Robert D’Onston Stephenson - Elementals

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In the June 1896 issue of Borderland Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s wrote an article on Elementals. His article was about the work of Dr Franz Hartmann, and covered the world of vampires and elemental spirits. The article stated,

II-Elementals. Borderland, July 1896. A CORRESPONDENT, signing himself “R. D’O.,” to whom I submitted the foregoing paper, writes me as follows: ” The doctor, in his otherwise very able paper on this subject, makes one great and fundamental error, which to a great extent destroys the value of his communication. He treats of two essentially different classes of beings as being identical, and assumes that the undoubted visitations of elementaries to human beings are made by ‘ Vampires.’ Now ‘vampires’ and elementaries have scarcely anything in common, either in their origin, their nature, or their temperament. They are two absolutely distinct species of spirits. ” But before I proceed to their differentiation, a few words as to these visitations. In the first place there is no doubt that they actually do take place: everyone who has investigated the subject knows instances where women of great intellectual powers, and having no tendency whatever to hysteria or illusions of any kind (being at the same time persons of undoubted veracity), claim that they have been-and are-visited in this manner. ” The immense mass of evidence, collected from many countries, by different scientific observers - medical men and others-cannot be set aside. Doubtless, if only one or two cases existed, we should explain them by the one word-’ hysteria’ ; but the accumulated mass of facts from so many different temperaments cannot be dealt with in this manner. We must accept the facts, though we may differ as to their cause. And as to this there are only three solutions possible :-1. That they are purely the product of a too vivid imagination, probably assisted by hysteria ; 2. That the visitants are, what they usually represent themselves to be, spirits of predeceased lovers ; 3. That they are other spirits, ‘elementaries’ or ‘vampires,’ masquerading as spirits of the dead. ” The answer to the first hypothesis is, that, as a rule, the recipients of these visits are, more frequently than not, people not distinguished for imaginative powers. And the slightest reflection will show that an enormous fund of creative imagination must exist to make a woman absolutely certain that her lover is present with her as tangible as in life. ” And not only do these manifestations take place, but, in many cases, long conversations are held, sometimes for hours together; questions are asked and answered, and replies (sometimes true, but usually false) obtained which could not have emanated from the brain of the querist, being sometimes accurate in-formation of circumstances which could by no possibility have been known to her. Further, these visitations are frequently made to men, when, of course, the visitor is of female form. Another fact, difficult to account for on the first hypothesis, is that these visits have been, paid to people who had never heard of such things, and who were Philistines of the Philistines regarding all, kinds of ‘ spirit’ or psychic phenomena. ” Consequently, we will dismiss theory No. 1 as untenable, and consider No. 2. That is, that the visitants, warm, living, breathing, palpitating, are the spirits of the dead. And here I will quote one who, amidst an enormous farrago of nonsense, self-deception, and false fact, has somehow stumbled on a few truths-Anna Kingsford : ‘There are no such things as “spirits of the dead,” there are only ” shades ” of the dead.’ And these shades are certainly unable to make themselves even audible, much more tangible, palpable, and warm-blooded. We know quite sufficient about them to know that. ” Then there only remains the third proposition, that they are other spirits, who, for their own purposes, assume the shape and verisimilitude of dead persons. ” Is Dr. Hartmann right then in considering them to be ‘ vampires’ ? and, if not ‘ vampires,’ what are they ? ” The learned doctor has evidently thoroughly studied the subject of vampires, enjoying as he does facilities for research in the very country which (if we except the West Indies) has from time immemorial to the present been the scene of their most awful manifestations-Hungary. “And it is quite true what Dr. H. says, that ‘persons obsessed by a vampire are always sensually inclined people ; and usually given to secret vices.’ influences ; nothing more is needed. ” Dr. H. recounts five cases within his personal know-ledge, which he attributes to the action of vampires. But, of these five, only the third and fifth in order were undoubtedly due to vampire action, and the first one is almost more than doubtful. The others were certainly not vampires. There is no reason for thinking that the old lady who undermined the health of her servants was under the power of a vampire : it being a well-known fact that many (in fact most) very old people who sleep with young and impressionable ones, gradually absorb the greater part of their vitality ; and all physicians in this country are very precise in forbidding it. ” The second case shows no trace of a vampire’s presence, of its ‘ devouring’ propensities, or of its horrible hate for the victim from whom it nightly drains the very life-blood. It is simply a case of an ‘ ” elemental ” (as the doctor says) making use of and being aided by the elementary of the suicide.’ But, as before said, an ‘ elemental ‘ is not a vampire. ” The third case, of the millers boy, is a good in-stance of one mode of action of an undoubted vampire. ” In the fourth case the ‘dual,’ there is nothing to indicate a vampire. The idea that the ‘ dual ‘ drew all the woman’s strength from her was most probably not the fact. The fifth case is doubtless a genuine one of vampirism by the living, as Dr. Hartmann asserts. ” Now then, having so far cleared the ground, what are vampires? ” They are not ‘ elementals ‘ but ‘ demons ‘ : there are no ‘demon elementals.’ Demons are differentiated from spirits in possessing souls, and this, while it intensifies their power of malignant hate towards man, renders them, in one sense, superior to sex passion. They have an infinite capacity of hatred and malignity, which they can only gratify at the expense of those who are sensuously inclined. But they have no power-as the elementals have in certain cases-to assume human form : they can give no pleasure, either mental or physical. All that they can do is to absorb, to waste, to madden, and destroy. ” Dr. Hartmann gives very correctly all the recognised symptoms of vampirism. ” The elementals, on the contrary, are in this connection perfectly harmless. So far from bearing any hatred or malice towards the recipients of their favours, they are actuated towards them by (at least so far as they are capable of feeling it) love. This is self-evident by their conduct.”

It has been claimed that Robert D’Onston Stephenson was writing in response to the following article, entitled, Seelenbraute und Vampirismus, and was written by Franz Hartmann, featuring in Lotusbluthen, Vol. 6 in the year 1895. It has been claimed that this article was the inspiration behind Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s 1896 article in Borderland entitled Elementals. This is, however, false,

Souls of brides and vampirism

Under a vampire is defined as a spirit, by which a person is possessed and the life force of that which he possesses, emaciated, exhausted his nervous energy and eventually drives him to madness and death in the arms. But what is meant by spirit? One need not like a ghost, wandering around the outside of man and in the air, thinking. The word “spirit” in German means many different things from each other, that one has the choice to mean whatever you want. It states: “Anyone who still believes in ghosts and spirit?” - And yet we are all spirits in a material itself visible envelope, for a man without spirit is a corpse, even if he is otherwise a good appetite, but spiritually dead under spirit, we understand, a unity of will and imagination, with In other words, a bustling through the thoughts and become self-confident willpower. The idea stems from the feeling and the strength of these two, which creates in the soul of human forms, whether this happens intentionally or unintentionally and intentionally and instinctively, the result remains the same. The materialist “talk a big word for left” when he says that ghosts exist only in our imagination, but it is a mind that the works of the imagination be a nothingness and that he had destroyed with his oracle, the spirit world, while but the imagination is a force which causes substantial real phenomena in our mind, and she imagines in our souls, making them suitable for our internal perception just as essential, as is an external object is to our physical senses. The stronger the imagination, the stronger occur objectively in the mirror of the soul imagined performances in front of introspection, be it through the inner face or inner feeling, and under certain circumstances, to every metaphysician are known, particularly in nerve weakness and mediumistic persons, not the so-formed shapes only for the person who created them, but even for all those present are outwardly visible and tangible objective, which is already widely known through the so-called “ghost materializations” found art. It would be a great mistake to think that were active in the creation of such “ghost” no external influences. A seed, be it physical or psychological, is developing and does not grow without a supply of nourishment and stimulation from the outside. The water and earth lead to the plant food, and the light and heat, they stimulate the growth of, to that of the delicate seed becomes a tree, finally, on which depend the skeptic who does not believe in trees, can. Similarly, by the thought that springs from the sensation, appropriate ideas from the “astral plane” dressed in the mind enter the people, get him to consciousness, and the idea may eventually become the “obsession” over which the reason and take what the government loses possession of the whole inner nature of man. Lovers and fools and fanatics of all kinds could tell them if they had sense enough to see their own state. The lover is in love with the idea, which he makes from the object of his infatuation, he creates for himself an image in his soul of his beloved, and this image is through his senses by the sight of his lover and the sound produced her voice and nourished. Another creates in his imagination, without outside help the object of his adoration, but he pulls through his lust corresponding influences, larvae, animals, monsters of all kinds, ghosts and devils from the underworld. Me into being trampled in a thought is not one of me physically different thing, and yet this idea is not “I”, I still thought of, but he is a part of my nature, which arose out of my will and my imagination, and insofar as this essence or the “spirit” of confidence in me has become, and from my own self is different, he is my other, my false ego, alterego, “dual” or like how you call it, he is into me and on my own born, alive in me “incarnate” thought of my will, a part of my nature, the lives of me and in me, and die in me or I can survive. The man is sprung from a desire and imagination “materialized” spirit, he is a composition of a sum of forces and qualities which constitute his personality is always changing. Arises in him an obsession, which gained the upper hand over his reason, so we have a special group of properties in this sum, an individualized notion within this product from idea, one to the contrary has become will within the will, from which he is born , a “spirit” in the spirit. Sun arise from the different emotions, feelings, desires and instincts of people different ideas, thoughts and spirits that get in it an individual consciousness and its false “selves” can be just as many people on Earth just wrong ” egos “of the deity, ie, self-conscious, individual, physical manifestations of a world soul. The person dies, it dissolves into its constituents on its composition, the truth in it goes into the truth, the qualities which he has borrowed from nature, are not destroyed thereby, but are returning to nature and be back by other corresponding organisms attracted to them in return to the consciousness and enter into the circle of life. This is not just with his physical, but also with his mental components of the case, everything returns to its origin, but the body of matter, spirit to spirit and passion to the source from which they originated. Thus, for example, the sexual impulse in man is no man and no flying in the air, ghost, but one will form in nature, which manifests itself in humans and animals as sex drive, it can in man be so severe that he in his reign gained over his reason. It is then a force of nature personified in man, in his mind into being trampled, a false ego that drives him to all sorts of unreasonable actions and the imagination can be any shape. Dying man hears, so that this force of nature, which was revealed to him as a sex drive and is called Kama, not to exist, but when she finds a favorable soil in other places, so diet and develop the Convention therein mental germs and reappears in other people and animals as their sex drive to the stage of their existence. In this way, the passion that has created a living person into the life and possessed him to influence even after his death to another person or take possession. Not the deceased person is, who poses as “soul groom”, but the psychic energy, which has left the deceased and which of them possessed, according to the play of his imagination and designed clothes. The dead know nothing. Similarly, among the living. Only a very ignorant man still doubted that the feelings of another human being in one can cause the same feelings and influence the thoughts of one another without the former is aware of. Death of a man who has put his life during a certain type of energy in kamischer activity, then there is still the same and then continued as a natural force, such as leaving the body heat as the heat continues to exist and reheated another body. That is why the death penalty one of ignorance springing mistake if we think that to have a detrimental effect rendered harmless. They destroyed the form, the tool, but not the driving spirit. Such forces of nature or “spirits” have no individual consciousness, no discernment or ability to think, they are influences, which become individual consciousness again until the person in whom they are revealed, and through it. These “ghosts”, which is a perverted sexual instinct in humans may give life to include the “Incubi” and “succubi” the metaphysician of the middle ages, which correspond to our modern “soul brides” and “soul grooms,” and that is meant by a ” Incubus “one in the fantasy of a sensual female form, and people created by a” Succubus “one of the female imagination sprung male form. In India the same “Mohinis” and “Pisachas” are mentioned, and Theophrastus Paracelsus called “phantoms, dragons, monsters,” etc. They are really existing being, by the concerned people themselves created and nourished by spiritual influences, they are states of mind of affected by them and prove their existence only too clearly by the disruption caused to them by the nervous system and the disintegration of the physical forces. That of knowing nothing and knowing nothing unending scholarly conceit with the exclamation “Superstition!” will answer and to have explained everything thinks does not matter. This is the most convenient way to give yourself a reputation among the ignorant and to eliminate questions about things of which you understand nothing. The vampirism is an unfortunate fact that one can not eliminate through denial. Who is it accessible, not only of influences that emanate from the remnants of the dead but also of his fellow human beings living vampirized and drained, mentally, morally and physically. To eke out in the physical as well as looking into the mental world of one at the expense of the other his existence, whether it is consciously and intentionally or unintentionally, done instinctively. Influence the thoughts of one another, without the familiar and the other where the origin, and if the ideas that the people that lived before us called into existence, could have no influence on us, there would be in the world at no progress. The spirit of a Goethe or Shakespeare lives and works today, though the personality has long since dissolved into its elements, and no one will understand by this spirit, a ghost flying around in the world. The ideas, which called into being great minds, nourish the seeds in the hearts of those who are receptive to great ideas. The same is the case with the passions. Man is an embodied spiritual strength, he disappears from the phenomenal world, but the force remains there. He is like a cloud in the sky, which comes and goes, but the air and water, they have made persist, and bring forth new cloud formations. Anyone who has studied the literature of the occult and metaphysics, where there will be no shortage of material to think about vampirism. There is a lot of events described in relation to the vampirism of the dead and the living, which may be mentioned here, but I prefer to speak from my own experience: In G. .. is a woman, in which a young man was in love. Because the same was a drunkard and vagrant, however, they scorned him, although had a great affection felt for him, and married another. From injured vanity shot the young man, and soon afterwards the young woman was attacked by an Incubus, which she visited with her at night and indulged in sexual intercourse. She could not see the “spirit”, but feel and felt about the same as would be if a person living with her. These visits were repeated very often, especially in the absence of her husband, and shattered her nerves, so that the husband himself was finally forced to seek medical advice. By strengthening the moral force of the woman was healed.
According to the theory of the spiritualists would be here now, the specter of suicide, the cause of this phenomenon. Thus would the suicide, after he had discarded his physical body, to go personally to his former lover, to have fun with it. Who knows but the laws of the mind, the matter looks quite different. The incubus was created by the imagination of the woman himself, and the still formed in her mind retarded love for the suicide of the seed from which grew the Incubus, and the food that he got his growth, consisted in the influence which of the serial killer during the life evoked passion had on her mind. From their own inner desire the idea in question, which holds their memories with the figure of the spurned lover arose was, and became her “other self”, which was an objective and tangible for them. But that the force-fed these vampire who really went out the remnants of a suicide, but says the fact that the proximity of these women exercised a depressing effect on sensitive individuals. Not only they wore themselves with thoughts of suicide, but many of their visitors if they knew anything about the whole thing were infected by their presence with a bad mood and suicidal thoughts, which often lasted for weeks. Similar cases are by no means rare, but the effect of these vampires is different for different people in their nature. Some would like to get rid of these influences, but have not the moral strength of these influences to keep at bay, while others welcome of the same and refer to the handling of these invisible “husband” and “wives” to their highest enjoyment. After all, however, is the victim of such Vampires through the continuing excitement of his or her nerves weakened, sensitive, irritable, prone to tears, suffering from exhaustion, despite the much increased appetite and is vampirized not only themselves but vampirized others and deprives its proximity the persons part of their life force. These are my various old ladies are known which seem the only way to keep it alive, that they have consistently young maid around, are by their “vital magnetism” they consume, and not a few such servants, without knowing it, the victim of such Vampires and fall of emaciation and pulmonary tuberculosis. Who is not much of it knows what is going on in the world who might think that cases of vampirism, incubus and succubi are rare things that happen only very occasionally, but who has given these things some attention knows that they are surprisingly numerous . Among the Spiritualists are thousands who are possessed by a vampire, they consider their soul bride or groom, and even those who maintain that kind of embodied phenomena such dealings, are not rare. There are men and women who tell with delight of the pleasure which they give the meetings with their “dual”, and old women, who believe that they selflessly sacrifice themselves to him in which they have with him sexual relations because they believe that this way his “spiritual progress” was being promoted. It seems that human folly is no limit. Some are content to dream about their “dual”, others feel his presence and lead his touch, and still others see it while they are still conscious, and enjoy the amusements of marital life without the physical inconvenience of sharing the same. Can assume that an incubus or succubus, under certain circumstances, a physical, visible and tangible form, is for the metaphysician, who knows the relevant laws of nature, not a secret. Goethe has described in his “Bride of Corinth” one such case. Washington Irwing tells a similar, and the literature of occultism and spiritualism is full of such facts, and the history of the Middle Ages provides countless examples. That all of this but do not make any immediately comprehensible, and the “how” and “why” especially one loaded with prejudices scholars can not make understandable a few words without saying, of itself, because such persons are not the initial reasons for understanding this laws of nature possess. Eduard von Hartmann says in his brochure on spiritualism: “The audience is practically a right to know it, what is it with these things.” Well! Preached and explained these things were long, but not understood by the audience. “The metaphysician should have practically a right to demand it, to think scientifically to be the audience itself-meaning and understand the explanations given to learn.” We therefore want to turn around and say the sentence. Which of the rudiments of metaphysics does not know is capable of a farmer who imagines himself to know that hidden in the moving locomotive his horse, causing the movement. To convince such a farmer would have him until the construction of the locomotive and the effect of steam power to explain why he had neither understanding nor the patience to listen to the explanation. To the physicist, who knows nothing of metaphysics and all the wrong ways seeks to explain the laws of “materialization,” he would have the actual first word of “matter” and learn to understand the occult constitution of man. Between mind and matter is not insurmountable gap in living humans. Spirit, soul and body are connected by intermediate links, the higher impact on the lower, the spirit on the mind, the mind on the body, which eventually finds its spiritual expression in the material, which is a symbol of the spiritual. The key to this mystery lies in the knowledge of the characteristics of the “astral body” or that part of the human organism, which the Indians’ Linga Scharira “calls, which is but for the whole of European science is still a terra incognita, of which our philosophers still long to break their heads if they by the ancient Indian sages who have all this long ago described scientifically accurate, want to know absolutely nothing. Should the audience but has the right to demand that our physicians and doctors, if they want any longer to preserve the aura of omniscience, step out of its stagnation and, instead of settling for mere “observation”, learn about the psychological causes, arise from which most physical illnesses. There is no outward appearance without inner cause. There will be no spirit out of the man who has not previously occurred to him. Without form and shape is the light, which builds the plant and is embodied in it. Without reason and without form, the psychological factors which enter into the unguarded mind of the people who come to consciousness in him and accept him into shape and form can. Such figures may occur objectively and physically, so that they are experienced with all five senses, the case involved organ is the spleen, the occult, as well as that of the pineal gland function of the current, official medical science is unknown. Who, as the author, such materializations to dozens of times seen, they felt and talked with them, has to have all of the known alleged revelations of fraud are no longer interested, even less than those Debunking usually nothing more than their own ignorance. The “soul brides” and “grooms soul” of which we are speaking, are therefore not in the hereafter existing persons, but are consciously or unconsciously produced products of one’s own desires and ideas, nurtured by the streaming from the spiritual world influences. An old Egyptian proverb says: “How is it down so it is up, and there is nothing so insignificant to the world that it would not be dependent on something his superior superiors, so that when the lower moves, the Upper him excited to meet “, and in the Bhagavad Gita says:” He who offers himself to the gods, who goes to the gods, who sacrificed himself to the demons, who is one of the demons.” What are these demonic influences and what are the demons? In the physical world we perceive different forces in which we know of no kind of consciousness may be found, then, were the heat, light, electricity, etc. On the psychological level, however there are similar forces, in which consciousness exists. There is the desire which manifests itself in people and animals depending on their condition as this or that passion. A person who develops a certain amount of any passion, creates a stove by kamischer of energy, like a flame of an accumulation of heat generated by radiation and this has again to other people. Such power herd of demonic desires are the demonic influences, and the demons themselves are organisms in which it embodies and symbolizes influences are. Since, on the astral plane each form the character she represents equal, so there an ugly passion otherwise represented as in an ugly shape, and if our spiritualists soul brides and grooms, for which they are so very excited, in could see their true form, they would avert full horror and disgust of it. It is not because of “deceased persons,” but the remnants of their kamischen speech. The heat, which has lost a dead man is no longer the man, and the perverse will of forms and mental images that generated it and deposited by him are not more in him, but they are the filth that he has left, fatten themselves with the demons. Of such demons, half animal and half-devilish creatures, but there are many different types, which, although they are not perceived through the physical senses, but nevertheless are present, even if the supposed “enlightened” can know nothing of them, because they possessed by the spirit of self-conceit and are therefore seen with spiritual eyes anything more than your own self and its chimera. Unconcerned about the circumstances that led him on earth troubled and pleased at rest, the human spirit in Devachan, but the passions, animal instincts and inferior intellectual powers, which he left in the world of desires persist, until their activity is exhausted. This sum of his desires are left behind kamischen remains. You are on the astral plane is an energy that is attracted to it, where they found organisms that correspond to their own nature, just as the magnet attracts the iron itself. Such a sum of energy is an “Elemental” called. It is without reason, understanding and discernment. But it occurs in the sphere of consciousness of a human one, she takes part in his consciousness and is a part of his consciousness. It is in him and he in her. In a letter from an Adept it says: “Every outgoing thought of a man arrives in a different world and gained there an individual existence, as he speak with an elemental, that is one of the semi-intellectual forces that exist there, combines a. Such an idea lives on as an actual thinking power, a creature that has created the mind, and the duration of its existence depends on the inherent energy. A good idea lives on as a benevolent force, a malicious thought evil as a force, and man populated resistant to this kind of his own intellectual sphere with the products of his desires, instincts and fantasies, which in turn act on other minds, according to their degree of receptivity. ” Ideas are things which actually exist, their producer is now dead or alive. Every sum of ideas, animated by the will, whether good or evil, is a star in heaven at the thought that sends its rays into susceptible souls. The slumbering instinct in the mind is awakened by the corresponding properties with its influences, the seed grows and develops, and there is a second self, which can be depending on its origin, an angel or a devil. To detect such a “spirit”, one must ask, not phenomenon, but one’s own conscience. One of the greatest gifts of the Spirit is to distinguish between the spirits to. Who does not have this power and influence surrenders, he does not know floats in great danger. Who wants to get closer to the spirit world and communicate with her, should have a pure heart, which is nothing unclean included. He should be more self-confidence by forming a circle around him, get into what can no impure thought. Then the eternal truth is reflected in his soul, and he will recognize in themselves the antithesis of God, who is Lord of all spirits. The spirit of truth in the hearts of the people met with force, but the spirits of lies live on his life. Who lives in the consciousness of the truth that lives in his true self, he is independent and free, it is in giving, however, crushes and fantasies, who lives outside himself, he loses himself in the moonlight of his imagination, and dispersed in space, the power given to them its growth is given. In itself, enter into and to recognize themselves in the sunlight of wisdom is better than all the theory and science, whose ultimate aim is the satisfaction of curiosity. The pure soul is the true bride and the spirit of wisdom, she illuminates the groom. By this alone the true union which arises from the sense of light is born in man.

In his article Stephenson mentions the following,

. ” Dr. H. recounts five cases within his personal know-ledge, which he attributes to the action of vampires. But, of these five, only the third and fifth in order were undoubtedly due to vampire action, and the first one is almost more than doubtful. The others were certainly not vampires. There is no reason for thinking that the old lady who undermined the health of her servants was under the power of a vampire : it being a well-known fact that many (in fact most) very old people who sleep with young and impressionable ones, gradually absorb the greater part of their vitality ; and all physicians in this country are very precise in forbidding it. ” The second case shows no trace of a vampire’s presence, of its ‘ devouring’ propensities, or of its horrible hate for the victim from whom it nightly drains the very life-blood. It is simply a case of an ‘ ” elemental ” (as the doctor says) making use of and being aided by the elementary of the suicide.’ But, as before said, an ‘ elemental ‘ is not a vampire.
” The third case, of the millers boy, is a good in-stance of one mode of action of an undoubted vampire.
In the fourth case the ‘dual,’ there is nothing to indicate a vampire. The idea that the ‘ dual ‘ drew all the woman’s strength from her was most probably not the fact. The fifth case is doubtless a genuine one of vampirism by the living, as Dr. Hartmann asserts.

But in the article by Hartmann above, there is no mention of these five cases to which Stephenson alludes to, thus making it the wrong article. If we check earlier editions of Borderland, however, we find the following,

Vampires by Franz Hartmann, M.D.
From Borderland: a quarterly review and index, Volume 3, edited by William Thomas Stead, 1896

Everyone who, for a long time, in a rational manner and without prejudice, investigates the phenomena of spiritism, will, sooner or later, meet in them some perplexing element, which cannot be explained by the theory of “departed spirits,” nor by the “sub-conscious” mental action, nor by “telepathy,” nor by any other of the manifold theories that have been invented for the purpose of explaining these phenomena by the conscious or unconscious action of powers inherent in the constitution of man; there always comes in at a cetain period a foreign element which seems to have a will, if not an intelligence of its own; such as does not naturally belong to the “medium,” and which cannot be an angel, nor a “departed human spirit,” but which rather seems to belong to some fool or idiot, playing pranks on the astral plane. In fact, we may say, that while upon the terrestrial plane, in our daily life, we continually are surrounded by a multitude of illusive appearances, errors, and falsehoods, each containing a kernel of truth, on the astral plane we meet with an endless array of undeniable facts and apparent truths, each of which, if closely examined, is found to be based upon a kernel of truth.

Let me explain what I mean. There is, for instance, Mr. H. B. Foulke, of Philadelphia, who receives oil-paintings that have been undoubtedly produced in an occult manner through the mediumship of Mrs. Betse; they are well excecuted, but they never are what they claim to be, for there is one representing the “wife of Pythagoras,” who presumably was never married, another represents “Jacob Boehme in his college costume,” while it is certain that Boehme was a poor shoemaker, who never went to college; there are “Mahatma letters” that are perfectly “genuine,” except in so far as they have never been written or even indicated by a Mahatma; there are innumerable tests of spirit identity, absolutely satisfactory to a superficial observer, but found to be sadly wanting in truth, when closely examined. In most instances it seems as if a host of lying spirits were assuming the true masks of known persons; the act is often perfect, but the actor behind the mask is not what he represents himself to be, although many a deluded person, being delighted with the idea of communicating with a beloved friend or relative, is most unwilling to incur the risk of finding himself deceived. Whenever the communicating spirit represents himself in the garb of a spirit-lover or spirit-bride, human vanity becomes excited to the highest pitch, and a cure is almost impossible. Such persons regard doubts about the identity of their “spirits” as being blasphemy and herresy of the worst kind.

All these perplexing things, however, become plain if we accept the doctrine of mischievous elementals inhabiting the astral plan, of whom the occultists of the middle ages have written a great deal, whose nature H. P. Blavatsky has more clearly explained than any other writer, and who have also been referred to in Mr. Leadbeater’s rehearsal of occult teachings concerning the inhabitants of the astral plane. The acceptance of that doctrine makes at once explainable many otherwise “unexplainable” facts, such as the exhibitions of superhuman strength by Miss Emma Abbott, &c., in regard to which H. P. Blavatsky says:-
“They have no forms, and in trying to describe what they are, it is better to say that they are ‘centres of force,’ having instinctive desires but no consciousness, as we understand it. Others, of certain elements and species, change from under a fixed law which Kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just material enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in either, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, in which occupation they are readiliy helped by the ‘human elementaries’ or ’shells.’ More than this, they can so condense it as to make for themselves thangible bodies, which by their protean power they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present.”
And again, H. P. Blavatsky says in regard to those elementals who exhibit great physical strength:-
“Poruthu Madon is the ‘wrestling demon,’ he is the strongest of all, and whenever there are feats shown in which physical force is requried, such as levitations, or by taming wild animals, he will help the performer by keeping him above the soil, or will overpower the wild beast,” &c.
But it is of another kind of “spirits” that I wish to speak, and which are the more dangerous as they appear under the alluring mask of “spirit-brides” and “spirit-lovers” but which are nothing else but vampires, extracting vitality from those whom they obsess, and through them, from all with whom they come into contact. These vampires are exceedingly numerous, and I have had ample opportunity to observe during a twenty years’ investigation of spiritism the detrimental effects of vampirism. If, in the following pages, I do not give the exact names of the person referred to, it is for obvious reasons; but I am willing to reveal these names confidentially to anybody, provided that it is of importance that he should be made acquainted with them.

I am not the only person to whom a great many spiritually-inclined people are known to claim to live on most intimate terms of soul communion and even bodily intercourse with their “duals.” They are always in communication with their unseen friend, and it would be useless to attempt to persuade them that they are labouring under an hallucination, and that the “spirit” is a creation of their own fancy. They feel the presence of that “spirit,” they ask him questions and he answers them, they converse with him, and many instances are known in which such “spirits” have “materialized” and been seen objectively, not only by the mediums themselves, but also by other persons present. In olden times such observing elementals, if male and attached to a woman, were called “incubi,” if female and attached to a man they were called “succub.” The history of mediaeval witchcraft is full of accounts of their doings; neither can any intelligent reader studying that history set down all the reported cases as being lies and superstitions due to ignorance. There were as intelligent men at those times as there are now, and on the whole there was more known at those times about the occult laws of nature than is known at present, and if our modern investigators would take the trouble to study the works of Theophrastus Paracelsius, they might find many a problem already solved, over the solution of which they are vainly breaking their heads.
Persons obsessed by a vampire may be very intellectual and refined, but they are always sensually inclined people, and usually given to secret vices. To a sensitive person the shake of their hands feels clammy and cadaverous. If you are for a long time in their presence you will feel exhausted; it is as if they were drawing strength from you. It is also very likely that after you leave them you will be for a few days in a very bad humour, liable to quarrel and to find fault, and not unfrequently it happens that a person having been in company of such a “medium” will feel strongly inclined to commit suicide. Many are even driven to suicide by such vampires, without knowing the source of that influence. Moreover, the abstraction of vitality does not necessarily cease upon leaving the presence of the “medium”; the connection once formed the vampire will follow you to any distance and abstract life from you. A case is known to me in which a previously healthy young lady, after visiting such an obsessed person, experienced a continual loss of vitality, causing a waste of flesh amounting to about three pounds per week.

The vampire draws strength from its medium. For this reason such mediums usually have a voracious appetite, they sleep a great deal; but, nevertheless, they do not grow strong, but are always exhausted and unfit for fatiquing or continuous labour. They are irritable, highly emotional, ready to shed tears for insignificant reasons, loving solitude, and finding their greatest comfort in the intercourse with their duals. Being continually vampirized they in their turn unconsciously vampirize every sensitive person with whom they come into contact, and they instinctively seek out such persons and invite them to stay at their house. I know of an old lady, a vampire, who thus ruined the health of a lot of robust servant girls, whom she took into her service and made them sleep in her room. They were all in good health when they entered, but soon they began to sicken, they became emaciated and consumptive, and had to leave the service. Two of them died shortly after.

A young lady at G– had an admirer who asked her in marriage, but as he was a drunkard she refused and married another. Thereupon that lover shot himself, and soon after that event a vampire, assuming his form, visited her frequently at night, especially when her husband was absent. She could not see him but felt his presence in a way that could leave no room for doubt. The medical faculty did not know what to make out of the case, they called it “hysterics” and tried in vain every remedy in the parmacopoeia, until she had at last had the spirit exorcised by a man of strong faith. In this case there is an elemental making use of, and being aided by, the elementary of the suicide.

A miller at D__ had a healthy servant boy, who, soon after entering service, began to fail. He had a ravenous appetite, but nevertheless grew daily more feeble and emaciated. Being interrogated, he at last confessed that a thing which he could not see, but which he could plainly feel, came to him every night and settled upon his stomach, drawing all the life out of him, so that he became paralyzed for the time being, and could neither move nor cry out. Thereupon the miller agreed to share the bed with that boy, and proposed to him that he should give him a certain sign when the vampire arrived. This was done, and when the sign was given the miller grasped an invisible but very tangible substance that rested upon the boy’s stomach, and although it struggled to escape, he grasped it firmly and threw it into the fire. After that the boy recovered, and there was an end of these visits. Those who, like myself, have on innumerable occasions removed “astral tumors,” and thereby cured the physical tumors, will find the above neither “incredible” nor “unexplainable.” Moreover, the above accounts do not refer to events of the past, but to persons still living in this country.

A woman in this vicinity has an incubus, or, as she calls it, a “dual,” with whom she lives on the most intimate terms as wife and husband. She converses with him and he makes her to the most irrational things. He has many whims, and she, being a woman of means, gratifies them. If her dual wants to go to see Italy “through her eyes,” she has to go to Italy and let him enjoy the sights. She does not care for balls and theatres; but her dual wants to attend thm, and so she has to go. She gives lessons to her “dual,” and “educates” him in the things of this world, and commits no end of follies. At the same time her “dual” draws all her strength from her, and she has to vampirize everybody with whom she comes into contact to make up for the loss.

But how do such vampires grow, or how are they attracted? In the human system are contained all the seeds for good and for evil, and those that are cultivated grow by attracting the elements corresponding to their own nature from the astral plane, in the same way as a seed in the earth attracts its appropriate elements from the earth. The power that stimulates the seed of a plant to grow is the sunshine, the power that causes a psychic germ to develop is thought. If the sexual instinct of a person is very strong and cannot be gratified or overcome, the mind rests upon it, until the thought causes it to grow. It attracts from the astral form corresponding elemental forces, which take shape in the organism of the medium, are supplied with his own vitality and assume a form according to his own imagination. Thus the form of the elemental may be a product of the patient’s fancy, but its substance is real; it is like every other creature, a manifestation of individual will and thought.

But there are also other cases of vampires, and space permits me to mention only typical ones as samples of certain cases. In Vienna a certain lawyer became very much incensed against another lawyer on account of the loss of a lawsuit. The second lawyer, whom I will call T., was a very strong and healthy man, but at the beginning of December, 1888, he suddenly began to grow more and more feeble, day by day, nor could the doctors find out any cause for it; while he himself said he felt as if every day a portion of blood were drawn from him. During the month of December, the other lawyer, his enemy, whom I will call H., and who had previously been in feeble health, grew daily more strong, and went on a pleasure trip to Meran. On December 20th, 1888, Mr. T. died from exhaustion, after asserting that he had been vampirized by H. From that day Mr. H.’s health began to fail, and on January 1st, 1889, a telegram came from Meran announcing his death. As a matter of course, in this case the scientific proof, such as the sceptic wants, is missing, but to those present all the little details and circumstances connected with the case, and which cannot here be entered into, were sufficient to convince them that it was a case of vampirism by the living.
All such things become very easily explainable as soon as we accept as a working hyphothesis the sevenfold classification of the principles of the constitution of man as taught by H. P. Blavatsky, and previously to her, although not so plainly, by Theophrastus, Paracelsus, and others. A knowledge of the odic odor, “ethereal body,” solves many a problem; but if we wish to explain such phenomena while we ignore all that is not already accepted by official science, we will never find our way through the mysteries presented by the “nightside of nature.” Mere external observation does not go to the root of a thing, and a science that is proud of ignoring is no science at all.

But there are also vampires of the grave. They used to be known by the name of “ghouls.” H. P. Blavatsky calls such beings the “Shudala Madan,” and says that “he delights where crimes and murder were committed, near burial places and places of execution.” It may be this demon elemental that sucks the vitality of living people and feeds the corpse in the the grave to which he is attached, thus keeping up an appearance of life in the corpse. This is rather a disgusting subject, but, for all that, this does not prevent the facts being true. This vampirism of the grave became, at one time, of such an epidemic character, and so many people became victims of it, that it was made the subject of an official investigation by the authorities in Kisolova, in Hungary, also in Meduegga, in Servia, and other places, on which occasion the most horrible details were brought to light. Those interested in such things may find ample material for investigation in Professor Maximilian Perty’s book Mystiche Erscheinungen in der Natur. Some cases are also described in H. P. Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled.

Elementals are semi-intelligent forces of nature, which may become personified in man, and a person obsessed by such an elemental is himself, to a certain extent, that elemental personified. The elemental having originally no individual life of its own, in becoming individualized in man, absorbs from his life, and is endowed by him with his own consciousness. In this way another centre of conciousness, besides his own, is called into existence in a person, and thus may arise many of the perplexing cases of double consciousness which have not yet been satisfactorily explained, and which never will be fully understood as long as we leave out of consideration one of the prominent factors in the production of physical phenomena, namely, the elemental spririts of nature. The proper place to study the nature of obsessing spirits would be within the precincts of insane asylums, and if their nature were known a most important factor would be added for the treatment of insanity. At present the principal cause of insanity is ignored by medical science, and thus medical science deprives itself of some of the means of accomplishing the object of its existence.
Hallein, Austria. Feb. 14th, 1896.

This includes all five cases that Robert D’Onston Stephenson alluded to, and is therefore the correct text.

Richard Stephenson Snr.

Archives, Press Reports, Research, Stephenson Family No Comments »

It seems like an eternity since I last discussed Robert D’Onston Stephenson or his family.  Here is a post about Stephenson’s father, Richard Stephenson Senior.

There has been some discussion of late regarding the role of Richard Stephenson Snr, Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father, whilst in Hull with several sources claiming that Stephenson was the “Treasurer for the Hull Corporation.” This is misleading and quiet frankly a load of rubbish.

To fully understand the role of Water Bailiff’s in Hull one must look back at Hull’s history. Hull during the 1700’s and 1800’s had a dock system that was expanding at an incredible rate. As such the old harbour was no longer fit for purpose, and several inland docks were created around the old town of Hull. Because of this move there was quiet a shift in taxatation and how the local organisations could take advantage of this. This resulted in the Hull Corporation, Hull Docks Committee and Hull Guild of the Holy Trinity taking a slice of the taxes that were obtained from ships coming into Hull. Any finances paid were split three ways and as such all three organisations had their own collecters. Richard Stephenson Senior, Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s father was employed by the Hull Corporation to be their collector. He was never in the role of the Treasurer.

1866 The Hull Packet and East Riding Times features the following advertisement,

WATER BAILIFF. THE TOWN COUNCIL will on the 12 of January, 1866, proceed to Elect a WATER BAILEIFF and Receiver of the Corporation Dues, who shall make that his sole business a Salary of £120 per annum, with a further [illegible] of One percent upon the total amount of [illigble] received by him. Additional information may be known at the Clerk’s Office, where written applications for the role will be received up to noon on Saturday the 6th of January 1866, By Order- Robert Wells, Town Clerk.

1866January 12th Richard Stephenson becomes Water Bailiff for the Hull Corporation. He receives a quarterly wage of £30 plus commission and expenses. A letter held at the Hull History Centre reads,

Sculcoates 12th. Jan 1866. Gentlemen, I beg to thank you for the honour you have done me in electing me to the office of Water Bailiff and Receiver of Corporation Dues. It will be my constant endeavour to merit the confidence thus reposed in me. NB. My sureties are, Mr. Robt. Dawber, Linnaeus Street. “ J. Shirley Richardson, Parliament Street. I am Gentlemen, Your most ob. Svt. Richard Stephenson. To The Mayor
Aldermen and Councillors Kingston Upon Hull.

1866 January 12th The Hull Packet and East Riding Times carries the following,

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING YESTERDAY. ELECTION OF WATER BAILIFF. The first business of the meeting was the election of a water bailiff to collect the corporation’s port dues. The salary is £120, with 1 per cent on the amount collected. 50 voted. Mr. Richard Stephenson, broker, was elected, having 26 votes.

Over the years I have read through the Hull Committee Meetings Minute books which features a quarterly rundown of the finances that Richard Stephenson collected, the money that he was paid, and the expenses that he was eligible for, including coal and stationary.

Furthermore, the following names can be found in the Hull and East Yorkshire Trade Directories of this period,

White’s Hull and District Trade Directory 1867
Water Bailiff Richard Stephenson
Borough Treasurer William Bolton Esq
William Bolton, Borough Treasurer, 4 Victoria Terrace.

Field’s 1876 Trade Directrory of Hull
Treasurer George Cobb
Receiver of Dock Dues for Hull Dock Company Mr. J. Wright

Kelly’s North and East Riding of Yorkshire Directory 1879
Town Treasurer Edward Headley Witty

White’s 1882 Hull Directory
Town Treasurer Mr. E. H. Witty
Water Bailiff Richard Stephenson

Kelly’s 1885
Town Treasurer Edward Headley Witty

Atkinson 1888
Borough Treasurer Mr. J. Thelwall

Images of the 1866 Minutes of Committee Meetings by the Hull Corporation can be seen here,

Frederick Bailey Deeming chapter list.

Deeming 2 Comments »

The chapter list is finished, with just a few minor editing points to be addressed, here goes,

Frederick Bailey Deeming 1853-1892


Chapter I               Frederick Bailey Deeming 1853 – 1881

Chapter II             Frederick Bailey Deeming’s First Wife Sydney and South Africa 1881-1888

Chapter III           Frederick Bailey Deeming in Africa during 1888

Chapter IV            Frederick Bailey Deeming in New Zealand during 1888

Chapter V             Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Second Wife- Beverley and Hull 1890

Chapter VI            Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Trial for Fraud in Hull – Local and National Press opinions

Chapter VII          Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Trial in Hull for Fraud in Hull – The Official Files 1890

Chapter VIII        Frederick Bailey Deeming’s in the Hull Watch Committee Meeting Minutes, 1890 – 1891

Chapter IX            Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Hull Watch Files – CTCW/179, 1891

Chapter X             Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Home Office Files – HO144/479/X30712 1890 – 1892

Chapter                 XI           Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Preston Murder of Mary Jane Langley. 1891

Chapter XII          Frederick Bailey Deeming at Rainhill  1891

Chapter XIII        Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Third Wife, Rainhill and Australia, 1891

Chapter XIV         Frederick Bailey Deeming and the murder of Emily Mather, Australia, 1892

Chapter XV          Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Fourth and Fifth Marriage Proposal, Australia 1891-                                1892

Chapter XVI         Frederick Bailey Deeming Stands Trial 1892 – Press opinions

Chapter XVII       Frederick Bailey Deeming – The Australian Trial File - 1892

Chapter XVIII     Frederick Bailey Deeming’s Death 1892

Chapter XIX         Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Whitechapel Murder Files - 1892

Chapter XX          Frederick Bailey Deeming and the Whitechapel Murders

Chapter XXI         Frederick Bailey Deeming and the letter from Eddowes.

Chapter XXII       Frederick Bailey Deeming - The East End Murderer - I knew him

Chapter XXIII     Weird and Wonderful Deeming stories

Chapter XXIV      Frederick Bailey Deeming and Mr. Jabez Balfour

Chapter XXV       Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Australian Files – 1892

Chapter XXVI      Frederick Bailey Deeming’s belongings

Chapter XXVII    Frederick Bailey Deeming – Medical opinions

Chapter XXVIII  Frederick Bailey Deeming – Old theories debunked

                                Frederick Bailey Deeming – Conclusion.



Appendix I            List of exhibits produced at Deeming’s Trial.

Appendix II          Property foind in Deeming’s possession when arrested.

Appendix III        Precise career of Frederick Bailey Deeming as presented at the trial.

Appendix IV         Frederick Bailey Deeming in the Hull Press post 1892

Appendix V          Frederick Bailey Deeming in the International Press post 1892

The Murder of Mary Jane Langley

Deeming, Press Reports, Research 8 Comments »

Today marks the 120th anniversary of the discovery of the body of Mary Jane Langley. Hull Daily Mail, Monday August 1st 2011, features a fantastic article on the research I have conducted, and the thoughts of the remaining relatives here in Hull. Here is the article that featured in Ripperologist Magazine,

Frederick Bailey Deeming in Preston and Hedon

 Over the years a number of crimes have been attributed to Frederick Bailey Deeming, with claims that his criminal exploits were carried out in Germany, Africa, Australia, and Great Britain.  This article will not look at Deeming’s criminal career, or candidacy as a Ripper suspect, but will in fact explore a little known unsolved murder that Deeming was connected to by the press in Yorkshire.

I must admit, that despite having a respectable knowledge of local crime and murders, I had not heard of the tragedy that befell Mary Jane Langley in Long-lane, Preston, despite visiting the area of Hedon, Preston, and Sproatley on numerous occasions.  I had friends and family for many years in these areas, and had often cycled out to the small villages on the weekends.  I first came across the case on a trip to the East Riding Archives to look for information pertaining to Frederick Bailey Deeming, under his alias Harry Lawson.  As I was searching I was asked if he had any known aliases, so with a wry smile on my face I informed the helpful staff that most people knew him as the notorious Frederick Bailey Deeming.  At this point it seemed to turn on a light switch in the minds of the staff, who quickly produced a large book packed full of newspaper cuttings, photographs and primary sources on Beverley’s rich history. [1] Among the cuttings were local historical announcements, parish reports, cuttings covering the Baccarat Scandal, and some fantastic reports on Frederick Bailey Deeming.  Whilst most of the reports covered the trial and subsequent hanging, there was one report that really got my attention.  The report featured in the Yorkshire Post that stated,

WILLIAMS AND THE NEWLAND MURDER A Hull correspondent says:- The coincidence between the discharge of Lawson in July and the mysterious murder of Mary Jane Langley at Preston, near Hull, the last week in that month, was remarked upon in Hull yesterday, when the supposition that Lawson was Williams and became known; but there is nothing whatever to connect the two events.  Supposing Lawson to be Williams, even then he was, according to the dates given of his movements, busily engaged in Liverpool. [2]

I searched for more references to Deeming and the unsolved murder and found another report from a few days later in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independant, the article stated,

DEEMING’S CONDUCT IN YORKSHIRE Deeming was allowed to leave the Hull Gaol on the 16th of July, and remained in the vicinity for a few days to settle matters, it is stated, with the solicitors, Locking and Holditch, who had defended him, and it was during these few days that a horrible murder was committed about five miles from Hull, at Preston, but the police have been unable to trace the murderer of the young lady – Miss Langley – the daughter of a farmer.  The police have now a supposition that Deeming may have committed the crime. [3]

Given that newspapers have gotten it wrong, and continue to do so, I decided to dig a little further into the murder of Mary Jane Langley, and was surprised at what I uncovered but first I will cover Deeming’s antecedents in Hull and East Yorkshire.  It is a well ascertained fact that Deeming was in Hull in February and March 1890, this comes from the marriage between Deeming and Helen Matheson can be seen in the following marriage index entry,

Name: Helen Matheson, Year: 1890, Quarter: Jan- Feb- March, District: Beverley, County: Yorkshire, Volume: 9d, Page: 148

The entry in St Mary’s Church Parish Registers reads,

1890 Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church in the Parish of St Mary’s Beverley in the County of York, No: 462, When Married: Feb 18th 1890

Name and Surname

Harry Lawson

Helen Matheson

Married in the Parish Church in accordance to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church

The names of the father’s and their professions do not fit in with the known facts, and the marriage entry has a long black line, not unlike a cut, through the entry.  It is my opinion, based on the physical appearance of this document and the known facts, the bottom half of the entry is not part of the original top piece and added at a later date.  The entry is held on microfiche at the Treasures House in Beverley, a part of East Riding Archives, and the original document was unavailable for perusal so I could not ascertain what had happened and why the entries of the fathers did not match.

On February 22nd 1890 the Beverley Guardian featured the following,

MARRIAGES Beverley- February 18th, at St Mary’s Church, by the Rev. Cannon Quirk, assisted by the Rev. H. E. Gaussed, curate, Harry Lawson, younger son of the late H. Lawson, Liverpool, to Helen, elder daughter of the late Findlay Matheson, Inland Revenue.

Given that the names in the newspaper do not match the names of the fathers on the parish records, I believe in this instance that the newspaper article is actually right, for the simple reason that the parish records are damaged, and the record featuring the father’s names is on a separate piece of paper in the files.  This indicates that it was lost, or damaged, and that in the process of repairing the records, an unrelated record was added to the page.  What happened next is the subject of much debate, with some sources claiming that Deeming went down south before returning to Hull but do not provide a source for such a claim. [4] [5] What is known is that on March 15th 1890 Frederick Bailey Deeming defrauded Raynoldson’s Jeweler’s and fled Hull for Monte Video via Southampton. [6] The case filled newspaper columns in Hull when Detective Grasby was sent to apprehend Deeming and return him to Hull, with Grasby’s own account of his adventures on the high seas making interesting reading and Grasby something of a local hero. [7] On October 16th 1890 Deeming was brought before the Hull Magistrates and received a 9 month sentence for his part in the jewelry frauds and was subsequently sent to Hull Jail. [8] It was during his time in Hull Jail that the 1891 Census was taken with Deeming appearing under his alias of Harry Lawson, one of the reasons why researchers in the past have had difficulty finding him.  The Census entry reads, [9]

Harry Lawson      32           Prisoner                                Engine Fitter                       

Joseph Dawber    46           Prisoner                                Solicitor

Ripperologist’s will note that Joseph Dawber, Robert D’Onston Stephenson’s cousin was serving time for his part in financial fraud.  If one goes by Deeming’s sentence he should have been released by July 16th 1891 with several newspaper articles stating that he was released “early July 1891” [10] with one source giving the exact date of July 16th 1891. [11] It was the latter report that claimed Deeming remained in Hull for several days after his release to meet with his legal team.  It was during this period that a young girl was murdered on a small lane between Hull and the outlying village of Preston.


The Preston Murder


On the morning of Thursday July 30th 1891 William Langley, a farmer residing at residing at West End Farm, Long-lane, Preston set out to Driffield with his wife in order to attend a farmers market and pay their rent.  The couple waved to their 18 year old daughter Mary Jane as they set off, taking note that she stood at the garden gate waving them off. [12] It would be the last time they saw their daughter alive. 

The family was registered in the 1891 Census residing at 110 North-road, Preston,

Class RG12, P3921, F47, P17, GSU Roll6099031

William Langley 53           Head Farmer

Mary                      44           Wife

Mary Jane             18           Daughter

William                  16           Son         Milkman

Frederick              11           Son         Scholar

Thomas                  9              Son Birth registration DRY/31/53

Rachel                   6              Daughter Birth registration DRY/37/367

Elizabeth               7              Daughter Birth registration DRY/35/451

Upon returning to their home at 6.30 they noticed that Mary Jane had failed to do any of the house work requested and made enquiries with their son William to ascertain where Mary Jane had gone.  William informed his parents that Mary Jane had left Preston for Hull with the purpose of getting a photograph of her self. [13] Some years earlier Mary Jane had left Preston unannounced to visit Cleethorpes, and Mr. Langley had recently found a letter from Albert Hall, Mary Jane’s boyfriend, that stated, “I shall only be too happy to go to Cleethorpes with you.” With this information Mr. Langley had assumed that Mary Jane had visited Cleethorpes for the day, and thought nothing of it. [14] On Friday July 31st 1891 Mr. William Langley had still not heard from his daughter, finding this highly unusual he decided to visit Hull to speak with Mary Jane’s friends.  The family had previously resided on Southcoates-lane, off Holderness-road in East Hull, and still had friends in the area. [15] On the off chance that Mary Jane was staying with Arthur Hall, Mr. Langley also decided to pay the young man a visit, but upon arriving he discovered that Mr. Hall was not home, but he was in the town and not at Cleethorpes as previously thought and certainly not with Mary Jane.  It was also proved before the Hull Police that Mr. Hall was working in Hessle during the period in which Mary Jane had been murdered. [16] [17] By Saturday Mr. Langley had sent his son William to Hull with the purpose of finding out if Mary Jane had visited any of her friends.  William Langley Junior made enquiries at Mr. Edmonds Photography store in Witham, East Hull, and Mr. Edmonds confirmed that he had indeed taken Mary Jane’s photograph. [18] [19] Mr. William Mortimer Edmonds, had a photographic studio at 123 Witham which is a road connecting the town of Hull with Holderness-road and was easily reached by the tram service that ran east. [20] It is stated that she paid 3s and 6d for the photograph and left his studio at three o’clock. [21] It is unknown where Mary Jane went next, Mr. Edmonds had stated that Mary Jane had told him she was “to make for Hull then head to Marfleet via the train.” [22] The railway service that ran between Hull and Withernsea, taking in Southcoates, Marfleet and Hedon was opened on June 26th 1854 and ran along 18 and ½ miles until it was closed to passengers, under the Beeching Axe, by October 19th 1964, and finally closed to all transport on May 3rd 1965. [23] The station named Southcoates stood on Holderness-road, between Witham and Southcoates-lane, places that Mary Jane was well acquainted with, but as the line ran from Paragon Station from 1864 it is quiet possible that Mary Jane set off from the main station.  Regardless of where Mary Ann set off from, a gatekeeper at Marfleet Station had claimed to have seen Mary Jane arrive at the station on the ten past five train from Hull on the Thursday evening although other sources refute this and claim Mary Jane appeared at the station at 2.19. [24] In later days a number of eyewitnesses were found by the police and the press, and one such eyewitness was Annie Severs.  Severs was the niece of Mr. Smith of Sycamore Farm, and the surrounding land.  Mary Jane had to pass across these fields to get home and severs remembers seeing a girl in a black dress who had got off the train from Hull at Marfleet just after two o’clock.  Severs recalled seeing her wearing her gold watch and chain, and that they engaged in conversation.  When pressed by the press Severs admitted to seeing a man pass by before Mary Jane, and described him as rough looking and tall. [25] Severs account was at odds with previous accounts and was ruled out by some. Another eyewitness was a man named only as Kitching, who was employed in a field with a rolling machine.  It was another field that Mary Jane had to cross, and Kitching recalls seeing a young girl in a black dress carrying an umbrella. Kitching recalls seeing no one else, nor hearing or seeing anything out of the ordinary after his sighting. [26]

With enquiries reaching a dead end, Mr. Langley had told his wife that he planned to go to the Hull police, but told his wife that he had a dream the previous night that a dog had ran from a ditch on the lane outside their property and that had gone into the ditch and found his daughter lying dead. [27] Mr. Langley had to pass the exact spot on the way to Marfleet Station, and with a feeling of dread he looked over the bridge into the drain below.  It was here that he discovered his daughter’s body lying dead. [28] A local man named only as “Taylor” was passing the scene and made a short journey to Lower Farm to raise help from Doctor Soutter.  Soutter returned to the scene and examined the body; his findings were reported in numerous press accounts as thus,

The ditch was perfectly dry, and there were no apparent signs of a struggle.  Deceased was lying on her left side, partly concealed from view under the bridge, with her head resting on her umbrella, and her clothes turned up as far as her knees.  A wet hankerchief was found near the body, and, singular to relate, her jacket and hand were found some distance away.  A jagged wound in the girl’s throat was discovered, sufficient enough to fit a persons fist, and it could not have been self inflicted.  The girls silver Geneva watch and gold albert were missing.  The body was left until between four and five when the East Riding Police arrived. [29]

Several police forces, including Hull, Hedon and Sproatley, joined forces and soon several suspects were arrested.  Among them was a James Parkin, who was found to have attacked and threatened two women out at Sutton, another small village on the outskirts of Hull, albeit four miles to the north.  The police arrested Parkin and on his person found two purses from the two women he had accosted at Sutton.  Eyewitnesses soon came forward and confirmed that Parkin was working when Mary Jane was murdered, thus ruling him out as a suspect. [30] Another suspect was soon arrested by the name of John Rennard, known locally as Jack Rennard or Jack Renny.  Rennard by all accounts was a family man brought up by a corn miller named William Rennard in the parish of Southcoates in Hull, the same parish that the Langley family had resided in. [31] By 1871 the Rennard family were living in Beeton-street, a location between Witham and the Southcoates railway station. [32] Ripperologist’s will also be aware that Beeton-street was the street where Doctor Frederick Richard Chapman’s brother resided!  The family appears again on the street in a trade directory with William Rennard, Miller, 87 Beeton-street. [33] By 1881 William Rennard had passed away and the family is still residing at 87 Beeton-street off Holderness-road in East Hull.  By this point John Rennard is working as a shipwright, [34] and by 1886 he marries Agnes A Bradley at St Andrews Church, Drypool. [35] By the 1891 Census the family is residing on Courtney-street, off Holderness-road in Mawson’s Court. [36] The street stood just one street east of Beeton-street and the Hull to Withernsea line ran between the two streets.  Standing opposite Courtney-street was the Nag’s Head public House, a place that Rennard was a regular drinker as we shall see soon.  It was claimed that Rennard had been drinking in Preston, funnily enough at another public house named the Nag’s Head and that upon leaving he had met with Mary Jane Langley in Long-lane, killing her, and wiping the blood on his pants before stealing her watch and making for Hull to drink at the Nag’s Head on Holderness-road opposite Courtney-street. [37] The problem here is that the police responsible for the apprehension of Rennard had not only got their times wrong, but Rennard had very good reason for his bloody trousers.  Rennard was known by many to be a quiet man with a passion for ratting, and would often take his dog into the fields around Hull at that time to capture and kill rats.  It was also stated in the same piece that Rennard would often visit Marflett, Hedon and Preston with his dog, and take the walk back to Hull. [38] Of course it didn’t matter if Rennard was ratting or not, it was soon revealed that he had an even better reason for having blood covered trousers, and his wife was quiet vocal about the blood stained trousers, even going so far as revealing that she had more than one pair of trousers that were smeared with blood. [39] It was revealed that James Rennard didn’t wear underwear and suffered from heat spots on his calves and thighs.  Rennard would sit and scratch the sores for hours until they bled.  It was a condition that was partially created due to the rubbing of his trouser lining with his legs.  Doctor Keelan testified that Rennard’s condition was a natural condition brought on by heat boils and excessive scratching. [40] Representatives from Hull Daily visited Rennard’s house and turned a pair of his trousers inside out, finding blood in the areas that his wife had stated, furthermore, the press spoke to several farmers in the region who all testified that they allowed Rennard to use their land for ratting. [41] Despite all the evidence showing that Rennard was innocent and a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Hull Police sent him to Hull Jail to await trial.  It was also at this point that Mr. Edmondson admitted that Mary Jane could have left him earlier than he thought, and therefore could have caught the earlier train.  It was also revealed that the East Riding Police had discovered that Rennard had sold the coat he wore on the day of the murder to a man named Keegan, but upon inspection the coat revealed no trace of blood on it. [42] By August 15th 1891 the newspapers were filled with remarkable stories about the trial of Rennard and how it collapsed. [43] Among the many facts that the police had been overzealous to tie to Rennard included,

  • Footprints in the drain that did not match Rennard’s shoe size
  • Bloodstains on the insides of his trousers only
  • No bloodstains on the outside of his trousers or coat
  • The watch that Rennard had in his possession was a mans watch, not a females
  • Eyewitnesses described a “very rough looking man heading towards Long-lane” but this man could not be found.
  • Eyewitnesses reported a bloodstained man wearing a felt hat on Beverley-road, but this man could not be found.

The jury returned a verdict of “Willful murder against person or persons unknown,” and Rennard was liberated, so happy were the locals that they took Rennard out into the street and pulled him around in a cab, with many locals starting a financial fund to help any financial costs that might have arisen whilst Rennard was in Hull Jail. [44] [45] 

Mary Jane Langley’s death was registered with the following information,


Name: Mary Jane Langley, Born: about 1873, Year of Registration: 1891, Quarter: July- August- September, Age: 18, District: Sculcoates, County: Yorkshire, Volume: 9D, Page: 101

 The Hull Corporation’s death registers, held at Hull History Centre, feature the following information,

 Compartment: 112, Grave: 92, Death Reported: 30th July 1891, Burial Date: 4th August 1891, Age: 18,

Trade: Farmer, Residence: Preston, Address: 1 Regent Place, Cause of Death: Found with her throat cut in Preston Lane, Informant: William Langley

 The grave, which can be found at Hedon-road General Cemetery reads,

 In affectionate remembrance of Esther, the beloved daughter of William and Mary Langley of Southcoates, who died August 2nd 1883 aged 6 years and 10 months.  Also Harriet, sister of the above who died at Preston (in Holderness) March 20th 1888 aged 21 years,  Also Mary Jane, sister of the above, who was suddenly cut down July 30th 1891, aged 18 years.  It was not that our love was cold, that earthly lights were burning dim, But that the Sheppard from his fold, Had smiled and drawn them unto him. (A Middleton)

 The Hull Press featured several reports covering the scenes at the funeral, and the masses of people that turned up to pay their respects at both the graveside, and the location of Mary Jane’s death.  The causes of death, and dates registered are as follows,

 1883 August 6th Esther Mary Langley, Daughter of William Langley, Cow Keeper, Farmer, Southcoates-lane, 6 years 6 months, brain fever.  1888 March 23rd Harriet Langley, West End, Preston, 21 years old, dropsy.  1891 August 4th Mary Jane Langley, North-lane, Preston, Found with her throat cut in Preston-lane.


Rennard went back to normal life and was later registered at Courtney-street in 1901 [46], and his death was registered in 1947. [47] There is no other mention in the Hull Press or Magistrates Sessions of Rennard and it appears as though he led a quiet life with his family.  His son, John Rennard Junior is listed in a list of enlisted men from Hull and Yorkshire fighting in the Great War. [48]

The case attracted quiet a lot of local and national press interest, and with that came some unusual claims.  Mr. Langley claims that he had had a dream that his daughter was dead, a day before he found her, and one church goer in Hull wrote to the press on several occasions to state that spiritualists should be brought in to solve the crime.  They were largely ignored.

 Frederick Bailey Deeming and the murder of Mary Jane Langley

 With the press response in 1892 claiming that Deeming could have been involved we must examine the similarities, if there are any, between the murder’s of Mary Jane Langley, Marie Deeming, Marie Deeming jnr., Bertha Deeming, Sydney Francis Deeming, Lilla Deeming, and Emily Mather.  It is also vital that we must check Deeming’s whereabouts during this period to see if Deeming was indeed in the district, or whether he had already left for Rainhill.

A brief look at the medical reports from each death is interesting, with both the Preston Murder and Melbourne Murder being covered in some depth in the press, although the official inquest reports from the Preston Murder have vanished despite a thorough search of the Hull History Centre, East Riding Archives, and Borthwick Institute in York. 

Without official reports, I am going to look at the published inquest testimonies as reported in the Hull Press.  The case was covered nationally, but I am going from the reports that were written by correspondents that were sat in on the proceedings.  The best report on the inquest on the murder of Mary Jane Langley came on August 10th 1891, and featured Doctor Soutter, who was the first medical man on the scene. [49] He claimed, 

The wound on the right side of the neck extended five inches across to the left, the margins of the wound being an inch and half apart.  There was a scored incision of the skin of the left side continuous with the wound a quarter of an inch long.  The edges of the large wound were jagged in several places.  There was another somewhat similar scoring on the right side an inch long.  On looking into the interior of the wound the upper part of the larynx was in view, the trachea being divided, showing both cords.  The gullet was also divided.  The wound appeared deepest on the left side, but this was due to the larynx being pushed over to that side.

In the same article, Doctor Soutter made the following claims,  

There were no marks of violence on the thighs or genitals.

The wound had probably been inflicted by a right handed man.

The murderer had made attempts to hide the body in the ditch below the bridge.

The next report is taken from the trial of Frederick Bailey Deeming in Australia on the body of Emily Williams, recorded on the 8th, and 22nd of March, and 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th days of April in the year 1892. [50] The report covers the testimony of William Lowell Mullen, and states,   

 William Lowell Mullen, states, I am a Doctor of Medicine practising at Melbourne

On the afternoon of the fourth instant at the Morgue in conjunction with Dr. Mollison I made a post mortem examination of the deceased.  Emily Williams.  The throat was found to be cut in two distinct places. These wounds began separately on the left side and ran into each other on the right side forming a large gaping wound. The Upper wound started immediately below the angle of the jaw on the left side and passed across the fron [sic] of the neck to the middle of the right side of the neck in a direction slightly downward to the right. Its deep direction was slightly upwards. The thyroid cartilage was cleanly divided transversely and the lower part of the pharynx was exposed. The Lower wound began on the left side an inch and a quarter below the lobe of the ear on the left side. It extended horizontally across the neck joining the upper wound on the right side; it had passed through the windpipe immediately below the cricoid cartilage and had also divided the gullet. The large blood vessels on both sides were divided by these wounds.

The report goes on and the following points are made,

On examining the vagina the hymen was absent, but there was a well marked fourchette. The generative organs were normal. In my opinion the deceased had never been confined of a child.

The immediate course [sic] of death was haemorrhage from the cut throat.

 The wording describing the wounds in the case of Mary Jane Langley are open to interpretation, sadly Doctor Soutter does not give any idea as to what side the wound began on, claiming only that The wound on the right side of the neck extended five inches across to the left.  From this are we to believe that the killer started from the right to the left?  Soutter also fails to mention whether the killer was in front, or behind Mary Jane, but does indicate that he believes the killer was a right handed man.  The two marks, or scoring, on either side of the throat are interesting.  Could this be an attempt to cut the throat in more than one place?  Sadly without official documentation and a sketch of the body we will never know.  Soutter also mentions that the killer had tried to hide the body by pushing it into a small space under the bridge. 

Mullen’s account of the murder of Emily Williams is a bit more thorough and goes into the murder in much greater detail, the full account can be found online at the Extraordinary Tale of Frederick Bailey Deeming website. [51] The main elements that make up the medical testimony from William Lowell Mullen are

  • Emily Williams.  The throat was found to be cut in two distinct places. These wounds began separately on the left side and ran into each other on the right side forming a large gaping wound.
  • On examining the vagina the hymen was absent, but there was a well marked fourchette. The generative organs were normal.
  • The immediate course [sic] of death was haemorrhage from the cut throat.

The report does note that various fractures where noted on the skull, however; this was not the cause of death. 

In the case of the Rainhill murders it is again up the testimony in the press that helps us ascertain what happened to Marie Deeming and her four children, but again we are faced with difficulties in ascertaining the minutia, and instead left with the following, [52]

  • The body of the first child was removed and taken to an upstairs bedroom where it was discovered the child’s throat had been cut.
  • The body of a fair haired little girl, aged about seven, was removed and it was discovered that her throat had been cut.
  • The body of a woman was discovered…her throat had been cut.

Another report features a quote from Doctor M’Lellan, who spoke at the inquest, which states, [53]

  • The girl Bertha had been strangled, and all the others had died from wounds in their throats.  They were slashing cuts right across. 

The same publication also featured the testimony of Inspector Pattinson, which stated, [54]

  • We first found the body of Maria.  She was lying face downward on the left side of her mother.  We next found the baby, lying face downward on the mother.  The bodies were removed upstairs.  We next found Bertha, at the foot of her mother on her right side.  When we got the bodies upstairs we found that the throats of three of the children and the mother had been cut, and Bertha had been strangled.

It is interesting to note in all cases that the cause of death, apart from Bertha, was that the victims had suffered a fatal wound to the throat.  That each victim was hidden from view, or at least that was what was attempted, and that each victim did not suffer sexual assault.

 Conflicting Testimony

 For every story that claims Deeming was in Hull during the period in question, there are also the stories that he was elsewhere.  Many of the stories differ, but some state that Deeming was back in Rainhill during the period when Mary Jane Langley was murdered.  If this is true, then we can conclusively rule out Deeming as a suspect.  We know that Mary Jane Langley was last seen alive on July 30th 1891, but one source [55] claims that Deeming, under the alias Albert O Williams, was in Rainhill during this period.  The report claims, On Monday, the 21st July, he [Deeming] interviewed Mr. E. H .Short of the Railway Hotel, adjacent to the Rainhill Station, and asked if he could be provided with accommodation.  It is further reported that Deeming stayed there for three or four nights but then returned to Mr. Short’s hotel.  It later states that Deeming stayed at the hotel for about three weeks.  Despite these claims appearing in the local, national, and even international press, no source can be found for the story.  Another source [56] claims that Deeming went to the villa for a few days but returned to the hotel, remaining a few days before returning to London.  Another source gives us a little more to go on when it was revealed that a ledger at Messrs Howarth and Co., St. Helens, revealed a ledger that featured Miss Mather, Rainhill, ordering a barrel of cement on July 23rd 1891. [57] Some researchers and authors have used this as proof that Deeming was definitely in the area, but it is quiet possible that Deeming sent Miss Mather a telegram asking her to order the cement.  It is also stated that Mrs. Mather, Emily’s mother, was in charge of the letting of the property, so it is quiet possible that Deeming had asked that the cement be ordered prior to his taking of the property so that he may carry out his plans.  The report has many contradictions however, and does not tie in with Deeming’s movements in other sources.  Despite searching through the catalogues held at the National Archives, Liverpool Archives, and speaking with the very helpful members of the Rainhill Civic Society, no source can be found regarding whether Deeming was in Rainhill during the period in question.   


 I will be the first to admit the only evidence linking Frederick Bailey Deeming to the murder of Mary Jane Langley is nothing more than circumstantial, but the case for Deeming being the murderer is certainly stronger than the case for Rennard being the murderer.  The distance between Hull Jail and Marfleet Station is a little over a mile, and with a tram service serving the distance between getting to and from Marfleet Station was not a problem, furthermore, getting to the Hull to Withernsea line was also easy as the line ran between Hull’s Paragon Station, the station that is adjacent to the Royal Station Hotel, where Deeming had earlier left his newly wedded wife to defraud Renyoldson’s Jewelers.  It is also possible for one to travel from Hull, via the railway, to Hedon Station, and walk the distance back along Long-lane at Preston to Marfleet Station which is a little over 4 ¼ miles away.  With Deeming inside Hull Jail for 9 months is it possible he was on the look out for female companionship?  Is it possible that Deeming came across a female that already had a boyfriend, and in a fit of rage killed her, then stole her possessions?  It is of course just a theory, but given that his chosen modus operandi was death by throat cutting, and that he always made efforts to hide his crimes, and that no other person was ever charged for the crimes, it seems likely that he could have been involved in this shocking murder.  Sadly we will never know, and any attempt to pin the blame on Deeming leaves us feeling like we have nothing but circumstantial evidence.

 When I began writing this piece I read over the many newspapers, both locally and nationally, that featured the case, and found tantalising mentions of official documentation, maps, diagrams and testimony being recorded.  It is still unknown where this information is, and whether it still exists.  The Hull History Centre certainly shows no information on the case; neither does the East Riding Archives.  National Archives and the Borthwick Institute at York also fail to show any official documentation on the case.  I have been contacted my members of families that were related to the police officers on the case, and a relation to Mary Jane Langley, and all offer their own stories and ideas on the case.  It is also interesting to note that the few books that mention the case all still believe that Rennard was the guilty party, despite the lack of evidence against him.  Whether Deeming was the killer or not is certainly open to debate.  I don’t claim to know the identity of the killer, but hopefully the research into this unsolved murder from 1891 will help bring closure to the family who still discuss the life, and death, of Mary Jane Langley.

 I will add this little point though.  When Mary Jane was murdered several of her items were missing, these were recorded by her father and brother, and mentioned in several press reports from the period.  These items were described as [58] A silver Geneva watch and gold albert, and her purse.  A later report lists the missing items as [59] gentleman’s gold albert chain and silver watch.  When Frederick Bailey Deeming was arrested in Australia, a thorough list of all his belongings were made, some of them were everyday items but the following appeared on the list [60]

  • 1 Gold Albert with 3 pendants
  • 1 Chronograph watch (silver) No. 48421
    4 purses

Yet another coincidence?


1              DDX1314/2 Newspaper Cuttings held at East Riding Archives.

2              Yorkshire Post March 18th 1892

3              Sheffield and Rotherham Independent March 22nd 1892

4              Most Unique Ruffian, A, J.S.O’Sullivan, F.W. Cheshire, 1968, P.44

5              Scarlet Thread, A, Maurice Gurvich and Christopher Wray, Fairfax Books, 2007, P. 107

6              Hull Daily News, September 1st 1890

7              Hull Daily Mail, September 3rd 1890

8              HO27, P217, P236Harry Lawson, Date of trial 16th Oct 1890, Charge: Fraud, Sentence: Imprisonment 9 Months

9              Class RG12, P3925, F154, P2, GSU Roll 6099035

10           Yorkshire Post March 18th 1892

11           Sheffield and Rotherham Independent March 22nd 1892

12           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891 features an interview with William Langley

13           Ibid

14           Letter dated July 20th 1891 is partially featured in the Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

15           In the 1881 Census the family can be seen residing at Southcoates-lane, off Holderness-road in East Hull.  Class RG11, P4756, F38, P1, GSU Roll1342149

3 Southcoates-lane, Southcoates ward, Hull

William Langley                 43           Head                      Farmer

Mary                                      34           Wife

Harriett                                                 14           Daughter               Scholar Birth registration DRY/13/68

George Thornton                 12           Son                         Scholar Birth registration MYT/72/496 Registered as George Howden Langley

Mary Jane                             8              Daughter               Scholar Birth registration WES/32/394

William                                  6              Son                         Scholar Birth registration DRY/21/425

Esther                                    4              Daughter               Scholar Birth registration DRY/24/54

Frederick                              1              Son                         Scholar Birth registration DRY/27/484

16           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

17           1891 Census, 2 Western Buildings, Williams-street, RG12, P3941, F56, P18, GSU6099051

Frank Duffill                         26           Head Coachman

Alice Duffill                          22           Wife

George Christopher Duffill 4

John William Ayscongh     17

Arthur Hall                            20           Boarder Dock Labourer Birth registration MYT/83/183

18           Hull Daily Mail, August 3rd 1891

19           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

20           1889 Kelly’s Directory of Hull and 1892 Kelly’s Directory of Hull list William Mortimer Edmonds, 123 Witham, Photographer.

21           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

22           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

23           Lost Railways of Holderness, The Hull Withernsea and Hull Hornsea Lines, Peter Price, Hutton Press Ltd., 1989, P. 8

24           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891 and Hull Daily Mail, August 6th 1891

25           Hull Daily Mail, August 6th 1891

26           Ibid

27           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th

28           Ibid

29           Ibid

30           Hull Daily Mail, August 3rd 1891

31           1861 Census, Southcoates, RG9, P3580, F125, P25, GSU543155

William Rennard                                 37 Head Corn Miller

Jane Elizabeth Rennard    35 Wife

Robert Thomas Rennard    11

Mary Jane Rennard            10 Scholar  Birth registration DRY/5/98

Annie Rennard                     6 Scholar registration Birth registration DRY/6/234

William Rennard                                 4 Scholar registration Birth registration DRY/7/154

James Rennard                    2 registration Birth registration DRY/8/76

John F Rennard                   7 months Son Birth registration DRY/9/54

Wilson Lat                            22 Boarder Joiner

32           1871 Census, 11 Beeton-street, Southcoates, RG10, P4780, F88, P2, GSU847340

William Rennard                                 45 Head Miller and Grocer

Jane E Rennard                   46

Robert Rennard                   20 Miller

Annie Rennard                     16 Miller

William Rennard                                 14

John F Rennard                   12

Annie Boden                         9 Visitor

33           1876 Fields Trade Directory of Hull lists, William Rennard, Miller, 87 Beeton-street

34           1881 Census, 87 Beeton-street, Southcoates, RG11, P4755, F56, P9, GSU1342148

Jane E Rennard                   55

Robert T Rennard                31 Shipwright

John F Rennard                   20 Shipwright

Robert Sheperd                    19 Plasterer

35           Marriage Index 1886 lists John F Rennard marries Agnes A Bradley at St Andrews Church, Drypool, Hull, Ref JF/6/310

36           1891 Census, 4 Mawson’s Court, Courtney-street, Sculcoates, RG12, P3924, F62, P16, GSU6099034

John F Rennard Head        30 Shipwright Born Yorks. Hull

Agnes A Rennard                 27

William Rennard                                 4 Birth registration DRY/42/156

Tom Rennard                        2 Birth registration DRY/45/189

John Rennard                      3 ½ months Birth registration DRY/50/273

37           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

38           Hull Daily Mail, August 5th 1891

39           Hull Daily Mail, August 6th 1891

40           Ibid

41           Ibid

42           Hull Daily Mail, August 6th 1891

43           Leeds Mercury, August 15th 1891, Daily News, August 15th 1891, Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, August 15th 1891, The Standard, August 20th 1891, Yorkshire Herald and York Herald, August 20th 1891, Huddersfield Chronicle, August 22nd 1891, The Blackburn Standard and Weekly Express, August 22nd 1891. 

44           The Blackburn Standard and Weekly Express, August 22nd 1891

45           Huddersfield Chronicle, August 22nd 1891

46           1901 Census, 13 Courtney-street, Sculcoates, RG13, P4485, F21, P2

John Fishertoft Rennard   40 Head Shipwright Born Yorks. Hull

Anges Rennard                    35

William Rennard                                 13

Tom Rennard                        12

John Rennard                      10

Isaac F Rennard                 9 Birth registration DRY/55/295

Annie Rennard                     2 Birth registration DRY/69/109

Kate Rennard                       10 months Birth registration DRY/74/338

47           John F Rennard Died in 1947, his death is registered thus,

Name: John F Rennard, Death Registration: 1947, Age at Death: 87, Registration District: Hull, Inferred County: Yorkshire, East Riding, Volume: 2a, Page: 263

48           John Rennard jnr of 11 Garden Terrace, Courtney-street, Hull fought in the Great War.  In the ERF RE regiment number 157

49           Hull Daily Mail, August 10th 1891

50           PROV, VPRS 30/P0 Criminal Trial Briefs, unit 886, case number 261/1892

51           Site found here

52           Hull Daily Mail, March 17th 1892

53           The Times, March 19th 1892

54           Ibid

55           Liverpool Mercury etc, March 16th 1892

56           Belfast News Letter, March 17th 1892

57           Bristol Mercury and Daily Post, March 17th 1892

58           Hull Daily Mail, August 4th 1891

59           Hull Daily Mail, August 10th 1891

60           List of property found in Deeming’s possession when arrested, PROV, VPRS 937/P0 Inward Registered Correspondence, unit 511, Deeming Case


Further reading on Frederick Bailey Deeming

Most Unique Ruffian, A, J.S.O’Sullivan, F.W. Cheshire, 1968

Scarlet Thread, A, Maurice Gurvich and Christopher Wray, Fairfax Books, 2007


Further reading on the Preston Murder

Hedon and Holderness, John Markham, Highgate, 1994

Killers at Large, AA Clarke, Arton Books, 1996



Hedon Blog

My Blog

The Extraordinary Tale of Frederick Bailey Deeming

19th Century Newspapers online, the Times online archives, Australian Newspapers online archives, and New Zealand’s Papers Past website.



Thank you to Ray Duffield of the Hedon Blog for all his help finding the right lane in Preston, and for the staff at the Hedon Museum for helping confirm the lane was the right lane.  There is nothing worse than standing on a long lonely lane in the open countryside with wind and rain flying in sideways and you’re second guessing the spot you’re stood in is the right spot! 

Thank you to Ali Bevan, Paul Gibson, Howard Brown, Jon Rees, Robert Anderson, Matthew Soare, the staff at the Nags Head in Preston, and all the Hull History Centre staff that have put up with me.  Thank you to all the staff at the National Archives, Liverpool Archives and Rainhill Civic Society for their help and input.  Thank you to my son Bradley who accompanied me to the grave of Mary Jane Langley.  He asked me to take his photo next to the grave as he wanted to pay his respects and took my photo that later appeared on several websites, and in the 2010 Jack the Ripper Conference pack.

This article was created by Mike Covell for Ripperologist Magazine. Any third party websites or tacky booklets featuring this information will be in breech of digital copyright laws.












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