News roundup…

Opinion, TV/Documentaries 3 Comments »

This week has seen some interesting developments in Ripperology in the field of television drama. 


First of all ITV has announced that Whitechapel will return for a fourth series.  The show previously tackled Jack the Ripper, The Krays, and a series of East End crimes from the Ratcliffe Highway Murders, to the Thames Torso Murders.  Details on the new series are a little sketchy at present, with ITV revealing that a six episode series has been given the green light, so let’s hope that Chandler, Miles and Buchan are back together for more mysteries and murders. 

The news can be seen here:


Radio Times:

Ripper Street

The BBC’s Ripper Street is also making headlines with the announcement that Canadian and Norwegian television companies have bought the rights to air the show abroad.   

The News can be viewed here:

BBC News:

The Irish Film and Television Network:

Jack the Ripper’s Ghost

The Telegraph this week asked “Are the Houses of Parliament Haunted?” in an online article.  The piece, written by Donald Strachan, claims that the “the ghost of Jack the Ripper threw himself off Westminster Bridge.”

The Telegraph:



True Detective - October 2012

Theories No Comments »

Just been for a walk to the local newsagetns and discovered that the October issue of True Detective, is on sale and features an article on Jack the Ripper.

The article, written by Griffith S. Salway, covers the life and alleged candidacy of Alonzo Maduro. The article, it was said, was written and featured in True Detective in March 1949, with a colour cover for the American edition, and a black and white cover for the British edition. The article, which covers 5 pages, features reproductions of both covers and a brief up to date introduction.

The issue is on sale now for £2.90

September 11th 1888

National Press, Press Reports No Comments »

September 11th 1888

If September 10th was a frantic day of press reports and commentary, then September 11th 1888 was a day of almost hysterical stories and press reporting across Britain and further afield. 

Numerous reports appeared in, The Western Mail, The York Herald, The Star, The Standard, The Morning Post, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, The Pall Mall Gazette, The Northern Echo, The Liverpool Mercury Etc, The Leeds Mercury, The Huddersfield Daily Chronicle, The Glasgow Herald, Freeman’s Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, The Dundee Courier and Argus, The Daily News, The North Eastern Daily Gazette, The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, The Bury and Norwich Post and Suffolk Standard, The Birmingham Daily Post, The Belfast News Letter, The Aberdeen Weekly Journal, The Daily Colonist, The Daily Telegraph, The East End News, The Echo, The Evening News, The Irish Times, and The Montreal Daily Star.

In Australia the following published stories, The Morning Advertiser, The Launceston Examiner, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Argus, The Brisbane Courier, The West Australian, The Burra Record, The Morning Bulletin, The South Australian Register, The Daily News, The Maitland Mercury, The Traralgon Record, and The Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser.

In New Zealand the following printed stories, The Marlborough Express, The Ashburton Guardian, The Star, The Aucland Star, The Press, The Evening Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Timaru Herald, The Wanganui Herald, The Colonist, The Hawke’s Bay Herald, The Nelson Evening Mail, The Poverty Bay Herald, The West Coast Times, The North Otago Times, The Fielding Star, The Southland Times, The Otago Daily Times, and The Taranaki Herald.

September 11th 1888 was also the day that Dr. Cowan and Dr. Crabb visited the police to inform them that they believed Jacob Issenscmid to be the Whitechapel Murderer. 

September 10th 1888

Archives, Events, Hull Press, National Press No Comments »

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.

September 9th 1888

Events, National Press No Comments »

September 9th 1888

The main topic in the British press on September 9th 1888 was the murder of Annie Chapman, which in some publications, including The Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, as the fourth murder, being as it followed Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, and Mary Ann Nichols.  The same publication also asked “Why not try bloodhounds?”  A question that would soon be answered….

This past week

Archives, Deeming, Events, Hull Press, Libraries, Opinion, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family No Comments »

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.        

September 8th 1888

Events, National Press No Comments »

September 8th 1888

Today’s newspapers were filled with the news that another horrible murder had taken place in Whitechapel.  The brutal murder of Annie Chapman, found dead a little before 6:00 on the morning of the 8th of September by John Davis.  The newspapers, many of which were still discussing the murder of Mary Ann Nichols, had another murder to discuss.

Annie Chapman RIP (September 1841 – 8 September 1888)

September 7th 1888

Events, National Press, Press Reports 1 Comment »

September 7th 1888

The hot topic of the day on September 7th 1888 was the funeral of Mary Ann Nichols, sometimes referred to as Polly, and Nicholls.  Several news reports published that Mary Ann Nichols had been buried at Ilford Cemetery by her father, among them was the Daily News, The Times, The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, The Morning Post, The Standard, and The Western Mail.

September 6th 1888

Events, National Press, Opinion No Comments »

September 6th 1888

September 6th 1888 was a typical no news day in the East End, The Star however, had plenty to report on, and their article looked at how the East End was experiencing a murder a day!  It was typical scaremongering reporting, but helped sell copies and keep newspapermen in business.   The report, published that day, likened the Whitechapel murders to the “The Murders in “The Rue Morgue.” 

The Dundee Courier and Argus, also published that day, discussed a suspect that was being watched, named only as “Leather Apron.”

 Mary Ann Nichols is buried at Little Illford Cemetery.


Heritage open days 2012 - Hull

Events, Opinion 1 Comment »

2012 Heritage Days

It’s that time of the year again and the 2012 Heritage Days in Hull are off to a start with some fascinating lectures, and eye opening tours.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending David Alexander Smith’s lecture at the Hull History Centre on the 1909 murder craze in Hull entitled “Murder in the Slums.”  David, who recently penned Paull – An Illustrated History, presented to the audience three murders from 1909, two of which resulted in the conviction of two men, who under the influence of drink, had murdered two women in what appeared to be crimes of passion.  The two murders that resulted in convictions took place in the slums of Hull, and David presented the audience with contemporary photographs of the crime scenes, taken by the Hull Board of Health Authority.  Maps, then and now photographs, and sketches of the suspects were presented for the perusal of the audience and David was both knowledgeable and well informed not just on the cases, but the social and historical aspects of each case.  All in all it was a fascinating lecture, and I look forward to David’s new release, Forgotten Hull Vol: 3.

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in a lecture by the Hull Daily Mail’s Angus Young.  Angus spoke about Scandals! Rogues, Rascals and Infamy in Hull and East Yorkshire, and touched upon many of the stories featured in his recently released book bearing the same name.  Among the topics were spies, crooked business men, high society scandals, and stories regarding Hull celebrities.  For me the highlight was the topic of the Great Baccarat Scandal at Tranby Croft, but the material on the Gaul was equally fascinating.  Angus also discussed his previous two books, Murders of Hull, and More Murders of Hull, which are fascinating works on local murder cases and their outcomes.  Angus was both knowledgeable and amusing and some of his stories about his life as a reporter were fascinating. 

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with both David and Angus, and must thank them for signing my books and taking the time out to chat.

Over the weekend a number of other activities and tours are taking place in Hull, including the opening of The Neptune Inn.  Ripperologists will be more used to the name of Hull’s Customs House, the location where Robert D’Onston Stephenson worked as a clerk during the 1860’s. 

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