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What is known of Indian Harry?

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  • What is known of Indian Harry?

    How much is know of Indian Harry? How long was he in India for? What did he do there etc?

  • #2
    According to the A-Z he was 'An Indian Army pensioner residing at 37, Dorset St.

    It would seem that he was possibly a pensioner from the East India Co. Army which was involved in the Indian Mutiny circa 1850s'. It's more than likely that he was a member of said East India Company Army- disbanded after the famous Mutiny in the late 1850's. (Thanks to hubby for that info!)

    If he retired from this- let's say at the age of 40- this would put Thomas Bowyer in his 60s or 70s.
    Strangely I've always visualised him around this age- why he was working as Mc Carthy's man - is something else again!

    Suz x
    Last edited by Suzi; 04-03-2010, 06:58 PM.
    'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'


    • #3
      Hi again
      Tommorow will have a trawl through army records but if he was in the East India Company Army he may not appear in the records....

      Come in Chris Scott!

      IF he was recieving as pension- there must be a record of him somewhere- probably next to Mary Kelly's marriage cert!!
      'Would you like to see my African curiosities?'


      • #4
        Some one called??
        When I was doing work on the Cast of Thousands book, I did some searches for Bowyer and as far as I remember the only person who seemed to fit the basic details regarding name and feasible age was a former watchmaker who was listed in the workhouse in 1891.I seem to remember there was some connection with Mitcham in Surrey
        I'll see if I can find my notes


        • #5
          There is a Thomas Bowyer at the Shoreditch Workhouse in 1891.
          He would have been 63 yrs in 1888.
          Is that your man, Chris ?


          • #6
            Picture the scene.
            Mrs Mccarthy and 14year son [ fionas grandfather] were collecting rents futher down the court, when McCarthy sends Bowyer to check on Kellys whereabouts[ why Mrs Mccarthy did not do this is unknown]
            Bowyer sees Marys disfigured corpse, and rushes into the shop, as a result Mccarthy rushes back down the passage to look for himself.
            According to official reports, McCarthy sent his manservant hotfoot to the police station, a man one would imagine was not credited with a sprinters pace.
            Surely the most obvious call was to send his son , with instructions not to speak to any one, just get the police here quick.
            That is the obvious reason why Dew mentions the word 'YOUTH' twice in his book , once seen at the station, and again in Millers court, when he was able to get a calmer statement from him.
            I have always believed Dew could not have mistaken elderly Indian Harry as a youth, so what is the truth?
            Regards Richard.


            • #7
              Hi Jon
              That's the one
              He is listed in 1891 as:
              Thomas Bowyer
              Aged 66
              Local porter (retired)
              Born Mitcham, Surrey

              In 1871 he is listed as a 48 year old widower, living at 2 Sawyer Place, Finsbury. His trade is listed as a Watchmaker/Dial painter. He has living with him a daughter, Sarah, aged 20, and a son, John, aged 17. Both children were born in St Lukes.

              Please note I am NOT stating this man is THE Thomas Bowyer of Mary Kelly murder fame - just that he was the closest match I found when searching some time ago


              • #8
                Originally posted by richardnunweek View Post
                I have always believed Dew could not have mistaken elderly Indian Harry as a youth, so what is the truth?
                Hi Richard

                The truth is Dew was not there when they arrived at the Police station.

                Both McCarthy and Bowyer testified at the inquest that they saw Inspector Chandler, who returned with them to Millers Court.

                McCarthy: I followed Bowyer to Commercial-street Police-station, where I saw Inspector Beck. I inquired at first for Inspector Reid. Inspector Beck returned with me at once

                Bowyer: We told the inspector at the police-station of what we had seen. Nobody else knew of the matter. The inspector returned with us.

                Dew probably guessed it was a young lad as he wasn`t there.
                Last edited by Jon Guy; 04-03-2010, 08:46 PM.


                • #9
                  In 1881 he is listed as follows:
                  53 Monyer Street, Shoreditch
                  Head: Thomas Bowyer (Unmarried) aged 58 born Mitcham - Watchmaker
                  Con: William Osborn Bowyer aged 23 bprn Shoreditch - Porter


                  • #10
                    Hi Jon,
                    With Respect, it is always the easy way out to assume Dew was fibing, or having tricks playing on his memory.
                    He clearly states in his memoirs, a youth, he also admits that many years had passed, but maintains the morning of the 9th November 1888 , lays static in his memory.
                    So who are we to judge?
                    It is not a possibility that Dew was indeed present at the station on that morning of the 9th?
                    Is it not possible, that because of this, he indeed did proceed to Millers court?
                    Are there any existing records that maintain otherwise?
                    Have we any accounts that do not place McCarthys wife and son NOT in the court collecting rents? [ We have one that does]
                    Is it not possible that Bowyer was allowed to represent McCarthys son to spare the 14 year old any more Trauma? via statement.
                    Inspector Walter Dew was a fine police officer, and we have no reason to assume he talked a load of untruths, remember that when his book was published, many officers of that period were still around to dispute claims
                    Regards Richard.