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  • New Suspect named in Special Branch Ledgers

    I have come across another named suspect from the Special Branch registers which I will share with the community

    It was an entry generated by Police Sergeant Leonard who was a Whitechapel police officer likely as not was seconded to Special Branch. The entry read “P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper” I could find no further information on this man other than census records show that there was a Peter Johnson who was born in 1839 and resided in Thrawl Street Spitalfields. Nothing more is known on this man, other than he was recorded as being single and shown as a general dealer. Another possibility is that the P referred to Phillip. In which case there was a Phillip Johnson shown on the census records as living in Whitechapel, his occupation was described as a skin dresser he would have been 42 years of age in 1888 and a single man. The information source cannot be corroborated as Sgt Leonard may have simply been given this information in the course of his duties which is not helped by no Christian name being given.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk




  • #2
    Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
    I have come across another named suspect from the Special Branch registers which I will share with the community

    It was an entry generated by Police Sergeant Leonard who was a Whitechapel police officer likely as not was seconded to Special Branch. The entry read “P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper” I could find no further information on this man other than census records show that there was a Peter Johnson who was born in 1839 and resided in Thrawl Street Spitalfields. Nothing more is known on this man, other than he was recorded as being single and shown as a general dealer. Another possibility is that the P referred to Phillip. In which case there was a Phillip Johnson shown on the census records as living in Whitechapel, his occupation was described as a skin dresser he would have been 42 years of age in 1888 and a single man. The information source cannot be corroborated as Sgt Leonard may have simply been given this information in the course of his duties which is not helped by no Christian name being given.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk


    surely there are more than two P johnsons in WC at the time?
    "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


    • #3
      Hi Abby,

      Not sure two johnsons should p in the WC at the same time...

      I'll get me coat.

      Love,

      Caz
      X
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by caz View Post
        Hi Abby,

        Not sure two johnsons should p in the WC at the same time...

        I'll get me coat.

        Love,

        Caz
        X
        Thats taking the p--s

        www.trevormarriott.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
          I have come across another named suspect from the Special Branch registers which I will share with the community

          It was an entry generated by Police Sergeant Leonard who was a Whitechapel police officer likely as not was seconded to Special Branch. The entry read “P Johnson said to be Jack the Ripper” I could find no further information on this man other than census records show that there was a Peter Johnson who was born in 1839 and resided in Thrawl Street Spitalfields. Nothing more is known on this man, other than he was recorded as being single and shown as a general dealer. Another possibility is that the P referred to Phillip. In which case there was a Phillip Johnson shown on the census records as living in Whitechapel, his occupation was described as a skin dresser he would have been 42 years of age in 1888 and a single man. The information source cannot be corroborated as Sgt Leonard may have simply been given this information in the course of his duties which is not helped by no Christian name being given.

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk


          Very interesting. Chance of turning more information on the guy?

          Tristan

          Comment


          • #6
            After Simon Wood mentioned this guy a few months back, I poked around and found the following. A Peter Johnson of No. 11 Ship Alley, who attempted to stab a woman in April 1887, and then was sentenced to a month with hard labour for attempting to stab an H-Division constable. Might be the same bloke, but no real way of knowing.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	ELO 16 April 1887.JPG Views:	0 Size:	82.7 KB ID:	743529

            Comment


            • #7
              P.S. I took this to be Ship Alley, running off Wellclose Square between Cable Street and the Ratcliffe Highway. The account doesn't say he actually lived at No. 11, of course.

              http://www.ymes.co.uk/ship%20alley.htm
              Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-14-2020, 03:51 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                wow. good stuff RJ. any chance your peter johnson is the same as Trevors peter johnson?
                "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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post
                  any chance your peter johnson is the same as Trevors peter johnson?
                  As I say, no real way of knowing. There's at least two men of the same name and age in 1891: a waterside laborer on the Surrey side, and a 'driller' in Sidney Street.

                  Then again, maybe P. Johnson was Paul, Pearce, Patrick, or Phillip.

                  He might be easier to trace had his name been M. Kelly!

                  P.S. After referring to my notes, there was also a "Peter Johnson," born Denmark, same general age (born 1856), in the Bakewell, Derbyshire Workhouse in 1881. He was evidently picked up as a vagrant and his occupation is listed as a "sailor." So maybe this is one for the Danes to chase down.
                  Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-14-2020, 04:53 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                    After Simon Wood mentioned this guy a few months back, I poked around and found the following. A Peter Johnson of No. 11 Ship Alley, who attempted to stab a woman in April 1887, and then was sentenced to a month with hard labour for attempting to stab an H-Division constable. Might be the same bloke, but no real way of knowing.

                    Click image for larger version Name:	ELO 16 April 1887.JPG Views:	0 Size:	82.7 KB ID:	743529
                    An interesting find, RJ.




                    In 1887 tiny Ship Alley was said to contain 14 brothels. In 1891 a Peter Johnson was prosecuted for selling alcohol without a licence from 7, Ship Alley, which was said to be one of the worst brothels in the district where robberies frequently took place.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This from the ELO of 18th July, 1891, reads like a Who’s Who of ‘shebeen’/brothel-keepers at the western end of the Highway.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We’ve come across Bertha Christopherson before when she was charged with trafficking an underaged girl from Antwerp to Pennington Street.

                        She’s at 3, Breezers Hill here - where my maternal grandmother would be born 5 years later. Oh dear!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                          In 1887 tiny Ship Alley was said to contain 14 brothels.
                          Only fourteen? So reasonably respectable, then!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is certainly relevant because it does offer a specific name...though its unclear whom this might refer to by the above posts. Few actual "suspects" were named in reports, others were suggested by the press.
                            Michael Richards

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post


                              P.S. After referring to my notes, there was also a "Peter Johnson," born Denmark, same general age (born 1856), in the Bakewell, Derbyshire Workhouse in 1881. He was evidently picked up as a vagrant and his occupation is listed as a "sailor." So maybe this is one for the Danes to chase down.
                              I’ve given it a try, but without further details it’s difficult.
                              No obvious candidates, the few Peter Johnsons are mostly farm workers and such. Johnson would be somewhat unusual for Danish, would be more likely an anglicized J÷nsson from Swedish.
                              Could be a garbled Jensen or J°rgensen, but Peter Jensens and J°rgensens are too common to track down anyone specific.

                              I’ll look but any further info another source would be very helpful.

                              Comment

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