Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom.
LONDON. WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER, 1888.
Apropos of Mrs. Langtry's recent visit to London, it may be interesting to some to know that one of her first inquiries was to know if, during her absence, she had been eclipsed by any other beauty. The question was put to a well-known photographer who took several pictures of her, and who, it may be added, felt that he could conscientiously place his hand on his heart and say that the "Jersey Lily" still reigned supreme among the (professional) beauties. It is almost needless to add that Mrs. Langtry expressed her extreme gratification at the news.
Colonel Paul Methuen, the active and energetic colonel of the Grenadiers, is a tall, upright, soldierly man, of pleasing countenance and appearance. He has a large head, heavy moustache, bushy eyebrows, and light hair.
He is well known in the East-end among the various boys' clubs and institutions for working lads, with whom he is very popular. He is very keen on athletics and gymnastics, to encourage which among the working-lads of the East-end he used to give prizes to be competed for, especially in the pugilistic department. He has lent a helping hand to many a philanthropic institution in London, and a cadet corps in the East owes much to his guiding and fostering influence. He is a man of conscientious views and principles, and, unlike many military "nobs" of the "Umbrella George" type, he does something more than draw his "pay" and obstruct. The Volunteers have in him a warm friend and supporter.
How the Ingenious Penny-a-Liner Procures the Free Insertion of Advertisements.
We received yesterday afternoon the following story for insertion as late news :-
HORRIBLE CONDUCT BY A MOTHER.At the Melton Petty Sessions to-day a widow named Catherine Henson was charged with attempting to murder her two children, Frank, aged two years, and Elizabeth, nine months by starving them to death.
Robert Humphreys, relieving officer at the Royal Cottage Infirmary, said that from information he received he visited the prisoner's lodgings on Friday last. At the time the accused was from home. Upon going in the front room on the second floor he found the two children in a deplorable condition from neglect and want of food. They were huddled together on some dirty rags in the corner of the apartment, and appeared in a starved condition. The place was devoid of furniture, and as there was no food to be seen, he at once removed the children to the infirmary.
Dr. Robert Widstone, the medical superintendent of the Royal Cottage Infirmary, said that when the two children were admitted into the institution they were fearfully emaciated, and when fed with Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk they devoured it in a most ravenous manner, showing they had been without proper nourishment for days. The children's bodies were covered with vermin and running sores.
Eliza Lenson said the prisoner was in the habit of treating the children in a shocking manner, and day after day in the habit of getting drunk and leaving them without food. The prisoner, who had nothing to say, was remanded.
The news purported to come from J. W. Williams, 17, West-street, Melton. This name and address, as well as every name and incident of the story, is a pure fabrication. Neither the persons nor the places have any existence. The sole purpose of the paragraph is to puff Anglo-Swiss condensed milk, the proprietors of which are welcome to any benefit they may derive from the publicity they thus secure in connection with the exposure of an impudent swindle. The perpetrator of this attempted fraud is a Fleet-street corner man, one of that wretched class that forms the very dregs of the newspaper world. He successfully effected a series of similar frauds on London daily papers between three and four years ago, and the advertisement of Anglo-Swiss milk was then as it is now the object of his labors. He was incautious enough in those days to apply for payment for his "news," with the result that he was arrested on the charge of attempting to obtain money under false pretences, but the case against him was abandoned. Less than two months ago fictitious items from the same hand appeared in the Standard, the Weekly Dispatch, the People, and other papers; but profiting by his former experience, Mr. "Williams" - whose name is never twice alike - refrained from running this risk again, and relied for his remuneration solely upon the generosity of the firms who profit by his criminal ingenuity.
Mr. Hyndman and "The Star."
Speaking in support of Mr. Sansom, the Socialist candidate for Southwark, last evening, Mr. H. M. Hyndman said that an evening paper called The Star, supposed to be the champion of working men, but really their enemy, and supported by capitalists' advertisements, had been saying the question of free meals was a Parliamentary one. Let the editor have no food for himself and his children and he will very quickly find that it is a social question and not a Parliamentary one.
A correspondent writes :- There is a good deal of talk in Tory circles about presenting Sir Charles Warren with a testimonial on the termination of his official career. At the suggestion of the members of one of the clubs a society paper has taken the matter up, and at this moment the project is being actively canvassed. Might I be allowed to make a suggestion as to the form that the testimonial might take? I suppose that most of your readers have seen George Cruikshank's famous picture "Drink." The canvas is covered with a large number of tiny scenes, each representing some evil effect of the drink-curse. Might not some artist be commissioned to produce something similar, showing the effects of the Warren regime? There would be no lack of subjects - Trafalgar-square, with police trampling upon women and children; the rape of the red flag in Hyde Park; the murder of Linnell; men in blue chivying newsboys; numerous scenes of undiscovered murders and burglaries, and many others that your readers can imagine, would make a fine patchwork after the Cruikshank style, and would all tend to show how well Sir Charles has deserved the esteem of a community whose life and property he has so efficiently protected.
An intelligent-looking lad named Herbert Langley was charged at Bow-street with wandering without any means of subsistence. He was found in a doorway asleep by a constable at half-past one in the morning. When questioned he stated that his parents were dead. His father died a week ago at Portsmouth. He had 4s. given to him by some friends, and out of that he paid his railway fare to London on Friday last. He had 5d. left, and had lived on that money until the time of his arrest. He said that his father was a bricklayer, and he had worked with a bookbinder. - Mr. Vaughan sent him to the workhouse.
Found at Croydon With a Cut Throat.
The body of a man well-dressed was discovered on Purley-downs, Croydon, with his throat horribly gashed under most mysterious circumstances yesterday. The body was removed to the mortuary.
At Bradford this morning a coroner's jury returned a verdict of wilful murder and felo de se against Thomas A. Kirby, a machinist, who on Sunday night was found hanging by the neck dead in his house. The dead bodies of his wife and child aged 11 months were also found. Kirby was of a morose and jealous disposition, and the murder was of a very brutal character, the woman being enciente.
A WOMAN'S SLIGHT INJURIES MAGNIFIED INTO MURDER.
A Woman in a Lodging-house Has Her Throat Cut by a Man, who Escapes - Sensational Reports of "Another Murder and Mutilations" - Gross Exaggerations.
Great excitement was caused in the East-end this morning by a rumor that another murder had been attempted in a lodging-house in George-street, Spitalfields. Shortly before ten o'clock this morning the inmates of Satchell's lodging-house, 19, George-street, which leads from Flower and Dean-street into Wentworth-street, heard a man come downstairs. He went out, and nothing was thought of it until a minute afterwards a woman called "Dark Sarah," and whose name is believed to be Turner, came running down stairs with only her under garments on, and with a slight-wound in her throat, which she said had been inflicted by the man who had just gone out. Four of the lodgers immediately gave chase, but he escaped. The woman was taken to Commercial-street Station, her wound being only a slight one. She was considerably the worse for drink. She states that she knew the man about 12 months ago. The police are very reticent on the subject, and the doors of Commercial-street Police Station are closed to all comers. One of the inspectors, however, told our reporter that there was nothing in the case, and that in all probability the woman inflicted the injuries herself. At all events, they appear to be confident that the man was not the Whitechapel murderer. The man and woman entered the house in the early hours of this morning, and took a double bed. At five this morning she was heard dancing and singing. She is a prostitute of the lowest type.
The woman gave the following description of her assailant :- Age, 30; height, 5ft. 6in.; fair moustache; wore black diagonal coat, and hard felt hat. The man is known, and his capture is confidently anticipated.
William Sullivan, who lives in the house where the affair happened, said to a Star reporter: I am a waterside laborer, and being five minutes late this morning I lost my day's work, and had to come home again. I had just taken my grub out of my pocket, and was standing against the front door, when I saw a woman coming downstairs crying and calling out "Darkie, Darkie" - that's the watchman in the house. I pushed open the stairs door - that is the door in front of the stairs just against the street door, and I saw the woman standing there with blood coming from her throat. Her breast was bare, and the blood was running down it. She only had a short knitted petticoat on, and that was torn. She said, "A man has cut my throat; follow him." I ran out into the street and saw Frank Ruffell, a man who was taking some sacks of coke in the next house from a van. I asked him whether he had seen a man run out, and he answered, "Yes I saw
just now. His mouth was bleeding, and he had a sort of abscess on his neck. As he ran past me he said, 'What a cow!' Me, the cokeman, and another fellow ran up Thrawl-street into Brick-lane, but we couldn't see anybody. The first people we met were two policemen standing outside the Bell publichouse. They came back with us to the house, and taking charge of the woman sent for the ambulance. Soon inspectors and doctors came, and when the ambulance arrived they put the woman on it and took her to the police-station.
"The woman," Sullivan went on, "has never lived in the house before, but she is known to walk about Spitalfields, and is nearly always drunk. Darkie says she came to the house
in the dark, and took a "double." Sullivan adds that as far as he knows the only man who can fairly say he saw the runaway is Ruffell. Nobody saw him after the woman gave the alarm; he had got clean away. "If I had been only about two minutes earlier I should have blocked the fellow's way," said Sullivan regretfully, evidently having in his mind the big reward offered for the capture of the Whitechapel murderer.
A Star reporter got hold of Frank Ruffell, and he made this statement :- About half-past nine I was delivering two sacks of coke from my van at the house next door, when a man came out of No. 19. As he walked sharply past me, he muttered to himself, 'What a ---- cow.' About two minutes after that, I saw the woman on the bottom stair bleeding from the neck. Sullivan said to me, 'Did you see a man run?' And I said, 'Yes.' We both ran up Thrawl-street into Brick-lane, but we did not see him."
"What kind of a man was he?" asked the Star man, without suggesting anything.
"He was a man about my own height - about 5ft. 4in. - perhaps a little taller. He had a red fresh-looking face and a fair moustache. He looked about 30 odd. He was respectably dressed. He had on a hard felt hat and a black diagonal suit, and as he passed me he was putting up his collar.
This description given, from Ruffell's manner with evident truth, tallies remarkably with that given by the Widow Cox at the inquest on the Dorset-street victim. Another point is the fact that before the woman gave the alarm no one in the lodging house heard a quarrel.
Whether this morning's outrage be the work of the murder-maniac or not, it has greatly excited Whitechapel. George-street is packed with curious people pushing and striving to get a sight of the house. The police-station, too, is surrounded by an excited throng, and the policemen have all their work cut out to press them off the pavement. The "detectives" - better known by this time than the uniformed policemen - are wildly running about, and the policemen on fixed points stare at all who pass them.
The case, anyhow, has a bearing on the previous crimes which the public will not fail to note. An outrage has been committed in the very heart of the district which has been so profoundly agitated by crimes of unprecedented horrors, a continuation of which everybody is sure of - a district supposed now to be the best watched of all London, and yet this man has managed to make his escape in broad daylight.
Later inquiries show that the woman's name is Annie Farmer, and she lives at 1, Featherstone-street. She was still under the influence of drink when she was taken to the Commercial-street Station, but seemed little the worse for her injuries. When our reporter first got down there she was sitting on a bench in the office, and was the subject rather of the contemptuous laughter of the officers than of their interest. "There don't seem much the matter with her, does there?" said one of the officers, and the Star man was obliged to admit that there did not. They attached not the slightest importance to the affair. It was, they thought, a drunken business, which but for recent occurrences would not have attracted the slightest attention. After a time, however, that "long, stern swell," the superintendent of the division, marched in with a following of inspectors and detectives, and soon after his arrival, the doors of the station were closely shut, and the representatives of the Press were
In consequence of this all sorts of alarming rumors obtained currency. The neighborhood was thrown into a most harmful state of excitement, and the Echo and the Evening News rushed into print with the announcement of "another horrible murder and mutilation in Spitalfields." The sale of their issue was very brisk for a long time, while the Star, with its accurate and undeceiving statement of the facts, seemed almost neglected. Even when the real state of the case became known, our contemporaries endeavored to cover the consequences of their sensational blundering by gross exaggerations.
All the detectives available were promptly sent for, and placed upon the track; but up to one o'clock they had not succeeded in arresting the man. The woman, it is said, knows perfectly well who he is, and the police seem quite confident that they will have no difficulty in apprehending him.
A coroner's jury at Bradford this morning returned a verdict of felo de se against James Kirkby, who on Sunday morning hung himself, after murdering his wife and infant. Evidence showed that, with the exception of a cry, "Oh, let me alone! do let me get up," and the noise of a breaking window, there was no indication to the neighbors of what was going on. It seems that life had been extinct in the bodies 10 hours when they were discovered.
House of Commons.
The Speaker took the Chair at quarter past twelve.
Mr. JAMES ROWLANDS: I beg to ask the Home Secretary or the Under Secretary a question of which I have given private notice, namely, whether he can give the House any information confirmatory or otherwise of the report in the evening papers of another murder in Whitechapel.
Mr. STUART WORTLEY: The Home Secretary will be in the House in a minute or two, and perhaps an opportunity may be found for repeating the question.
An inquest was held yesterday at Marylebone on the body of a child eight months old, weighing only 5lb. 13oz. It is the child of a widow named Mulchay. The mother said she had been living with a man who had deserted her. On the 5th of this month she was taken into custody on a charge of drunkenness, the children being taken to the Workhouse. On the Monday she was fined 10s., or seven days' imprisonment, and on her release she went to the Workhouse; but they would not let her have the baby, it was too ill. A policeman stated that when he locked the woman up she was lying down drunk, and the baby, though the weather was bitterly cold, had only a chemise on. It was very dirty and emaciated, and died in the workhouse from exhaustion following malassimilation of food. Dr. Rayner said he had no doubt that death had been accelerated by want of proper care and attention. - It was mentioned that the mother had been convicted five times for drunkenness. - The Coroner said that he had no doubt this was a case where the mother had neglected the child owing to her drunken habits. - The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against her, and she was taken into custody.
Annie McDonald, 25, who imagines she has a grievance, which she wishes to bring before the public, and took a bottle from her pocket and threw it at the head of Mr. Newton, the magistrate at the Marlborough-street Police-court, was indicted at Middlesex Sessions yesterday. Mr. Littler ascertained that the prisoner's sister had been for some years in a lunatic asylum, and said that in his opinion it was a case in which the state of the prisoner's mind should be inquired into by a specialist such as one of the doctors at Broadmoor. The prisoner protested she was not mad. Mr. Littler said it was a case in which, if tried in the usual way and a conviction followed - and the facts were scarcely in dispute - he should feel bound to pass a severe sentence; and it would really be a kindness to the prisoner herself to have it postponed until the next sessions. This course was adopted.
A Young Woman Found on the Railway.
The mutilated body of a young woman was found on the Great Western Railway near Stoke Canon yesterday. It was fully dressed except that slippers were on the feet instead of boots. Last evening she was identified as Jenny Rowe, of Cornwall, who for the past month has been in service at the residence of the Town Clerk of Exeter. She was seen walking in the street early on Monday night with a young man, who denies that there was any quarrel between them. The spot where the body was found is three miles from the woman's home.
At Stockton Police-court, four youths were charged with assaulting Joseph Mills, a young man. It appears for some time past a body of young fellows known as "the Black Gang" have been in the habit of meeting near the gasworks, and assaulting passers-by, especially directing their attacks on intoxicated persons. A few months ago the complainant Mills gave evidence on behalf of a person named Evans against Brace (one of the present defendants) for an assault charge, with the result that Brace was sent to gaol for two months. Since then the gang have been watching for Mills, and on the night in question, as he was returning home with his wife, they murderously assaulted him. The poor fellow's teeth were knocked out, and he was terribly mauled. Defendants were sent to gaol for a months' hard labor, and in default of paying £3 7s. costs amongst them, 14 days additional. Upon the decision being announced, a scene of wild excitement took place in the Court, Carr, one of the prisoners vehemently exclaiming, "We appeal! Gentlemen, he (indicating complainant) was the one to get up the 'Black Gang.' Complainant denied this. The mothers' and female relatives sobbed and shrieked, and at last one woman, approaching Mills, shook her fist in his face and exclaimed, "You and your wife are a black-hearted lot; you don't care what you say." The Court was cleared.
Warren v. Matthews, Q.C.
SIR, - With Mr. Cuninghame Graham's letter to you of last night I cordially agree; still more with Commander Bethell's quite unanswerable statement of Sir Charles Warren's case in his place in Parliament.
The allegation of Matthews, Q.C., that Sir C. Warren held office as a "member of the metropolitan police" is so glaring a falsehood that I can hardly conceive its passing muster even in the Divorce Court, in a political trial, and before irresponsible and practically irremovable justices (Justiciarii, nunquam judices, banci, was the old dictum of the lawyers), though I can well understand that a statement is no worse received by our 1,210 kings of Parliament because it happens to be false.
It is not the fact that a Chief Commissionership of Police has ever existed in London. The head of that department has always been absolutely and without qualification the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. He can, therefore, no more be a member of the force under his command than the Queen can be her own subject. Never, since I heard a well-known Kentish Tory describe an F.Z.S. as "a member of the Zoological Gardens," have I heard of anybody in office using so puerile and contemptible an expression as this, "a member of the police!" The Commissioner at Whitehall-place sits in exactly the same position as all the other statutory Commissioners of the Queen, e.g., the Charity, Land, Lunacy, Inland Revenue, &c., &c., Commissioners, in so far as all use the Royal Arms on their paper, and are all charged with a large measure of the regal power, subject to a general supervision by the Secretary of State, who is ultimately responsible to Parliament and the Queen for the whole internal administration of the country, even though some individual commissioners may have seats, and the power of defending themselves in Parliament. The only material speciality in the Commissioner of Police's position is (1) that he is like a parson, a corporation sole, without colleagues, and (2) that for that very reason, as well as by express enactment, he is obliged to work in constant communication with, and in all reasonable subordination to, the Home Secretary. But from this position to the position laid down by Matthews, Q.C., that a Commissioner of Police, a K.C.B., a colonel, a soldier, and a gentleman (Q.C.'s please to note this last word) is a mere "member" of metropolitan constabulary, is such an astounding transition that I should have thought even the privilege of an avocat in a country so much preyed upon and misgoverned by avocats could hardly have warranted such a desperate leap.
The position of chief constable in a county, &c., is, or is held to be, wholly different. There the office is considered simply that of a paid servant of quarter sessions, filled by selection after advertisement, just as if it were a footman's place. In the North Riding of Yorkshire a gentleman in this position was rated as if he had been a drunken footman for attending a meeting without orders. If well-born gentlemen take up paid positions of this kind they must put their pride in their pockets. The assistant under-secretary at the Home Office could tell of a very absurd incident of this kind.
In brief, whatever Warren's merit as a soldier may be, he has at least enough of old Bonaparte about him to resent such an insult from a mere avocet, and such an avocet. - Yours, &c.,
SIR, - Allow me through your valuable paper to thank your correspondent who so kindly took so much trouble in tracing out the number of a constable who committed an unprovoked assault on a young fellow by kicking him in Trafalgar-square on Lord Mayor's Day. - Yours, &c.,