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Hi,

'''Commissioner of the City of London Police Sir James Fraser.'''

If you attempt to buy a Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1887 and which was issued to a Whitechapel or '''H''' division policeman who assisted in the hunt for '''Jack the Ripper,''' then it will be expensive. City of London Police medals covering the same period are also not cheap.

But here is a simple letter that was written by Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins '''boss'' and that only cost a few pounds but still has a nice later connection to the above events.

The letter was written on quality notepaper and is embossed with the motif and the words '''City Police Office London''' and was written by Sir James Fraser who was the Commissioner of the City of London Police. The note/letter is dated the 26th of November in 1879 and relates to one of his daughter's artistic drawings and some assistance that was given with her work.

James Fraser [1816-13/4/1892] and who was both a soldier and a senior police officer. James Fraser was an Army Colonel in 1854 and by 1856 be became the Chief Constable of Berkshire and he remained in that post until 1863. Then he was appointed the Commissioner of the City of London Police in 1863 and he remained the Commissioner until 1890.

When Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins found the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes in Mitre Square, technically Commissioner James Fraser was his '''boss''' but at the time of this murder Commissioner James Fraser was abroad. Therefore the Acting Commissioner of the City of London Police was Major Henry Smith [1835-1921] and he had placed a third of his force into doing plain clothes duties and they were told not to act like Policemen. To ensure that good discipline was still maintained, he ordered senior officers to go out and supervise all the activities.

The letter appears to read :-

'''26th Nov 1879. Dear Mr Swain. I write at once to thank you for ___ note to which I have just received. It will be a great encouragement to my daughter to learn that Mr Iagler has through your kind assistance, accepted the little drawing I left with you and I am sure that she will be very grateful for any advice or instructions for ___ ___ ___ to fine her. She is now finishing another small drawing which I think is clearer than the last but she shall bring it herself and hear your opinion of it and what she should do to ___ as she is much deserves of doing. Your truly James Fraser.''' 

[That's the best I could do with the translation of the writing, as this is not my strong point.]

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Hello, Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins served in the City of London Police from 15/5/1871 to 28/5/1896. Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins...…. his most famous moment was in the early h

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Here are some basic details on Police Constable James Sawyer who was Arthur Sawyer's father. Note that on his Metropolitan Police pension records it states that Police Constable James Sawyer retired o

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'''2nd letter, dated 28th of October in 1886, to the Commissioner of the City of London Police James Fraser.'''

This is the second letter that I purchased for just a few pounds and it is dated 28th of October in 1886.

It is again written on the same quality notepaper and has the same embossed motif and words.

The letter refers to a request to obtain a photograph of James Fraser which raises some interesting questions.

Why would anybody want a photograph of James Fraser the Commissioner of the City of London Police especially as he is now approximately 71 years old.

Why would anybody request a photograph of James Fraser the Commissioner of the City of London Police, did they think he would have such a thing just lying around. I would imagine in 1886 that cabinet photographs etc would have been quite expensive to produce.

I wonder if you requested a photograph from a modern day Chief Constable, would you be supplied with such a thing?

The letter reads, '''28 October 1886. Dear Sir, I regret that I am unable to comply with your request as I have no photographs of myself in my possession. In fact I have submitted to the operation of being photographed only twice in my life and that long ago.....If I had a copy I would send it to your ___ ___ ___. Yours faithfully James Fraser.'''

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Alan Baird said:

 

Why would anybody want a photograph of James Fraser the Commissioner of the City of London Police especially as he is now approximately 71 years old.

Early entrepreneurial Paparazzo, without his own camera, wants one to sell to the tabloids?

 

 

 

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Hi Mike,

The letter was written in 1886 but if you move forward to late 1888 and 1891 etc you will find only a couple of famous photographs of Whitechapel or City of London Police personnel. Apart from these the cupboard is rather bare which I have always found quite surprising.

If you take Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins, I know of at least three sketches that identify him and these were all produced by the local newspapers but I have never seen any photographs of him. 

Some of the photographs of famous detectives from this period, were actually taken in their later years and during their retirement. 

Sir James Fraser was a famous soldier/policeman but had only been photographed twice in his life and did not want any more.

There must be more photographs out there somewhere that relate to this period.

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'''The importance of photographs.'''

This is an original photograph of member of Bow or 'K' division during a retiral presentation.

There are at least 4 retirement gifts that I can easily recognise and they are 2 clocks, I decanter set and 1 cutlery set.

The original photograph has faded over the years and has been mounted onto boarding. I have taken a couple of photographs from the original and then taken some photographs from an enhanced digital copy that I had made.

You can also identify members of their divisional band in the front row.

The photograph, I believe, is probably from the mid/late 1880's or 1890's but I am not a ripperologist so I can't confirm that fact.

The photograph was taken in Amoy Place which I believe may be at the rear of one of Bow or 'K' divisions Police Stations but to be honest I have forgotten which station.

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Here are some more photographs...…...…….

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17 hours ago, Alan Baird said:

...The photograph, I believe, is probably from the mid/late 1880's or 1890's but I am not a ripperologist so I can't confirm that fact...

Tunics are the post-1897 pattern and the helmet plates appear to be the pre-1906 pattern with Guelphic crown, so a relatively short time span.

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Hi,

That's great news because the Police Station is :-

Poplar Police Station.

East India Dock Road, Bow or 'K' division. [Amoy Place runs at the rear of East India Dock Road and onto Birchfield Street.].

Date approx. 1898 to 1905.

many thanks....

 

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James ENDICOTT

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.jsp?id=t18970726-507&div=t18970726-507&terms=Endicott#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.

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1 hour ago, Alan Baird said:

Hi,

That's great news because the Police Station is :-

Poplar Police Station.

East India Dock Road, Bow or 'K' division. [Amoy Place runs at the rear of East India Dock Road and onto Birchfield Street.].

Date approx. 1898 to 1905.

many thanks....

 

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Staying on the subject of K Division, a post from a few years back which might be of interest? 
 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

Part of Whitechapel or ''H'' division's Metropolitan Police boundary was located adjacent to the City of London's Police boundary. Therefore it is possible that Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins may have known some of the Whitechapel Police personnel but we will never know that for certain. 

The Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medals for 1887 which were awarded to Whitechapel or ''H'' division personnel are very difficult to find and successfully purchase. Many of these Police medal groups that refer to this period have been split up for various reasons. Therefore when researching Coronation medals from 1902 and to a lessor extent 1911, it is possible to identify Whitechapel Policemen who hunted Jack the Ripper.

Here are some examples of such Policemen...……..

PC Harry Barnard joined the Metropolitan Police/Whitechapel or ''H'' division on the 11/2/1886 and served there until approximately July of 1890 and was then transferred to Chelsea or ''B'' division and remained there until he retired on pension on the 8/4/1912. The original 1887 medal is missing but an original un-engraved example has been used to complete the Coronation 1902 and 1911 group.

PC Harry Gibson joined the Metropolitan Police/Highgate [''Y'' divn.] on the 11/6/1888 but under Police Order 31/10/1888 was transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division's establishment to assist in the hunt for Jack the Ripper and he remained there until he retired on pension on the 23/6/1913. Coronation medal 1902 available.

PC George Todd joined the Metropolitan Police/Chelsea[Westminster] or ''B'' on the 1/12/1879 and within a few years transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division and remained there until he retired on pension on the 5/12/1904. Coronation medal 1902 available.

PC Edward Papworth joined the Metropolitan Police/Bow or ''K'' division on the 12/3/1877 but transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division on the 30/6/1880 and remained there until he retired on pension on the 10/8/1903. Recalled to duty for the Coronation of 1911 and it is this medal that is available. The research on this particular PC could only be done due to his unusual surname. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The following is a photograph of Police Constable George Harwood Todd and was taken sometime after the Coronation Parade in 1902 and on or before his retirement from the Metropolitan Police on the 5th of December in 1904. [It is not easy to read his collar number but maybe 41 or 43 H but I am not sure.] In the England Census of 1911 George H Todd [53] was recorded as being a Police pensioner and was residing with his wife [48]  and one son [27]  and two daughters [25 & 7] at 13 Norman Road, Ilford 

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On 29/03/2020 at 16:56, Alan Baird said:

Hi,

Part of Whitechapel or ''H'' division's Metropolitan Police boundary was located adjacent to the City of London's Police boundary. Therefore it is possible that Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins may have known some of the Whitechapel Police personnel but we will never know that for certain. 

The Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medals for 1887 which were awarded to Whitechapel or ''H'' division personnel are very difficult to find and successfully purchase. Many of these Police medal groups that refer to this period have been split up for various reasons. Therefore when researching Coronation medals from 1902 and to a lessor extent 1911, it is possible to identify Whitechapel Policemen who hunted Jack the Ripper.

Here are some examples of such Policemen...……..

PC Harry Barnard joined the Metropolitan Police/Whitechapel or ''H'' division on the 11/2/1886 and served there until approximately July of 1890 and was then transferred to Chelsea or ''B'' division and remained there until he retired on pension on the 8/4/1912. The original 1887 medal is missing but an original un-engraved example has been used to complete the Coronation 1902 and 1911 group.

PC Harry Gibson joined the Metropolitan Police/Highgate [''Y'' divn.] on the 11/6/1888 but under Police Order 31/10/1888 was transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division's establishment to assist in the hunt for Jack the Ripper and he remained there until he retired on pension on the 23/6/1913. Coronation medal 1902 available.

PC George Todd joined the Metropolitan Police/Chelsea[Westminster] or ''B'' on the 1/12/1879 and within a few years transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division and remained there until he retired on pension on the 5/12/1904. Coronation medal 1902 available.

PC Edward Papworth joined the Metropolitan Police/Bow or ''K'' division on the 12/3/1877 but transferred to Whitechapel or ''H'' division on the 30/6/1880 and remained there until he retired on pension on the 10/8/1903. Recalled to duty for the Coronation of 1911 and it is this medal that is available. The research on this particular PC could only be done due to his unusual surname. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Very interesting little set of medals there Alan, thanks for sharing them with us!!!!!!!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

An interesting letter puzzle.....

Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins of the City of London Police, during the Jack the Ripper reign of terror, was commanded by Sir James Fraser who was the Commissioner of the City of London Police.

Here we have a letter, on very fine paper which was written by Sir James Fraser's boss and that was Henry Matthews, the Home Secretary.

The letter is dated the ''18th of June in 1887'' and was written to Lord Cranbrook who in 1887 was the ''Lord President of the Council.'' The position of being the ''Lord President of the Council'' is considered to be the fourth of the'' Great Officers of State.''

The letter reads, '''Dear Lord Cranbrook, The Police Commissioners inform me that Ivory papers will enable the holders to …………...……….etc. 

Unfortunately I have never been very good at deciphering old hand-writing, even when it is very neat and tidy and I am not sure what the contents of the letter relates to but I thought the letter might be of interest to somebody. I have attached a copy of the letter and photograph of Henry Matthews.

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It looks like this to me but the odd word may be wrong ?

The Police Commissioners inform me that Ivory papers will enable the holders to stay up to the last moment possible nearly up to the time the pro(cession?) appears 

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Hi,

Many thanks for the help because it all seems to make sense now.....

The letter is obviously referring to Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Parade through London which took place on the 20th of June in 1887.

I would suspect the letter is referring to some special advantage points, along the route that Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Parade through London would take, that spectators could use but only if they possessed the Ivory paper/authorisation and they could only remain up there until the procession came into view. 

Obviously the Police Commissioners were heavily involved in Queen Victoria's security for her Golden Jubilee.

 

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Hi,

Edward Watkins and family in 1871......

The question is, ''what kind of man was Edward Watkins.''

My answer to that would be, ''Edward Watkins was practical and down-to-earth and who used his common sense to achieve his goals.''

I believe, we can use the information in the England Census of 1871 to evidence and understand what is going on in Edward Watkins life and that of his wife and children. The information in this specific census is confusing and difficult to understand but when you consider the whole picture, then his strategy becomes clearer.

In the England Census of 1871, we find Police Constable [Metropolitan Police] Edward Watkins is boarding at 2 Great Charlotte Street, in the Parish of Christchurch, in Southwark. He is residing with Edwin P Greggs and family and Edwin is a Coffee House Keeper. Edward Watkins is recorded as being 27 years old and employed as a Policeman and is listed as being married. Edward Watkins joined the Metropolitan Police on the 31st of October in 1870 and was assigned to Lambeth or ''L'' division and given the warrant number of 53299, collar number of 84.

When I first realised that Edward Watkins was residing separately from his wife and children, I thought, this probably indicated the family were having major marital problems. It would be extremely difficult for a Metropolitan Police Constable [3rd class] who is poorly paid to maintain two residences. There is no indication of him having any other funds other than his Metropolitan Police weekly wage so this arrangement would be difficult for him to keep up for any real time.

Edward Watkins wife Elizabeth Watkins [29] who was born in Kersey, in Suffolk, in 1842 and his daughters Mary [7] who was born in Kensington in 1864 and Sophia [5] who was born in Kensington in 1866 are residing in the family home at 2 Bramley Street, Walmer Road, in the Parish of Kensington. These are the only three members of the family recorded, for this particular address, in the census for 1871.

Interestingly, Edward Watkins parents John [70] and Elizabeth Watkins [67] are residing at 3 Bramley Street, Walmer Road so are residing close by.

I believe Edward Watkins enjoyed being a Metropolitan Police Constable and knew he was good at the job but he wanted more and that came in the form of joining the City of London Police. City of London Police were paid more than Metropolitan Police and so there was a financial benefit to changing forces. There may also have been an elitist element to being part of the City of London Police.

Therefore he applied and joined the City of London Police on the 25th of May in 1871 and from his application form we can confirm his wife and 2 children were residing at 2 Bramley Street, Walmer Road and that this is recorded as his family home. All these details have to be recorded because for example to join the City of London Police you must have no more than 2 children etc. 

Now we have ''Edward Watkins little white lie'' because his daughter Sophy [Sophia] Watkins was born between October to December, in Kensington, in 1870 and should have been recorded on the England Census of 1871 but she was not. Baby Sophy [Sophia's] age would have normally been recorded as ''under 1 year'' or the number of months as a fraction of 12 ie 6 months old 6/12. If his daughter was recorded on the England Census of 1871, there would be a permanent danger that the discrepancy could be found out.

Edward Watkins wanted to join the City of London Police and if he did not act quickly, over a period of a few months, he would forever miss his opportunity to join.

Elizabeth Watkins then disappears and I can fin no record of her death etc. Then ''Julia Ann Watkins'' is born is Bishops gate in 1872. This may have been Elizabeth Watkins final daughter but in the England Census of 1891 it records her mother as being Augusta Ann Watkins. Augusta Ann Watkins [nee Fowler] is another mystery for another day. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi,

Since Edward Watkins, I believe, fathered 6 girls, it is easy to get the names confused. [1911 4 were alive/2 died].

Anyway the girls in the England Census in 1871 were :-

Mary born 1864.

Sophia born 1866.

Sophy born 1870.

 

 

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Hi,

There are some outstanding questions relating to Edward Watkins and his family who are residing at the family home at 2 Bramley Street, Walmer Road, in the Parish of Kensington, in 1871.

There can often be discrepancies with these types of records and therefore you have to be aware that the information may not be 100% reliable for numerous reasons.

The England Census of 1871 took place on Sunday the 2nd of April in 1871. Many thousands of ''enumerators'' were responsible for the delivery and collection of this information. Sunday was a good day for doing this work as many people would be found in their homes.

Each enumerator was responsible for ensuring the census was completed in a specific area. They hand delivered the ''Household Schedules'' that by law must be completed by the head of the household. These ''Household Schedules'' would have been handed out well in advance of the 2nd of April deadline for completion. The enumerators then returned on the stated date and gave any advice or assistance required and collected the completed Household Schedules. 

Once the ''Household Schedules'' were collected, the enumerators would transfer and enter this information into the ''Census Enumerator's Book.'' [C.E.B.]

On completion of their enumerator's duties the ''Household Schedules'' and the ''Census Enumerator's Books'' were then sent to the ''District Registrar'' who would also check the presented documentation. On completion of this, the documents were sent to the ''Censuses Office in London,'' where again the information would be checked and then the ''Household Schedules'' would be destroyed.

If the original information in the ''Household Schedules'' was wrong then it might be impossible to correct these errors. Enumerators would often interpret the information given on the forms, as to what they thought it meant and again these errors might be impossible to correct etc. The shear volume of work that was required to manually transfer the information from the Household Schedules to the Census Enumerator's Books, would have created errors even for the most diligent of workers. 

Imagine what it would be like in 1871 trying to collect the completed 'Household Schedules'' from say individuals that cannot read or write or cannot speak English or are aggressive or drunk etc. It would have been an extremely challenging job being an ''enumerator.''   

I will post my queries regarding Edward Watkins England Census of 1871 at a later date, after I have completed some further research. I have included a photocopy of a ''census cartoon'' from this period and a poem regarding the frustrations of being an enumerator - published in 1881.

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, Another City of London Police Constable who may have known Police Constable 881 Edward Watkins?

James Kelly the murderer who was also a Jack the Ripper suspect and Police Constable 883 James Ferguson's involvement in the case.

James Kelly was brought up in a religious household but at the age of only 15 his world was turned upside down. Suddenly and without warning James Kelly was told that Teresa Kelly whom he always believed was his mother was actually his grandmother and that Teresa's daughter Sarah Kelly was his birth mother. Sarah Kelly at the tender age of 15 gave birth to James and then left and never returned and so James had never met his own mother. James's father was John Miller a clerk who deserted Sarah when he realised she was pregnant with his child. James Kelly was therefore illegitimate which still held a stigma especially in Victorian times. All this family history suddenly came out because his mother had now died and he had been left a very considerable amount of money. Everything he knew about his family from the past was now gone and everything new about his family had just been told to him. Sarah Kelly had married a man of means both they were both now dead. It is believed that Teresa Kelly was also not the most affectionate of individuals so the way in which she told James may not have been filled with empathy. These events may have had a detrimental effect on James Kelly's metal stability. [James Kelly was born at 43 St Mary's Street, in Preston, on the 20th of April in 1860. Sarah Kelly died on the 29th of July in 1874.]

The next stage of his life which is quite destructive, this is when James Kelly the 18 year old Liverpudlian obtains money from his trust fund to go and live in London. He returns to his trade as an upholster and takes whatever work he can find and this is when he learns about Whitechapel and the East End of London. Learning the layout of the local area but more so learning about drinking and prostitutes. James Kelly only makes a couple of friends and they are also probably a bad influence on him. At this stage in his life, he can still reason that things cannot go on the way they were going and so James now 19 years old leaves London for approximately the next two years. James Kelly is then drawn back to Whitechapel and the East End of London which is again financed with money from his trust fund. James Kelly is stronger and more mature but he is still mentally unstable. This time his drinking is much heavier and again his sexual frustrations are release with the use of prostitutes and these encounters appear to be on a regular basis. The use of prostitutes means James does not have to get involved in a relationship with women which is better for his unstable mind. James Kelly spends most night drifting from Public House to Public House in the East End. Again James does upholstery work all over Whitehapel and the East End of London.

Then he meets 'Sarah Ann Brider' of 21 Cottage Lane, off City Road who was considered a modest and pious girl, hard working and from what appears to be from a caring and good family. Sarah must have been a very attractive girl because it is said she drove James wild with desires and released strong emotions within him. This chance encounter changed James Kelly's life and suddenly he returned to being a religious 21 year old, with a good trade and with expectations and in March of 1882, he even moved into 21 Cottage Lane and was lodging with the family. All appeared well for a while but it was destined to fail. James Kelly had never had a serious relationship with a woman and the house was small and all the family and 2 lodgers were living in the house and so there was no privacy for the couple. James Kelly lived at 21 Cottage Lane for over one year and his sexual desires increase but Sarah would not allow him to full fill these demands. James Kelly became increasingly volatile and jealous and he began to blame Sarah for their failed sexual relationship. Trivial matters turned into outbursts, he would call her vile names and then cry and ask for forgiveness. Mentally he was unstable  and physically he was increasingly in poor health with severe headaches and discharge coming from his ears. Then James Kelly reverted back to his old habits of drinking and obtaining sexual satisfaction from prostitutes but his ended up with him being infected with 'Venereal Disease.' Rather than go to a doctor he attempted to treat himself and the family discovered his secret. James Kelly decided the only course available to save their relationship was to marry Sarah and on the 4th of July in 1883, Sarah Ann Brider became Sarah Ann Kelly. After the wedding they both returned to 21 Cottage Lane and got changed into their working clothes and Sarah went to her work and James went out to look for work. Unfortunately the newly married couple did not even get to share the same room and it is believed the marriage was not even consummated in this final two weeks of Sarah's life. James Kelly's mental and physical condition was still volatile and poor and the family witnessed these outbursts. On Thursday the 21st of June in 1883, Sarah was innocently late coming home from work and James Kelly basically lost all control and screamed and shouted threats and obscenities at Sarah and even her mother was concerned and came to see what was happening. James Kelly then apologised and cried and begged for forgiveness but this time Sarah said she had enough and had heard this all before and would never forgive him. 

James Kelly suddenly jumped up and grabbed Sarah around the neck and dragged her head down to the floor and stabbed her with his penknife in the neck, digging away with the blade into the wound. Mrs Brider tried to pull James off her daughter by his hair but he through her across the room knocking her unconscious. James Kelly then ran away. When Mrs Brider recovered she screamed for help and people came running from all directions. The doctor attending quickly called a cab and transported Sarah and her mother and himself to St Bartholomew's Hospital. James Kelly was arrested for attempted murder. Sarah Kelly was in a 'dying state' in the hospital and her statement was quickly taken of what had occurred. Sarah Kelly died in the evening of the 24th of June in 1883 and the charge against James Kelly was changed to that of 'murder.'

James Kelly's behaviour after the murder gives a good insight into his mental thought process and instability. Firstly he believed that he would not be hanged for Sarah's murder because God had another purpose for him. Secondly James Kelly wrote to Sarah while she was dying stating he loved her, felt unwell, forgive me, only meant to frighten you, we have both made mistakes etc but never admitting the thing he had done to her. It was well written but was a manipulative piece of penmanship. James Kelly also wrote to Mrs Brider and again in the letter it stated his love for her daughter but hinted that others were to blame for what happened and he did not want to tell the world the full story. The jury found James Kelly guilty of murder and the judge had no hesitation in imposing the 'death sentence.' James Kelly then began an incoherent tirade of how it was not his fault and everybody else was to blame and was forceably  removed from the dock. Later after the sentencing, a petition was raised to request clemency in an attempt to prevent the death sentence from being carried out and this was signed by 71 individuals. The interesting point about the petition is that it was signed by Mr and Mr Brider and this may be why the Police would interview Mrs Brider and search 21 Cottage Lane, in the future, when trying to recapture James Kelly. The sentence was reduced to 'committed murder whilst insane,' but this was done more so because the Government was looking into the whole process of pleading insanity.

James Kelly was off to Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and he soon realised he did not like the life in the hospital. James appears to have planned his escape over several years. James Kelly's cunning and manipulative nature can be seen in his letters to the doctors and he managed to get his way, a small piece at a time. James Kelly worked in several places in the asylum but he only wanted to work in the kitchen gardens and eventually his wish was granted. The kitchen garden area was the best location in which to make an escape from Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum. James wanted a violin and to be in the asylum band and this request was also granted and this allowed him to wear civilian clothes when the band was practising, instead of wearing the asylum uniform. James Kelly then managed to copy the keys hanging from an attendant's belt which was a huge achievement. Where would the cunning James Kelly hid the double headed key so that it was safe? James Kelly kept the key in a secret compartment he made in the body of the violin. It is believed James Kelly even managed to smuggle £5 into the asylum which in those days was a large amount of money. James Kelly plated red herrings with the inmates about where he wanted to go once outside which was totally the opposite on where he planned to go. James Kelly basically kept his escape plan secret from everybody. 

This is the first part of the story and I will continue the second part after I have had my tea.........

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Part two of the story of James Kelly and Police Constable 883 James Ferguson.

On the 26th of July in 1887, James Ferguson joins the City of London Police and his address is recorded on his application form as being '21 Cottage Lane, City Road.' Police Constable 883 James Ferguson is lodging in the Brider family home. I believe the murder of Sarah Ann Kelly nee Brider, at this address in 1883, would still have been an important and well known local story. Police Constable 883 James Ferguson would have almost certainly have known of the tragic events that occurred at 21 Cottage Lane.

On Monday evening on the 23rd of January in 1888 James Kelly successfully escaped from Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum. James Kelly would never take the most direct routes, he would bypass any dangerous area's which might involve a higher risk of getting caught. The journeys took longer and they were more tiring but he always got to his intended destination in the end. The destination was London and it is believed he was still in London during the Jack the Ripper murder spree. For James Kelly to have remained free in the East End of London especially when these murders were taken place proves he had certain abilities and skills.

When James Kelly escaped from Broadmoor in January of 1888, enquiries would have almost certainly been made with the Brider family at 21 Cottage Lane, City Road, to ensure James Kelly was not being aided by the family or residing at the property. I would think the family would have felt much safer knowing that one of their lodgers was Police Constable 883 James Ferguson of the City of London Police. James Kelly did make negative comments and assertions about Mr and Mrs Brider at his trial and who knows what an insane person will do or what form of revenge they may take.

During the Jack the Ripper murders in the last quarter of 1888, James Kelly would certainly have been considered as a candidate and would have ticked most of the boxes for potentially being the murderer.

James Kelly was already a convicted murderer, who used a knife to kill his wife and stabbed her several times in the throat.

James Kelly was declared 'insane' and hated prostitutes as they had given him 'venereal disease.'

James Kelly had sexual problems with his wife, abandoned by his mother as a baby and had a grandmother who appears to have shown little affection.

 

James Kelly was a loner and never had any kind of father figure in his life.

James Kelly was very cunning and devious and manipulative.

James Kelly was an upholsterer and used various knives and sharp tools.

James Kelly knew Whitechapel and the East End of London.

James Kelly throughout his life remained mentally unstable.

On the 10th of November in 1888, Metropolitan Police Detectives spoke to Mrs Brider and raided 21 Cottage Lane, in an attempt to capture James Kelly. Police Constable 883 James Ferguson was still residing at 21 Cottage Lane and so certainly knew about the raid and its purpose. It should be remembered that James Kelly's last known address in London was at 21 Cottage Lane and he had lived there for more than a year. Mr and Mrs Brider had also signed the original petition for clemency for James Kelly in 1883 and this act may have made the Police more unsure about how the Brider's felt about James Kelly. I would suspect that both the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police would have been happy to have a Police Constable boarding with the 'Brider family' in their family home at '21 Cottage Lane.' It was like having a ready made undercover operation already in place. It is even possible that having Police Constable 883 James Ferguson boarding with the family, prevented James Kelly from contacting or visiting the Brider family. I am sure the neighbours would have been aware of James Ferguson's employment within the City of London. James Kelly was a cunning and devious man and would certainly not have taken any chances in contacting the Brider family or by visiting 21 Cottage Lane, if he thought he was in the slightest danger of being caught. 

It is believed sometime near the end of November in 1888, James Kelly left London to travel to France. Since James Kelly did not speak any French, it must have been a very difficult time for him to survive in France and that may be the reason why in the future he would select to travel extensively within America on several occasions and also to travel to Canada. James Kelly's 39 years on the run were filled with overseas travels and he would occasionally come home to England. Whilst abroad he twice attempted to give himself up but the authorities were so incompetent that all his efforts failed.

On the 24th of October in 1889, Police Constable 883 James Ferguson marries Ellen Mary Brider and the marriage certificate states that James Ferguson is still residing at 21 Cottage Lane, City Road, with Ellen Mary Brider's parents and family. Ellen Mary Brider is recorded as residing at 15 Radsworth Street, Baldwin Street and this is probably due to her employment. Therefore Police Constable 883 James Ferguson remained at 21 Cottage Lane after the murders had stopped but when there was still false alarms that Jack the Ripper may have returned. Ellen Mary Ferguson nee Brider would have been very close to her dead sister Sarah Ann Kelly nee Brider as they both shared the same room in 21 Cottage Lane in the family home.

On the 22nd of April in 1907, Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum officially discharged James Kelly from their establishment because the authorities had failed to recapture him.

By approximately 1917, it is known that James Kelly is now totally deaf and his periods of unusual behaviour make him a target of much abuse.

By approximately 1924, James Kelly's general health is beginning to fail.

On Friday the 11th of February in 1927, James Kelly is now an old man with a wrinkled face and grey hair and with his failing health, presents himself to the Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and surrenders himself stating he wished to 'come home and die amongst his friends.' Unfortunately it was not long before James Kelly decided he did not like what was happening to him or the way he was being treated in Broadmoor but because he was now old and carefully supervised, there was nothing he could really do about the situation.

On Tuesday the 17th of September in 1929, at 7.15am, James Kelly dies in Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and was buried in Broadmoor's Cemetery on the 20th of September in 1929. James Kelly took his secrets of what he actually did and where he was in 1888/1889 to his grave.

 

The above is not saying James Kelly was Jack the Ripper but was to highlight Police Constable 883 James Ferguson's connection with 21 Cottage Lane and the Brider family and his connection to James Kelly through his wife Ellen Mary Ferguson nee Brider etc. 

[The Secret Prisoner 1167 by James Tully....... for anybody that wants to read further on James Kelly.]    

 

 

 

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Here are some photographs showing the marriage certificate for James Ferguson and Ellen Mary Brider in 1889 and confirmation of his abode as being 21 Cottage Lane.

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Here we have some original research from 2009 but the details were not recorded as well as they could have been. If you have dealt with these early City of London application forms to join the Force, it is easy to know which facts come from that document. Police Constable 883 James Ferguson's joining date and address etc clearly come from this original document. When the London Museum returns to normal working I will request copies from his personnel file. 

 

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Hi,

''A good man but has a difficult way to die.'' or ''The 7% solution.''

The retirement of Police Constable 883 James Ferguson of the City of London Police in 1911.

 

On the 8th of June in 1911, Police Constable 883 James Ferguson retired on pension from the City of London Police. It is recorded on his ''superannuation records'' that he retired from the service because he was suffering from ''''General Paralysis.''''

General paralysis is also known as ''general paralysis of the insane [G.P.I.] or general paresis or paralytic dementia.

It is a severe neuropsychiatric disorder which occurs in the late stage of being infected with syphilis.

This disease affects approximately 7% of those infected with syphilis and is more common among men.

This disease was originally considered to be a type of madness but in the late 1880's its connection with syphilis was discovered.

It was inevitably fatal and originally accounted for as much as 25% of the diagnosed residents in public psychiatric hospitals. The discovery of penicillin eventually rendered the disease curable.

Symptoms of the disease first appear from 10 to 30 years after the individual is infected and manifests itself with such difficulties as fatigue, headaches, insomnia and dizziness etc. Then comes mental deterioration and personality changes ie loss of social inhibitions, impairment of judgement, concentration and short term memory loss, euphoria, mania, depression  or apathy. As the illness progresses delusions are common and then the patient is affected by confusion and seizures and with severe muscular deterioration and eventually dies bedridden and completely disoriented. 

This would have been an extremely unpleasant way for James Ferguson to die and it would have been a very difficult time for his wife Ellen Mary Ferguson nee Brider. I would suspect James had infected his wife with syphilis and this might be why they never had any children but I am not sure about that. 

Approximately 6 months before James Ferguson's retirement from the City of London Police he was disciplined for being drunk on duty. This indiscretion was probably caused by suffering from the disease. 

It is interesting to compare these two men who had venereal disease ie James Ferguson and James Kelly. James Ferguson was a good solid City of London Police Constable who completed his pensionable engagement in 1911 and who had at some point, in the last 10 to 30 year, contracted syphilis. It might have only been the one time he strayed who knows but he is part of the 7% who will die the most horrific death. James Kelly on the other hand was well known to use prostitutes nearly all the time, up until he murders Sarah Ann Kelly nee Brider in 1883. He even treats his venereal disease himself instead of going to a doctor. He dies at the grand old age of 69 in Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum and during his 39 years on the run had travelled the world especially in America.

       

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

Research done so far......this is another Whitechapel Police Constable that was part of the team hunting JTR.

Police Constable Arthur Sawyer.....a good, solid and reliable Police Constable who served in Whitechapel or 'H' division during the Jack the Ripper murders.

Arthur Sawyer was born in Hammersmith, in Middlesex, in 1852.

Arthur Sawyer joined the Metropolitan Police on the 8th of May in 1871. Police Constable Arthur Sawyer was issued with the warrant number of 54145 and was assigned to St James's or 'C' division.

Police Constable Arthur Sawyer, at some later point, transferred to Whitechapel or 'H' division.

In 1887, Police Constable Arthur Sawyer was awarded the Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Jubilee medal for 1887 for being on duty during Queen Victoria's Parade through London whilst serving with Whitechapel or 'H' division.

In 1888, Police Constable Arthur Sawyer was serving in Whitechapel or 'H' division throughout the reign of terror during the Jack the Ripper murders and almost certainly would have been a '1st Class Constable' at the time and had approximately 17 years experience/service and was 37 years of age. It is reasonable to suggest he must have been a good and reliable Police Constable within the division. In 1888, the divisional establishment for Whitechapel or 'H' division was 219 1st Class Police Constables, 114 2nd Class Police Constables and 173 3rd Class Police Constables. The total establishment for Whitechapel or 'H' division was 587 Police Officers. I would suspect all Metropolitan Police divisions were running undermanned compared to their official establishment levels. Police Constable Arthur Sawyer was also serving in Whitechapel or 'H' division in 1889 etc and therefore was present when local murders caused false alarms and panic that Jack the Ripper might have returned.

In 1897, Police Constable Arthur Sawyer was awarded the Queen Victoria Metropolitan Police Clasp for 1897 for being on duty during Queen Victoria's Parade through London whilst serving with Whitechape or ''H' division.

On the 6th of June in 1898, Police Constable Arthur Sawyer retired on pension from Whitehapel or 'H' division and the Metropolitan Police.

 

Summary........................

Police Constable Arthur Sawyer's father 'James Sawyer' was also a Metropolitan Police Constable and served his whole pensionable engagement within the Hammersmith [Kensington] or 'T' division of the Metropolitan Police. Therefore Arthur Sawyer came from a Metropolitan Police family background. This tradition continued even after Police Constable Arthur Sawyer retired from the Metropolitan Police because his son 'Archibald Edward Sawyer' followed in his fathers footsteps and joined the Metropolitan Police. Police Constable Archibald Edward Sawyer joined in 1907 and retired on pension as a Station Police Sergeant in 1932.

I believe, it is reasonable to suggest that Police Constable Arthur Sawyer must have been a good, solid and reliable Police Constable and that any Victorian Policeman who managed to complete his pensionable engagement with the Metropolitan Police, obviously had the necessary determination and strength of character which was needed to complete such a task.

 

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Here are some basic details on Police Constable James Sawyer who was Arthur Sawyer's father. Note that on his Metropolitan Police pension records it states that Police Constable James Sawyer retired on pension because he was '''''worn out.''' It is refreshing that the Victorians, in this case, did not mince their words.

James Sawyer was born on the 22nd of February in 1821, in Down, in Kent and his son was Arthur Sawyer who later followed in his fathers footsteps and also joined the Metropolitan Police.

On the 29th of May in 1843 James Sawyer joins the Metropolitan Police and is assigned to Kensington or 'T' division and served his whole career within this division. [later this division is called ''Hammersmith division.]

On the 9th of December in 1868, Police Constable James Sawyer retires on pension from 'T' division and the Metropolitan Police and on his pension records it states he resigned on ''''being worn out.''''

In 1868, James Sawyer was 47 years old and five feet ten and a half inches tall, had black hair turning grey, hazel eyes and had a dark complexion.

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