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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Cutbush, Superintendent Charles Henry

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  #101  
Old Today, 11:39 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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So, I've been working my way through this large file and the story is turning into a bit of a thriller. Here's my understanding of events so far, subject to change as more facts become clear.

Our friend, Harry Evans, who was on an annual civil service salary of 500, had got himself into serious financial difficulties and, by the spring of 1887, was in debt to the sum of about 3800, apparently spending a fair amount of time dodging his creditors. In March 1887, one of those creditors wrote to Sir Charles Warren to complain about the situation. Another creditor wrote a similar letter to Sir Charles on 3 May. At the same time, a summons was issued against Evans at his workplace by an angry creditor and the Receiver advised him to apply for protection to the Bankruptcy Court. He did so and a Receiving Order was made against him on 4 May 1887.

Then in late 1887 an extraordinary turn of events. Sir Charles Warren suspected someone within Scotland Yard was leaking (or selling) information about the police to the press. He instructed solicitors Wonter & Co to make enquiries. They in turn instructed an agent, who I think will turn out to be the private detective Maurice Moser, to commence a secret undercover investigation. During his investigation, the name "Evans" was mentioned to him and, knowing of his financial difficulties (perhaps because Sir Charles told him about them), focussed his investigation entirely on Evans and even cultivated an informant within the Receiver's office, a junior clerk whose name was mentioned earlier in this thread, Mr Mills junior (not to be confused with a senior clerk in the department called Edwin Mills). Nothing further was discovered about Evans selling information to the press but Moser learnt that Evans had been lent money by a couple of police contractors, one of whom was Mr Cook of Newton and Cook. It later transpired that Cook lent Evans 30 in 1882 and had written off the debt.

A report of Moser's investigation was sent to Sir Charles Warren by Wontner & Co on 20 April 1888 and this in turn was forwarded to the Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary was appalled by the news of Evans' insolvency and demanded his resignation which was provided in June. By this time Evans had come to agreement with his creditors to pay a third of his salary to a Trustee in Bankruptcy for distribution until they received 10 shillings in the pound. His life was also insured for 1,000 in favour of the Trustee. So the punishment inflicted on Evans was, ironically, the worst possible outcome for his creditors who now lost out on any share of his salary. The issue of his pension was at this time uncertain.

However, the Receiver discovered the existence of Sir Charles' enquiries and pressed on behalf of Evans that an inquiry be instituted to allow Evans to clear his name of whatever charges of corruption had been made against him. For a time this caused a crisis within Whitehall as the Home Secretary initially declined to allow an inquiry but relented following pressure not only from Evans and the Receiver but also from his permanent secretary, Godfrey Lushington, who advised that an inquiry by a Metropolitan Police Magistrate was the only proper and sensible course. Hence Curtis-Bennett was instructed to conduct such an inquiry.

And where does Superintendent Cutbush feature in all of this? Well that is perhaps the most intriguing part of the story. In what was either a coincidence or a calculated part of a conspiracy, on 2 May 1888 a former detective sergeant in the 'C' Division, Charles Butcher, wrote a letter to his former colleague, Charles Cutbush, alleging that he had carried out some private detective work for Evans in 1883 for which Evans had never paid him, despite many requests for payment, and he owed him a little over 30. The claim was true but the timing of the letter seems curious. Butcher threatened in his letter to contact a Member of Parliament to raise the issue. Cutbush forwarded the letter to Sir Charles Warren who forwarded it to the Home Secretary, noting that the Home Secretary might be required to answer questions in Parliament.

This was, it seems, the reason for Cutbush being called to give evidence at the Curtis Bennett inquiry and his disrespectful tone and manner in which he spoke to the magistrate and give his evidence was the reason for his reprimand. I will next aim to transcribe Curtis Bennett's report which will give more information.
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  #102  
Old Today, 11:51 AM
Abby Normal Abby Normal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Orsam View Post
So, I've been working my way through this large file and the story is turning into a bit of a thriller. Here's my understanding of events so far, subject to change as more facts become clear.

Our friend, Harry Evans, who was on an annual civil service salary of 500, had got himself into serious financial difficulties and, by the spring of 1887, was in debt to the sum of about 3800, apparently spending a fair amount of time dodging his creditors. In March 1887, one of those creditors wrote to Sir Charles Warren to complain about the situation. Another creditor wrote a similar letter to Sir Charles on 3 May. At the same time, a summons was issued against Evans at his workplace by an angry creditor and the Receiver advised him to apply for protection to the Bankruptcy Court. He did so and a Receiving Order was made against him on 4 May 1887.

Then in late 1887 an extraordinary turn of events. Sir Charles Warren suspected someone within Scotland Yard was leaking (or selling) information about the police to the press. He instructed solicitors Wonter & Co to make enquiries. They in turn instructed an agent, who I think will turn out to be the private detective Maurice Moser, to commence a secret undercover investigation. During his investigation, the name "Evans" was mentioned to him and, knowing of his financial difficulties (perhaps because Sir Charles told him about them), focussed his investigation entirely on Evans and even cultivated an informant within the Receiver's office, a junior clerk whose name was mentioned earlier in this thread, Mr Mills junior (not to be confused with a senior clerk in the department called Edwin Mills). Nothing further was discovered about Evans selling information to the press but Moser learnt that Evans had been lent money by a couple of police contractors, one of whom was Mr Cook of Newton and Cook. It later transpired that Cook lent Evans 30 in 1882 and had written off the debt.

A report of Moser's investigation was sent to Sir Charles Warren by Wontner & Co on 20 April 1888 and this in turn was forwarded to the Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary was appalled by the news of Evans' insolvency and demanded his resignation which was provided in June. By this time Evans had come to agreement with his creditors to pay a third of his salary to a Trustee in Bankruptcy for distribution until they received 10 shillings in the pound. His life was also insured for 1,000 in favour of the Trustee. So the punishment inflicted on Evans was, ironically, the worst possible outcome for his creditors who now lost out on any share of his salary. The issue of his pension was at this time uncertain.

However, the Receiver discovered the existence of Sir Charles' enquiries and pressed on behalf of Evans that an inquiry be instituted to allow Evans to clear his name of whatever charges of corruption had been made against him. For a time this caused a crisis within Whitehall as the Home Secretary initially declined to allow an inquiry but relented following pressure not only from Evans and the Receiver but also from his permanent secretary, Godfrey Lushington, who advised that an inquiry by a Metropolitan Police Magistrate was the only proper and sensible course. Hence Curtis-Bennett was instructed to conduct such an inquiry.

And where does Superintendent Cutbush feature in all of this? Well that is perhaps the most intriguing part of the story. In what was either a coincidence or a calculated part of a conspiracy, on 2 May 1888 a former detective sergeant in the 'C' Division, Charles Butcher, wrote a letter to his former colleague, Charles Cutbush, alleging that he had carried out some private detective work for Evans in 1883 for which Evans had never paid him, despite many requests for payment, and he owed him a little over 30. The claim was true but the timing of the letter seems curious. Butcher threatened in his letter to contact a Member of Parliament to raise the issue. Cutbush forwarded the letter to Sir Charles Warren who forwarded it to the Home Secretary, noting that the Home Secretary might be required to answer questions in Parliament.

This was, it seems, the reason for Cutbush being called to give evidence at the Curtis Bennett inquiry and his disrespectful tone and manner in which he spoke to the magistrate and give his evidence was the reason for his reprimand. I will next aim to transcribe Curtis Bennett's report which will give more information.
Brilliant stuff David and very interesting! keep it coming! : )
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  #103  
Old Today, 12:09 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Brilliant stuff David and very interesting! keep it coming! : )
Thank you Abby, there's plenty of good stuff to come!
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  #104  
Old Today, 02:43 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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It really is interesting stuff David. The fact that Evans owed so much to his creditors, and the information of one of them (when it reached Matthews) set off the main firestorms of the case I think I can understand. The sum Evans owed (3800 or so pounds) is still a large sum, but in 1888 it was tremendously larger. It was reminiscent of how one of the three disgraced detectives (Nat Druskavitch) in the 1877 Benson Scandal got hooked into taking bribes (due to standing surety on a contract agreement that the original signatee could not keep up paying on. Whatever was the reason for Evans ending up owing several creditors money to such a large extent, that, coupled with rumors about the sale of Yard secrets to the press - possibly by Evans, to make additional cash to pay off the debt.

Jeff
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  #105  
Old Today, 03:00 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Whatever was the reason for Evans ending up owing several creditors money to such a large extent, that, coupled with rumors about the sale of Yard secrets to the press - possibly by Evans, to make additional cash to pay off the debt.
Various reasons Jeff.

1. He lost 900 in trust money that he had placed with a stockbroker in 1883 when the stockbroker went under.

2. He lost an appointment as a Secretary of a hotel shortly afterwards which brought him an income of 300 per annum over and above his civil service salary.

3. His wife became ill (and in fact would die in 1890) and she moved to the south coast of Devonshire to recover, which caused him considerable expense.

4. As a result of all the above he had to borrow money from money lenders - and kept on borrowing - and the interest rates were crippling, building up the debt very quickly once he defaulted.

5. He also, importantly, lived a rather extravagant lifestyle and wasn't good at cutting down his expenditure.

When he declared for bankruptcy he had 57 creditors in total. The actual sum he owed was 3,688.9.3 (I should have said about 3,700, not 3,800).
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