Here's a description of Gilbert Campbell from an Australian newspaper written at the time of his conviction in the literary frauds case.
Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), Sat 8 Oct 1892, Page 11
Sir Gilbert Campbell
Sir Gilbert Campbell, Bart., who has
just been sent to prison for 18 months
in England in connection with the literary
and art frauds, was pretty well known in
London to a member of our staff. Tne latter
says: I met Sir Gilbert Campbell
under amusing circumstances. I
was doing the editorial work for a paper
which belonged to a needy aristocratic
gentleman, Colonel A--, a man who had
"plenty of social influence, but no hard
cash," as he once confessed. One day a
card was brought in to me, inscribed
"Sir Gilbert Campbell, Bart." Contributors
with titles were not very common
in Fleet street, and when the office boy
showed him in I conceived no
wish that they should be. He
was a shabby genteel man, with
a bottle-green frock coat, buttoned
across his chest; a tall hat with a
reminiscence of nap still lingering upon it;
and boots that revealed a gape between
the sole and upper of each. He looked
like a bookmaker down on his luck
or a publican deprived of his license. His
face was puffy and flushed.
He sat down and said he had called to
see whether the paper could take a series
of sporting stories from him. I said we
should be glad to consider any contributions
received from his pen. He wanted
a definite promise; but no journalist
would be likely to invite contributions
from a man with whose work he was
not acquainted. He said he would send
something in, and stipulated a very high
price—-more than we were in the habit of
paying. I said we should not pay that
figure. "Oh," said he, but you must
pay something extra for my name." I
replied that a name was not worth as
much as good copy to any paper.
Then he became angry, and his puffy
face became more puffy and more red.
He went on to tell me about his ancestry
and the departed glory of his race. I
asked him how it was that a baronet with
such an illustrious pedigree should be
seeking for work in Fleet street. "Oh,"
he said, in a loud voice, "what the
blankety blank can a blank man do in
these biank times? A man must blank
well live, and if he can't live on his blank
income, he must make money by writing
blank stories for biank papers."
I remarked that if his literary style was
anything like that, I was afraid it was a
trifle too ornate for our columns. He let off
more steam, swore a lot, and
took his departure. He never sent
anything in. I saw him several
times afterwards in Fleet street, looking
seedier each time. He pressed me to have
drinks, but I never happened to be thirsty
and he sought the classic shades of the
Cheshire Cheese, Moonie's [sic], and the ****,
unaccompanied. Later on I saw him
finally arrayed in broadcloth and fine
linen. 1 supposed he had commenced his
literary and art agency then. He found it
more profitable than writing stories—-only
the police stepped in! Poor Sir Gilbert
The year after "Mandeville Square," Beeton's Annual featured another story by Sir Gilbert Campbell.
The Literary World, Volume 40, December 13, 1889, Page 504
CHRISTMAS NUMBERS AND ANNUALS
Beeton's Christmas Annual (Ward, Lock, and Co.), contains 'A Wave of Brain Power,' by Sir Gilbert Campbell, and a short musical play 'Minette's Birthday,' by Mr. R. Andre. Speaking of the book as a whole, the latter, though pretty, may be disregarded. The former is a highly sensational, oftentimes gruesome, narrative. Occult forces, exercised by Craddock Lipthwaite alias Revolver, chief dynamitard of a London gang, subject David Acland, a true-hearted young author, to the villain's will, and make him an active agent in a series of crimes. Rhoda Harding, David's betrothed, discovers his misery and exerts her ownspiritual and mental powers to combat the will and eventually to triumph over his cruel taskmaster. Human interests are not wholly absent from the working out of the plot, but many of the details are ghastly in the extreme, and more than one passage we wish we had never read.
This story was also later serialized in an Australian newspaper, under a different title.
Chapter XXIII. -- (Continued)
Chapter XXXIV. -- At the Police Court
The prisoner, who, in the exuberance
of his drunken spirits had
simply knocked down his wife, and
trampled upon her face, thereby totally
disfiguring her for life, was, by the
Draconic severity of the English law,
sentenced to six weeks' imprisonment
with hard labour, during which time the
wife had the option of starving or applying
to the Union for relief.
Like "Mandeville Square," "Grill-Street" features a scene of disturbing violence that ends in the obliteration of the victim's indvoduality.
The villain of the story, Craddock Lipthwaite, flees justice and seeks refuge in Whitechapel. Finding the atmosphere of a rooming house too repellent,
he returns to the streets where an argument with a woman results in an angry mob mistaking him for Jack the Ripper.
FICTION. THE GREAT GRILL-STREET CONSPIRACY. By SIR GILBERT CAMPBELL.
CHAPTER XXVI.--THE FULFILMENT OF THE PROPHECY.
As these thoughts passed through his brain he walked slowly along until he came to the line of iron railings which enclosed some large public building, of the name of which he was ignorant. He leaned against them for a moment, and pulling, out his pipe, was proceeding to light it, when one of the wretched outcast women who infest the neighbourhood came up to him, and pulling him roughly by the arm, suggested the propriety of his paying for some refreshment for her of a liquid and spirituous nature. The unceremonious grasp which she laid upon his arm caused him to burn his fingers with the match, and with an angry oath he pushed her away with more violence, perhaps, than be had intended. The woman staggered back, and, losing her balance, measured her length upon the pavement, uttering at the same time 'a dismal shriek for help. Half a dozen other women of a similar unfortunate class hurried up, a violent altercation ensued, and as Craddock Lipthwaite strove to disengage himself from them and proceed on his way, the woman who was still prostrate on the ground uttered a loud cry of “Murder!”
Murder! how the dread word rang out through the silent night; how it seemed to fly from house to house and be carried by the breeze over the roofs and down into the cellars. Murder! it seemed as if the word had a magic spell in it, which roused the whole neighbourhood from its slumber. No more rest, no more repose; half-dressed men stumbled out of doorways, pronouncing it in sleepy accents. Women, with their hair hanging down, and clasping their clothes with one hand to their bosoms, shrieked it out in accents of alarm and dismay. Children caught it up and lisped it out in awestruck accents. The very dogs, who barked and howled as the turmoil swelled louder and louder, appeared to be uttering the same dread word in their canine language. The sound of hurrying feet echoed along the pavement; lights appeared at the windows, doors opened and slammed again, and al Whitechapel was on foot to hunt down the mysterious murderer who had filled the locality with panic and affright.
The men who had followed Lipthwaite now came up to where he was standing, and one of them seizing him roughly by the collar, inquired with an oath what he was doing to the woman.
“He tried to murder me,” screamed the half-intoxicated woman, who still lay upon the pavement, “he is out on his devilish work again to-night, and I have barely escaped with my life.”
“Do you hear what the woman says?” asked the man, accompanying his demand with a rough shake of Lipthwaite's collar. “What have you been a doin' to her, you bloodthirsty villin? “
“Take your hands off me,” answered Craddock calmly, for he did not yet see the full horror of his position, “you have no right to detain me in this manner.”
“Come, stow that gab,” exclaimed another man, coming up and pushing with much violence against Lipthwaite, sending him staggering against the iron railings.
Craddock's hat was knocked off, but in an instant he recovered himself, and springing forward, caught his assailant by the throat, and held him with a grip of iron. “You insolent dog,” cried he, his face blazing with the intensity of his wrath. “How dare you venture to lay a hand on me?“
For a few seconds the man struggled stoutly enough, and strove to strike his assailant, but Craddock Lipthwaite's long arms held him at such a distance that he was unable to do so, and as the strangling clutch began to tell upon him his face grew black and his tongue commenced to protrude, whilst a hoarse, rattling sound gurgled from his throat.
A large crowd had by this time collected, and was increasing every moment. Those on the outskirts could see nothing of what was going on, but hearing that the man who had committed the terrible murders, which had overshadowed that quarter of the town with a mist of blood, were loud in their menaces and their calls for vengeance. “Lynch him!” shouted they, “Lynch him!” and the boys, who ever hover on the verge of popular outbreaks, as the stormy petrel skims over the wave at the approach of the tempest, took up the cry with shrill vehemence.
The tumult that had arisen, as if by magic around him, at length warned Lipthwaite of the perilous position in which he was placed, and letting the half insensible man drop to the ground, he endeavoured to force his way through the ring which had now formed around him, the prostrate woman, who was still raving wildly, and her female companions. But his attempts were vain, no one offered to make way for him, and darker, and darker, and darker grew the scowl upon the faces of the bystanders, and fiercer the yells for vengeance that went from the crowd. For the first time Craddock Lipthwaite realized the real danger of his position. “Great heaven,” muttered he, “the fools take me for the mysterious murderer who has half frightened them out of the small amount of wits they possess; and in their blind, unreasoning panic, they are as likely as not to tear me to pieces.”
“Listen, my friends,” cried he aloud, throwing all the calmness and persuasion of which he was capable into his voice. “You are completely in error. I am quite a stranger in Whitechapel; indeed, this is the first time I ever entered it in my life. 1 am an honest, hard-working man like yourselves, and look with as great horror as you upon the infamous crimes that have been committed in your midst.”
He spoke with such an air of truth and candour, that those who stood nearest to him were impressed with his statement, but his voice did not penetrate far, and from the more distant portions of the crowd rose a few faint cries, of “Hand him over to the police,” which were speedily drowned by the savage roar of “No police ! no police ! lynch the cowardly devil, and make an end of the thing once and for all.”
In spite, however, of these threatening suggestions, Craddock Lipthwaite might have induced, those standing around him to hear reason, had it not been for a strange unforeseen incident, which entirely changed the face of the whole affair.
“Then what did the woman mean by saying that you had tried to murder her?” asked one of the men who had first accosted him, speaking in a more civil manner than he had yet done. “She swears I don't know what, and makes out a black case against you, guv'nor.”
“Pshaw,” returned Lipthwaite, scornfully, casting a look of bitter contempt upon the outcast, who was now sitting up on the pavement rocking herself to and fro, and muttering a farrago of nonsense with drunken volubility. “Are men's lives to be placed in jeopardy by the statements of such cattle as those?” and, taking a step forward, he pushed the woman roughly with his boot. His contemptuous manner, more than the actual brutality of his behaviour, seemed to goad the unhappy creature to madness. She uttered a scream like a wild beast, and springing to her feet, lacerated his face with her nails, and tore his hair before he could make an effort to defend himself.
Furious both at the pain and at the ignominy of the assault in such a place, and by such a creature, Lipthwaite swore a deep oath, and raising his right arm, struck the woman a savage blow which felled her to the earth. Even, however, this cowardly act upon his part might not have injured him with the crowd which surrounded him, the members of it being for the most part perfectly accustomed to see the weaker sex cuffed and kicked, without any feeling of disgust arising in the hearts of the lookers on, but as the unfortunate woman fell backwards, she caught hold of her assailant's coat, and tearing it open, the long keen knife, which Lipthwaite had secreted, fell with a clang upon the ground. With a cry of triumph, the outcast darted upon it, and waving it high above her head, shrieked, “Now, who is the liar, he or I? He says he ain't the cove wot does the murders; why, 'ere is the very knife with which he cuts our throats and rips us open. Now, am I right or I not? Curse you all, are you going to let him slip through your fingers, now that you have got him?”
The tide had now turned and Craddock Lipthwaite would have been safer in the midst of a pack of famished wolves than in the centre of the howling crowd which now set up one long yell to heaven for his blood.
In an instant the unfortunate man saw that all was over, and at the same time the ghastly vision of David Acland recurred to his mind. He was the object of universal execration--all were crying out against him, all were thirsting for his blood. Death was very near to him now, and what a death, one by inches, one by kicks and blows, a death amidst the mud and mire of a crowded thoroughfare, with not one pitying eye to look upon him or one heart to feel sorrow for his untimely end. “Better the convict prison,” he muttered to himself, “at least, that gives me a chance of life.” Then lifting his voice he shouted with all the force of his lungs, “Police!” “Police!” A roar of execration and hatred greeted this appeal, and the answering shout came swiftly back “To hell with you, you murdering dog, we want no police to do our work.”
Wildly he glared round at the ring of smiling faces which was narrowing round him, and read in them that his fate was sealed. “At any rate,” he thought, “I will have blood for blood, and those who attack me shall not escape unscathed.”
As these thoughts passed through his mind he sprang at the woman who was still flourishing the upturned knife, and endeavoured to wrench the weapon from her grasp. With a wild shriek she sprung backwards into the crowd which opened to give her passage, and at the same time a small urchin, who had crept between the legs of the bystanders, cast a handful of mud in the hunted man's face. From that moment he felt that it was all over with him, for the flashing eye which had to some extent kept back the crowd was now temporarily hidden, and the infuriated mob closed around their victim.
As he strove to clear the foul mud from his face a man struck him a heavy blow upon the back of his head with a wooden shovel which he was carrying, causing him to fall upon his knees, but saving him from many other blows which whistled harmlessly over his head. In an instant, however, Craddock Lipthwaite was on his feet again, and having partially cleared his eyes attempted to grapple with his nearest assailants, at the same time shouting loudly for the police. Blows now rained upon him like hail, the blood streamed from his face, and his shouts and cries grew more and more feeble. Now he was down again upon his knees, whilst his assailants kicked savagely at his back and ribs, and once again he was on his feet, only kept erect by the pressure of the crowd, and a target for every blow that could be aimed at him. His shouts had now died completely away, and only a hoarse gasping sound issued from his throat. For an instant the crowd drew back a little, as though to gather strength for a fresh onslaught upon the wretched man who was standing alone in its midst.
His aspect was so terrible that a thrill of horror passed for an instant through every heart. Hardly a feature was visible, nose, lips, eyes, and forehead seemed to have been mashed into one unrecognizable pulp, his right arm hung broken and helpless by his side, a few tattered shreds of garments hardly covered his body, his boots were nearly ground to powder. He stood erect amongst them, an image of life in death, a low moaning sob breaking at intervals from the mutilated lips. It was a sight that might have moved a heart of stone, but the hearts of the rough crowd were made of some harder materials, and as the wretched creature stood swaying unsteadily backwards and forwards a stout man of the East End bully type stepped up to him, and with a tremendous left handed blow felled him to the ground. Craddock Lipthwaite fell with a sickening crash upon the flagstones, and the crowd, as though their appetite for murder had been freshened, looked upon the prostrate form with more inveterate ferocity than ever.
Dull heavy thuds were heard as fists and boots rained a hail of blows and kicks upon the motionless body, which now did not gratify its murderers by the utterance of a single groan.
All at once a cry was heard, "Here's Joe the Knacker, make way for him, and let him treat the devil as he treated the poor women."
Once more the crowd drew back a little from the bruised and disfigured mass of humanity, and a tall young fellow, whose thigh boots and linen vest were marked with huge patches of grease and mud, was pushed forward to the front rank. He held a long shining knife in his hand, and amidst the shouts of "Rip him up as he did the poor girls," he bent over the motionless form.
"Now then, Joe, show us a sample of your handiwork," was the cry that arose, mingled with peals of brutal laughter.
The man looked upon the still breathing body before him, and then glared helplessly at the threatening crowd. "I can't do it," exclaimed he, with an oath, and casting the knife aside he elbowed his way out of the ring.
But the woman who had been the primary cause of Craddock Lipthwaite's terrible fate was close at hand. During all that terrible scene of Lynch Law she had contrived to retain a front place, and more than once had had the inexpressible felicity of administering a blow or a kick upon the unhappy victim.
With a cry of exultation she darted upon the knife which the horse slaughterer had let fall, and kneeling beside the prostrate form gashed the abdomen with hideous transverse wounds. As if the excruciating pain had once again aroused Craddock Lipthwaite to a sense of agony he uttered one long ear-piercing shriek, which for a long time haunted the slumbers of the listeners, rose to his knees and endeavoured to compress the gaping wounds with his hands, then fell back heavily, a dead man.
When the police, by the merciless use of the batons, forced their way to where the body was lying, they found it entirely unrecognisable, and no one could trace in that battered fragment of humanity either the intellectual features of the Apostle of Brain Power or the crafty lineaments of the dreaded Revolver.
In "The Great Grill Street Conspiracy," Sir Gilbert Campbell mentions that one of the characters, Rhoda, read a story by Bulwer Lytton, "The Haunted and the Haunters," which inspired her to try her own hand at exercising mental powers.
The Haunted and the Haunters, or, The House and the Brain
Later a truncated version was published in a book, which a note explaining the reason for the abridgement. I'm not sure which version Campbell was familiar with.
A Strange Story; and The Haunted and the Haunters (London: Routledge, Warne, and Routledge, 1864), Pages 325-343
This tale first appeared in Blackwood's Magazine, August, 1859. A portion of it as then published is now suppressed, because encroaching too much on the main plot of the "Strange Story." As it stands, however, it may be considered the preliminary outline of that more elaborate attempt to construct an interest akin to that which our forefathers felt in tales of witchcraft and ghostland, out of ideas and beliefs which have crept into fashion in the society of our own day. There has, perhaps, been no age in which certain phenomena that in all ages have been produced by, or upon, certain physical temperaments, have excited so general a notice,-—more perhaps among the educated classes than the uneducated. Nor do I believe that there is any age in which those phenomena have engendered throughout a wider circle a more credulous superstition. But, on the other hand, there has certainly been no age in which persons of critical and inquisitive intellect-—seeking to divest what is genuine in these apparent vagaries of Nature from the cheats of venal impostors and the exaggeration of puzzled witnesses-—have more soberly endeavoured to render such exceptional thaumaturgia of philosophical use, in enlarging our conjectural knowledge of the complex laws of being—-sometimes through physiological, sometimes through metaphysical research. "Without discredit, however, to the many able and distinguished speculators on so vague a subject, it must be observed that their explanations as yet have been rather ingenious than satisfactory. Indeed, the first requisites for conclusive theory are at present wanting. The facts are not sufficiently generalized, and the evidences for them have not been sufficiently tested.
It is just when elements of the marvellous are thus struggling between superstition and philosophy, that they fall by right to the domain of Art—-the art of poet or tale-teller. They furnish the constructor of imaginative fiction with materials for mysterious terror of a character not exhausted by his predecessors, and not foreign to the notions that float on the surface of his own time; while they allow him to wander freely over that range of conjecture which is favourable to his purposes, precisely because science itself has not yet disenchanted that debateable realm of its haunted shadows and goblin lights.