FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1888
Yesterday, at the City Coroner's Court, Golden-lane, Mr. S. F. Langham resumed the inquest respecting the death of Catherine Eddowes, who was found murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate, early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 30.
Mr. Crawford, City Solicitor, again watched the case on behalf of the police.
Dr. G. W. Sequeira, surgeon, of No. 34, Jewry-street, Aldgate, deposed: On the morning of Sept. 30 I was called to Mitre-square, and I arrived at five minutes to two o'clock, being the first medical man on the scene of the murder. I saw the position of the body, and I entirely agree with the evidence of Dr. Gordon Brown in that respect.
By Mr. Crawford: I am well acquainted with the locality and the position of the lamps in the square. Where the murder was committed was probably the darkest part of the square, but there was sufficient light to enable the miscreant to perpetrate the deed. I think that the murderer had no design on any particular organ of the body. He was not possessed of any great anatomical skill.
Can you account for the absence of noise? - The death must have been instantaneous after the severance of the windpipe and the blood-vessels.
Would you have expected the murderer to be bespattered with blood? - Not necessarily.
How long do you believe life had been extinct when you arrived? - Very few minutes - probably not more than a quarter of an hour.
Mr. William Sedgwick Saunders, medical officer of health for the City, said: I received the stomach of the deceased from Dr. Gordon Brown, carefully sealed, and I made an analysis of the contents, which had not been interfered with in any way. I looked more particularly for poisons of the narcotic class, but with negative results, there being not the faintest trace of any of those or any other poisons.
Annie Phillips stated: I reside at No. 12, Dilston-road, Southwark Park-road, and am married, my husband being a lamp-black packer. I am daughter of the deceased, who formerly lived with my father. She always told me that she was married to him, but I have never seen the marriage lines. My father's name was Thomas Conway.
The Coroner: Have you seen him lately? - Not for the last fifteen or eighteen months.
Where was he living then? - He was living with me and my husband, at No. 15, Acre-street, Southwark Park-road.
What calling did he follow? - That of a hawker.
What became of him? - I do not know.
Did he leave on good terms with you? - Not on very good terms.
Did he say that he would never see you again, or anything of that sort? - No.
Was he a sober man? - He was a teetotaller.
Did he live on bad terms with your mother? - Yes, because she used to drink.
Have you any idea where Conway is now? - Not the least. He ceased to live with Eddowes entirely on account of her drinking habits.
Your father was in the 18th Royal Irish Regiment? - So I have been told. He had been a pensioner ever since I was eight years old. I am twenty-three now. They parted about seven or eight years ago.
Did your mother ever apply to you for money? - Yes.
When did you last see her? - Two years and one month ago.
Where did you live when you last saw her? - In King-street, Bermondsey.
Have you any brothers or sisters by Conway? - Two brothers.
Where are they living? - In London.
Did your mother know where to find either of you? - No.
Were your addresses purposely kept from her? - Yes. To prevent her applying for money.
The Foreman: Was your father aware when he left you that your mother was living with Kelly? - Yes.
Mr. Crawford: Are you quite certain that your father was a pensioner of the 18th Royal Irish? - I was told so, but I am not sure whether it was the 18th or the Connaught Rangers. It may have been the latter.
The Coroner: That is the 88th - I do not know.
Mr. Crawford: That is so. It so happens that there is a pensioner of the name of Conway belonging to the Royal Irish, but that is not the man. To witness: When did your mother last receive money from you?
Witness: Just over two years ago. She waited upon me in my confinement, and I paid her for it.
Did you ever get a letter from her? - No.
Do you know anything about Kelly? - I have seen him two or three times at the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, with my mother.
When did you last see them together? - About three years and a half ago.
You knew they were living together as man and wife? - Yes.
Is it the fact that your father is living with your two brothers? - He was.
Where are your brothers residing now? - I do not know. He was always with them. One was fifteen and the other eighteen years of age.
When did you last see them? - About eighteen months ago. I have not seen them since.
Are we to understand that you had lost all trace of your mother, father, and two brothers for at least eighteen months? - That is so.
Detective-Sergeant John Mitchell, of the City police, said: I have, under instructions, and with other officers, made every endeavour to find the father and brothers of the last witness, but without success up to the present.
The Coroner: Have you found a pensioner named Conway belonging to the 18th Royal Irish? - I have. He has not been identified as the husband of the deceased.
Detective Baxter Hunt: Acting under instructions, I discovered the pensioner, Conway, of the Royal Irish, and have confronted him with two sisters of the deceased, who, however, failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased. I have made every endeavour to trace the Thomas Conway in question and the brothers of Annie Phillips, but without success.
A Juror: Why did you not confront this Conway with the daughter of the deceased, Annie Phillips? - That witness had not been found then.
Mr. Crawford: The theory has been put forward that it was possible for the deceased to have been murdered elsewhere, and her body brought to where it was found. I should like to ask Dr. Gordon Brown, who is present, what his opinion is about that.
Dr. Gordon Brown: I do not think there is any foundation for such a theory. The blood on the left side was clotted, and must have fallen at the time the throat was cut. I do not think that the deceased moved the least bit after that.
The Coroner: The body could not have been carried to where it was found? - Witness: Oh, no.
City-constable Lewis Robinson, 931, deposed: At half-past eight, on the night of Saturday, Sept. 29, while on duty in High-street, Aldgate, I saw a crowd of persons outside No. 29, surrounding a woman whom I have since recognised as the deceased.
The Coroner: What state was she in? - Drunk.
Lying on the footway? - Yes. I asked the crowd if any of them knew her or where she lived, but got no answer. I then picked her up and sat her against the shutters, but she fell down sideways. With the aid of a fellow-constable I took her to Bishopsgate Police-station. There she was asked her name, and she replied "Nothing." She was then put into a cell.
Did any one appear to be in her company when you found her? - No one in particular.
Mr. Crawford: Did any one appear to know her? - No.
The apron being produced, torn and discoloured with blood, the witness said that to the best of his knowledge it was the apron the deceased was wearing.
The Foreman: What guided you in determining whether the woman was drunk or not?
Witness: Her appearance.
The Foreman: I ask you because I know of a case in which a person was arrested for being drunk who had not tasted anything intoxicating for eight or nine hours. You are quite sure this woman was drunk? - She smelt very strongly of drink.
Sergeant James Byfield, of the City Police: I remember the deceased being brought to the Bishopsgate Station at a quarter to nine o'clock on the night of Saturday, Sept. 29.
In what condition was she? - Very drunk. She was brought in supported by two constables and placed in a cell, where she remained until one o'clock the next morning, when she had got sober. I then discharged her, after she had given her name and address.
What name and address did she give? - Mary Ann Kelly, No. 6, Fashion-street, Spitalfields.
Did she say where she had been, or what she had been doing? - She stated that she had been hopping.
Constable George Henry Hutt, 968, City Police: I am gaoler at Bishopsgate station. On the night of Saturday, Sept. 29, at a quarter to ten o'clock, I took over our prisoners, among them the deceased. I visited her several times until five minutes to one on Sunday morning. The inspector, being out visiting, I was directed by Sergeant Byfield to see if any of the prisoners were fit to be discharged. I found the deceased sober, and after she had given her name and address, she was allowed to leave. I pushed open the swing-door leading to the passage, and said, "This way, missus." She passed along the passage to the outer door. I said to her, "Please, pull it to." She replied, "All right. Good night, old cock." (Laughter.) She pulled the door to within a foot of being close, and I saw her turn to the left.
The Coroner: That was leading towards Houndsditch? - Yes.
The Foreman: Is it left to you to decide when a prisoner is sober enough to be released or not? - Not to me, but to the inspector or acting inspector on duty.
Is it usual to discharge prisoners who have been locked up for being drunk at all hours of the night? - Certainly.
How often did you visit the prisoners? - About every half-hour. At first the deceased remained asleep; but at a quarter to twelve she was awake, and singing a song to herself, as it were. I went to her again at half-past twelve, and she then asked when she would be able to get out. I replied: "Shortly." She said, "I am capable of taking care of myself now."
Mr. Crawford: Did she tell you where she was going? - No. About two minutes to one o'clock, when I was taking her out of the cell, she asked me what time it was. I answered, "Too late for you to get any more drink." She said, "Well, what time is it?" I replied, "Just on one." Thereupon she said, "I shall get a ---- fine hiding when I get home, then."
Was that her parting remark? - That was in the station yard. I said, "Serve you right; you have no right to get drunk."
You supposed she was going home? - I did.
In your opinion is that the apron the deceased was wearing? - To the best of my belief it is.
What is the distance from Mitre-square to your station? - About 400 yards.
Do you know the direct route to Flower and Dean-street? - No.
A Juror: Do you search persons who are brought in for drunkenness? - No, but we take from them anything that might be dangerous. I loosened the things round the deceased's neck, and I then saw a white wrapper and a red silk handkerchief.
George James Morris, night watchman at Messrs. Kearley and Tonge's tea warehouse, Mitre-square, deposed: On Saturday, Sept. 29, I went on duty at seven o'clock in the evening. I occupied most of my time in cleaning the offices and looking about the warehouse.
The Coroner: What happened about a quarter to two in the morning? - Constable Watkins, who was on the Mitre-square beat, knocked at my door, which was slightly ajar at the time. I was then sweeping the steps down towards the door. The door was pushed when I was about two yards off. I turned round and opened the door wide. The constable said, "For God's sake, mate, come to my assistance." I said, "Stop till I get my lamp. What is the matter?" "Oh, dear," he exclaimed, "here is another woman cut to pieces." I asked where, and he replied, "In the corner." I went into the corner of the square and turned my light on the body. I agree with the previous witnesses as to the position of the body. I ran up Mitre-street into Aldgate, blowing my whistle all the while.
Did you see any suspicious persons about? - No. Two constables came up and asked what was the matter. I told them to go down to Mitre-square, as there was another terrible murder. They went, and I followed and took charge of my own premises again.
Before being called by Constable Watkins, had you heard any noise in the square? - No.
If there had been any cry of distress, would you have heard it from where you were? - Yes.
By the Jury: I was in the warehouse facing the corner of the square.
By Mr. Crawford: Before being called I had no occasion to go into the square. I did not go there between one and two o'clock; of that I am certain. There was nothing unusual in my door being open and my being at work at so late an hour. I had not seen Watkins before during the night. I do not think my door had been ajar more than two or three minutes when he knocked.
James Harvey, City constable, 964: On the night of Saturday, Sept. 29, I was on duty in the neighbourhood of Houndsditch and Aldgate. I was there at the time of the murder, but did not see any one nor hear any cry. When I got into Aldgate, returning towards Duke-street, I heard a whistle and saw the witness Morris with a lamp. I asked him what was the matter, and he told me that a woman had been ripped up in Mitre-square. Together with Constable Hollins I went to Mitre-square, where Watkins was by the side of the body of the deceased. Hollins went for Dr. Sequeira, and a private individual was despatched for other constables, who arrived almost immediately, having heard the whistle. I waited with Watkins, and information was sent to the inspector.
At what time previous to that were you in Aldgate? - At twenty-eight minutes past one o'clock I passed the post-office clock.
George Clapp, caretaker at No. 5, Mitre-street, deposed: The back part of the house looks into Mitre-square. On the night of Saturday week last I retired to rest in the back room on the second floor about eleven o'clock.
The Coroner: During the night did you hear any disturbance in the square? - No.
When did you first learn that a murder had been perpetrated? - Between five and six o'clock in the morning.
By Mr. Crawford: A nurse, who was in attendance upon my wife, was sleeping at the top of the house. No person slept either on the ground floor or the first floor.
Constable Richard Pearce, 922 City: I reside at No. 3, Mitre-square. There are only two private houses in the square. I retired to rest at twenty minutes past twelve on the morning of last Sunday week.
Did you hear any noise in the square? - None at all.
When did you first hear of the murder? - At twenty past two, when I was called by a constable.
From your bedroom window could you see the spot where the murder was committed? - Yes, quite plainly.
By Mr. Crawford: My wife and family were in no way disturbed during the night.
Joseph Lawende: I reside at No. 45, Norfolk-road, Dalston, and am a commercial traveller. On the night of Sept. 29, I was at the Imperial Club, Duke-street, together with Mr. Joseph Levy and Mr. Harry Harris. It was raining, and we sat in the club till half-past one o'clock, when we left. I observed a man and woman together at the corner of Church-passage, Duke-street, leading to Mitre-square.
The Coroner: Were they talking? - The woman was standing with her face towards the man, and I only saw her back. She had one hand on his breast. He was the taller. She had on a black jacket and bonnet. I have seen the articles at the police-station, and believe them to be those the deceased was wearing.
What sort of man was this? - He had on a cloth cap with a peak of the same.
Mr. Crawford: Unless the jury wish it, I do not think further particulars should be given as to the appearance of this man.
The Foreman: The jury do not desire it.
Mr. Crawford (to witness): You have given a description of the man to the police? - Yes.
Would you know him again? - I doubt it. The man and woman were about nine or ten feet away from me. I have no doubt it was half-past one o'clock when we rose to leave the club, so that it would be twenty-five minutes to two o'clock when we passed the man and woman.
Did you overhear anything that either said? - No.
Did either appear in an angry mood? - No.
Did anything about their movements attract your attention? - No. The man looked rather rough and shabby.
When the woman placed her hand on the man's breast, did she do it as if to push him away? - No; it was done very quietly.
You were not curious enough to look back and see where they went. - No.
Mr. Joseph Hyam Levy, the butcher in Hutcheson-street, Aldgate, stated: I was with the last witness at the Imperial Club on Saturday night, Sept. 29. We got up to leave at half-past one on Sunday morning, and came out three or four minutes later. I saw a man and woman standing at the corner of Church-passage, but I did not take any notice of them. I passed on, thinking they were up to no good at so late an hour.
What height was the man? - I should think he was three inches taller than the woman, who was, perhaps, 5ft high. I cannot give any further description of them. I went down Duke-street into Aldgate, leaving them still talking together.
By the Jury: The point in the passage where the man and woman were standing was not well lighted. On the contrary, I think it was badly lighted then, but the light is much better now.
By Mr. Crawford: Nothing in what I saw excited my suspicion as to the intentions of the man. I did not hear a word that he uttered to the woman.
Your fear was rather about yourself? - Not exactly. (Laughter.)
Constable Alfred Long, 254 A, Metropolitan police: I was on duty in Goulston-street, Whitechapel, on Sunday morning, Sept. 30, and about five minutes to three o'clock I found a portion of a white apron (produced). There were recent stains of blood on it. The apron was lying in the passage leading to the staircase of Nos. 106 to 119, a model dwelling-house. Above on the wall was written in chalk, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." I at once searched the staircase and areas of the building, but did not find anything else. I took the apron to Commercial-road Police-station and reported to the inspector on duty.
Had you been past that spot previously to your discovering the apron? - I passed about twenty minutes past two o'clock.
Are you able to say whether the apron was there then? - It was not.
Mr. Crawford: As to the writing on the wall, have you not put a "not" in the wrong place? Were not the words, "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing"? - I believe the words were as I have stated.
Was not the word "Jews" spelt "Juwes?" - It may have been.
Yet you did not tell us that in the first place. Did you make an entry of the words at the time? - Yes, in my pocket-book.
Is it possible that you have put the "not" in the wrong place? - It is possible, but I do not think that I have.
Which did you notice first - the piece of apron or the writing on the wall? - The piece of apron, one corner of which was wet with blood.
How came you to observe the writing on the wall? - I saw it while trying to discover whether there were any marks of blood about.
Did the writing appear to have been recently done? - I could not form an opinion.
Do I understand that you made a search in the model dwelling-house? - I went into the staircases.
Did you not make inquiries in the house itself? - No.
The Foreman: Where is the pocket-book in which you made the entry of the writing? - At Westminster.
Is it possible to get it at once? - I dare say.
Mr. Crawford: I will ask the coroner to direct that the book be fetched.
The Coroner: Let that be done.
Daniel Halse, detective officer, City police: On Saturday, Sept. 29, pursuant to instructions received at the central office in Old Jewry, I directed a number of police in plain clothes to patrol the streets of the City all night. At two minutes to two o'clock on the Sunday morning, when near Aldgate Church, in company with Detectives Outram and Marriott, I heard that a woman had been found murdered in Mitre-square. We ran to the spot, and I at once gave instructions for the neighbourhood to be searched and every man stopped and examined. I myself went by way of Middlesex-street into Wentworth-street, where I stopped two men, who, however, gave a satisfactory account of themselves. I came through Goulston-street about twenty minutes past two, and then returned to Mitre-square, subsequently going to the mortuary. I saw the deceased, and noticed that a portion of her apron was missing. I accompanied Major Smith back to Mitre-square, when we heard that a piece of apron had been found in Goulston-street. After visiting Leman-street police-station, I proceeded to Goulston-street, where I saw some chalk-writing on the black facia of the wall. Instructions were given to have the writing photographed, but before it could be done the Metropolitan police stated that they thought the writing might cause a riot or outbreak against the Jews, and it was decided to have it rubbed out, as the people were already bringing out their stalls into the street. When Detective Hunt returned inquiry was made at every door of every tenement of the model dwelling-house, but we gained no tidings of any one who was likely to have been the murderer.
By Mr. Crawford: At twenty minutes past two o'clock I passed over the spot where the piece of apron was found, but did not notice anything then. I should not necessarily have seen the piece of apron.
As to the writing on the wall, did you hear anybody suggest that the word "Jews" should be rubbed out and the other words left? - I did. The fear on the part of the Metropolitan police that the writing might cause riot was the sole reason why it was rubbed out. I took a copy of it, and what I wrote down was as follows: "The Juwes are not the men who will be blamed for nothing."
Did the writing have the appearance of having been recently done? - Yes. It was written with white chalk on a black facia.
The Foreman: Why was the writing really rubbed out? - Witness: The Metropolitan police said it might create a riot, and it was their ground.
Mr. Crawford: I am obliged to ask this question. Did you protest against the writing being rubbed out? - Witness: I did. I asked that it might, at all events, be allowed to remain until Major Smith had seen it.
Why do you say that it seemed to have been recently written? - It looked fresh, and if it had been done long before it would have been rubbed out by the people passing. I did not notice whether there was any powdered chalk on the ground, though I did look about to see if a knife could be found. There were three lines of writing in a good schoolboy's round hand. The size of the capital letters would be about ¾ in, and the other letters were in proportion. The writing was on the black bricks, which formed a kind of dado, the bricks above being white.
Mr. Crawford: With the exception of a few questions to Long, the Metropolitan constable, that is the whole of the evidence I have to offer at the present moment on the part of the City police. But if any point occurs to the coroner or the jury I shall be happy to endeavour to have it cleared up.
A Juror: It seems surprising that a policeman should have found the piece of apron in the passage of the buildings, and yet made no inquiries in the buildings themselves. There was a clue up to that point, and then it was altogether lost.
Mr. Crawford: As to the premises being searched, I have in court members of the City police who did make diligent search in every part of the tenements the moment the matter came to their knowledge. But unfortunately it did not come to their knowledge until two hours after. There was thus delay, and the man who discovered the piece of apron is a member of the Metropolitan police.
A Juror: It is the man belonging to the Metropolitan police that I am complaining of.
At this point Constable Long returned, and produced the pocket-book containing the entry which he made at the time concerning the discovery of the writing on the wall.
Mr. Crawford: What is the entry? - Witness: The words are, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing."
Both here and in your inspector's report the word "Jews" is spelt correctly? - Yes; but the inspector remarked that the word was spelt "Juwes."
Why did you write "Jews" then? - I made my entry before the inspector made the remark.
But why did the inspector write "Jews"? - I cannot say.
At all events, there is a discrepancy? - It would seem so.
What did you do when you found the piece of apron? - I at once searched the staircases leading to the buildings.
Did you make inquiry in any of the tenements of the buildings? - No.
How many staircases are there? - Six or seven.
And you searched every staircase? - Every staircase to the top.
You found no trace of blood or of recent footmarks? - No.
About what time was that? - Three o'clock.
Having examined the staircases, what did you next do? - I proceeded to the station.
Before going did you hear that a murder had been committed? - Yes.
It is common knowledge that two murders have been perpetrated. Which did you hear of? - I heard of the murder in the City. There were rumours of another, but not certain.
When you went away did you leave anybody in charge? - Yes; the constable on the next beat - 190, H Division - but I do not know his name.
Did you give him instructions as to what he was to do? - I told him to keep observation on the dwelling house, and see if any one entered or left.
When did you return? - About five o'clock.
Had the writing been rubbed out then? - No; it was rubbed out in my presence at half-past five.
Did you hear any one object to its being rubbed out? - No. It was nearly daylight when it was rubbed out.
A Juror: Having examined the apron and the writing, did it not occur to you that it would be wise to search the dwelling? - I did what I thought was right under the circumstances.
The Juror: I do not wish to say anything to reflect upon you, because I consider that altogether the evidence of the police redounds to their credit; but it does seem strange that this clue was not followed up.
Witness: I thought the best thing to do was to proceed to the station and report to the inspector on duty.
The Juror: I am sure you did what you deemed best.
Mr. Crawford: I suppose you thought it more likely to find the body there than the murderer? - Witness: Yes, and I felt that the inspector would be better able to deal with the matter than I was.
The Foreman: Was there any possibility of a stranger escaping from the house? - Not from the front.
Did you not know about the back? - No, that was the first time I had been on duty there.
That being all the evidence forthcoming,
The coroner said he considered a further adjournment unnecessary, and the better plan would be for the jury to return their verdict and then leave the matter in the hands of the police. In summing up it would not be at all necessary for him to go through the testimony of the various witnesses, but if the jury wanted their memories refreshed on any particular point he would assist them by referring to the evidence on that point. That the crime was a most fiendish one could not for a moment be doubted, for the miscreant, not satisfied with taking a defenceless woman's life, endeavoured so to mutilate the body as to render it unrecognisable. He presumed that the jury would return a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown, and then the police could freely pursue their inquiries and follow up any clue they might obtain. A magnificent reward had been offered, and that might be the means of setting people on the track and bringing to speedy justice the creature who had committed this atrocious crime. On reflection, perhaps it would be sufficient to return a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown, inasmuch as the medical evidence conclusively demonstrated that only one person could be implicated.
The jury at once returned a verdict accordingly.
The coroner, for himself and the jury, thanked Mr. Crawford and the police for the assistance they had rendered in the inquiry.
Mr. Crawford: The police have simply done their duty.
The Coroner: I am quite sure of that.
The jury having presented their fees to Annie Phillips, daughter of the deceased, the proceedings terminated.
In an article on law and order in London the Pall Mall Gazette says:
"What is the duty of Society in view of such an alarming collapse of authority? We do not ask what is the duty of the Home Secretary, because whatever it is he will not do it. He will remain passive, surveying the scene of anarchy and plunder with the same serenity of soul that he has displayed ever since he became Home Secretary. Neither do we ask what is the duty of Sir Charles Warren. If it is left to him he will probably ask for more constables and more drill. But we appeal to the members for London, to the bishops and clergy, established and non-established, to the vestrymen, to the shopkeepers, and to all those who take an interest in maintaining at least some outward semblance of honesty in our streets, to use the present opportunity to demand that the whole force shall be put on a sounder footing and under more intelligent direction. If it is necessary to have more constables, by all means let us have more constables; but it is not much use entrusting more police to a major-general whose one idea seems to be the conversion of the thief-takers and crime-preventers of London into a semi-military force, charged primarily with the suppression of public meetings. Already there are symptoms that even the long-suffering London tradesman is beginning to turn at last. In every other town in the land the tradesmen practically have the police in their own hands. In London only, where surely our tradespeople are not behind those of the provinces in energy and intelligence, the shopkeepers have no more voice in the control of the force than if they were paupers in the workhouse. We appeal to all decent, honest men and women, without distinction of party or of religion, to unite in crushing this foul epidemic of rascality and roguery which converts great thoroughfares into so many Alsatias of the lawless desperadoes of the slums."
At the Thames Police-court, yesterday, John Pizer, who, it will be remembered, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the Hanbury-street murder, but afterwards released, summoned Emily Patzwold for assaulting him. - Pizer stated on the previous Thursday he went out to get some cheese for his breakfast, when he met defendant, who made use of an insulting expression and called him "Leather Apron." He took no notice, and walked on. When he returned she struck him three blows in the face, and his hat was knocked off; while he was picking it up she again struck him. Some neighbours came to witness's assistance and got him away. He told his brother of what had occurred, and he reported the matter to the police. - Defendant said complainant struck her and knocked her hat off, and she then struck him. - After hearing evidence on each side, Mr. Lushington said he had no doubt defendant struck complainant in the face. She would be fined 10s, and 2s costs.
Mr. Richard Mansfield has determined to abandon the "Creepy Drama," evidently beloved in America, in favour of wholesome comedy. The murderous Hyde will peer round the drawing-room windows and leap at his victim's throat for the last time during the forthcoming week; and in a few days we shall see no more at the Lyceum of the old satyr Baron Chevrial, who lives to love, and dies making hideous grimaces in an apopleptic fit. Experience has taught this clever young actor that there is no taste in London just now for horrors on the stage. There is quite sufficient to make us shudder out of doors.
On Friday next Mr. Mansfield will give the receipts of a full evening performance to aid the Bishop of Bedford's Home and Refuge Fund for the Poor of the East-end of London, and has on courteous representation abandoned his original idea of helping the Shelters, which are supposed by those in authority to do more harm than good in the desire to alleviate pressing distress. On this occasion will be performed for the first time in this country "Prince Karl," a play that attracted considerable attention in America, both on its own merits and on account of Mr. Mansfield's acting and singing in a light and sympathetic character. It is interesting to learn that it was the success of this piece which gave the author, Mr. A. C. Gunter, courage to write and produce "Mr. Barnes of New York" and "Mr. Potter of Texas." If "Prince Karl" contains the same strong dramatic grip that permeates Mr. Gunter's subsequent stories, few will regret Mr. Mansfield's determination to show us, before he leaves England, a pleasant side of human nature in contrast to the monsters he has conjured up.
SIR - While the public mind is stirred to its depths with horror at the awful revelations of sin and misery which accompany some women's lives in the East-end, it may not come amiss to record also the efforts made for their assistance and for the attainment of a truer ideal of womanhood. Only those who are well acquainted with the existence of the very poor, the sordid details, the unending struggle to make both ends meet and just keep body and soul together, know their dread of sickness, how it cripples their resources and puts the whole machinery of the family out of gear. Especially is this the case at the time of a woman's confinement, when she has worked many hours a day up to the very last, when little or no preparation can be made or extra comfort given in a small garret occupied by a husband and children. Decency, health, or well-being are under such circumstances impossible. To alleviate some of the suffering and supply some of the wants felt, a small lying-in home for respectable married women was established, nearly four years ago, in Shadwell, in the heart of a poverty-stricken and populous neighbourhood, close to the scene of the Whitechapel murders. In all East London there is no lying-in hospital except this little home, which is immensely appreciated by the people. It has already done incalculable good, in refining, helping, and restoring poor women to health. Not one life out of the 327 nursed has been lost, in spite of want of space, many critical cases, and slender means. Assisted by no palatial buildings or expensive staff of officials, the little institution offers what it aims at - a real home, clean, orderly, decent, where privacy (each woman has her own room), food, and medicine, together with skilled attendance and good care may be obtained. If such houses of refuge were multiplied all over East London, and well supported, they would prove most beneficial to the health and morals of the population. Our funds are at the lowest ebb, however, and winter coming on; we therefore appeal confidently to your readers for their generous help and sympathy. Donations thankfully received by Mrs. Ashton Warner, the Mothers' Home, Glamis-road, Shadwell, E., who is the lady superintendent; or by the London and Westminster Bank, St. James's-square. I am, Sir, yours obediently,
No. 7, Chesterfield-gardens, Mayfair, Oct. 11.
Yesterday, the City Coroner concluded the inquest touching the death of Catherine Eddowes, who was found murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square, on Sunday morning, the 30th ult. Two witnesses stated that at half-past one in the morning - within a quarter of an hour of the murder - they saw a woman, whom they believed to be the deceased, talking with a man. They gave a partial description of him. A constable of the Metropolitan Police deposed to finding in Goulston-street a portion of an apron corresponding with the fragment of the same garment found upon the body. Upon a wall close by were written in chalk the words, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." Detective-officer Halse, of the City Police, said he saw the writing on the wall, and instructions were given to have it photographed; but before that could be done an order was given by the Metropolitan police - this being on their ground - that it should be rubbed out, lest it should cause an outbreak against the Jews. He protested, but it was rubbed out notwithstanding. Finally, the jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown.
As the law - and a highly-unsatisfactory law it is - stands at present, the parent who unmercifully beats a child is liable to fine or imprisonment. Usually, the punishment inflicted in such cases is not nearly so severe as it properly should be; but, at all events, there is some slight satisfaction in knowing that barbarous fathers and mothers can to a certain extent be brought to book, and made to pay, in purse or person, for their maltreatment of their offspring. Nor, again, should it be forgotten that, if a child die in consequence of a long course of savage ill-usage, the parents or the guardians of the poor little creature thus done to death will be liable to prosecution for murder, or, at least, for manslaughter. What, however, as the law stands, is the penalty to which parents are liable who systematically neglect to give their children adequate food and raiment, to say nothing of medical aid when their little ones are sick? There is a vague and indefinite idea prevalent that if a child be half-starved or imperfectly clad, or brutally neglected in any way, the neglect, although no absolute physical violence has been resorted to, constitutes a legal offence, and renders the child's parent or protector liable to criminal proceedings; but, whether this notion be based on common law or statute law, it certainly would not appear to be magisterial law as expounded by the experienced stipendiary at the Thames Police-court. On Wednesday, JOHN TOBIN, aged twenty-seven, a painter, and ELIZABETH, his wife, of the same age, both living in Hale-street, Poplar, were brought up on remand, charged with wilfully neglecting to provide sufficient food, clothing, and medical assistance for their child DANIEL, aged two and a half years, whereby his health was seriously injured. The relieving officer to the Poplar Union deposed that on Saturday evening last he went to the prisoners' dwelling; and on going up to the room which they occupied he found the little child DANIEL lying by himself on an iron bedstead, with a little shirt for all raiment. The ill odour was unbearable, and the room, in which no atom of food was found, was in an indescribably filthy condition. A medical man was at once fetched, and he reported that the child, who was too weak either to speak or even to utter a feeble wail of distress, was in a miserably emaciated condition. This was no doubt a squalidly prosaic story enough, one wretchedly common, in the short and simple annals of the poor; but somewhat of a dramatic interest was imparted to the transaction by the circumstance that as the relieving officer was leaving the house he saw the father of the poor little half-starved, emaciated, exhausted bantling coming down the street in a drunken condition. The young DANIEL was all but naked and had scarcely received enough nourishment to keep body and soul together; but his jovial sire had had a good skinful of beer or gin, and had probably not long ago been lyrically congratulated by his born companions on being a "jolly good fellow."
It was not until Monday morning that this mournful little DANIEL was rescued from the lions' den and removed to the workhouse infirmary; but it is to be hoped that during the intervening Sabbath some attempt was made to feed the suffering child. When his father and mother were brought up to the police-court their landlady said that they paid three shillings a week for the room which they had occupied for nearly two years. Altogether they had five children. Did the whole family of seven, we wonder, wallow in the same pigsty with its one iron bedstead, its unbearable smells, and its unutterably filthy surroundings? The man TOBIN, she went on to say, was hardworking, "but generally got drunk on Saturdays." On Friday afternoon, the eve of pay day, the woman TOBIN was naturally penniless, and borrowed a shilling to buy food for her hungry brats. Doubtless she encountered some object of interest during her absence, for she did not return until nearly midnight, and meanwhile the children had nothing to eat. In the course of Saturday afternoon four of the children were sent for, and the little thirty-months-old child DANIEL was left alone in his glory on the iron bedstead, with an empty belly and nothing but a little ragged shirt to cover his living-skeleton frame. The greater part of the time, added the landlady, the children had no food to eat. The good-natured woman had often given the little ones some victuals from her own store; but what was to be done with a family the head of which "generally got drunk on Saturdays," while the mother habitually neglected them? Even the neighbours were horrified at the state in which the children were left, and had thrown food to them through the window. The landlady had given the TOBINS notice to quit; but she did not complain to the police, as she was in bodily fear of being assaulted by one or other of the prisoners. The evidence of the parish doctor was to the effect that little DANIEL, when he saw him, was almost dying from emaciation and neglect. He considered that the child's life was endangered, but since its transference to the infirmary it had very much improved in general health, although, from weakness, it still remained speechless. On the relieving-officer being recalled, he said that the other children were in a horribly neglected condition. Neither temporary want of employment nor chronic destitution had anything to do with the state of worse than savagery in which the TOBINS lived; for when the man was apprehended he drew his week's wages, amounting to one pound three shillings and sixpence. Surely he might have got drunk, as was his custom on Saturday afternoons, on a couple of shillings at the outside; to have become comfortably tipsy on the other six days of the week need not have cost more than half a dozen shillings; and allowing a possible three shillings for the "pocket money" of his wife and three shillings for the rent, nearly half a sovereign would have been left to purchase food for the children. Ten shillings is not much; but it will buy a good deal of bread and some milk, and a little scrap of meat now and then; and the TOBINS, had they observed even a modicum of the laws of thrift - as thrift is understood by such wretched feckless beings as they - might have tippled daily and gaily like Mynheer VAN DUNE, and still have had pence sufficient to feed their children. As for household cleanliness and the tending of the children, that was Mrs. TOBIN'S business; but the female, it appears, found attractive occupation elsewhere than in her own dwelling, and gave up to social enjoyment out of doors that which was meant to keep her own home tidy or even tolerably decent.
The upshot of the Poplar case was a lamentably lame and halting one. Mr. SAUNDERS observed that the prisoners no doubt neglected their children, but he could not see his way to convict them, and JOHN TOBIN and ELIZABETH, his wife, were consequently discharged. It is not for us to question the validity of Mr. SAUNDERS'S decision, or even to suggest that the magistrate might have done well had he given not the prisoners but the public the benefit of any doubt which existed in his mind by committing TOBIN and his wife for trial, so that at least a Judge would have had the opportunity of telling a jury what really constitutes the criminal and consequently punishable neglect by parents of their children. As it is, we have but to accept with what satisfaction we may Mr. SAUNDERS'S judgement - which is virtually to the effect that a parent in good health and in permanent employment at good wages may leave his little child half-naked and half-starved without incurring any legal censure whatsoever. If the child DANIEL had been beaten black and blue by its father or mother, the brutal parent would probably have been sent to prison for a lengthened period for an aggravated assault, and the humane public would have rejoiced at the conviction. The most brutal parents, however, who belabour their children with such implements as pokers and tongs, the legs of chairs, and the buckle-ends of straps, do not habitually starve the objects of their wrath and the victims of their sottish habits. The children are fed even if they are beaten; but there is quite as much cruelty, quite as much barbarity, quite as much ferocity, in starving a child, or systematically ill-treating it, as in assaulting it with blows and stripes. We would not accuse the drunken painter of Poplar or his wife of a wish to kill the child DANIEL, but to withhold nourishment and clothes and medical help from the unfortunate infant, and to allow it to lie forlorn and speechless in a pestiferous den, inexpressibly filthy, was certainly to use the surest means of putting the babe to death by neglect and inanition. Worthy Mr. SAUNDERS declared that he did not see his way to punishing parents who had neglected their children as TOBIN and his wife were proved to have done. The magistrate, no doubt, knows the law which he is paid to administer, and we are bound to bow to his decision; but, while reluctantly accepting Mr. SAUNDERS'S view of the TOBIN case as a strictly legal one, the public at large will agree with us, we should say, that, if there be no law to punish drunken wretches who allow their children to go half-starved and half-naked, and to harbour them in a filthy hole the stench of which is unbearable, the sooner that the law is altered and made to cope with such crapulous criminals the better it will be for English civilisation at large and London society in particular.