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 Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide 
This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.

James Wilson

On Tuesday 27 November 1888, shortly after 12 o'clock midday, a man was pursued by an angry crowd through the streets of Belfast. The crowd, swelling in numbers, called out, 'Jack the Ripper, Jack the Ripper', and chased the man up Little Donegall Street, and down Birch Street. The man turned the corner of Carrick Hill, and took refuge in the cellar of the first house that he came to, where it is claimed he frightened some children. Police Constables Britten and M'Guirk, who had joined the crowd in persuit of the individual, searched the property and dually arrested him. The crowd following behind kept up their cries of, 'Jack the Ripper', while the man was escorted to the police station. At the police station, and while the man was being questioned, the crowd, who were obliged to remain outside, gave vent to their feelings with frequent outbursts of cheering.

The man, who was described as about 43 years of age, gave his name as James Wilson, and his occupation as a comedian, which was interpreted by the Sergeant in charge as meaning a ballad singer. He claimed that he had been on tour through the provincial towns, and had called at Lisburn, and several places in County Antrim. The charge entered against him was that of indecent behaviour, but it appeared he was arrested more for his own safety than for any breach of the peace that he may have committed.

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Related pages:
  James Wilson
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 28 November 1888