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Bury - the cellar

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  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    As a sort of post script to this thread, I've now got hold of a copy of the second Beadle book, Jack the Ripper Unmasked.

    Whilst in many way it's a great work, like Macpherson it lacks an index, and much of the work is unreferenced...there are a total of 41 references quoted but in a book of this nature, comprising over 300 pages, this doesn't seem particularly adequate...

    The Page 247 quoted earlier in the thread refers to a report that Lamb and his colleagues checked out the cellar door on the same night the body was discovered, and at that time found the chalked messages. Unfortunately this report is unattributed and we don't know where it comes from, nor how reliable it might be...we don't even know, from Beadle at least, exactly how much police activity there was, and how much attention it might've attracted from the local populace...nor whether the place was cordoned off (I rather suspect from the newspaper reports, it wasn't).

    So I'm afraid in terms of clarifying the original questions raised in this thread, the Beadle book hasn't really helped much at all!

    All the best

    Dave

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  • Mrsperfect
    replied
    We know some of the letters Bury wrote. I won't speculate on what we don't know were written by him.

    Ellen, being (semi?) illiterate, wouldn't be able to differentiate between his writing and the next persons. Many people didn't write in those days, while Bury had a very good hand and was a very good speller. If he wanted to change his handwriting style, (and had the time to do so) he might get away with it.

    Bury showed Ellen the letter of employment to convince her to take the trip north because she didn't want to go. It helped to allay her sister Margaret's concerns also.

    I think Bury liked to dress up and drink above anything else. I just can't see him writing letters without any benefit. The letters from London may have been beneficial, (he certainly acted as though they would benefit him)! What's your theory Boggles?

    P.S. High electricity prices prompted us to install new roof insulation and the ceilings were shown to be falling away from the timbers in the roof! Three months later and four new ceilings.......and I was worried about the cost of the insulation!
    Last edited by Mrsperfect; 11-13-2012, 02:24 PM. Reason: P.S.

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  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    Cracking link Boggles

    Thanks

    Dave

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  • Boggles
    replied
    found it

    Hi I found the bit where i read that Bury was expecting letters from london
    This was from a Dundee Courier & Argus February 12, 1889 report, a snippet from the interview with the Burys first Dundee landlady in Union street (name not given)

    She also said that Bury was in the habit of wearing a tweed suit and felt hat before breakfast, but after this wore a black coat and satin hat. (so i guess if you include his pjammas this is 3 outfits/day.

    This interesting report is on the following link includes rough sketches of Bury
    http://www.jtrforums.com/showthread.php?t=1077&page=5
    Attached Files

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  • Boggles
    replied
    I feel that Bury only wrote letters that he HAD to
    Hi Eileen - why do you feel Bury only wrote letters he HAD to? im asking because i cant see eye to eye with you on this from what ive read.
    There is evidence in one of the newspapers that he was in corrospondence with someone in London while he was living in Dundee (though we dont know whome with). In his house was a book on orthographical excerises!

    Im not saying he wasnt an oddball but what I am saying is (from what ive read about him) he seems like someone who can pen the odd letter or 2,or graffiti walls if he felt like it. I dont like saying either way based on evidence we have...

    Also i cant find the bit in Macphersons book about him changing 3 times a day but this is quite interesting. But just to link this in with your last point, i often change twice a day and regualy look in the mirror. But does it look like i care that much about my spelling or grammer? thats coming from an ex-sub (copy) editor tooboot.

    PS you dont live in new york do you? (ceilings)
    Last edited by Boggles; 11-12-2012, 08:48 PM. Reason: added ps

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  • Mrsperfect
    replied
    My thanks to Dave Green for the offer of an index, (Christmas comes early for me it seems)!
    Johns - I have been waiting for a looong time to read your last post! I know you won't disappoint us!
    Boggles - I feel that Bury only wrote letters that he HAD to, (perhaps with one exception - to the Wolverhampton hotel owner, after the August 1888 holiday). This letter may have been written to 'show off' to his friends in his own home town. That's the reason he bought Ellen all that jewellery there.

    I don't believe he wrote any JtR letters. I think Euan Macpherson's book refers to him changing three time a day (it's been a long time since I read it) but I can't reference it yet. I'm renovating and I can't get to it until all four of my ceilings have been replaced and the rooms repainted, (It's a long story)!

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  • johns
    replied
    I really need to get to the Blue Coat School and rummage through their files. With permission of course.

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  • Boggles
    replied
    Hi Elieen

    rather well educated, (for his day) judging by the letters he wrote
    - but he still may have had trouble with his soft Cs... / Ss could he have not? or he could have done it deliberatly - Jack Ripper mindset - shades of the lusk letter etc - (nise).

    I believe there are accounts of him changing three times a day when he was first in Scotland
    can you remember were you saw this as this is very interesting?

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  • Mrsperfect
    replied
    Bury - A cut above the rest!

    Bury was rather vain, from what we know about how well he liked to dress when he had money. When he went to Wolverhampton with Ellen he got dressed up and even had pictures taken.

    I believe there are accounts of him changing three times a day when he was first in Scotland. He'd walk about the town with Ellen, coming home to change etc.

    I think he was rather well educated, (for his day) judging by the letters he wrote. He definitely received a good education at the Blue Coat School.

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  • Boggles
    replied
    Hi Eileen
    vanity prevents him from misspelling
    can you elaborate on this a bit more - would be interested to know your thoughts.

    Your right we cant rule out Ellen - Margaret Corney states in the trial notes that ''she could not write much. Not as well as that'' (refering to the signature on the forged letter of employment) Which says to me that she could possibly write a few lines at least.

    And also of course we cannot discount the period of time between her murder and the discovery of her body.

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  • Mrsperfect
    replied
    Ellen's Dictionary

    My thanks for all the posts/letters above on Bury and the handwriting samples.

    Anyone who has read my thread 'The Life Of William H Bury' will know who I think JtR was. Something that always bothered me about the handwriting was that a dictionary was found in the flat, after the discovery of Ellen's body, along with the graffito.

    Clearly Bury didn't need a dictionary and vanity prevents him from misspelling. Ellen was illiterate, but had plenty of time to reference the spelling via the dictionary. Although she didn't do such a great job, it seems a great co-incidence that someone else may have done the writing.

    I do hope Dave Green reads this.......... I would beg, borrow or steal an index to the Mac Pherson book as I too am frustrated that it was omitted. Anyone feeling sorry for me who has one, please post it on this site....Thanks!

    Regards

    Eileen

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  • Boggles
    replied
    in it's spelling and lamentable lack of the definite article,
    there are witnesses in the trial notes that describe him as cunning, elsewhere he is described as clever. Rev Gough describes him in a letter as very intelligent. I think he was more than capable of simple deception such as misspellings. But why? probably just for his own amusment after a few beers.

    If you were a mischievous local wag would you be more likley to write Jack 'the' Ripper which is the alias most commonly known, spoken and written about? I think so, If you were actually Jack the Ripper are you more likley to describe yourself as 'Jack Ripper' or less? Like i said from what we know about him you cant put anything past this guy. For me lack of definite article dosent mean much

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  • Boggles
    replied
    This is probably only one of many reports written about this incident so hopefully we may see more details from other inqurieres.

    I would be cautous in dismissing it as Bury's based on the handwriting - it is a copy not a photograph therefore will be different, and in any case there are several commonalites despite this that could link it to his handwriting, unusual exaggerated up lifts, variable slant and inconsistent sized lettering. But the long and short of it is you cannot compare handwriting based on third party copies.

    Accessable or not (and that is debatable is it not?) provided it was written before the discovery of the body my bet is still on Bury.

    And by the by while this is only a very small small part of circumstantial evidence linking him to the Ripper, it shoudlnt be dismissed out of hand imo.

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  • Cogidubnus
    replied
    Thanks for that Boggles...I've read the quote of course but not seen the full cutting before...as I said elsewhere the reproduction handwriting from the cellar door doesn't much resemble Bury's confession, (nor does it, in it's spelling and lamentable lack of the definite article, bring to mind that surprisingly well written piece).

    I guess the point on which I was seeking elucidation has been indirectly answered...the cellar entrance was available to all and sundry... whether the graffiti were there before the denouement (in which case they could have been a mischievous jibe by local wags against a couple fresh from London) or appeared after (in which case they could be speculation by the local ragamuffins), they could easily have been written by just about anybody...not just William or Ellen...

    I'm afraid I still haven't got round to Beadle, so could someone please advise if he has anything germane to offer?

    By the by...please don't read into this I'm dismissing Bury as a suspect...I'm not...IMHO he's far more interesting than many I've seen promoted!

    All the best

    Dave

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  • Boggles
    replied
    Dave/ anyone interested

    i attach the snippet from the dundee advertiser feb 12 1889 which is the only source i know of that describes the location of the graffiti (in case you not already have read this).
    Attached Files

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