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George William Topping Hutchinson Records

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  • Susannah Gunton died, aged 46 and in Whitechapel, soon after the census was compiled in the last quarter of 1871, leaving her four children motherless. William Thomas Cruckshank at 16 could fend for himself, but these were truly tragic circumstances for Susannah Jane aged 10, Charles as we saw aged 7 and Rosa aged just 4. What would Abraham do with three children of school age? How would he earn a living making cabinets?
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    The 1881 census found Abraham living at 25 Dorchester Street, Shoreditch, in the parish of Christ Church.
    Dorchester Street is now under Shoreditch Park. It was heavily bombed during the war. Interestingly a Time Team program that aired on Channel 4 on 29th October 2006 featured an archaeological dig on this site as part of a community excavation project to determine the extent of the bomb damage.
    Four households live in the same house. Abraham is now aged 59 and is still a cabinet maker. However none of his children are with him. Instead he is living with someone described as Mildred Gunton, a dress maker who was born in Islington, aged 40.
    The children have been dispersed.
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    • I have not been able to locate a record of Abraham marrying Mildred.
      However he did not waste much time in locating a new partner after the death of Susannah at the end of 1871.
      On 23rd November 1874 Abraham and Mildred (whose middle name was Louisa) had a child – also called Mildred Louisa. She was baptised on 18th December 1874 in St Mary’s Church Hoxton. This church was bombed in the war. They lived at 15 Chatham Gardens which no longer exists and was between Britannia Walk and Provost Street N1.
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      However baby Mildred Louisa didn’t even live long enough to see her first year. She died in the third quarter of 1875.
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      We don’t know when Susannah Gunton’s children moved away from their father. It may well have been when he took up with Mildred. She may not have wanted to look after another woman’s children. Certainly you would expect Rosa and Charles to still be with their father in 1881 but they are not.

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      • Although Susannah’s children dispersed, Charles, who was 17 at the time of the 1881 census, was still living in the same area.
        He was registered at 2 Briar Cottages which strangely enough was located in Chatham Gardens, about half a mile from where his father was living at Dorchester Street.
        Charles had become a Type Founder – that is he worked in the printing industry, producing metal type.
        He was living with the Snewin family (husband, wife and three children) as a ‘visitor’.
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        By 1891 Charles had moved to 44 Huntingdon Street, where he was living as a boarder with a large family. He was now 27 and was still a Type Founder.
        This was in the Civil Parish of St Leonard’s Shoreditch, the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Columba, Haggerston and the Parliamentary Division of Hoxton.
        Huntingdon Street is now called Falkirk Street and was just off Kingsland Road, which is a continuation of Shoreditch High Street. It is now part of the concrete jungle without an old building in sight.
        By my calculation no.44 was roughly half way down the street.
        Booth gives the street a good report – apart from a few houses on the northern side of the road and at the eastern end, which were notorious haunts of burglars!
        http://booth.lse.ac.uk/notebooks/b352/jpg/90.html
        It says of these houses ‘If ever a burglary on a big scale is planned, it is pretty safe to look here!’
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        His father was still with Mildred and was now living at 38 Rushton Street, in the Civil Parish of Shoreditch, the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Saviour’s in the Parliamentary Division of Haggerston.
        He was still a cabinet maker and was now 68 years old.
        Rushton Street is still there and is a few streets south of where Dorchester Street stood.
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        Abraham Gunton died in the first quarter of 1901 at the age of 78, while still living in Shoreditch.
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        • What’s this significance of this?

          Toppy had a cousin who was living within a about a mile of the Victoria Home in 1881 and 1891.
          This cousin was the son of his mother’s sister. They were both half Topping.
          He was two years older than our Toppy – being born in 1884.
          Charles’s mother died when he was 7, his father obtained a new partner, had another child and Charles moved away at a young age.
          Toppy’s mother died when he was about 14, his father obtained a new partner, had another child and Toppy moved away.

          There are close parallels between the experience of Toppy and his cousin Charles and they were of similar age. We know that the Toppings kept in contact with each other (as seen by the young Topping brother Albert getting married while living with the Hutchinsons in 1870, see page 9, post 87).

          It is conceivable that when Toppy left home he went to an area where he had family. This is a possible reason why he could have ended up living in the Victoria Home in 1888.

          But next we need to try and narrow down the likely time of Toppy's departure from south London.
          Last edited by Lechmere; 10-02-2011, 04:50 AM.

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          • Lechmere,

            It seems to me you have all the materials here for a new book: The Exoneration of George Hutchinson. I can see it as a book about an East-ender striking out on his own after estrangement from his father and step-mother, trying various trades, determined not to be like his father, but ending up that way as happened to so many young men even in my era and certainly more often then. It would be a wonderful character study and could use anecdotes from the family plus possible reasons for coming forward with information about Kelly without including the absurdity of murder. Mostly, it would just be about an average young man growing up in the Victorian era and his life's travails.

            Great stuff.

            Mike
            huh?

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            • Yes – like that song Cats in the Craddle by Ugly Kid Joe (and also released by other singers).
              I have been thinking it would make a good film with, say, Johnny Depp in the main role.
              I will start work on the script!
              But first I’ve got to provide more interconnections.

              It would be the opposite of a suspect book. All I need is a publisher.

              I’ve been thinking about his ‘grooming’ – for all we know he was talking one whatever casual work he could and amongst it had one job looking after a horse.

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              • Originally posted by The Good Michael View Post
                Lechmere,

                It seems to me you have all the materials here for a new book: The Exoneration of George Hutchinson. I can see it as a book about an East-ender striking out on his own after estrangement from his father and step-mother, trying various trades, determined not to be like his father, but ending up that way as happened to so many young men even in my era and certainly more often then. It would be a wonderful character study and could use anecdotes from the family plus possible reasons for coming forward with information about Kelly without including the absurdity of murder. Mostly, it would just be about an average young man growing up in the Victorian era and his life's travails.

                Great stuff.

                Mike
                there's nothing absurb about Toppy being JTR, the only thing wrong with him is that after 1888, he looks like a joe average family guy, with no more JTR style murders here in the U.K....... I THINK, BUT I'M NOT SURE YET!

                now then:- if this Toppy is indeed innocent like you say, then he's still got a few mental problems, because he went to the police pretending to have been there bla bla bla, now this is something that a normal person wouldn't do, just think how stupid his actions were!

                now then, a person called GH was definitely outside Kelly's that night, now is this Toppy because i'm not sure! but if he's not JTR; then there's still something wrong with him, just think what he did !
                Last edited by Malcolm X; 10-02-2011, 01:57 PM.

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                • I have mentioned that Toppy was about 14 when his mother Jane died.
                  She was certainly dead by the time of the 1881 census.
                  We know the family were living in Eltham in 1881 and in Norwood which comes under Lambeth in 1871, but cannot be sure when they moved.
                  Jane was born in 1832.
                  It is likely that she died in the last quarter of 1880 in Lewisham. A Jane Hutchinson died then aged 47 which matches.
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                  Another Jane Elizabeth Hutchinson died in Lambeth aged 46 in the 3rd quarter of 1880. This seems less likely as it would mean the date of birth would be 1834. Even allowing for inaccuracies in registering dates of birth and ages it seems more likely that the relevant Jane is the one who died in Lewisham.
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                  Either way it would seem that Jane Hutchinson died in 1880.

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                  • We last saw Emma Hutchinson, Toppy’s father’s new partner in 1891. We have also seen that Toppy’s father George Hutchinson died in 1895.
                    So what happened to Emma?
                    In 1901 she was still living with her son Herbert (now aged 11) at 4 Lenham Road in Lee – the same address they were living at in 1891.
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                    In August 1918 Herbert joined the army at the age of 28. He must have had a reserved occupation to have avoided conscription before this.
                    He was still living at 4 Lenham Road and we find that his middle name was John.
                    He actually joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and he was a Civil Servant working for the Board of Trade. He almost certainly didn’t see active service, having joined so late in the war.
                    He seems to have done rather well for himself despite being brought up in a single parent family for most of his childhood.
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                    • Herbert John Hutchinson, Toppy’s half brother, died in Southwark in the last quarter of 1971.
                      We find that his exact date of birth was 22nd October 1889.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • Herbert Hutchinson was born in Lewisham and must have been conceived around February 1889.
                        Attached Files

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                        • In post 99 of this thread (page 10) I mentioned that Emma Blackall (as she was then known) was living as a Domestic Housemaid working for a Mary Tapp, a widow, at 172 Oakley Street, Chelsea.
                          I pointed out that Mary Tapp was 75 and so Emma’s long term employment prospects did not look good.

                          In fact Mary Tapp was called Mary Yapp and her deceased husband wasn’t George Tapp it was George Yapp!
                          George Yapp seems to have been a ‘have-a-go-hero’ when he was in his early 20s.
                          http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/brows...2F18181202.xml
                          He must have gone on to sell a lot of shoes and boots because when his widow Mary died in 1887 she left the tidy sum of £7,268 6s. 1d.
                          The exact date of Mary Yapp’s death was 28th May 1887. She died in Devon.
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                          Rosalba Bradnee, the executor of Mary Yapp’s will, lived at the address where she died – ‘Calabria’, in Newton Abbot. She was the wife of an eminent photographer Walter Bradnee.
                          http://www.cartedevisite.co.uk/photo...radnee-walter/
                          And as I said Oakley Street is full of desirable properties...
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                          • Mary Yapp could have moved to Devon a short while before she died, but Emma Blackall must have moved away from Chelsea by May 1887.
                            By the start of 1889 she was with Toppy’s father George Hutchinson because that is when she conceived their son Herbert.
                            The undoubted connection being facilitated through her sister Harriet Wratten who lived close to George Hutchinson in Lee.
                            By 1891 she was calling herself Emma Hutchinson and Toppy was living away, in central London.

                            This leaves the strong suggestion that Toppy moved from Lee around 1887. There has to be a good chance that his first port of call would have been the East End as his slightly older cousin lived in Shoreditch.

                            So far these facts all make it quite plausible that he could have been living at the Victoria Home in Spitalfields at the time of the Autumn of Terror, and could be identical with the George Hutchinson who presented himself to the police after Mary Kelly was murdered and whose son Reg claimed he was a witness in the Kelly case.
                            In fact everything that I have found out about Toppy so far complements the view that he is identical with Kelly’s Hutch.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Malcolm X View Post
                              now then, a person called GH was definitely outside Kelly's that night, now is this Toppy because i'm not sure! but if he's not JTR; then there's still something wrong with him, just think what he did !
                              Two things: First, I couldn't disagree more with your conclusions that a normal, long life after a series of horrible murders doesn't hurt his candidacy. It most certainly does and it is this fact that keeps others from jumping in here and saying the same thing as you have.

                              Second, there was nothing out of the ordinary about a young, down on his luck man coming forward with information, embellished or not, in order to try and squeeze a few dollars from the officials. He seems to have done exactly that as well. No different from anyone with a little brass, a little streetsmarts, and no money. That is the simplest explanation by far and something that I'm sure he wouldn't have explained all of to his children later on had he embellished.

                              Mike
                              huh?

                              Comment


                              • In my opinion the case for Hutchinson being the Ripper is very weak anyway.
                                The possible identification of Toppy with Kelly’s Hutchinson makes it even weaker but doesn’t necessarily rule it out altogether I guess.
                                I wouldn’t say that overtly leading a normal life afterwards is a reason to rule him out.

                                The points I would emphasise are that he didn’t have any obvious reason to suddenly start and suddenly stop.
                                He had possible family problems and potentially resented his father for remarrying. If this was the case then it would imply that he put his mother on a pedestal. I don’t that would have led to the murder of women as a release or a power kick.

                                Also in future years he seems to have almost bragged about his tangential involvement rather than keep it as a personal secret based around what he actually did. His version as told to Reg would have sullied his actual acts in his mind I think.
                                Further I would guess that he would have actually been living in the East End for less than a year. I don’t think it would have been long enough for it to become a comfort zone for him to commit such crimes.

                                I would guess that Toppy would have been easily check outable – in other words if he came under the scrutiny of the police they would have been able to check his bona fides. His relatives in the East End would have heard about his statements in the press – as would his father probably. Had he had a vicious side that had come to their attention following his father taking up with another woman it may well have been apparent to them.

                                Also at 22 I would suggest he is a bit too young to be killing old bedraggled prostitutes (Kelly excepted).

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