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  #11  
Old 08-26-2016, 09:55 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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It's a good avenue to follow, but Philip Sugden has already been there, noted in the introduction to the second edition of his book.
Thank you Dave O (no relation!), I thought someone must have picked up on this.

As Sugden seems to have established, Wynne Baxter did indeed fulfill his obligations under the 1884 Home Office circular and lodge copies of all the depositions from the Ripper victim inquests he conducted during 1888 with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I figured the chances of them surviving were remote but the question I was going to ask was rather what has actually happened to them? Were they deliberately destroyed as part of normal policy? Or have they simply gone missing?
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:25 AM
Dave O Dave O is offline
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Hi David,

The LCC destroyed their portion of the records under the 15 Year Rule. They had run out of storage, and then there was a paper shortage during the war. This is documented in a file held by the LMA, which was transcribed in Ripperologist #69 ("The Sunshine and the Shadow") and is in a searchable format. If you're interested in reading it, it's free Drop me a PM if you would like me to send it or you can get the back issue by writing them.

But it's not clear what the County of Middlesex did with its portion--this probably can and should be documented. For example, all of the records of Roderick Macdonald that survive have done so because they were in the custody of the County of Middlesex.

Apologies if I'm not very coherent. I am sleep deprived
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:37 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Hi David,

The LCC destroyed their portion of the records under the 15 Year Rule. They had run out of storage, and then there was a paper shortage during the war. This is documented in a file held by the LMA, which was transcribed in Ripperologist #69 ("The Sunshine and the Shadow") and is in a searchable format. If you're interested in reading it, it's free Drop me a PM if you would like me to send it or you can get the back issue by writing them.

But it's not clear what the County of Middlesex did with its portion--this probably can and should be documented. For example, all of the records of Roderick Macdonald that survive have done so because they were in the custody of the County of Middlesex.

Apologies if I'm not very coherent. I am sleep deprived
But why would documents held by the Director of Public Prosecutions have ended up with the London County Council?
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:41 PM
Dave O Dave O is offline
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I'm referring to the case papers that were in the custody of Wynne Baxter's family and were passed on to the County of London in 1921, not anything that the DPP ever had in its possession. Since Phil Sugden has already investigated that angle, I am suggesting that one avenue that hasn't been researched (so far as I know), is documenting the movement of that portion of Baxter's papers that most likely went into the custody of the County of Middlesex at the same time, because it's likely that they would have received those papers dating from Nov 1886 through April 1889.

Dave
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:01 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Since Phil Sugden has already investigated that angle
But all Phil Sugden says in his introduction to his book is that the papers lodged with the DPP are no longer there. He doesn't say what enquiries he made or what happened to them, which is what I'm interested in.

For the purpose of this thread, I'm really only interested in the copies of the depositions provided to the DPP because, as a Government department, I would have expected them to have been retained and then lodged with the Public Record Office (as was). If they weren't then presumably they were destroyed but did someone deliberately do it knowing they were the JTR inquest papers or was it just carelessness, thinking they were of no interest?
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:34 PM
Bridewell Bridewell is offline
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But all Phil Sugden says in his introduction to his book is that the papers lodged with the DPP are no longer there. He doesn't say what enquiries he made or what happened to them, which is what I'm interested in.

For the purpose of this thread, I'm really only interested in the copies of the depositions provided to the DPP because, as a Government department, I would have expected them to have been retained and then lodged with the Public Record Office (as was). If they weren't then presumably they were destroyed but did someone deliberately do it knowing they were the JTR inquest papers or was it just carelessness, thinking they were of no interest?
And if they were destroyed in the comparatively recent past, were they put onto microfiche before that destruction? (I only ask because, in 1977, I was part of a small team which transferred Nottinghamshire Constabulary CRO material to microfiche before the hard copies were disposed of - so it is possible).
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:54 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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I find Sugden's approach to this issue rather odd.

In the introduction to the 2nd edition of his Complete History, he refers to an attempt to locate the inquest records for the murder of Emma Elizabeth Smith. Having discovered that no coroner's papers for the old Eastern District of Middlesex have survived he says:

"A ray of hope invigorated my efforts when I discovered that Coroner Wynne Baxter had sent a copy of his inquest papers to the Public Prosecutor, but it was soon extinguished. All that remains today in the records of the Director of Public Prosecutions is a single line entry in a register of cases. In the comments column is the cryptic remark; 'no-one in custody'." Here he gives a reference to DPP 3/7.

Leaving aside the fact that there is nothing cryptic about the comment 'no-one in custody', what is so strange is that Sugden leaves it there, with the inquest papers of Emma Elizabeth Smith. DPP 3/7 is a register of applications to the DPP from 3 October 1887 to 25 May 1888 and thus outside the date range of the C5 ripper murders.

I can't believe that Sugden would not have moved on to DPP 3/8, the register which covers the period 25 May 1888 to 12 February 1889. Had he done so, he would have found reference to Baxter providing papers to the DPP of three C5 Ripper murders plus Tabram. Yet Sugden does not even mention this crucial register!

For the record, DPP 3/8 shows that Baxter forwarded a copy of Tabram's deposition to the DPP on 31 August 1888 (ironically the same day as Nichols's murder). The comment here is "No arrest made" rather than "no-one in custory". Two copies of the depositions from the Nichols inquest were forwarded by Baxter to the DPP on 27 September 1888 at a cost of 3.3.0. Comment also "No arrest made". On 3 October 1888 two copies of the Chapman depositions were forwarded to the DPP. No comment other than that the cost of 4.4.0 had been met. And then on 2 November 1888, at a cost of 5.5.0, copies of depositions from the Stride inquest were sent by Baxter to the DPP, with the register containing the comment "No arrest made".

Presumably the copies of these depositions were all destroyed in due course at the DPP's office but Sugden's approach does make me wonder what efforts he made to track these down bearing in mind that he does not actually even mention them!
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