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The English Detective

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  • The English Detective

    This is a reproduction of an article posted on my website on 29 September 2016:

    I have a few comments to make on the 2016 book, The Ripper's Haunts, by Michael L. Hawley.

    Before starting, I should say that the author has been very generous to me in his acknowledgements, thanking me for various things in the book. Nevertheless, I have a number of observations that I would like to make about some parts of it.

    Mike is very big on 'peer review' so I hope he will take this article as part of that process. I do know him as 'Mike' but, for the purposes of this article, I trust he won't mind me referring to him by his surname as I would any author.

    In writing this article my purpose is not to challenge Hawley's central theme that Dr Francis Tumblety was Jack the Ripper. On that point I have nothing to say. It's just that some parts of his book have crossed over into areas that I have researched and written about, such as the activities of Inspector Andrews in Toronto and of Scotland Yard officers in America, where I happen to disagree with him. In particular, Hawley places great importance on the fact that an English detective from Scotland Yard was supposed to have followed Tumblety out to New York from England. I want to examine how plausible this is.


    For Hawley, the date of 20 November 1888 assumes great significance. He tells us that 'Tumblety was supposed to appear in Central Criminal Court on Tuesday morning, 20 November 1888' . Although this is a minor part of the story I would suggest that all we can really say is that Tumblety was supposed to have appeared in the Central Criminal Court on the Monday morning, 19 November 1888, to plead. This would have been a requirement of his bail conditions. His trial could then have commenced on any working day within the session.

    The Certificate of Indictment (CRIM 8/6) states that Tumblety stood indicted on 19 November 1888 but did not appear or plead to that indictment. What seems to have happened is that, on 19 November, Tumblety's lawyers filed an application for his trial to be adjourned. That application was heard the following day, on 20 November. Given that Tumblety did not appear at the Old Bailey to plead to his indictment, yet the judge agreed to respite the recognizances and adjourn the trial, my own conclusion is that Tumblety must have been claiming to have been ill, because that seems to be the only scenario that fits.

    According to Hawley, Tumblety 'probably' absconded on 20 November, 'especially', he says, 'since Tumblety was required by law to instruct his counsel for the postponement'. I may be unwittingly responsible for this statement because Hawley might have interpreted a comment I made on the Casebook forum that a postponement application could only have been made on instructions. This is correct but there was no 'law' which required Tumblety to instruct his Counsel for the application. It was, nevertheless, a matter of professional conduct that solicitors could only act on the instructions of their clients and of bar etiquette that a barrister could only act on instructions from a solicitor.

    For that reason, I would agree that Tumblety is not likely to have fled the country before 20 November because he would have needed to instruct his lawyers to make the application for the adjournment. Apart from anything else, the timing would not make sense. It would not have taken more than a day for Tumblety to reach Havre, where his ship for the United States departed on 24 November. Therefore, in my view, he is not likely to have left England before 22 November and he quite possibly waited until 23 or even 24 November, depending on what time his ship sailed.

    For Hawley, however, it is important that Tumblety fled on the 20th. The reason for this is explained by him as follows:

    'Police constables were reassigned to watch train stations on November 20. Researcher and biographer Andrew Cook...reported a correspondence between Scotland Yard senior official Lieutenant Colonel Pearson and the home secretary, which pertained to deploying twelve extra constables in order "to examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America"...The timing of this reassignment combined with the fact that the American would likely escape on the train is suggestive that the deployment of extra constables was for Tumblety'.

    What Andrew Cook actually said in his 2011 book, M: MI5's First Spymaster, was this (underlining in original):

    'What is certain, though odd, is that around 20 November, twelve extra constables were deployed at Euston and St Pancras Stations in order to examine the belongings of passengers arriving from America'.

    (A footnote reference is given by Cook here to a letter from Colonel Pearson to the Home Office Under-Secretary dated 20 November 1888).

    Hawley is troubled not at all by the fact that the deployment of these twelve constables is said by Cook to have been 'around' 20 November (not on that date) nor by the fact that this deployment was specifically in order to examine the luggage of passengers arriving in England from America, and thus not in any way to identify individuals fleeing from England to America (although, from his use of quotation marks, Hawley appears to think that this was some form of cover story).

    The reason for the deployment of these twelve extra constables at Euston and St Pancras (which did not, in fact, occur on 20 November or 'around' that date) is to be found in a communication from a railway company to the Board of Customs some eight months earlier. As we shall see, It has nothing whatsoever to do with Francis Tumblety.

    By way of background, the British Government, on 8 March 1884, had ordered that the baggage of all passengers arriving in the United Kingdom from foreign countries would be searched for dynamite or other explosives. This, inevitably, created inconvenience at customs for passengers arriving in the U.K, and, some four years later, on 22 March 1888, Richard Prowse, Secretary to the Board of Customs, wrote to the Home Secretary informing him that:

    '...the Board of Customs have under consideration an application from the London and North Western Railway Company requesting that the Baggage of Passengers arriving at Liverpool from America and proceeding over the company's line to London may, if registered for London, be sent thither from Liverpool, in locked vans and undergo the requisite customs examination at the Euston Square terminus in London; and that there is reason to believe that an application to the same effect will be received from the Midland Railway company with respect to the Baggage of passengers from America who may come to London by that company's line to St Pancras terminus' (HO 45/9686/A48584).

    The views of the Assistant Commissioner of the C.I.D. were sought on the railway company's application and, on 2 April 1888, James Monro, who did not like the idea, wrote to the Home Office saying:

    'If it was considered necessary that police should be present at the examination of luggage, this could not be effected without employing a considerable number of constables' (HO 45/9686/A48584).

    On 20 April 1888, Edward Leigh Pemberton of the Home Office replied to the Secretary of Customs to say that Mr Monro had put forward objections to the arrangement being proposed by the railway company (HO 45/9686/A48584).

    Subsequently, on 22 June, representations were made to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office by the Inman & International Steam Ship Co. Limited, which ran a steamer service between New York and Liverpool, explaining that searches of baggage at Liverpool (by customs officers under the supervision of officers on special duty from the Royal Irish Constabulary) were causing long delays for passengers which, in turn, was causing American travellers to seek alternative means of travel to England (using foreign shipping companies which did not dock at Liverpool) or not to come to England at all.

    After further correspondence clarifying the procedure for the possible transportation of luggage from Liverpool to London (where it would then be searched), the proposed arrangement was agreed in principle and, James Monro having by now resigned as Assistant Comissioner, advice was sought from Sir Charles Warren, who stated, on 22 October 1888, in respect of searches at Euston Station:

    'I have directed the necessary enquiries to be made and have ascertained the particulars as to the number of trains which will arrive at Euston daily with passengers from America, and the hours of their arrival; and as two Police Constables must be present at each examination of luggage, I find it necessary to have three reliefs, thus requiring an augmentation of six Police Constables.' (HO 45/9585/A484584).

    He added that:

    'The Midland Railway Company will no doubt apply to have similar arrangements made at St Pancras Station, and this will necessitate my seeking a still further increase of six Constables for that duty' (HO 45/9686/A48584).

    The arrangements were agreed for six constables to conduct the searches at Euston and six constables to conduct them at St Pancras, which is where the total of twelve extra constables comes from.

    These twelve constables were referred to in a letter from the Home Office to the Commissioner dated 30 October 1888 in which Sir Charles was asked if he had 'any objection to the Inman and International Steamship Company being informed that twelve constables will be required to perform the duty at the two stations' (HO 65/62).

    The total of twelve constables was confirmed in a further letter from the Home Office to the Commissioner on 15 November which stated that this would be the number required 'when the arrangement is in full working at both Euston and St Pancras Stations' (HO 65/62).

    The only significance of 20 November is that, on that date, Colonel Pearson (on behalf of the Commissioner) stated in a letter to the Home Office that a projected return of police numbers for the period 1 March 1889 to 28 February 1890 'does not take into account the 12 Police Constables who will be required for duty at the Euston and St Pancras Stations' (HO 144/222/A49500M).

    This is what Cook evidently picked up on, and has given the impression that those constables were suddenly introduced into the London stations on that day (although, as we have seen, Cook did not say that) which has misled Hawley into thinking that this had something to do with Tumblety, which it most certainly did not.

    As of 20 November 1888, none of the twelve constables had been deployed at Euston or St Pancras, nor would they be at any time prior to Tumblety's departure from France four days later or, indeed, for some time afterwards. The Board of Customs was only informed on 23 November 1888 of the Secretary of State's approval to the new arrangements with the practical details still to be worked out (HO 65/63). As late as 16 January 1889, the arrangements were still only 'approaching settlement' and, on that date, the Home Secretary sanctioned a temporary augmentation of the Metropolitan Police Force for the twelve constables (HO 149/3).

    We might also note, as I have mentioned elsewhere (Some Thoughts), that, in the absence of a warrant, the police had no power to arrest or detain Tumblety even if they knew it was his intention to flee to the United States. The bench warrant for Tumblety's arrest was not issued until 10 December 1888 so that Tumblety was free to travel via Havre on 24 November, despite there being English police officers stationed at that port, without hindrance.

    According to Hawley, 'The detective assigned to monitor the French ports in November 1888 was Inspector First Class William Melville' . In fact, as of November 1888, Melville was not a first class inspector, nor was he assigned to monitor the French ports. He had been stationed at Havre in 1884 (when he was a sergeant) and remained there for three years but returned to London in February 1887 when he was promoted to inspector and assigned to the newly formed Special Department at Scotland Yard known as 'section d' (Police Orders dated 5 & 18 February & 7 March 1887 - MEPO 7/49). He certainly returned to France during the summer of 1887 because he received a 25 reward for watching two Fenian suspects connected to the Jubilee Plot in Boulogne and Paris but he was also rewarded at the same time for having conducted 'numerous enquiries' in London during 1887 (HO 144/211/A48482). We also know, from his expense claims, that between 22 March and 26 April 1888 he was accompanying Her Majesty the Queen for protection purposes on her extended visit to Florence and Berlin (HO 46/94).

    The importance of Melville to the Tumblety story is that he was said by his grandson to have had some sort of involvement in the Whitechapel murder case and it is generally assumed by this that his involvement occurred in Boulogne or Havre when Melville must have attempted to prevent Tumblety fleeing to America.

    The details of this story are very vague but to the extent it is suggested that Melville detained or attempted to detain Tumblety at any time in France, this is unlikely due to the absence of a warrant for Tumblety's arrest and the fact that he did not have the power to arrest any individual in a foreign country.


    When I discovered a newspaper report in the Toronto World of 12 December 1888 in which Inspector Andrews, upon arriving in Toronto, said, 'Do I know Dr. Tumblety, of course I do. But he is not the Whitechapel murderer', I must admit that I did not think I had found evidence of Inspector Andrews saying that Tumblety was, in fact, suspected by him of being the Whitechapel murderer. But that, according to Hawley, is exactly what Andrews was saying.

    According to Hawley:

    'When in Toronto in December 1888, Inspector Andrews was asked by a Mail reporter about Whitechapel murder suspect Francis Tumblety, and he admitted they still wanted to interview him about the case. This further demonstrates that Tumblety was still a Ripper suspect on November 20 and that not making court likely caused detectives to pay him a visit; they would have found his room empty.'

    I don't think this is quite right though. The full quote in the Toronto World was as follows:

    'Do I know Dr. Tumblety, of course I do. But he is not the Whitechapel murderer. All the same we would like to interview him, for the last time we had him he jumped his bail. He is a bad lot.'

    Inspector Andrews was here not actually saying that Scotland Yard would like to interview Tumblety 'about the case' as Hawley claims. He said that the reason they would like to interview him was because he had jumped bail and was 'a bad lot'. It is at best ambiguous as to whether the questions Scotland Yard would have liked to have asked him related to the Whitechapel murders but this seems unlikely because if they had questions for him about that, they would surely have asked them when he was in custody, in prison, between (at least) 14 and 16 November.

    Hawley continues by saying:

    'Scotland Yard fearing Tumblety was attempting to leave the country, would have not only populated the train stations with constables, they would also have searched the harbours'.

    My comment about this is to wonder why Scotland Yard would have populated the train stations with constables (which, as we have seen, they did not, in fact, do) or searched the harbours, when they were not in possession of a warrant to arrest Tumblety. Even if they had found him, they would have had to have let him go because they had no power to detain him.

    By leaving the country, Tumblety was doing nothing illegal because there was nothing in his bail conditions to prevent him doing this. As at 20 November, his trial had been adjourned to the next session of the Central Criminal Court commencing on 10 December and he would not be in breach of his bail conditions until he failed to appear in court on that date.

    Hawley tells us that, 'With Scotland Yard taking the time to track Tumblety through France, it should not be a surprise that they continued the effort across the Atlantic.'

    In some articles and postings, Hawley has argued that Inspector Andrews was part of the supposed effort to track Tumblety across the Atlantic but I would suggest that his arguments on this score have been seriously undermined by my discoveries that (a) Robert Anderson confirmed to the Home Secretary in 1890 that Inspector Andrews never went to the United States in 1888 and (b) that Andrews almost certainly caught the Sarnia back to England on 22 December 1888 which would have left him no time to carry out any investigations after he departed from Toronto on 18 December, bearing in mind he had to stop at Montreal on 19 December, departing from there on 21 December.

    Although, at the end of the book, Hawley reproduces an earlier article of his which focuses on the role of Inspector Andrews, in the actual body of his book he focuses on two newspaper reports (of 4 December 1888) from the New York World and New York Tribune respectively about a comical English detective prancing around outside the house in East Tenth Street where Tumblety was staying on 3 December 1888. According to Hawley, this man was a Scotland Yard detective who had been sent from London to chase Tumblety across the Atlantic.

    On the face of it, from the newspaper reports, it is very unlikely that this detective was from Scotland Yard. The New York World reporter described him as 'a little man' , despite the fact that he was wearing 'an enormous pair of boots with soles an inch thick'. Yet, the absolute minimum height requirement for a Metropolitan Police officer was to stand a clear five feet, seven inches without shoes (HO 45/9698/A50055), which had been the case since the creation of the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829 (Times, 11 August 1829) but this was adjustable by the Commissioner and, by 1888, the standard minimum was five feet, nine inches, having recently been increased from five feet, eight and half inches. There is no way that a man of even five feet, seven inches, wearing boots with soles an inch thick, could be described as 'a little man'.

    It is true that it was possible to join the detective service directly and by-pass the minimum height requirement. In The Times of 10 October 1888, a statement by Sir Charles Warren was published as follows:

    'For some years past the standard height in the Metropolitan Police has been five feet eight and a half inches, and in the beginning of 1887 it was raised to five feet nine inches, but the Commissioner has power from the Secretary of State to accept candidates as short as five feet seven inches and if the Criminal Investigation branch should require any particular man under five feet seven inches the Commissioner has at all times been prepared to obtain the Secretary of State's sanction to his enrolment.'

    However, the concept of a small detective being in the force in 1888 appears to have been theoretical only. In his article entitled 'The Police of the Metropolis', in the November 1888 edition of Murray's Magazine, Sir Charles Warren said that, 'some few candidates [to the C.I.D.] have been admitted direct' but he added that: 'Of those admitted, few if any have been qualified to remain in the detective service'. As at 1888, Inspector George Greenham, who came into the C.I.D. (or Detective Department as it was then known) direct in 1869, having been a draftsmen prior to this, is the only known exception but he was five feet, eight inches, tall according to his pension records.

    In evidence to the Metropolitan Police Superannuation Enquiry on 29 November 1889, Chief Inspector Littlechild said that,'The cases of going direct to the Detective Office have been, in my experience, very rare' and he confirmed that virtually all detectives at that time in the C.I.D., if not all of them, had been 'transferred from the uniform service' (HO 45/9698/A50055).

    That being so, any detective in 1888 who had been allowed direct entry to the C.I.D., not having served as a uniformed officer, must have been an exceptional one indeed, something which does not seem to apply to the buffoon of a detective in Tenth Street described by the New York reporters.

    There are other problems with the story which appeared in the New York press.

    When not keeping observation on Tumblety's home, the English detective was said to have been drinking with a bartender in a bar at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Tenth Street known as McKenna's Saloon. Leaving aside that this was an odd way of keeping observation on Tumblety, the detective was also supposedly blabbing out that he had been sent over from England on a mission relating to Tumblety while, at the same time, accusing Tumblety of being Jack the Ripper.

    One would have thought that any Scotland Yard detective worth his salt would have been able to come up with a half-decent cover story if he was wanting to make enquiries about someone: such as that he was a friend of Tumblety's from London and that Tumblety had asked him to pay a visit when he was in New York. Telling a bartender that Tumblety was actually believed to be the Whitechapel murderer is rather odd behaviour for a genuine Scotland Yard detective. Furthermore, the bartender claimed that the detective told him that he 'came over to get the chap that did it'. But it simply wasn't possible for an English detective to arrest anyone in New York without a warrant and there was no warrant for Tumblety's arrest. So if the detective really did tell the bartender that he had come over to New York to get the Whitechapel murderer that simply could not have been true.

    The whole scenario is odd. We are told by the World and Herald reporters (and other newspapers) that Tumblety was under constant surveillance by two New York police detectives, Hickey and Crowley, from the time he arrived in the city. Given that Hawley says that Chief Inspector Byrnes of the New York police had been in contact with Assistant Commissioner Anderson, so that there must have been some form of co-operation between the two forces, what on earth was a Scotland Yard detective doing making enquiries about Tumblety in a bar and parading himself about in front of Tumblety's place of residence when Tumblety was already under observation by New York detectives?

    What was a Scotland Yard detective even doing there at all? Everything that he could do could easily have been done by the New York police. Alternatively, Scotland Yard could have hired a local private detective from Pinkertons if they had wanted Tumblety put under surveillance or inquiries made about him. Why send a man on a long journey across the Atlantic, especially one who who was obviously hopeless at surveillance?

    If we compare the reports in the World and Herald we find something curious. Referring to Tumblety's landlady, Mrs McNamara, the World stated:

    'Mrs McNamara at first said the doctor was stopping there. He had spent the night in his room, she said, and in the morning he had gone downtown to get his baggage. He would be back at 2 o'clock. The next statement was that the doctor had not been in her house for two months; that he was abroad, poor dear gentleman, for his health; she had heard some of those awful stories about him but bless his heart, he would not hurt a chicken! Why he never owed her a cent in his life, and once had walked up three flights of stairs to pay her a dollar. The revised story to which Mrs McNamara stuck to at last, was that she had no idea who Mr Twomblety was. She didn't know anything about him, didn't want to know anything about him, and could not understand why she was bothered so much.'

    The oddity here is that someone has spoken to Mrs McNamara on three occasions. Did a single reporter keep going back to pester the woman? Or did a group of reporters individually speak to her and then discuss the situation with each other?

    For in the New York Herald we find this (with underlining added):

    "I called yesterday to see the Doctor, but Mrs McNamara said he was not there. She scotched the idea of his having had anything to do with the dreadful Whitechapel murders. "Why" said this whole souled, courteous lady, "Dr Tumblety would not hurt a child. He is a perfect gentleman and always paid me punctually. He wouldn't hurt anybody. He once followed me up three flights of stairs to pay me a dollar he owed me. He left here many months ago to make a tour of Europe. He isn't in now and I don't know where he has gone."

    As we have seen, the World reporter quoted Mrs Mcnamara as saying, 'Why he never owed her a cent in his life, and once had walked up three flights of stairs to pay her a dollar'. So here we have the same story about Tumblety following the landlady up three flights of stairs to pay her a dollar appearing in both the World and the Herald. While it is possible that Mrs McNamara told the same story to two journalists we should consider the possibility that the two journalists conferred so that the Herald reporter was actually the source of that part of the World reporter's story.

    That being so, one has to wonder if one of the journalists told the other about the English detective. Did either of them actually see the detective? Reading the stories one would have thought so but that leads to a rather important question. Why did neither of them actually speak to the English detective to ask him who he was and what he was doing? One would have thought it was the most obvious thing that a seasoned journalist would do upon seeing such a strange character. Obtaining a quote from an English detective - especially if he was from Scotland Yard - would surely have been essential for their story. A reporter from the New York World certainly confronted ex-Inspector Moser when he found him in New York in September 1887 for example.

    The fact that no attempt was made to speak to the detective raises the suspicion that neither of the journalists actually saw the man. Is it possible that the source of the entire story was the bartender in McKenna's saloon? If the reports are correct, he would certainly appear to have been a liar. For the Herald tells us that,'The bartenders in McKenna's saloon, at the corner of Tenth street and Fourth avenue, knew him [Tumblety] well' but, according to the World, the bartender of that saloon told the detective:'I didn't know nothing at all about him [Tumblety]'.

    There are some discrepancies in the accounts of the journalists. For Hawley, the fact that the Herald reporter referred to 'bartenders' in the plural meant that he spoke to more than one and, says Hawley, 'the multiple barkeepers... corroborated each other'. Unfortunately, though, these 'multiple barkeepers' did not corroborate the World's bartender. For, according to the Herald journalist, the English detective, 'made some enquiries about Dr Tumblety of the bartenders, but gave no information about himself '. Yet, the World journalist reported the bartender as having been told that, 'he wuz an English detective and he told me all about them Whitechapel murders, and how he came over to get the chap that did it.' Both of them can't be right.

    Aside from the journalists, the only person who says anything specific about the English detective is the bartender (who is never named). Mrs McNamara is supposed to have become 'alarmed' by the detective looking in through the windows but this can have been nothing more than a guess by the journalist if he even witnessed such a thing.

    Can we rule out the possibility that one or both of the reporters was treated to a fairy tale spun by an imaginative bartender? I would say not considering the incredible nature of the story.

    Equally, we may note that neither of the reporters managed to establish that the English detective was from Scotland Yard. Could he have been a private detective?

    Hawley discusses this possibility when he says: 'Some claim the English detective was a private detective hired by the two bondsmen to recoup their 300 ($1,500) sureties'. I believe that this came from a discussion that I had with him on Casebook on 5 & 6 July 2015 when I suggested that this was one possibility. Unfortunately, the discussion was never resolved because Hawley ducked out of the thread on 6 July saying that 'Life just got busy'. That's fine but it meant that he never quite understood the argument against him.

    Hawley lists what he describes as a number of problems with the notion of the English detective as a private detective which we shall deal with point by point.

    The first problem, he tells us, is that 'the barkeeper revealed the detective's specific agenda.' But, in fact, the barkeeper simply repeated what he claimed he had been told by the detective, namely that he was there to 'get' the Whitechapel murderer. That goes back to the question of whether a detective (of any sort) is likely to reveal his plans to a member of the public rather than a cover story.

    Certainly, if the man had been a private detective trying to recover money from Tumblety one would not have expected him to explain this to a local barman. A cover story that he was interested in Tumblety as the Whitechapel murderer would have been perfect to satisfy the curiosity of locals as to why he was asking questions about him.

    Hawley's second objection is that, 'according to the December 2 1888 World article, the bondsmen were informed of Tumblety absconding on December 1, only one day before the detective was seen in New York.' This is not accurate because the article of 1 December only refers to the bondsmen as having been 'hunted by the police today'. It says nothing about when the bondsmen learnt of Tumblety's flight.

    It is reasonable to assume that the 'bondsmen' (to use Hawley's term) would have been notified on 20 November that their recognizances on behalf of Tumblety had been respited and that they were now on the hook until 10 December. No-one (even the police) would have had a keener interest in Tumblety's whereabouts than these two indivduals and, on the reasonable basis that they must have known some of Tumblety's acquaintances, they might have learnt before the police that Tumblety had gone missing from his London residence on 22 or 23 November. They might, indeed, have discovered his plan to sail to the United States on 24 November. That being so - and determined to recover their money - they might have instructed a private detective to sail out on the Umbria from Liverpool on 24 November, that being the last ship from England which could possibly have allowed a detective to be in New York on 3 December.

    Hawley's next point is a non-point that Tumblety did not 'officially' forfeit bail until 10 December when he did not show up at court. While this is true, any bondsman for Tumblety would have known as soon as Tumblety had disappeared that they would be on the hook for the entire amount of the bail and, moreover, that they had been conned by Tumblety into standing bail for him.

    Then, as part of the same point, Hawley says:

    'There is absolutely no evidence the bondsmen went after Tumblety while in New York, so if the private detective's claims were true, their total losses would have been the initial $1,500 plus the excessive funds they spent to hire an English private detective to sail across the Atlantic then follow Tumblety for an untold amount of time.'

    This is easily answered in that the bondsmen could have claimed back from Tumblety the initial $1,500 plus any expenses incurred in having to chase him. In saying that there is 'no evidence' that the bondsmen went after Tumblety while in New York, Hawley seems to have forgotten that the evidence is the reported existence of the English detective, which is exactly the same 'evidence' that a Scotland Yard detective was chasing Tumblety.

    Then Hawley says:

    'Additionally, since Tumblety violated no New York state law, what would an English private detective have done to bring Tumblety back to England - illegally arrest a man wealthy enough to afford the best lawyers?'

    Leaving aside the fact that this same criticism applies just as much to a Scotland Yard detective who, in the absence of a warrant, would have had to illegally arrest Tumblety to bring him back to England, I don't know where Hawley gets the notion that the detective was intending to bring Tumblety back to England from because it was never said by me in our Casebook discussion. My thinking was that the private detective was either there to threaten Tumblety with legal proceedings in the United States for the recovery of money or to pass on to him rather more threatening messages that, if his debts were not repaid, certain parts of his body might become acquainted with other parts which might otherwise never be expected to meet each other. Indeed, if Tumblety had used gangsters as bondsmen, the cost of the private detective might just have been irrelevant, with the ultimate aim being to teach the scoundrel a lesson.

    We may note that, according to a report from New York dated 6 December 1888, Tumblety was seen leaving number 79 East Tenth Street during the morning of 5 December by a workman called James Rush who lived directly opposite No. 79 who said that, 'he saw a man answering the doctor's well known description standing at the stoop of No.79 early yesterday morning, and he noticed that he showed a great deal of nervousness, glancing over his shoulder constantly.' (St Louis Post Dispatch, 6 December 1888). Was he in fear of his pursuers, not being Scotland Yard or New York detectives, but the people he had conned to stand bail for him in England?

    Finally, Hawley says that:

    'The decision to send a detective off to New York to follow Tumblety also conforms to Inspector Andrews's comments to reporters in Montreal. He stated that there was no need to hire American detective agencies in the Whitechapel murder case, since "we can do that ourselves you know" ' (New York World, December 21 1888)'.

    I read Inspector Andrews as saying that there was no need for Scotland Yard to hire American detective agencies to help them solve the Whitechapel murders in London because Scotland Yard was perfectly capable of doing that themselves. Either way, it does not counter the point that private individuals might have hired a private detective to track Tumblety down in New York.

    I might add that the theory that the private detective had been hired by Tumblety's bondsmen is just one of a number of possibilities. Tumblety might have defrauded any number of people while in London. Bearing in mind that we should not expect the private detective to have told the truth to the barkeeper, he might not have sailed over from London but have already been in New York having been instructed by telegraph to track down Tumblety. And he might not even have been English. And he might not even have existed.


    After I completed the above section, Joe Chetcuti located a report, dated 4 December 1888, in the New Orleans Daily Picayune of 10 December 1888, said to have been derived from New York from'Special Correspondence of the Picayune' , a copy of which was posted on JTR Forums by Howard Brown. This report, which contains a quote from Mrs McNamara that Tumblety was 'a perfect gentleman' who 'wouldn't hurt a fly' and who 'always pays me punctual' states that, upon Tumblety's arrival in New York (on Sunday 2 December):

    'Two New York detectives and one London detective were on the dock when he landed here and followed the carriage which took him, metaphorically or otherwise, to the hospitable arms of Mrs McNamara'.

    There is no particular reason for me to mention this report because it is not referred to by Hawley in his book, and I doubt that Hawley will want to say that everything in the New Orleans Times Picayune should be taken as gospel. On 22 November 1888, for example, the same newspaper stated that Tumblety was 'proved to be innocent' of the Whitechapel murders. However, as the Picayune report may be referred to in support of the existence of the 'London detective' I think I need to comment on it.

    The first point of interest is that the single quote from Mrs McNamara in this report ('Bless you, he wouldn't hurt a fly. He is a perfect gentleman and he always pays me punctual') is remarkably similar to the quote of hers which appeared in New York Herald of 4 December 1888 as follows:

    "Dr Tumblety would not hurt a child. He is a perfect gentleman and always paid me punctually. He wouldn't hurt anybody.

    Mrs McNamara might, of course have used similar expressions when speaking to the Picayune correspondent as when speaking to the Herald reporter on the same day, saying to one that Tumblety would not hurt a fly and to another that he would not hurt a child, but it does make one wonder if the Herald reporter was also the Picayune's correspondent. Or perhaps the Picayune correspondent, whose report was dated a day after the events reported by the Herald and the World (i.e. the same day as they appeared in those newspapers), simply plagiarized parts of the Herald report for onward transmission to New Orleans, changing the words slightly. If that is the case it rather undermines the notion that the Picayune was independently reporting the existence of a London detective.

    On this point, we may note that, to the New York World reporter, Mrs McNamara supposedly said of Tumblety that 'he would not hurt a chicken'. Either she was very imaginative with her use of expressions or the reporters were.

    In any case, the Picayune report creates a problem for Hawley because this 'London detective' has clearly arrived at New York before Tumblety, yet Hawley relies on the detective's statement that he had come over to New York specifically to get Tumblety. That detective would not have come over to New York to get Tumblety unless he knew that Tumblety was on his way to New York so how does he manage to arrive in New York before him? I'm not saying it's impossible. The Umbria for example departed from Liverpool on 24 November 1888 (the same day as La Bretagne) and was reported to have arrived in New York some eight and half hours before La Bretagne so it's not impossible that a Scotland Yard detective could have dashed to Liverpool to beat Tumblety to New York but, at the same time, it is highly unlikely. We are not talking about a Crippen type situation here where an arrest was imminent so it is rather improbable that Scotland Yard would have moved so quickly in this case.

    The report does not say that the 'London detective' was from Scotland Yard so (if the report is true) it rather supports my notion that someone from London had telegraphed an English private detective already in New York to meet Tumblety when he landed. However, if the report can be sourced to the New York Herald reporter then it provides no corroboration of anything and we are still no nearer to knowing whether this bumbling detective was real or fictional.


    Having disposed, to his own satisfaction, of the idea that the 'English detective' might have been a private detective, Hawley turns to another argument against a Scotland Yard detective being in New York (this time, not one in response to anything I had said), namely that no such detective has been identified in any Scotland Yard correspondence request to Home Office for funding. In response, Hawley tells us that Assistant Commissioner Anderson did not have to create a paper trail of vouchers and accounts to the Home Office if he wanted to send an officer to America.

    To support this claim, Hawley refers his reader to what he describes, bafflingly, as a 'legal report' taken from the Chicago Tribune of 30 June 1889 which is, in fact, not a legal report but a normal article about the workings of Scotland Yard. According to Hawley, it contains an account of 'a reporter's interaction with Special Branch Detective H. Dutton' .

    There are two immediate problems with this statement. Firstly, the newspaper does not claim that Detective H. Dutton was a Special Branch detective but refers to him as 'one of the Scotland Yard men stationed in Dublin' who spoke to a Tribune reporter 'last winter'. Scotland Yard did not have any men stationed in Dublin so this cannot be correct. Secondly, and in any event, he was certainly not a member of Special Branch. There is in existence a list of all Special Branch members as of November 1887 and, from Police Orders, it is possible to identify all such members added up to the date of the article on 30 June 1889. There is no H. Dutton among them.

    The article contains a few quotes from Dutton, all of which seem to focus on his knowledge of payments to informers in Dublin. From this, it is likely that Dutton was, in fact, a detective working for either the Royal Irish Constabulary or the Dublin Metropolitan Police.

    Most importantly, Dutton is not stated to be the source of any of the information that Mike Hawley wants to rely on to show that a Scotland Yard detective visited New York so that, while Hawley gives the impression that he is supported by a member of Special Branch, this is not in fact the case.

    The article refers to a number of sources. The reporter has clearly visited the offices of Scotland Yard and been shown around the criminal museum there. He says that the detectives who acted as his guides took 'all manner of trouble to exhibit and to explain everything, from the infernal machines with which the Nelson monument was to have been blown up to the organisation of the police force and the general workings of the British constitution'. It is quite likely, therefore, that, to the extent that parts of the article contain accurate information, that information came directly from Scotland Yard.

    Robert Pinkerton is also quoted as a source along with H. Dutton. The article is a little strange in that it claims that sums of 5,000 had been paid out by Scotland Yard for information on a number of occasions, along with smaller sums of between 100 and 600, yet it then directly contradicts itself with quotes from Dutton and Pinkerton who both say that this is untrue and that payments for information were much smaller than this, ranging from 5 to 20.

    The story then moves away from payments for information (which was the only subject on which Dutton is quoted) and deals with three different topics, namely: (1) payments of salary and expenses to Scotland Yard officers (2) transmission of secret information in code by Scotland Yard to officers in foreign countries and (3) Scotland Yard's anti-Fenian work.

    On the topic of the transmission of secret information, a reference is made to the capture of a mailbag belonging to the British Embassy in 1883 in which messages in cipher were supposedly discovered but there is no indication that this has anything to do with Scotland Yard and a message to the British Embassy in Washington is not likely to have come from Scotland Yard bearing in mind that the usual, and indeed proper, method of transmission of such messages was by the Foreign Office.

    Then it is stated that an intercepted cable cipher received in New York 'last winter' read:

    'Able-desert-ocean-manly- revolution-silver-Ireland-pretense.'

    The article states, without any source information, that all that is known about this despatch is that it 'certainly came from Scotland Yard to an English detective in New York; and that it preceded by a few weeks Le Caron's departure for London [on 8 December 1888]'.

    Bearing in mind that the identity of the English detective to whom this message was purportedly sent is not stated in the article, and there is no known corroboration of the existence of the message in any other newspaper, one cannot help but be anything other than very sceptical about it. Hawley gets rather excited about it though, thinking it could be (or must be) a message from Robert Anderson to one of his officers in New York about Tumblety's flight to New York but that is fanciful to say the least. There is no good reason to think that the message, if it ever existed, had anything to do with Tumblety.

    The notion that there was an officer stationed in New York comes from the final paragraph of the article relating to Scotland Yard's anti-Fenian work which is worth reproducing in full. It states:

    'Most of the English detective work in America is done through the Pinkertons; but there are always three or four Scotland Yard men in the country watching the dynamite societies and looking after their Irish friends in different parts of the country. These men are chosen with great care, and have privileges and pay beyond their fellows. One of them who was stationed in New York last summer is said to have been paid $5,000 a year and expenses. How thoroughly the preventive work in America has been done is proven by the fact that not one dynamite outrage was planned or executed without information more or less full being cabled beforehand to Scotland Yard. In some cases shadows have accompanied the dynamitards from the quay in New York to the jail door in England, as was the case with Dr Gallagher. Through the same agency explosives and infernal machines have been found in spite of the most ingenious concealment; and, indeed, so nearly omniscient has Scotland Yard been that many Irishmen believe that the detectives themselves have provided their own work and furnished their own dynamite.'

    The idea that there were three or four Scotland Yard officers permanently based in America, with one being in New York, is contradicted by Home Office documents between 1884 and 1888 which show that the only foreign based officers within the Metropolitan Police in 1884 were at Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and, for part of the year, Paris (MEPO 3/3070) and, in 1888, at the ports of Havre, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Rotterdam/Amsterdam, Cherbourg, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Christiansand (HO 144/122/A49500M).

    We may note that Sir Charles Warren was not very happy about having Metropolitan Police officers based at foreign ports (or any ports outside London). On 19 July 1888 he wrote to Godfrey Lushington at the Home Office saying:

    'I have been looking at the Statute and I cannot find that the Commissioner has any power to employ men at ports. It seems to me entirely ultra vires for all special duties paid for otherwise than from the Police Fund, such as for example as charged to the Treasury as a Department. Constables can only be appointed within the Metropolitan Police District [Metropolitan Police Act, 1839 sections 5, 8]. It cannot be said that these men are employed for the ordinary duties of the Police for the Metropolis chargeable to the Police Fund. They are to my mind not Constables at all, and if it is considered that they should remain at Ports for the Metropolis, the necessity of which I altogether doubt, I would most strongly deprecate any change in the method of charging for them, as I am doubtful of the legality of the whole proceeding.' (HO 144/208/A48000M, underlining in original)

    The Commissioner was here making a technical legal point based on the wording of the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839 which said that it was lawful for the Commissioner to 'appoint and swear any additional number of Constables to keep the Peace at any Place within the Metropolitan Police District'; the Commissioner's point being that it was not lawful to appoint additional constables to keep the peace outside of the Metropolitan Police District, with the technical point centered around the meaning of the word 'additional'. The Home Office officials didn't agree with him, given that the postings had been authorized by the Secretary of State, but the Commissioner's views suggest that he was not keen on Metropolitan Police officers being stationed in foreign countries.

    At the time of the Whitechapel murders, the authorization of the Commissioner to send on officer abroad would have been required in accordance with Metropolitan Police Office Regulation 253, dated 8 August 1888. This stated:

    'No Police Officers are to be sent out of the Metropolitan Police District for either uniform or detective duties, except for such ordinary matters as conveying children to Industrial Schools or proving former convictions, without the approval of the Commissioner being first obtained, unless the circumstances should be so urgent as not to admit of the necessary delay, in which cases authority may be given by an Assistant Commissioner, Chief Constable or Superintendent but the covering sanction of the Commissioner is to be sought at the earliest possible moment' (MEPO 7/134).

    Permission would also have been needed from the Home Secretary for any assignment of Metropolitan Police officers to the United States or any other foreign country. A memo dated 27 September 1922 to the then Assistant Commissioner responsible for Special Branch from a Metropolitan Police official (MEPO 2/2447) states:

    'The limits of the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police are prescribed in the various Police Acts, and while there is no express provision preventing them from serving beyond these limits, there have been directions issued by the Secretary of State as to certain duties which may be undertaken by Police beyond the district....I can find no regulation or letter which requires that Home Office sanction should be obtained but, I believe since the formation of the Metropolitan Police Force this authority has been regarded as essential when Police officers are sent abroad...'

    On 3 October 1922, the same Assistant Commissioner, Borlase Elward Wyndham Childs, noted that his predecessor (Basil Thomson) had asked the Home Office,'for general authority to send Special Branch officers all over the world at his discretion. This request was refused and in my judgment justifiably' (MEPO 2/2447).

    Metropolitan Police officers, in other words, could not be stationed in foreign countries without express Home Office approval and there is not a hint of a suggestion in any known Home Office file that such approval was given to any officers being stationed in New York or that the possibility was ever even discussed.

    The claim in the Chicago Tribune article that a single police officer in New York was paid $5,000, the equivalent of 1,000, when the basic annual salary of the Assistant Commissioners at the time was 800 also does not seem to be very likely.

    Home Office papers reveal that the 'Gallagher' referred to in the article, namely Dr Thomas Gallagher, was caught after a member of the public in Birmingham - a Chemist's assistant called Gilbert Pritchard - became suspicious of a man (Alfred Whitehead) who purchased certain chemicals, and he notified the local police who arranged for the man to be kept under surveillance which led to one of his accomplices being followed down to London and arrested in a house where Gallagher was staying. This led to the arrest of Gallagher himself. His arrest, in other words, had nothing to do with him having been followed to England from America as the article suggests and there is no reason to suppose that he was followed by anyone at any time prior to his arrest.

    For Hawley's purposes, the passage of most interest in the Chicago Tribune article is this (with the key parts underlined):

    'The pay of the Scotland Yard men, proper averages 23, or about $115 a month - a large salary for London, where five shillings a day is considered fair wages and expert clerks and salesmen are glad to make 10 a month. Beside the salary there is always a liberal traveling allowance, and all expenses incurred in the line of duty are paid without question. Vouchers are seldom asked for, nor even itemized accounts. Sometimes these expense bills are heavy, especially when there are ocean voyages to be made. The ordinary traveling expenditure is about 2 a day.'

    The figures given for pay and expenses are reasonably accurate but only for C.I.D. inspectors engaged on special duties who received an enhanced daily rate of pay. The majority of Scotland Yard detective inspectors on normal duty would only receive between 15 and 19 per month in salary, not the 23 stated, and detective sergeants and constables much less (HO 395/1).

    The part that Hawley wants to rely on is the part (as underlined) which says that all expenses for Scotland Yard officers were paid without question, with vouchers (i.e. itemised receipts or orders for expenditure) not asked for. As we have seen, in his book he gives the impression that this information came directly from a Special Branch officer but that is not so and no source for this information is actually provided in the article.

    As I read the article, it is saying no more than that the expenses of Scotland Yard officers did not come under much scrutiny and it seems to be a large leap from that simple point to say that this meant that Robert Anderson was able to send an officer to New York without proper authorization.

    Let us examine the treatment of expenses of Scotland Yard officers at the time.

    All expenses for Metropolitan Police officers, including in the Criminal Investigation Department, were paid for out of the Metropolitan Police Fund at first instance, but would be repaid to that Fund as appropriate if the officers were employed by individuals or public departments, or were engaged in work on behalf of the State, such as anti-Fenian operations; the person or department responsible for engaging the officers would then be responsible for their expenses (as well as their pay).

    The Metropolitan Police Fund, which was comprised of money from ratepayers, and which was subject to audit by the Controller & Auditor General, who reported to the Public Accounts Committee, was under the control of the Receiver, who was independent from the Commissioner and responsible to the Home Secretary. No money would be paid out of the Police Fund without the approval of the Receiver who was authorized under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 to pay out of the fund extraordinary expenses and allowances incurred in apprehending offenders and executing orders but only on the authority of the Commissioner of Police, regulated by the Secretary of State (Section XII and see MEPO 8/3; HO 347/2). The Receiver was responsible for ensuring that he had obtained proper authority before making any payments (MEPO 2/2234). The 1829 Act stated that the Receiver was required to account for all money paid out by him 'and for what purposes, together with proper Vouchers for the Receipts and Payments' (Section XI).

    Further, according to the financial regulations in force at the time (namely the 1888 Regulations as to the Receipts and Payments in respect of the Metropolitan Police, Police Superannuation and Police Courts Funds):

    'No payment is to be made, nor any cheque on the Bank of England drawn, in payment of any charge for the Police Service, until all the documents and vouchers in support of it have been examined; and no cheque is to be signed, nor countersigned unless accompanied by the vouchers already examined and certified by the Receiver' (HO 347/2).

    Both Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner could countersign cheques (along with the Receiver) but, in doing so, were 'responsible that all the documents and vouchers in support have been examined, that the authorities are quoted and verified, and that the charges are made on the correct item' (HO 45/9678/A47228). According to a letter from the Secretary of State to the Commissioner dated 24 February 1880 (HO 45/9678/A47228) the procedure is:

    'That the Commissioner of Police and the Assistant Commissioners are to place their initials in the cheque entry book against the entry of each separate cheque that is countersigned by them, and that their initials in that book are to be understood as signifying that they personally inspected the examined voucher or vouchers submitted in support of the cheque, and satisfied themselves that the sum shown to be payable on the former, agreed with the amount of the latter, and also as an acknowledgment that they signed the cheque against the entry of which their initials appear - also that they require the production of a certificate signed by the Receiver or his Chief Clerk, of the amount of cash wanted before they countersign cheques for the supply of office cash.'

    The payment of expenses of officers 'employed beyond the limits of the Metropolitan Police District' was governed by a letter from the Home Secretary to the Commissioner dated 28 January 1871 which stated that:

    '...where the police have been employed in executing warrants, making investigations etc. etc. relating to offences which have arisen within the Metropolitan Police District, the expense ought to be charged to the Public Fund; although in the course of such duty they may have had occasion to go out of the District.' (HO 45/9518/22666).

    A minute dated 3 February 1871 noted that the above applied to police officers employed 'beyond the United Kingdom' as well as simply beyond the Metropolitan Police District (HO 45/9518/22666).

    Regarding the expenses of officers sent beyond the limits of the Metropolitan Police District, according to the 1888 Financial Regulations, the accounts of those expenses, 'must be certified by the Commissioner as "examined and found correct and proper," and submitted by the Receiver for the approval of the Secretary of State. But if on any special occasion other expenses should be incurred, they must be brought under the Secretary of State's particular notice' (HO 347/2).

    For the expenses of Police Officers abroad, it was noted in the memo of 27 September 1922 referred to above that, not only was the authority of the Home Secretary required for officers to travel overseas, but that any expenses arising from overseas travel 'would not be paid by the Receiver in the absence of such authority' (MEPO 2/2447). In one case, where the Home Secretary had approved of some foreign travel for protection work by Special Branch members, the Receiver refused to pay without seeing the written authority that such expenses could be paid. Thus, the Receiver wrote to the Assistant Commissioner on 20 October 1922:

    'I gather that the Commissioner received verbal orders from the Home Secretary to send Special Branch officers to France with Mr. Winston Churchill. I do not dispute it. What I want is a written authority from the Secretary of State directing me to charge the cost of sending these officers to France to the Police Fund, and without it I cannot pass the account' (MEPO 2/2447).

    Ten days later the Under Secretary of State at the Home Office wrote to the Commissioner:

    'I am directed by the Secretary of State to inform you that on the application of the Receiver he has authorised the payment of the expenses incurred in connection with the protection of the Right Hon. Winston Churchill during his visit to France in August last. I am also to convey to you, hereby, the Secretary of State's covering authority for the employment outside of the United Kingdom of the officers concerned' (MEPO 2/2447).

    For expenses incurred by police officers on special service duties, relatively small amounts could be paid without the sanction of the Home Office as long as the approval of the Commissioner had been obtained. This exception was introduced by way of letter of the Home Secretary dated 7 March 1887, which (probably by coincidence) was shortly after the formal creation of the Special Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department. The letter stated that the Home Secretary gave general authority to the Receiver:

    ' pay without application to him in each case, expenses incurred by police officers on special service, whether such expenses are to be repaid to the Police Fund or not, provided that the expenses so paid do not exceed the rates sanctioned by the Secretary of State, that they have been in each case approved by the Commissioner, and that any exceptional item, and any item of 20 or upwards in amount be specially submitted for the Secretary of State's approval before being paid' (HO 65/55).

    'Special Service' expenses were said to involve the costs of: (a) apprehending offenders, (b) conveying police from one part to another (c) refreshments (d) photographing the bodies of dead persons (e) use of vans for conveying clothing, stores etc (f) conveying children to reformatory schools and (g) lost animals (HO 45/9875/A46889). From this, we can see that the special service referred to appears to have had nothing specifically to do with the special duties in connection with Fenianism.

    Additionally, by letter dated 23 April 1887, the Secretary of State gave the Commissioner a general authority for the use of omnibuses and other vehicles for the conveyance of constables on special occasions when the Commissioner was satisfied that real necessity existed in the interests of public order (HO 45/9674/A46760).

    However, by letter of 30 March 1887, the Home Secretary emphasized to the Commissioner that, 'the Receiver is prohibited from any expenditure in excess of that authorised under any sub-head without the express permission of the Secretary of State' (HO 65/55). Referring to this letter, the Commissioner wrote to the Home Office on 11 April 1887 (underlining added):

    'Having in mind the stringent ruling of the Secretary of State referred to in the letter of the 30th ult, viz:- that in future unauthorised expenses will not be allowed and that those by whom such expenses are incurred will be held responsible for them, and also having in view the fact that the Commissioner of Police has duties of the gravest importance devolving upon him and is authorised under the Act to approve of "extraordinary expenses" in the execution of his orders under the Act, and having in view also the fact that the Receiver has informed him that all special matters, i.e., as far as I understand, extraordinary expenses, require in the first instance the approval of the Secretary of State, I have to request that I may be informed in what position the Commissioner is with regard to these matters and if the Secretary of State has placed any restriction on the Commissioner with regard to his approval of expenses under the Act' (HO 45/9675/A46889).

    The Home Office did not respond until 23 May, and then only stating that the Commissioner's letter was under consideration (HO 65/56), but the Commissioner was obviously in no doubt that the Home Office was keeping a tight control of police expenses.

    While the above mentioned relaxation in procedure in respect of expenses under 20 might have been what prompted the comments in the Chicago Tribune article, if we consider a Police Order of 16 January 1888, we can see how expenses for duties incurred in the United States (normally extradition duties) were actually treated in the Metropolitan Police Force. This P.O. states (underlining added):

    'Officers proceeding on duty to the Colonies or to America, will be allowed 15s per diem subsistence allowance while on shore, and 2s 6d per diem for extras while on board ship, but no subsistence allowance. All incidental charges must be supported by vouchers unless specially sanctioned on a full report of the circumstances. The allowance for outfit to be considered in each case; but in no case to exceed 10.'

    We might note that detectives were paid fixed allowances for which they had to cover all their expenses save for train fares. General Orders and Regulations for 1873 under "Detectives", sets out rates of pay then says:

    'With allowances - For wear of Plain Clothes 10 per annum to all ranks. For travelling expenses when employed beyond the District: Inspectors 13s per day, Sergeants 10s per day. These allowances to include everything, except locomotive expenses.' (MEPO 8/3)

    In respect of train fares, following the Cheap Trains Act of 1883 which ensured (in section 6) that 'any officers or men of the police force' would have conveyance provided for them on production of a duly signed authority, C.I.D. detectives would normally be provided with railway passes when travelling in the United Kingdom so they would not need to spend any money on that mode of transportation. Consequently, given the allowances policy, there was only limited scope for a detective to claim out-of-pocket expenses.

    At a superannuation inquiry on 29 November 1889, Local Detective Inspector Conquest of 'E' Division explained why a CID officer had higher pay than a uniformed officer of equivalent rank (HO 45/9698/A50055):

    'His expenses are very much greater than is the case with the uniform men. If a man wishes to do himself good in the C.I.D. it became necessary for him to spend money amongst the people that he has to go among; he has to go about among thieves, and money must be spent which he cannot often charge; questions would arise about the charges being made if he made them. I am often myself obliged to spend money in order to keep things in a satisfactory state.'

    Former Detective Inspector Maurice Moser, who resigned from the force in January 1887, explained the situation relating to expenses for a C.I.D. detective in his 1890 book entitled Stories from Scotland Yard. After explaining that he had secured a very reliable informer in a case relating to forged currency, he said:

    'Please recollect, reader, that all this has to be done at the sole expense of the detective Inspector himself out of the three pounds ten shillings per week which the authorities are good enough to grant him as "pay," and out of this sum the detective, after contributing to different charities and funds in connection with the force, reducing his actual wages to about forty-five shillings, must defray all expenses incurred on behalf of his suspects up to the time of their capture. Should he by some unfortunate means not be successful in "carrying his case through," he loses entirely the whole amount expended, Scotland Yard excusing itself under the standing order of "they had never sanctioned the expenditure."'

    Presumably, Moser would not, therefore, have agreed with the depiction of liberal expenses as portrayed by the Chicago Tribune reporter. In fact, Moser went on to say that: 'The illiberal treatment of our detective force in matters of this kind is one of the crying evils of the day' and called for the government to give the police force 'a liberal allowance for incidentals'.

    We find the above experiences of Conquest and Moser backed up by the (albeit much earlier) evidence of Superintendent Williamson of the Criminal Investigation Department to the Detective Police (Departmental) Commission on 23 November 1877 (HO 347/1). The questioning, with Williamson's answers, went as follows:

    Q. You have stated that men decline to take service in the central department?

    A. Yes; men have done so.

    Q. And one of the reasons for that you have stated to be the uncertainty of the employment, and the uncertainty of the leisure. Is not also one of the reasons what you stated in 1868, namely, that the account of expenses which they are put to is very heavy, and that they have some difficulty in recovering them?

    A. The amount of expenses is heavy, and indirectly they come heavily, because a man leaves his home in the morning, and as he has to be about all day long, and to have his meals away from his home, which necessarily entails extra expense. I cannot name a man who can go home to get his meals.


    Q. Supposing the case to be one in which, in his work, a man has to go and reside at a hotel for some time, and to keep up the character which he must assume in order to detect the crime, and supposing that he has to spend a great deal more than 15s a day, what is done?

    A. In that case a special allowance would have to be made.

    Q. Is there any difficulty in procuring that special allowance?

    A. I should think that if on a proper report the necessity of it was shown that there would be no great difficulty in getting it.


    Q. But a man would be allowed to go to [a first class] hotel for instance if he thought it necessary to get information in the case, and he would spend 1 a day there. Would he make a report immediately that was over?

    A. Yes; but it would be a very dangerous thing to do so without authority, because if he did it, it might be questioned afterwards, and the persons who had to allow the money might not think it necessary, and he therefore would not do it.

    Q. Before incurring that expense, to whom would he come, would he come to you?

    A. Yes, and I should take the matter to the Commissioner of Police.

    Q. And when he had done his work, how soon would he be recouped that money?

    A. If he required money, it would be advanced to him before he went; we advance him money from time to time as he wants it, and he accounts for it at the end of the case.

    Q. Do you ever allow your detectives a sum of money to pay, in order to get evidence?

    A. Yes, in many cases we do.

    Q. Does a man do that without consulting you?

    A. If it was a very large sum he would not do it without consulting me, and I should not authorise it without consulting the Commissioner.

    Q. Have you any voucher at all to show the money which the man has paid.

    A. In some cases I have, and in some cases not.


    Q. Has it occurred that you, acting under the authority of the Commissioners, have seen it necessary and advisable to say to one of your detectives, "There is a case, you ought to be able to find it out in so much time, and it ought to cost you about so much money for that time; take the money and I will not ask you for any details of your expenditure? "

    A. I have never done that.

    Q. You have never thought of doing that?

    A. No. A man has to account very strictly for all the money he has.

    Q. He has to give all particulars?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Vouchers and so on, if possible?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Does not it occur to you that that would sometimes lead to difficulties, and that a man would have to pay certain sums of money as to which he would not wish to give an account of the manner in which they had been paid?

    A. Yes, in many cases.

    Q. And a man has to forego the sum rather than put it in a voucher?

    A. Yes. He must then do it at his own risk. I have no doubt that in many cases our men are out of pocket. Our men, until very recently, were allowed to receive gratuities from persons by whom they were employed, and a man sometimes if he thought that a gratuity was coming would spend 1 or 2 or 3 out of his own pocket, and if the thing did not come to a satisfactory conclusion he would lose money.

    At the same enquiry, on 30 November 1877, the then Detective Sergeant John Littlechild said that he would often bear 'a great loss' on incidental expenses when working on a case (HO 347/1). Detective Sergeant Walter Andrews gave similar evidence as follows:

    Q. When you have had to work in big cases have you been put to greater expense than was covered by the amount you were allowed, if you wished to conduct the case properly?

    A. I have.

    Q. As to incidental expenses is there any difficulty with regard to them?

    A. There is. In charging an additional expense we should certainly think that 4 or 5 would be a large sum to charge for incidental expenses. It becomes difficult for a man to account for 4 or 5 of incidental expenses, which is because the money is expended in such a way that you could not possibly account for every item.

    Q. You mean that in order to obtain the information that you want, you are obliged to spend little sums of money perpetually?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Which it is very difficult to keep any account of at all?

    A. We cannot do it.

    Q. You know that you are out of pocket to a certain extent, but you could not put your finger upon the particular shilling or sixpence that you had spent?

    A. No, I certainly could not.

    Q. Does that result in you being a loser, and not making charges in your incidental expenses?

    A. Very often.

    The report of the Detective Police (Departmental) Commission dated 25 January 1878 (HO 347/1) stated:

    'Under incidental expenses, of which they are supposed to keep a monthly contingent account submitted for sanction to headquarters, they maintain they are serious losers, often to the amount of many pounds, from their dislike to charge small sums expended whilst properly working up their cases - which sums would be sure to lead to questions and disputes with the authorities.'

    As Maurice Moser's complaints made in 1890 show, nothing much seems to have improved in the following decade when it came to expenses of detectives. The 1878 report recommended higher pay and allowances for detectives, which was implemented, but it seems that this did not prevent detectives from being out of pocket in respect of incidental expenses. Indeed, the fact that they were being paid a higher salary than uniformed officers of an equivalent rank seems to have meant that they were expected to pay certain expenses from their own means.

    Hawley suggests that Robert Anderson might have sent his officer to New York on normal police business relating to the Whitechapel murders but 'under the guise of Special Branch' and then charged the cost of that expedition to an account which is referred to by Hawley as 'an open account' covering the cost of police work on Fenian matters. This is utterly implausible not least because there was no such 'open account'.

    It is true that when Edward Jenkinson was in charge of the Fenian operations, he had access to the secret service fund which was not subject to proper audit or parliamentary scrutiny. When those operations (or some of them) were switched to the control of Scotland Yard in 1887, funding for them could not be continued from the secret service fund for constitutional reasons because Metropolitan Police officers could not be paid from that fund so they were funded by the Treasury out of Imperial funds. Expenses for police work on Fenian matters would still be paid out from the Police Fund but then repaid to that fund by the Treasury. This added an extra layer of approval that was required for any such payments because now the Treasury as well as the Home Office and the Commissioner had to sanction them.

    Attempting to pay out of Treasury funds for police work relating to crime within the Metropolitan Police District, such as work connected with the investigation into the Whitechapel murders, which should have been paid for out of the Metropolitan Police Fund, would certainly have been fraudulent and illegal. With the approvals required, it is impossible to see how such a fraud could even have been attempted let alone achieved.

    To try and justify Anderson committing an illegal act, Hawley refers to him as 'the same top Scotland Yard official who performed illegal activities in the Parnell fiasco without the approval of the Home Office, justifying it for the benefit of England'. If Hawley had read my series of articles in the Suckered! Plus Quadrilogy, he would know that Anderson did not perform any illegal activities in 'the Parnell fiasco' nor did he justify any of his actions as being 'for the benefit of England'. This phrase seems to be the product of Mr Hawley's imagination, putting invented words into the Assistant Commissioner's mouth.

    It may be that Hawley has got confused and is thinking about what Le Caron told Anderson about testifying to the Parnell Commission namely that (according to Anderson), 'he said he was prepared to face the risks if I was of opinion that his testimony would do a great public good. He said he could not forget he was an Englishman' (HO 144/1538/5). That wasn't even anything do with Le Caron committing an illegal act, it was simply about him taking a risk because his life would be in danger if he testified in open court.

    Alternatively, Hawley may be thinking of Anderson's justification for publishing his 1887 articles in the 'Parnellism and Crime' series in the Times because, he said, it was 'in the public interest'. But there was nothing illegal in writing for the Times, with or without Home Office approval.

    If Anderson had charged the supposed visit of an officer to New York to the special police fund then it would have had to have been for Special Branch work. To some extent, therefore, Hawley shoots himself in the foot by making this suggestion. If a Special Branch officer was sent to follow Tumblety to New York then perhaps Scotland Yard's intense interest in him by this stage was not as the Whitechapel Murderer but as an Irish-American suspect in assisting Fenian dynamite gangs.

    This, I would suggest, is more likely than sending an officer to New York on the basis of Tumblety being a murder suspect because at least there would be a reason to keep him under surveillance in order to identify his acquaintances and accomplices. But it is still highly unlikely because Scotland Yard invariably used American private detectives (instructed by the British Consulate in New York) to carry out such skilled work. We have seen that authorization would have been required from both the Commissioner and the Home Secretary before a Metropolitan Police officer was sent on a mission in a foreign country but that by itself does not mean that a detective could not have been sent from Scotland Yard to New York.

    If there was a genuine reason relating to the Whitechapel murders for an officer to urgently go to New York then the Commissioner and the Home Secretary would, no doubt, have approved it, and the Receiver in turn would have approved payment to fund the trip out of the Metropolitan Police Fund. There is no need to assume that Robert Anderson would have acted fraudulently and illegally. The reason why Hawley has felt the need to do so is because he accepts the point against him that a record of Home Office authorization would appear in the files.

    It is certainly very unlikely for a journey to have been made to America on a criminal case and for there to be no record of this in the huge number of volumes of Home Office correspondence files, containing what appears to be a full set of correspondence sent by the Home Secretary to the Commissioner and other government departments, backed up by a set of huge registers recording incoming correspondence.

    Let's take the example of Inspector Jarvis' journey to North America in June 1892 to investigate Dr Cream.

    It is true that in this case we don't find an explicit letter of authorisation from the Home Secretary authorising the inspector's journey. The best we have is a letter from the Home Office to Robert Anderson, dated 9 June 1892, in which it is stated that the Home Secretary 'trusts no exertion will be spared on the part of the police to follow up any clue they may possess in regard to this individual [Cream]', something which could, perhaps, be interpreted as the Home Secretary saying: spare no expense with the investigation. This letter can be found in the surviving Metropolitan Police file (MEPO 3/166) with a copy also in a Home Office correspondence file (HO 151/5).

    However, there are quite a number of references which can be found to Inspector Jarvis' expenses. Within a Home Office register of incoming correspondence (HO 46/101) there is an entry showing a letter received at the Home Office from the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police on 23 December 1892. That entry states:

    'Thos. Neill or Neill Cream. Expenses of Inspector Tunbridge, Jarvis & others - forwards account of'.

    In other words, the Receiver had received a claim for the expenses of Inspectors Tunbridge and Jarvis for their part in the investigation of Dr Cream and was asking for authority from the Home Office to pay those expenses.

    Six days later, on 29 December 1892, Edward Leigh Pemberton of the Home Office sent the following letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, a copy of which can be found in a file of Home Office Out Letter Books which contains correspondence with other public offices (HO 34/72):

    'I am directed by the Secretary of State to transmit to you the enclosed Accounts of expenses incurred by Inspectors Tunbridge, Jarvis and other officers while employed in making enquiries concerning Thomas Neill, who was recently sentenced to death for Murder, and I am to say that if you concur in the view that these expenses are properly payable from the Vote for Law Charges, Mr Asquith will be glad if you will give instructions for this transfer to the Account of the Receiver of the Metropolitan Police District at the Bank of England in the sum of 448.5.0'.

    A corresponding entry, dated 29 December 1892, can be found in a register of correspondence received by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP 3/13) which states (from Pemberton at Home Office): 'For payment of expenses incurred by Inspector Tunbridge and others for transfer of 448.5.0'. The entry is marked 'paid', indicating that the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed that this money would be funded from the Law Charges Vote.

    There is no such correspondence relating to payment of expenses in corresponding Home Office files or registers for 1888 or 1889 other than in respect of the expenses of Inspector Andrews' trip to Canada and Inspector Jarvis' trip to the United States (which were paid for by the Canadian Government and the London and Northwestern Railway company respectively) which suggests to me that no officer made any trip to the United States in late 1888 in connection with the Whitechapel murders. Of course, in such a case, there would not be expected to be an entry in the DPP register because the DPP was not involved in the Whitechapel murders case in 1888 due to the absence of anyone being charged for the crime. This leads to a very important point.

    I mentioned in The Third Man that an important difference between the Whitechapel murder case in November 1888 and the Cream murder case in June 1892 was that the police had a suspect in custody in June 1892 but not in November 1888. This is why a mission for Inspector Jarvis to collect evidence and witnesses in Canada and the United States in 1892 made sense but such a mission would have made no sense in November 1888. The important point is that, in the case of Cream, with a suspect in custody, who was charged and convicted of the murder, the cost of the journey fell on the DPP's funds, being the Law Charges Vote, and not the Metropolitan Police funds.

    The real objection to the notion of Anderson sending out an officer to New York, however, is a practical one. What possible purpose could be served by doing such a thing? Without an extradition warrant, as previously mentioned, an English detective had no powers of arrest, so why did he need to be in New York? One could understand it if that officer was required to identify Tumblety to the New York police but identification was not an issue in this case because Tumblety was so distinctive looking and was known to the New York police in any case.

    What could Anderson possibly have expected to achieve by sending a man out to America? If Tumblety could not be arrested and extradited he could not be charged with being the Whitechapel murderer. So any expedition by an English officer in New York would have been both pointless and a complete waste of money.

    A suggestion has been made that Anderson wanted to conduct a background investigation into Tumblety in the same way as Sadler and Cream were later investigated but the key difference in those examples was that - as already mentioned in respect of Cream - both men were in custody so that there was a purpose in building up a case against them for their forthcoming trial. In the case of Tumblety, it would have been foolish to send a man out to make enquiries about him because the results of those enquiries could never have been expected to be used in court.

    Unless a sensible reason for a detective being sent from London to New York can be put forward, the idea of the English detective reported by the New York newspapers cannot be taken seriously.

    Ultimately, the problem with Hawley's thesis is that he relies entirely on an unsourced American newspaper report to support all his claims about the (already implausible) English detective being from Scotland Yard and, furthermore, he makes no attempt to corroborate that information or consider whether it is plausible.


    I would like to comment finally on the claim that is found in Walter Dew's 1938 memoirs that Inspector Andrews was one of the three senior inspectors who worked on the Whitechapel murder case along with Abberline and Moore. According to Hawley (in one of the articles at the end of his book) Dew informs us that 'Andrews was indeed involved in the Ripper case and involved extensively.' In fact, what Dew wrote about Andrews in his memoirs was that he was one of several officers sent from Scotland Yard 'upon whom the responsibilities of the great man-hunt chiefly fell'...who did everything humanely possible to free Whitechapel of its Terror' .

    Given that there is no official contemporary mention of Inspector Andrews being involved in the Whitechapel murder investigation it is my strong belief that his involvement as mentioned by Dew was derived from the newspaper reports in London which repeated the false information that had been reported in the American press about Inspector Andrews's having visited New York to chase Tumblety.

    Here is how that story was reported in the Daily Telegraph on 31 December 1888:

    The same story was to be found in the Pall Mall Gazette.

    Walter Dew was a young detective constable in 1888. I suspect he either read the newspaper accounts himself or was told by someone else who had read those accounts that Inspector Andrews had been sent out to New York to catch the Whitechapel Murderer.

    Anyone reading the stories about Inspector Andrews in the newspaper at the time would have had no reason to doubt them. Many in Scotland Yard would have known that Andrews had been sent abroad but might not have known the reason why and even those who did know that he had taken Barnett to Canada would have seen that he then supposedly went on to New York to hunt for the Whitechapel murderer.

    Imagine a scenario whereby a detective sergeant from Scotland Yard in early 1889 is chatting with Walter Dew and telling him that Inspector Andrews went over to New York to chase Jack the Ripper. Dew (if he hadn't read any of the stories in the newspapers) would have naturally assumed that the detective had picked up this information from an official source at Scotland Yard. Thus, he would not only have had no reason to doubt the information but would have believed it to be true. I think that something like this is likely to have happened. Consequently, I suggest that when he came to write his memoirs some forty years later, he mistakenly included Andrews as one of the inspectors who worked on the Whitechapel case.

    For me, this makes perfect sense of everything. The real reason for Andrews' visit to Canada might well have been kept confidential even within Scotland Yard. We should certainly not assume that all the detectives there were great friends who would share information with each other. In a letter dated 11 September 1887 from Fannie Jarvis, the wife of Inspector Frederick Jarvis, to the New York World, written in defence of Maurice Moser and published in the World on 13 September 1887, it was stated by Mrs Jarvis:

    'I know the Scotland Yard detectives are a miserable, jealous set of men, and are ready to cut one another's throats and try to bolster themselves to their superiors by underhand tales about one another.'

    If we then picture the writer Guy Logan speaking in 1928 to someone like Walter Dew who was a junior officer back in 1888 but now in a senior position (a former Chief Inspector in Dew's case), confidently passing on the same news that he had heard about Inspector Andrews thirty years earlier, we can understand why Logan might have written 'I know that one of Scotland Yard's best men, Inspector Andrews, was sent specially in America in December 1888, in search of the Whitechapel fiend'. For reasons of politeness, bearing in mind that few people enjoy having their statements questioned, he is unlikely to have asked his source exactly how he knew such a thing, assuming that, as he had been a serving police officer, it would be accurate information.

    But it was not, on any view, accurate information. No-one, least of all Hawley, now asserts that Inspector Andrews was sent to North America in November or December 1888 in search of Tumblety or any other suspect. We know now what Guy Logan evidently did not know in 1928, namely that Inspector Andrews went to Canada to escort a prisoner under an extradition warrant. Guy Logan undoubtedly got it wrong so we cannot at all rely on his bold statement that he 'knew' what had happened. He did not know. He was mistaken. I strongly suspect that he was mistaken because he was given this information by someone (almost certainly a senior police officer) who had read it in the newspapers in 1888 or 1889 but who did not mention to him that this was his source.

    It is time, I would suggest, that the idea that Inspector Andrews had anything to do with the investigation into the Whitechapel murders is abandoned.


    Francis Tumblety may or may not have been the Whitechapel Murderer but it is clear that no Scotland Yard inspectors travelled over to America either to 'get' him or to research his background

  • #2

    Having reviewed this article before posting, I did notice a few minor corrections that I would want to make to it, and may do so in due course on my website for the benefit of any future readers:

    1 "For that reason, I would agree that Tumblety is not likely to have fled the country before 20 November" - I think I meant to say "argue" not "agree"

    2. "having by now resigned as Assistant Comissioner," - spelling of Commissioner

    3. "It is reasonable to assume that the 'bondsmen' (to use Hawley's term) would have been notified on 20 November that their recognizances on behalf of Tumblety had been respited" - That's a bit clumsily worded because their recognizances would not actually have been respited until 10 December and, I think, should have said "would be respited" not "had been" but I go on to deal with this when I agree that "Tumblety did not 'officially' forfeit bail until 10 December when he did not show up at court" and make the point that, "any bondsman for Tumblety would have known as soon as Tumblety had disappeared that they would be on the hook for the entire amount of the bail and, moreover, that they had been conned by Tumblety into standing bail for him."

    4. "these two indivduals" spelling of individuals

    5. "especially one who who was obviously" repetition of "who"


    • #3
      I've now made these corrections but not number 3 because I've realised that I was right all along. Tumblety's recognizances were respited on 20 November and therefore his bondsmen would have been notified about this. I was confusing it with forfeited, which would not have happened prior to 10 December. Given the very minor nature of the changes made, with no additions, I'm not adding a new date to the article.