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JTR illiterate ?

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  • #16
    How reliable are statistics in respect of a transient population? The marriage registers of Christchurch Spitafields suggest there were hundreds of illiterate adults in the area.

    Kelly, seemingly not, but her killer might well have been.

    The Tomkins horse slaughtering family for instance:

    Henry Tomkins was illiterate
    His father William ditto
    His brother Thomas ditto
    Only the youngest brother, Robert, seems to have been able to write.

    Pearly Poll and her husband both signed their marriage cert with an X.

    Bridget Enright, ‘Biddy the Chiver’, born in Wales in 1874 to an Irish family - her father worked in an iron works - was also illiterate, as were her parents and most of her siblings.

    In my own family, all four of my grandparents, born 1888 - 1901, were literate, but the majority of those who came before weren’t.










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    • #17
      Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
      Literacy amongst the gentiles might have been good, who knows at what rate the mass of immigrants were literate? Assuming the killer was part of a random demographic, ie we have no idea if he was native or not, his literacy is impossible to guess at. But I doubt there's a genuine letter out there, so it's a bit moot.
      Hi Al Bundy's Eyes,

      Fair point. If JtR was from one of the immigrant populations, there could very well be a higher probability of him being illiterate. And of course, literacy rates being high doesn't mean 100%, so there is always a possibility he was not literate. But, without knowing who JtR was, if we consider him from a family with long established roots in England then odds are he was, and if we consider him from a recent immigrant family, then perhaps the odds are against it (though I don't know what the literacy rates were for the immigrant population, but I could imagine they were much lower, at least with regards to literacy in English).

      - Jeff

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      • #18
        How could a Barrister have been illiterate.
        Regards

        Herlock



        Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Al Bundy's Eyes View Post
          Literacy amongst the gentiles might have been good, who knows at what rate the mass of immigrants were literate? Assuming the killer was part of a random demographic, ie we have no idea if he was native or not, his literacy is impossible to guess at. But I doubt there's a genuine letter out there, so it's a bit moot.
          I can't claim to know literacy stats for Whitechapel in 1888, but given that there were newspapers in circulation targeting the Jewish immigrant demographic, I feel good saying that a substantial number of folks in the east end were literate regardless of national origin.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Damaso Marte View Post

            I can't claim to know literacy stats for Whitechapel in 1888, but given that there were newspapers in circulation targeting the Jewish immigrant demographic, I feel good saying that a substantial number of folks in the east end were literate regardless of national origin.
            100% agree ! As I stated in many menial jobs you would require basic maths-English-literacy!! Say in construction-porter-labouring-factory work etc!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

              Hi Al Bundy's Eyes,

              Fair point. If JtR was from one of the immigrant populations, there could very well be a higher probability of him being illiterate. And of course, literacy rates being high doesn't mean 100%, so there is always a possibility he was not literate. But, without knowing who JtR was, if we consider him from a family with long established roots in England then odds are he was, and if we consider him from a recent immigrant family, then perhaps the odds are against it (though I don't know what the literacy rates were for the immigrant population, but I could imagine they were much lower, at least with regards to literacy in English).

              - Jeff
              Hm. Or perhaps illiterate in English, though able to read and write in their native tongues.
              Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
              ---------------
              Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
              ---------------

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post

                Hm. Or perhaps illiterate in English, though able to read and write in their native tongues.
                Yes, sorry, I wasn't clear on that. I meant illiterate in English. I'm unaware of what literacy rates were like in other parts of Europe at the time. I think Victorian Britain was ahead in overall literacy rates though, but that doesn't mean they were low in the absolute sense elsewhere

                - Jeff

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                • #23
                  For what it’s worth I’ve always found the GSG intriguing. Of course we can’t know whether it was written by the ripper or not but it’s interesting in itself. The writer spells ‘Juwes’ incorrectly (whichever spelling we accept) and uses a very obvious double negative. And yet he spells ‘blamed’ and ‘nothing’ correctly which I’d suggest are words that are very easily to spell incorrectly for someone of poor education. He also wrote ‘will not be’ where he might have written ‘won’t.’

                  Ripper or not, this for me at least raises the possibility that the writer might have been trying to appear to have been of the poorer classes with a poorer level of education. And if that possibility exists then we would have to ask why a person writing a piece of random graffiti would want to hide his level of literacy/education? So was the writer of a much higher level of literacy than your average Whitechapel dweller? His ‘good schoolboy hand’ points to a schooling in penmanship but we have to consider that he was writing on a rough surface of course. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

                  No certainties of course but I think that it’s worth considering as a possibility.
                  Regards

                  Herlock



                  Chairman of the National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To The Old Established Theories.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by DJA View Post

                    At Mitre Square,when Jack opened up Eddowes

                    by cutting to the left of her navel,he then .......

                    removed her left kidney and adrenal gland

                    after removing her descending colon

                    then cut into her right inguinal lymph nodes

                    and performed a hysterectomy

                    cut off much of her nose and marked her maxillary sinuses

                    and cut into Xanthelasma of both eyes.

                    All done with no blood spray.

                    No doubt,if he had time,he would have taken her heart.

                    When things quieten down he leaves the apron piece and writing in a neat,may I say,educated hand using chalk on a difficult surface in Goulston Street.

                    That year's Goulstonian Lectures had been on the heart and madness ..... shades of things to come?

                    Poor and uneducated?

                    He obviously knew the neighborhood,starting from the vicinity of the London Hospital .....



                    Mmmm, it's like you think the suspect could be a doctor.......

                    For the record, there have a been a number of studies to suggest he was more likely an animal slaughterer than a doctor of any kind. The incisons, especially made on the abdomen of Nicholls, Chapman and Eddowes started from the naval and with then blade drawn upwards. Doctors are (and were) trained to do the opposite. Draw the blade down from the incision point. The slitting of the carotid arteries suggests knowledge of how to bleed out an animal (or human) efficiently. The blade used would be a terrible choice to perform the procedures you outlined above. Human anatomy is not that similar to many animals - maybe pigs to a degree. The position of the carotid arteries vary wildly amongst the animal kingdom.

                    The murderer was not medically trained. Had some basic anatomical knwoledge yes, but they could be gauged from many of the macabre medical periodicals and books available at the time. Remember, this was the age of the human museums too. I would rate a keen enthusiast as being far more likely than a person of any real medical training.
                    Last edited by erobitha; 04-18-2021, 07:31 PM.
                    "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                    - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by caz View Post
                      I'm pretty sure the sender of the kidney was putting on an act of being semi-literate in the accompanying letter. If it was a hoax it was probably by a medical student, but it could equally have been sent to Lusk by the killer. In either case I see it as an act of mischief done as a wind-up. It tells us very little about the sender - but semi-literate? I doubt it.
                      I dunno Caz. I think it tells us much. An act of mischief definitely, but the motivation is a question we must continuously ask oursleves. Why? What enjoyment would a medical student gauge from sourcing such a close match of a brights-diseased kidney of a female of similar age to Eddowes? That's quite some length to go to for sh*ts and giggles. And even if they did, why Lusk? Why would he be the focus of any attention of medical students? Surely the police would be a better target for such tom foolery?

                      "Sor" in the From Hell letter has always bugged me. Then I realised why. It is an attempt to disguise his language, but in a mocking tone. The deliberate mis-direction of the language used in the letter was to throw the police off the scent, but I feel also to convey a persona of the "Irish idiot" who outwitted the local vigilante commitee. It was mocking. Why? Well, he most likely picked up a copy of The Evening Standard on Mon 1st of October and read a letter written by George Lusk which opened with "SIR" (as most letters did) but took it as addressing him personally. The undertone to me is; "Not so clever now are we George? If you love whores so much, here is a bit of one you can have. I can find you just as easily. I'm smarter than you. You won't catch me!"

                      The Letter:

                      SIR,

                      As members of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, who communicated without result with the Home Secretary with the view of obtaining on behalf of the public at large the offer of a Government reward for the apprehension and conviction of the assassin or assassins in the recent East-end atrocities, we shall be glad if you will allow us to state that the committee do not for one moment doubt the sincerity of the Home Secretary in refusing the said offer, as he apparently believes that it would not meet with a successful result.

                      If he would, however, consider that in the case of the Phoenix-park murders and the man Carey, who was surrounded by, we may say, a whole society, steeped in crime, the money tempted him to betray his associates.

                      In our opinion, if Mr. Matthews could see his way clear to coincide with our views the Government offer would be successful.

                      The reward should be ample for securing an informer from revenge, which would be a very great inducement in the matter, in addition to which such an offer would convince the poor and humble residents of our East-end that the Government authorities are as much anxious to avenge the blood of these unfortunate victims as they were the assassination of Lord F. Cavendish and Mr. Burke.

                      Yours, &.,

                      GEORGE LUSK,
                      JOSEPH AARONS
                      1, 2, and 3, Alderney-road, Mile-end, Sept 29."

                      Source: The London Evening Standard. Monday, 1st October, 1888.


                      Last edited by erobitha; 04-18-2021, 07:57 PM.
                      "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                      - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                        For what it’s worth I’ve always found the GSG intriguing. Of course we can’t know whether it was written by the ripper or not but it’s interesting in itself. The writer spells ‘Juwes’ incorrectly (whichever spelling we accept) and uses a very obvious double negative. And yet he spells ‘blamed’ and ‘nothing’ correctly which I’d suggest are words that are very easily to spell incorrectly for someone of poor education. He also wrote ‘will not be’ where he might have written ‘won’t.’

                        Ripper or not, this for me at least raises the possibility that the writer might have been trying to appear to have been of the poorer classes with a poorer level of education. And if that possibility exists then we would have to ask why a person writing a piece of random graffiti would want to hide his level of literacy/education? So was the writer of a much higher level of literacy than your average Whitechapel dweller? His ‘good schoolboy hand’ points to a schooling in penmanship but we have to consider that he was writing on a rough surface of course. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

                        No certainties of course but I think that it’s worth considering as a possibility.
                        Same questions arise over the From Hell and Openshaw letters.
                        "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                        - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                          Mmmm, it's like you think the suspect could be a doctor.......

                          For the record, there have a been a number of studies to suggest he was more likely an animal slaughterer than a doctor of any kind. The incisons, especially made on the abdomen of Nicholls, Chapman and Eddowes started from the naval and with then blade drawn upwards. Doctors are (and were) trained to do the opposite. Draw the blade down from the incision point. The slitting of the carotid arteries suggests knowledge of how to bleed out an animal (or human) efficiently. The blade used would be a terrible choice to perform the procedures you outlined above. Human anatomy is not that similar to many animals - maybe pigs to a degree. The position of the carotid arteries vary wildly amongst the animal kingdom.

                          The murderer was not medically trained. Had some basic anatomical knwoledge yes, but they could be gauged from many of the macabre medical periodicals and books available at the time. Remember, this was the age of the human museums too. I would rate a keen enthusiast as being far more likely than a person of any real medical training.
                          What studies?

                          You are wrong on Nichols' cuts.

                          There was little abdominal surgery in 1888,apart from an appendectomy.

                          Jack's work seems to be that of a pathologist.

                          You have not explained away most of my post.
                          My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by DJA View Post

                            What studies?

                            You are wrong on Nichols' cuts.

                            There was little abdominal surgery in 1888,apart from an appendectomy.

                            Jack's work seems to be that of a pathologist.

                            You have not explained away most of my post.
                            Example 1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406675/
                            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by erobitha View Post
                              There is so much missing from that,it is not funny.

                              Crikey,I have worked in a large abattoir and they did not perform most of what Jack did in 1888.
                              My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                                The incisons, especially made on the abdomen of Nicholls, Chapman and Eddowes started from the naval and with then blade drawn upwards. Doctors are (and were) trained to do the opposite. Draw the blade down from the incision point.
                                Would you mind expanding on that point?, I quoted that specific sentence because it is well known the knife was thrust into Eddowes upper chest, under the rib cage, and drawn down across the abdomen.
                                I'd be interested in why you arrived at your stated conclusion.






                                Regards, Jon S.

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