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(c) 2004

Thomas Dutton and Hermione Dudley

(With thanks and acknowledgements to John Savage, John Ruffels and Chris George)
General background:
Dr. Thomas Dutton is noted as the author of "The Chronicles of Crime", a document (or series of documents) which served as a primary source for Donald McCormick's Pedachenko theory of the Ripper's identity.
Miss Hermione Dudley is quoted from one press source (the Sunday Chronicle) as being acquainted with Dutton when she was young and also being given the manuscript of the Chronicles of crime by Dutton. She described it as "three volumes of handwritten comments on all the chief crimes of the past sixty years."
Source Data:
1881 census. Tracing Dutton in the 1881 data proved a little less straightforward than expected in that (as is often the case) there was an odd spelling in the transcribed index of his forename. However, this is the household entry including him in the 1881 data:
147 Kingsland Road, London
Tommus Dutton M.B. Dist. J.L.B.C.D.
Born 1855 in St Georges, Pimlico
Others in Household:
Arthur A. Roberts
Born 1855 in Conway, Caernarvon
Domestic Servant
Elizabeth Langston
Born 1856 in Tower Hill
General Servant
1891 Census:
In the 1891 census, he was a boarder at 13 Colville Gardens, Kensington. The boarding house was run by an Ellen Brown and there are 15 boarders listed and what a cosmopolitan lot they are! the list includes people from Peru, Paris, Monte Carlo and Italy.
Duttons's details are given as follows:
Name: Tho. Dutton
Aged 36
Under profession it says (I think!) Retired physician, though why he would have retired at that young age is not clear. Someone has written in beside it, "Surg", i.e. surgeon.
1901 Census:
In the 1901 census, Dutton is listed as a lodger at 76 Clarendon Road, Kensington. The keeper of the boarding house was Maria Marillat, a 42-year-old widow.
On Dutton's death certificate the following entry gives details of the informant who registered his death:
7. SIGNATURE, DESCRIPTION AND RESIDENCE OF INFORMANT - B.A. Dutton, Sister, 57 Cornwall Road, Westbounre Park, W11.
Regarding the elusive Miss B A Dutton, if my supposition is correct, her birth initials were not B A but A B. It was not unknown then, as now, for an individual to use a middle birth name in preference to their first given name. If my supposition is correct, the person we are looking for is, in fact, Ada Barbara Dutton who was born in 1867 in Kensington.
Let me explain:
As there was no suitable candidate for B A Dutton listed in either 1881 or 1891 I worked on two suppositions
1) Considering Thomas was only 26 at the time of the 1881 census, it was a fair bet his parents were still living
2) Thomas is listed in both census returns as born in Pimlico, so presumably at least some of his siblings, if there were any, would be listed as born there as well Also, as Thomas trained for the medical profession, it was a reasonable bet that we were looking for a family from the professional classes.
After some pretty complex queries of the 1881 census data, only one family came forward as likely candidates to be his parents and siblings:
130 High Street, London
George Dutton aged 59
Born Lymington, Hampshire
Bank Manager
Barbara Dutton aged 50
Born Shields, Durham
Isabel aged 23, born Pimlico
Florence aged 21, born Pimlico
Georgina aged 19, born Kensington
Ada B. aged 14, born Kensington
Helena aged 12, born Kensington
Mary Irish aged 27, parlourmaid
Martha Price aged 20, cook
George Whiting aged 36, bank messenger
The eldest child listed, Isabel, was born in 1858, i.e. 2 to 3 years before Thomas, so he would have been the eldest child and the only son.
By 1891, the family had moved to Sussex, to Ore, near Hastings.
Sherbourne House, Eaton (?) Road, Ore, Hastings, Sussex
Ada was still living with the family and her middle name is listed here as Barbara (not just an initial as in 1881)
There was another sister (see above) named Helena and she is listed as the informant on the death certificate of Ada Dutton:
Column 7. Signature , description and residence of informant - Helena Dutton, Sister, The Manor Cottage, Wroughton, Swindon
These were my findings about Helena Dutton in the 1901 census:
I have found some details about Helena Dutton from the 1901 census. There is one discrepancy but from two items of data I am pretty certain it is the right one.
According to the ages given on the 1881 census (12 years old) and the 1891 census (22 years old) for Helena, we could of course expect her to be listed in the 1901 census as 32 years old. However, there are 5 entries under the name of Helena Dutton in the 1901 data, the oldest of whom is listed as 28 years old. However, from the previous census data, we have the place of birth for "our" Helena as Bayswater. One of the 1901 Helenas is listed as born in Bayswater. Added to this is the fact that this Helena Dutton is listed as living in Clarendon Road, Kensington, which is the same road as where her brother Thomas is listed as living in 1901 (see post above with his 1901 details)
By 1901 Helena had left the parental nest and was a Governess in the household of William Dellar, a commercial traveller. The address was 16 Clarendon Road, Kensington. Her age is listed as 25 years of age.
As this is almost certainly the Helena we are looking for (same place of birth, Kensington area, same road as her brother) it would be interesting to know how the 7 year discrepancy over her age arose.
We now come back to the elusive Miss Hermione Dudley. having searched many different sources I slowly concluded that Hermione fell into one of two possible categories:
1) Either she never existed or
2) If she was present in the data available it was under a different surname at least.
If scenario 2 was correct, then at some stage subsequently she either married or for some other reason, which cannot at present be deduced, changed her surname. If she married and acquired the name Dudley, then either the reports quoted wrongly described her as Miss, or, she may have, as did an aunt of mine, have resumed the title Miss on the death of her husband but retained her married name.
The name Hermione is sufficiently unusual that it seemed worthwhile doing some searching in case anything showed up. To put this into context, in the 1891 UK census, there were only 15 Hermiones in London, and only 66 in the whole country.
I had already found Thomas Dutton in the 1891 census and he was living in Kensington at 13 Colville gardens. So I decided to undertake a search on the following premises:
1) It was more likely than not that the family I was looking for, if they existed, would be of the same social class as Thomas, i.e. the professional classes.
2) It was probable, in view of Thomas' profession, that there may well be some medical connection within the family to explain how they became acquainted
3) They would be resident in or near the Kensington area in 1891
4) They would include among their number a family member called Hermione who could still feasibly have been alive at the time of Dutton's death in the mid 1930's
To be honest, in view of the scarcity of Hermiones, I thought it highly unlikely any household would fulfil all these criteria, but to my surprise one did!
I traced them back to the 1881 census and they were resident at the same address as in 1891.
Here is their data from 1881:
82 Redcliffe Square, Kensington, London
Head: John Turner Caddy aged 39
Born in Parkham, Devon
Physician and Surgeon (Retired) From Royal Navy as Deputy Inspector General
Wife: Florence Caddy aged 44
Born London, Middlesex
Author (Social Economy)
Florence aged 18
Born St Mary Church, Devon
Art Student
Arnold aged 15
Born St Mary Church, Devon
Hermine H. (sic) aged 11
Born Parkham, Devon
Adrian aged 2
Born Kensington, London
Bertha Ballauf aged 18
Born Iserlohn, Germany
Domestic Servant
By 1891, their details were listed as follows:
82 Redcliffe Square, Kensington
John Turner Caddy aged 69
(Obviously either this or the 1881 age are wrong and I am virtually certain it is the 1881 one which is incorrect but will check on this)
Born Parkham, Devon
Retired Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals
Florence Caddy aged 54
Born London Middlesex
Florence aged 28
Born St Mary Church, Devon
Arnold aged 25
Born St Mary Church, Devon
F R College Surgeons, England
Hermione Helena aged 21
Born Parkham, Devon
Organist (music)
Adrian aged 12
Born St Mary Abbots, London
Sophie Blauefield aged 26
Born Schwerin, North Germany
General Servant
Of course, I cannot say definitively that Hermione Caddy is, or became, Hermione Dudley. There is still work to be done, trying to trace a marriage etc
1) I have found John Turner Caddy in the Navy List. He is listed under Staff Surgeons for the year 1867 as follows:
240 John Turner Caddy, M.D. 07-Jul
2) I have found the index entry for Hermione's birth. This was registered in the last quarter of 1869 (Oct-Dec) so at the time of Dutton's death in 1935 she would have been 66 or 67.
Regarding my suggestion above that Hermione Caddy could be in some way connected to the riddle of Hermione Dudley, I was trying to see some possible connection between the Caddy family, probably via the father (John T.) and Thomas Dutton as it was stated the Hermione's father knew Dutton.
I could see no real clue as Thomas was (or so I thought) mainly in general practice and John Caddy was a naval staff surgeon and later deputy Inspector general for the Royal navy.
However when I looked more carefully at the Who's Who listing from 1914 there are certainly some naval and service connections with Thomas Dutton.
I have listed the relevant info below for both men:
Thomas Dutton
From Medical Who's Who 1914
(courtesy of John Savage)
Admiralty Surgeon and Agent
Surgeon Mercantile Marine: S.S Elysia, R.M.S. Tongartro, C.Y. Argonaut
Surgeon National Reserve
John Turner Caddy (Hermione's father)
Physician and Surgeon (Retired) from Royal Navy as Deputy Inspector General
Staff Surgeon in the Navy List.