Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
LONDON. FRIDAY, 16 NOVEMBER, 1888.
THE return of the sums annually paid to the Crown law officers is another illustration of the way in which the British taxpayer is fleeced. Taking salary and fees, the English Attorney-General gets £11,375 per annum, the Irish Attorney-General £8,110, and the Scotch Lord Advocate £3,768; whilst the English Solicitor-General pockets £8,905, the Irish Solicitor-General £2,835, and the Scotch Solicitor-General £1,198.
NOT many will say that the Scotch law officers are inadequately paid, and yet the Lord Advocate receives less than half the sum paid to the Irish Attorney-General, and the Scotch Solicitor-General does not get much more than a third of the sum paid to the Irish Solicitor-General. The English Attorney-General's post would be worth considerably more than the Lord Chancellor's, even if he were not allowed private practice. As it is, he must be making between £20,000 and £30,000. The present salaries should be reduced by at least one-third, and private practice prohibited.
SEVERAL correspondents have suggested to us Mr. Montagu Williams's name as Sir Charles Warren's successor. Mr. Williams has many qualifications for the post, but the state of his voice would probably not allow him to take up duty of the kind. He lately underwent an operation similar to that proposed to be performed on the late Emperor Frederick. It was entirely successful, but it greatly weakened Mr. Williams's voice.
NOW that the woes of Whitechapel and the difficulty of lodging the poor are to the front, why does not London take example from Berlin? In the Prussian capital, State lodging-houses are provided, with State supervision, and the wretched outcasts and homeless wanderers can always obtain a night's shelter, with coffee and bread in the morning. If the English House of Commons would only reduce the cost of royalty and its numberless scions by one-half, take away the scandalous pensions awarded a century or two centuries ago, and abolish the sinecures which disgrace every branch of the public service, buildings might easily be erected for the poor in the East-end; and these structures might possibly be made to pay their expenses in course of time.
As a rule, poets are ardent smokers, but a notable exception is Mr. Algernon Swinburne, who holds smoke and smokers in the strongest distaste. One day, at the Arts Club, after going from room to room in the vain hope of finding a clear atmosphere to write in, he launched forth an invective in much after this fashion :- "James I. was a knave and tyrant, a fool, and liar, and coward. But I love him, I worship him, because he slit the throat of that blackguard Raleigh, who invented smoking!" There are people, however, who are rude enough to say that if Mr. Swinburne had been a smoker he would have been more companionable.
SIR, - As to you and Gent-Davis belongs the honor of having killed Cock Warren, I write to impress on you that we also want a new Home Secretary.
Personally I have nothing to say against my ancient adversary Mr. Matthews. Long strife has made us almost friends. It is against fortune that I rail, and, as you may have observed sometimes, in good set terms too.
Was it not a cursed chance that gave us a Home Secretary and a Chief Commissioner of Police who for the past year have viewed London "through glasses darkly"?
You will observe, I doubt not, that the Home Secretary yesterday still adhered to his old hallucination that London was in a dangerous state last year. Both he and Sir Charles liked to rule us with a strong hand. Now the "mano di ferro" may be a very good thing in its way, but I do not like it in "quarte di Bechino." I dislike police rule, and hearing that a vacancy may soon occur in the Court of Appeal, I venture to suggest that Mr. Arthur Roberts, comedian, should be appointed to the post of Home Secretary, as he is fully aware of the value of deportment, and in all difficulties and dangers which in this transitory world might beset a Home Secretary, could, like others, "strike an attitude, quote a platitude," and show his knowledge of savoir faire. - Yours, &c.,
17, Albemarle-street, W., 15 Nov.
A WEST-END OUTRAGE.
A Gentleman Chloroforms a Servant Girl, Who Has to be Taken to the Hospital.
The Kensington police are investigating a case of alleged chloroforming and assaulting a young woman in one of the West-end squares. She is a domestic servant. Her name is Amelia Ponting. She was spoken to by a gentleman at Notting-hill-gate Station, who accompanied her to Pembridge-square, offering her some refreshments. On arriving at the solitary square the girl, who is 18, became frightened. She tried to leave her companion, and he, so she says, placed a handkerchief over her mouth and chloroformed her. She was afterwards found in such a condition that it was necessary to remove her to the nearest hospital. The hospital authorities decline to give any information as to the condition of the patient, stating that the case is in the hands of the police.
Given in Custody out of Kindness.
A draper seeing a paralysed boy named Levy crawling along High-street, Whitechapel, dirty and wretchedly-clad, out of sheer pity called a policeman's attention to the fact that people were giving him money. He was arrested on a charge of begging and taken to the workhouse infirmary, where he was cleansed and clad. - Before the Thames magistrate the policeman admitted that the boy had some matches, and did not ask for money, so the charge was not sustained. The Jewish guardians mean to get the boy into an institution.
Alice Lyons, who gave an address in Cornwell-road, South Kensington, was charged at Hammersmith with being drunk. Constable Moon said on Thursday morning he saw the prisoner wearing a waterproof only and carrying her clothes. - Mr. Paget: Do you mean she had no clothes on? - Constable: No clothes on. - Mr. Paget (with surprise): Do you mean she was naked? - Constable: Only a waterproof and chemise. She asked me to take her home. I said I could not do that. I took her to the station. - Prisoner: I do not think I was drunk; certainly not. - Mr. Paget: If you were not drunk, why were you walking about with only your chemise and waterproof?- Prisoner: I lost my temper. - Mr. Paget: Did you lose your clothes? - The prisoner said she was dressed. She had a quarrel with her landlady and went out. She resided in Sutherland-avenue, Harrow-road. She gave an address of a friend in Cornwell-road, but when she thought of the dishonorable act she gave the right address. - Mr. Paget: What are you? - Prisoner: An independent lady. - Mr. Paget: Pay a fine of 20s., or go to prison for seven days.
It has just transpired that a young woman named Annie Murphy, living at Sanderstead-road, Croydon, was stopped on Monday night last when in the Brighton-road, near her home, by a tall thin man, who suddenly put his arm round her. She struggled and screamed, and a policeman who was near ran at once to the spot. By the time that he arrived, however, the man had got away. The young woman later in the evening found that her dress was cut and that she had been stabbed in the breast. The police are now searching for the assailant.
Mr. Galloway, a clerk employed in the City, and living at Stepney, has made the following statement :- "As I was going down the Whitechapel-road in the early hours of Wednesday morning, on my way home, I saw a man coming in the opposite direction, about fifty yards away. We both crossed the road simultaneously, and came face to face. The man had a very frightened appearance, and glared at me as he passed. I was very much struck with his appearance, especially as he corresponded, in almost every particular, with the man described by Mary Ann Cox. He was short, stout, about 35 to 40 years of age. His moustache, not a particularly heavy one, was of
through drink and dissipation. He wore a long, dirty brown overcoat, and altogether presented a most villainous appearance. I stood still and watched him. He darted back almost immediately to the other side of the road, and then, apparently to avoid a group of women a little further on, crossed the road again. I determined to follow him, and just before reaching the coffee-stall past the church he again crossed the road. On nearing George-yard he crossed over and entered a small court. He reappeared in a couple of minutes, crossed Whitechapel-road for the sixth time, and proceeded up Commercial-street. Up to this time he had walked along briskly, but directly he got into Commercial-street, he slackened speed and
whom he met alone, but was repulsed. On approaching Thrawl-street a policeman on point duty suddenly appeared. The man was evidently startled, and for a moment it looked as though he would turn back or cross the road. He recovered himself, however, and went on. I then informed the constable of what I had seen, and pointed out the man's extraordinary resemblance to the individual described by Cox. The constable declined to arrest the man, saying that he was looking for a man of a very different appearance."
No fewer than 14 people were taken to the East-end police-stations last night and early this morning on suspicion, but they were all released after a short detention.
Three young fellows quarrelled last evening in Whitechapel-road, near Baker's-row, and one threatened to stab another. The third one interfered, and for his pains was stabbed with a pocket-knife several times in the back. The stabber got away, and the injured youth was taken to the hospital.
A man was arrested at Market Harborough last night on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer. He has been lodging in the neighbourhood two months, but has been frequently absent. He is a very dark, swarthy-looking man, and speaks with a slightly foreign accent. His behavior at Harborough has been always very quiet, but he has no occupation or apparent means of subsistence.
Because Wolff Leviohne, a Polish Jew, who went to Whitechapel on business, refused the solicitations of two women named Johnson and De Grasse, they shouted out, "You are Jack the Ripper," and drew an excited crowd about him. He had to take refuge in the Commercial-street Police-station the people became so threatening. The women were brought before the Worship-street magistrate to-day. They said they only remarked to Leviohne that he "looked like Jack the Ripper," as he had a shining bag. - Mr. Bushby said the public must be protected from this kind of molestation, and he fined the prisoners 20s. each. In default they were committed for 14 days.
The Board of Works is having a last kick at liberty of speech. Mr. W. B. Parker, secretary of the Socialist League, wrote asking permission to take six vans into Victoria-park nest Sunday, to be used as platforms at a meeting organised by the Chicago and Bloody Sunday Commemoration Committee. The application was made on the 3rd, and no reply was received until last night. The reply stated that the Parks and Open Spaces Committee "do not consider it desirable" to recommend the Board "to allow the vans to enter the park in connection with the holding of a public meeting." Vans were allowed to enter Hyde-park and Regent's-park last Sunday, permission having been granted by the Commissioner of Works. Vans have over and over again been allowed to go to Victoria-park in connection with political and other meetings, but the Board seems to be anxious to show that it has some power even in a moribund condition. Not long ago the Board attempted to stop collections in the parks, and ignominiously failed. They will have another chance of showing their courage, for it has been decided to enter the park without permission from the Board.
Mr. Cuninghame Graham will put a question in the House about the matter to-day, and a deputation will wait this afternoon on the Board of Works.
At a meeting of the Southwark Board of Guardians last evening, the clerk called attention to the report in the papers of the scandalous neglect of two little girls in the workhouse. They were, it was alleged, allowed to become filthy, and it was said that the golden hair of one had been cut off and sold to a doll maker.
A letter was received from Mr. Thompson, master of the St. George's Workhouse, inviting an inquiry into the matter. Mr. Hedley, Local Government Board inspector, said the Local Government Board would, if necessary, inquire into the matter. The Guardians ought to investigate it thoroughly, because the case had had wide publicity in the Press. A special committee of inquiry was appointed.
Mr. Conybeare will to-night ask a question on the subject in the House of Commons.
Some singular evidence was given at an inquest held at Cardiff yesterday on the body of Mr. David Lloyd, of Llanelly. After playing several games of billiards at the Royal Hotel, Mr. Lloyd engaged in an argument with a barmaid as to life being worth living, he maintaining the negative. He left the hotel, and nothing more was seen of him. Another visitor found the door of his room locked, and on it being forced Mr. Lloyd was found lying on the floor with a bullet wound in the forehead, dead. A revolver lay by his side. He was about 22 years of age.
During the six months the Glasgow Exhibition was open, there were 25 pickpockets apprehended, the majority of whom came from England. Of that number, 19 were convicted, 2 were discharged with an admonition, and 4 were discharged without trial. Ten persons were also brought up for stealing, or attempting to steal from stalls. No fewer that 41 boys were tried for stealing chocolate and confections, but with the exception of one boy they were all released.
SIR, - While willing to bow to superior judgement on this matter, I, too, would support Mrs. Langworthy by my protest against the wholesale publication of the details of Whitechapel. I have been asking myself over and over again what possible good can result from such publication. That harm does follow, as a consequence, we know from the horrid Newcastle imitation, and who can say for a certainty that the same fiend has been guilty of the whole series?
I quite agree that the detective department has totally collapsed; but although the press must to some extent fill the gap, yet is it necessary to fill our children's minds (for even children read newspapers now-a-days) with all the bestial details of these crimes? My reason for writing is that this very evening a child of mine called out to his sister "I am Jack the Ripper. Look out!" and I learn that even the street Arabs are making a game of it. We object to a "Zola" and tolerate an "Ouida," we allow in Ireland what we object to in Russia, and we tolerate a Hughes-Hallett under the very roof that rings with the eloquence of a Gladstone. Where is our consistency? Only the other day there was a huge outcry against the Pall Mall Gazette for publishing prurient details in which the welfare of our children was vitally concerned, and now the very papers (yours excepted, because it was not in existence then) which called out the loudest are publishing broadcast details which makes the Pall Mall Gazette take a back seat altogether. There is not the slightest doubt that murder begets murder, and horror begets horror; for weak minds brood over disgusting and vicious details until the frail thread of reason becomes too slight for the tension exercised, and the balance is unhinged.
For God's sake, sir, use your powerful influence to overcome the morbid tendencies of the age, or ere long we shall revert to the dark periods when human torture was rampant and the stake a potent force for the inculcation of ideas of a higher civilisation. - Yours, &c.,
Liberal Club, Wood-green, 12 Nov.
We have received the following from 1, Prince-terrace, Treorkey, Pontypridd, 12 Nov.:- Sir, - Having taken notice of the statement made in the issue of The Star for Saturday that the circulation had reached the great number of 298,800, if each of them were put end to end the length-way they would measure 169¾ miles and 40 years, or thereabouts. Being a reader from the commencement, I wish to congratulate you in the great success of our Star. May it treble its issue before another 11 months. - Yours, &c.,
Two incidents which recently occurred in the Harborough Division of Leicestershire serve to illustrate the necessity for some authoritative definition of pauperism - we mean the pauperism of the poor worker, not of the State prisoner. On the 5th inst. the nominations of candidates for seats on the Aylestone School Board were lodged with the returning officer, who declared one of them to be void because one of the persons signing the nomination paper was a "pauper." The wife of the man in question is confined in the county lunatic asylum and the husband pays not only the amount for which the Board of Guardians would be responsible but also the amount contributed by the Government, so that his wife does not cost either local rates or national taxes one farthing. The only excuse for calling him a pauper and disqualifying him as a voter is the fact that he pays the cost of his wife's maintenance, through the Board of Guardians. At the same time the man is qualified to sit on the School Board, and will be a member of it. During the recent revision the Liberal agent found that a bricklayer's laborer had been left off the list because the man had been returned as a pauper by the relieving officer to the overseers. Further inquiries elicited the information that the man had been ill during a considerable portion of last winter, and at that time had received from the Board of Guardians a loan of £2 10s., which he had signed a bond to repay by weekly instalments on getting to work again, part of which he had repaid, and in case of default the Board had the right to distrain. Yet that man's name was published as that of a pauper; the Tory agent struggled to deprive him of his vote, and it was only by dropping upon the report of a case half a century old that the Liberal agent succeeded in getting it allowed. If some of the M.P.'s who desire to reform the electoral laws will take counsel with registration agents, they will not only find many more such abuses, but may at the same time endow their proposals with real practical value.
"Hayden's Dictionary of Dates" gives the following account of a Jack the Ripper of a century ago, called "The Monster" : - "This was a wretch named Renwick Williams, who prowled nightly through the streets of London, secretly armed with a sharp instrument, a double-edged knife, with which he shockingly wounded numbers of females, whose more respectable appearance attracted his attention.
Numbers of ladies were wounded by him in the most delicate parts, particularly in the breasts and thighs; but when he could assault them in lonely places they were dreadfully injured. He was tried and convicted on a variety of these charges, 8 June, 1790. Some have doubted the identity of Williams. More recently an offender or two of this description committed similar outrages, particularly in the west end of the town, but so secretly as to elude detection."
Fashions in note paper are again changing. Bright scarlet has disappeared; the "leather" paper, the "earthquake," paper "ye old Englyshe" paper, and the "sliced lemon" paper have all been replaced by the dull verdigris or moonlight, and the greenish blue or Gobelin grey paper. The address is stamped in blue black, but white is the favorite color.