The only other record I have currently for this family is Benjamin’s marriage certificate.
It is dated 6th June 1897.
The marriage took place in St Philip’s Church in Camberwell. This was on Avondale Square just off the Old Kent Road.
Benjamin Joseph Hutchinson was then a 24 year old vellum binder, the son of John William Hutchinson, a deceased cook.
He married someone called Elizabeth Palmer.
He lived at 24 Waite Street and she lived at 19 Waite Street. Waite Street is just the other side of the Old Kent Road from St Philip’s Church.
Of course this man would have a motive lacking with Toppy in my view: cast suspicion away from a sailor. This alone would make him a more credible JTR than Toppy (not taht I'm saying that's particularly credible).
On the age point: people are quick to point out that Lawende may not have had such a good look at him, and that, supposedly, only one, if any, ever had a decent view of him. Hopefully, those people will be consistent with regard to JTR's age and the possibility of a 22 year old man.
I personally don't believe it was 'Hutchinson', but your 'Hutchinson' has a reason for coming forward, although admittedly I'm not convinced that a seaman would come forward: "what do you do for a living?", "Oh, I'm a seaman", "Interesting: you were hanging around last night, the last known person seen with Mary; and the last known person, dressed like a sailor, seen with Kate". Hmmm.
And, there's the signature aspect. Toppy's is a good fit. Although there's always room for a better fit to come along.
Malcolm I’m sorry of the Toppy records thread is complicated.
I presented the information as I obtained it, rather than obtaining the whole picture and putting it up in a more logical manner. I only knew the bare outlines of Toppy’s background and inevitably checking different leads led me off into different directions which complicated the picture. My main aim was to put all the information in one relatively easily accessible place, and to test various propositions that had been previously discussed concerning what was and what wasn’t plausible or likely respecting his movements.
Contrary to some people’s claims I did not have any particularly strong pre-conceived notions about what I would find and I have published everything I have found apart from a handful of documents which are not of massive significance and are out of sequence, but for the sake of completeness I will put up at some point.
I think the records largely speak for themselves. If they had tended to totally discount Toppy as the witness, then I would still have put up whatever I had found.
Marlowe asked me to look at Hutchinson the Sailor.
For the identification of Hutchinson the Sailor with the Hutchinson who presented himself to Commercial Street Police Station, some might cling to the strict upbringing on the Training Ship Exmouth and subsequent naval discipline as contributing towards a ‘military appearance’.
Those who like Hutchinson as the culprit might like the connection to the purported ‘sailor suspect’.
However if Hutchinson the Sailor was Hutchinson the innocent witness, then what was he doing at the Victoria Home and why did he describe himself as a sometime groom and labourer?
From what we can discern he will have left the Exmouth and signed up immediately with the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy.
When on shore leave, his mother’s house in south London would appear to have been his port of call. Indeed that would be the most logical and sensible thing for him to do.
There is nothing to put him back in the East End.
For Hutchinson the Sailor to be Hutchinson the Ripper, he would have had to deliberately chose to go to the East End in preference to his mother’s house, presumably for the express purpose of committing the crimes. He will have had to have had an extended period of shore leave – from August to November and used that time to take on casual work as a groom and labourer.
It might be objected that maybe he didn’t really work as a groom or labourer at all, but I would suggest that this is unlikely as I am certain that he would have been ‘checked out’ by the police and that would have included asking who his most recent employers were. They would also have asked where his family were from. He could have lied about that but it would have been dangerous.
The Hutchinsonites claim that his police interview was forced upon him by Lewis’s testimony at the inquest. Either he heard her inquest description of the wide-awake man or he saw her go in or come out of Shoreditch Town Hall and took fright.
But why did he then do a press interview or interviews? This is actually one of the implausible aspects of Hutchinson as the culprit.
The press interview could have included a detailed description of him. Coupled with his name – George Hutchinson – this could have alerted his mother and brother.
A contemporary sketch picture of Hutchinson also appeared. Some claim that the picture was from life or at least was a genuine likeness. If true this would also have alerted his mother and brother. I am personally of the opinion that it is a generic image, but in giving pres interviews how was Hutchinson to know that the journalist would not have been accompanied by an illustrator?
There are so many implausibilities in the Hutchinson the Sailor being the culprit, which when added to what I think are the existing implausibilities for the standard Hutchinson being the culprit, make his candidacy totally unrealistic.
There are a few other areas I can check with this Hutchinson, but compared to Toppy he is a very poor candidate for being the Hutchinson witness.
I'd rather keep the different aspects to different threads as they get long and you can't check back very easily - I will start a thread about Ruby Retros Hutchinson the Publican's son soon - and when I have enough handwriting samples I will start a handwriting thread.
I don't think the handwriting analysis will prove to be conclusive - it will all be arguable I think.