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Frederick George Abberline

ABBERLINE, Frederick George

Born : 8 January 1843, Blandford Dorset. Son of Edward and Hannah Abberline.

1863 : Jan 5 - Joins Metropolitan Police Warrant Number 43519. Described as being 5ft 9 and a half inches tall, with dark brown hair, hazel eyes, a fresh complexion and a varicose vein on the left leg below the knee. He had a wife named Emma. Appointed to N Division (Islington).

1865 : Aug 19 - Promoted to Sergeant. This was very rapid promotion. Oct 30 - Moved to Y Division (Highgate).

1873 : Mar 10 - Promoted to Inspector.

1878 : Apr 8 - Moved to H Division (Whitechapel) and promoted to Local Inspector.

1887 : Feb 26 - Moved to A Division (Whitehall). Nov 19 - Moved to CO Division (Scotland Yard).

1888 : Feb 8 - Promoted to 1st Class Inspector.

1889 : Investigates Cleveland Street Scandal.

1890 : Dec 22 - Promoted to Chief Inspector.

1892 : Feb 7 - Resigned from the Metropolitan Police after 29 years service. Lived at 41 Mayflower Road, Clapham. He continued to do some private detective work.

1929 : Dec 10 - Died Age 86 at "Estcourt", 195 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth. Buried at Wimbourne Cemetery, grave number Z259N. (This appears to have been in the same cemetery as Montague Druitt).

In interviews with the Pall Mall Gazette in 1903 Abberline put forward the idea that George Chapman may have been the Ripper saying "...I cannot help feeling that this is the man we struggled so hard to capture fifteen years ago." However, he also said that "Scotland Yard is really no wiser on the subject than it was fifteen years ago."

In an article first published in the Evening News (June 26, 1976) and later reprinted in "The Ripper and the Royals" Nigel Morland recalled visiting Abberline when the Inspector was living in retirement in Dorset. Morland claimed that Abberline told him that the case was shut and that "I've given my word to keep my mouth permanently closed about it." Abberline went on to say that "I know and my superiors know certain facts."and that the Ripper "...wasn't a butcher, Yid or foreign'd have to look for him not at the bottom of London society at the time but a long way up." Given Abberline's other known statements about the case this should be treated with considerable scepticism and caution.


Begg, Fido, and Skinner. The Jack the Ripper A-Z.

Photographs of Abberline's final residence in Bournemouth

Photographs courtesy of Scott Chapman

An informational pamphlet on Inspector Abberline, produced by the Bournemouth Council in 2001, can be found here (PDF format).

Related pages:
  Frederick Abberline
       Dissertations: A Mystery Play : Police Opinions on Jack the Ripper 
       Message Boards: Frederick George Abberline 
       Press Reports: East London Observer - 11 June 1892 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 24 March 1903 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 31 March 1903