15 October 1888
The police effected an arrest in the Leman-street district last night. The prisoner was taken to the police-station and detained pending further inquiries by the detective officers. After investigation it was found that there was no evidence upon which the man could be kept in custody, and he was accordingly released.
About noon on Saturday a gentleman was proceeding along Holborn, in the direction of the City, when he was suddenly pounced upon by a strange man of the labouring class, who exclaimed in an excited manner "This is Jack the Ripper." A struggle ensued, and the two fell heavily to the ground. The scene soon attracted a crowd of people, and the man was conveyed to the police station.
The following communication has been received by Mr. Lusk, of 1, Alderney-road, Mile-end, from the Home Office, Whitehall, in answer to his recent letter asking that a free pardon might be proclaimed to an accomplice or accomplices of the murder:-"October 12, 1888.-Sir,-I am desired by the Secretary of State to thank you for the suggestions in your letter of the 7th inst. on the subject of the recent Whitechapel murders, and to say in reply that, from the first, the Secretary of State has had under consideration the question of granting a pardon to accomplices. It is obvious that not only must such a grant be limited to persons who have not been concerned in contriving, or in actually committing the murders, but the expediency and propriety of making the offer must largely depend on the nature of the information received from day to day, which is being carefully watched, with a view to determining that question. With regard to the offer of a reward, Mr. Matthews has, under the existing circumstances, nothing to add to his former letter.-I am, Sir, your obedient servant, GODFREY LUSHINGTON."
Addressing the members of the Beaconsfield Conservative Club, at Peckham, on Saturday night, Mr. Kelly, M.P., said that at the present time there was no gentleman more abused than one he had known for a great many years-he meant the Home Secretary. Mr. Matthews had been violently abused for refusing to offer a reward for evidence leading to the conviction of the man who had committed the most brutal crimes ever known. In railway carriages and other places he (the hon. gentleman) had repeatedly found people who went the whole length of saying that it was perfectly monstrous that Mr. Matthews had not offered a reward, and that he ought to resign his post. Well, he (Mr. Kelly) happened to meet a gentleman the other day who had held an important position in the Metropolitan Police Force for forty years, and he said he hoped that the Home Secretary would not move from the position he had taken up, adding that he thought there was nothing more fatal to justice than the offering of rewards for the conviction of criminals. While the people were waiting for some pecuniary advantage the criminal would escape, and he (Mr. Kelly) ventured to think there was sound reason in what that gentleman said.-(Cheers).
A WOMAN KILLED.
On Saturday afternoon a fire broke out in a little two-storey dwelling-house and shop at the coroner of Backchurch-lane and Hooper-street, two back thoroughfares on the south side of Commercial-road, East, and within a few hundred yards of Berner-street, the scene of the recent murder. The tenant of the house is a Jew, named Isaac Green, who is a tailor by trade, and who, in addition, carried on a corn-chandlery business on the ground-floor of the premises, where he sold green-groceries, ginger beer, and stores of different kinds, besides kindling wood and paraffin. With Green on the ground and first floors lived his family of four children, and the second floor was let to two other families, also Jews. Mrs. J. Lowden occupied the front room on this floor in company with her little boy and her mother, Jane Brocker, a woman 68 years of age. In the room behind this lodged Becky Solomons and her married sister, a woman named Suboffski. All these people, with the exception of Suboffski and the children, were in the house about two o'clock on Saturday afternoon, when the alarm of fire was suddenly raised. The fire brigade lost no time in getting to the spot, but they were too late to save the poor women upstairs from the effects of the panic which the flames inspired. Before their arrival, no ladders or other means of escape being available, the women had one by one jumped from the second-floor windows. Mrs. Lowden fell first, and escaped with no more serious injuries than some bruises on the arms and legs and a shaking. Her mother followed, and she also escaped with comparatively slight injuries, despite her advanced age, and the fact that in the fall she turned partly over. Mrs. Solomons jumped last; but instead of dropping, as the others had done, into the street, where an attempt would have been made to catch her, she threw herself from her own room at the back of the house. She fell with terrible force on the paving stones of the back yard, becoming unconscious, and being removed in a cab to the London Hospital. All this had taken but a few moments, and in two or three minutes more the firemen arrived. At the London Hospital it was found that of the three women injured, only one, Becky Solomons, was dangerously hurt. The poor woman was suffering from extreme concussion and fracture of the skull, and she died in the course of yesterday.
Three children, named Albert Bentley, 11; Florence Bentley, five; and William Shepherd, eight, were charged, before Mr. Montagu Williams, by Mr. Stephenson, an officer of the Reformatory and Refuge Union, Charing-cross, with being found living in the company of bad characters in a common lodging-house, in White's-row, Spitalfields.-The rescue officer deposed to going to the place mentioned at about midday on Saturday, and to finding the children in the kitchen of the house among a number of men and women, some of the latter being undoubtedly bad characters, as he had seen many of them at all hours of the night about the street corners of Spitalfields and Whitechapel. The house was registered to accommodate 102 persons in 51 double beds. The house was usually a quiet one. The boy Shepherd was in care of his father, a hawker, who had told witness that he was parted from his wife, and that the boy occupied the bed with him. At the same time the boy was left to pass his time in the lodging-house or in the streets during the day, the father being away. The children Albert and Florence Bentley were in the lodging-house with their mother. She was willing to part with them so that they could go to an industrial school. The boy witness proposed to get admitted to Feltham, if he passed the doctor.-The magistrate said he supposed the kitchen of the lodging-house was where the women passed the day, the children being among them and the men.-The officer said that was so, and there were some other children there, but still younger.-The magistrate said he would like to see the parents, and remanded the children to the workhouse.