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Alan Baird

PC 881 Edward Watkins City of London Police

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Found this photograph of King's Block (building on the left), then made the below images which I thought might be of interest? 

King's Block c1880.jpg

King's Block c1880 map photo.jpg

King's Block c1880 map photo 001.jpg

Edited by bigjarofwasps

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Hi,

I always think it is interesting, the old newspaper accounts about what happened in 1888 and I have not seen that Seatte Daily Times article before but it is very interesting.

The one point I would highlight is the fact that.........''PC 881 Edward Watkins did not blow his whistle on that famous night.

On day 1, Thursday the 4th of October in 1888, at the inquest on the death of Catherine Eddowes, Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins stated, ''I did not sound the alarm. We do not carry whistles.'' 

This is one very obvious area where the City of London Police trailed behind the Metropolitan Police in the introduction and issuing of Police whistles, as a means of summoning assistance.

On day 2, Friday the 5th of October in 1888, at the inquest on the death of Catherine Eddowes, the night watchman of Messrs. Kearlay & Tonge's Tea warehouse in Mitre Square, Mr George James Morris stated, ''I ran up Mitre Street into Aldgate blowing my whistle all the while.'' George James Morris was a retired Metropolitan Policeman and even he had a Police whistle and so when PC 881 Edward Watkins requested his help in obtaining assistance, he was able to complete that task successful. 

There is a well known newspaper sketch of PC 881 Edward Watkins raising the alarm by blowing his whistle and I think this is where most of the confusion began, in regard to how the alarm was raised on that very famous night. It was Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins who guarded the body and crime scene and who delegated George Morris to raise the alarm and to get further assistance.

 

 

 

The photograph of King's Block is excellent.

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Here's another article to pretty much the same effect.

It's interesting how the facts have become so convoluted.........

Recollections of Det. Insp. Robert Sagar, City of London Police.

As you know, the perpetrator of these outrages was never brought to justice, but I believe he came the nearest to being captured after the murder of the woman Kelly in Mitre-square. A police officer met a well-known man of Jewish appearance coming out of the court near the square, and a few moments after fell over the body. He blew his whistle, and other officers running up, they set off in pursuit of the man who had just left. The officers were wearing indiarubber boots, and the retreating footsteps of a man could be clearly heard. The sounds were followed to King's-block in the model dwellings in Stoney-lane, but we did not see the man again that night. 
Daily News, 9 Jan. 1905.

Sagar is not unique in his confused recollections. Pretty much every bobby who claimed to have been involved in some capacity in the case, who has put pen to paper, has gone on to document a catalogue of errors. It all makes for ripping reading but is frustrating to say the least, for us to try and confirm facts some 130 odd years later. 

 

I believe it was Frederick WENSLEY who claims to have come up with the idea of rubber on the soles of their boots? 

Edited by bigjarofwasps

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My apologies ………………………………….it has only just clicked...………………..the importance of King's Block and the events in Mitre Square in 1888. City Police Constable 882 Joseph Phipps and his family were residing at King's Block in 1891 and this is confirmed by the England Census of 1891. It is certainly possible the Phipps family were residing there earlier and maybe even in late 1888. It would be great if you could find some documentation which pointed in that direction ie baptism record etc. Maybe even in his City of London personal file, if one exists. Police Constable 882 Joseph Phipps could have been holding back the crowds in Mitre Square or he could have been at home with his family in King's Block and seen the events begin to unravel outside. 

Either way it could be a win, win, for your story.

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