4 September 1888
Mr. Lionel Brough, compelled to vacate Toole's Theatre, and now domiciled at the little house in Dean street, has added a dramatic parody to his bill. "The Real Case of Hide and Seekyll," written, and the songs composed, by Mr. George Grossmith, is a burlesque upon "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide." Both the story and the play are fair game, and those who have read the one and seen the other will naturally get more enjoyment out of the skit produced last night than others ignorant of Mr. Louis Stevenson's romance and the dramatic versions thereof. The playful satire at the Royalty is short. It is played in one scene, and depends entirely upon the comic powers of Mr. Lionel Brough. Upon his shoulders the whole thing rests, and no actor is better able to bear the responsibility. Anything approaching serious comment would be entirely out of place in reference to this absurdity. Mr. Brough, as Dr. Seekyll, humorously bewails his fate as being obliged to change from an amiable and dolorous individual into the malignant Hide, who, in ordering luncheon for a guest, commands beetles to be put into the soup, and tadpoles into the salt. Seekyll is continually in dread of the period arriving when he must be transformed into the objectionable Hide, and part of the fun of this veritable trifle consists in the transformation of a sailor, Captain Lando (Mr. E.W. Garden), into a private soldier; a lodging house keeper Rebecca Moore (Miss Isabel Grey) into an energetic young Irishwoman; a venerable butler, Puddle by name (Mr. C.H. Thornbury), into a page boy; and Ewart (Miss Helen Leyton), Seekylls' man servant, into an ancient servitor. These transformations follow upon the imbibing of a magic draught mixed by the doctor. Mr. Brough has a neatly written song, "However mild a man may be," and Mr. Garden has another, "I have got a yacht." He follows this up with a hornpipe, which he dances well. Mr. Brough appears for a minute or two made up to resemble Mr. Daniel Bandmann. The farcical comedy, "The Paper Chase," shows Mr. Brough at his best as Mr. Busby. This is an uncommonly good piece of acting, original, highly finished, and humorous in the truest sense of the word.
The police have not made any arrests in connexion with the Whitechapel murder. The inquest on the deceased woman was resumed yesterday, but no evidence was given calculated to throw any new light on the crime. The inquiry was eventually adjourned for a fortnight.
At ten o'clock yesterday morning, Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, the coroner for South east Middlesex, resumed the inquiry at the Working lads' Institute, Whitechapel, into the circumstances attending the death of Mary Ann Nicholls, 43, who was brutally murdered in Buck's row, Whitechapel, early on the morning of Friday last.
Inspectors Helston and Aberline (sic)attended for the police, while Detective sergeant Enright, of Scotland yard, was also in attendance. Up to a late hour last night no arrests had been made in connexion with the crime.
Inspector John Spratling, J Division, was the first witness called, and he deposed that at half past four on Friday morning he was in the Hackney road, when he received information of the finding of the body of the deceased in Buck's row. Witness proceeded to the spot directly, and there saw Police constable 96 (Thain), who pointed to where the body had been found. Witness noticed stains of blood and water between the stones. He was told that the body had been removed to the mortuary in Old Montague street, and he went there. The body at that time was on the ambulance in the yard waiting for the mortuary keeper. While waiting he took a description, and in doing so partly turned up her skirts and petticoats, but at that time he did not notice anything unusual. The mortuary keeper arrived, and the body was placed on a bench. He was about to take a description of the under garments when he discovered the injuries to the abdomen. He at once sent for Dr. Llewellyn. He did not notice any blood marks between the groin and the knees, the skin of which was clean.
The Coroner - Was there any evidence of it having been washed?
The Witness - I should say not. I left the examination to the doctor.
That question was not asked the doctor? - The doctor made an examination then, lasting ten minutes or a quarter of an hour.
That was an examination of the abdominal injuries only, and not of the whole body? - Yes, sir.
Who stripped the body? - Two workhouse people. I don't know who they were, but I gave them no instructions.
The Coroner - It is important that the clothes should be described and the position they were in.
The witness, continuing his evidence, said he went to the mortuary again at about twelve o'clock the same day. The clothes were lying in a heap in the yard, and consisted of a brown ulster somewhat worn, a new brown winsey (sic) dress, grey wool petticoat, flannel petticoat, these last two being marked "Lambeth Workhouse, P.R.," drab or brown corsets in fair condition which, witness said, had no cuts on them.
The Coroner - Were they fastened when you saw them?
Witness - Yes, they were fastened at the back.
Were they fastened at the front? This is a most important point. - I did not remove them from the body, so I could not say.
Well, who can give us this information; or shall we have to examine them for ourselves? -
Inspector Helston can tell you more about it. I noticed a blood stain on the back of the dress.
Did you examine Buck's row? - Yes; between five and six o'clock in the morning, and also the railway and yards abutting on the street.
Did you examine the street for blood stains, I mean? - Yes, between eleven and twelve o'clock I examine Buck's row and Queen street, but found no blood stains in either. I subsequently, in company with Sergeant Godley, examined the East London District Railway embankment and the Great Eastern Railway yard for blood stains and weapons, but found none.
Who wiped up the blood that we have heard of? - One of Mr. Brown's men.
Is there not a constable on duty at the gate of the Great Eastern Railway Company's yard? - Yes, sir; that is about 50 yards away from the spot. I have questioned him, and he heard nothing during the night. A Mrs. green, whose rooms overlook the spot, said she heard nothing during the whole of the night, though she was up from three till half past four o'clock.
How far is the slaughter house away? - About 150 paces, going round by the Board school.
A Juryman - How far away from Buck's row was the nearest constable except Niel? (sic)
Witness - There is another constable whose beat takes in the east side of Brady street, which runs at the top of Buck's row. On being questioned further, the witness said that when he examined the body he came to the conclusion that the woman had been murdered in her clothes, as there was a large quantity of blood on the neck of the dress just where the head had touched it. He did not think that the woman had been dressed after the murder.
One of the jury complained that the body had been left exposed to the view of the children in the streets. - This the police denied.
Henry Tomkins, 112 Coventry street, Bethnal green, a horse slaughterer, said - I am employed by Messrs. Barber, and was working all night on Thursday. I started at eight o'clock at the slaughter house, Winthorpe (sic) street, and finished about quarter past four.
The Coroner - Where did you go then?
Witness - we generally go for a walk.
Where did you go that morning? - I went to look at the murdered woman, which a policeman had told us of a few minutes before. He said there had been a women murdered in Buck's row.
Who worked with you? - There are three of us work together, James Mumford, Charles Brittan, and myself.
When did you go out before four o'clock? - I and Brittan left the slaughter house at twelve o'clock, and returned about one o'clock or a little later. We did not leave the place after till we were told of the murder.
Did you go far? - No, only as far as the court.
The latter part of the night were you at the door at all? - No.
Was it quiet in the slaughter house, say from two o'clock? - Yes, sir; very quiet.
Are your gates and doors open, and could you hear what passed in the street? - All our gates were open, but I heard no noise or cry.
Did anyone come to the slaughter house that night? - No, sir; no one but the policeman.
I suppose some people do come and look you up? - Well, yes, now and then.
Some of them women? - I never take notice of them. I don't like them.
Never mind that. Did you see any that night. - Not about there; but there were some in the Whitechapel road; plenty, of all sorts.
Now, supposing anyone had called out in Buck's row "Murder! Police!" or something like that, should you have heard it? - No; our place is too far away for that.
Who went to see the woman first? - Two of us went first, and my mate came after. There were three or four policemen, a sergeant, and a doctor, and I think there were two men there before me.
Inspector Helston, J Division, was next called, and said:- At 6.45 on Friday morning I received information of the affair at my house. I first went to Bethnal green police station and made myself acquainted with the facts, after which I went to the mortuary. The body was fully dressed, except for the bonnet. The bodice of the dress was open for about four buttons from the top. They might have been undone by the doctor. The stays were shorter than usual, and did not reach the hip. There were no blood marks on either of the petticoats. The back of the dress just above the shoulders was soaked in blood, which had flowed from the wound in the neck. The ulster was also saturated, and between this and the dress the blood was clotted. The other parts of the body were clean, but did not give one the impression that the body had been recently washed. The face was bruised, as if by a blow on the cheek, and the right jaw appeared to have been struck. There were no marks of any ring being torn off her finger, and there were no appearances of any struggle having taken place. All the injuries to the abdomen could have been inflicted while the woman was wearing her stays. I have examined the spot where the body was found in Buck's row. There were no signs of any blood on the large gates where the body was laid, and, as the paint was fresh, they would, had they been there, have been easily visible. With the exception of one stain in Brady street, which might have been blood, I saw nothing to show that blood had been spilt. I should say that the outrage was committed on the spot. The clothes were not disarranged enough for the body to have been dragged any distance.
Police constable George Maizen (sic), 55 H, said - On Friday morning last, at 20 minutes past four, I was at the end of Hanbury street, Baker's row, when someone who was passing said, "You're wanted down there" (pointing to Buck's row). The man appeared to be a carman. (The man, whose name is George Cross, was brought in and witness identified him as the man who spoke to him on the morning in question). I went up Buck's row and saw a policeman shining his light on the pavement. He said, "Go for an ambulance," and I at once went to the station and returned with it. I assisted to remove the body. The blood appeared fresh, and was still running from the neck of the woman.
The Coroner - There was another man in company with Cross?
The Witness - Yes. I think he was also a carman.
Charles Allen Cross, a carman, in the employ of Messrs. Pickford, said - On Friday morning I left home at half past three. I went down Parson street, crossed Brady street, and through Buck's row. I was alone. As I got up Buck's row I saw something lying on the north side, in the gateway to a tool warehouse. It looked to me like a man's tarpaulin, but on going into the centre of the road I saw it was the figure of a woman. At the same time I heard a man coming up the street in the same direction as I had come, so I waited for him to come up. When he came up, I said, "Come and look over here; there is a woman." We then both went over to the body. I bent over her head and touched her hand, which was cold. I said, "She is dead." The other man, after he had felt her heart, said, "Yes, she is." He then suggested that we should shift her, but I said, "No, let us go and tell a policeman." When I found her clothes were up above her knees we tried to pull them over her, but they did not seem as if they would come down. I did not notice any blood.
The Coroner - Did you not see that her throat was cut?
Witness - No; it was very dark at the time. We left together, and went up Baker's row, where we met a constable. I said to him, "There is a woman in Buck's row on the broad of her back. She is dead, or else drunk." The constable said he would go, and I left him and went to work.
The Coroner - Did you see Police constable Neil about?
Witness - No; I did not see anyone at all around except the constable I spoke to. I don't think I met anybody after I left my house till I got to the body.
William Nicholls said - I am a machinist, and live at Coburg road, Old Kent road, and the deceased is my wife. I separated from her on Easter Monday eight years ago. I have not seen her for over three years, nor do I know what she has been doing.
By the Jury - I don't know who she has lived with; but I do know that she left me many times. I took her back, but I had to leave her.
By one of the Jury - Did you not take on with a nurse girl?
Witness - No. My eldest child by this woman is two years and a half old, after I had parted from my wife.
Jane Oran said - I live at 18 Thrawl street, which is a common lodging house for single women. I have known the deceased for six weeks; she slept in the same bed as I. She has not been in the house for the last eight or ten days. I saw her about half past two on the morning she was murdered in Whitechapel road. I asked her where she was living, and she said she was staying where men and women were allowed to sleep, but that she should come back to my house to her own room.
The Coroner - Did she say where she was living?
Witness - I think she said Flower and Dean street. I tried to persuade her to stay with me that night, but she refused. I don't think she was a fast woman.
Was she cleanly in her habits? - Yes, a very clean woman.
A Juryman - Was she a quarrelsome or a good tempered woman?
Witness - I never saw her have any trouble. She always kept herself to herself, as if she was melancholy. I believe that she had been living in Boundary street since she left my house.
Mary Ann Monk, an inmate of the Lambeth Workhouse, said - I know the deceased. I last saw her in the New Kent road.
The Coroner - Had you ever seen her in the workhouse?
Witness - Yes; I saw her six or seven years ago in the Lambeth Union.
The Coroner said that that the whole of the evidence the police were prepared to offer at present, and it would be as well to adjourn the inquiry for a week or two to give the police time to prosecute further inquiries.
The inquiry was then adjourned for a fortnight.
In reports which have appeared of the Whitechapel tragedy and the inquest in connexion therewith, it has been stated that the deceased woman's father, Walker, lived at 15 Maydwell street, Camberwell. The occupier of No. 15 Maydwell street, is Mr. Edward Tasker, who has lived there for four years, and he wishes it to be known that he is not acquainted with any of the parties connected with the case.
The Police Commissioners have sanctioned the erection of police alarm posts in Islington as an experiment for the purpose of informing the police of accidents and disturbances. The alarm post is somewhat similar to the fire alarm posts, with the exception that the mechanism is enclosed, and can only be operated upon by first obtaining a key. Keys, however, will be kept by shopkeepers and others resident near the alarm, and the working of the latter is extremely simple. By the turning of a handle in various directions it can be recorded at the police station as to whether the ambulance or police only are required, besides which there is a rather effective alarm bell, which does duty for a police whistle. Ten of these posts have been erected in Islington.
We understand that Mr. Monro, late Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, has been appointed to an important post at the Home Office.