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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Police Officials and Procedures > Littlechild, Chief Inspector John George

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  #1  
Old 06-24-2015, 12:20 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Default Chief Inspector J G Littlechild

I'm reading at the moment a fascinating book by Robert Sackville-West, concerning the history of the Sackville family and their ancestral home Knole House near Sevenoaks, Kent.

Without going into the background, by the late 19th century the family and its cadet branches had become entangled in various law-suits concerning the ownership of Knole. (It's incredibly complex, which is why I won't be going into it!). Anyway, Henry Sackville-West was threatening to instigate an action against his own father Lionel who had (I think) cut him out of the inheritance of Knole, which was worth a bomb. On behalf of Lionel, his son and daughter-in-law prepared their own case - they were already living at Knole and obviously not to keen to give it up - and their family lawyers, Meynell and Pemberton, were asked to investigate possible falsifications of a marriage register in Spain (I can't go into this, it's already doing my head in...). Anyway, the firm of lawyers sent their private investigator, identified only as Mr Littlechild, to Spain to look into matters there, during 1897.

Now I know that 'our' Mr Littlechild, when he retired from the Met, spent some time as a private investigator, and so obviously I wonder if he was the Mr Littlechild sent to Spain. Can anyone provide further information regarding?

I know that 'our' Littlechild resigned from the Met in 1893, and I'm also aware that he carried out investigations on behalf of the prosecution in the Oscar Wilde case. I also know that he identified to G R Sims our old friend Dr Tumblety as a likely suspect in the Ripper Murders. It would seem that he moved in high-society circles, so would doubtless make the ideal private eye to look into the dubious history of an ancient and wealthy English family.

Graham
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:51 PM
Simon Wood Simon Wood is offline
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Hi Graham,

Yes, JG Littlechild is your man.

The Times 5th February 1910 -

Name:  THE TIMES 05 FEB 1910 LITTLECHILD.JPG
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Size:  79.6 KB

Regards,

Simon
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Old 06-25-2015, 04:40 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Thank you for that, Simon. Interesting!

Graham
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:16 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
I'm reading at the moment a fascinating book by Robert Sackville-West, concerning the history of the Sackville family and their ancestral home Knole House near Sevenoaks, Kent.

Without going into the background, by the late 19th century the family and its cadet branches had become entangled in various law-suits concerning the ownership of Knole. (It's incredibly complex, which is why I won't be going into it!). Anyway, Henry Sackville-West was threatening to instigate an action against his own father Lionel who had (I think) cut him out of the inheritance of Knole, which was worth a bomb. On behalf of Lionel, his son and daughter-in-law prepared their own case - they were already living at Knole and obviously not to keen to give it up - and their family lawyers, Meynell and Pemberton, were asked to investigate possible falsifications of a marriage register in Spain (I can't go into this, it's already doing my head in...). Anyway, the firm of lawyers sent their private investigator, identified only as Mr Littlechild, to Spain to look into matters there, during 1897.

Now I know that 'our' Mr Littlechild, when he retired from the Met, spent some time as a private investigator, and so obviously I wonder if he was the Mr Littlechild sent to Spain. Can anyone provide further information regarding?

I know that 'our' Littlechild resigned from the Met in 1893, and I'm also aware that he carried out investigations on behalf of the prosecution in the Oscar Wilde case. I also know that he identified to G R Sims our old friend Dr Tumblety as a likely suspect in the Ripper Murders. It would seem that he moved in high-society circles, so would doubtless make the ideal private eye to look into the dubious history of an ancient and wealthy English family.

Graham
Hi Graham,

It is possible you came across this already in the book, but the Lionel Sackville-West (I believe) that you mentioned is actually Sir Lionel Sackville-West, former British Ambassador to the United States in the 1880s, whose career there ended in a major political bombshell, when he stupidly answered a letter he received, supposedly from an Englishman who had emigrated to the United States, requesting guidance on how to vote in the 1888 Presidential election - for Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland or for Republican Senator Benjamin Harrison. Sackville-West noted the writer of the letter requested guidance, wanting to know who of the two candidates was friendlier to British interests. The ambassador said to vote for Cleveland, as he was the better friend to Britain.

The ambassador had been set up - the author of the letter was not an immigrant, but an Irish-American who was a Republican, and the result was that many Irish-Americans decided not to support Cleveland in 1888 (in 1884 a blunder by Republican Presidential candidate James Blaine alienated hundreds of Irish-American voters in New York City, so that Cleveland carried the city and the state of New York, and the election). A furious Cleveland handed Sackville-West his credentials and he was sent back to Britain. Lord Salisbury was not happy by Cleveland's apparent "over-reaction" to the ambassador's mistake, and waited until March 1889 before appointing a new ambassador. Cleveland actually won the popular vote in the election, but Harrison won (due to voter shifts in key states) in the electoral college, so Harrison accepted the new ambassador.

If I am so far correct, this Lionel Sackville-West was also the father of the writer, Victoria Sackville-West.

Jeff
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2015, 11:42 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Jeff,

there were two Sir Lionel Sackville-Wests! The Ambassador to the USA was 'Old Lionel', who was the father of Victoria Sackville-West via a Spanish dancer known as Pepita. Victoria was illegitimate. His successor at Knole was his nephew, who married Victoria (they were first cousins) and they were the parents of the second Victoria Sackville-West who is better known at Vita. I did read some of Vita's writings years and years ago, in which she recounted much of the family history.

I've just got to a real juicy bit in the book....court-cases and extra-marital affairs. What a family!

Graham
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:58 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Jeff,

there were two Sir Lionel Sackville-Wests! The Ambassador to the USA was 'Old Lionel', who was the father of Victoria Sackville-West via a Spanish dancer known as Pepita. Victoria was illegitimate. His successor at Knole was his nephew, who married Victoria (they were first cousins) and they were the parents of the second Victoria Sackville-West who is better known at Vita. I did read some of Vita's writings years and years ago, in which she recounted much of the family history.

I've just got to a real juicy bit in the book....court-cases and extra-marital affairs. What a family!

Graham
Hi Graham,

Boy this is some family, with weird marriages and courtroom clashes. Thanks for explaining that there were two Sackville-Wests.

In 1884, there were two political rhymes in the Presidential campaigns of Cleveland and Blaine. There was a scandal of an extra-marital affair and an illegitimate child involving Cleveland (otherwise scrupulously honest):

Republicans chanted, "Ma, ma, where's my Pa?" The response was "Gone to the White House! Ha,ha,ha!!"

Blaine had done a prevarication trick, reading sections of some letters to Congress which actually showed him seeking large bribes for a railroad's land grants. This became known in 1884, so that the Democrats chanted:

"Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine. The continental liar from the state of Maine!"

Blaine was a Senator from Maine.

One of Blaine's letters ended - "Burn this letter!" which obviously was not done by the recipient one Warren Fisher. Blaine was also friendly towards Fisher and his wife in the letter. So a second, anti-Blaine rhythm was concocted:

"Burn the Letter, Burn this Letter!! Kind regards to Mrs. Fisher!!!"

Well 1888 showed no bad scandals involving Harrison or incumbent Cleveland (now married to an attractive young wife Francis, and having a growing family). The Sackville-West matter created a mildy interesting rhythm for the Republicans, that did not have the lasting power of the 1884 ditties.

"West, West...Sackville-West! He didn't want to go, but Cleveland thought it the best!!!"

Jeff
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