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  • #31
    Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

    Hi Herlock,

    That would be a good explanation, except that his mother wasn't transferred to the Manor House Asylum until mid 1890. I thought she was in the Brooke House Asylum in Clapham, but have since discovered that she was transferred from there to the care of Dr. Joseph Raymond Gasquet at St George's Retreat, Burgess Hill, a private licensed house near Brighton in September 1888.

    Cheers, George
    Hello George,

    Im sure that you’ll understand that I only made that deliberate error to ensure that you were paying full attention.

    Thats about the third time recently I’ve made a silly error. My only excuse is life’s distractions.

    Deep breaths…..sort your brain out Herlock.

    At least England won a T20 cricket match George. Hope it warms us up for the 8th June game against the Aussies in the T20 World Cup.
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes.

    “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

      Surely Monty’s suicide note wasn’t just one sentence? I wonder what the rest said?
      The Dorset Chronicle and another paper mention two letters, one to George Valentine “in which he alluded to suicide” and one note or piece of paper which was to the effect of "Since Friday, I have felt as if I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die."
      The latter one being the letter mentioned at the inquest as addressed to his brother.

      I wonder if the letter to valentine is a misunderstanding by the newspaper?

      The Richmond and Twickenham Times writes that the second letter said something to the effect of: “what he intended to do would be the best for all parties”.

      It’s not immediately clear whether that is a paraphrase of the same part, which another newspaper paraphrased as “the best thing was for me to die." or a different part of the letter?

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
        The Dorset Chronicle and another paper mention two letters, one to George Valentine “in which he alluded to suicide” and one note or piece of paper which was to the effect of "Since Friday, I have felt as if I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die."
        The latter one being the letter mentioned at the inquest as addressed to his brother.

        I wonder if the letter to valentine is a misunderstanding by the newspaper?

        The Richmond and Twickenham Times writes that the second letter said something to the effect of: “what he intended to do would be the best for all parties”.

        It’s not immediately clear whether that is a paraphrase of the same part, which another newspaper paraphrased as “the best thing was for me to die." or a different part of the letter?
        Is there any way that you could post a couple of those newspaper reports Kattrup please?
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes.

        “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

          Is there any way that you could post a couple of those newspaper reports Kattrup please?
          Sure. They're from the Casebook press reports, so not new or anything, I just posted the parts that give an indication of what Druitt's suicide note contained.

          The reports read, in part:

          Acton, Chiswick & Turnham Green Gazette
          United Kingdom
          Saturday, 5 January 1889
          FOUND DROWNED. — Shortly after mid-day on Monday, a waterman named Winslade, of Chiswick, found the body of a man, well-dressed, floating in the Thames off Thorneycroft's. He at once informed a constable, and without delay the body was conveyed on the ambulance to the mortuary. — On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Diplock, coroner, held the inquest at the Lamb Tap, when the following evidence was adduced:- William H. Druitt said he lived at Bournemouth, and that he was a solicitor. The deceased was his brother, who was 31 last birthday. He was a barrister-at-law, and an assistant master in a school at Blackheath. He had stayed with witness at Bournemouth for a night towards the end of October. Witness heard from a friend on the 11th of December that deceased had not been heard of at his chambers for more than a week. Witness then went to London to make inquiries, and at Blackheath he found that deceased had got into serious trouble at the school, and had been dismissed. That was on the 30th of December. Witness had deceased's things searched where he resided, and found a paper addressed to him (produced). — The Coroner read the letter, which was to this effect:-"Since Friday I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die."

          Dorset Chronicle (U.K.)
          Thursday, 10 January 1889


          DISTRESSING OCCURRENCE.
          We regret to hear of the sad death of Mr. M. J. Druitt, a barrister of this circuit, and son of Mr. Druitt, of Wimborne. An enquiry into the circumstances attending his death was held by Dr. Diplock at Chiswick, on Wednesday, deceased having been found drowned in the Thames near that place. The deceased was identified by his brother, Mr. William Harvey Druitt, a solicitor, residing at Bournemouth, who stated that the deceased was a barrister-at-law, but had lately been an assistant at a school at Blackheath. The deceased had left a letter, addressed to Mr. Valentine, of the school, in which he alluded to suicide. A paper had also been found upon which the deceased had written, "Since Friday, I have felt as if I was going to be like mother," who had for some months been mentally afflicted.
          Hampshire Advertiser (UK)
          Saturday, 12 January 1889

          CHRISTCHURCH, Jan. 12.
          SAD DEATH OF A BARRISTER.
          An inquiry was held last week by Mr. Diplock, at Chiswick, respecting the death of Montague John Druitt, 31 years of age, who was found drowned in the Thames. The deceased was identified by his brother, Mr. Wm. Harvey Druitt, a solicitor residing at Bournemouth who stated that the deceased was a barrister-at-law, but had lately been an assistant at a school at Blackheath. The deceased had left a letter, addressed to Mr. Valentine, of the school, in which he alluded to suicide.
          ​​

          Richmond and Twickenham Times
          United Kingdom
          5th January 1889

          SUICIDE WHILST INSANE


          Dr. Diplock on Wednesday held an inquest at the "Lamb Tap" on the body of Montague John Druitt, aged 31, whose body was recovered from the Thames off Thorneycrofts' Wharf, on Monday, by a waterman named Henry Winslade. The pockets of the deceased, who was a stranger to the district were found filled with stones, and after a letter had been read in which he wrote to the effect that "what he intended to do would be the best for all parties," the jury returned a verdict of "Suicide by drowning whilst temporarily insane."
          The Dorset Chronicle and Hampshire Advertiser mention a letter addressed to Valentine, as well as a "paper" which contained the text about fearing becoming like mother.
          Both papers write about a week after the inquest. Valentine was not called to the inquest.

          I just think this letter to Valentine is something rarely mentioned. One reasonable objection is whether the two papers, writing after the inquest and using secondhand information, got Valentine and the brother mixed up.
          I personally don't think it can be concluded, since the Dorset writes: "deceased had left a letter, addressed to Mr. Valentine [...] A paper had also been found" Clearly differentiating between two missives.

          I do not know if there are further newspaper reports, as said, these come from the Casebook press reports, which as far as I know have not been updated for some years. With the improved access through services like the BNA, it's possible that some more reports are available? I assume, however, that it's not the case, otherwise they'd have been posted.​

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

            Sure. They're from the Casebook press reports, so not new or anything, I just posted the parts that give an indication of what Druitt's suicide note contained.

            The reports read, in part:






            ​​



            The Dorset Chronicle and Hampshire Advertiser mention a letter addressed to Valentine, as well as a "paper" which contained the text about fearing becoming like mother.
            Both papers write about a week after the inquest. Valentine was not called to the inquest.

            I just think this letter to Valentine is something rarely mentioned. One reasonable objection is whether the two papers, writing after the inquest and using secondhand information, got Valentine and the brother mixed up.
            I personally don't think it can be concluded, since the Dorset writes: "deceased had left a letter, addressed to Mr. Valentine [...] A paper had also been found" Clearly differentiating between two missives.

            I do not know if there are further newspaper reports, as said, these come from the Casebook press reports, which as far as I know have not been updated for some years. With the improved access through services like the BNA, it's possible that some more reports are available? I assume, however, that it's not the case, otherwise they'd have been posted.​
            Thanks Kattrup.

            I’m familiar with the AC&TGG report of course but it’s been a seriously long time since I’d paid any attention to the others alluding to their being two notes which has to be a possibility imo.

            AC&TGG - Note found where he resided which read “Since Friday…” Addressed to William.
            DC - A letter left to Valentine and a paper also found reading “Since Friday…”
            HA - A letter to Valentine alleging to suicide.
            R&TT - A letter read, to the effect that his suicide would be the best for all parties.

            The two written just after the inquest (AC&TGG and R&TT) make no mention of Valentine and one specifically says that the note was addressed to William. The latter doesn’t quote the note though, it just gives the gist.

            The later two mention a letter left to Valentine though. It’s probably not the case but it feels like there’s a ‘missing link’ of information somewhere. Probably permanently missing.

            Any other newspapers reports from anyone might be interesting though…or maybe not.
            Regards

            Sir Herlock Sholmes.

            “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post


              Any other newspapers reports from anyone might be interesting though…or maybe not.
              Here are two other reports that mention two notes.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	Inquest - The Echo - 3 Jan. 1889 - page 3_1.jpg
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              Click image for larger version

Name:	Inquest - The Bridport News - 11 Jan. 1889 - page 8_1.jpg
Views:	169
Size:	147.2 KB
ID:	835094


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              • #37
                Thanks for those Belloc.
                Regards

                Sir Herlock Sholmes.

                “A house of delusions is cheap to build but draughty to live in.”

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Belloc View Post

                  Here are two other reports that mention two notes.

                  Thank you Belloc, that’s very interesting.

                  The wording is the same, so the reports were clearly circulated, but the date of the Echo, already reporting on the third, is significant.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                    Thank you Belloc, that’s very interesting.

                    The wording is the same, so the reports were clearly circulated, but the date of the Echo, already reporting on the third, is significant.
                    Happy to help, Kattrup.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Thanks to Kattrup and Belloc for their contibutions.

                      FWIW, I would like to make some observations. I have already expressed doubts as to the likelihood of Montie writing a note on Saturday 1 Dec which referred to the day before as "since friday", but I would also suggest that the wording implies that William would be apprised of which friday it was that was the subject of the letter. I could envisage some sub-text along the lines of ....Since (our discussions on) friday (regarding our mother's mental decline) I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die. IMO this would indicate that this note was written sometime before Sat 1 Dec, and removes the emphasis in this note from what may, or may not, have transpired on Friday 30 Nov. However, a second note addressed to Valentine would be a different matter if it was along the lines of telling Valentine that his actions on 30 Nov had been the final straw in his mental decline. While a second note can not be written off as merely a journalistic error, there is a certain similarity between "the best thing was for me to die" and "what he intended to do would be the best for all parties​ ". ​​However, I can concede the possibility of two notes, written at different times, with the latter providing the last straw for the former.

                      On the subject of journalistic error, I noticed the last two reports stated that there was a cheque for 50 pounds, and 16 pounds in gold found on the body. In fact there were two cheques found on the body, one for 50 pounds and for 16 pounds, both drawn on the same bank, and 2.17s.2d in cash. I wonder why, if the cheques were from Valentine as final payments after a dismissal on 30 Nov, why he didn't just write one cheque. I see it as more likely that they were cheques for legal services that Montie picked up from his chambers prior to his departure for Hammersmith. Which raises another question - why the (return) ticket to Hammersmith. It has been suggested that Druitt may also have been a member of The Apostles and that, following his dismissal from the school in Blackheath, he had come to Osiers to seek Wilson’s assistance, but Osiers was in Chiswick, not Hammersmith. Did he want to consult with Dr Tuke regarding his mother's mental decline? Once again, Tuke's Manor House Asylum was in Chiswick, not Hammersmith. Is it likely that he bought a return ticket to Hammersmith and then an additional single ticket to Chiswick? I wouldn't think so.​

                      The other thing that caught my attention is that only one report mentions a dismissal, and it was William that qualified it as for "serious trouble". If said trouble was of the nature of molestation of students would William have been likely to even mention it? Would William have regarded neglect of duty at the school, or failing to report a sojourn abroad as a "serious" infringement? If Montie had been dismissed by Valentine in a face to face confrontation on friday 30 Nov, and this prompted his suicide, should not Valentine have been called to the inquest? Was he not called to protect the family from scandal, or was Montie dismissed in absentia purely as a result of his unknown whereabouts, as was the case with his replacement in office at his cricket club. All rhetorical questions based on speculation of course. Please excuse the rambling.

                      Cheers, George

                      P.S. Herlock, I did notice your further entirely deliberate attempt to ascertain whether I was paying attention or snoozing when you wrote "If the 30th December was the date of Monty’s sacking then either William coincidentally arrived on the same day or else he arrived just after his body was found (after being contacted by the police)". Of course, the body was found in the Thames the day after, on 31 December. Nice try.
                      Last edited by GBinOz; 06-01-2024, 03:29 AM.
                      It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. It shall be life. - Ten Bears

                      All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. - Bladerunner

                      ​Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        A question for those more learned on this topic than I.

                        What evidence is available that Montie was dismissed from Valentine's school? Is there any evidence other than the single reference in the AC&TGG press report of William's testimony at the inquest?

                        Cheers, George
                        It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. It shall be life. - Ten Bears

                        All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. - Bladerunner

                        ​Disagreeing doesn't have to be disagreeable - Jeff Hamm

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by GBinOz View Post
                          Thanks to Kattrup and Belloc for their contibutions.

                          FWIW, I would like to make some observations. I have already expressed doubts as to the likelihood of Montie writing a note on Saturday 1 Dec which referred to the day before as "since friday", but I would also suggest that the wording implies that William would be apprised of which friday it was that was the subject of the letter. I could envisage some sub-text along the lines of ....Since (our discussions on) friday (regarding our mother's mental decline) I felt I was going to be like mother, and the best thing was for me to die. IMO this would indicate that this note was written sometime before Sat 1 Dec, and removes the emphasis in this note from what may, or may not, have transpired on Friday 30 Nov. However, a second note addressed to Valentine would be a different matter if it was along the lines of telling Valentine that his actions on 30 Nov had been the final straw in his mental decline. While a second note can not be written off as merely a journalistic error, there is a certain similarity between "the best thing was for me to die" and "what he intended to do would be the best for all parties​ ". ​​However, I can concede the possibility of two notes, written at different times, with the latter providing the last straw for the former.
                          Hello George

                          Yes, the phrase "since Friday" would also to me suggest that the note was not written dec. 1st, if referring to the day before.

                          Note that it's still unknown when Druitt committed suicide. The date december 1st sticks out because his return ticket to Hammersmith was dated that day, so the inference is he bought the ticket and used it to go somewhere, then committed suicide and thus never used the return part of the ticket. However, it's possible that he bought the ticket dece,ber 1st, used part of it and returned by some other means, then committed suicide on the 2nd or 3rd, while stille having the ticket in among his stuff.

                          Unlikely, in my opinion, but just pointing it out. Perhaps it was a draft or part of a letter written after his visit to his brother in October - he stayed with William one night in late October, if that night was a Friday (Friday the 26th of October), perhaps he returned home and some days later starting writing to his brother - and never finished.


                          Originally posted by GBinOz View Post
                          On the subject of journalistic error, I noticed the last two reports stated that there was a cheque for 50 pounds, and 16 pounds in gold found on the body. In fact there were two cheques found on the body, one for 50 pounds and for 16 pounds, both drawn on the same bank, and 2.17s.2d in cash. I wonder why, if the cheques were from Valentine as final payments after a dismissal on 30 Nov, why he didn't just write one cheque. I see it as more likely that they were cheques for legal services that Montie picked up from his chambers prior to his departure for Hammersmith. Which raises another question - why the (return) ticket to Hammersmith. It has been suggested that Druitt may also have been a member of The Apostles and that, following his dismissal from the school in Blackheath, he had come to Osiers to seek Wilson’s assistance, but Osiers was in Chiswick, not Hammersmith. Did he want to consult with Dr Tuke regarding his mother's mental decline? Once again, Tuke's Manor House Asylum was in Chiswick, not Hammersmith. Is it likely that he bought a return ticket to Hammersmith and then an additional single ticket to Chiswick? I wouldn't think so.​
                          I think the cheques, if they were from Valentine as I believe they were, would have been two for book-keeping purposes. The 16 probably his monthly salary for November, perhaps prepared in advance, or simply made out as usual after his dismissal. If the cheques were added together, this would make a mess of bookkeeping about salary expenses that year.

                          My main gripe about the 50 cheque is why would Valentine pay him approximately three months' pay, was that normal when dismissing staff of a certain status or should one start speculating about a mutual agreement, i.e. being paid off to keep quiet or go silently without making a fuss.
                          Druitt was a solicitor and could easily have started proceedings against the school if he felt his contract was not honoured. So my guess is that it's an agreement to avoid legal proceedings. I just don't know how common that sort of thing would be, I'd normally assume that a victorian employer would not owe an employee, who'd been dismissed for negligence or causing trouble, any severance pay.


                          Originally posted by GBinOz View Post
                          The other thing that caught my attention is that only one report mentions a dismissal, and it was William that qualified it as for "serious trouble". If said trouble was of the nature of molestation of students would William have been likely to even mention it? Would William have regarded neglect of duty at the school, or failing to report a sojourn abroad as a "serious" infringement? If Montie had been dismissed by Valentine in a face to face confrontation on friday 30 Nov, and this prompted his suicide, should not Valentine have been called to the inquest? Was he not called to protect the family from scandal, or was Montie dismissed in absentia purely as a result of his unknown whereabouts, as was the case with his replacement in office at his cricket club. All rhetorical questions based on speculation of course. Please excuse the rambling.

                          Cheers, George
                          Nothing is known about the "serious trouble" so speculation is all we have. William would have mentioned something, and just calling it "serious trouble" is a euphemism, so he avoided or did not think it necessary to mention the exact nature of the offence.
                          Valentine, I think, would not in any case be required to be at the inquest, the purpose of which was to determine who'd died and how, and seeing as it was clearly a suicide, no real need to involve anyone else.

                          I would tend to think "serious trouble" would involve some sort of violent or sexual transgression but it's unknown. Druitt was mentally ill, and perhaps had been for a while, so perhaps he just behaved oddly or got into strange arguments with parents or staff and that was enough. However, I would think that such behaviour which would reflect an illness would be not be "serious trouble", as mental illness was recognised as such and there'd be no reason for the school to not simply dismiss him on health grounds. Which is why I end up thinking some serious transgression, like striking someone, getting in a fight, or something sexual - perhaps alone, with staff or students.

                          We then come back to the 50 - why would Valentine pay extra - well if Druitt's offense involved someone else, and both parties wanted it kept quiet, there'd be reason to come to an agreement.

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