>>Your use of the word "allowed" presupposes that Duffin had some kind of right to stop him.<<
Presumably you missed post 173.
Oh no Dusty, I saw that, a post in which you said that "allowed to leave" was a "turn of phrase" and there was nothing "sinister" in it. Well of course "allowed to leave" isn't a turn of phrase at all, it's plain English, and you never retracted the statement. So when you told me that you haven't claimed that Duffin had some kind of right to stop the man from leaving I drew attention to your own words.
Here's the one question I would have asked id I was Mizen, and I suspect everybody I know would have too, " What's happened?" which in turn may or may not lead to other questions.
That's one of the most bizarre suggested questions I've heard in this entire debate.
Apart from the fact that Mizen has already been told that a woman was lying in the street - and thus he has been told what's happened - what more were the carmen able to tell him? They didn't have a clue what had happened. They didn't even know if the woman was dead or drunk. So how could they have answered the question in any way which would have helped Mizen?
All it would have done is added unnecessary delay.
>>What she was charged with at the police court was "Being a common prostitute, annoying male passengers for the purpose of prostitution at Regent Street".<<
"... annoying male passengers for the purpose of prostitution" how does that phrase meaning anything other than soliciting?
Of course it means soliciting but there was no direct evidence of soliciting, which was assumed or inferred by Endacott (as I already said in #213, i.e. "There was no actual evidence of soliciting, which was inferred.")
The point is that for a woman to be "annoying" men in the street, especially at night, was enough for an officer to arrest her for prostitution. Even speaking to a man, to ask for directions for example, or to say hello to an old friend, could lead to arrest. But not just walking down the street, which was my only point.
And if she was, in fact, just walking down the street, it then must either have been a case of mistaken identity (for previous acts of prostitution) or the officer was fabricating evidence for some reason. And it was these outrageous possibilities which led to the public and parliamentary uproar in 1887.
I've checked out the reports of this incident in the Kentish Gazette and Canterbury Times of 11, 15 and 18 September 1888. The amalgamated report is below. There are a few new bits of information. I've highlighted the parts that seem to me to be of interest.
MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A CANTERBURY WOMAN
A somewhat mysterious death of a Canterbury woman is reported. The facts as first brought under our notice on Monday morning were as follows. It appears that on Sunday morning Mr. Sheppard, coroner's officer for Lambeth, was notified of the death of a woman, name unknown, who was discovered in an insensible condition under mysterious circumstances. It seems that about half past eleven o'clock on Saturday night, while Police-constable 73, L division, was patrolling his beat in Blackfriars-road, his attention was called to a prostrate form which was lying in the street. An ambulance was procured, and the female was conveyed to St. Thomas's Hospital. Dr. Luard, the house physician, was in immediate attendance, and on examining her he pronounced life extinct. The body was subsequently taken to the Lambeth Mortuary to await identification and an inquest. It appears that when the woman was found a man came up and said he was her husband. He handed the constable a parcel, some under-linen, and a brush and comb in a bag, and then left to find a medical man, but did not return. The following is the description of the body:- "Age 27 years, length 5ft 5 in. complexion fair, eyes blue, hair light auburn, teeth very regular and white; dress, black silk dress white satin stripes, black silk bodice, mauve satin stomacher, mauve satin petticoat, two white linen petticoats, flannel ditto, high laced-up boots, and dark stockings. On person, gold watch and chain marked 18-carat gold, bracelet jewelled, four rings - a wedding ring and a keeper, a ruby and emerald. One sovereign and a half in gold and two florins." On opening the umbrella another sovereign fell out of it. A paper parcel containing a pair of boots and other articles bore the name of a tradesman at Canterbury.
Directly on learning the above intelligence we made enquiries into the case, but for some time were unable to ascertain anything very definite. In the early morning the police knew practically nothing about it, but about midday Supt. Peacock was communicated with by the London authorities, and after prosecuting enquiries the body was identified as Mrs. Byrne, widow of the late Sergt.-Major Byrne. The deceased had been residing at 42, Broad Street, and was in Canterbury on Saturday, leaving for London about four o'clock. That day she purchased a pair of boots at Messrs. Kennedy's in Sun Street, and it was through these boots that the identification was really obtained. Deceased has two sisters that are known of at present. One is the wife of Sergeant Wakefield, Canterbury Depot, and the other is Miss Wilson, of Chelsea, and it is supposed that she was proceeding to the latter when she was discovered. Deceased occasionally assisted at Mr. Elding's, fruiterer, Guildhall Street, and was well-known to many in the city.
On Saturday morning, deceased was at Mr. Elding's shop, and told Mr. Elding that she had received a letter from an aunt at Tunbridge Wells asking her to pay a visit, and she intended to go that day. She added that she would return on Sunday night, and Mrs. Elding went to the station to meet her, and was much concerned at her non-arrival. It appears that instead of travelling to Tunbridge Wells the deceased travelled to London. So far nothing has transpired to account for her presence in the Blackfriars-road, and neither of the two men who were with the body at the time the police arrived have been seen or heard of since. The deceased's father, Mr. Nelson, of Yarmouth, accompanied by Miss Nelson and Sergeant Wakefield, of the 6th Dragoons, viewed the remains, and established beyond doubt their identity. The only child of Mrs. Byrne - a boy - resides at Yarmouth. It is remarkable that she was carrying property at some value at the time of her death, but none of it appears to have been disturbed, although the police theory is that, had not the constable been early on the scene, much, if not all, of the articles and money would have been missing.
INQUEST AND VERDICT
Mr. G.P. Wyatt, coroner, held an inquiry on Wednesday afternoon at the King Henry VIII public house, High-street, Lambeth, into the circumstances surrounding the death of Georgina Byrne, 34, widow of the late Sergeant-Major Byrne, of Canterbury, who was found in an unconscious condition in the Blackfriars-road at a late hour on Saturday night.
Mr. Matthew Nelson was the first witness. He said: I am the father of the deceased, and reside at Great Yarmouth. I am a retired Artillery officer. Georgina Byrne is my daughter. She was a widow. Her husband was a non-commissioned officer in the Dragoons. My daughter lived at 42a, Broad-street, Canterbury. I have seen the body in the mortuary and identify it as that of my daughter. I saw her alive last in May. She was then well. The only complaint she suffered from was quinsy. I am not aware that she had any male acquaintance in London. She was a sober woman.
Police-constable Duffin, H division (sic), said he was on duty in the Blackfriars-road on Saturday night, and saw the deceased lying on the path. Two men were trying to raise her head up. There was a gentleman by her side, and witness asked if the woman was hurt, and he answered "Yes," and added that he would go for medical aid. A parcel was lying by the deceased containing a pair of new boots and a paper containing the address of the bootmaker. The gentleman said he was her husband and did not return. The woman was taken to St. Thomas's Hospital, but died on the way. On the deceased there were four rings, and £1 10s in gold and 2s in silver. At the time he found the deceased an umbrella was handed to him and a sovereign fell out of it.
Dr. Luard of St. Thomas's Hospital, said he saw deceased at Saturday night last, when she was brought in at about half-past eleven. She had then been dead a short time. There was nothing peculiar about her. He had since made a post-mortem examination. He found no signs of violence whatever. Her heart was diseased. He was of opinion that death was caused by failure of the heart's action, the consequence probably of over-exertion.
Mr. Nelson said he believed that the two men intended to rob his daughter.
The Coroner pointed out that there were hundreds of people about in the locality at the time, and that there were no marks of violence on the body.
The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence, namely, that the deceased died from natural causes.
The coffin containing the body of the late Mrs. Byrne arrived at Canterbury from London on Thursday afternoon, by the South-Eastern Railway, and was at once conveyed to the private lodgings formerly occupied by the deceased, in Broad Street. The funeral took place on Friday afternoon at the Cemetery. The Rev W.H. Gibbons officiated.