22 November 1888
HOUSE OF COMMONS
The SPEAKER took the chair at a quarter-past twelve o’clock.
Mr. J. ROWLANDS asked the Home Secretary whether he had any information as to the report of another murder that morning in Whitechapel.
Mr. S. WORTLEY replied that the Home Secretary was not then present. The hon. member might have an opportunity of repeating his question in the course of the afternoon.
Great excitement was caused in the East-end, and throughout the metropolis generally, yesterday by the attempted murder of a woman in the district of the tragedies. The crime was committed in a lodging-house within three minutes’ walk of Dorset-street, the scene of the last murder, and by a singular coincidence the victim of the George-yard murder lodged at the same house, and the woman murdered in Osborne-street had lived next door. The circumstances, therefore, gave colour to the theory that the man who committed the outrage was the individual who has been for some time sought by the police. The woman who was the victim of yesterday’s crime is known as Annie, or Matilda, Farmer. She is stated to be a married woman of good appearance and about 34 years of age. She has been in the habit of frequenting lodging-houses in the locality, and it is said that she had known the man who attacked her for about 12 months. At about seven o’clock yesterday morning she met the man near Spitalfields Church, and she stated that she was not able to pay for a bed. The man therefore accompanied her to 19, George-street, a street running from Flower and Dean-street to Thrawl-street. At about half-past nine o’clock an alarm was heard, and the man hastily left. Almost immediately the woman ran downstairs bleeding from a wound in the throat. She asserted that the man attempted to cut her throat, that a struggle had taken place, and that her assailant then fled. A man who saw him leave the house attached no importance to the circumstance, but others who heard the alarm followed, but lost him in the direction of Heneage-street. The woman says she can identify him, and the following description has been circulated by the police:
"Wanted, for attempted murder on the 21st inst., a man aged 36, height 5 feet 6 inches, complexion dark, no whiskers, dark moustache, black jacket, vest, and trousers, round black felt hat. Respectable appearance. Can be identified."
The woman Farmer was taken to the police-station on a stretcher, and the report that she had been murdered quickly spread through the locality. It appears that the wound, although it bled freely, is only superficial, and no danger is apprehended. A large force of detectives was immediately drafted into the district, and inquiries were prosecuted throughout the day, but up to a late hour last night the man had not been arrested. Several statements have been made to the authorities, but the descriptions given of Farmer’s assailant do not correspond with that of the man who is supposed to have committed the series of murders, and the general opinion is that the author of yesterday’s outrage is not the Whitechapel murderer. The woman Farmer was removed from Commercial-street station at half past three yesterday afternoon to the Whitechapel Infirmary, in Baker’s-row. She was taken in a cab, and left the station by a back entrance, so that the public were quite ignorant of the circumstances. Last night Dr. Herbert Larder, the principal medical man at the Whitechapel Infirmary, stated the injured woman was able to converse very well, and would probably be discharged from the infirmary in a fortnight.
At one o’clock this morning the detectives engaged in the case had completed their investigation into the affair, and from these there appears to be absolutely no foundation for supporting that the man wanted for this outrage is any way connected with the recent series of mutilations in the same neighbourhood. The police have obtained an elaborate description of the individual from several persons to whom he was known. In fact, there are reasons to believe that they are possessed of his name, but, as regards his address, he has apparently no particular abode. He is well known, however, and his apprehension is particularly assured. It appears that the injured woman lived with her assailant for some months, but subsequently separated. They recently renewed their acquaintance, and it has been discovered that on the morning preceding the outrage they were together in a tavern in Brick-lane. From what has been gleaned, a dispute arose, when they adjourned to the registered lodging-house in George-street in reference to some money which it is alleged the woman endeavoured to take from the man. An alteration ensued, and a conflict resulted. The man, who is stated to be a sailor, is described as having received injuries to his face.
A hawker, named Philip Harris, who was sleeping in the lodging-house last night, when the woman was attacked, made the following statement yesterday:
"I don’t know anything about the woman, but I am told that she came into the lodging-house with a man at four o’clock this morning. About half-past nine I was sitting in the kitchen with eight or nine other men, when the woman came downstairs, and opening the staircase door, called out, ‘He’s done it.’ I looked round and saw her standing in the doorway with blood trickling down her neck. I did not hear any screams, and until the woman looked into the kitchen I had no idea that anything was the matter. We all jumped up and rushed out into the street, the woman saying the man had run away. Outside was a man with a cart delivering coal. We asked him if he had seen anybody run out, and he pointed to a man who was running round the corner of the street into Thrawl-street, saying, ‘There he goes.’ We gave chase, but could not catch him up, and we soon lost sight of him. A policeman was called, and the woman taken to Commercial-street police-station. She was not bleeding very much. We all thought at the time that it was ‘Jack the Ripper’ who had done it."
William Sullivan, a dock labourer, lodging at No. 19, George-street, says that he came home at about twenty minutes past nine this (Wednesday) morning and went indoors to put his book away. He then came out and stood at the bottom of the stairs by the street-door. He had not, however, been there a moment before the woman appeared at the top of the stairs with her throat cut, and said a man had tried to murder her. He was told that a man had run up the street, and started with others in pursuit, but he did not actually see the man.
Esther Hall says: - I lodge at No. 19, George-street. I sleep in the basement of the house, and was awakened by a man, who told me a murder had been committed. I ran upstairs, and saw a woman lying down covered with blood. The deputy put a piece of rag round her throat, and I said, "Are you able to dress yourself?" She said she was not, and I dressed her. I then inquired, "Do you know the man?" She replied, "Yes. I was with him about twelve months ago, and he ill-used me then." She said she undressed when she went to bed the man did not, and she added that the man had a black moustache and wore dark clothes and a hard felt hat, and that she thought he was a saddler. The woman’s wounds were subsequently dressed buy Dr. Phillips and another gentleman, after which she left in an ambulance.
Frank Ruffell states: - I was in charge of a coke van in George-street at about a quarter past nine o’clock. While I was at No. 17 a man rushed out of No. 19. He was about five feet six in height, dressed in black, and wore a felt hat. He had a moustache, but no wiskers, and was fair and fresh looking. As he left the house I heard him say something about the woman. As he turned into Thrawl-street I saw a woman come out on the staircase and ask a man if he had seen anyone running away. The man replied "No," and the woman then said "He has cut my throat." I then left my van and ran into Brick-lane, but lost sight of the man. At the corner of Heneage-street I saw a policeman and told him of the occurrence. I afterwards made a statement to a detective sergeant. I noticed that the woman who came down the stairs had blood upon her throat. She was but partially dressed.
John Bennett, 10, Flower and Dean-street, states: - I was standing at the corner of George-street when John Whitehead and another, who goes by the nickname of "Bones, " ran from a house in pursuit of a man. There was a coal cart near, and the man in charge of it joined in the pursuit. The person escaping was a short man, and wore a moustache; but I was too excited to notice his dress. He entered Thrawl-street and ran down a narrow court, and was lost sight of. I noticed that he had blood marks on his hand, and that his face was scratched. If any alarm had been raised that the man was the East-end murderer I should have followed him.
It is stated that the man in his flight passed two policemen, who made no attempt to arrest him.
A man was arrested in the East-end early this morning under very suspicious circumstances. Between one and two o’clock a woman, who was in the company with a man in a narrow thoroughfare near Brick-lane, was heard to call "Murder!" and "Police!" loudly. At the moment the man was seen making off at a rapid pace. He was pursued through several streets by the police and detectives who have lately been concentrated in considerable numbers in the neighbourhood, and was captured near Truman, Hanbury, and Buxton’s brewery. The man is reported to have drawn a knife, and made a desperate resistance, but he was eventually overpowered, and conveyed to the Commercial-street station.
Yesterday Mr. Saunders, the sitting magistrate at the Thames Police Court, received a letter purporting to come from "Jack the Ripper." The envelope bore the Portsmouth post-mark, and was directed as follows: - "To the Head Magistrate, Police Court, Whitechapel, London." It read as follows:
"No. 1 England. 1888
"Dear Boss, - It is no good for you to look for me in London, because I am not there. Don’t trouble yourself about me till I return, which will not be very long. I like the work too well to leave it long. Oh, it was such a jolly job the last one. I had plenty of time to do it properly, ha! ha! The next lot I mean to do with vengeance, cut off their head and arms. You think it is the man with black moustache. Ha! ha! ha! When I have done another you can catch me. So good-bye, dear Boss, till I return. - Yours
"Jack the Ripper."
The letter has been handed over by Mr. Sayers, the chief clerk, to the police.
An attempt was made to murder a woman in the East-end of London yesterday morning under circumstances which created considerable excitement. A woman named Farmer and a man entered a common lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, and after they had been there some time the man left the house hurriedly. The woman immediately afterwards rushed down the stairs bleeding from a wound in her neck, and declared that the man had tried to cut her throat. The man was pursued but he managed to escape. The wound inflicted on the woman is not of a dangerous character, and she says she can identify her assailant. It is not thought that the outrage was perpetrated by the man who committed the recent murders.
Annie Louise Bliss, of Vicarage-road, Camberwell, applied to a summons charging her with having obtained a sum of 170£., the moneys of Amy Hewitt, by false and fraudulent representations, with intent to defraud.
Mr. Humphreys, solicitor, supported the prosecution.
The defendant was not defended.
The opening statement of Mr. Humphreys, and the evidence of the complainant, who described herself as the wife of the caretaker of the model dwellings, George-yard-buildings, Whitechapel, showed that in October, 1884, Mrs. Hewitt received, under the will of a deceased uncle, a sum of 180£. Odd. The defendant - at that time unmarried - was known as miss Coe, and was collector of the rents of the buildings for the owner. They were, therefore, intimate, and witness having informed her that the money was left to her, the defendant said, as witness knew nothing of business, she would go and see after the matter. The complainant took defendant with her to receive the money, and defendant took care of it for a time. She also received 180£. From a sister of the witness, and got that sister to consent to its being invested by her. Complainant’s money was put into the London and Westminster Bank for some time, but eventually she, yielding to defendant’s solicitations that the money should be invested drew the money, in two sums, and handed the whole of it, to the defendant. The latter had told her that her brother recommended the purchase of some shares in a carpet factory in Germany, and she paid witness from time to time interest at the rate of 5s. A week; in all about 30£. had been paid up to March last. Complainant did not tell her husband till June last, and had kept the receipts given her by the defendant sewn in her stays, so that the matter should not be known. Meanwhile the defendant had married. When applied to, she admitted having appropriated the money to her own use, said that it was all gone, and had been invested.
The magistrate elicited that the defendant had similarly misappropriated the whole of the sister’s money.
The defendant, when asked if she wished to put any question to the complainant, said she did not deny having had the money. She, in fact, pleaded Guilty.
Mr. Humphreys said he was instructed to prosecute by Mr. Crowder, J. P., who was the owner of the George-yard-buildings. It was not desired to press the matter to the sessions.
The magistrate said he would deal with it.
Mrs. Leonard Courtney, wife of Mr. Courtney, M.P., attended to speak to the defendant’s character, and said that up to 1883 the defendant was an earnest worker in many philanthropically matters in the East-end under witness. She admitted having heard that she had embezzled money.
The magistrate said that it was a most heartless kind of robbery, and, had the defendant gone to the sessions, she would probably have been sent to penal sevitude. He passed a sentence of six months’ hard labour on her, and the woman, who said she was only married last February, was removed by the gaoler.
Four Spanish seamen, named Marius Bilboa, Juan José Turle, José Sarrahe, and Juan José Madarioga, were charged, on remand, before Mr. Fenwick, with being concerned in stabbing four Englishmen, named Cheal, Perkins, Gregg, and Haynes, in Rotherhithe-street, Rotherhithe, on the night of October 23.
Mr. W. F. Ruddle prosecuted; and Mr. J. T. Davies, instructed by the Spanish Consul-General, defended the prisoners.
George Cheal said he heard a woman scream "Murder!" and went to the spot, where Bilboa, crawling on his hands and toes, stabbed him in the thigh with a knife or dagger, paralyzing him for the time. Turle came up and tried to stab him, but was prevented.
William Dunklin said he was kicked, and Sarrahe made an attempt to stab him.
Dr. Jaynes, divisional surgeon, described the injuries inflicted on the four men. Those on the injured man Perkins were in dangerous spots, and might, if the cuts had been deeper, have killed him. Perkin’s wound had healed, but the three other men were not quite well yet. The prisoners, with the exception of Madarioga, had black eyes and contusions on the head.
Edmund Gregg said that all the prisoners had knives. He seized hold of Sarrahe, who stabbed him on the left shoulder.
Mr. Fenwick again remanded the prisoners.
Frank Hall, 20, was charged with feloniously attempting to murder Sarah Brett by cutting her throat.
Mr. Poland and Mr. Mead prosecuted.
The prisoner was a seaman, and on the 3rd of October he appeared to have arrived in England. A son of the prosecutrix was one of his messmates, and they both took up their abode at the house where she resided at Peckham with a man named Onley, who passed as her husband. On the night of the 13th of October the prisoner and Onley went home, and a quarrel took place between Onley and the prosecutrix, and he used threats towards her, and blows were exchanged, and he then went up to bed. Immediately afterwards the prisoner apparently without the least provocation, attacked the prosecutrix with a carving knife, and wounded her severely on the throat. He then took the knife, which was covered with blood, to the bedroom and laid it on the bed on which Onley was lying. The prisoner at first appeared desirous to fix the crime upon Onley, and he was taken into custody, but the prisoner subsequently admitted that there was no foundation for the charge he had made against him, and he was discharged. The prisoner afterwards wrote a letter to the prosecutor admitting that it was he who had wounded her, and expressing his sorrow for what he had done.
The prisoner, in answer to the charge, said he recollected very little about the matter.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty of unlawfully wounding. Sentence was deferred.