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  • The Lodger.

    I’m currently reading Matthew Sturgis’ excellent, well researched biography of Walter Sickert and I’ve just reached the part about the story of The Lodger which contains some information which I wasn’t aware of. I’ve no doubt that other posters will be aware of it though so I thought that I’d ask for information.

    To sum up though, events took place in 1908 when Sickert had rooms in Mornington Crescent. His landlady informed him that a previous occupant of his room was Jack the Ripper. Indeed Sickert went on to do a painting called Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom. Basically the lodger was a young veterinary student who would sometimes stay out all night. The landlady and her husband often heard him sneak back into the house in the early hours of the morning before going back out to buy a newspaper. After one murder they noticed signs that he’d burnt one of his suits on the fire. Before they could tell the police of their suspicions his health collapsed and his mother came to collect him. She took him back to the family home in Bournemouth where he died a few weeks later. This was toward the end of 1888. Sickert apparently wrote the name of the student in the margin of a book that he was reading at the time (Casenova’s memoirs.) Unfortunately Sickert lent this book to a man called Albert Rutherston and it was subsequently destroyed in a bomb blast. Sickert later told the story to Marie Belloc Lowndes.

    Sounds like the kind of typical legend that attaches itself to a case like this? But here’s the part that I wasn’t aware of....

    Apparently the late Nick Warren (Editor of Ripperana) looked into this. He found that there were 131 students at The Royal Veterinary College in Camden Town (the only Veterinary College in the country at the time) and only one student cut his studies short in 1888. His name was Joseph Reid and he did come from Bournemouth. Warren also found out that the Joneses, who owned the building from before 1888 until after 1906 did indeed take in lodgers and many of them were from the medical profession.

    So it looks like Nick Warren located The Lodger? Does anyone know anymore about this? Has Reid been looked into any further?

    Suspicious behaviour.
    Anatomical knowledge.
    Possible knife skills.
    Reason for the cessation of the murders (according to c5 of course)

    Obviously we know nothing of his appearance or the actual nature of his illness but we’ve had suspects proposed on far less.
    Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 11-03-2019, 02:42 PM.
    Regards

    Herlock



    “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

    “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

    ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

  • #2
    Hi Herlock, I’ve never heard of Reid before but one thing that’s unclear to me: is the info about Warren’s id of Reid from the Sturgis book or where did you read about it? If from the book, is there a reference?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      I’m currently reading Matthew Sturgis’ excellent, well researched biography of Walter Sickert and I’ve just reached the part about the story of The Lodger which contains some information which I wasn’t aware of. I’ve no doubt that other posters will be aware of it though so I thought that I’d ask for information.

      To sum up though, events took place in 1908 when Sickert had rooms in Mornington Crescent. His landlady informed him that a previous occupant of his room was Jack the Ripper. Indeed Sickert went on to do a painting called Jack The Ripper’s Bedroom. Basically the lodger was a young veterinary student who would sometimes stay out all night. The landlady and her husband often heard him sneak back into the house in the early hours of the morning before going back out to buy a newspaper. After one murder they noticed signs that he’d burnt one of his suits on the fire. Before they could tell the police of their suspicions his health collapsed and his mother came to collect him. She took him back to the family home in Bournemouth where he died a few weeks later. This was toward the end of 1888. Sickert apparently wrote the name of the student in the margin of a book that he was reading at the time (Casenova’s memoirs.) Unfortunately Sickert lent this book to a man called Albert Rutherston and it was subsequently destroyed in a bomb blast. Sickert later told the story to Marie Belloc Lowndes.

      Sounds like the kind of typical legend that attaches itself to a case like this? But here’s the part that I wasn’t aware of....

      Apparently the late Nick Warren (Editor of Ripperana) looked into this. He found that there were 131 students at The Royal Veterinary College in Camden Town (the only Veterinary College in the country at the time) and only one student cut his studies short in 1888. His name was Joseph Reid and he did come from Bournemouth. Warren also found out that the Joneses, who owned the building from before 1888 until after 1906 did indeed take in lodgers and many of them were from the medical profession.

      So it looks like Nick Warren located The Lodger? Does anyone know anymore about this? Has Reid been looked into any further?

      Suspicious behaviour.
      Anatomical knowledge.
      Possible knife skills.
      Reason for the cessation of the murders (according to c5 of course)

      Obviously we know nothing of his appearance or the actual nature of his illness but we’ve had suspects proposed on far less.
      Interesting. Morning Crescent is about an 1 hour 20 minute walk west of Hanbury Street, and to me, that seems a pretty long distance to cover in the morning light and not draw some attention to one's self. It's also the wrong direction from the crime scene to flee, as indicated by the Eddowes' apron piece (and if that was not dropped immediately after fleeing the scene, then there's the odd choice of hanging out in the area for an hour or so before getting rid of it).

      Regardless of the issues with whether or not this provides a solution to the case, which will have it's own set of hurdles, it would be really cool if a name could be put to this Lodger story. I'll be keeping on eye on this thread.

      - Jeff

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
        Hi Herlock, I’ve never heard of Reid before but one thing that’s unclear to me: is the info about Warren’s id of Reid from the Sturgis book or where did you read about it? If from the book, is there a reference?
        Hi Kattrup,

        it’s in the Sturgis book (on page 390 if you have access to a copy) It’s in a footnote which has, in brackets at the end ....(Matthew Sturgis, newsletter of the Camden History Society, March 2004)

        He cites the Camden Rate Books and Census Returns for the information on the Joneses.
        Regards

        Herlock



        “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

        “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

        ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

          Interesting. Morning Crescent is about an 1 hour 20 minute walk west of Hanbury Street, and to me, that seems a pretty long distance to cover in the morning light and not draw some attention to one's self. It's also the wrong direction from the crime scene to flee, as indicated by the Eddowes' apron piece (and if that was not dropped immediately after fleeing the scene, then there's the odd choice of hanging out in the area for an hour or so before getting rid of it).

          Regardless of the issues with whether or not this provides a solution to the case, which will have it's own set of hurdles, it would be really cool if a name could be put to this Lodger story. I'll be keeping on eye on this thread.

          - Jeff
          To be honest Jeff, as I drifted away from all things ripper for a few years, I assumed when I read this that this was just something that had passed me by and that everyone else would be aware of. This obviously isn’t the case if you and Kattrup haven’t heard of it for a start.

          The points you’ve made are important and valid ones of course and I’m certainly not proposing Reid as the ripper but he at least appears to have been a possible person of interest. Who knows? Any extra info would be welcome.
          Regards

          Herlock



          “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

          “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

          ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post

            To be honest Jeff, as I drifted away from all things ripper for a few years, I assumed when I read this that this was just something that had passed me by and that everyone else would be aware of. This obviously isn’t the case if you and Kattrup haven’t heard of it for a start.

            The points you’ve made are important and valid ones of course and I’m certainly not proposing Reid as the ripper but he at least appears to have been a possible person of interest. Who knows? Any extra info would be welcome.
            Well, it's entirely possible this all got sorted out while I too was on a hiatus from JtR as well, so my ignorance isn't much to base things on.

            - Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

              Well, it's entirely possible this all got sorted out while I too was on a hiatus from JtR as well, so my ignorance isn't much to base things on.

              - Jeff
              Ditto!

              With online databases of today it might be possible for some of the top notch researchers here to check if and when Reid died 1888.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                Ditto!

                With online databases of today it might be possible for some of the top notch researchers here to check if and when Reid died 1888.
                I was thinking the same. Although he might have died in early 1889 of course. If it turned out that he’d died from syphilis then who knows
                Regards

                Herlock



                “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                Comment


                • #9
                  In a diary entry from 1923 the author wrote about the origin of the story:

                  “.....I heard a man telling a woman at a dinner party that his mother had had a butler and a cook who married and kept lodgers. They were convinced that Jack the Ripper spent a night under their roof.”

                  Sturgis says that Sickert told this story often and once to Belloc Lowndes and that she based The Lodger on it in 1913. It would be interesting to know if anyone else mentioned Sickert telling this story? There are a couple of issues though in that Sickert’s mother never had a butler or a cook and that Lowndes said that the Lodger only spent a single night under her roof.
                  Regards

                  Herlock



                  “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                  “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                  ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A friend has just pointed this out to me from the A-Z:

                    “It has been pointed out by Ripperana’s Editor Nick Warren that the only appropriately named veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College (itself the only veterinary college outside Scotland in 1888) was George Ailwyn Hewitt aged 17-18 in 1888. He lived at Aldershot and died in 1908. Of the 131 Royal Veterinary College students who cut short their studies before the end of 1888, only one came from Bournemouth. Joseph Ride who was 27 in 1888.”

                    I don’t understand why Hewitt should be considered “..appropriately named?”
                    Regards

                    Herlock



                    “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                    “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                    ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                      A friend has just pointed this out to me from the A-Z:

                      “It has been pointed out by Ripperana’s Editor Nick Warren that the only appropriately named veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College (itself the only veterinary college outside Scotland in 1888) was George Ailwyn Hewitt aged 17-18 in 1888. He lived at Aldershot and died in 1908. Of the 131 Royal Veterinary College students who cut short their studies before the end of 1888, only one came from Bournemouth. Joseph Ride who was 27 in 1888.”

                      I don’t understand why Hewitt should be considered “..appropriately named?”
                      The "appropriately named Hewitt" is in reference to the paragraph just before the above in A-Z, which reads:

                      "Donald McCormick claims to have been told the story by 'a London doctor who knew Sickert and whose father had been at Oxford with Montague John Druitt'. McCormick claims his informant said the student's name was something like Druitt. He also suggested to McCormick that Sickert had repeated the story to Sir Melville Macnaghten at the Garrick Club, this being the 'private information' which convinced Macnaghten of Druitt's guilt." (underlined by me to point to the most pertinent line).

                      The implication of the last bit, the suggestion this is the source of the private information, clearly is a suggestion that Macnaghten must have confused Hewitt, the veterinary student who is supposed to have died of illness 3 months after moving out of the lodging (earlier in the same section of A-Z on "Sickert's unnamed Veterinary student") for Druitt, who was found dead in the Thames at a similar time.

                      - Jeff
                      Last edited by JeffHamm; 11-04-2019, 08:45 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You asked about a reason for the cessation Herlock, it seems you've already answered that question within the same post. "A
                        fter one murder they noticed signs that he’d burnt one of his suits on the fire. Before they could tell the police of their suspicions his health collapsed and his mother came to collect him. She took him back to the family home in Bournemouth where he died a few weeks later. This was toward the end of 1888."

                        I find this line of questioning interesting, its always nagged me that we had no proof that he ever drew attention to himself, even if he had people very close to him. Very few instances of families suggesting they had the Ripper in their midst. Not even a "this mate of mine might be Jack" to the police.
                        Michael Richards

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JeffHamm View Post

                          Interesting. Morning Crescent is about an 1 hour 20 minute walk west of Hanbury Street, and to me, that seems a pretty long distance to cover in the morning light and not draw some attention to one's self. It's also the wrong direction from the crime scene to flee, as indicated by the Eddowes' apron piece (and if that was not dropped immediately after fleeing the scene, then there's the odd choice of hanging out in the area for an hour or so before getting rid of it).
                          In my younger (partying) days I used to walk from Camden to Angel Islington early on sunday mornings several times. The distance is not an issue if you are young and you have a purpose for the walk. This even more so in 1888 when people would be used to walking a lot more than we are in our cushy 21st century .

                          Also, Goulston Street is maybe only 5 minutes from Mitre Square so in the grand scheme of things (walking from the East End back to Camden), dropping a clue in the opposite direction is well worth the detour.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Intriguing. Though sounds a bit too much like an urban legend to me. I imagine that his landlady was doing a bit of embellishing of the truth here, Sickert clearly lapped it up and the story spread from there.

                            Tristan

                            Best Regards,

                            Tristan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Losmandris View Post
                              Intriguing. Though sounds a bit too much like an urban legend to me. I imagine that his landlady was doing a bit of embellishing of the truth here, Sickert clearly lapped it up and the story spread from there.

                              Tristan
                              I know what you mean Tristan but it’s interesting that there was a veterinary student who ended his studies before the end of 1888 and did come from Bournemouth as the landlady said.
                              Regards

                              Herlock



                              “All conspiracy theories are the product of the subconscious attempt of an ignorant yet creative mind to counteract the fear of the unknown with the tales of fantasy.” Abhijit Naskar.

                              “Conspiracy theorists, she knew, were paranoid by definition, and usually with good reason - they were indeed being watched, largely because they were standing on an upturned bucket, haranguing the sheeple with their wingnut delusions.” Mick Herron.

                              ”The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie.” Shannon L. Alder.

                              Comment

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