Does anyone, I wonder, have any information about the below story which appeared in Reynolds's Newspaper of 15 July 1888:
"For some time past a secret inquiry has been proceeding at the Home-office before Mr. Curtis Bennett, the Westminster magistrate, into the conduct of certain officials at Scotland-yard, which promises to rival in public interest the revelations at the Board of Works inquiry."
The Reynolds's Newspaper story may have had a connection to an inquiry into a blaze which broke out towards the end of May 1888 in the basement of No. 3 Palace Yard, used for storing Fenian records. See Daily News 28th May, Evening Standard, 28th, Leicester Chronicle 2nd June. The Daily Colonist, 29th, and The Montreal Daily Witness 30th May, reported that "a commission of inquiry, presided over by General Strachan [whomever he may have been] had begun the work of seeking for the cause of the fire . . ."
It seems to have something to do with the lottery mentioned just before it.
Re the lottery, there's an account in the Diss Express 20th July 1888. Hackett and several other constables were dismissed. Hackett had won several rewards for special service. A petition was got up by the local traders and residents, to be sent to the Home Secretary.
David, is this Curtis-Bennett the father of the famous barrister of the 1910-1930 period, Sir Henry Curtis Bennett?
Yes indeed it was Jeff.
The magistrate Henry Curtis Bennett was born in 1846 the son of a vicar, George Peter Bennett. After practising as a barrister he became a magistrate in 1886 and, in July 1888, was splitting his time between Wandsworth and Hammersmith police courts. In 1878 he had married Emily Jane Hughes Hallett (who may well have been a cousin of Major Francis Charles Hughes Hallet) and the couple gave birth to Henry Honywood in 1879. Henry Honywood Curtis-Bennett was the famous KC who was knighted in 1922.
Both men died suddenly shortly after major appointments. Henry senior died on 2 June 1913 within a month of his appointment as Chief Magistrate and weeks after he was knighted. Henry Honywood died only a few weeks after his appointment as Chairman of the London Sessions.