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Tales from the station cat...............

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'A short story of a civilian working for the Metropolitan Police and the power of the Receiver's Office at Scotland Yard.'


James Hyam Carpenter was born in Pebmarsh, in the district of Halstead, in Essex, in April of 1850 and his parents were John and Harriet Carpenter. His father was an agricultural labourer and his mothers maiden name was, 'Hyam.' 

In the England Census of 1871, James [21] is working/boarding with a family in the Peckham area of London and is a journeyman carpenter to trade.

In the England Census of 1881, James is now married to Lydia Rachel Carpenter [maiden name German] and they have a family and are residing at 38 Brayard Road, in Camberwell and he is recorded as being employed as a carpenter and joiner.

In the England Census of 1891, James and the family are now residing at 90 Clayton Road, in Peckham and he still employed as a carpenter.

Sometime after the England Census of 1891 and before the Queen's Jubilee Parade in 1897, James Hyam Carpenter takes up a position in the Metropolitan Police's Receiver's Office at Scotland Yard, as a civilian clerk, civil servant.

In 1897, James Hyam Carpenter is on duty with the Receiver's Office during Queen Victoria's Jubilee Parade through London and is therefore awarded the Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1897. The medal is engraved ''J H Carpenter Receivers Office.''

In the England Census of 1901, the family are still residing at 90 Clayton Road, in Peckham and James Carpenter [51] is recorded as being employed as a ''building foreman clerk [civil service].''

In 1902, James Carpenter is on duty for the Coronation Parade through London and is therefore awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902. The medal is engraved ''J Carpenter.''

In 1911, James Carpenter is on duty for the Coronation Parade through London and is therefore awarded the Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1911 whilst still employed with Metropolitan Police in the Receiver's Office. The medal is engraved ''J Carpenter.''

In the England Census of 1911, we find James [61] and family are residing at 38 Crystal Palace Road, East Dulwich, in London and he is recorded as being employed as a ''Building Clerk of Works'' and this is obviously with the Metropolitan Police in the Receiver's Office. James Hyam Carpenter now has a trio of Metropolitan Police Jubilee and Coronation medals which is quite a feat and is also quite rare especially compared to the number of medals issued to Metropolitan Policemen. 


'''''The Receiver's Office of the Metropolitan Police.'''''

The 'Receiver' or 'Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District and Courts of the Metropolis,' was located at the Police Office and they were originally given this title because they received the money from the rates of the Metropolitan Police District's Parishes.

The Receiver was appointed by the crown. 

[a] Sir Richard Pennefather held the post between 1883-1909.

Mr George Tripp succeeded him from 1910-1919.

They owned all the Metropolitan Police property and were responsible for all purchases, sales, contracts etc and their approval and authority was required on most things and they were equal in power to the Commissioners.

An interesting fact is that Sir Charles Warren [Jack the Ripper period] was know to intensely dislike having to clear every decision with this bureaucrat and especially since this bureaucrat was deemed to be of equal standing to Sir Warren.

I do not know the figures for the number of people employed in the Receiver's Office during the above time-frame but I do know that in 1886 the Receiver's Office employed 12 civilian clerks and obviously they must have been very able and professional men. This was a powerful office within the Headquarters at Scotland Yard and they would have employed other professionals like surveyors, clerk of works etc. This would be quite an interesting area to research, as it is showing how the Metropolitan Police managed the running of such a large organisation.

With the medals came his police whistle, I have included some photo's.




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Well, this certainly offers a new perspective on the possible range of medal recipients. I wonder if Mr. Carpenter was merely on duty during the celebrations or was he actually a participant in the parades? And if so, in what capacity? Crowd control, logistics, etc.?

I am also forced to wonder what other professionals were included as possible recipients, such as farriers, caterers, and so on, not to mention those hardy lads with the rakes and shovels following the horses. Seriously though, some criteria had to have been adhered to in the dispensing of medals. 

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for posting. 


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Hi Mike,

            I went back and checked and only a few medals were issued to civilian staff in the Metropolitan Police, during Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1897 and they were all employed in one of two departments...…... [a] The Receiver's Office and The Commissioner's Office. I have listed the figures for the various Jubilee and Coronations below :-


[a] Metropolitan Police Queen Victoria Jubilee medal for 1887...….24 medals issued to civilian staff in the Receiver's and Commissioner's Office.

Metropolitan Police Queen Victoria Jubilee medal for 1897...….15 Clasps issued to those that already had the 1887 medal and 14 medals issued to civilian staff in the Receiver's and Commissioner's Office. James Hyam Carpenter was one of these 14.

[c] Metropolitan Police Coronation medal for 1902...….97 medals issued to civilian staff in the Receiver's and Commissioner's Office.


These figures come from 'The Metropolitan Police, Men and their Medals by J. H. F. Kemp.'  Since we know James Hyam Carpenter was classified as a civil servant, then maybe all the issued medals, were awarded to civil servants who worked on that day. They would have been classed as essential staff in the running of the Metropolitan Police.

Another fact that you might find interesting is that  'J H F Kemp' recorded the list of Metropolitan Police pensioners that were recalled to assist in the Queen Victoria Jubilee of 1897. It is 14 pages long so I have estimated the number of officers recalled and it is approximately 820.

I would have thought there would have been no leave allowed during Jubilee and Coronation events for either the Metropolitan Police and also the City of London Police and the only officers [uniformed and CID etc] not working...…. would have been on sick leave.


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Thanks for the additional insight. And thanks also to J. H. F. Kemp for compiling all of that information for our benefit. If it weren’t for the efforts of historians such as you, Mr. Kemp, and a few others around here, our collections might seem like shiney curiosities without much meaning. 

As an afterthought; bravo to GMIC for offering a comfortable quorum for the historians, researchers, and experts to mingle and exchange information for the benefit of students, like me. 


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Inspector Henry Charles Styles and the Old Bailey trial of Franz Joseph Munch, indicted for the murder of James Hickey. The trial date was the 29th of June in 1891and Franz Joseph Munch was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.

Anatomy of murder - in the year of 1891, only 19 individuals were sentenced to be hanged and of that number only 11 were actually hanged.

Bridget Konrath was a 30 year old widow with 3 young children and ran her own bakery, Konrath Bakery at 49 Lucy Road, in Bermondsey. Bridget's bakery foreman was Franz Joseph Munch, aged 31 and was born in Germany. Franz had been in Bridget's employment since July of 1890. Bridget stated that he not only gave the utmost satisfaction as the bakery foreman but was as quiet as a child and she had never seen him lose his temper. Franz had come to London to escape conscription into the German Army.

James Hickey was Bridget's cousin and was 29 years old and came to stay with her from about the 25th of February in 1891. James stated that he was in London to buy into some type of business. Bridget and Franz had previously been on intimate terms but it would appear by this stage, Franz was more infatuated with her, than her with him. Bridget also had a small number of employees or lodgers living at the same address. For the first two or three weeks they all lived in general harmony in the house. Then on a Saturday night Franz told James he had heard that, '' James wanted to be the master of the shop'' and their first argument began and several more occurred thereafter. There were threats of violence and nasty name calling ie Franz was often referred to as a, ''German bastard'' but Bridget was able to cool and defuse each situation. Since James's arrival he had never assisted or helped in any way whilst he lodged with his cousin and there was a suggestion that the shop takings had also gone down, over the same period.

On the 15th of April another altercation took place in which Franz summoned the police. Inspector Henry Styles [Inspector from 'M' or Southwark division] arrived at the premises and found Franz outside the building. Franz made several accusations against James which included he had attempted to murder or murdered his brother in Manchester and that there would be warrants or summons in existence for his arrest. Inspector Styles questioned Franz on how he came by such information and this is probably when Franz's story started to unravel. He could not explain how he knew such information and his reasoning for making such acquisitions appeared questionable. Inspector Styles came to the conclusion that no offences had been committed and there was no further action that could be reasonable taken. This was a minor incident of no real significance and it would have been impossible to anticipate what would occur in the coming days. Inspector Henry Styles gave his evidence at Franz Joseph Munch's trial.

On the 18th of April, Police Constable William Taylor [M170]  and another constable were called to 49 Lucy Road, to an altercation which involved two men, outside the shop. Franz then went inside the building and returned and told the constables that everything was now alright and the incident then ended. It may have been that Bridget had again defused the situation, unseen and from within the building. Again there was no obvious signs that this minor incident would later turn into a case of murder. 

In both incidents of the 15th and the 18th of April, Inspector Henry Styles and Police Constable William Taylor recorded that Franz Munch and James Hickey seemed to be quite sober and that alcohol did not appear to be involved. Inspector Styles stated that Franz Munch came over as being perfectly calm and collected and in a man's usual senses. Although Henry Styles and William Taylor had nothing to reproach themselves, in regard to their professional conduct in investigating these incident, after the murder had taken place, they may have mentally re-examined their actions. This would have been a natural human reaction to the sudden tragic events that were to follow.

On Tuesday the 21st of April Franz complained of having toothache and after lunch he went to bed at approximately half past two. Bridget stated that at approximately 5pm Franz went out for a couple of hours and returned drunk and under the influence of alcohol. Bridget did not really have much to do with him for the rest of the evening.

At 11pm on Tuesday the 21st of April in 1891, James Hickey entered the Lord Palmerston public-house which is located at 42 Lucy Road, in Bermondsey. The public-house is opposite Mrs Konrath's Bakers Shop. John Tapper the landlord and George Dixon the public-house potman, testified to this fact and that he left the premises at approximately half-past twelve, in the early hours of Wednesday the 22nd of April. James Hickey left with Joel Dymond who was an engineer and lived at 4 Duppas Road. James invited Joel back to the bakery which was only a short distance away, being just over the other side of the road. As James open the door and entered the passageway, he half turned around to remove the key from the door and was facing the street. There was a sudden bang and flash and James fell into the street and called out, ''I am shot.'' Franz Joseph Munch then stepped out of the doorway and onto the pavement with a double barrel pistol in his right hand and a knife in his left. Police Constable Frederick Crask [M246] who was close by and saw and heard the incident, seized Franz by the right arm and disarmed him. Police Constable George Hamilton [M162] seized Franz's left arm and removed the knife. Whilst Police Constable Frederick Crask detained Franz, Police Constable George Hamilton helped to take the wounded James Hickey into the Lord Palmerston public-house where he died approximately ten minutes later.

Sergeant John Ayrest [Sergeant MR1] lived at 13 Lucy Street and was aroused by the sound of gunfire. He quickly dressed and assisted in the incident by taking charge of the prisoner and taking him to the police station. Franz stated to several people that, ''he had done what he had done in the name of love.''  

Mr Roger Lee, a medical practitioner at 97 Southwark Park Road, in Bermondsey, attended the incident and carried out the post mortem. James Hickey had died from a single gunshot wound in the back which was located between the 4th and 5th rib and close to the spine. The bullet entered on the left hand side of the spine, half way down the back. 

Inspector Pike [Inspector M] was at Bermondsey Police-Station when Franz was charged. All the police officers, involved in the incident, reported that they thought Franz was sober and not affected by drink.

On the 29th of June in 1891, Franz Joseph Munch was put on trial for the murder of James Hickey. The jury found him guilty but recommended mercy due to the extreme provocation he had endured. The trial judge sentenced Franz to death and so no mercy was shown to him and maybe the sentence would have been different, if he had been a British subject, instead of being a German. Franz made an appear to the German Embassy for assistance but once the embassy realised he had fled Germany to escape doing his military service, they quickly turned their back on him. Franz was hanged for the murder and these were still quite rare occurrences in 1891, as only 19 people were given a death sentence that year and of these only 11 were actually hanged.

One of the saddest facts about this case, is that James Hickey had already told Bridget Konrath, that he intended to leave for Liverpool on Wednesday the 22nd of April. Bridget did not think it was necessary to tell Franz Munch about her cousins plans, even although the two men were obviously very volatile when in each others company. James was leaving the same day that he was killed.


Inspector Henry Charles Styles.

Joined 2/12/1867, warrant number 49046.

Retired on pension 2/1/1893, Inspector in 'M' or Southwark division.

Awarded the Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee for 1887 [Inspector in 'N' division] and then recalled to duty for the Coronation of 1902. [Inspector 'X' ]. 

There is a connection with Jack the Ripper which is interesting but I will add that later because I hate typing and need to stop.



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The ''Styles'' family connection to the Jack the Ripper Murders.

Metropolitan Police Inspector Henry Charles Styles was born in Canterbury, in Kent, in 1848 and his parents were John George and Ann Styles and he also had an older brother John George Styles.

Inspector Henry Charles Styles [49046] served with the Metropolitan Police from 2/12/1867 to 1/1/1893.

And there is also his older brother John George Styles who was a Divisional Inspector [46033] and served in the Metropolitan Police from 1/5/1865 to 6/8/1890.


The suspect Jacob Isenschmid.

On the 11th of September in 1888 which was 3 days after the murder of Annie Chapman, Dr. Cowan of Landseer Road and Dr. Crabb of Holloway Road, walked into the Police Station in Holloway Road, to inform the Police of their suspicions regarding a specific individual, relating to the Jack the Ripper murders. A Mr George Tyler of 60 Milford Road had spoken to them about his concerns regarding one of his tenants, a Jacob Isenschmid who was locally know as, ''Mad Pork Butcher.'' Mr George Tyler had only been providing accommodation for Jacob Isenschmid since early September but he often stayed out all night and had been missing since the recent murder of Annie Chapman.

Detective Sergeant Thick arrested this individual on the 12th of September and Detective Inspector John George Styles was sent to investigate this potential suspect. It was soon apparent that Jacob Isenschmid was a certified lunatic and sent, under restraint, to the Islington Workhouse and then later to the Grove Hall Lunatic Asylum. Detective Inspector John George Styles confirmed the fact that Jacob Isenshmid was not Jack the Ripper. Jacob Isenschmid was still under medical care when Long Liz Stride and Mary Kelly were murdered which again proved Jacob could not have been the murderer.

Detective Inspector John George Styles was therefore in the very heart of the investigations to capture Jack the Ripper and when he retired in 1890, his rank was listed as being a Divisional Inspector.   



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Born 14 Feb 1862, in Leigh, Devon.

Married Esther Bone, Kensington 1884.

Joined the Metropolitan Police on the 7th May 1888 and posted to K Division, warrant number 73628. Given his address and the fact that Limehouse Police Station was still being built in 1888 it is highly likely that he was stationed at Poplar Police Station (given his address) at the time of the Rose Mylett murder, (she was suggested Ripper victim, who was murdered at 184-186 Clarke's Yard, High Street Poplar on the 20th December 1888). 

Lived at 74 Hind Street, Poplar. Listed on census (1891,1901 & 1911) as occupation Police Constable.

Gave evidence at the Old Bailey on the 26th July 1897 (at this time he was stationed at Limehouse Police Station), in a murder trial (arresting officer collar number 424K, 27th May 1897). 

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse. ... #highlight

Retired 12 May 1913, having served his entire service in K Division (Poplar/Limehouse area) and moved to Cheltenham, Living 24 Naunton Crescent (939 registry retired constable)

Died 1941 Cheltenham.

On 28 May 1897, Limehouse Police Station opened for business; the next day, the Limehouse men supervised the grand opening of the Blackwall Tunnel. All went well until a Superintendent Beard was thrown from his horse, breaking his arm.

Poplar Police Station at Nos 193–195 (demolished).

About 1861 stables at No. 193 were taken for use by the Metropolitan Police, and in 1867–8 these and the house of the builder John Jeffrey at No. 195 were adapted for use as a police station by Lathey Brothers of Battersea Park at a tendered price of £1,193 to designs by T. C. Sorby, architect. This was under lease from the freeholder until the police bought the freehold in 1892. In 1897–8 the site was rebuilt for the Metropolitan Police by Willmott & Sons of Hitchin at a tendered price of £9,985. This was a good example of the work of the police architect, John Dixon Butler, large-scaled but well detailed, big but not intimidating — qualities which the Arts-and-Crafts style and materials were well fitted to express . It was of three and four storeys, the latter rising to a straight-sided gable. The building was of brick, banded with stone, the main door marked by a large projecting shell-hood, the windowopenings of the lower two storeys emphatically mullioned-and-transomed in stone, and the flues grouped in two deep chimneystacks. The station was closed in 1971 and subsequently demolished, being replaced by a police office in Market Way. 



Patrick O'Connell, a dock laborer, and Johanna Sullivan were charged on remand at the Thames Police Court on Saturday (reports a London paper of July 17) with the manslaughter of Johanna Forbes, the mother of the male prisoner. Mr Colbeek prosecuted on behalf of the Treasury. The cases against the prisoners were heard separately. According to the evidence already given most brutal violence had been used by O'Connell towards his mother. On May 27 an altercation took place between the women, in consequence of which Sullivan was given into custody. She was brought before the magistrate, and subsequently sentenced to a month's imprisonment. O'Connell, on hearing of this, came home on the 29th, and, after using the most foul language towards his mother, set about beating her in a brutal manner. The poor woman was taken to the Bromley Sick Asylum, where she died a fortnight later. The evidence disclosed the most brutal violence on the part of O'Connell. " His kicks sounded like thuds," according to the evidence of one witness. After her removal to the infirmary the mother was questioned as to the cause of her injuries, but she refused to incriminate her son. "He's a good son," "He never hurt me," were the phrases she used, and until the moment of her death she refused to say a word against him. Even when questioned at the last moment, after she knew that her end was near, she still spoke of O'Connell's goodness, and refused to acknowledge that he was the cause of the injuries from which she was dying. A number of witnesses gave evidence as to the facts. O'Connell was committed for trial; Sullivan was discharged.

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