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The Secret Special Branch Ledgers

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  • #31
    Clutterbuck's thesis is available as a free download from the British Library's Ethos website.

    The quote Simon previously quoted was in reference to Evans and Gainey's book on Tumblety. He also wrote:

    "The proposition that there was a possible Irish suspect for these murders is not as incongruous as it seems. At least one book, "The Lodger" (Evans and Gainey, 1995) is based on a Home Office memorandum relating to this idea and there are more relevant entries in the Chief Constable's Register. It does not corroborate their theory but does enable an outline to be constructed of a intriguing story involving an extreme Irish nationalist who is suspected of being "Jack the Ripper", an alleged plot to assassinateth e Secretary for Ireland, Balfour, and the activities of a private detective agency. However, it is a digression from the thrust of this research and regretfully it cannot be pursued appropriately here."

    The only actual reference to a suspect Clutterbuck cited (as far as I could tell) was the following:

    "Uniformed Divisional police officers were also a regular source of overt information and sent reports to MPSB on matters appertaining to their specialised work. Sometimes, its links to political crime appeared to be tenuous
    "McGrath, William – suspicious Irishman at 57 Bedford Gardens" followed by
    "McGrath, William - said to be connected to Whitechapel murders".

    In other words, as a consequence of being a "suspicious Irishman" he was also being put forward as a suspect for the "Jack the Ripper" series of murders."

    Apparently there are other references to the murders, but I have no idea what they are, obviously.

    RH

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
      With regards to the redaction. The met police have carried out the redaction in accordance with the tribunal ruling. i have already challenged this point.
      What puzzles me is that the 2008 decision clearly allows only information covered by section 21 to be "redacted" (i.e. "Information which is reasonably available to the applicant otherwise" - that is, what has already been published in Clutterbuck's thesis). The decision explicitly disallows the other grounds put forward for witholding information (paragraphs 121-123). Moreover, the Commissioner suggests that "it would be practical for the public authority to make the entirety of the information available" - i.e. without any "redaction" whatsoever.

      It's also worth bearing in mind that the Commissioner found that in its handling of the initial request the authority had already acted in breach of the law in a number of respects (paragraphs 113-116). That makes it particularly surprising if it was subsequently allowed to disregard the Commissioner's ruling by refusing to make the specified information available.

      Comment


      • #33
        On March 3oth March 2009 the tribunal made the new decision to redact all proper names. This was as a result of an appeal brought by another author Alex Butterworth who is also a retired special branch officer.

        He wanted free and unimited access to the ledgers but The met police refused. As i said previous the appeal was a carve up due to Butterworth not being told the date and time of the hearing and the misleading information given by special branch in his absence.

        The only way this judgment could be overturned was by the high court and that would mean Butterworth would have to take up the case yet again.

        Because he was working on a deadline for his book he chose not to go down that route.

        I knew there was no way I could go down the same route so i had to adopt a different tactic. That being "public interest" I had to try to show that the information I sought was in the public interest. I feel I at this time have a case based on those facts.

        However time will tell.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
          On March 3oth March 2009 the tribunal made the new decision to redact all proper names. This was as a result of an appeal brought by another author Alex Butterworth who is also a retired special branch officer.
          That's very strange, because there seems to be no record of any such decision on the Information Commissioner's website.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Chris View Post
            That's very strange, because there seems to be no record of any such decision on the Information Commissioner's website.
            Hi Chris,

            Try this.

            http://www.informationtribunal.gov.u...2030-03-09.pdf

            The Tribunal requests the Appellant as a public authority to disclose to the requester, Mr Alex Butterworth, the information contained in the following documents or written materials, namely:
            (1) Metropolitan Police Ledgers headed “Special Account”, volumes 1-3 (1888-1894, 1894-1901, 1901-1912);
            (2) Chief Constable’s CID Register: “Special Branch” (1888-1892)
            save that all proper names and/or family names relating to individual parties or other persons be redacted therefrom.


            You'll notice that the Metropolitan Police Service launched the March 2009 appeal.

            Regards,

            Mark
            Last edited by m_w_r; 06-13-2010, 03:43 AM.

            Comment


            • #36
              Nice to Hear

              Originally posted by Scott Nelson View Post
              Not to detract from the topic of this thread, but Stewart I've never trusted much of what Anderson has written, nor have I ever believed that Aaron Kosminski was the Ripper.
              That's nice to hear Scott, and encouraging, you do some great research.
              SPE

              Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

              Comment


              • #37
                Rest in Peace Hilda Murrell

                http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=hil...ed=0CD4QsAQwAw
                allisvanityandvexationofspirit

                Comment


                • #38
                  Thanks for that. (The reason I couldn't find any mention of it on the Information Commissioner's website is that there isn't any, apparently.)

                  So they were allowed to withold information on the ground of an exemption which they hadn't even invoked in the original hearing. Is that an indication that what's going on here is just institutional secrecy for its own sake?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Alex Butterworth

                    Hello all,

                    By way of introduction, Alex Butterworth's book, The World That Never Was, published by Bodley Head, 2010 is an impressive and extensive 482 page account of the underground workings of the Anarchists, Secret Agents, Special Branch Policemen, Politicians etc in the latter half of the LVP, much of which centered around little Whitechapel.

                    It tells of the plans, some foiled, some exposed, naming the people involved of various plots against Tsars, Empresses, Presidents, Queen Victoria, and Government ministers, inter-linking various countries all over Europe.

                    Feniansm, anarchism, radical Jews, revolution, counter espionage, the disparate and at times desparate attempts to overthrow, undermine and terrorise and spread fear amongst the community of various countries, with an empahsis on what happened in the sucluded world of Special Branch to counter these threats, and who were central in the machinations working against them..

                    The police chiefs and their agents spun their own web of intruige and plots, and with the help of the ledgers amongst other things, we are given a very valuable insight into Late Victorian undercover police employment.
                    London and Paris were hotbeds of International plotters of sorts, including the very much talked of Fenians. Mixed up amongst this, revolutionists had in their midst agents from the Special Branch at Scotland Yard, the French Surete and the Russian Ochrana loitering and interweaving into groups at street level attempting to reveal and uncover the various conspiracies being set up around them. The methods these undercover organizations used were highly secretive, and Butterworth's book reveals much to the general public on the men orchestrating the counter-espionage.

                    Monro, Littlechild, Anderson, Williamson, Melville, Sweeney and many others are all involved. The underground police and governments of Switzerland and Austria, France and Russia, are all linked. Rachovsky was, liked those named above, a central brick in the wall against activists, creating and setting up the London branch of Ochrana, and worked closely with the Special Branch, yet officially at least, keeping their distance.

                    The ledgers are of central importance to everything these men did. First Jenkinson, then Monro, and then Melville at the helm. Monro's "hot potato" is a very intelligent, knowledgable and realistic comment. It puts the fantasies of Anderson's 1910 comments into complete perspective.

                    I recommend this book to anyone who really wants to get to know the happenings and involvement of Special Branch at street level. The IWMEC, The Anarchists, The Revolutionaries, the Fenians, The Jewish uprisings, the FEAR that was created in and around Mr and Mrs Jones in that little area called Whitechapel is brought into view. No wonder the ordinary people were in complete and utter fear. People talk of "cockney spirit". Trying to romantacise that statement in retrospect will never really show what it really means to be born and brought up in and amongst this degredation, trepedation and chaos. And all the while, poor, dishevelled, outcast females were being slaughtered and hacked into pieces in their midst.

                    Alex Butterworth's account is an amazing book of real people, doing real things, all of which are true. It has been described as a Tour de Force. I can only add that it takes historical account onto another level, with hundreds of cross references, names, dates and times.

                    Those ledgers are of immense historical value to us all. The greatest crime would be if Trevor Marriot does not succeed in bringing them completely into the light of day. I wish him every success and all our complete support should be with him in his quest, for the time has come for openess and respect from the public authority that holds them to be shown to the historically minded everyday people they serve. We are very interested in our TRUE history, and the time has come for them to realise that we would respect that authority far more if they revealed the secrets of ANY documentation from 120 odd years ago, instead of hiding them away and telling lies as to their non-existance or destruction, as has been done on countless occasions to historian and researcher alike in the past. It is OUR history, and we have a right to know it, be we researcher, historian, ex-policeman, or especially, a relative of any victim. That is the way things are handled today, in 2010. It should apply to the happenings of 1888.

                    best wishes

                    Phil
                    Last edited by Phil Carter; 06-13-2010, 01:42 PM. Reason: spelling
                    Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                    Justice for the 96 = achieved
                    Accountability? ....

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Chris View Post
                      Thanks for that. (The reason I couldn't find any mention of it on the Information Commissioner's website is that there isn't any, apparently.)

                      So they were allowed to withold information on the ground of an exemption which they hadn't even invoked in the original hearing. Is that an indication that what's going on here is just institutional secrecy for its own sake?
                      Hello Chris,

                      You've nailed it, in one. The age of the documents argument was tried, and failed. Security argument? Failed. Danger through Health and Safety argument? Failed. Even exorbitant fees asked for. Failed. Everything and anything has been done to try and keep these things witheld from public viewing. All on top of countless excuses and lies over the years that they never existed, were destroyed, burnt, pulped, missing, stolen and a World War Two bomb hit them, etc etc etc.
                      You nailed it in one Chris.

                      best wishes

                      Phil
                      Last edited by Phil Carter; 06-13-2010, 01:24 PM.
                      Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                      Justice for the 96 = achieved
                      Accountability? ....

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        anarchists

                        Hello Phil and Trevor. If you need any help with research on the anarchists, please let me know. I have many websites for this and both of Fishman's books, as well as Rocker's. I also have a wealth of material from the IISG in Amsterdam and some items coming from the Kate Sharpley library.

                        I can also direct you to many articles on the internecine strife obtaining amongst the various anarchist and socialist groups.

                        Cheers.
                        LC

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hello Lynn,

                          Thank you kindly. Your offer is most welcome and I for one will be contacting you in the near future.

                          best wishes

                          Phil
                          Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                          Justice for the 96 = achieved
                          Accountability? ....

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            also

                            Hello Phil. Splendid. Hopefully, I can add to the list my Yiddish translator (Arbeter Fraint) who has gone missing.

                            Cheers.
                            LC

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              On the subject of Special Branch records, does anyone have any further information on the records in the MEPO 38 series?
                              http://tinyurl.com/3xv2c9b

                              These are described as Special Branch Registered Files, with covering dates 1880-1997.

                              The subseries are as follows:
                              1-12 EXTREMISM
                              13-72 COMMUNISM
                              73-76 HUNGER MARCHES/UNEMPLOYMENT
                              77-90 STRIKES/TRADE UNIONS
                              91-109 FOREIGN REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS
                              110-124 IRISH REPUBLICANISM
                              125-158 PROTECTION
                              159-163 NATURALISATION
                              164-168 ORGANISATIONS - GENERAL
                              169-180 ARMS & AMMUNITION/FOREIGN CRIMINALS
                              181-182 [extradition of Nkrumah/protection of the Duke of Windsor]

                              Christy Campbell, in Fenian Fire (2002), commented that all these records, including the basic descriptions of the files, were closed in perpetuity under section 3.4 of the 1958 Public Records Act.

                              However, the National Archives website notes that requests for access may be made under the Freedom of Information Act, and the catalogue now contains descriptions and dates for 48 of the 182 files. I assume these 48 are all now open to public access.

                              The earliest open file is dated 1880 - which obviously predates the forming of Special Branch - and is described as "Naturalisation enquiries: correspondence between the Secretary of State (Home Department) and New Scotland Yard (CID) on the question of conducting naturalisation cases". The next earliest is dated 1921. In a parliamentary answer in 2002, it was stated that the series then contained records "created for the most part up to 1936". I'm not sure how this relates to earlier claims that all the Special Branch files were pulped during the Second World War.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by robhouse
                                Clutterbuck's thesis is available as a free download from the British Library's Ethos website.

                                The quote Simon previously quoted was in reference to Evans and Gainey's book on Tumblety. He also wrote:

                                "The proposition that there was a possible Irish suspect for these murders is not as incongruous as it seems. At least one book, "The Lodger" (Evans and Gainey, 1995) is based on a Home Office memorandum relating to this idea and there are more relevant entries in the Chief Constable's Register. It does not corroborate their theory but does enable an outline to be constructed of a intriguing story involving an extreme Irish nationalist who is suspected of being "Jack the Ripper", an alleged plot to assassinateth e Secretary for Ireland, Balfour, and the activities of a private detective agency. However, it is a digression from the thrust of this research and regretfully it cannot be pursued appropriately here."
                                Damn. If only there were a Ripper suspect who was a private detective with political ties.

                                Yours truly,

                                Tom Wescott

                                Comment

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