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  #1701  
Old 04-20-2018, 04:52 AM
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I’m starting to think that Friday was a late April Fools day. Surely the posts from that day can’t be serious. We are told that the person who sold the watch “to a member of the Murphy/Stewart family” was “a little man”. Excuse me? What does the size of this man have to do with anything?
I was just repeating how the stranger was described, David. Anything wrong with that? Maybe he was huge and the source was lying for no apparent reason.

Quote:
It's not even a fair representation of the story which is that this man sold the watch to Mr Stewart. There's no question of us not knowing who it was and having to describe him as “a member of the Murphy/Stewart family”. A man came into a jewellery shop and, after haggling over price, sold a watch to a jeweller (Mr Stewart). What’s odd about that?
Only that it's not clear who actually got this information from whom. I've been looking at the various sources and the only people I can find who claimed they actually spoke directly to Mr Stewart, to ask about the watch that his son-in-law eventually sold to Albert in July 1992, were his daughter, Mrs Murphy, and Albert Johnson. It would be good to know if anyone investigating its origins, who wasn't at the centre of the story, ever got to speak to the old man, if only to confirm that he knew which watch he'd been asked to recall. As you surely agree, it would be less than satisfactory if we are relying on someone so close to the story to have asked the right questions of Mr Stewart and obtained an accurate first-hand account. Had Anne refused to let her frail, elderly father be interviewed by Paul Feldman, for instance, but had given her own account of his 'diary' recollections, I can only imagine the howls of derision that would surely have followed. As it is, few people accept that Billy Graham was remembering 'the' diary, when asked, and not some other old book.

Quote:
This is the story as told by Stewart’s daughter (according to Feldman):

She said he [Stewart] recalled a little man coming to the shop he once owned in Lancaster. He had requested a sum of money which her father refused and the man left instantly. Mrs Murphy’s father had an instant change of heart and ran outside to recall the man. The transaction was concluded.

There's no mention there of “no questions asked or answered” but if no questions were asked then what is the purpose of saying that none were answered? Surely it’s impossible to answer questions which haven’t been asked.
It's a figure of speech, David. There is nothing here that suggests this little man was asked anything about himself or the history of the watch he was trying to flog, or that he volunteered any such information, whether asked for it or not.

Quote:
We are being told in this thread that far from the watch being purchased by Mr Stewart from the little man in 1980, it was actually purchased by Mr Murphy after 9th March 1992 and the entire story told by the elderly Mr Stewart to both Albert Johnson and his daughter about the little man from 1980 was a complete lie.
NO 'WE' ARE NOT. It's a mere suggestion in the absence of any documentary evidence of the watch's whereabouts up until it was seen in the Murphys' shop window in 1992 and snapped up by Albert Johnson.

If Mr Stewart was happy, back in the early 80s, to buy a gold watch from a stranger without requiring any further information, why not Mr Murphy in 1992? When Albert returned to ask for that information, in 1993, Murphy had none to give him because it was never asked for. He thought there was something 'wrong' with the watch at first and even offered to buy it back. Did something click at that point? Did he remember something about the stranger that suggested he was in a hurry to take the cash and go, and wouldn't be coming back in a hurry to argue the toss about when that was? "Wait a minute - I flogged that gold watch to the shop in March 1992!" "Did you? Where did you get it from then?" "Er, I'd rather not say". "Can you prove it was you, or the date you flogged it? Did you give the shop your name or keep a copy of any receipt?" "Er no, sorry".

Quote:
That’s the tangle that the world’s leading expert has got herself into and from her failed attempt at extricating herself it doesn’t look she’s actually going to be able to untangle the tangle.
As I say, it's only a suggestion, and it really doesn't bother me whether the thing was flogged by a stranger in the early 80s or early 90s. It remains fortunate for whoever made those engravings that the history of the watch begins with that little man in a hurry for the cash.

Love,

Caz
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  #1702  
Old 04-20-2018, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam Flynn View Post
It's not particularly impressive, though. He uses "spurned" twice, thereby exhibiting the same paucity of vocabulary evident elsewhere in the diary. There's a manifestation of the diarist's familiar "superflous did" (or "does" in this case), perhaps caused by a desire to have the syllables match - a desire seemingly abandoned after line 3. This is all the sadder because there wouldn't have been a problem with the syllables if a spurious "so" hadn't been tacked onto the end of line 1 - another of the diarist's tics ("The whore shall suffer more than she has ever done so"; "My hands feel colder than they have ever done so", etc).

Starting each line with the same words is quite effective, but it's a familiar, ancient device (cf. Ecclesiastes, The Beatitudes and, more strikingly, Corinthians), and easy to pull off.

About the only half-decent thing about the verse is the half-rhyme between "yearn" and "spurned". Having said that, its effect is rather diluted by the fact that the line before "spurned" is actually "yearn for" - perhaps written thus so that the syllables in line 3 matched those in lines 1&2. "tis love for which I yearned / tis love that she spurned" would have worked better, if the writer had given up their fetish for matching syllables sooner. Edit: Come to think of it, a slightly spurious "so" would have helped here ("tis love for which I yearned / tis love that she so spurned") but, irony of ironies, the writer missed his chance!

Despite the apparent cleverness of this little rhyme, it's arguably only a notch or two up from the clunky doggerel we see throughout the diary.
Afternoon Gareth,

It's an interesting little coincidence that Richard Crashaw includes a couple of 'tis love lines in his works.

The first is from A Hymn to the Name and Honour of the Admirable Saint Teresa, which begins:

'Love, thou art absolute, sole Lord
of life and death...'

The line in question here is:

''Tis love, not years or limbs, that can
Make the martyr, or the man.'


The second is even more interesting as it smacks of "Sir Jim's" evident love of word games, particularly in relation to his own name:

'CRASHAWE,

THE ANAGRAM "HE WAS CAR."

Was Car then Crashaw, or was Crashaw Car,
Since both within one name combined are?
Yes, Car's Crashaw, he Car; 'tis love alone
Which melts two hearts, of both composing one;
So Crashaw's still the same...'


The only mystery is whether Crashaw's car was a Jaguar or a Mercedes.

Oh and by the by, Crashaw was crap at anagrams and spelling. He put an E on the end of his name to make this one work. Like the PostE House and postE haste. And not too dissimilar from SE Mibrac either. You can make MI BRACES out of that, which is arguably a better stab at it than IM A BRICKY.

Love,

Caz
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  #1703  
Old 04-20-2018, 06:49 AM
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Thinking about it, Gareth, I reckon I was wrong. Crashaw's car was probably a Triumph - Spitfire at a wild guess.

In another one of those interesting little coincidences, Crashaw drove himself into the late Victorian era and parked up alongside - and, to use Teresa May's words, "I am not making this up" - none other than Michael Maybrick's lyricist, Fred Weatherley. They appeared in adjacent columns of The Times on Christmas Day 1884, in an article about Christmas books and the poets of Christmas, which my friend and researcher Rob Clack found for me back in 2004. He had noticed the name Crashaw and thought I might be interested, because of spurious claims made at that time on the message boards about the poet's obscurity during the late Victorian period. I'm not sure if Rob also noticed the name of F. E. Weatherley, to the left and just half a dozen lines below Crashaw's, or the relevance of this pairing in connection with the Crashaw quotation in the Maybrick diary. If he did, he didn't mention it.

Equally, there is no mention of it in any of Mike Barrett's forgery claims, so one can only imagine what he'd have made of it. I have this image of James Maybrick opening his newspaper and his Christmas pressies on that cold and frosty morning in 1884 and reading that article without the faintest clue that Crashaw and Weatherley would one day become 'almost' bedfellows again through the diary, like a funny little Morecambe & Wise sketch.

Love,

Caz
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  #1704  
Old 04-20-2018, 11:50 AM
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I have, of course, never discussed whether Mr Murphy would or would not have been "happy" to buy a gold watch from "a stranger" without requiring further information. What I have said is that, if he had done so, it would have been thoroughly dishonest for him to lie about it by saying that he hadn't done so and, then, tell a further lie by saying that his father-in-law had done exactly what he was trying to cover up in respect of his own actions! And if he was being thoroughly dishonest about such a fundamental aspect of provenance it must make him a dishonest jeweller. There can't possibly be anything controversial about that.

If, however, he, his wife and his father-in-law were providing an honest account of the purchase of the watch then it can't possibly have emerged from under the Battlecrease floorboards in March 1992 and the suggestion that it did was clearly incorrect.

Hey, perhaps well soon be told that the notion that the Diary emerged from under the floorboards of Battlecrease in March 1992 is no more than a suggestion.

Ooops, sorry, used the word "told" again which is verboten. Let me correct that because it seems we are never told anything, despite appearances to the contrary. Perhaps it will soon be suggested that the notion that the Diary emerged from under the floorboards of Battlecrease in March 1992 is no more than a suggestion.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:45 PM
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Earlier in this thread, we were told by the World's Leading Expert on Melvin Harris what Harris's belief about the dating of documents was.

In #1577 on 5 April it was said:

"I wonder what Melvin would have made of the theory that the guardbook was only acquired at the end of March 1992 and the diary written into it and completed just a day or two before being shown to the British Museum's curator of 19th century manuscripts and to a specialist on 19th century literature? I think he might have laughed out loud if he'd had the capacity. His own argument was that writing using a Victorian style gallotannic ink couldn't be dated unless it was examined within a year of the ink drying, or at the outside six months, if certain conditions had allowed for it to have stabilised that quickly. He was presumably wrong about this too, and the scribe either knew it or took a complete gamble that they wouldn't come 'unstuck'. Even Baxendale wasn't fool enough to suggest the writing was less than a year old when he examined it, never mind just a couple of months."

No actual quote of Harris was provided and presumably the Expert was relying on memory as to what Harris said. The point was repeated a week later, on 13 April, in #1652 when it was said:

"If it's 'literally impossible' to say when ink met paper, why did Melvin say it was possible, within six months or a year of the ink drying and stabilising?"

Without seeing the quote from Harris I obviously couldn't answer that but I have since found two actual written quotes by Harris about dating documents.

Here is the first:

"The truth is that once an iron-gall ink has matured on the paper for eighteen months or so, no one, on this planet, is able to date that ink by visual examination."

So that refers only to dating by visual examination.

Then we have the second:

"I have to repeat that there is no known testing method that will date ink-on-paper. You can date the RELATIVE ages of ink samples applied to one sheet, and this is of use in detecting additions, but after a very short period (this can be as low as months in fact) you can not give a year for any samples."

That is what he actually said. I believe it is consistent with what I have always said.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
If the argument is that Caroline actually said that her father went round to pester "one of his mates" about the Diary rather than "Tony" then this makes the question of whether or not Caroline knew that Tony was dead redundant.

As to that, I can see no reasonable basis for saying that Caroline did not know in March 1992 that her father's best friend had died in the previous summer. But if the new claim is that Caroline only remembered him going round to see one of his mates, then clearly this argument has been abandoned!
What 'argument' was David talking about here?

My suggestion was that Caroline may merely have assumed that the mate her Dad had questioned about the diary, and who lived near her school and the Saddle, had been called Tony. That appeared to me to be the simplest explanation.

David's argument was, and presumably still is, that Caroline thought of Tony as her dad's 'best friend'; knew he had died in August 1991; and therefore knew it was untrue, when relating the story to Shirley or anyone else, that her Dad had questioned anyone about the diary's origins.

According to Mike's affidavit, Caroline also witnessed the 11 day creation in early 1990, while her Dad's 'best friend' Tony was still in the land of the living.

So I'm happy to leave David to sort out the whole sorry mess, for that's what it is, and to reconcile it with his own theory that the 11 day creation did not take place until early April 1992.

For me, a simple change of name from TONY to EDDIE is still enough.

Love,

Caz
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:26 AM
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In the most recent telling of the story of Mike's meeting with Eddie in Eddie's house, the solicitors are absent (surprise surprise) although we are being told that Mike threatened some complete stranger, something else for which no evidence has been provided. The account by Feldman is that he accused him of lying and said he would never do a deal. That's it. No threatening of anyone involved in that account.

If Eddie really did find the Diary in Battlecrease, why did Mike go round to his house and accuse him of lying about finding the Diary in Battlecrease? Because surely what Eddie would have said in reply was: "I'm not lying, I did find the Diary in Battlecrease as you well know because I fvcking gave it to you". So surely, for a Diary Defender, the question to ask is why was Mike LYING to Feldman about what happened in his conversation with Eddie? Because, if the Battlecrease provenance is true, he clearly didn't go round to accuse him of lying, regardless of whether the Diary was supposed to have been found in 1989 or 1992. He went round to ask him why he was telling the truth!
David appears to be assuming here that Eddie would have told Mike early on exactly how and where he'd got the diary, if he pinched it from Battlecrease on March 9th 1992, showed it to him the same day and later offloaded it onto his drinking pal to "do something with". Maybe along with all that pestering, Mike used thumbscrews to get the truth out of Eddie?

I suspect it was Mike's visit to Battlecrease with Feldman and co, in early 1993, which resulted in a light bulb moment when Paul Dodd spoke about the electrical work done on the house. The last thing Mike wanted was for Dodd to reclaim the diary, so he'd have been doubly furious with Eddie, for having kept the truth from him all this time, and now for apparently offering to confess it to Feldman for the right price.

Even though Mike and Eddie both admitted to the confrontation at Eddie's Fountains Road address, it should come as no surprise if they were both LYING about what was said and if their versions of the conversation were different.

Love,

Caz
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:00 AM
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I can offer a very simple reason for Mike going round to Fat Eddie AND then telling Feldman about it.

At this stage, in early 1993, Mike was pretending that the Diary had been given to him by Tony Devereux in which case, had that story been true, he could not have known its origin prior to 1990 (and Feldman was saying that the Diary had been found in Battlecrease in 1989). So in order to KEEP UP THE PRETENCE, but knowing the Diary was a recent forgery, Mike might have felt the need to put on a performance for Feldman's benefit of going round to see the electrician to check out his story, just as he would have done had he really not known where Tony had got it from.

This explanation would be consistent with both the Diary having been forged by Mike (and Anne) and with a discovery in Battlecrease in March 1992, save that with the forgery explanation it would mean that Mike MIGHT WELL have accused Eddie of lying (which is what is supposed to have happened) whereas this would make no sense with the Battlecrease provenance story in which case Mike would have been asking Eddie why he was telling the truth!!!
A bit convoluted though, isn't it? More likely, Mike wanted to check out what Eddie was thinking of 'confessing' to Feldman, because he wasn't yet sure of the truth himself or what evidence might exist, and he needed to find out once and for all what Eddie knew. How would Mike have known if Eddie had ever actually worked in Dodd's house or when, if Eddie had always refused to say where the diary had come from?

Imagine the conversation:

Mike: What's this I hear about you saying you took the diary from Dodd's house and asking Feldman what your confession is worth?

Eddie: I never said that and I never took it from that house.

Mike: You're lying. You found it in that house, didn't you? That's why you never answered any of my questions. But if you tell anyone that you found it there I'll get my solicitors onto you.

Eddie: Right, I've had enough of this. On your bike, Mike.

Love,

Caz
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:32 AM
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The person recalling that Eddie told Robert Smith at a meeting in June 1993 that he found a book under the floorboards of Battlecrease has, no doubt accidentally, omitted an important part of the story, namely that Eddie also told Robert Smith at this meeting that this book had been "thrown into a skip".

Electricians and builders no doubt find loads of old rubbish in old houses and I have no doubt that old houses might contain plenty of tatty old books. Vinny Dring says he found two old books himself in Battlecrease! A Diary or Journal (especially one in a biscuit tin with a gold ring) is unlikely to have been described as "a book". If Eddie did find a book under the floorboards and threw it into a skip, so what? It's not the Diary!
"If Eddie did find a book under the floorboards and threw it into a skip, so what? It's not the Diary!"

That's pretty much the impression Eddie and Mike hoped Robert Smith would take away with him from the Saddle that evening in June 1993. It worked for a while. Seems it's still working on David today.

Quote:
And if he did find something it would surely have been during July 1992 when records show him working in Battlecrease, consistent with what he is supposed to have said to Brian Rawes in that month.
But then why has Eddie steadfastly denied finding anything in the house, ever since that meeting in the Saddle, which he denies ever took place, along with the conversation the previous July with Brian Rawes?

Certainly, if Eddie did find something, but as late as July 1992, it might have been in his interests to admit it, because it really couldn't have been the diary.

I don't know why David says it would be 'unlikely' for 'A Diary or Journal' [sic] to have been described as "a book". Physically, the Maybrick Diary looks much more like "a book", or "an old book", or even "a tatty old book", than an actual diary, and is in fact just an old scrap book with writing in it, and only the one date right at the end.

Most people who haven't seen the physical scrap book, and have only read a book on the diary, eg Shirley's, tend to refer to the former as 'the diary' and the latter as 'the book'. Curiously, Eddie does the reverse, referring to Shirley's book as "the diary", but to the diary itself as "the book".

Love,

Caz
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
Earlier in this thread, we were told by the World's Leading Expert on Melvin Harris what Harris's belief about the dating of documents was.

In #1577 on 5 April it was said:

"I wonder what Melvin would have made of the theory that the guardbook was only acquired at the end of March 1992 and the diary written into it and completed just a day or two before being shown to the British Museum's curator of 19th century manuscripts and to a specialist on 19th century literature? I think he might have laughed out loud if he'd had the capacity. His own argument was that writing using a Victorian style gallotannic ink couldn't be dated unless it was examined within a year of the ink drying, or at the outside six months, if certain conditions had allowed for it to have stabilised that quickly. He was presumably wrong about this too, and the scribe either knew it or took a complete gamble that they wouldn't come 'unstuck'. Even Baxendale wasn't fool enough to suggest the writing was less than a year old when he examined it, never mind just a couple of months."

No actual quote of Harris was provided and presumably the Expert was relying on memory as to what Harris said. The point was repeated a week later, on 13 April, in #1652 when it was said:

"If it's 'literally impossible' to say when ink met paper, why did Melvin say it was possible, within six months or a year of the ink drying and stabilising?"

Without seeing the quote from Harris I obviously couldn't answer that but I have since found two actual written quotes by Harris about dating documents.

Here is the first:

"The truth is that once an iron-gall ink has matured on the paper for eighteen months or so, no one, on this planet, is able to date that ink by visual examination."

So that refers only to dating by visual examination.

Then we have the second:

"I have to repeat that there is no known testing method that will date ink-on-paper. You can date the RELATIVE ages of ink samples applied to one sheet, and this is of use in detecting additions, but after a very short period (this can be as low as months in fact) you can not give a year for any samples."

That is what he actually said. I believe it is consistent with what I have always said.
I wasn't relying on memory for what Melvin wrote, but on my time line of events, which includes a summary of the letter he wrote to Paul Feldman dated 23rd July 1993. No doubt David will by now have his own copy, assuming Melvin kept copies of all his diary correspondence, sent and received, so he should be able to see exactly what he told Feldman about the dating of manuscripts written in a Victorian-style gallotannic ink, and compare it with what I wrote above.

So basically, Melvin thought it could be impossible to give a year for any samples in as little as six months from the date they were written, which implies that the year 1992 could have been given if the writing had been any less than six months old when tested by anyone competent to do so, and very possibly if it was under a year old.

And of course, we had this from our very own rj, by way of support:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
"Ink chemists determine the age of ink by the rate of extraction from the paper and the percentage of extraction. They measure how fast the ink can be chemically removed from the paper and how easily it is remove. Ink dries chemically in approximately three and one-half years according to Erich Speckin. By using the rate of extraction, ink chemists can determine the age of the application of the ink within six months. After the ink has completely dried, the chemist can only state that the ink is over three and one-half years old."--Attorney's Guide to Document Examination by Katerine Koppenhaver (2002)

This is our old friend, the 'solubility' test that was conducted by Dr. Baxendale in 1992. The ink 'extracted' from the paper very quickly, leading to the conclusion that it had been very recently applied.
Nobody apart from David, to my knowledge, has ever suggested or argued, never mind demonstrated that a sample written in a Victorian-style gallotannic ink, as recently as the first two weeks of April 1992, would have been impossible for anyone testing it at any time from June 1992 onwards, to distinguish from a sample written, for example, two or three years previously.

It would have been sooo much easier for David if he wasn't stuck with his 11 day creation between the last day of March and the 12th day of April 1992, and all because of that damned red diary. I have little doubt that Mike didn't think through the consequences of including this in his affidavit as evidence of a forgery supposedly dreamed up and executed in early 1990, and Alan Gray probably had no idea it was purchased two years too late to have been of any use if the rest was true. I suspect they were working on the basis that any claim to have forged the diary much earlier, or much more recently than 1990 would be less credible, given the expert opinions. Early 1990 was nicely within 2 or 3 years, as suggested by Dr Baxendale, but not so recent that he should have been able to report that it was written within the previous 2 or 3 months!

I note that nobody wants to touch the Crashaw Connection with a barge pole and I completely understand.

Love,

Caz
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