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  • This might sound weird...

    ... and I知 sure it値l turn out to be nothing but I was wondering if anybody could help me disprove an old family myth.

    My granddad, who I never met but by all accounts was a fairly quiet straight-laced chap not prone to making up stories, mentioned a couple of times in his life quite seriously about how his own grandfather had been questioned by the Ripper police after 殿 man who saw one of the murders identified him as standing nearby as a possible lookout. Apparently police questioned him but he was released having been found to have had nothing to do with it. My grandad seems to have never doubted his own grandfathers total innocence and we致e always just assumed it was just routine questioning like likely 100s of men in the area underwent at that time.

    One thing, in my opinion, makes this slightly more interesting however. I致e only recently developed an interest in the Whitechapel murders after some Ancestry research revealed my relatives 19th Century connections to the Whitechapel slum area. Although I壇 heard the story about my great great grandfather ever since I was a kid, i壇 never given it much thought. But now I致e read a little bit about the Ripper the line about 殿 man who saw the murder identifying him has struck me as particularly intriguing.

    I知 sure my imagination is just getting the better of me but by my own admittedly very limited research, i can only see Israel Schwartz as a possible candidate fitting the description of somebody actually witnessing a Ripper murder. What痴 more Schwartz says he saw two men - which fits in with my relative supposedly being quizzed and dismissed only as a possible 斗ookout, never as the potential killer.

    Of course it could have turned a totally different witness who eyeballed my relative and who壇 simply been mistaken or lied about 努itnessing the murder. But the Schwartz connection has left me wondering a bit about the two men he says he saw that night.

    I assume neither or these two men were ever found or identified let alone questioned which would pour some cold water on my theory that the lookout may have been my great grandfather but does anyone here who knows more than I have any extra info or theories on who they may have been?

    I致e found loads of records of my great grandfather on Ancestry as he sadly spent his last 20 years registering in and out of asylums and workhouses destitute and seemingly in poor health.
    Last edited by Jmh90027; 09-20-2019, 01:10 PM.

  • #2
    A name would be handy,along with age and address.
    My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jmh90027 View Post
      ... and I知 sure it値l turn out to be nothing but I was wondering if anybody could help me disprove an old family myth.

      My granddad, who I never met but by all accounts was a fairly quiet straight-laced chap not prone to making up stories, mentioned a couple of times in his life quite seriously about how his own grandfather had been questioned by the Ripper police after 殿 man who saw one of the murders identified him as standing nearby as a possible lookout. Apparently police questioned him but he was released having been found to have had nothing to do with it. My grandad seems to have never doubted his own grandfathers total innocence and we致e always just assumed it was just routine questioning like likely 100s of men in the area underwent at that time.

      One thing, in my opinion, makes this slightly more interesting however. I致e only recently developed an interest in the Whitechapel murders after some Ancestry research revealed my relatives 19th Century connections to the Whitechapel slum area. Although I壇 heard the story about my great great grandfather ever since I was a kid, i壇 never given it much thought. But now I致e read a little bit about the Ripper the line about 殿 man who saw the murder identifying him has struck me as particularly intriguing.

      I知 sure my imagination is just getting the better of me but by my own admittedly very limited research, i can only see Israel Schwartz as a possible candidate fitting the description of somebody actually witnessing a Ripper murder. What痴 more Schwartz says he saw two men - which fits in with my relative supposedly being quizzed and dismissed only as a possible 斗ookout, never as the potential killer.

      Of course it could have turned a totally different witness who eyeballed my relative and who壇 simply been mistaken or lied about 努itnessing the murder. But the Schwartz connection has left me wondering a bit about the two men he says he saw that night.

      I assume neither or these two men were ever found or identified let alone questioned which would pour some cold water on my theory that the lookout may have been my great grandfather but does anyone here who knows more than I have any extra info or theories on who they may have been?

      I致e found loads of records of my great grandfather on Ancestry as he sadly spent his last 20 years registering in and out of asylums and workhouses destitute and seemingly in poor health.
      Hi Jmh
      welcome!

      other possible witnesses who may have been your ancestor could be Lawende (or one of his companions-joseph levy or harry harris), Hutchinson, Marshall or PC smith. None saw the actual murder possibly taking place like Schwartz, but did see the victim with a possible ripper suspect, and may have also seen another man nearby. perhaps the story you heard just got a little "embellished" or distorted.
      "Is all that we see or seem
      but a dream within a dream?"

      -Edgar Allan Poe


      "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
      quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

      -Frederick G. Abberline

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome.
        Did your ancestor smoke a pipe?

        Comment


        • #5
          The Star
          LONDON. MONDAY, 1 OCTOBER, 1888.


          Mrs. Lindsay, who occupies the two front rooms of 11, Duke-street - almost opposite Church-passage, leading to the court - records a strange circumstance, which may or may not have a direct bearing upon the murder. She says that she is a very light sleeper, and is easily awakened by hearing any unusual noise. Early on Sunday morning she says - at what hour she could not specify - she heard the sound of one or two voices in the street below. Prompted by curiosity she looked out of the window just in time to hear a man's voice say, "I am NOT THE MURDERER,"uttered apparently in a tone of anger. Surprised on hearing the words, she called her husband, who, with her, saw a man disappearing down the street towards Aldgate. As he passed beneath a lamp she was able to discern that he was a man of average height, dressed in dark clothes, and carrying in his hand an umbrella and a small parcel.

          On another note, do you have Nathan Shine or Isaac VanGelder in your family line? The Nathan Shine story relates to the Stride murder.
          Last edited by jerryd; 09-20-2019, 03:13 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

            Hi Jmh
            welcome!

            other possible witnesses who may have been your ancestor could be Lawende (or one of his companions-joseph levy or harry harris), Hutchinson, Marshall or PC smith. None saw the actual murder possibly taking place like Schwartz, but did see the victim with a possible ripper suspect, and may have also seen another man nearby. perhaps the story you heard just got a little "embellished" or distorted.
            I thought his great-great-grandfather was identified BY a witness, not the witness himself?

            Comment


            • #7
              Why are you quoting, with quotes, the words a man who saw one of the murders

              Are you quoting your grandad?

              I see the same further down with lookout and witnessing the murder

              Like DJA said, your name might help but I know personally speaking I wouldn't be happy about doing that in a public forum where an account isn't needed to read your post.
              Last edited by Ozzy; 09-20-2019, 05:09 PM.
              These are not clues, Fred.
              It is not yarn leading us to the dark heart of this place.
              They are half-glimpsed imaginings, tangle of shadows.
              And you and I floundering at them in the ever vainer hope that we might corral then into meaning when we will not.
              We will not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Great,great grandfather's name.
                My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the replies so far!!

                  What I know about my ancestor:
                  His name was Henry Joseph Hall, born December 1849 died 1922. He was living in Brunswick Court Bermondsey at the time of the murders but had extensive links with Whitechapel, had lived there until recently, and had family members nearby, including his elderly dying mother Mary Ann Elizabeth Hughes who passed away in September 1888. He was a carman, married to Matilda Fuller and had eight kids. Matilda died in the early 1890s and soon after he was admitted to a workhouse with 宋ertigo and seemingly never worked again, being signed in and out of workhouses in Bermondsey and Whitechapel every couple of weeks as homeless or destitute. 20-odd years later he died in South Grove Workhouse, Whitechapel.

                  Re the quote marks - I知 using them to establish that these aren稚 my words, rather something unprovable that I致e been told. It痴 not directly quoting anybody, just a device to essentially say 的 can稚 prove this bit, but here痴 what I知 told - essentially like air quotes.

                  and yes, my ancestor was supposedly identified BY a witness, he wasn稚 a witness himself. if it helps rule anybody out, my relative was CofE not Jewish, and everyone in that line of descent since has had dark hair and been of average height and build. I知 sure that doesn稚 help much but just in case you were wondering if I知 from a long line of 6ft 5 blonde haired Swedes or something.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DJA View Post
                    Great,great grandfather's name.
                    My bad DJA. Apologies. For some reason, by the time I made my post I had it in mind that you'd asked for Jmh90027's name. I'll use that fallback of my brain playing tricks on me as I get older!

                    Jmh90027 - Understood, re the quotes.
                    These are not clues, Fred.
                    It is not yarn leading us to the dark heart of this place.
                    They are half-glimpsed imaginings, tangle of shadows.
                    And you and I floundering at them in the ever vainer hope that we might corral then into meaning when we will not.
                    We will not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Meh. Do it all the time,just ask anyone ..... um,everyone here
                      My name is Dave. You cannot reach me through Debs email account

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jmh90027 View Post
                        Thanks for all the replies so far!!

                        What I know about my ancestor:
                        His name was Henry Joseph Hall, born December 1849 died 1922. He was living in Brunswick Court Bermondsey at the time of the murders but had extensive links with Whitechapel, had lived there until recently, and had family members nearby, including his elderly dying mother Mary Ann Elizabeth Hughes who passed away in September 1888. He was a carman, married to Matilda Fuller and had eight kids. Matilda died in the early 1890s and soon after he was admitted to a workhouse with 宋ertigo and seemingly never worked again, being signed in and out of workhouses in Bermondsey and Whitechapel every couple of weeks as homeless or destitute. 20-odd years later he died in South Grove Workhouse, Whitechapel.

                        Re the quote marks - I知 using them to establish that these aren稚 my words, rather something unprovable that I致e been told. It痴 not directly quoting anybody, just a device to essentially say 的 can稚 prove this bit, but here痴 what I知 told - essentially like air quotes.

                        and yes, my ancestor was supposedly identified BY a witness, he wasn稚 a witness himself. if it helps rule anybody out, my relative was CofE not Jewish, and everyone in that line of descent since has had dark hair and been of average height and build. I知 sure that doesn稚 help much but just in case you were wondering if I知 from a long line of 6ft 5 blonde haired Swedes or something.
                        Very interesting! Thanks.

                        Hundreds of men were questioned during the course of the Ripper investigation. It's possible that the story about your great-great-grandfather has been garbled or embellished down the years. There may have been a record of his questioning but unfortunately a lot of the police records were lost in the Blitz.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Harry D View Post

                          Very interesting! Thanks.

                          Hundreds of men were questioned during the course of the Ripper investigation. It's possible that the story about your great-great-grandfather has been garbled or embellished down the years. There may have been a record of his questioning but unfortunately a lot of the police records were lost in the Blitz.
                          Have you ever heard that copious 19th Century police files (including Ripper files) were disposed of during the 1930s (Depression) as Metropolitan Police were trying to shed themselves of warehouse costs?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi JM

                            I'm wondering if the man who died Stepney Workhouse 1922 was a different man. He's given as a dock labourer. Your Henry Hall seems to have been consistently a carman. He's a carman (formerly) in 1911 when he's in Ladywell Rd, Lewisham although his birthplace is given as Bermondsey. Dock labourer just sounds wrong to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by APerno View Post

                              Have you ever heard that copious 19th Century police files (including Ripper files) were disposed of during the 1930s (Depression) as Metropolitan Police were trying to shed themselves of warehouse costs?
                              First I've heard! I'm gonna guess (or rather hope) that most of it was bureaucratic, but who knows what nuggets were lost.

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