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  • Slaughter houses near murder sites

    There was a slaughter house in Winthrop Street, near the site of Polly Nichols' murder in Buck's Row. There was also one in Hanbury Street, only a few doors from no.29 (between 35 and 37).

    The Star I think carries a report that mentions some slaughtermen walking through Mitre Square the night after the double event, but I can't see a yard nearby that they might have been going to or coming from....perhaps Butcher's Row?

    Were there any slaughter yards close to the other sites?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
    There was a slaughter house in Winthrop Street, near the site of Polly Nichols' murder in Buck's Row. There was also one in Hanbury Street, only a few doors from no.29 (between 35 and 37).

    The Star I think carries a report that mentions some slaughtermen walking through Mitre Square the night after the double event, but I can't see a yard nearby that they might have been going to or coming from....perhaps Butcher's Row?

    Were there any slaughter yards close to the other sites?
    Hi Joshua,

    I wasn't aware that Barber's Yard in Hanbury Street was a slaughter house.

    Although it had the same name as the knacker's yard in Winthrop Street, I don't believe there was any connection between the two.

    William Barber took over the Winthrop Street yard from William Monk in the 1850s. Prior to that he had been one of Monk's employees. The Hanbury Street Barber's Yard was originally called Barber's Alley and was so named in the 1740s.

    But of course, Harriet Hardiman's cats meat would have almost certainly been obtained from Harrison, Barber in Winthrop Street.

    Gary

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
      Hi Joshua,

      I wasn't aware that Barber's Yard in Hanbury Street was a slaughter house.

      Although it had the same name as the knacker's yard in Winthrop Street, I don't believe there was any connection between the two.

      William Barber took over the Winthrop Street yard from William Monk in the 1850s. Prior to that he had been one of Monk's employees. The Hanbury Street Barber's Yard was originally called Barber's Alley and was so named in the 1740s.

      But of course, Harriet Hardiman's cats meat would have almost certainly been obtained from Harrison, Barber in Winthrop Street.
      Thanks Gary. It was an article in a paper that said Barber's Yard was a slaugherers. I've looked at the Goad map and there is a cowshed there, so presumed it was a cattle slaughterers rather than horses. I'll try and find the article that mentions it.

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      • #4
        Here's the excerpt from the Star 1st Oct mentioning the slaughtermen in Mitre Square;

        "It was now just five-and-twenty minutes of two. There were six people in the square all told, but no one was making any noise. Presently footsteps were heard coming along the narrow passage leading from the other square, and when the newcomers appeared, their blue jackets and white aprons discovered their calling at once, and one could not escape thought that here was evidence that SLAUGHTERERS were not strangers to Mitre-square."

        So they arrived from the direction of St James' Place.

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        • #5
          And here is the mention of Barber's Yard in the Sun 8th Sept;

          "BARBER'S SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
          It is a singular fact that only a few steps from the house where the woman was found is - as in the Buck's-row case - one of Barber's slaughterhouses."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
            And here is the mention of Barber's Yard in the Sun 8th Sept;

            "BARBER'S SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
            It is a singular fact that only a few steps from the house where the woman was found is - as in the Buck's-row case - one of Barber's slaughterhouses."
            The frequency of slaughterhouses near murder sites of serial killers throughout history must be very low.

            Pierre

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
              And here is the mention of Barber's Yard in the Sun 8th Sept;

              "BARBER'S SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
              It is a singular fact that only a few steps from the house where the woman was found is - as in the Buck's-row case - one of Barber's slaughterhouses."
              I believe that was an error based on the coincidence of the names.

              It's a long story, but essentially an Act of Parliament of 1874 prohibited the establishment of any new knacker's yards in the London Metropolitan area. In 1886, The firm of Harrison, Barber was created and absorbed the 7 existing horse-slaughtering establishments thus creating what was described as an absolute monopoly of trade.

              HB also operated out of a railway arch in Coventry Street (where the Tomkins brothers lived), but I doubt they were actually slaughtering there.
              Last edited by MrBarnett; 08-31-2017, 12:40 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pierre View Post
                The frequency of slaughterhouses near murder sites of serial killers throughout history must be very low.

                Pierre
                Why so?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                  I believe that was an error based on the coincidence of the names.
                  Fair enough, I can believe that the paper jumped to the wrong conclusion based solely on the name. But doesn't the presence of a cowshed indicate that this wasn't a knackers yard for horses, but a butcher's yard for beef? (or possibly a dairy, though it was surely easier to freight milk in by train than keep cows in the east end!).

                  Do you know if Barber ran other sorts of slaughter yards apart from horse knackers?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                    Fair enough, I can believe that the paper jumped to the wrong conclusion based solely on the name. But doesn't the presence of a cowshed indicate that this wasn't a knackers yard for horses, but a butcher's yard for beef? (or possibly a dairy, though it was surely easier to freight milk in by train than keep cows in the east end!).

                    Do you know if Barber ran other sorts of slaughter yards apart from horse knackers?
                    A knacker was not allowed to slaughter animals for human consumption. He mainly killed horses, but would also occasionally handle diseased animals of other species and even, on occasion, oddities like elephants, camels, lions.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                      Why so?
                      https://www.uleth.ca/dspace/bitstrea...pdf?sequence=1

                      This is an interesting account of slaughterhouses in Victorian London. It focuses on the prevalence of artisan slaughtermen - essentially butchers slaughtering their own beasts.

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                      • #12
                        If you look at the occupations of the residents of 37, Hanbury Street over the years, you get an inkling of what might have gone on in the yard behind it:

                        1856
                        Rees Lewis, cowman and dairyman

                        1869
                        Elizabeth Williams, cow keeper

                        1882
                        Morgan Williams, cow keeper

                        1895
                        David Felix, cow keeper

                        1901
                        John Lewis, cowman
                        David Richards, milkman

                        1911
                        Arthur John Pritchford, cow keeper and dairyman

                        Many London dairymen were Welsh or of Welsh extraction.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                          If you look at the occupations of the residents of 37, Hanbury Street over the years, you get an inkling of what might have gone on in the yard behind it:
                          Holy moly! It actually was a dairy, in the middle of a city with no greenery around...
                          Where did th cows graze? What did they eat? Maybe slops from the brewery?
                          Mmm, tipsy milk.

                          Good find, Mr B.

                          Now, any idea where the slaughterers in Mitre Square were heading/leaving?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Apparently, the idea of bringing milk into London by rail was a novel idea at the time, and their were many cows kept in small sheds to give fresh milk - is this where people like Mrs Maxwell went for their morning milk?

                            I wonder if these guys were on their way to Barber's Yard?

                            Echo 8th Sept;
                            "WHAT THE MILKMEN SAW
                            James Wiltshire and Alfred Henry Gunthorpe, two milkmen in the employ of the Dairy Supply Company, Museum-street, Bloomsbury, were driving in separate carts through Hanbury-street early this morning. Wiltshire passed the thoroughfare at twenty minutes to six. He says, "There was no bother then, and no sign that a murder had been committed. There were people about, but I did not notice anyone in particular." Alfred Henry Gunthorpe passed through part of Hanbury-street into Brick-lane, shortly after, and he saw nothing of a suspicious character."

                            According to this site;
                            https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/baldw...y-company/amp/

                            The Dairy Supply Company was the equipment side of the Express Dairy milk delivery company, whatever that means...were they picking up empties?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                              Holy moly! It actually was a dairy, in the middle of a city with no greenery around...
                              Where did th cows graze? What did they eat? Maybe slops from the brewery?
                              Mmm, tipsy milk.

                              Good find, Mr B.

                              Now, any idea where the slaughterers in Mitre Square were heading/leaving?
                              I imagine they were fed on hay, Joshua.

                              It sounds like the Mitre Square slaughtermen were heading towards Aldgate. On their way to work, I'd imagine. Interesting that they were wearing clearly identifiable protective clothing in the street. From what I've read, knackers also wore canvas suits and hats.

                              This group of men are standing outside a pub beside what would become HB's head office in Islington (at the time John Harrison's premises). Judging by the licensee's name, Henry Tomkins' dad was probably working there at the time. The two on the right look as if they might be dressed for a spot of knackering.

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                              Last edited by MrBarnett; 09-01-2017, 11:38 PM.

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