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Letter to the Earl of Sheffield

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  • Letter to the Earl of Sheffield

    Never having seen the surviving letters, I am unclear as to whether or not this is included within their number. I was recently reading a cricket book (Cricket in the Park by Roger Packham) ) which documents the life of the Earl of Sheffield. The Earl (who lived in Sussex) was a lifelong cricket lover. (He gave his name to the Sheffield Shield in Australia).He was sent a letter (in 1888) which was signed 'Jack the Ripper' and it upset him greatly. Unusually the sender of this letter can, as Mr Packham observed, be easily identified. He was the son of an aggrieved tenant and his name was Edward Grover. There is no reason to attribute suspect status to Grover although, intriguingly he was a butcher and, as he lived at Pulborough he could have made the journey to London quite easily as Pulborough is on the main railway line between Bognor Regis and London Victoria. I'll post the text of the letter if there is any interest.
    "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

  • #2
    Hi Bridewell,
    Absolutely, not come across this before so definitely interested. Then again, I've never read about Cricket so was unlikely to find it. That book about about Druitt had enough cricket stats to last me.
    Them's the vagaries.

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    • #3
      Thank, Al. The text of the letter, as transcribed in the book is as follows:

      England

      October 27th 1888

      Dear Lord Sheffield,

      I am sorry, but feeling it my duty to let you know, as I do not think you do, or you would not have the heart to turn out an old tenant like poor Mrs Grover out of her house after such a hard struggle to maintain and bring up her family. Not only that, but allowing anyone to get an honest living there in the butchering line, or that have done for a great number of years. But it seems to me that you and your faithful steward want it all, and if you had my wish you would get more than you wanted,
      Remember this is a warning to you, but at the same time I should be much obliged to you if you can arrange it for your steward to sleep under the same roof as yourself on Monday night, October 29th, or else I shall have to bring an assistant. My knife is nice and sharp. Oh for a gentleman this time instead of a lady. I am sorry for troubling you, but don't forget the 29th.

      I remain
      Yours truly,
      JACK THE RIPPER

      (I am hoping that Mr Packard will have no objection to my quoting from his book as I am also giving it publicity)
      "It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins twisting facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (as Sherlock Holmes).

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      • #4
        Thanks Bridewell. Certainly not Jack. Certainly not a criminal mastermind either. Don't imagine it helped his poor old mother out.
        Them's the vagaries.

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