The Times of 28 February 1889 reported on Pigott's activities in Paris:
A Reuter telegram from Paris last night says: - “Inquiries made at the Hotel des Deux Mondes have elicited the following facts: - An Englishman with a white beard and a fresh complexion, wearing spectacles, arrived at the hotel at 6 o’clock yesterday morning and left again between 8 and 9 o’clock without giving any name. He had some breakfast, and afterwards asked for some letter-paper with the name of the hotel printed at the head. He wrote a few words, and then enclosed the paper in a long envelope of English form, together with some other papers. The letter was addressed to London and was weighed before being despatched. The weight was 25 grammes, or rather less than 1oz".
The letter sent by Pigott was addressed to William Shannon and received by him on the morning of 27 February and passed on to Scotland Yard. It was opened in public during that morning's hearing of the Special Commission and read as follows:
Richard Pigott Esq.
Hotel des Deux Mondes, 22, Avenue de l’Opera
Paris (M. Legeun, Propre)
Tuesday [26 Feb 1889]
Dear Sir – Just before I left enclosed was handed to me. It had been left while I was out. Will write again soon.
The enclosure being referred to was a letter from Lewis and Lewis to Pigott dated 25 February 1889.
Richard Pigott fled London on Monday 25th February 1889.
He caught the 8.05 pm train from Charing Cross, which arrived in Paris at 6.20 am on Tuesday 26th February 1889.
The authorities leapt into action.
Henry Matthews, House of Commons, Tuesday 26th February 1889—
"I have received information that the Bench warrant issued this morning by the Commission Court was not brought to Scotland Yard till a quarter past 6 by a person in the employment of Messrs. Lewis and Lewis. It was not, therefore, until that hour that the police could possibly take any steps for the arrest of Mr. Pigott. Immediately the warrant was received, every step that was possible was taken by telegraphing to the ports and by employing persons to watch at all railway stations."
By the time Scotland Yard received and could action the arrest warrant, Pigott had been in Paris for 12 hours, where he was awaiting the 8.20 pm train for Madrid, which would arrive at 6.40 am on Thursday 28th February 1889.
There's a faint whiff of rat about the Pigott story.
You're very confused about this entire situation aren't you Simon?
Pigott was perfectly entitled to take a train from Charing Cross at 8.05pm on 25 February 1889. There were no legal restrictions as to his movements. As you say, he was in Paris many hours before a Bench warrant was issued for his arrest by the Special Commission during the morning of 26 February.
That Bench warrant was, therefore, utterly useless because it could not be enforced in France.
Pigott's legal team consequently trooped off with the warrant to Bow Street Police Court to get a second warrant issued against Pigott for perjury. This warrant could be used to extradite Pigott from France (or Spain).
Both warrants were handed to Scotland Yard late on the 26th.
As the Home Secretary has stated, Scotland Yard DID leap into action because police at the ports and railway stations were immediately alerted but, of course, Pigott was not in the country at this time.
The very next day steps were taken to have Pigott arrested in France but by then he had slipped off to Madrid. He was traced and tracked to Madrid with an officer arriving to arrest him in his hotel at the request of the British authorities only THREE days after the warrant had been received in London.
Quite impressive work by Scotland Yard and the British authorities really.
La Monarquia The Pigott Suicide
Yesterday a letter addressed to the name given by Pigott [Ponsonby] was received at the Hotel de Embajadores.
Mr. García Alba, owner of the hotel, handed the letter over to the United Kingdom ambassador, who arranged for the letter to be handed over to the trial court judge. The content of the letter is, more or less, the following: “London 28 ... Received telegram ... the person is in Ireland ... on his return I will carry out the commission.”
Today the English police will arrive in Madrid to identify the corpse. This will take place in the judicial deposit, and will be attended by the investigating Judge S. Losada, the first secretary of the English embassy, the consul, the English police, a delegate of the governor and the owner of the establishment, Mr. García de Alba, to the effect of manifesting if, in fact, it is the corpse of the person who was the hotel guest.
El Dia Pigott
This morning the two British police officers requested by the embassy to identify the corpse arrived in Madrid. They are Mr. Queen[Quinn] and Mr. Lowe, two young men who have eighteen years of experience respectively. The appearance of the English police officer contrasts sharply with the Spaniard policeman. All Madrid can identify our officers by his suit, his old-fashioned hat, his thick metal or bone cane, his dull coat and sinister appearance.
Instead, Mr [Quinn] and Mr Lowe were met in an aristocratic salon, and the men conduct themselves as diplomats. Their elegant appearance and fine treatment clearly reveals that the English police are made up of individuals of the highest class.
Some journalists visited the embassy of England in order to obtain the details of Pigott's identification. They asked countless questions of the policemen through the consul Mr. Macpherson, who speaks Spanish as well as an old Castilian. All answered with great kindness, however, they did dodge some questions that they did not consider totally pertinent.
For example, Mr [Quinn] and Mr Lowe did not disclose the salary that they charge in their country for the functions they perform nor the bonus they have been allocated during this trip.
there,s nothing new, only the unexplored
El Pais IDENTIFICATION OF PIGOTT
Yesterday the police officer of the United Kingdom Vigilance Center, Mr Quinn, and Agent Lowe arrived in Madrid to identify the corpse of the man who committed suicide.
They stayed at the Hotel Navarra. Upon greeting the Court and the English embassy, the latter authorized the consul Mr. Macpherson to attend the recognition of the corpse along with Judge Saavedra, and the owner of the Hotel de Embajadores, Mr. Garcia Alba.
The corpse was in the central courtyard of the depot; his head was uncovered; his beard was full of blood; and he rested on a piece of wood so that the opening produced in his cranium by the projectile could be viewed. His eyes were still open, and his body did not yet show great signs of decomposition.
The Judge asked the inspector if he recognized Mister Pigott, and he answered affirmatively by means of Mr. Macpherson, who acted as interpreter. The judge asked the same question to Mr. Garcia Alba, who also stated that the corpse in front of him was the same person who had taken room no. 3 on February 28th under the name Roland Ponsonby.
La Republica Pigott
Until late afternoon [yesterday] the autopsy of Pigott's corpse had not been performed. It will probably be done today by the medical examiner Mr. Alonso Martinez. Afterwards a funeral will be given with greatest modesty, and the expenses will be borne by the English embassy.
They do not know in which cemetery he will be buried; even though Pigott was a Catholic, there is some difficulty in giving him a sacred burial because he committed suicide.
Pigott's body has been photographed on behalf of the British embassy.
Pigott died extremely poor, leaving his children in the greatest helplessness
La Iberia PIGOTT RECOGNITION
A British police officer commissioned to identify the corpse of the man who committed suicide at the Hotel of Embajadores and another agent acting as interpreter arrived in Madrid yesterday on the express [train] from France.
These officials, accompanied by the judge of the Southern District, the court clerk, the consul of England, and the owner of the hotel, were taken to the Judicial Deposit for the purpose of recognition shortly after noon. At the first [sight of the dead man], the British police officer stated that the corpse before him was Pigott. The Interrogatories
The owner of the Hotel de Embajadores was questioned first.
He stated that he was in the presence of the guest, who committed suicide in room number 3 of his hotel, while a delegate of the governor of the province was requesting the guest to accompany him regarding a matter that might interest the man.
Then followed the interrogation of Mr. Quinn, which is the name of the English police officer. The questions and answers that were exchanged between the judge and the English commissioner are reproduced below:
Judge.-Do you know the corpse in front of you?
Mr. Quinn. Yes, sir. It's Mr. Pigott's.
"No doubt about it.
"So this gentleman was never Roland Ponsonby?
"No, sir, it's always been Pigott.
"And where did you know him from?
"I have seen him in England and Ireland.
"How long have you seen him for the last time?
"Ten days ago I saw him declaring before the Special Commission of the Supreme Court of Justice, which understands in the proceedings for crimes committed against members of Parliament and other persons constituted in high official hierarchy.
"And you know what Pigott was saying?
"He declared, as a favorable witness to the periodical The Times, in the case, which had been prompted by a series of slanderous letters published by that newspaper, in which he accused Parnell, Mr. O'Kelly, and other members of Parliament as instigating the Humble Society "The Invincibles", which was intended to undermine the lives of other people.
"Where was Pigott?
"I can not swear, I think he was from Dublin.
"How old would he be?
"Do you know if he had a family?
"I think he had some children.
"What did Pigott do?
"He was the director and owner of The Ireman newspaper; Later he sold this newspaper, and lately it is not known what he did, although it was assumed that he wrote in several newspapers.
At the end of this interrogation, the minutes of the diligence were extended and signed by the judge and Messrs. Macpherson, Quinn and Garcia Alba.
The Inspector Mr. P. Quinn
Inspector Mr. P. Quinn is thirty-four years old, and has served for sixteen years in the Police Corps, where he was admitted for having performed, as an unofficial character, important services in London and other towns in England .
Since Pigott had begun to appear in the Times-Parnell process, Mr. Quinn received an order to watch over him.
He gave an exact account of the time that Pigott had left London and the actions Pigott had taken before departing the city. The Autopsy and Pigott Burial.
At the disposition of the Court the autopsy was carried out on the body of Pigott by Dr. Adriano Alonsio Martinez, and then the mortal remains of the man were buried in the civil cemetery.
The costs of burial have been borne by the English embassy.
Back to London.
Yesterday Mr. Quinn and the agent who accompanied him as interpreter returned to London, taking with him the revolver that Pigott used to commit suicide, the checkbook, two letters, a handbag, 19 pesetas in cash, the scapular of which we have written, and recently discovered keys, in order to bring all of these objects to the summary in London.
there,s nothing new, only the unexplored
La Epoca Le Matin of Paris reports that the English police were informed of the arrival of Richard Pigott in Madrid by a telegram received on Thursday in London by Mr. Shannon, which read: "A favor requested of S… send me what you have promised me; write to Roland Ponsonby, Hotel de Embajadores, Madrid."
Mr. Shannon wrote denying that he had made Pigott any promises of money, while the police telegraphed the S.M.B. Ambassador[Spain] where the famous Irishman could be found.
there,s nothing new, only the unexplored
Nowhere did I suggest that Richard Pigott was not entitled to board the 8.05 pm train bound for Paris on Monday 25th February 1889.
But as Sir Charles Russell was expecting Pigott to reappear at the Special Commission on Tuesday 26th February 1889, one might have thought that the two Irish police officers, Head Constable Gallagher and Sergeant Faussett, would have done a better job of keeping a watch on him.
Henry Matthews, HOC 27th February 1889—
"Every possible step has been taken by the Metropolitan Police in the matter since the issue of the Bench warrant (and earlier on the perjury warrant) for his apprehension, which reached Scotland Yard at a quarter-past 6 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a sealed envelope from Messrs. Lewis and Lewis. Immediately all the ports and foreign stations were telegraphed to with instructions to detain Pigott. If he passed through a foreign station, of course it would only be necessary to send information as to his arrival. Special inquiries were also made at all the London hotels, and last night Pigott's name and description were circulated in what is called "Information" to all stations of the Metropolitan Police, the consequence of which was that every constable on any beat had instructions to detain Pigott."
Once again, Simon, you show your ignorance of the facts.
Gallagher and Faussett were not were not employed to "keep a watch" on Pigott. They were employed by the Times to stop people interfering with him (at his hotel). They had no instructions to follow him around London, let alone the country. They were not keeping him under 24 hour surveillance as you seem to think (and have said in your book). They did not report to Scotland Yard or Henry Matthews in any case. Even if they saw Pigott leaving for Paris they could have done absolutely nothing to stop him and it wasn't their job to report on his movements.
The quote you have posted of Henry Matthews does, indeed, sound like impressive police work.
Unfortunately, unknown to them, Pigott had already left the country before the Bench warrant had been issued so there was absolutely nothing that they could physically have done to stop him. But they did track him down to his hotel room in Spain and arrange for his arrest within only a few days so, yes, it was quite impressive work by the British authorities to have done this.