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The Times (London).
17 May 1921


We have received from an old friend the following appreciation of Sir Melville Macnaghten, of whom an obituary notice appeared in The Times in Friday:

The youngest of the 15 children of Elliot Macnaghten, of Ovingdean, Sussex, who was one of the last of the chairmen of the old East India Company, Sir Melville was educated at Eton. There never was a keener Old Etonian, or one more constant in his visits to his old school. He himself wrote, "To known Eton is to love her, and that love lasts as long as life itself." Perhaps no speech given on the Fourth of June in Upper School was more brilliantly delivered than his 49 years ago, on "The Death of Montrose."

Shortly after leaving Eton Sir Melville, in 1872, went to India to look after his father's estates in Bengal, and, with occasional visits home, remained there until 1888. In late 1879 he married the eldest daughter of the late Canon Sanderson, then Headmaster of Lancing.

After leaving India he was appointed in 1889 to the Chief Constableship of the Criminal Investigation department of the Metropolitan Police, under his old friend, Mr. James Monro, whom he had known in India, and who subsequently became Commissioner of Metropolitan Police. For 24 years he served in the Force, first as Chief Constable, and from 1903 as Assistant Commissioner, and the Force has never had a servant more devoted to the interests of the police or of the public. His time was entirely spent in the C.I.D. and the interest he took in his work and his men was enormous. All his men admired and respected him, and he infused them with his own spirit of industry and devotion. For two years after the first signs of ill health showed itself he struggled on at his work, but a voyage to Australia which he took in 1912 was of no permanent avail.

Sir Melville was a man of many and divers interests; in his early years an amateur actor of no mean ability, he was a constant and enthusiastic theatre goer; always a considerable reader, he never lost his love of the classics, and on a long voyage in the last 10 years of his life made a translation of the "Ars Poetica" into English verse, which showed both skill and scholarship. In his early days in Bengal he was a keen pig sticker, and was fond of shooting as a long as health permitted. He was an ardent admirer of the boxing ring, and was often to be seen at the National Sporting Club in the old days; he was also a good speaker and a delightful raconteur.

Sir Melville was knighted in 1907 and received the C.B. in 1912. Lady Macnaghten survives him with two sons and two daughters, the elder of whom married Mr. Edward Donner, of Windlesham, and the younger the Hon. H.D. McLaren, eldest son of Lord Aberconway.

Related pages:
  Melville Macnaghten
       Dissertations: A Mystery Play : Police Opinions on Jack the Ripper 
       Dissertations: Emily and the Bibliophile: A Possible Source for Macnaght... 
       Dissertations: Problems with the Macnaghten Memoranda 
       Message Boards: Melville Leslie Macnaghten 
       Official Documents: The Macnaghten Memoranda 
       Police Officials: Melville Leslie Macnaghten 
       Press Reports: Coshocton Tribune - 3 June 1913 
       Press Reports: Frederick Post - 2 June 1913 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 13 May 1921 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 16 May 1913 
       Press Reports: Washington Post - 4 June 1913 
       Ripper Media: Days of My Years 
       Ripper Media: Days of My Years: Chapter 4 
       Ripper Media: Jack l'Eventreur Demasque