19 September 1888
By direction of the administratrix of the late Mr. Deputy East, Mr. Fieuret submitted at the Masons' Hall Tavern, Masons' avenue, Basinghall street, yesterday, the Three Nuns Hotel, Aldgate, with the railway refreshment bar adjacent. Bidding commenced at £15,000, and advanced to £18,900 when the property was bought in at £25,000.
A WOMAN STABBED IN PICCADILLY
Between two and three o'clock this morning a woman, while waling Down street, Piccadilly, was stabbed in the left temple by some person at present unknown, and who decamped. The woman was found in a very exhausted condition, and was removed to St. George's Hospital, where she now lies. Two inspectors of the C Police division are investigating the matter.
Another account says: Another terrible outrage was committed in London, this morning, at the West end. A woman was stabbed in the breast in Down street, Piccadilly, by a man who attempted to cut her throat. He was seen and pursued, but escaped. The woman was taken to St. George's Hospital, where she lies in a precarious position. The man is described as a tall man, well dressed.
Further inquiries show that the seriousness of the attack has been much exaggerated, the outrage partaking rather of the character of a violent assault than of an attempt at murder. It seems that the injured woman, Adelaide Rogers, of 21 Stangate, Westminster Bridge road, ran out of Down street between two and three o'clock this morning, and informed a policeman stationed in Piccadilly that she had been stabbed. She was bleeding profusely from a serious wound on the right cheek, and had already become faint from loss of blood. She was at once conveyed to St. George's Hospital, near by, where her injuries were attended to by Dr. Ward, and where she still lies in a state of considerable prostration, but in little danger. Dr. Ward is uncertain whether the wound was produced by a thrust with a blunt knife, or by a blow from a stick. the police incline to the latter view, and are not disposed to attach much importance to the case. They are in possession of Mrs. Rogers's description of the man by whom she was attacked, but decline to communicate it to the Press on the ground that her accounts are contradictory. It is stated, however, that the man is tall, dark, and respectably dressed. The unsatisfactory nature of Mrs. Rogers's statements may be due to the condition in which she was found to be when the hospital was reached, but in any case there seems little chance that her assailant will be discovered. The wildest rumours are flying about the West end this morning, and the general belief was that a murder analogous to the Whitechapel tragedies had been attempted, if not effected.
MEETINGS OF THE VIGILANCE COMMITTEE
LETTER FROM THE HOME SECRETARY
No further arrest has been made, and the police are still are fault. The indignation at the East end owing to the attitude of Home Office is hourly increasing, and this morning a meeting of the Vigilance Committee, of which Mr. Lusk is president, met again at 74 Mile End road, for the purpose of receiving the reports of their honorary officers in the matter. From the statements of Mr. Aarons, Mr. Cohen and the president himself there appeared to be some thousands of the better classes at the East end who believed that a substantial Government reward would bring about the apprehension of the murderer, and all donors or non donors to the reward fund, now steadily increasing, were loud in denunciation of the police authorities and the Home Office for declining to offer a reward.
The Secretary said that on the 15th inst. the Committee sent a letter to the Home Secretary on the subject, which was to the following effect:
"At a meeting of the committee of gentlemen, held at 74 Mile End road, E., it was resolved to approach you upon the subject of the reward we are about to issue for the discovery of the author or authors of the late atrocities in the East end of London, and to ask you, Sir, to augment our fund for the said purpose, or kindly state your reasons for refusing."
To this letter he had received the following communication:
"Sir - I am directed by the Secretary of State to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst. with reference to the question of the offer of a reward for the discovery of the perpetrators of the recent murders in Whitechapel, and I am to inform you that had the Secretary of State considered the case a proper one for the offer of a reward he would at once have offered one on behalf of the Government, but that the practice of offering rewards for the discovery of criminals was discontinued some years ago, because experience showed that such offers of rewards tend to produce more harm than good, and the Secretary of State is satisfied that there is nothing in the circumstances of the present case to justify a departure from this rule.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
G. Leigh Pemberton."
The landlord of the hotel in Finsbury where the man Weitzel, now in custody charged with attempting to stab a youth in Whitechapel, stayed at various times, made the following statement to a representative of the Press Association this morning: "I must say I have been very suspicious of the man since the last murder in Whitechapel. On the day after that event, that is Sunday, he called here about nine o'clock in a very dirty state, and asked to be allowed to wash. He said he had been out all night, and began to talk to me about the Spitalfields affair. He wore a felt hat, a dirty greyish coat, and yellow seaside slippers. He brought with him a case of razors and a large pair of scissors, and after a time he wanted to shave me. I did not like the way he went on and refused. Previous to this I had not seen him for about 18 months, and he had made most contradictory statements as to where he had been. I did not see whether he had any blood on his hands, as has been said, for I did not watch him very closely, and wanted to get him out of the place as soon as possible. He is a most extraordinary man, and is always in a bad temper, and grinds his teeth in rage at any little thing which puts him out. I believe he has some knowledge of anatomy, as he was for some time an assistant to some doctors in the German army, and helped to dissect bodies. He always carries some razors and a pair of scissors with him, and when he came here again on Monday night last he produced them. He was annoyed because I would not let him sleep here, and threw down the razors in a passion, swearing at the same time. If there had been a policeman near I should have given him into custody. I noticed on this occasion a great change in his dress. Whereas on the former visit he looked very untidy, he was this time wearing a top hat and looked rather smart. He has told me that he has been living in the West end, but I believe he is well known at the cheap lodging houses in Whitechapel. From what he has said to me, I know he was in the habit of associating with low women. On Monday last he remained here till about one o'clock, and I than turned him out, as he is a very disagreeable fellow, and very dirty in his habits. The police have not been to see me yet about him."
Whitechapel horrors will not be in vain, writes the vicar of St. Jude's, Whitechapel, to The Times, if "at last" the public conscience awakes to consider the life which these horrors reveal. The murders were, it may almost be said, bound to come; generation could not follow generation in lawless intercourse, children could not be familiarised with scenes of degradation, community in crime could not be the bond of society, and the end of all be peace.
Some of us who, during many years, have known the life of our neighbours, do not think the murders to be the worst fact in our experience, and published evidence now gives material for forming a picture of daily or nightly life such as no one has imagined. It if for those who, like ourselves, have for years known these things, to be ready with practical suggestions, and I now put some forward as the best out come of the thought of my wife and myself. Before doing so, it is necessary to remind the public that these criminal haunts are of limited extent. The greater part of Whitechapel is as orderly as any part of London, and the life of most of its inhabitants is more moral than of many whose vices are hidden by greater wealth. Within the area of a quarter of a mile most of the evil may be found concealed, and it ought not to be impossible to deal with it strongly and adequately. We would submit four practical suggestions:
1. Efficient police supervision. In criminal haunts a licence has been allowed which would not be endured in other quarters. Rows, fights, and thefts have been permitted while the police have only been able to keep the main thoroughfares quiet for the passage of respectable people. The Home Office has never authorised the employment of a sufficient force to keep decent order inside the criminal quarters.
2. Adequate lighting and cleaning. It is no blame to our local authority that the back streets are gloomy and ill cleaned. A penny rate here produces but a small sum, and the ratepayers are often poor. Without doubt, though. dark passages lend themselves to evil deeds. It would not be unwise, and it certainly would be a humane outlay, if some of the unproductive expenditure of the rich were used to make the streets of the poor as light and as clean as the streets of the City.
3. The removal of the slaughter houses. At present animals are daily slaughtered in the midst of Whitechapel, the butchers with their blood stained stains are familiar among the street passengers, and sights are common which tend to brutalise ignorant natures. For the sake of both health and morals the slaughtering should be done outside the town.
4. The control of tenement houses by responsible landlords. At present there is lease under lease, and the acting landlord is probably one who encourages vice to pay his rent. Vice can afford to pay more than honesty, but its profits at last go to landlords. If rich men would come forward and buy up this bad property they might not secure great interest, but they would clear away evil not again to be suffered to accumulate. Such properties have been bought with results morally most satisfactory and economically not unsatisfactory. Some of that which remains might now be bought, some of the worst is at present in the market, and I should be glad, indeed, to hear of purchasers.
Far be it from you any one to say even such radical changes as these would do away with evil. When, however, such changes have been effected it will be more possible to develop character, and one by one lead the people to face their highest. Only personal service, the care of individual by individual, can be powerful to keep down evil, and only the knowledge of God is sufficient to give the individual faith to work and see little result for his work. For men and women who will give such service there is a crying demand.