Archives, Books, Deeming, Research, Ripper Non-Fiction, Stephenson Family No Comments »

Ten years ago I embarked on a project to chart the connections between the “Jack the Ripper” case and my hometown of Kingston upon Hull, or Hull as it is often referred to.  I started out with a single suspect, Robert D’Onston Stephenson, and embarked on planning, researching and writing “Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull.” 


As time progressed my tally of suspects increased, from one, to fourteen!  I also carried out research into the contemporary newspaper articles published in the Hull press between 1888 and 1988, uncovering two giant folders of research. 


So, when it came to writing the book I could no longer fit all the research into one volume, and one volume became two, two became four, and today the current tally stands at

The newspaper reports I had uncovered went into a single volume, however, as the volume was so large they were split into two volumes, resulting in the release of;


“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol I, which covers the year 1888




“Jack the Ripper” – Newspapers from Hull Vol II, which covers 1889 – 1988


The material also gave me enough information to write;


Leather Apron, “Jack the Ripper” and the Whitechapel Murders of 1888


I had also been researching the local connection between Michael Maybrick and Florence Maybrick in Hull.  The research from that project went into;


“Jack the Ripper” and the Maybrick Family


Researching the case also gave me lots of information on each victim, I was particularly interested in three non canonical victims, but in researching one I came across a wealth of material that made it into;  


Annie Chapman – Wife, Mother, Victim


Finally I also had enough material on Frederick Bailey Deeming to give him and his criminal deeds a book of their own.  This resulted in the release of;


Frederick Bailey Deeming – “Jack the Ripper” or Something Worse?


“Jack the Ripper” From Hell, From Hull? Was growing so much now that it spawned another spin off,


“Jack the Ripper” – The Black Magic Myth, about the life, career, reputation and suspect candidacy of Robert D’Onston Stephenson.  It was a book that started out a decade ago, working with a pen and paper at our old house in East Hull, and which has finally been completed for publication. 


But wait…….


There are still two more “Jack the Ripper” titles on the way.  As mentioned earlier the suspect tally with links to my hometown was 14!  With that in mind the next two releases will be;


“Jack the Ripper” The Hull Connection,




Edwin Brough, Scalby Manor and the Hunt for “Jack the Ripper.”  


Finally a decade on I can safely say that “Jack the Ripper” The Black Magic Myth is complete and finally the life of Robert D’Onston Stephenson can be recorded. 


Thank you to everyone who helped out, especially Howard Brown for his foreword. 


Thank you to Miika and the Creativia Team, and thank you to my family for their support. 


All the books are available now on Amazon as either kindle or paperback editions.


Archives, Books, E-Books, Events, Hull Press, Libraries, Movies, National Press, Podcast, Research, Ripper Fiction, Ripper Non-Fiction, TV/Documentaries, bloggs 1 Comment »

Well it has been one hell of a year.  I seem to have not written much on the blog at all this year, but believe me it is for a very good reason.  I have been so busy not just with “Jack the Ripper” but other projects that I rarely get to sit and update my blog.  So here, in one post, is all the weird and wonderful news since my last posting.  Forgive me if I go over the same ground again, but the projects are so exciting and it is fantastic to be a part of them all.




This week I had the pleasure of lecturing for a massive marketing company in London at Mindshare’s Huddle event. 






Massive thank you to Chris Bourke, for not only booking me, but making me feel very welcome at the event.  The lecture which was for Qriously Ltd, looked at “Jack the Ripper” and the media both past and present and was a very popular lecture.  Everyone made me feel very welcome and I had a lovely time in London meeting everyone.  








This year has seen the release of ten of my books, they are all available to download via Amazon, and two are currently available on paperback.  Simply search for “Mike Covell” on the Amazon pages around the world and you will find the products. 

At the moment sales are really impressive and I cannot thank the Creativia gang for taking me on board and looking after me and my titles.  They are such a small tight nit group and they have worked wonders for me. 










As you can imagine I am limited in what I can say about the movies at present, I know I am a tease, but I can only recommend that you visit the Thunderball Films website for updates on the projects that I am involved in.  It is a very exciting time, and I look forward to working on some amazing projects as an historical director and executive producer that are heading our way.   












I can confirm that there is a television show on the way looking at the “Jack the Ripper” case and other similar cases to ascertain fact from fiction, myth from reality.  Whilst I am very limited over what I can and cannot say, I can say that it is a very interesting and exciting project tackled in a way that has never been tackled before in Ripperology.  The title for the show is “Jack the Ripper: Reality and Myth.”








Many people will remember that earlier this year I set up AMAZING HULL TOURS.  Since that time I had carried out numerous tours, lectures, and research for numerous people.  The tours are going really well and recently were featured in the Hull Daily Mail after a number of people caught anomalous objects on camera.  I take a back seat and allow people to take photos on the tour and if they capture anything on film I do not sway their opinion.  That said, this last few weeks has seen a number of people capture unexplained activity on their cameras. 






Earlier this year I met with my good mate John and we recorded a show on Jack the Ripper – The Hull Connection.  Since then John and I have recorded more shows that look at the history of Hull.  Show two featured a virtual walk around Hull’s Old Town, visiting some of the allegedly haunted pubs and talking about their history. 
Show three featured a similar virtual tour around some of the pubs a little further afield.

To listen to the shows simply visit:










Earlier this year I teamed up with local businessman John Hemmingway to create a brand new visitor attraction in Hull.  The idea is to showcase 700 years of the darker side of Hull’s strange history, from witchcraft to the hanging of pirates, ghost sightings, local legends and true crime.  The project is moving at a great pace and I look forward to releasing news about this very soon.  One area we hope to showcase is “Jack the Ripper” The Hull Connection.









I am very pleased to announce that due to the popularity of the URBAN LEGENDS podcasts that next year for the second season we have even bigger plans.  Watch out for John and I around Hull filming in locations associated with true crime, Jack the Ripper, and the paranormal. 

I am pleased to be the historian at the fascinating project housed within Annison’s Stables, on Witham, above and behind the 24 hour pharmacy.  A lot of attention has been paid to this building and its magnificent history and in the future you will see some amazing tours, lectures, and the occasional paranormal investigation at the property.  You will also see lectures on Mary Jane Langley being given at the property where Mr. William Mortimer Edmonds had his photography shop!

The “Chocolate Factory” on Wincolmlee, a lovely 19th century tallow mill will also see some magnificent projects taking place there.  These will be run in conjunction with local businessman John Hemmingway, who I spoke about in regards to the DARK MUSEUM above.


2015 will see a wide range of new lectures and new tours, taking in aspects of Hull’s history long since forgotten.  Among the new lectures will be a new Amy Johnson lecture, a new William Papper lecture, and a new lecture on Hull’s infamous Silver Hatchet Gang of the early 19th century.


New Books!!!  Next year will see the release of a series of new books that will explore the darker side of Hull’s history.  The series is all but finished and they will be submitted just after Christmas for a steady release through the year.  It will mean a year of no “Jack the Ripper” releases from me, but I am saving the new “Jack the Ripper” projects for 2016.




The AMAZING HULL TOURS lectures have had a very busy year and bookings are coming well into 2015 with a lecture booked for December next year!  All bookings for both tours and lectures can be made through AMAZING HULL TOURS at the following;








Or via emailing us at amazinghulltours@hotmail.com



Research, Ripper, and Reader Printers.

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Research Latest

This week I had a free block of time so I headed on out to the Hull History Centre to conduct some research.  It seems like ages since I last visited, and had in that time gathered together a list of items I wanted to view.  These were mainly newspaper reports in the Hull Press covering various “Jack the Ripper” suspects such as Frederick Bailey Deeming, James Maybrick, Charles Le Grand, James Thomas Sadler, and a number of local “Ripper Scares.”  As my many “Jack the Ripper” writing projects draw to a close I was chasing up a few loose ends to provide alternative views on some of the topics covered in some of the Hull based newspapers on the London based crimes. 

After a couple of hours I came away with some new newspaper reports on the Hull Ripper Scare of 1900, when 5 women were stabbed.  I also came away with reports on a Doncaster Ripper Scare, and articles, featuring contemporary sketches, on Frederick Bailey Deeming, James Thomas Sadler, James Maybrick, and Charles Le Grand.

The Hull History Centre gets “Touch Screen Technology.”

I have, for many years now, used the various Newspaper Readers and Printers at the Hull History Centre, so I was surprised and excited to learn that the old machines are to be replaced with state of the art machines.  As part of the £7.7m History Centre Project, these new machines will be easier to load, easier to use, have touch screen technology, have clearer imaging, and as such the copies will be clearer.  A central printing hub will also form part of the set up, and the Hull History Centre will be the first facility to utilise these models.

As a result of instillation and set up, the Hull History Centre will be closed over Thursday July 4th and Friday July 5th.  This is a small price to pay for such an amazing step forward in Hull’s arsenal of local history research and I for one look forward to the new machines. 

Future Projects

At the minute I am busy working on new projects for the end of the year and 2014.  These will be revealed in time but include new lectures, events, tours, and media collaborations. 

New Research on Mary Jane Langley

Archives, Libraries, Research 1 Comment »

It is one of the perils of historical research that sooner or later you will meet a dead end in inquiries.  As many readers of the blog will know I have for some time been researching the still unsolved murder of Mary Jane Langley, who was found brutally murdered on Preston Long-lane, now known as Neat Marsh-road. 

Over the years I have amassed over a thousand newspaper articles from 1891 – 2012 on the case, from local, national, and even international sources.  The newspaper articles give a clear idea of the events of the period, and for many years I had hoped to trace the elusive files from the murder inquiry.  The problem was, the case involved both Hull and Borough Police forces, the murder took place on Hull and Borough Boundaries, and the Hull and Borough Magistrates carried out inquests and hearings in Hull and Preston. 

These issues mean that tracing the file would be a problem from the start as neither the Hull nor Borough Police forces exist per se.  They are today amalgamated into one larger force, Humberside Police, and as such a lot of the older files were sent for safe keeping and/or destroyed. 

I had hoped that the files were held at the Hull History Centre, the East Riding Archives, or the National Archives, but searches at all three establishments failed to find any evidence that despite a series of Humberside/Hull/Borough files being available, none of the files featured the Mary Jane Langley file. 

The other problem encountered was the fact that the case was never solved there was no murder trial as the charges laid against John Rennard, aka Jack Renny, were dropped and he was acquitted.  At the time of the trial, murder cases were usually held at the York Assizes, but with no murder trial there was no paper trail. 

Imagine my surprise when a re-read of A. A. Clarke’s Killers at Large (Arton Books, 1997) stated that unsolved murder cases are kept in Humberside Police’s headquarters and “protected by a heavy wire mesh and padlocked against the curious.” 

With this snippet of information I made more inquiries, this time with Humberside Police.  After a series of telephone calls to various departments, I was asked to put my query in writing. 

Yesterday the reply arrived and sadly despite having a series of files that date back to 1909, there is nothing for the year 1891 and therefore nothing held on the still unsolved murder of Mary Jane Langley. 

I must, however, thank Humberside Police for the help, assistance, and speedy reply in help solving this unique cold case from Hull and East Yorkshire’s past.

New file on Frederick Bailey Deeming found.

Archives, Deeming, Research 10 Comments »

On the morning of January 30th 2013 I made my way to the Hull History Centre with a view to carrying out some research into the Hull Watch Committee and their views on the still unsolved murder of Mary Jane Langley, who was found brutally done to death in a ditch between Preston and Marfleet.  The reports in the Hull Press of September 1891 hinted at a rift between the Hull Police, the Borough Police and the Hull Watch Committee on account of the two police forces seemingly employing the work of a psychic.  The newspaper report read like a comical interchange with members of the Hull Watch Committee making fun of the Hull Police Force.  It was certainly a very interesting series of articles and I was interested in tracing the primary sources at the Hull History Centre.  Sadly, the Hull Corporation’s Hull Watch Committee Minutes books for the period are missing and only the typed up versions are available.  I was soon to discover that these offered very little information on the case, so I consulted the Hull History Centre Catalogue and found a reference to the Hull Watch Committee files.  Whilst these might not include the 1891 minutes, they do hold other interesting snippets of information on other crimes and topics that bear some relation on the case. 


One particular area of interest was a file that stated “Police Reports: Regina Vs Henry Lawson. 


Previously I had uncovered the typed up version of this file which was more of a summary, but at the time I had searched for more information and found nothing.  The typed up version of this document covered less than half a page and simply asked for funds in the extradition of Deeming from Monte Video.  The second section of this typed up document again was short and sweet and stated that funds would be laid out on the pretext that someone else would foot the bill.  It seemed to me as if there was more to this issue, but as the file on Deeming’s trial for fraud had been unearthed, and made no mention of this issue I was at a loss.  Luckily perseverance (and a bit of luck) paid off and I was able to secure a look at a previously unseen file of material on Frederick Bailey Deeming and his time in Hull. 


The file is essentially a 23 page file of material relating to the manhunt from Hull to Monte Video to track, and bring to justice, Frederick Bailey Deeming for the crime of fraud, and covers the principle police officials, the town clerk, Deeming’s legal team, and the Home Office, as they struggle to recoup money spent on the manhunt. 


The file comprises of several pages of the Hull Watch Committee Minutes from their meeting at the Hull Town Hall on December 23rd 1891, it features: 

  • A number of handwritten sheets covering each separate file
  • A cover file that is a Costs of Apprehension Sheet,
  • A handwritten letter from R. Hill Dawe esq, the town clerk for Hull to Laverack and Son, solicitors
  • A handwritten reply from Laverack and Son, solicitors, to R. Hill Dawe esq,
  • A handwritten reply from R. Hill Dawe esq, to Laverack and Son, solicitors,
  • A handwritten letter from Captain Gurney, Chief of Hull Police, to R. Hill Dawe Esq,
  • A handwritten Detective Report featuring statements from Detective Thomas Grassby and Thomas Reynoldson, signed by Captain Gurney and countersigned by Detective Superintendent Clapham,
  • A handwritten report from Captain Gurney and countersigned by Detective Superintendent Clapham,
  • A handwritten letter from the Home Secretary Godfrey Lushington to Laverack and Son, solicitors, asking for the amount owed to be paid to Whitehall,
  • A handwritten note, dated June 4th 1890, allowing two detectives to leave Hull for Monte Video to search for Harry Lawson.


As you can imagine this is a wonderful piece of the jigsaw that has been missing for some years.  The material falls before and after the massive trial file on Frederick Bailey Deeming, uncovered some years ago, and casts more light on Deeming’s time and illustrious career in Kingston upon Hull.  It shows more on the workings of the Victorian Hull police force, the Hull Watch Committee, and the lengths they, along with the Home Office, went to in order to recuperate the money spent on an international manhunt for one of the world’s worst criminals throughout history.  

Beverley Research Trip

Archives, Deeming, National Press, Press Reports, Research 1 Comment »

On Monday November 26th 2012 I set off from Hull on the Hull to Beverley train with a view to visiting the East Riding Archives, at the Treasurers House, Beverley.  The reason for the trip was two fold.  The first part of my research was aimed at investigating a local paranormal mystery that is relevant to the Sculcoates area of Hull.  As Sculcoates fall under the jurisdiction of the East Riding Council, many of the records are kept at the East Riding Archives.  The second leg of my research trip was to investigate two Jack the Ripper scares that had occurred in Beverley during the 19th century.

Jack the Ripper Scares

I first discovered the two scares in The Hull Daily Mail archives and searching further a field discovered more reports in the National press, I was, however, hoping to find the source material from Beverley, so at some point a trip across to the archives was on the cards.  The two reports were from the years 1891 and 1894 and covered two unsavoury characters that had visited Beverley and been arrested after Jack the Ripper Scares in the district. 

At the East Riding Archives I searched the old back issues of The Beverley Guardian, which at the time was published every Saturday.  It wasn’t long before the search turned up several articles from 1891 and 1894.  In the past The Beverley Guardian has provided me with details on Frederick Bailey Deeming, under his alias Harry Lawson, and in their February 1890 editions featured announcements of his marriage at St. Mary’s Church in Beverley.  His subsequent career in Hull, and trial for fraud also featured, as well as his arrest in Australia and trial for murder.  The Beverley Guardian was also a great source of information in the search for material on Mary Jane Langley and her unsolved murder on the outskirts of Marfleet and Preston.  Having the local slant on these cases proved valuable as it mentioned other names and locations as well as being more in depth.   

The Paranormal Mystery

Without giving too much away on this little mystery, I visited the archives to obtain several historical documents from the early 19th century that shed new light on an age old mystery.  I have been investigating and researching this particular location for years now, but with little published about it, and less written on the internet I decided to find the historical documents that pertain to the location when it was first mooted and eventually built.  A couple of books have tackled this location, but they give very little in the way of historical facts.  My aim was get back to the local acts that made the construction of this location and start researching the history from that point.

In the East Riding Archives search room I was very pleased to be shown several historical documents dating back to 1817 that showed the meetings and acts that were set in place for the construction of this location.

Frederick Bailey Deeming Articles Uncovered.

Archives, Deeming, Hull Press 9 Comments »

Readers of my blog will know how often my work in one aspect of Hull’s history will cross over into another.  Last week I was tasked with researching the histories of several properties in Hull which had alleged paranormal activity.  One such property had, what was best described as, “A female apparition” so the quest was on to find historical evidence of females on the site especially those that had died a tragic death that might leave behind memories that could cause a haunting. 

It took less than an hour to find a lady who was tragically killed on the property when she fell over, however, it was during the search for other deaths at the location that I came across an article on Frederick Bailey Deeming. 

One of the main problems with Deeming is his use of aliases, a problem that has led some researchers to believe that there could be more material on Deeming available, albeit with a different name.  The second problem is the Victorian British press and their inability to spell these names.  Last week the article I discovered was under Deeming’s alias, Harry Lawson, however, today I searched for similar articles from other press sources from the same period and discovered 14 articles pertaining to Frederick Bailey Deeming. 

The articles, found in The Hull Daily Mail, The Hull News, The Hull Daily News, and The Hull and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Times, cover the year 1890, from the months April, July, and September.  They feature Frederick Bailey Deeming under the aliases of,

Frederick Deening, Frederick Denning, Harry Lawson, and Henry Lawson, and cover his trial against Messrs Reynoldson’s, of Whitefriargate, Hull. 

The articles are currently being transcribed and will be inserted in Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull? Volume II


September 10th 1888

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September 10th 1888

On September 10th 1888 the National and International Press were in a frenzy over the murders, with the murder of Annie Chapman, featured in, The Aberdeen Weekly Journal, The Belfast News Letter, The Birmingham Daily Post, The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, The North Eastern Daily Gazette, The Daily News, The Dundee Courier and Argus, Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, The Glasgow Herald, The Leeds Mercury, The Liverpool Mercury etc, The Northern Echo, The Pall Mall Gazette, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, The Morning Post, The Standard, The York Herald, The Western Mail, The Times, The Star, The British Daily Whig, The Daily Telegraph, The Evening News, The Frederick News, The Irish Times, The Montreal Daily Star,

In Australia the affair was featured in the following newspapers on that date, The South Australian Advertiser, The South Australian Register, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Argus, The Daily News (Perth), The Portland Guardian, and The Bendigo Advertiser.

In New Zealand the affair was featured in the following newspapers on that date, The Marlborough Express, the Wangamui Herald, The Star, The Poverty Bay Herald, The Aucland Star, The Ashburton Guardian, The Thames Star, The Daily Telegraph, and The Nelson Evening Mail.

 Here in Hull newspaper reports featuring the affair appeared in, The Hull Daily Mail, The Hull Daily News, The Hull News, and The Eastern Morning News.

This past week

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The past week


In the past week I had the opportunity to peruse some old Hull newspapers that covered the years 1889 to 1940.  Among the newspapers were several articles pertaining to Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel Murders.  I was able to collect copies of articles on the likes of Sir Charles Warren, Sir Melville Macnaghten, and several other police officials, who were in service during the “Autumn of Terror.” 

I was also able to obtain copies of newspaper reports on several suspects, from Frederick Bailey Deeming, James and Florence Maybrick, Charles LeGrand, Francis Tumblety, and several other suspects that are rarely discussed despite their candidacy being much stronger than the likes of some who have been mentioned in the past!

I was also able to collect material, including newspaper reports, and material gleaned from primary sources on the likes of Annie Millwood, Ada Wilson, Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Susan Ward, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, The Whitehall Mystery, Mary Jane Kelly, Annie Farmer, Rose Mylett, Elizabeth Jackson, Alice McKenzie, the Pinchin Street Torso, and Frances Coles, as well as several other victims who were killed in the vicinity in the months after the initial “Jack the Ripper” scare! 


This Saturday I had the pleasure of lecturing at the Western Library, on Boulevard, off Hessle-road in West Hull.  The library is opposite the former home of one Frederick Richard Chapman, and close to the site of one of the Hull Dispensary’s that he worked at, and the former church where he was a church warden.  The library itself is an historical gem, built in 1895 and being the first in Hull to be erected using public funding.  The library closed in 2011 and reopened only recently after a £800,000 regeneration project and I must say it is a lovely bright place with many of the historical features kept for future generations to admire.  Among the improvements were the erection of extra meeting rooms, a lift, extra shelving, solar roof panels, and a new IT facility.  The original Victorian counter is still present, and many of the walls have been restored. 

The lecture was arranged by The Friends of Hull Library, who asked that I go along and discuss Hull’s Ghostly Myths and Legends.  It was a lovely atmosphere, and I came away with more bookings for future lectures.  I was also pleased that not only was the room packed, but that the crowd had so many stories and questions in the Q+A session I held afterwards. 

All in all it was a great day, and I hope to return to the library very soon.

Heritage Open Days Hull

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this weekend saw the Heritage Open Days across the UK, and closer to home in Hull.  On Saturday I had the pleasure of visiting Hull’s Neptune Inn, a location that was built in the 1700’s but by the 1800’s had been closed and was sold to the Hull Customs.  It was here, in 1863, that Robert D’Onston Stephenson began working as a clerk of the first class to the Hull Customs.  The property is owned by the Trinity House Corporation, who Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father worked for in his role as Receiver of Corporation Dues and Receiver of Bouyage.  Two roles that were jointly operated by the Trinity House Corporation, the Hull Customs, the Hull Dock Corporation and the Hull Corporation.  It was also through the same roles and employers that Lewis Carroll’s maternal grandfather worked, albeit in the 1700’s.

The massive awe inspiring building retains many of the original features after it was renovated some years ago and stands opposite the bank that was used by Frederick Bailey Deeming prior to him defrauding Messrs Reynoldson’s!  Deeming arrived in Hull in November 1889 and opened up an account at the bank, and traded with them until he closed his account and wrote three cheques for jewellery at Mr. Reynoldson’s jewellery store, where the current Schue branch is on Hull’s Whitefriargate. 

The bank stands on the corner of Whitefriargate and Parliament-street, another location that appears in Hull’s Ripperological history.  Several people were removed to Parliament-street police station between 1888 and 1900 for “Ripper like conduct” and it acted until the central police station during the period. 

Also on Parliament-street stood what was known as Messrs Tenny and Dawber, a solicitors firm that Joseph Dawber was running.  Joseph was Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s cousin, and would later be locked up in Hull Gaol for fraud.  Curiously, the 1891 Census shows that at the same time he was in prison, Frederick Bailey Deeming, under the alias of Harry Lawson, was also an inmate!  Small world!

Leaving Neptune Inn I paid a visit to the Holy Trinity Church, where William Wilberforce was christened.  It was also here that Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father was also christened!  The church is always a pleasure to walk about, and features the tombs and remembrance plaques of hundreds of former Hull notables including former Mayors, Alderman, and Merchants.  The tower was open, but with my dodgy ticker and the heat I didn’t risk the climb. 

After Holy Trinity Church I visited the Pacific Exchange, which was advertised as being open 10:00 – 15:00 but at 14:00 was already closed.  Regardless I walked along to Hull’s only National Trust property, Maister’s House.  The house has a magnificent staircase and upper balcony, but it was undergoing structural integrity checks, so scaffold bars and boards blocked much of what was previously on show.  Hopefully they will discover the problem and save this unique location.

From Maister’s House I had a quick look around Hull’s Museum Quarter, where a collection of vintage cars were on display.  Leaving the museums I headed for the Georgian Houses but discovered that the tours needed booking despite the official guide stating that no booking was required.  When I enquired about the time I was told the next available tour would be in a hour and half, so I left for other locations. 

Blaydes House was next on the agenda, a beautiful 18th Century property built and owned by the Blaydes family.  It was the Blaydes family who built a ship named “The Bertha,” which would be later renamed “The Bounty” which was known for its infamous mutiny.    

Leaving Blaydes House my next stop was St Mary’s Church, known to many as St Mary the Virgin.  The church dates from the 14th Century, and is packed with historical features that make it a place to visit over and over again.  Once again, for health reasons, I decided against the tower climb. 

Taking in other locations, such as Ye Olde White Hart, White Hart, Sailmakers, and George Hotel, I finished the day at Hull’s Bob Carver’s fish and chips shop.  A piece of Hull’s history in itself.        


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It has been another busy month of writing and researching and it seems like I have not wrote on my blog for ages, for this I apologise, but when you see what has been achieved in the last few weeks and months I think you will understand the reason for my absence.

Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols

First of all let us remember the significance of today’s date, the 31st of August 2012, 124 years to the date that Mary Ann Nichols was found murdered at the gated stables on Buck’s Row, now Durward Street. 

I am aware of activities on both Facebook and Twitter to mark the anniversary and remember, what many have now termed, the beginning of the “Autumn of Terror,” including Tweets marking the events as they happened by several Tweeters. 

Current Research

In the past few months my research has been mainly pertaining to the stories that appeared in the Hull press covering Jack the Ripper.  This has included cataloguing hundreds of reports into chronological order by publisher, and transcribing them. 

More recently I was at the Hull History Centre seeking out press reports on the murders of Ada Wilson, Annie Millwood, Emma Elizabeth Smith, and Martha Tabram, to fill in a few gaps.  Whilst it can be argued that there is no evidence that they were victims of Jack the Ripper, the contemporary press featured these victims and I therefore decided to feature them in my research.  Luckily I came away with several reports on the victims, each of which has been transcribed and added to Jack the Ripper – Newspapers From Hell, From Hull. 

The Jack the Ripper Beverley Scares

In recent weeks I have also been exploring the “Beverley Jack the Ripper Scares” that took place in Beverley just after 1888 and as such have made several visits to the area to take photos and visit the locations involved.  Beverley is a small market town approx 10 miles from Hull.  It has previously been associated with such Jack the Ripper Suspects as Frederick Bailey Deeming and Lewis Carroll, but my recent research suggests two other events that transpired in the town that provoked the local and national press into claiming that Jack the Ripper was in the town on two separate occasions. 

The newspaper articles have been uncovered, and transcribed and will be featured in an appendix in Jack the Ripper – Newspapers From Hell, From Hull, there has been, however, calls for me to release this chapter as a separate book for the target audience of Beverley, with the possibility of a series of lectures and walks in the town.  At the minute I am undecided, but who knows.

Current projects with page and word counts:

It has been a busy time of writing in the past few months, and my Kindle has taken a back seat to my laptop to get as much work done as possible.  I even took it camping, but heavy rains prevented me from taking it out and working!  The following is a list of projects that I am currently working on, several of which are finished.

Jack the Ripper – Newspapers From Hell, From Hull. 

A look at the articles published regarding the Whitechapel Murders in the Hull press during the “Autumn of Terror.”  Articles featured also include the 1873 Thames Torso Murders, The Gateshead Murder, The Grimsby Jack the Ripper Scare, The Beverley Jack the Ripper Scares, with previously unpublished material on Frederick Bailey Deeming, Thomas Sadler, Florence Maybrick, The Baccarat Scandal, Robert D’Onston Stephenson and many more people associated with the case.  Also featured are reports from 1889 – 2012 that were featured in the Hull press on the case.  Appendices include material on the Hull Police, Hull Press, and an A – Z of people involved in the case.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

217 Pages, 177,069 words

Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull? Vol I

A look at Robert D’Onston Stephenson, his birth, life, and time spent in Hull, with chapters covering his time at the Hull Customs, his family, his time spent in Brighton, London, and his writing career.  Features a wealth of unpublished material including letters and information gleaned from primary sources.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

351 Pages, 265,919 words

Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull? Vol II

A look at Frederick Bailey Deeming’s links to Hull with never before published material from Hull, London, and Australia, including trial files, correspondence, and press reports.  Popular theories are explored, discussed, and in many cases debunked.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

216 Pages, 179,094 words

Jack the Ripper – From Hell, From Hull? Vol III

A look at 8 other suspects previously named as Jack the Ripper with links to Hull, from the doctor that worked her, to the writer whose family held positions of importance in the City.  Each suspect chapter is filled with previously unseen material, press reports, and primary sources gleaned from archives across the UK.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

68 Pages, 51,268 words

The Preston Murder of Mary Jane Langley

An in depth look at the life and death of Mary Jane Langley, killed between Hull and Preston, and whose death remains unsolved to this day.  Crammed with previously unseen material, including press reports from 1891 – 2012 on the case.  Also included is an A – Z of people involved, filled with primary sources, census returns, BMD information, and material gleaned from Humberside Police.  Appendices include a look at the history of Hull prison, and material on another murder on the same lane 100 years later.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

167 Pages, 132,541 words

Mike Covell’s Haunted Hull

A look at some of the allegedly haunted locations within the Hull boundary, from haunted pubs, to clubs, education centres, shops, theatres, and many more locations.  Each location has a full history gleaned from trade directories, the census, BMD information, newspapers, and firsthand accounts.  Popular myths are explored, discussed, and their origins traced.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

211 Pages, 135,315 words

Mike Covell’s Paranormal Hull

A look at the odder side of Hull’s history, from strange mirages, to appearances of Jesus, superstitions, folklore, falls from the sky, satanic rituals, fortune tellers who get it wrong, and a Hull ships search for Noah’s Ark!  The book uses primary sources, newspapers, and interviews with eyewitnesses to present an open ended presentation of the weird and wonderful in Hull.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

122 Pages, 93,667 words

Mike Covell’s Paranormal Hull – Paranormal Press

A collection of stories in the Hull press covering all manner of ghostly stories and tales of terror in Hull.  Over 30 newspapers were consulted to bring together a large collection of stories dating from 1800 to 2012.  Each story is linked to primary sources on the people, places, and events that are featured.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

86 Pages, 64,048 words


A look at Hull’s history of weird and unusual creatures, from mermaids, to “Little Doug,” beached whales, sea serpents, big cat sightings, and escaped monkeys!  The book is packed with eyewitness accounts, newspaper stories from 1800 to 2012, maps, and rare photographs of these cryptozoological wonders.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

71 Pages, 55,295 words 


A massive collection of UFO reports, eyewitness accounts, press reports, official documentation, and cases across Hull from as early as 1800 to 2012.  Read about the massive moon like structure that hovered over Hull, the Airship Scares in the early 1900’s, the National Archives Files on Hull’s sightings, and the mystery of the “Hull Hum.”  Featuring photographs, maps, and eyewitness accounts.

Fully Referenced, Source List, Bibliography.

54 Pages, 39,750 words

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