Wednesday, 10 October 1888
Sir Charles Warren witnessed a private trial of bloodhounds in one of the London parks at an early hour yesterday morning. The hounds are the property of Mr. Edwin Brough, of Wyndyate, near Scarborough, who for years past has devoted himself to bloodhound breeding. It has been Mr. Brough's practice not only to breed for bench points, but to train his animals to exercise those peculiar faculties with which they have been endowed by nature. On the 4th of October Mr. Brough was communicated with by the Metropolitan Police as to the utility of employing bloodhounds to track criminals, and negotiations followed which resulted in that gentleman coming to London on Saturday evening, bringing with him two magnificent animals named Champion Barnaby and Burgho. Of the two Barnaby is better known on the show benches, but Burgho, in body, feet, and legs, is as nearly perfect as possible. Burgho is nearly two years younger than his kennel companion. He is a black and tan, and is a rare stamp of hound, powerful, well formed, and exceedingly well-grown. His head measures 12in. in length, and he is one of the fastest hounds Mr. Brough has ever bred. Burgho has been trained from a puppy to hunt "the clean shoe," that is to say, follow the trail of a man whose shoes have not been prepared in any way by the application of blood or aniseed, so as to leave a strongly marked trail. Barnaby has been similarly taught, but his training was not commenced until he was at least 12 months old. The hounds have been accustomed to working together, which is a considerable advantage in following a trail. Mr. Brough stated that his system of training the hounds is as follows: - When they are puppies, four or five months old, he gives them short runs of about 100 yards to begin with on grass and up wind. To encourage the young dogs everything is made as easy for them as possible. The man whom they are going to run is always someone whom they know, and he caresses and fondles the puppies before he starts. The dogs are allowed to see him start, and the quarry gets out of sight as quickly as possible and conceals himself. The trainer, who must know the exact course the man has taken, puts the puppies on the line, and encourages them by voice and gesture to follow up the trail. It is quite likely at first that some of the litter, perhaps all of them, will not put their noses down or understand what is required of them, but the trainer takes them along until they reach the man, and he rewards them with some dainty. This is repeated, until very soon the hounds know what is required of them, and once started on the trail work for themselves. The difficulties are gradually increased, but not until they are 12 months old can the animals be taught to go across country. Eventually, they can be trained to cross roads and brooks, and when they are at fault, say by over-running the line, they will make their own casts and recover the track. Mr. Brough tried Barnaby and Burgho in Regent's Park at 7 o'clock on Monday morning. The ground was thickly coated with hoar frost, but they did their work well, successfully tracking for nearly a mile a young man, who was given about 15 minutes start. They were tried again in Hyde Park on Monday night. It was, of course, dark, and the dogs were hunted on a leash, as would be the case if they were employed in Whitechapel. They were again successful in performing their allotted task, and at 7 o'clock yesterday morning a trial took place before Sir Charles Warren. To all appearances the morning was a much better one for scenting purposes than was Monday, though the contrary proved to be the fact. In all, half a dozen runs were made, Sir Charles Warren in two instances acting as the hunted man. In every instance the dogs hunted persons who were complete strangers to them, and occasionally the trail would be crossed. When this happened the hounds were temporarily checked, but either one or the other would pick up the trail again. In one of the longest courses the hounds were checked at half the distance. Burgho ran back, but Barnaby, making a fresh cast forward, recovered the trail and ran the quarry home. The hound did this entirely unaided by his master, who thought that he was on the wrong track, but left him to his own devices. In consequence of the coldness of the scent yesterday morning, the hounds worked very slowly, but they demonstrated the possibility of tracking complete strangers on to whose trail they had been laid. The dogs have been purchased by Sir C. Warren for the use of the police in the detection of crime should occasion arise.
GEORGE RICHARD HENDERSON, of rather singular appearance, was charged before Mr. Vaughan with being a suspicious person loitering about the streets. Police-constable 411 E said that about 3 30 a.m. there was considerable excitement in Covent-garden-market, where it was rumoured that Jack the Ripper was going about threatening people. He saw the prisoner wandering about aimlessly. He carried a black bag, and his actions were very strange. Several persons appeared to be alarmed, and witness took the prisoner to the station. There he was searched, and as 54 pawntickets were found in his possession, and he could give no proper account of himself, he was detained. Among other things found on him was a rough draft of a letter which had appeared in print suggesting to the Home Secretary that those who were harbouring the Whitechapel murderer felt that they were equally guilty with him as accomplices after the act and could not come forward and give him up, no matter for what reward, until a free pardon was offered to them. Witnesses were called for the prisoner, who explained that he was a respectable man, and Mr. Vaughan discharged him, at the same time advising him not to go about the streets in a similar way again.