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Innocent, By George!

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  • The funny thing is that sources are being discredited, while there are absolutely no sources that support Toppy/Hutch as a suspect, as a criminal of any sort, or even as an unemployed man. Nothing. Yet, people have written books on this? How could anyone read such nonsense?


    • you're getting confused again Mike

      Originally posted by The Good Michael View Post
      The funny thing is that sources are being discredited, while there are absolutely no sources that support Toppy/Hutch as a suspect, as a criminal of any sort, or even as an unemployed man. Nothing. Yet, people have written books on this? How could anyone read such nonsense?
      Toppy is not being identified as Hutch so is not being suspected of anything, so lack of criminal history or information on his work habits is completely irrelevant to writing about Hutchinson the 1888 witness as a suspect.

      There is only one happiness in life—to love and be loved.

      George Sand


      • “Unemployed men , or those of irregular working habits were not residents of the Victoria home, it was strictly run , and rules had to be in place”
        If this is in reference to the “vetting” policy that was supposedly in operation at the Victoria Home, Richard, then I won’t contradict you. It poses a major problem for your Toppy-related argument, though, inasmuch as the police accepted at the time that Hutchinson was both without regular employment and resident at the Victoria Home, which should be mutually exclusive to all intents and purposes. It could be observed, of course, that one of the reasons for Hutchinson’s eventual “discrediting” owed to the fact that the police spotted this discrepancy; that Hutchinson's account of his then financial situation did not accord with the requirements of entry into the Victoria Home, prompting a certain amount of suspicion as to just how a temporarily unemployed man could still live at a “vetted” four pence a night establishment.

        I was of the opinion that the vast majority of residents were tradesmen, plasterers, plumbers,licensed porters et
        No, I'm afraid there's no evidence for this at all.

        “Five weeks salary, if one takes the 1887 average labourers wage would be equivilent to approx one hundred shilliings , which is the sum Reg claimed his father was paid.”
        But we established all of this to be nonsense years ago on this very thread, Richard, remember?

        According to the police, Hutchinson wasn’t taking home a "salary" because they accepted his claim to have been without regular employment at the time. Why then would the police have paid him to the tune of five times a salary which, according to the police, he wouldn't have been taking under normal circumstances?


        Find another ripper-related topic to espouse feigned indignation over.

        You're all done here, trust me.
        Last edited by Ben; 03-09-2011, 04:35 AM.


        • Aro que siéu grandet
          Mi branli tout soulet


          • The Victoria Home's vetting procedure appears to have been applied only to new lodgers, Ben. Such men underwent a probationary period which entailed them sleeping in specially designated quarters. Only once they had proved themselves to be of good character were they allowed into the main dormitories. This being the case, who would have known if they were unemployed so long as they continued to pay for their beds?


            • Richard - yes for some reason Mr Ben will not comment on Abberline stating that Hutchinson was not in regular employment, rather than claiming he was out of work.

              Mr Ben
              The reason the Abberline and Maybrick (probably) diaries are not evidence is that they are later day forgeries. The Wheeling Register may be regarded in the same way as an unreliable witness. An unreliable witness may have some truths to tell. It is evidence.

              It seems you think that someone who is not in regular employment doesn’t earn any money and that there is no difference between not being in regular employment and unemployment. I must admit that conforms with various of your other conclusions.


              • The Victoria Home's vetting procedure appears to have been applied only to new lodgers, Ben.
                Quite so, Garry, and a timely reminder that this was indeed the case; in other words, worlds away from the suggestion that every lodger (old and new) was registered with "histories" recorded of them whenever they entered or exited the building!

                All the best,


                • Income

                  I think we can accept Abberline's comment at face value. Hutchinson saying that he wasn't in 'regular' employment doesn't tell us very much. What we know is that he was able to pay for his bed when he stayed at the Victoria Home. We have no way of knowing how much he was earning, or how he was earning it.

                  There are a couple of points to mention in connection to earnings though. If Hutchinson had been in a position to earn 20 shillings a week, he wouldn't have needed to stay at the Victoria Home. Secondly, his claim to have given Kelly 'a few shillings' at times doesn't match very well with the down and out position he was claiming. Maybe he was exaggerating.

                  As far as the residents of the Victoria Home are concerned, there was a very broad mix in 1891 which is quite tricky to categorise. If there are any majorities; then in terms of profession it is probably the Hawker.

                  The other majority of people living there appear to have been passing through - sailors, travellers, etc. and probably stayed on a short-term basis only.

                  It's worth remembering that Lodging Houses were the last resort in terms of accommodation and were frequented by those who had no other viable choice in general.


                  • I would suggest we cannot really judge why Hutchinson chose to lodge in the Victoria Home.

                    I raised the Abberline remark about Hutchinson not being in regular employment as this implies that Hutchinson was working ‘casually’. It is often said he was unemployed which is a quite different proposition.

                    I don’t think Hutchinson claimed he was a down and out.
                    I have difficulty believing that Hutchinson really knew Kelley at all well and accordingly doubt he have her any money. I think he introduced the money giving detail as an excuse for Kelly addressing him in the street – which I also doubt took place.

                    Mr Ben – yes Mr Wroe is undoubtedly correct.
                    I am pretty sure that once vetted the Victoria Home would have a record book, maybe with a page for each inmate with their basic details on it. It would probably work something like this. When someone stayed who had previously been vetted, they would tell the deputy that they had been there before. The deputy would fish out their page and update it by making a note when they had stayed. Then when or if they stayed six nights they would get one free.
                    I am sure some inmates would stay there a few days and then leave. Then come back for a few days and leave again.
                    I am fairly sure this is how they will have updated the records and kept them ‘filled up’.


                    • Very good points, Sally.

                      And Lechmere, the above came tantalizingly close to being a post with which I am full agreement. The obvious exception being this bit:

                      The deputy would fish out their page and update it by making a note when they had stayed.
                      Probably not. Sheer numbers would have rendered this an extremely difficult task, in addition to which it is clear from Jack London's evidence that the large lodging house for working men in which he secured lodgings (almost certainly the Victoria Home in my opinion) was obviously not recording individual names or noting brief histories. It seems likely, however, that in order to enforce an effective system of "weekly passes", the deputy must have made a brief note whenever a particular lodger purchased such a pass in order to determine when it was due back, i.e. in one week's time. This would also determine a lodger's eligibility for a "free night".


                      • "We cannot", Mr Moore told us, "get more than the slightest information from the managers of these common lodging houses in front of which you are standing now ; their residents are to them just numbers that they don't even want to know."Le Gaulois, 2 mars 1891 (translation Chris Scott)


                        Hope it helps.


                        • Ah Mr Ben - if someone stayed six nights - paying each night, one at a time, how would the deputy keep track that he was eligible for a free night?

                          DVV - the Victoria Home wsas known to operate a different system to the other common lodging houses so that quote, while interesting, tells us nothing.


                          • You haven't read the article, obviously.

                            "500 persons per night."


                            • Good Michael
                              Regarding your request for evidence that Hutchinson presented himself at the police station after the inquest, I checked some reports and have this for you...

                              Morning Advertiser (London) 14 November 1888
                              The Press association says that since the termination of the coroner's inquest on Monday the police have become possessed of a most important link in the chain of evidence in the case of the murder of Mary Jane Kelly. This information may not result in the immediate capture of the assassin, but it will, it is thought, place the police in a position to guard effectually against further outrages...
                              ...Nothwithstanding that no evidence was produced at the coroner's inquiry to show that she left her apartment after one o'clock, at which hour she was heard singing, there is every reason to believe that she came out after that hour... The police have received statements from several persons, some of whom reside in Miller's-court, who are prepared to swear that the deceased was out of her house and in Dorset-street between the hours of two and three o'clock on the morning in question.

                              This refers to Hutchinson’s statement – but I also like the last bit that I highlighted – several persons? Missing evidence perchance?

                              Also check this out – I reproduce the first bit as it shows the police were arresting people based on Hutchinson’s evidence on 13th November which tells us he was not discredited as soon as some seem to think.
                              We also get an insight into the nature of police checks. The most interesting bits are highlighted...

                              St. James Gazette 14 November 1888
                              At an early hour this morning a Press Association reporter was informed that between midnight and four o'clock three arrests were made in the eastern district in connection with the murders. About one o'clock some young men had their suspicions aroused by the peculiar behaviour of a man in the vicinity of the Spitalfields Flower Market. He accosted two women, and, after conversing with them for a considerable time, tried to persuade them to accompany him into one of the small streets adjoining the market. Theses thoroughfares are in general gloomy and badly lighted, and, the women being suspicious, refused to go with the man. He was followed for some distance by the watchers, and ultimately handed over to a policeman, who took him to Commercial street police station. Here he refused to give an account of himself, on the ground that he did not wish his parents to be alarmed by police inquiries regarding him. Questioned as to his whereabouts on Thursday night and Friday morning last, the man gave various explanations, and contradicted himself so frequently that it was considered advisable to detain him until his identity and antecedents were thoroughly investigated. The two men taken into custody at Leman street police station were alleged to bear some resemblance to the recently published descriptions of the man last seen in the company of the deceased woman Kelly. They were able, however, to give satisfactory accounts of themselves; and after these had been verified by the police, the men were set at liberty...
                              ...I told one policeman on Sunday morning what I had seen, but did not go to the police station. I told one of the lodgers here about it on Monday, and he advised me to go to the police station, which I did at night.


                              • DVV
                                Thank you but yes I have read it several times and the Victoria Home was not the only large lodging house.