WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1888
WESTMINSTER - WIFE MURDER - John Brown was charged on remand with the murder of his wife, at 11, Regent-gardens, Regency-street, Westminster, on the night of the 29th ult. - Shortly after the woman's death the prisoner gave himself up at the Rochester-row Police-station, stating that he had committed the murder. He was detained, and on an officer going to his house he found the wife lying dead on the floor with her throat cut. It appeared that the accused laboured under the delusion that his wife was unfaithful to him. Yesterday Mr. Sims, who prosecuted, said that for about six years the prisoner was employed as a porter on the London and South-Western Railway, and he was discharged for making frivolous complaints against his fellow workmen, and because he was subject to delusions. More recently he was admitted to a hospital suffering from melancholia. On Aug. 14 last his wife made a complaint to Mr. D'Eyncourt, the magistrate, as to the conduct of the prisoner. Mr. D'Eyncourt directed Dr. Hunt, the district medical officer, to examine him, but he could not detect any actual signs of insanity. The doctor suggested that the parties should live apart, and they separated, but as the husband would not contribute anything to the support of the deceased whilst living away from her they resumed cohabitation on Sept. 15. From that time until the murder prisoner's conduct was strange, and at all times he would light matches and make searches for men who he imagined were in the house. There was no doubt this was a delusion, for the deceased was a most respectable, hard-working woman. - Mary Smith, living in Lillington-street, Pimlico, deposed that on the 29th ult. deceased came to her home in the morning, and, very much distressed, made a complaint to her. Deceased shortly expected her confinement. Between eight and nine the same night the poor woman called again, greatly distressed and alarmed, and in consequence of what she said witness accompanied her to the Rochester-row Police-station. She made a complaint to the inspector on duty there. - Hannah Mary Young, in service, deposed that she was a daughter of the deceased by a former husband. On the night of the murder, between ten and eleven, her mother came to witness and expressed her fear of being killed. Witness would have gone home and slept with her, but before she could leave she heard of her mother's death from her brother. - Constable Rockingham, 44 A R, gave evidence that on the night of the 29th ult. the deceased applied to him, and he afforded her all the protection she asked for, accompanying her as far as she would allow him. When he last saw her - going for her supper beer - she said that her husband was quiet. Witness then went away on his beat. - Parsons, one of the warrant officers of the court, gave evidence that the deceased summoned the prisoner for maintenance on Sept. 17, and that the summons was dismissed because no desertion was proved. Defendant then said he was willing to keep his wife if she would live with him. - Prisoner was committed for trial for murder.
THE BIRTLEY MURDER. - The inquest on the body of Jane Beetmoor, who was murdered at Birtley on the 22nd ult., was resumed at Birtley yesterday, the accused man (Waddle) being present in custody. The medical evidence showed that the woman had been stabbed in various parts of the body, but the fatal wound was in the abdomen. There had been no attempt to mutilate the body, as had been reported. Susannah Robson deposed to leaving the deceased in Waddle's company on the night of the murder. Other witnesses having been called, with the object of proving that Beetmoor and Waddle were together on the night of the murder, the inquiry was adjourned until the 24th inst.
The annual general meeting of the council of the United Kingdom Alliance was held in Manchester yesterday. Sir Wilfrid Lawson, who presided, said the past year had been the most interesting, the most exciting, and the most successful the Alliance had ever experienced. The second reading of Mr. Russell's bill for closing public-houses in Ireland at an earlier hour on Saturdays had been carried by nearly two to one; and a committee appointed by the Government to inquire into the matter had approved of the measure, and had come to the conclusion that the Sunday Closing Act should be perpetual, and that the bona-fide traveller - the bona-fide humbug, as he ought to be called - should be required to walk six miles instead of three before he was allowed to get drunk. Another encouraging sign of the times was that Mr. M'Lagan's bill, which was virtually the same as his own despised Permissive Bill, had passed the House of Commons without a division. With respect to actual legislation, there was the North Sea Fisheries Bill, which imposed penalties on the sale of intoxicating liquors in the North Sea. This bill only wanted the addition of two words to render it a most admirable measure; those words being, "on land," so as to make it penal to sell alcoholic drink both on sea and on shore. But the great fight of the year was on the compensation clauses in the Local Government Bill. When it became evident that the clauses as they stood would fix the publicans more firmly than ever in the body politic, the country rose, and they had remonstrances, petitions, and resolutions, until at length Mr. Ritchie announced their withdrawal. They had not yet realised the magnitude of the victory then won, and they would not do so until they took an adequate measure of the opposing forces. They ought to have a penny subscription to erect a statue in black mail to Mr. Ritchie, and if there was any surplus he would have a statuette of Sir Edward Clarke, holding in his hand a copy of the Licensing Law, edited and revised by Sir Edward himself. Resolutions were passed urging the friends of the Alliance to use every means to combine electors pledged to vote only for Parliamentary candidates who would promise to support a measure giving to the people the direct vote over the issue and renewal of all licences. Sir Wilfrid Lawson was re-elected president.
In the evening the annual public meeting of the friends of the alliance was held in the Free Trade Hall, which was filled in every part. The meeting was presided over by Sir W. Harcourt, M.P., who was loudly cheered on taking the chair.
Sir W. HARCOURT said he recognised with satisfaction that they had friends and supporters in men of every party, and of every creed, and long might it be so! He did not disclaim the character of a party man. (Laughter.) He believed that the honourable rivalry of the conflicting parties of the State competing for the confidence of their fellow-countrymen in work which, they believed to be for the public advantage was the great secret of English progress. It had been the great instrument of progress in the past, and he believed it would continue so in the future; but upon this question they were willing to recruit from every camp, and declined nothing as unworthy that would advance the cause. (Cheers.) A gentleman had written to the Times, thinking to confound him with an extract from a speech delivered sixteen years ago. Why, a man who had made no growth in sixteen years upon this and other questions was not fit to be a chairman of a meeting like that, but ought to be exhibited as a dwarf. ("Hear, hear," and laughter.) He was happy to think there were converts to this cause far more influential than himself, and there were many people who had learned to lisp the shibboleth of local option who had been more recently than within sixteen years against it, and in that they rejoiced. (Cheers.) He was challenged in the House of Commons - he thought by Mr. Goschen - to say when it was that he adopted the views which he held now upon this question. It was not a difficult question to answer, and he replied - principally since he had occupied the office of Home Secretary. (Hear, hear.) That office, he ventured to think, was more favourable to the impartial consideration of the subject than that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Laughter and cheers.) It was impossible for one who had been for five anxious years charged with the criminal and domestic administration of this country to fail to be painfully impressed with the terrible evils which had their source in drink. If they could only eliminate this single spring of crime, of madness, of poverty and misery, how much they would add to the wealth and health of the nation! (Cheers.) Much had been accomplished in the way of reform in his lifetime, and there were elements in the material and moral progress of the country which philanthropists might well view with hope and satisfaction. But in the midst of fair hopes of a rich and abundant harvest there came this fatal mildew, and the social husbandman found that he had laboured in vain. Was there no remedy? The remedy was in their own hands. (Cheers.) It was the remedy which the United Kingdom Alliance lived to promote. (Hear, hear.) It was to give the people the power to protect and to save. (Cheers.) It was a very simple, a very English, and a very Constitutional remedy, and he hoped he would not frighten anyone when he said that it was a very democratic and effective remedy. (Cheers.) The phrase "local option" was once despised, ridiculed, and rejected; but it was now accepted. To his mind there was nothing more remarkable and significant than the fact that with every increase of popular suffrage had come increased force to the temperance party. Upon Sir Wilfrid Lawson's motion upon local option in 1883 there were thirty-four votes of county members for it, and ninety-one against - nearly three to one; in the larger boroughs, where there was household suffrage, there were ninety-three votes for and thirty-three against. (Cheers.) The strength of the movement came from below, and it was the masses who had had to convert the classes. (Cheers.) There were still amongst the most highly educated and thoughtful people men who clung to the cause of drink. Local option was said to be a vague term, but it did not appear to him to be very difficult to understand. He supposed it meant that in each locality the proper authority should decide the question of the liquor traffic according to the wants and sentiments of the inhabitants of that locality. Of course this was opposed to an invariable rule applied to all places alike, irrespective of their wants and their will. He knew there were temperance reformers who would desire to have a universal and compulsory prohibition; but in matters of this kind he thought it was wise and prudent to proceed slowly and safely, for by ill-considered measures in the direction of compulsion they might create a dangerous reaction. In one sense there had always been local option, but it had been in the wrong hands. (Cheers.) It had been local option not of the community, but of the local magistrates, and it was because they thought this local option had been unwisely, and in many respects injuriously, exercised that they demanded that the power should be given to the people themselves - men who understood their own business and their own wants. Some people said this was very tyrannical to the minority, but in this country there were landlords who could and did suppress the liquor on their own estates, and with good results. If they thought it not tyrannical, but fair and just and beneficial, that single landlords could do that upon their own authority, why should not a similar power be given to the community itself? In 1883 and 1884 he did not think that any Government had definitely declared in favour of local option, but in 1885, under the pressure of a general election - and there was a great virtue in a general election - (laughter) - and with a view to the class of voters who did not know how to use their votes properly - (renewed laughter) - a still greater advance was made; and Lord Salisbury, at Newport, gave a qualified adhesion to local option. It was very true that it was confined to Sunday, but if it was good for Sunday, why not for all the week? But, at all events, the admission of the principle was a great step. In 1888, they came to the Local Government Bill, which on the face of it admitted and incorporated the full doctrine of local option on the principle for which they had contended. The battle seemed as if it were over, but this principle was indissolubly linked up with the compensation clauses. In the option of all those who had the cause of temperance at heart, the compensation clauses made the grant of local option a sham and a mockery. (Cheers.) The case for compensation was rested upon an absolute right, as if it were a vested freehold, which could not be withheld except for misconduct. It was a question which had been decided over and over again, and in the face of all this the Government was advised to advance a claim to a legal right for which in his opinion there was not a shadow of foundation. (Cheers.) A more extraordinary, a more unjustifiable, and a more mischievous blunder never was made. (Cheers.) It inspired hopes and expectations and claims that were never thought of before, and it had created difficulties in the settlement of this great question which never ought to have been raised. Had that mischievous doctrine been maintained it would have involved a claim of at least two hundred millions against the people of the country. They would hear no more of the vested interest doctrine. They all deeply regretted the miscarriage of a settlement which they had so long ardently longed for; but they might console themselves with the reflection that, though much had been lost, something had been gained which could not be taken away from them - the principle of local option, of the right of the people to control the liquor traffic, as established by the concession of both the great parties in the State. That could never be revoked. What they had to do was to insist that this principle should be carried into effect, and put into operation without delay. (Cheers.) Both parties in the State has something to blame themselves for. The solution had been long delayed, and to accelerate the issue was the work to which they had to set their hands, and he wished them God speed in the noble task which would bring to them the blessings of their children's children. (Loud cheers.)
Sir WILFRID LAWSON moved a resolution calling earnestly on the Government and Legislature to combine with the people in a resolute effort to rid the nation of its greatest curse.
The resolution was adopted.
The Central News Agency states: "Sir Charles Warren witnessed a private trial of bloodhounds in one of the London parks at an early hour this (Tuesday) morning. The hounds are the property of Mr. Edwin Brough, of Wyndyate, near Scarborough, who for years past has devoted himself to bloodhound breeding. He was communicated with by the police, and came to London on Saturday evening, bringing with him two fine animals, named Barnaby and Burgho. Mr. Brough tried both dogs in Regent's Park at seven o'clock on Monday morning. The ground was thickly coated with hoar frost, but they did their work well, successfully tracking for nearly a mile a young man who was given about fifteen minutes' law; they were tried again in Hyde Park last night. It was of course dark, and the dogs were hunted in a leash, as would be the case if they were employed in Whitechapel. They were again successful in performing their allotted task, and at seven o'clock this (Tuesday) morning a trial took place before the Chief Commissioner. In all half a dozen runs were made, Sir Charles Warren in two instances acting as the hunted man. In consequence of the coldness of the scent the hounds worked very slowly, but they demonstrated the possibility of tracking complete strangers on to whose trail they had been laid. The Chief Commissioner seemed pleased with the result of the trials, though he did not express any definite opinion on the subject to those present."
At a crowded meeting held in Spitalfields last night, at which Mr. Pickersgill, M.P., spoke, the inadequacy of the police in East London was commented on, and a resolution was passed deploring the recent outrages, and calling for the district control of the police by the ratepayers.
At Clerkenwell Police-court yesterday, James Phillips, aged 37, cab washer, and William Jarviss, 40, cab washer, of Hackney-road, was charged before Mr. Bros with being concerned together in cutting and wounding Detective-Sergeant Robinson, of the G Division, in Phoenix-place, St. Pancras. Jarvis was further charged with cutting and wounding Henry Doncaster, a private person, on the same occasion. - The heads of both prisoners were bound with bandages, and the face of Sergeant Robinson had surgical straps around the left eye. - Mr. Ricketts appeared for the prisoners. - Detective-Sergeant Robinson said that between twelve and one o'clock in the morning he was on duty, disguised in woman's clothing, and, with Detective-Sergeant Mather (in ordinary dress), Doncaster, and several Italians, he was watching the actions of a man, who was in company with a woman under circumstances of great suspicion, in Phoenix-place. About twenty minutes to one two men (not the prisoners) came up to him and asked what he was doing there. He answered that he was a police-officer, and they went away. Shortly afterwards Jarvis came to him, and asked, "What are you messing about here for?" Witness took off his woman's hat, and answered, "I am a police-officer," and added that the other men were with him. Jarvis said, "Oh, you are cats and frogs, are you?" and struck him a violent blow with his fist. Witness seized Jarvis by the coat, whereupon the latter pulled out a knife and stabbed him over the left eye. Robinson fell to the ground, and Jarvis again stabbed him in the face. Lying on his back, witness drew his truncheon and struck at Jarvis's hand which held the knife, but the blow missed and struck Jarvis on the head. The prisoner Phillips then kicked him (witness) on the arm and again on the ribs. Both prisoners moved away, but previously struck Doncaster (who had been assisting witness) on the face. Doncaster cried out, "I am stabbed." Jarvis then called out, "Come on, George; cats and dogs!" Several men came out of the cabyard with pitchforks and other implements, but did not use them. Constables had by this time arrived, and the prisoners were taken into custody. - Sergeant Mather, it was stated, was watching the suspicious man at a little distance, and did not hear the scuffle until it was almost over. - Cross-examined by Mr. Ricketts, Sergeant Robinson said it was dark at the time of the occurrence, and he did not actually see the blade of the knife, but only what looked like the handle. He had information which he believed might be of importance in regard to the Whitechapel murders. He struck at Jarvis's hand. After he was stabbed he did not care whether he hit Jarvis on the hand or the head. A scare had been raised in the neighbourhood that "Jack the Ripper" was about. It was not the case that there were two constables in uniform watching the struggle, nor that the crowd appealed to them to protect Jarvis. - Henry Doncaster, of 26, Warner-street, Clerkenwell, who also appeared with his head and face bandaged, said that he was with Sergeant Robinson on the occasion in question watching a man and woman through the windows of a cab. The prisoners interfered, and the struggle took place as described. Witness was running for assistance for Robinson, when Jarvis struck him on the face with something which cut him severely. - Cross-examined: He had heard the rumour that the Whitechapel murderer was about. He was not in the dress of a woman. - Dr. J. A. Miller gave evidence as to the injuries sustained by all the witnesses and the prisoners. The wounds on Robinson and Doncaster's faces were "star shape," and might have been caused by the metal end of a pocket-knife handle. Doncaster's jaw was dislocated. Jarvis was severely hurt. - Mr. Ricketts, in asking for bail, said he expected to be able to show that the struggle arose out of a misunderstanding as to Robinson being a constable. - Mr. Bros remanded the prisoners, refusing bail.
At Bow-street, yesterday, George Richard Henderson was charged before Mr. Vaughan with being a suspicious person loitering about the streets. - Police-constable 411 E said that about 3.30 a.m. there was considerable excitement in Covent-garden Market, where it was rumoured that "Jack the Ripper" was going about threatening people. He saw the prisoner wandering aimlessly to and fro. He carried a black bag, and his actions were very strange. Several people, Covent-garden porters and others, appeared to be alarmed, so witness took the accused to the station. There he was searched, and as fifty-four pawn-tickets were found in his possession and he could give no proper account of himself, he was detained. Amongst other things found on him was a rough draft of a letter which had recently appeared in print suggesting to the Home Secretary that those who were harbouring the Whitechapel murderer felt that they were equally guilty as accomplices after the act, and could not come forward and give him up, no matter for what reward, until a free pardon was offered to them. - Witnesses were called for the prisoner who satisfactorily explained that he was a respectable man, and Mr. Vaughan discharged him, at the same time advising him not to go about the streets in a similar way again. At such an hour in the morning he was much better at home.
HEALTH OF LONDON. - The Registrar-General's returns for the past week show that in London 2,413 births and 1,352 deaths were registered. Allowing for increase of population, the births were 300, and the deaths 103, below the average numbers in the corresponding weeks of the last ten years. The annual death-rate per 1,000 from all causes, which had been 15.8 and 16.0 in the two preceding weeks, further rose last week to 16.5. During the thirteen weeks of last quarter the death-rate averaged 16.2 per 1,000, and was 3.4 below the mean rate in the corresponding periods of the ten years 1878-87. The 1,352 deaths included 39 from measles, 24 from scarlet fever, 35 from diphtheria, 5 from whooping-cough, 1 from typhus, 8 from enteric fever, 72 from diarrhoea and dysentery, and not one from small-pox, ill-defined forms of continued fever, or cholera; thus 184 deaths were referred to these diseases, being 21 below the corrected average weekly number. No death from small-pox was registered, the corrected average being 5; no small-pox patients were under treatment in the Metropolitan Asylum Hospitals, or in the Highgate Small-pox Hospital, on Saturday last. Deaths referred to enteric fever, which had been 11 and 13 in the two preceding weeks, declined last week to 8, and were 17 below the corrected average. The Metropolitan Asylums Hospitals contained 75 cases of enteric fever, and one of typhus, on Saturday last; 5 cases of enteric fever were admitted during the week, against 14 and 3 in the two preceding weeks. Deaths referred to diseases of the respiratory organs, which had increased in the five preceding weeks from 130 to 213, further rose last week to 239, but were 11 below the corrected average. Eight cases of suicide were registered, the corrected average being 6.
Sir Wilfrid Lawson presided over the annual meeting of the council of the United Kingdom Alliance, held at Manchester yesterday, and, in his opening address, congratulated the audience on the unparalleled success which had attended their proceedings during the past year. Sir William Harcourt, who presided at the evening meeting, vindicated the principle of local option, and, in reply to a challenge as to when he adopted his present views, he attributed the change to his five years' anxious experience as Home Secretary, which convinced him that much of the crime and misery prevailing in this country had its source in drink.
Mr. Alderman Whitehead, the Lord-Mayor Elect, has given an intimation that, while he desires that the procession on the 9th prox. shall be worthy of the Corporation, he is opposed to circus displays, "which neither accord with his tastes nor with the dignity of the City." Should the cost be less than usual he proposes to give the surplus to the poor.
It is stated that several private trials of bloodhounds, procured from Yorkshire at the instance of Sir Charles Warren, were made in Hyde Park and Regent's Park on Monday. The results are reported to be satisfactory.
James Phillips and William Jarvis, cab-washers, were charged at the Clerkenwell Police-court yesterday with cutting and wounding Detective-Sergeant Robinson. According to the statement of the detective, he was on duty in the neighbourhood of Phoenix-place, St. Pancras, between midnight and one o'clock yesterday morning, dressed in female clothing. His investigations were in connection with the recent Whitechapel crimes, and while he was watching a man and woman whose conduct he thought suspicious, Jarvis came up and demanded to know what he was doing there, to which he replied that he was a police-officer. Notwithstanding this, Jarvis struck him and afterwards stabbed him in the face, Phillips also striking and kicking him. On behalf of the accused it was stated that they did not understand that Robinson was a policeman. The magistrate remanded the prisoners, and refused an application for bail.
John Brown was again brought up at Westminster, yesterday, charged with the wilful murder of his wife, and was committed for trial. It was stated that he had been dismissed from his employment as a railway porter on the ground that he was subject to delusions.