in the station at six o'clock. It was usual to walk the prisoners to Paddington station to await the prison van to remove them to the police court. He was on duty at Harrow-road station, and saw the prisoner handed by the inspector over to 414, who took her to Paddington station. Witness had not seen her since. - Mr. Paget said the prisoner might be still in the cell at Paddington station. The better way would be to telegraph to the station to inquire. Later on the prisoner arrived. She had been sent to Marylebone Police-court by mistake. She was fined 10s., or seven days.
Russian Severities on Jews.
The Austrian police have issued information respecting the passport regulations decreed by the police of Russia for travellers entering or leaving that country. The most noticeable thing in these severe rules is that exceptional measures are ordered against Jews. All travellers entering Russia must have a passport bearing the visa of a Russian diplomatic or Consular agent, and on reaching his destination in Russia the traveller must get his passport visaed by the local authorities. If he is going from place to place, or means to settle in any one locality for some time, he may obtain a "license to sojourn," which will remain valid for six months, but wherever he goes he must present his passport to the Russian police for a fresh visa. Those leaving Russia must also exhibit passports bearing the visas of the police in the districts whence they come. In the case of Jews, whether Russians or aliens, the visa may be refused without explanation. Consequently a Jew may be arbitrarily denied the right of entering the Czar's dominions, of travelling in them, or of leaving them.
It is understood that at a meeting in Edinburgh of the Scotch and North of England grain distillers, it was resolved to increase the price of grain spirits, and that the minimum price from 1 Oct. is to be 1s. 6d. per proof gallon.
To-day the Livery of London will exercise for the last time their time-honored privilege of electing the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex.
A reporter writes:- This morning, at about half-past seven o'clock, a discovery was made in Southwark which is believed to be connected with that at Pimlico. It appears that a lad was walking along the Lambeth-road, and passing the Blind School, which has a garden protected by railings, he noticed a paper parcel which was lying on the grass inside the railings. The lad managed to obtain possession of the parcel and found it contained
It was somewhat decomposed and had lime thrown over it. The attention of a policeman of the L Division was immediately called, and he took it to the Lambeth Police-station, in the Kennington-lane.
The Lambeth-road at the Blind School is a very quiet place in the morning, but it is frequented by prostitutes at night.
A bricklayer named Moore said to our correspondent: "At about a quarter past seven o'clock this morning I was walking along Lambeth-road when I saw a boy pick up a parcel through the railings which surround the Blind School. He was opening it when I went up and saw the arm of a young woman, which had been put in lime."
The licensed shoeblack who stands at the corner of a public-house facing the Blind School said: "Seeing some people round a parcel which had been fished out of the garden, I went over. The parcel lay opened, and I saw the arm of a woman which had been cut from the body. It was decomposed, and had been laid in lime. The fingers were clenched."
We sent one of our own reporters to inquire into the truthfulness of this report. He was informed by the inspector on duty at Lambeth Police-station that a woman's arm had not been brought to the station, and beyond hearing a rumor, to which he attached no importance, that "a bone had been found," he knew nothing of the report. The policeman on point duty near the Blind School referred to had not heard of any parcel being found, and the shoeblack alluded to in the report, and who had been there all morning, was equally ignorant.
It has been ascertained that the incident to which Mr. Wynne Baxter, coroner for East Middlesex, so emphatically referred in his summing up of the evidence given at the inquest concerning the death of Annie Chapman, occurred some months since, towards the close of last year. The person who made the singular application, as described, at one of the great London hospitals, and which he repeated at a scientific institution, was for some time a student at the hospital in question, and it is stated he would have been able to procure what he required without incurring any risk. Inquiry at the London Hospital, Whitechapel-road, the nearest institution to the scene of the murder, elicited the fact that
indicated have recently been made to the warden or curator of the pathological museum. Although many hospital authorities do not attach very great importance to the story, the police have given due attention to the matter. In their view, however, it does not provide a clue which will facilitate the identification of the murderer.
|Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 30 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 7 September 1888|
|Levi Richard Bartlett|
|Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 14 November 1888|
|Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 26 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 13 November 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 25 October 1888|
|Roland Gideon Israel Barnett|
|Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 2 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Thanet Advertiser - 5 January 1889|
|Press Reports: Wandsworth and Battersea District Times - 15 September 18...|
|Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 5 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Atchison Daily Globe - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Atlanta Constitution - 5 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Chicago Tribune - 7 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Eastern Post - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Echo - 26 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Echo - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Echo - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Echo - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Evening News - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Evening News - 28 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Lancet - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 30 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Manitoba Daily Free Press - 5 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 5 October 1888|
|Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 8 October 1888|
|Press Reports: New York Tribune - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 29 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Star - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Te Aroha News - 10 November 1888|
|Press Reports: Times [London] - 27 September 1888|
|Press Reports: Times [London] - 28 September 1888|