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Frederick Gehringer: Barrow Lender, Lodging House Keeper and Crime Lord?

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  • Frederick Gehringer: Barrow Lender, Lodging House Keeper and Crime Lord?

    I feel like it's appropriate to spin out some of material about Frederick Gehringer which surfaced from the 'Socialism in the East End' thread. There's still some facts which I'm trying to trace down about the Gehringers and some intriguing bits which I'm mulling over.

  • #2
    In 1898 in his notes for a walk around Spitalfields with Sergeant French of H Division; George Duckworth wrote:

    The Great Pearl Street district remains as black as it was 10 years ago. As the Dorset Street district belongs to a dweller in it 'MacCarthy' so this bit belongs to Geringer an inhabitant of Little Pearl Street. The features of both these streets are common lodging houses for men, women & doubles which are little better than brothels. Thieves, bullies and prostitutes are their inhabitants.
    Source: https://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b3...46.679%2C741.5

    MacCarthy is none other than our very own John McCarthy of Miller’s Court fame. Geringer is actually Frederick Gehringer, a local barrow lender and lodging house keeper.

    In his book ‘Spitalfields: The History of a Nation in a Handful of Streets’, historian Dan Cruickshank writes about Duckworth’s notes on this walk. Cruikshank writes "In ‘Dorset Street’ they had encountered Jack McCarthy, who headed an Irish Catholic and English gang” and “His [Gehringer’s] gang was presumably German/ Jewish”

    Cruickshank says “Gehringer […] controlled the area controlled bordered by Quaker Street, Commercial Street and Grey Eagle Street“ with Fiona Rule acknowledged as the source for this description of his ‘area’.

    What evidence is there that either of these men had a ‘gang’ in the usual meaning of the term?

    Duckworth discusses McCarthy and Gehringer, but doesn’t mention the other lodging house keepers of the area we know of such as Crossingham, is this perhaps because Gehringer and McCarthy were perhaps recognised as leaders of certain groups/ gangs in 1898?

    Were there distinct English/ Irish and German/ Jewish gangs as Cruikshank seems to suggest?

    Comment


    • #3
      Both Fiona Rule and Cruikshank write about Frederick Gehringer lodging house keeper and the landlord of ‘The City of Norwich’ public house. However, it’s actually clear that there were in fact two Frederick Gehringers, a father and a son.

      Frederick Gehringer the senior was the landlord of ‘The City of Norwich’ - https://pubshistory.com/LondonPubs/S...orthSt61.shtml, I haven’t found any evidence that the son was ever the landlord of the pub.

      I’ve been in contact with a descendent of Frederick Gehringer, who describes Adam Frederick Gehringer (who sometimes went by the name Frederick Adam) as some sort of crime lord controlling 4 streets including Great Pearl Street (now Calvin Street) and Little Pearl Street (now Jerome Street). This Adam Fredrick Gehringer died childless in 1909 and shared the Gehringer estate amongst his nieces and nephews, leaving 31 Great Pearl Street to his nephew Frederick William Nafzger, who adopted the name Gehringer for business purposes.

      Frederick William Nafzger was the son of Johan Gotlob Nafzger and Catherine Louisa Gehringer. Catherine Louisa Gehringer was the daughter of Frederick Gehringer senior. She is listed at ‘The City of Norwich’ as the daughter in the 1861 census (from the pubshistory link above). Therefore, if Frederick William was the nephew of Fredrick Gehringer ‘the crime lord’, then this Frederick Gehringer was the younger one - the son of the landlord of ‘The City of Norwich’.

      So, were both Frederick Gehringer senior and Frederick Gehringer junior involved in crime and controlling areas of territory? Or was it only the younger Frederick?

      Did Frederick Gehringer senior own lodging houses or is it Frederick Gehringer junior who built the (crime?) empire?

      Comment


      • #4
        I’ve stumbled on another source of sorts namely ‘All About History: Jack the Ripper’ which claims that Daniel Lewis purchased 18 George Street from Frederick Gehringer the publican in 1886, after some investment had been made to the property to double the number of possible tenants. I don't currently have another source for this claim:

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        Daniel Lewis, John Satchell, John McCarthy, John Cooney, the Smith Family, and William Crossingham are listed together as ‘The Lords of Spitalfields’ in ‘The Bank Holiday Murders’. Gehringer is notable by his absence from the list. Is there a reason Gehringer is not listed amongst them?

        Is it at all possible that with the sale of 18 George Street in 1886, control of the house passed from a family opposed to John McCarthy to one which was aligned with him?

        Emma Smith was living at 18 George Street when she was attacked at the corner of Osborne Street. Here’s a map from the previously mentioned ‘All About History’ which helpfully shows the vicinity of the attack location to ‘The City of Norwich’ (there are two red stars marking the attack location because the attack is variously reported as being at the junction and further up Brick Lane so both locations are marked):

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        Martha Tabram was living at John Satchel’s house at 19 George Street at the time she was murdered. Here’s a map from the ‘All About History’ again showing how close the murder site was to ‘The City of Norwich’ pub:

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        So possibly Frederick Gehringer senior possibly sold off 18 George Street to a man possibly aligned with John McCarthy and John Satchell in 1886 and within two years, the women of 18 and 19 George Street start getting attacked when close to the Gehringer's pub.

        After the murders of Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman, Jacob Isenschmid a Swiss butcher from Holloway comes under suspicion. When trying to find him, his wife mentions he frequents ‘a Public House kept by a ‘German’ named Gerlinger in Wentworth Street’. This pub fits the description of ‘The City of Norwich’.

        Sergeant Thick went to the pub and spoke to ‘Mrs Gerlingher, the person referred to in the wife’s statement’, probably Emma Gehringer the wife of Frederick senior. She stated she did not know Jacob Isenschmid and no person but her regular customers had visited her house, a “Public House” - the quote marks around “Public House” were Thick’s, perhaps indicating Thick thought (as I do…) that Emma Gehringer’s claim that only the regulars ever drunk in her house and therefore Mrs Gehringer might not be entirely truthful.

        Isenschmid’s wife can’t have just made up an accurate name of a landlord and the pub location, she got these details from somewhere and they seem reliable. So, Mrs Gehringer denial that it’s even possible Isenschmid had been in ‘The City of Norwich’ seems dubious. Far more plausible would be to admit the possibility but be unable to identify the man or say for certain if he had been there as many people come to the pub to drink.

        So, the Gehringer’s and ‘The City of Norwich’ turn up in relation to or in the vicinity of 18 George Street, the attack on Emma Smith, the murder of Martha Tabram and the murders of Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman. Perhaps this really is all just a coincidence, but I’m intrigued.

        Comment


        • #5
          A few more related bits. I found the Post Office Directories from the period online at http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/d...on/p16445coll4 and have been able to trace a few Frederick Gehringers in the area of 1852 onwards.

          Post Office London Directory (Small edition), 1852 has an entry which I believe may be the senior Frederick Gehringer living and working as a baker at Brick Lane.

          Post Office London Directory (Small edition), 1882 has an entry for Frederick Gehringer, 61 Wentworth Street

          The Business Directory of London, 1884. [Part 1: Alphabetical Section] lists John Nafzgher LV, 'City of Norwich', 61 Wentworth Street, Whitechapel

          Kelly's London Suburban Directory, 1901. [Vol. I: Northern. Part 2: Trades & Court Directories, etc.] and the Post Office London Directory, 1899. [Part 2: Street Directory] both have the following entries:

          22 Little Pearl Street - F.Gehringer - Barrow Lender

          41 White Lion Street - Frederick Adam Gehringer - Cart Builder

          The Post Office London Directory, 1915. [Part 4: Trades & Professional Directory] has Frederick Adam Gehringer, 34 Great Pearl Street under Barrow Lenders

          Frederick Gehringer 'crime lord' died sometime around 1909, so the entry in 1915 is likely to be someone else related to Frederick Gehringer, probably the cart builder from the 1901 directory.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've just realised my clipping above from ‘All About History: Jack the Ripper’ is unreadable. I'll quote the relevant parts:

            18 George Street was first registered as a common lodging house in 1864 by George Wilmott [...] Originally it was licensed to accommodate 21 lodgers housed in 3 rooms, one on each of the floors. The property was later taken over by a local publican named Frederick Gehringer and he managed to subdivide the floors, packing in more than double the previous number of tenants. [...] He sold No.18 in 1886 to man named Daniel Lewis, another local lodging house keeper, who owned it at the time of the [Emma Smith] murder.
            Tom Westcott in the 'Bank Holiday Murders' quotes an article 'The Rookery: The Lodging Houses of 'Flowery Dean' in the late Victorian Period' by John Bennett, from Ripperologist, no 105, August 2009, which seems to have stated Daniel Lewis purchased 18 George Street directly from George Wilmott. I don't have this article to go on, only the reference to it.

            So, it's a mystery to me. Did Frederick Gehringer ever own 18 George Street? - if he did, was this the older Fredrick Gehringer who became the landlord of the City of Norwich around 1855 or his son, the barrow lender who later ran his business from 22 Little Pearl Street?
            Last edited by seanr; 02-24-2019, 12:44 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seanr View Post
              I feel like it's appropriate to spin out some of material about Frederick Gehringer which surfaced from the 'Socialism in the East End' thread. There's still some facts which I'm trying to trace down about the Gehringers and some intriguing bits which I'm mulling over.
              Hi Sean, great research! I was just wondering if you're thinking that a Gehringer was possibly connected with the murders or possibly knew something about them? Or are you just getting as much info as you can on the slum lords of the said areas? I'd definitely be interested in any Jewish connections to this case.
              Keep up the fantastic work!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RedBundy13 View Post
                Hi Sean, great research! I was just wondering if you're thinking that a Gehringer was possibly connected with the murders or possibly knew something about them? Or are you just getting as much info as you can on the slum lords of the said areas? I'd definitely be interested in any Jewish connections to this case.
                Keep up the fantastic work!
                I'm interested in the slum lords of the area in general, yes. I'm particularly interested in Gehringer/ the Gehringers because of Booth/ Duckworth's assertion that McCarthy controlled an area and Gehringer controlled another area (Dorset Street and Great Pearl Street, respectively). Raising the possibility that McCarthy and Gehringer were rivals.
                If these two men really led organised criminal gangs over simply turning a profit by having a blind eye to illegal activities on their premises, then that really changes the picture as to the context in which the murders took place.

                Furthermore, if Gehringer really did own 18 George Street and sold it to a 'rival gang' shortly before the Whitechapel Murders started then, the proximity of 'The City of Essex' to the early murders and the possible connection to a suspect for the Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman killings, is definitely intriguing. Maybe Gehringer knew more about the murders. I think the possibility is worth further thought and research.

                Comment


                • #9
                  There definitely were two Frederick Adam Gehringers.

                  Frederick Adam Gehringer, born Born in Württemberg, Germany around 1823 and is reported to have died 1 January 1888. This was the older Gehringer and was the landlord of the City of Norwich.

                  Frederick Adam Gehringer, born in Spitalfields in 1853 and died 1909. This was the Frederick Adam Gehringer of Little Pearl Street and the son of landlord.

                  https://www.ancestry.ca/genealogy/records/adam-frederick-gehringer-24-1qf1

                  It's worth being clear these were two different people. I've found something exciting, well exciting to me anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/brow...?name=18720819

                    The trial of George Munro and Henry Skett, 19th August 1872. Henry Skett was a lodger at the City of Norwich and Emma Gehringer herself appears as a witness.

                    The facts of the case are a William Johnson deposited a portmanteau box of boots at Shoreditch station. A Henry Mytten, cloak room attendant, testifies to having received the box. Alfred Jones, a cab driver, reports picking up two men from Shoreditch Station carrying a portmanteau box and he has been able to identify Henry Skett and George Munro as the two men.

                    William Musgrove, Policeman H25, after watching the City of Norwich enters the pub and the room of Henry Skett charging him with the theft. On searching the room the portmanteau is found with the label of the Great Eastern Railway with a number of other boxes which appeared to have been broken into.

                    George Munro provided an alibi which falls apart.

                    Emma Gehringer (here spelt Gerringer, another variant spelling of the name) appears as a defence witness. She provides an alibi for Henry Skett that he was in bagatelle room of the City of Norwich all night on the evening in question. She also states that the portmanteau and the boxes had been in the pub for some four years and had not appeared there recently. She states the portmanteau belongs to Hermann Faber. She denies ever telling the inspector she did not know who the boxes belonged to.

                    Thomas Jay, umbrella maker of 89 Wentworth Street, appears in defence. His mother recommended Henry Skett to the Gehringer's as a lodger. Mr Jay says he was with Henry Skett in the bagatelle room on the night in question.

                    Hermann Faber, a journeyman baker, states the portmanteau is indeed his and he had left it at the City of Norwich thirteen weeks ago.

                    Emma Gehringer appears commit perjury in cahoots with Thomas Jay and Hermann Faber. At least the jury must have been convinced they were lying to have returned the guilty verdict.

                    It's worth remembering Jacob Isenschmid was a journeyman butcher and here Emma Gehringer states 'my house is a house of call for journeymen bakers and butchers' in her testimony. In 1888 when William Thick questioned her at about Jacob, she claims he could not possibly have drank at the City of Norwich as at that time only the regulars ever visited the pub. William Thick was able to identify the City of Norwich as the pub Isenschmid's wife had said he was visiting regularly. Was Jacob Isenschmid involved with the Gehringer gang?

                    In any case The City of Norwich pub sounds as though it is in receipt of stolen goods in 1872. Emma's explanation as to how so many boxes in her house appear to have been broken into is not very convincing - "I can't say how they came to have their locks broken and their sides damaged, except that they were thrown about by the servant in the lumber room, and sometimes the young men broke the locks themselves if they lost the keys".

                    Obviously it's quite the leap to go from receiving stolen goods to brutal murder but there's still the proximity of the City of Norwich to the attack sites of Emma Smith and Martha Tabram. The last place that Polly Nichols was seen alive by Emily Holland. Turning up again in relation to Jacob Isenschmid, suspect in the murder of Polly Nichols and Annie Chapman.
                    Then there's that bothersome Yarmouth Letter which names 14 Dorset Street.
                    Still, the Henry Skett case is the strongest evidence I've seen yet of an organised Gehringer gang and it definitely would have been Fredrick Adam Gehringer the senior who was the landlord of the City of Norwich in 1872.
                    As always, I wonder...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanr View Post

                      MacCarthy is none other than our very own John McCarthy of Millers Court fame. Geringer is actually Frederick Gehringer, a local barrow lender and lodging house keeper.
                      McCarthy kept barrows overnight in his "front room".

                      Most barrows were rented out.
                      Hiller Brothers dominated the market.

                      There was another thread on the Gehringer's a few years back.
                      Very interesting family.

                      Casebook's search facility can be very handy.

                      Best of luck!



                      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Very interesting find Seanr.
                        Thems the Vagaries.....

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          London Evening Standard - Friday 25 April 1902





                          Fines reported in Finsbury Report on Public Health 1903:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sean,

                            Is this Fred Gehringer the ‘crime lord’ who left a paltry £500 in his will?

                            Gary

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A crime ‘Lord’?

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