So here's a letter to Henry Matthews written by Sir Charles Warren, and signed by him, on 29th November 1888, from 4 Whitehall Place - where his office was! - which must have been, according to Simon Wood, written in a room with no books or papers. Strange because it is a letter written on paper.
Equally strange is that Sir Charles appears to have received an official letter sent to him by the Home Secretary on the previous day when, according to Simon, he should have been sitting at home enjoying some cocoa.
What's even weirder is that Sir Charles fixes a date when the government is prepared "to relieve me of my responsibility as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis". What responsibility, Simon?
If anyone finds this hard to understand, don't worry, Simon Wood will be along shortly with his copy of the Irish Times to explain it all.
I transferred the next quote from JTRForums, just to pursue one particular line of inquiry.
Originally Posted by Sam Flynn
I've found the relevant exchange on Casebook, and I can't agree with your take on it. For one thing, there was no circularity in my argument. For another, I'm not at all biased against the Daily News but, in this particular instance, its report of Lewis's story was quite clearly mixed up, hence unreliable. This conclusion was arrived at following an analysis of the evidence, and was emphatically neither borne out of, nor influenced by, any bias on my part.
You criticize the Daily News coverage of Sarah Lewis's inquest testimony, in keeping with what you wrote previously in this thread in post 29.
Let's face it, the Daily News report of Lewis's testimony is a complete crock which needs to be ditched, together with the erroneous belief that Lewis saw a couple precede her into Miller's Court.
I don't see any 'complete crock'. What I do see is mention of a man standing in the deceased's doorway. In other sources we read that he was standing in Dorset street, opposite Millers Court.
The Echo wrote he was standing at the entrance to the court.
The Times reported him, standing at the lodging-house door.
Hutchinson said that he entered the court, looked and listened. So if he was in a position to look and listen for any movement in room 13 then Sarah Lewis saying he was standing at the doorway is quite consistent.
How can you avoid seeing that?
We read he stood outside Crossingham's, opposite to Millers Court. We also read that he stood at the entrance to Millers Court, and again that he went up the court and stood at her door or window.
None of these details are exclusive, in fact it is more than likely he did all three. It is quite normal for someone to stand and observe at a distance, then come a little closer, then closer still. Perfectly consistent with human nature.
Now, as for the other point, Lewis seeing this couple pass up the court.
In other sources she said this couple was "further on", in another "passing along", presumably in Dorset street.
Well of course there was a couple 'further on', or 'passing along', if Lewis was following behind them in Dorset street, which seems to be the case.
So "further on", or "passing along", does not contradict this couple then entering the court.
In fact, Sarah Lewis is not the only source that makes this exact statement, Hutchinson said the same. Hutchinson's story cannot be due to journalistic confusion.
We have two quite independent sources telling the same story, in the same street, at the same time, entering the same passage, with the female in both cases being the worse for drink.
As for the third point, that there was no-one in the court by the time Lewis arrived at No. 2.
If there had been a couple standing in the court then it could be argued that this couple could not be Kelly & her client because they went indoors. So it must be a different couple.
But, we actually have Lewis saying that when she got there, no-one was in the court. This is entirely what we should expect if this couple were the same couple seen by Hutchinson (Kelly & Astrachan).
These points of consistency are what is required to maintain that Sarah Lewis corroborates Hutchinson's story, in so far as that detail goes.
Criticizing Lewis's account as a confused report (which actually does not withstand scrutiny), does not dismiss Hutchinson's account of the very same detail.
Try as you might to criticize Lewis, but you have the same problem with Hutchinson's account, and the same reason does not work with Hutchinson.
Sarah Lewis corroborates Hutchinson. Their stories are mutually supportive on that small point.
"After I left the court I walked about all night, as the place where I usually sleep was closed. I am able to fix the time, as it was between ten and five minutes to two o'clock as I came by Whitechapel Church. When I left the corner of Miller's-court the clock struck three o'clock. One policeman went by the Commercial-street end of Dorset-street while I was standing there, but not one came down Dorset-street. I saw one man go into a lodging-house in Dorset-street, and no one else. I have been looking for the man all day."
No policeman walked down Dorset Street all the time Hutchinson was there...
He didn't see one.
Now...we have a clear choice. Either that statement is true and no policeman walked down there...or
It is false.
Did'nt the PC have to pass through Dorset St. and check unlocked premises,
or anything that could be part of his police duties.Also around 2;30 am if a 30 min beat.
And he did not even bother to look because he would have been in the inquest just like
Alfred Malshaw-Nicholls inquest,spotting a man who could potentially have been the killer [Lewis was able to].
Not doing his police duties or Hutch's lied,his story dismissed after the police read this newspaper.Maybe the police did not
want dereliction of duty as part of the inquest.
Maybe the police did not
want dereliction of duty as part of the inquest.
What dereliction of duty are you referring to? The officer whom Hutchinson claims to have seen walking along Commercial Street will have been concerned with what was happening on the area for which he was responsible. Such an officer might have noticed Hutchinson loitering on Dorset Street, but if he didn't it would not constitute neglect.
But what was the mandatory retirement age in 1888? When my dad retired from the police force, about 20 years ago, it was 55.
Essentially yes. In my time an officer could retire on full pension after completing 30 years service or at any time after completing 25 years service (albeit on a reduced pension), provided that he or she was 50 or over. (I was nearly 52 when I finished -after 30 years - in 2004.) 55 years was the normal maximum age for Pc's & Sgts although an extension could (& frequently was) granted. Inspectors and above could go on to 60. ACC's and above could retire before the age of 65 only with the consent of the Police Committee.
Quite justifiably. It is self-evidently garbled and erroneous, and I still hold to that conclusion. I'll leave it there, and let people judge for themselves.
This is one of those subjects where "the devil is in the details" certainly applies. It is very easy to dismiss a source with superfluous objections, especially when it is obvious that to delve any deeper into the argument you end up loosing on all counts.
That aside, I thought it quite clear you had already decided not to believe Hutchinson, and as a result you choose to interpret anything which contradicts your belief as false, or confused. I mean, in your view any explanation will do because what Lewis said can't possibly be true (in your opinion).
Then over on JTRForums you claimed to object to posters who make preconceived judgements on evidence. Which in my view was precisely what you had done in this thread. So, I was wondering if I was wrong then perhaps you could explain the difference.
This is why I spoke up on Howard's site.
It isn't so much your argument, it is more a question of why you believe what you do.
I'm more interested in your reasoning. That is, how you can justify that two independent sources offering the same details; the same activity at the same time in the same street, can both be wrong.
What has become apparent over the years on Casebook is a tendency to counter a point of evidence with a 'maybe', or a 'what-if'. And that is thought by some to be sufficient to reject the point of evidence being raised. Especially when the etiquette of debate requires that evidence be contested with evidence, not hypothesis.
This is what I read with your rejection of the Daily News coverage, and it simply does not withstand scrutiny.
The court record is not a complete account of the inquest. There are no questions recorded, and only selective replies are written down by Hodgkinson (the deputy).
No source provided the full testimony of each witness.
Hodgkinson captured what he knew was relevant for the court record, the Times published what they thought was of interest. The Daily News, the Morning Advertiser, the Daily Telegraph, etc., all chose selective lines out of Lewis's testimony to publish.
To gain a more complete picture of Lewis's testimony it is necessary to collate all the sources. Not just pick one favorite because it better suits a particular theory, and then reject the rest.
Neither is it justified to reject any press coverage because we see an error somewhere in the published account. Isolated errors do exist in the most reliable sources.
Apart from an isolated mistake with a word here or there, the inquest coverage is by far the most reliable source offered by the press with the exception of direct official quotes which are rare, extremely rare.