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  • Spratling Vs Enright

    During Inspector Spratling's evidence at Nichols' inquest on 3rd Sept, there seems to be a discrepancy between the press sources as to who it was that told the mortuary attendants not to undress Polly's body (which they subsequently ignored). Some say Spratling gave this order, others attribute it directly to Detective Sgt Enright stepping in to answer the question, yet others have Enright giving some responses, but not this line in particular.
    Is there a consensus on who gave what response to the coroner's questions at the inquest?

  • #2
    I don't know if there is a consensus, but as I read the transcripts, it was Spratling.
    It's true that some papers confuse the issue, but generally Spratling is identified as saying it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
      During Inspector Spratling's evidence at Nichols' inquest on 3rd Sept, there seems to be a discrepancy between the press sources as to who it was that told the mortuary attendants not to undress Polly's body (which they subsequently ignored). Some say Spratling gave this order, others attribute it directly to Detective Sgt Enright stepping in to answer the question, yet others have Enright giving some responses, but not this line in particular.
      Is there a consensus on who gave what response to the coroner's questions at the inquest?
      Hi Joshua,

      Yes this was an issue, there was a genuine confision in the press over who said what.
      I covered this briefly in my article in Ripperologist 159.

      On the whole i tend to agree with Kattrup on Spratling for most of the statements but not all.


      Steve

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Elamarna View Post
        Hi Joshua,

        Yes this was an issue, there was a genuine confision in the press over who said what.
        I covered this briefly in my article in Ripperologist 159.

        On the whole i tend to agree with Kattrup on Spratling for most of the statements but not all.
        Ooh, thanks Steve & Kattrup! I must have somehow missed your article, I will have a browse...

        For info, here are the most relevant reports I have culled from the English press;

        Daily News 4th Sept

        The witness was not present when the body was stripped.

        Detective Sergeant Enright - That was done by two of the workhouse officials.

        The Coroner - Had they authority to strip the body?

        The Witness - No, sir. I gave them no instructions to strip it. In fact, I told them to leave it as it was.

        Sergeant Enright - The clothes belonged to the workhouse.

        The Coroner - I don't object to their stripping the body, but we ought to have evidence about the clothes.

        The witness, resuming his evidence, said he returned to the mortuary about noon on Friday and found the body stripped and the clothes lying in a heap in the yard. They consisted of a reddish brown ulster, etc.

        Daily Telegraph 4th Sept

        Witness said he next saw the body when it was stripped.

        Detective-sergeant Enright: That was done by two of the workhouse officials.

        The Coroner: Had they any authority to strip the body?

        Witness: No, sir; I gave them no instructions to strip it. In fact, I told them to leave it as it was.

        The Coroner: I don't object to their stripping the body, but we ought to have evidence about the clothes.

        Sergeant Enright, continuing, said the clothes, which were lying in a heap in the yard, consisted of a reddish-brown ulster, etc.

        ELO 8th Sept
        The witness was not present when the body was stripped.
        Detective-sergeant Enright: That was done by two of the workhouse officials.
        The Coroner: Had they authority to strip the body?
        The Witness: No, sir. I gave them no instructions to strip it. In fact, I told them to leave it as it was.
        Sergeant Enright: The clothes belonged to the workhouse.
        The Coroner: I don't object to them stripping the body, but we ought to have evidence about the clothes.
        The witness, resuming his evidence, said he returned to the mortuary about noon on Friday and found the body stripped and the clothes lying in a heap in the yard. They consisted of a reddish brown ulster, etc.

        Echo 3rd Sept
        WORKHOUSE OFFICIALS AND THE BODY

        The Coroner - Who stripped the body?

        Detective-sergeant Enright - The workhouse officials.

        The Coroner - But had they authority?

        Inspector Spratling - I did not give them authority.

        The Coroner - Then these workhouse officials ought to be here.

        AN IMPORTANT POINT

        Inspector Spratling said he afterwards saw the clothing lying in a heap in the mortuary yard. Her ulster was old etc.

        Lloyds 9th Sept
        Witness said he next saw the body when it was stripped.

        Detective-serjeant Enright: That was done by two of the workhouse officials.

        The Coroner: Had they any authority to strip the body?

        Witness: No, sir; I gave them no instructions to strip it. In fact, I told them to leave it as it was.

        The Coroner: I don't object to their stripping the body, but we ought to have evidence about the clothes.

        Serjeant Enright, continuing, said the clothes, which were lying in a heap in the yard, consisted of a reddish-brown ulster, etc.

        Star 3rd Sept
        There were no blood marks between the groin and the knees - there might have been a spot, but not any noticeable quantity. The skin was clean, but it did not appear to have been washed. Two workhouse men stripped the body.

        Inspector Enright said in answer to the Coroner and Inspector Spratling, he gave instructions that

        THE BODY SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED.

        The Coroner didn't seem pleased that the body should have been stripped, apparently without authority.

        Inspector Spratling, continuing his evidence, said the principal parts of her attire consisted of an old reddish brown ulster, etc.

        Times 4th Sept
        On the body being put in the mortuary he made a more careful examination, and then discovered the injuries to the abdomen, and at once sent for Dr. Llewellyn. He saw two workhouse men stripping the body.

        At this point, in reply to a question, Detective-sergeant P. Enright said he gave instructions that the body should not be touched.

        Witness, continuing his evidence, stated he again went to the mortuary and made an examination of the clothing, taken off the deceased. The principle parts of the clothing consisted of a reddish ulster, etc.

        Woodford Times 7th Sept
        Finding these injuries, he did not proceed farther, but at once sent for Dr. Llewellyn. The doctor arrived shortly afterwards, and made an examination. The body was stripped by the workhouse inmates.

        The Coroner complained of this, stating that some official ought to have been present in order that evidence could have been given as to the state of the clothing. Inspector Spratling said he had given no instructions for the body to be stripped.

        The witness then proceeded to detail the articles of clothing found upon the deceased

        Comment


        • #5
          Another one:
          Morning advertiser, 4th September:
          Who stripped the body? - Two workhouse people. I don't know who they were, but I gave them no instructions.

          The Coroner - It is important that the clothes should be described and the position they were in.

          The witness, continuing his evidence, said he went to the mortuary again at about twelve o'clock the same day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kattrup View Post
            Another one:
            Morning advertiser, 4th September:
            Well spotted, how could I have missed out the MA?

            Comment


            • #7
              Thoughtful article Steve, thanks for that. Especially the bit about Spratling confirming on 17th that he didn't order the clothing stripped, that would seem to be fairly conclusive.
              A couple of thoughts on points in your article occur to me.
              Regarding Tomkins sighting of two or three bystanders when he arrived at the murder scene, good point about them possibly being Green and Purkiss. There were I think two Purkiss at Essex Wharf, father and son (who was about 35) so perhaps Jr was one of the bystanders. Alternatively, I've wondered if they were simply plain clothes policemen?

              On the subject of the place being the haunt of prostitutes and nearby lodging houses of ill repute, there is an interesting report in the Evening News 3rd Sept;

              "I am not now speaking of the common lodging-houses to which the like of Mary Nichols repair when their perambulations temporarily cease, either through a "stroke of luck" or from the knowledge that they can be no longer profitable; I am speaking of the most dreadful "dens of assignation and accommodation." That there are such dens about, Ready [Brady?] and Thomas streets, about Buck's-row, there can be no doubt."

              Comment


              • #8
                There were I think two Purkiss at Essex Wharf, father and son (who was about 35) so perhaps Jr was one of the bystanders.

                That's an interesting thought Joshua of JTR being a bystander, particularly if no-one saw a man walk in a fast pace, or run from a murder scene. Perhaps that's why Jack was never caught- he could blend in with the crowd and surroundings and not look guilty.

                BB

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                  Thoughtful article Steve, thanks for that. Especially the bit about Spratling confirming on 17th that he didn't order the clothing stripped, that would seem to be fairly conclusive.
                  A couple of thoughts on points in your article occur to me.
                  Regarding Tomkins sighting of two or three bystanders when he arrived at the murder scene, good point about them possibly being Green and Purkiss. There were I think two Purkiss at Essex Wharf, father and son (who was about 35) so perhaps Jr was one of the bystanders. Alternatively, I've wondered if they were simply plain clothes policemen?

                  On the subject of the place being the haunt of prostitutes and nearby lodging houses of ill repute, there is an interesting report in the Evening News 3rd Sept;

                  "I am not now speaking of the common lodging-houses to which the like of Mary Nichols repair when their perambulations temporarily cease, either through a "stroke of luck" or from the knowledge that they can be no longer profitable; I am speaking of the most dreadful "dens of assignation and accommodation." That there are such dens about, Ready [Brady?] and Thomas streets, about Buck's-row, there can be no doubt."

                  JOSHUA

                  Thank you how have i missed that in the Evening News!!
                  Will go and see if i can find it.
                  Did a search for Bucks Row but not Buck's-row

                  That is what had given up on, corroboration of the police account. Thank you so much. A special mention in the now overdue book for that.


                  Steve

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're welcome, Steve, I hope it helps.

                    http://www.casebook.org/press_report.../18880903.html

                    1st paragraph, half way down. I bet you didn't search for Ready Street either.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
                      You're welcome, Steve, I hope it helps.

                      http://www.casebook.org/press_report.../18880903.html

                      1st paragraph, half way down. I bet you didn't search for Ready Street either.
                      It onre of those where the inquest details are long after that section. Just missed it.

                      Very useful thanks again

                      Steve

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