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  • Inquest notes.

    Not sure if this is the right sub forum to raise it, but here goes.

    Most the inquest notes are gone.

    Why?

    Where?

    Doing some family research (actually trying to track down when the first of my mob, on one line anyway, arrived in Aus).

    Now I've got some strong suspicions what boat he came on, I stumble across a news report that a bloke by a similar name (the difference is one letter and a common mistake to this day) that he was a witness in an inquest, in 1839. So off I go looking for the actual inquest documents (hoping that they will clear it up). Guess what they are actually held in the South Australian State archives, now it was really a case of IDing the victim as much or more than anything else. (Though my ancestor may even have been a suspect)

    Now why do they exist all but 50 years prior to Ripper inquests, but the c4 are missing.
    G U T

    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

  • #2
    With all due respect to your ancestor, Gut, he wasn't involved in one of the most sensational murder hunts in modern history, or was he?

    I'm sure that many thousands of inquest papers are mouldering peacefully away in the archives of provincial centres all over Britain. However, a bit like Mr Ripper himself, documentation of all sorts relating to the search for him is remarkably elusive.

    I hope that Wynne Baxter was the sort of coroner who placed his papers in the right place after the inquest although we can't be sure of course, a flamboyant person like him may have hung onto them in his study at home when he shouldn't have. If he did deposit them back with the Coronial Office then IMO there have been some remarkably sticky fingers among workers there in the century and more since!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GUT View Post
      Not sure if this is the right sub forum to raise it, but here goes.

      Most the inquest notes are gone.

      Why?

      Where?

      Doing some family research (actually trying to track down when the first of my mob, on one line anyway, arrived in Aus).

      Now I've got some strong suspicions what boat he came on, I stumble across a news report that a bloke by a similar name (the difference is one letter and a common mistake to this day) that he was a witness in an inquest, in 1839. So off I go looking for the actual inquest documents (hoping that they will clear it up). Guess what they are actually held in the South Australian State archives, now it was really a case of IDing the victim as much or more than anything else. (Though my ancestor may even have been a suspect)

      Now why do they exist all but 50 years prior to Ripper inquests, but the c4 are missing.
      I always pictured that all the files were put together for someone, maybe Abberline or higher. An unsolved case with everything in one place so whomever could go through it whenever they had a new idea or new question. Or so they could write a book. So it was in someone's office where it shouldn't have been and just got lost from there.

      I find that the best way to lose something is to put it specifically in a place I know I won't forget it. I might as well throw it out a window when I take that kind of care. So it's not surprising I would see the same thing happening here.
      The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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      • #4
        Hello Gut,

        If you look at all things Deeming here in Melbourne, the official files are really comprehensive but, we didn't have the Blitz in the 1940's or light fingered fanatics picking up bits and pieces.
        dustymiller
        aka drstrange

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rosella View Post
          With all due respect to your ancestor, Gut, he wasn't involved in one of the most sensational murder hunts in modern history, or was he?

          I'm sure that many thousands of inquest papers are mouldering peacefully away in the archives of provincial centres all over Britain. However, a bit like Mr Ripper himself, documentation of all sorts relating to the search for him is remarkably elusive.

          I hope that Wynne Baxter was the sort of coroner who placed his papers in the right place after the inquest although we can't be sure of course, a flamboyant person like him may have hung onto them in his study at home when he shouldn't have. If he did deposit them back with the Coronial Office then IMO there have been some remarkably sticky fingers among workers there in the century and more since!
          That's my point though Rosella he's involvement was as a witness in a pretty inconsequential little inquest (funnily enough a bloke found with his throat slashed, by a razor) yet its all still there.

          If its just that the JtR stuff was flogged, there must be some hopemofnit showing up.
          G U T

          There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GUT View Post
            That's my point though Rosella he's involvement was as a witness in a pretty inconsequential little inquest (funnily enough a bloke found with his throat slashed, by a razor) yet its all still there.

            If its just that the JtR stuff was flogged, there must be some hopemofnit showing up.
            Even if the files were complete, the police of the day were not able to put 2 & 2 together, which suggests to me that the files did not identify the killer, nor could they help us identify the killer.
            What the complete files would do is dispense with all the rot that it written about contemporary witnesses being good suspects.
            Regards, Jon S.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by drstrange169 View Post
              Hello Gut,

              If you look at all things Deeming here in Melbourne, the official files are really comprehensive but, we didn't have the Blitz in the 1940's or light fingered fanatics picking up bits and pieces.
              Yep Deeming and even Ned are other examples.
              G U T

              There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

              Comment


              • #8
                Nicked seems to be the accepted answer.

                Makes you wonder about the staff.
                G U T

                There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
                  Even if the files were complete, the police of the day were not able to put 2 & 2 together, which suggests to me that the files did not identify the killer, nor could they help us identify the killer.
                  What the complete files would do is dispense with all the rot that it written about contemporary witnesses being good suspects.
                  Funny that'll what got me thinking about it.
                  G U T

                  There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Might be a question for Monty, but I'd have thought that there'd have been a couple of copies of the inquest transcripts floating about (back in the day). Surely the coroner's court had a copy and the police had a copy at least.
                    G U T

                    There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've had a look just now at the dissertion on Coroner Baxter

                      http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/rip-baxter.html

                      It says (just above the heading 'A Man and his hobbies') that not a single file from Baxter's 30,000 plus Inquest cases, 1886-1920, is held. Anywhere! What the ....?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rosella View Post
                        I've had a look just now at the dissertion on Coroner Baxter

                        http://www.casebook.org/dissertations/rip-baxter.html

                        It says (just above the heading 'A Man and his hobbies') that not a single file from Baxter's 30,000 plus Inquest cases, 1886-1920, is held. Anywhere! What the ....?
                        That's what I mean, sounds careless.

                        They must be Dutch, but hats a private Theory and joke.
                        G U T

                        There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wickerman: Even if the files were complete, the police of the day were not able to put 2 & 2 together, which suggests to me that the files did not identify the killer, nor could they help us identify the killer.

                          I really think these are separate matters, Jon. We have 127 years of added understanding and detracted prejudice, and so I donīt think that the failure of the contemporary police would neccessarily dictate the same fate for us.

                          What the complete files would do is dispense with all the rot that it written about contemporary witnesses being good suspects.

                          Ehrm!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's what Adam Wood wrote in his article on Baxter which appeared in Ripperologist No. 61 in 2005:

                            None of Baxter's inquest papers, including the Ripper files, have ever been discovered, despite searches in the various Government archives, personal family files, educational institutions, and archives of Wynne-Baxter and Keeble. The correct deposit for inquest papers, the London Metropolitan Archives at Northampton Row, holds extensive volumes of Coroners' Registers for the Counties of Middlesex and London (catalogue COR/A), including the Western District for 1856-1930, the North Eastern District for 1921-1932, and the all-important Eastern District for 1925-1934. Not a single file from Baxter's 30,000-plus inquests during 1886-1920 is held. It's possible that these were destroyed, but given Baxter's precise and studious nature it seems impossible that he didn't store the papers somewhere.

                            Dr. John
                            "We reach. We grasp. And what is left at the end? A shadow."
                            Sherlock Holmes, The Retired Colourman

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                            • #15
                              Some papers relating to inquests held by Baxter do survive. Eliza Roberts in 1898 for example. See below....
                              Attached Files

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