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Was Mrs McCarthy the only witness silenced ?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by packers stem View Post

    Did they have formal cautions back then I wonder ?
    I strongly suspect the former
    I checked and 'cautions' were used by police from the nineteenth century on but only became a formal process in the 1920s/ 30s. An exact time line on this would be possible.

    Having checked my assumptions it turns out I had misunderstood some context around the letter from Sir Charle Warren to St George's Vestry clerk dated 31st of October (year given variously as 1887 and 1888 in the second-hand sources I've seen it), I had misread as the Vigilance committees complaining the police cautioned rather than prosecuted brothel keepers when evidence is handed over. When actually, the complaint is when police handed information to the local vestries, the vestries cautioned brothel keepers rather than prosecuted (Italics for emphasis of the key point). Context here: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...page&q&f=false
    If the 31st of October 1888 dating for this letter is correct, it would be very interesting dating (a St George's Vestry is where the inquest into Liz Stride was held at the beginning of October).
    It relates to police policy of containment of prostitution and brothels when under Sir Charles Warren. It may be a slight paraphrase, but it seems Warren complains of 'vigilance committees' routing out brothels, which only pushes them into respectable neighbourhoods. It would be great to find the full text and exact date of this letter. Or perhaps even the full correspondence between Sir Charles and the St George Vestry clerk.
    Seems surprising to me that Vestries were issuing cautions, which suggests there was some aspect of the policing and prosecution procedure for prostitution at the time which I have not fully understood.

    Jumping back to the point of the thread it seems odd that Mrs McCarthy would be cautioned not to give away her half remembered detail of someone saying they saw someone funny in the Court. Doesn't seem like this was likely to crack the case. So, either she had more evidence to give, which is lost to us or the caution she received was for something else.
    Last edited by seanr; 06-25-2019, 09:30 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Joshua Rogan View Post

      If she couldn't remember who mentiined it, might it have been Bowyer?
      Bowyer worked for the McCarthy's, it's hardly likely she wouldn't remember him.

      My guess was it was someone who was not a frequent customer, someone who didn't live in the court.
      I wondered if it wasn't Sarah Lewis.
      Regards, Jon S.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by packers stem View Post

        It's interesting because it's a different day .
        Bowyers sighting was Wednesday afternoon and on top of that he worked for her/him ...
        she wouldn't describe him as a customer
        There are two press accounts where Bowyer saw a stranger in the court.
        Yes, the first was Wednesday..

        Harry Bowyer states that on Wednesday night he saw a man speaking to Kelly who resembled the description given by the fruiterer of the supposed Berner Street murderer. He was, perhaps, 27 or 28 and had a dark moustache and very peculiar eyes. His appearance was rather smart and attention was drawn to him by showing very white cuffs and a rather long white collar, the ends of which came down in front over a black coat. He did not carry a bag.
        Western Mail, 12 Nov. 1888.


        There was another sighting on Friday morning....

        ...Bowyer, the young man in Mr. McCarthy's employ was out at different times up Miller's-court on the Thursday night for the purpose of getting water from a tap there-the only available supply.Indeed, Bowyer vistited that spot as late-or, rather, as early-as three o'clock on the morning of the murder. This early visit to the water-tap is by no means an unfrequent thing, as Mr. Mccarthy's shop, which supplies the wants of a very poor and wretched locality, whose denziens are out at all hours, late and early, does not at times close until three o'clock in the morning,while occassionally it is open all night. Early on Friday morning Bowyer saw a man, whose description tallies with that of the supposed murderer. Bowyer has, he says, described this man to Inspector Abberline and Inspector Reid. Bowyer, who is known as "Indian Harry" has travelled a great deal, and formerly lived in India. He said to an Echo reporter this morning. "The murderer couldn't have come to a worse place (for escaping) than this court. There is only this narrow entrance, and If I had known he was there when I went to the water tap at three o'clock, I reckon he wouldn't have got off."
        The Echo Wed. Nov. 14 1888


        Regards, Jon S.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

          There are two press accounts where Bowyer saw a stranger in the court.
          Yes, the first was Wednesday..

          Harry Bowyer states that on Wednesday night he saw a man speaking to Kelly who resembled the description given by the fruiterer of the supposed Berner Street murderer. He was, perhaps, 27 or 28 and had a dark moustache and very peculiar eyes. His appearance was rather smart and attention was drawn to him by showing very white cuffs and a rather long white collar, the ends of which came down in front over a black coat. He did not carry a bag.
          Western Mail, 12 Nov. 1888.


          There was another sighting on Friday morning....

          ...Bowyer, the young man in Mr. McCarthy's employ was out at different times up Miller's-court on the Thursday night for the purpose of getting water from a tap there-the only available supply.Indeed, Bowyer vistited that spot as late-or, rather, as early-as three o'clock on the morning of the murder. This early visit to the water-tap is by no means an unfrequent thing, as Mr. Mccarthy's shop, which supplies the wants of a very poor and wretched locality, whose denziens are out at all hours, late and early, does not at times close until three o'clock in the morning,while occassionally it is open all night. Early on Friday morning Bowyer saw a man, whose description tallies with that of the supposed murderer. Bowyer has, he says, described this man to Inspector Abberline and Inspector Reid. Bowyer, who is known as "Indian Harry" has travelled a great deal, and formerly lived in India. He said to an Echo reporter this morning. "The murderer couldn't have come to a worse place (for escaping) than this court. There is only this narrow entrance, and If I had known he was there when I went to the water tap at three o'clock, I reckon he wouldn't have got off."
          The Echo Wed. Nov. 14 1888

          An short aside on these quotes... the description of Bowyer being a young man has led to someone suggesting in the past that the newspaper may have actually been speaking to the younger Henry Buckley.

          Then in the other report, we have Thomas Bowyer referred to as 'Harry'... I know about the Indian Harry nickname, but we also have a modern reference of Henry Buckley being referred to as Harry (probably) - and the (admittedly vague) possibility this was actually Henry Buckley spinning a tall tale to the press, strikes me.

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          • #35
            When we have to resort to "the lying witness", the argument is lost before it began.
            Regards, Jon S.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              When we have to resort to "the lying witness", the argument is lost before it began.
              But I'm not..?

              1) You'd have to admit that given the state of health we understand Thomas Bowyer to be in, thinking/ writing that he is a young man after speaking with him is a pretty astonishing mistake.

              2) Witnesses never lie would be a broken assumption to work with, too.

              3) Just because I see a possibility and think it's interesting/ amusing doesn't mean it's a central piece of *any* argument or even that I take it particularly seriously.

              It's been said before that the mistake of thinking Thomas Bowyer was a young man, might indicate the reporter spoke to someone younger and that someone younger could be Henry Buckley.
              It's just an interesting point. Not something I need or want to resort to. It's just an aside, feel free to ignore.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by seanr View Post

                But I'm not..?

                1) You'd have to admit that given the state of health we understand Thomas Bowyer to be in, thinking/ writing that he is a young man after speaking with him is a pretty astonishing mistake.
                Clearly he wasn't a "young man" by our standards, but "young man" was merely a term of endearment for someone who was passed his prime.
                We have other examples, specifically one witness described a suspect as looking 40 yrs old, but she called him a "young man".
                I wouldn't go looking for someone else just because we have lost touch with 19th century terminology.


                It's been said before that the mistake of thinking Thomas Bowyer was a young man, might indicate the reporter spoke to someone younger and that someone younger could be Henry Buckley.
                As above, we end up going down a rabbit hole because we don't understand the times, and the flexible use of some phrases.

                Regards, Jon S.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by seanr View Post

                  An short aside on these quotes... the description of Bowyer being a young man has led to someone suggesting in the past that the newspaper may have actually been speaking to the younger Henry Buckley.

                  Then in the other report, we have Thomas Bowyer referred to as 'Harry'... I know about the Indian Harry nickname, but we also have a modern reference of Henry Buckley being referred to as Harry (probably) - and the (admittedly vague) possibility this was actually Henry Buckley spinning a tall tale to the press, strikes me.
                  But of course the press got everyone else’s names right didn’t they??
                  G U T

                  There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                    Clearly he wasn't a "young man" by our standards, but "young man" was merely a term of endearment for someone who was passed his prime.
                    I dunno about this. Sure, 'young man' can be used as a term of endearment for an elder but in a newspaper report it is unlikely to used in this way, as the report would be addressed to a general audience and not affectionately towards its subject.
                    It may be a copy editors mistake or some other misunderstanding somewhere in the journey of the copy from reporter to typesetter, but I find it difficult to explain this away by assuming the report said 'young man' and by that they meant 'old man'.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by seanr View Post

                      I dunno about this. Sure, 'young man' can be used as a term of endearment for an elder but in a newspaper report it is unlikely to used in this way, as the report would be addressed to a general audience and not affectionately towards its subject.
                      It may be a copy editors mistake or some other misunderstanding somewhere in the journey of the copy from reporter to typesetter, but I find it difficult to explain this away by assuming the report said 'young man' and by that they meant 'old man'.
                      Daily News 13 Sept;

                      "John Richardson, the young man already alluded to"

                      He was 37. Make of that what you will.

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                      • #41
                        could the young man reference to Bowyer have anything to do with him being McCarthys lackey? like hes his "boy"?
                        "Is all that we see or seem
                        but a dream within a dream?"

                        -Edgar Allan Poe


                        "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                        quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                        -Frederick G. Abberline

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by seanr View Post

                          It may be a copy editors mistake
                          Almost certainly, Sean. Most of the article quoted above is written by someone other than the reporter:

                          "Bowyer, the young man in Mr. McCarthy's employ was out at different times up Miller's-court on the Thursday night for the purpose of getting water... He said to an Echo reporter this morning: "The murderer couldn't have come to a worse place..."

                          Note - "He said to an Echo reporter", not "He said to me".
                          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            Almost certainly, Sean. Most of the article quoted above is written by someone other than the reporter:

                            "Bowyer, the young man in Mr. McCarthy's employ was out at different times up Miller's-court on the Thursday night for the purpose of getting water... He said to an Echo reporter this morning: "The murderer couldn't have come to a worse place..."

                            Note - "He said to an Echo reporter", not "He said to me".
                            That's probably the editor talking, ie; he said to one of our reporters.
                            Regards, Jon S.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                              That's probably the editor talking, ie; he said to one of our reporters.
                              Quite so, and as it's evident that the editor topped and tailed" the journalist's report, it's likely that it was he who was responsible for the "young man" error.
                              Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                              "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

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