Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Jack The Ripper case.

There may have been more prolific serial killers than the murderer of prostitutes in Whitechapel in 1888, but few have captured the public imagination in the same way. The ferocity of the crimes coupled with the mystery surrounding it only adds to the fascination. Much is known about the Jack the Ripper murders, but despite (or perhaps because of) the hundreds of books, movies and documentaries about him, there’s still a ton of misguided conjecture and just flat-out wrong information out there. Educate yourself on some true facts about Jack the Ripper.
It is generally accepted by Ripperologists (people who take a keen interest in the case) that there were five murders, known as the canonical five. However, by the time murder #1 occurred, the press already referred to this as “another” murder. Police were still considering murders in 1891 to be courtesy of Jack the Ripper. The murder of Francis Coles (pictured above) on February 13, 1891 was widely believed by the press and authorities to be his work. In all, the press attributed 11 murders to Jack the Ripper.
Polly Nichols met her end on August 31, 1888, and is the first canonical murder. There is a strong case for Polly for being number two. Martha Tabrum (also known by her common-law name Turner) died August 6 at the hands of an unknown murderer. She received 39 stab wounds to her abdomen and neck, and her dress was raised, indicating either sexual intercourse or that the killer raised her dress to inflict the wounds (it was later determined there was no sexual intercourse). The similarities to the canonical five murders are apparent, most notably the attacks to the groin and upper pelvic region.
Of the six non-canonical murders, Martha Tabrum has the best chance of being committed by Jack the Ripper.
Of the canonical five, two murders occurred on the same night, dubbed the “Double Event” by Ripperologists. The prevailing theory is that something interrupted Jack during his first murder of the evening, driving him to a more frenzied second attack. Certainly there is little doubt that Catherine Eddowes, the second of the two women, was killed by Jack the Ripper.
The murder of Liz Stride, however, the first of the Double Event, is markedly different from the other canonical five. Stride fit the age of the other victims, but everything else about the attack was quite different. Around 12:45am, Israel Schwartz witnessed a man pull a woman into the street and throw her to the ground. Schwartz ran after the attacker tossed a racial slur at him (“Lipski,” meaning Jew). Stride was dead 15 minutes later. Schwartz later identified her as the woman he saw thrown to the ground.
This attack occurred 45 minutes before the murder of Catherine Eddowes.
There are a number of differences between Stride and the other canonical five. Stride was likely murdered from the front; she was facing her killer. The three prior (counting Tabram) were struck from behind. The location seems quite different. Jack preferred very quiet, secluded places, yet Schwartz saw the attack first occur in the middle of the road. Her wounds were caused by a different knife to the one used to kill Eddowes 45 minutes later. Famous modern-day profiler John Douglas believes this is not significant, as of course Jack would have more than one knife.
Douglas strongly supports the Double Event theory. He reasons that that two unrelated murders occurring in such close proximity on the same evening would be too much of a coincidence, and therefore that they were both committed by the same hand. So does John Douglas think that John Brown is Jack the Ripper?
Who is John Brown? Brown murdered his wife Sarah on the evening of September 29, 1888. His deed occurred two hours and three miles from the Double Event. Yet you’ll never hear Brown mentioned as a suspect. And rightfully not—just because he committed a murder on the same evening as two others doesn’t mean he committed all three. Location isn’t always a factor in murders. The only thing linking the Double Event is proximity.
The media and police received over 700 pieces of correspondence claiming to be from “Jack.” Two are considered credible by Ripperologists. The first letter to gain notoriety was the infamous “Dear Boss” letter addressed to the Central News Agency. The affixed signature “Jack the Ripper” gained notoriety when a threat in the letter to “clip the (next victims) ears off” was carried out with the murder of Catherine Eddowes. The true author of the letter remains a mystery. Three prominent police officers stated that a newspaper man wrote the letter. A personal letter by John Littlechild, head of the Special Branch of the London Metropolitan Police, went further and actually named the newspaper man who wrote it: “Bullen” (real name Thomas Bulling). There is debate over whether the police truly knew the origin of the “Dear Boss” letter, but in 1888, the police thought it was a hoax.
George Lusk, President of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, received another noteworthy letter, claiming to be “From hell.” Included in the crudely written letter was half a kidney, which the author claimed came from a victim (Catherine Eddowes). A doctor stated that the kidney belonged to a woman, roughly 45 years of age, and suffering from alcoholism (in other words, Eddowes). However, that would have been virtually impossible to medically conclude at that time. It’s interesting that the letter went to someone hunting after the murderer, rather than someone covering the case, however Lusk considered the letter to be a hoax. It remains possible that none of the Jack the Ripper correspondence was by the real killer.
One key document for Ripperologists is an 1891 letter from Sir Melville Macnaghten (Assistant Crime Commissioner) to The Sun newspaper regarding the arrest of a Thomas Cutbush, for the crime of stabbing several women in the buttocks, and The Sun’s accusation that Cutbush was Jack the Ripper. Macnaghten pointed out that Cutbush had never killed anyone, and listed three suspects who were better candidates for Jack:
“(1) A Mr M. J. Druitt, said to be a doctor & of good family — who disappeared at the time of the Miller’s Court murder, & whose body (which was said to have been upwards of a month in the water) was found in the Thames on 31st December — or about 7 weeks after that murder. He was sexually insane and from private information I have little doubt but that his own family believed him to have been the murderer.
(2) Kosminski — a Polish Jew — & resident in Whitechapel. This man became insane owing to many years indulgence in solitary vices. He had a great hatred of women, specially of the prostitute class, & had strong homicidal tendencies: he was removed to a lunatic asylum about March 1889. There were many circumstances connected with this man which made him a strong ‘suspect’.
(3) Michael Ostrog, a Russian doctor, and a convict, who was subsequently detained in a lunatic asylum as a homicidal maniac. This man’s antecedents were of the worst possible type, and his whereabouts at the time of the murders could never be ascertained.”
It’s possible that Macnaghten intended the letter only to demonstrate how unlikely a suspect Cutbush was, not to identify any of the three men as legitimate “main suspects,” but rigorous Ripperologists cannot afford to make that assumption.
The fact that the murders stopped soon after Druitt’s suicide is suspicious, but payslips found in his pockets indicate that his death was unrelated. It seems that he was fired from his teaching position days before his suicide, likely as a result of a homosexual scandal—that is the terrible trait that “sexually insane” refers to.
The third candidate, Michael Ostrog, was a con artist and petty thief. He had no ties to any of the victims or the crime scenes, and the crimes he did commit had grown less intense over his career, not more, and although he had had occasional violent outbursts, they were never planned or methodical. He is not considered a serious suspect.
That leaves Kosminski. Although modern minds will find it hard to condemn a man on the basis of his “solitary vices” (masturbation), there are more legitimate indicators. Aspects of his childhood (witness to sexual brutality, absent father) fit the classic serial killer profile. Several witnesses said the killer looked Jewish, although his is suspect as anti-Semitism was rife at the time. The one witness who specifically identified Kosminski was Jewish himself, however, although he refused to officially testify. And Kosminski was interred in a lunatic asylum not long before the murders ceased. One theory goes that the police knew Kosminski was the Ripper, but had him sent to the asylum rather than arrested, because they did not have the evidence to convict him.
But if that was the case, why have no internal documents turned up to corroborate it? Nevertheless, Kosminski must be considered a highly plausible candidate.
Jack the Ripper might be the most famous southpaw killer, along with Billy the Kid. But of course you know from your Listverse knowledge that Billy was right-handed. Jack the Ripper probably was too.
The principle identification of Jack the Ripper as a lefty comes from Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn. He carried out the post mortem on Polly Nichols, the first victim (or maybe second, depending on how you feel about this list). The specific passage is:
“…her throat had been cut from left to right, two distinct cuts being on the left side, the windpipe, gullet and spinal chord being cut through; a bruise apparently of a thumb being on the right lower jaw, also one on the left cheek, the abdomen had been cut open from centre of bottom of ribs along right side, under pelvis to left of stomach, there the wound was jagged; the omentum, or coating of the stomach, was also cut in several places, and two small stabs on private parts; apparently done with a strong bladed knife; supposed to have been done by some left handed person; death being almost instantaneous.”
Dr. Llewellyn’s claim that the killer was left-handed was based on neck bruising and the direction of the cuts (left to right—it was thought at the time that Jack slit his victims throats from behind), but how closely were those observations made? According to the Times and The Telegraph (September 1, 1888) accounts state that the doctor “will make no actual post mortem until he receives the coroner’s orders.” In other words, Dr. Llewellyn decided the killer was left-handed prior to carrying out the autopsy!
Lefties at that time were viewed with suspicion at best, and were often associated with the Devil. Early criminologist Cesare Lombroso claimed that left-handed people were three times more likely to commit a crime than their right-handed brethren.
Further studies of the crime scene demonstrated that Jack had strangled his victims front on, then lain them on the ground to mutilate them. This contradicted Llewellyn’s theory, and the doctor himself later retracted it, but the so-called “sinistral theory” had already caught hold in the public imagination, and anti-lefty prejudice made it hard to budge.
Jack the Ripper didn’t just kill at random. Like modern serial killers, he had a “type.” Four of the five canonical victims were approximately the same age—late 30s to 40s. His highly specific method of killing is stated in the last entry. He struck on weekends or bank holidays (including Martha Tabrum). And obviously the reason he’s so well remembered—besides never being caught—is the graphic nature of the wounds. If you throw out the Stride murder (either because she wasn’t killed by Jack or because he was interrupted during her murder), they all had some pelvic mutilation.
Catherine Eddowes and Liz Stride were the only murders to occur in what would be considered “late at night”—1am or so. The others occurred between 3am and 6am. That might seem late in modern times, but in the 1880s, that was just a bit before morning rush-hour. People on their way to work found canonical victim #1 Polly Nichols at 3:40am. That would indicate Jack had employment.
The murders (apart from Stride’s) were in secluded places. Jack had a pretty good knowledge of Whitechapel. Catherine Eddowes was murdered between walking shifts of patrol officers, which indicates that he was either very lucky or paid attention to where police (and other people) would be in planning his crimes.
One of the more well-known theories pins the Whitechapel murders on Dr. William Withey Gull, Queen Victoria’s own doctor. It’s the story portrayed in the movie From Hell, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, itself based on Steven Knight’s book The Final Solution. The movie is actually pretty good, the graphic novel even better, and both are completely and hopelessly wrong when it comes to the case.
According to Knight’s theory, the murders were part of a Masonic conspiracy that included a royal scandal, ritualistic murder, and a giant cover-up. Gull was first fingered as a suspect by several American newspapers in the 1890s, who had strong political motivations for maligning the British aristocracy. Gull’s advocacy for women’s involvement in medicine also made him a suspicious figure.
Born in 1816, Dr. Gull would have been 71 at the time of the Jack the Ripper murders (witnesses put the murderer in his 30s). He had a stroke 11 months before the murder of Polly Nichols, putting him in incredibly poor health. Further, the conspiracy relies on certain high-ranking individuals being Freemasons, when Masonic records show they definitely were not. Dr. Gull was most assuredly not Jack the Ripper.
The mutilations perpetrated on the victims involved careful removal of the uterus, kidneys, and other organs, and this fact has led many people to believe Jack the Ripper must have been a doctor. However, knowledge of anatomy could be gained by the layman by viewing public dissections of criminals, and there were other professions with anatomical knowledge as well—historian William Stewart claimed in 1939 that the killer might have been a woman, a “mad midwife” or abortionist.
Want to know who Jack the Ripper wasn’t? Prince Albert Victor. As grandson of Queen Victoria, his name comes up often as part of a vast conspiracy of sadism and privilege, reaching all the way to the crown itself. The allegation that a prince was killing paupers was first claimed in a 1962 book but IT probably started a bit earlier. While it makes a good story, it’s simply not possible: The Prince was nowhere near London when the murders occurred.
London had a population of around four million at that time, meaning there were thousands of people with no alibi who could, in theory, be the Ripper. So it’s suspicious that so many writers are convinced it had to be a celebrity, and in particular accuse those who it would be especially shocking if they turned out to be murderers, like members of the royal family, or children’s book authors.
Richard Wallace claimed in a 1996 book that Lewis Carroll not only killed prostitutes in the East End, but hid clues to it throughout Alice in Wonderland. Those “clues” involve rearranging the letters of random passages from the book into brutal descriptions of prostitute murder. The problem is that you could do that with almost any book at all—especially if you were willing to switch out letters that didn’t fit, as Wallace did. That is literally his only piece of evidence against Carroll, and even that doesn’t hold up, since Carroll was such a clever and creative wordsmith that if he wanted to insert playful murder-clues into his books, he could have come up with something a lot better than the ones Wallace suggests.
Carroll was just one of the many, many men in the same city at the same time as the murders happened. Keep that in mind you hear any other famous name associated with the Whitechapel murders, such as Winston Churchill’s father (also alleged to be part of a Masonic conspiracy) or the Elephant Man.
The common notion that Jack the Ripper killed silently and departed without a trace is a myth. Specifically, he left clues to his identity and location when he killed Catherine Eddowes. Joseph Lawende was walking along with two others around 1:35am on the night of her murder. He saw a man with a woman he identified as Eddowes (from her clothing), and later described him to The Times as “of shabby appearance, about 30 years of age and 5ft. 9in. in height, of fair complexion, having a small fair moustache, and wearing a red neckerchief and a cap with a peak.” Eddowes was dead 10 minutes after she was spotted with the man.
Witnesses to the other murders confirm most details of this description, although usually have him wearing more genteel clothing.
Almost 90 minutes after Eddowes’ murder, Police Constable Alfred Long discovered a bloody piece of her apron, very close to some graffiti. It read: “The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.” It was quickly removed by police for fear it would incite a riot. It is much debated whether Jack the Ripper was an anti-Semite, or whether he was Jewish and wrote it to point the police in the wrong direction, or if someone else wrote it to capitalise on the murder.
The more useful clue is the location of the apron. Eddowes’ murder occurred southwest of Whitechapel. Technically, it was in London, not Whitechapel. Jack the Ripper traveled back toward the heart of Whitechapel. Jack the Ripper resided in Whitechapel (pictured above), not London proper.
Amateur sleuths have advanced the Jack the Ripper case to the point where it seems plausible that the case will be solved. Yes, really. Many records were destroyed during the London Blitz, but others were only lost and are still being rediscovered.
For example, in 1993, a letter by the aforementioned John Littlechild was discovered, revealing an entirely new suspect: Francis Tumblety. Tumblety was a quack American doctor in Whitechapel at the time of the murders, and to learn that he was considered as a suspect by police is explosive information for Ripperologists. Further research turned up a report by a contemporary of Tumblety, Colonel Dunham, who said the doctor had jars and jars of uterus specimens, and that, when asked why no women had been invited to dinner, “his face turned as black as a thunder-cloud,” he replied “No, Colonel, I don’t know any such cattle, and if I did I would, as your friend, sooner give you a dose of quick poison than take you into such danger” and that he then “fiercely denounced all women and especially fallen women.”
Historical census data is now available online, and is easily cross-referencable in a way that simply wasn’t possible in 1888. This has brought to light facts that, had they been available at the time, would have interested Scotland Yard very much indeed.
Charles Cross was the first person to find the body of canonical victim #1, Polly Nichols. In fact, he was found with the victim, by a second witness. Cross lived within a few minutes of the crime scene, but as this was the first murder, no one found this particularly suspicious. They should have. Modern researchers have since established that two of the other canonical victims were killed on the route between his home and work. Polly Nichols was not as badly mutilated as some of the later victims, and while serial killers often do escalate in intensity, it could also have suggested that the killer was interrupted—making Cross an even more likely suspect.
As of now we don’t have the information to determine whether either of those individuals was Jack the Ripper, but it was modern research by amateur sleuths that discovered inconsistencies in their testimonies, and that of some other suspicious “witnesses.” Many important documents and clues were seized as souvenirs, at the time of the murders and later by Ripperologists. When these documents come to light over the coming years, we may finally be able to solve the biggest murder mystery of the last 200 years.



Some weeks ago I published a very small blog, about Adrian Wigley and Reg Morris.
At a family funeral i met up with a man from our school days. Now he was not in my class at Central Boys school, he was in fact a couple of years behind me. We talked about school and after, about Mr Massey and Phyllis Taylor this in turn bought up Reggie Morris, this came about as Miss Taylor helped Reggie get a book published. Of course we talked about Reggie’s stunts, Pulling a lorry up the High St, Brownhills, sitting up a pole in a barrell at the Sportsman Brownhills and The Spring Cottage, Shelfield, doing some strongman stuff at Brownhills Carnival, and other things. Now Alan told me that not long before that(funeral) meeting, his son had contacted him to tell him that both Alan and the family were on the internet in a picture taken at the carnival where Reg was doing some tricks.
Well after some real time spent searching I have just found the two pictures in this Blog.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me, if you want to know anything!

reggie morris2

Bed of Nails!


There must have been some years between the two pictures.
Still have not been able to find anything about Adrian Wigley, I will keep trying!

The Amistad trials

The following account appeared in the New London Gazette of August 26,1839:

While this vessel was sounding this day between Gardner’s and Montauk Points, a schooner was seen lying in shore off Culloden Point, under circumstances so suspicious as to authorize Lt. Com. Gedney to stand in to see what was her character--seeing a number of people on the beach with carts and horses, and a boat passing to and fro a boat was armed and dispached with an officer to board her.
On coming along side a number of negroes were discovered on her deck, and twenty or thirty more were on the beach--two white men came forward and claimed the protection of the officer. The schooner proved to be the “Amistad,” Capt. Ramonflues, from the Havana bound to Guanaja, Port Principe, with 54 blacks and two passengers on board ; the former, four nights after they were out, rose and murdered the captain and three of the crew ; they then took possession of the vessel with the intention of returning to the coast of Africa. Pedro Montes, passenger, and Jose Rues owner of the slaves and part of the cargo, were only saved to navigate the vessel.
After boxing about for four days in the Bahama Channel the vessel was steered for the Island of St. Andrews, near New Providence ; from thence she went to Green Key, where the blacks laid in a supply of water. After leaving this place the vessel was steered by Pedro Montes for New Providence, the negroes being under the impression that she was steering for the coast of Africa--they would not, however, permit her to enter the port but anchored every night off the coast.
The situation of the two whites was all this time truly deplorable, being treated with the greatest severity, and Pedro Montes, who had charge of the navigation, was suffering from two severe wounds, one in the head and one in the arm, their lives threatened every instant. He was ordered to change the course again for the coast of Africa, the negroes themselves steering by the sun in the day time, while at night he would alter their course so as to bring them back to their original place of destination.--They remained three days off Long Island, to the Eastward of Providence, after which time they were two months on the ocean, sometimes steering to the Eastward, and whenever an occasson [sic] would permit the whites would alter the course to the Northward and Westward, always in hopes of falling in with some vessel of war, or being enabled to run into some port, when they would be relieved from their horrid situation.
Several times they were boarded by vessels; once by an American schooner from Kingston. On these occasions the whites were ordered below, while the negroes communicated and traded with the vessel; the schooner from Kingston supplied them with a demijohn of water, for the moderate sum of one doubloon--this schooner, whose name was not ascertained, finding that the negroes had plenty of money, remained lashed alongside the “Amistad” for twenty-four hours, though they must have been aware that all was not right on board, and probably suspected the character of the vessel--that was on the 18th of the present month; the vessel was steered to the northward and westward, and on the 20th instant, distant from N.Y. 25 miles, the pilot boat No. 3 came alongside and gave the negroes some apples. She was also hailed by No. 4; when the latter boat came near, the negroes armed themselves and would not permit her to board them; they were so exasperated with the two whites for bringing them so much out of their way that they expected every moment to be murdered.
On the 24th they made Montauk Light and steered for it in the hope of running the vessel ashore, but the tide drifted them up the bay and they anchored where they were found by the brig Washington, off Culloden point. The negroes were found in communication with shore, where they laid in a fresh supply of water, and were on the point of sailing again for the coast of Africa. They had a god supply of money with them, some of which it is likely was taken by the people on the beach.--After they were disarmed, and sent on board from the beach, the ringleader jumped overboard with three hundred doubloons about him, the property of the captain, all of which he succeeded in loosing from his person and then permitted himself to be captured. The schooner was taken in tow by the brig and carried into New London.

TUESDAY, 12 o’clock, M.

We have just returned from a visit to the Washington and her prize, which are riding at anchor in the bay, near the fort. On board the former we saw and conversed with the two Spanish gentlemen who were passengers on board the schooner, as well as owners of the negroes and most of the cargo.

One of them, Jose Rues, is very gentlemanly and intelligent young man, and speaks English fluently. He was the owner of most of the slaves and cargo, which he was conveying to his estate on the Island of Cuba.

he other, Pedro Montes, is about fifty years of age, and is the owner of three slaves. He was formerly a ship-master, and has navigated the vessel since her seizure by the blacks. Both of them, as may be naturally supposed are most unfeignedly thankful for their deliverance. Signor Pedro is the most striking instance of complacency and unalloyed delight we ever have seen, and it is not strange, since only yesterday his sentence was pronounced by the chief of the buccaniers, and his death song chanted by the grim crew, who gathered with uplifted sabres around his devoted head, which, as well as his arms, bear the scars of several wounds inflicted at the time of the murder of the ill-fated captain and crew. 

He sat smoking his Havana on the deck, and, to junge [sic] from the martyr-like serenity of his countenance, his emotions are such as rarely stir the heart of man. When Mr. Porter, the prize-master, assured him of his safety, he threw his arms around his neck, while gushing tears coursing down his furrowed cheek, bespoke the overflowing transport of his soul Every now and then he clasps his hands, and with uplifted eyes gives thanks to “the Holy Virgin” who had led him out of all his troubles. 

Senor Rues has given us two letters for his agents. Messrs, Shelton, Brothers & Co., of Boston, and Peter A. Harmony & Co., of New York. It appears that the slaves, the greater portion of whom were his, were very much attached to him, and had determined, after reaching the coast of Africa, to allow him to seek his home what way he could, while his poor companion was to be sacrificed. 

On board the brig we also saw Cingues, the master-spirit and hero of this bloody tragedy, in irons. He is about five feet eight inches in height, 25 or 26 years of age, of erect figure, well built, and very active. He is said to be a match for any two men on board the schooner. His countenance, for a native African, is unusually intelligent, evincing uncommon decision and coolness, with a composure characteristic of true courage and nothing to mark him as a malicious man. He is a negro who would command, in New Orleans, under the hammer, at least $1,500. 

He is said to have killed the captain and crew with his own hand, by cutting their throats. He also has several times attempted to take the life of Senor Montes, and the backs of several poor negroes are scored with the scars of blows inflicted by his lash to keep them in submission. He expects to be executed, but nevertheless manifests a sang froid worthy of a Sto[ne] under similar circumstances. 

With Capt. Gedney, the surgeon of the port, and others, we visited the schooner, which is anchored within musket shot of the Washington, and there we saw such a sight as we never saw before, and never wish to see again. The bottom and sides of this vessel are covered with barnacles and sea-grass, while her rigging and sales [sic] present a scene worthy of the Flying Dutchman, after her fabled cruise. She is a Baltimore built vessel of matchless model for speed, about 120 tons burthen and about six years old. 

On her deck were grouped, amid various goods and arms, the remnant of her Ethiop crew, some decked in the most fantastic manner in the silks and finery pilfered from the cargo while others, in a state of nudity, emaciated to mere skeletons, lay coiled upon the decks. Here could be seen a negro with white pantaloons and the sable shirt which nature gave him, and a planter’s broad-brimmed hat upon his head, with a string of gewgaws around his neck ; and another with a linen cambric shirt, whose bosom was worked by the hand of some dark-eyed daughter of Spain, while his nether proportions were enveloped in a shawl of gauze and Canton crape. Around the windlass were gathered the three little girls, from eight to thirteen years of age, the very images of health and gladness. 

Over the deck were scattered, in the most wanton and disorderly profusion, raisins, vermicelli, bread, rice, silk, and cotton goods. In the cabin and hold were the marks of the same wasteful destruction --Her cargo appears to consist of silks, crapes, calicoes, cotton and fancy goods of various descriptions, glass and hardware, bridles, saddles, holsters, pictures, looking-glasses, books, fruits, olives, and olive oil, and “other things too numerous to mention,” which are now all mixed up in a strange and fantastic medldy [sic].
On the forward hatch we unconsciously rested our hand on a cold object, which we soon discovered to be a naked corpse enveloped in a pall of black bombazine. On removing its folds we beheld the rigid countenance and glazed eye of a poor negro who died last night. His mouth was unclosed, and still wore the ghastly expression of his last struggle. Near by him, like some watching fiend, sat the most horrible creature we ever saw in human shape, an object of terror to the very blacks, who said that he was a cannibal. His teeth projected at almost right angles from his mouth, while his eyes had a most savage and demoniac expression.

We were glad to leave this vessel, as the exhalations from her hold and deck were like anything but “gales wafted over the gardens of Gul.” Capt. Gedney has dispatched an express to the U. S. marshal, at New Haven, while he has made the most humane arrangements for the health and comfort of the prisoners, and the purification of the prize. There are now alive 44 negroes, three of whom are girls ; about 10 have died. They have been at sea 63 days.

The vessel and cargo were worth $40,000 when they let Havana, exclusive of the negroes, which cost from 20 to $30,000. Vessel and cargo were insured in Havana. 

Capt. Gedney, when he first espied the Amistad, was running a line of sounding toward Montauk Point. He had heard nothing of this vessel being on the coast till after his arrival in this port.

As the Amistad sailed along the eastern coast of the United States several pilot boats began running across it. The Columbian Centinel reported this description of the encounter between the Amistad and the pilot boat, Gratitude, as reported by Captain Seaman of the Gratitude:

She spoke the long, low, black schooner twenty-five miles East of Fire Island and about eighteen miles from the land, standing E.N.E. The Gratitude ran within a few yards of her with the intention of putting a pilot aboard. Two or three of the blacks, who appeared to be the ringleaders and kept the others in awe, made signs to the pilot not to come. One had a pistol in one hand and a cutlass in the other, which he flourished over his head to keep the others down. These appeared to be very anxious to receive a pilot and when the eye of the fellow who had the pistol was aft of them, they would beckon the pilot to come aboard. The schooner held a name on her stern which they took to be Almeda. She had a small gilt eaglehead. The latest news from the suspicious vessel is that on Saturday at sunset she was off the end of Long Island, Montauk Point, North by East, twenty miles distant. She was standing east with sail she was able to make.

After the capture of the Amistad by the crew of the Washington, Jose Ruiz and Pedro Montes wrote a letter addressed to the newspaper subscribers of the New London, Connecticut which was published in local newspapers:

The subscribers, Don Jose Ruiz and Don Pedro Montes, in gratitude for their most unhoped for and most providential rescue from the hands of a ruthless gang of African buccaneers, and an awful death, would take this means of expressing, in some slight degree, their thankfulness and obligations to Lieutenant Commander T.R. Gedney, and the officers and crew of the U.S. surveying brig Washington, for their decision in seizing the Amistad, and their unremitting kindness and hospitality in providing for their comfort on board their vessel, as well as the means they have taken for the protection of their property.

We also must express our indebtedness to that nation whose flag they so worthily bear, with an assurance that this act will be duly appreciated by our most gracious sovereign, Her Majesty the Queen of Spain.

The Hartford Courant published an article expressing the opinion that no legal grounds for action against the Amistad Africans existed:

By the laws of the United States, the African slave trade is declared to be piracy and the persons engaged in it are liable to be punished as pirates. It would be very extraordinary then if these men, who had been stolen from their own country, and brought away for the purpose of being reduced to slavery, should be punished in the United States for using such means as they possessed to extricate themselves from the power and custody of men who gained that custody by the perpetration of a crime which by our laws would cost them their lives. It would be a singular case if both parties in the same transaction should be held guilty of a capital offense and suffer the same penalty of the law for their crimes.

The description of conditions on the slave ship during the journey from Africa given by Gilabaru, as translated by James Covey, to reporters and published in the New York Journal of Commerce:

On board the vessel there was a large number of men, but the women and children were by far the most numerous. They were fastened together by couples by the wrists and legs and kept in that situation day and night. By day it was no better. The space between the decks was so small - according to their account not exceeding four feet - that they were obliged, if they attempted to stand, to keep a crouching posture. The decks, fore and aft, were crowded to overflowing. They suffered terribly. They had rice enough to eat but they had very little to drink. If they left any of the rice that was given to them uneaten, either from sickness or any other cause, they were whipped. It was a common thing for them to be forced to eat so much as to vomit. Many of the men, women and children died on the passage.

John Quincy Adams expressed the following in a letter dated November 19, 1839 written to and published in the New York Journal of Commerce:

The Africans of the Amistad were cast upon our coast in a condition perhaps as calamitous as could befall human beings, not by their own will - not with any intention hostile or predatory on their part, not even by the act of God as in the case of shipwreck, but by their own ignorance of navigation and the deception of one of their oppressors whom they had overpowered, and whose life they had spared to enable them by his knowledge of navigation to reach their native land.

They were victims of the African slave trade, recently imported into the island of Cuba, in gross violation of the laws of the Island and of Spain; and by acts which our own laws have made piracy - punishable with death. They had indicated their natural right to liberty, by conspiracy, insurrection, homicide and capture and they were accused by the two Cuban Spaniards embarked with them in the ship, of murder and piracy - and they were claimed by the same two Cuban Spaniards, accessories after the fact to the slave-trade piracy, by which they had been brought from Africa to Cuba, as their property, because they had bought them from slave-trade pirates.

They knew nothing of the Constitution, laws or language of the country upon which they were thus thrown, and accused as pirates and murderers, claimed as slaves of the very men who were their captives, they were deprived even of the faculty of speech in their own defense. This condition was sorely calamitous; it claimed from the humanity of a civilized nation compassion; - it claimed from brotherly love of a Christian land sympathy; - it claimed from a Republic professing reverence for the rights of man justice - and what have we done?

A naval officer of the United States seizes them, their ship and cargo, with themselves; tramples on the territorial jurisdiction of the state of New York, by seizing, disarming and sending on board their ship, without warrant of arrest, several of them whom he found on shore; releases their captives; admits the claim of the two captives to fifty masters as their slaves; and claims salvage for restoring them to servitude. They are then brought before a court of the United States, at once upon the charge of piracy and murder, upon a claim to them as slaves, and upon a claim against their pretended masters for salvage, by kidnapping them again into slavery. The Circuit Judge decides that the United States do not exercise the right of all other civilized nations to try piracies committed in foreign vessels; that he thereupon cannot try them for piracy or murder, but that the District Court may try whether they are slaves or not; as it is doubtful whether this trial will be held in Connecticut or New York, and it must take time to ascertain in which, they shall in the mean time be held as slaves to abide the issue.

Is this compassion? Is it sympathy? Is it justice? But here the case now stands.

On February 10, 1840 the Hartford Courant published an article attacking President Martin Van Buren for his stand on the Amistad case.

We are informed by a gentleman from New Haven that a short time previous to the trial of the Africans of the Amistad, before the U.S. District Court at New Haven, Judge Judson presiding, Martin Van Buren addressed a letter to the Judge recommending and urging him to order the Africans to be taken back to Havana in a government vessel, to be sold there as slaves - and that about the same time the U.S. schooner Grampus was ordered to New Haven for the purpose of receiving them. The schooner, we learned from several sources, arrived at New Haven about the time of the trial under "sealed orders" and, after learning the decision of the court again, "made off." The letter of the President, recommending that these poor unfortunate Africans be sent into perpetual bondage, is said to contain statements disgraceful to the high station of its author, and which, were they published, would excite the indignation of every Republican freeman in the land. What will the friends of liberty say to this? Surely Martin Van Buren is playing the part of a tyrant with a high hand - else why this tampering with our courts of justice, this Executive usurpation, and this heartless violation of the inalienable rights of man? Of the truth of the above there is no doubt, and we leave the unprincipled author of such a proceeding in the hands of a just and high-minded People.

A letter to the New London Gazette from an unidentified writer provided additional information regarding the arrival of the Grampus in New Haven at the time of the trial.

Now, sir it appears to me to be of little consequence to know whether instructions came from Washington or whether the case was decided before trial and its decision transmitted thither - if either supposition be true (and the facts have a strong squinting that way) the people should know it. The stride which the President has made towards universal power in other branches of the government render it by no means improbable that he has at length assumed the duties of the Judiciary, and that the case was decided at Washington long before the trial, and the Grampus held in readiness to remove the Negroes the moment the court completes the forms of the trial.

I cannot hope, sir, that this view of the subject is a mistaken one; for if it be true, our Federal Courts have become the mere instruments of the President, and if this case was prejudged without hearing either of the testimony or argument, what security is left us for our property or liberties?

Until the movements of the Grampus are explained there will remain in the minds of many, even of those who are friends of the Administration, a painful suspicion of foul play.

A reporter for the Boston Recorder described the Amistad Africans after visiting them in Westville as follows:

With one or two exceptions, they all have active minds and are quick, shrewd and intelligent. They possess deep and warm affections. Their love of Africa and home is very strong; in reply to a question put to two of the most intelligent of their number, the instant and deep-feeling answer was, "Tell the American people that we very, very much want to go home." Poor fellows! Who can doubt it?

1889: Jack The Ripper Said to Have Connection With Police

1889: Jack The Ripper Said to Have Connection With Police

LONDON — One of the most interesting and, perhaps, significant points in connection with the murder of Alice Mackenzie is one to which much attention has not yet been called. At the time of the August, September and November murders last year the number of constables on patrol duty in what is known as the ‘‘murder district,’’ covered by Commercial street and Leman street stations, was strengthened by 100 extra men from other divisions. There were at that time 300 men in uniform and plain clothes on night duty in this comparatively small area. As the excitement died away this extra force was gradually diminished.

On Tuesday night the eighth murder occurred. Every one of the murders displayed a knowledge of police customs and the rules of the patrol, upon which the murderer calculated closely. He calculates so very closely in this respect as to give fair reason for the assumption that he has either been connected with the police, or is intimately acquainted with some member of the force who furnishes the information, of the result of which he does not dream.

Alice Mackenzie, one of the alleged victims of Jack the Ripper.

Alice Mackenzie, one of the alleged victims of Jack the Ripper.Credit IHT Archive

The efforts of the police at the present time consist—first, in hunting vigorously for a clue; and, secondly, by an abundant patrol in two districts endeavoring to prevent a repetition of the sanguinary crime. In the search for a clue everybody is patiently listened to, however presumptively idiotic his or her story may be.

There are a lot of people who are sure that the murderer is red headed, and there is a surprising number of bets in the clubs turning on this point. There are people who have dreamed that they saw Jack the Ripper, and who are surprised that their dream description of him, which, by the way, usually accords to him two legs, two arms, a head and a trunk, and little else of value, is not immediately circulated by the police. — New York Herald, European Edition, July 21, 1889

Is the Mexican Nation “Locoed” by a Peculiar Weed? (1915)

Is the Mexican Nation “Locoed” by a Peculiar Weed? (1915)

(From the Ogden Standard – September 25, 1915)
Deadly Marihuana Rolled in Cigarettes, Becomes the Curse of the Southern Republic and May Account for the “Bravery” of “Greaser” Bandits Who Defy the United States – The Insanity of Queen Carlotta Is Accounted For in the Familiar Historical Legend of the Poisoned Tea
General Villa tells the United States it can “go to h—.” Mexican troops cross the border and shoot down American ranchers and all in all it seems that the nation south of the Rio Grande would just as soon defy and fight the mighty Uncle Sam as to continue its own internal warfare.
And why?
Are the Mexicans becoming a mightier and braver race, or in the language of Texas, are they becoming “locoed?”
Reports received here indicate that the sudden burst of bravery on the part of the Mexicans is due to an increased use of the weed known as marihuana, which has much the same effect as opium or morphine on its users.
It is believed that a dose of this weed, administered by an enemy, caused Queen Carlotta, wife of Emperor Maximilian, to lose her mind. She now is living alone in a castle in France, still hopelessly insane, 50 years after the potion was administered.
Affects of Drug
The authorities here reported that large quantities of the weed are being imported into Texas from Mexico and causing the Mexicans on this side to nerve themselves to all kinds of daring crimes. The lower-class of Mexicans and Indians are obtaining and using quantities of the drug.
When a Mexican is under the influence of marihuana he imagines that he can, single-handed, whip the entire regular United States army, while if reinforced by several other Mexicans, also under the influence of the drug, he might include a few European nations in his dream conquests.
While under the influence of the marihuana Mexicans are liable to commit murder and when arrested give the authorities great trouble. In fact, a number of Mexicans recently have been shot by Rangers when they resisted arrest, and tried to kill the officers.
In El Paso the devotees of the alluring drug are so numerous and such a menace to law and order that an ordinance recently was passed by the city council making it “unlawful for any person, firm or corporation or association of persons to sell, barter, exchange or give away or to have in his or their possession any marihuana or Indian hemp.” The ordinance further sets forth that the dangerous properties of marihuana and the increasing sale, with resultant injury to public health and public morals, creates a necessity for the law’s rigid enforcement.
Smoked in Cigarettes
The terrible effects of the weed were realized by the late President Porfirio Diaz and during the latter years of his administration an order was in effect making it an offense punishable by death for any person to sell or give away to any soldier marihuana cigarettes or the weed in any other form.
The favorite method of using the weed is to roll the particles into cigarettes. Mexicans who are addicted to the habit say that the indulgence in one cigarette places them in the “seventh heaven.” It brings to them a sense of pleasure and delight that is incomparable and indescribable.
If a limit of one cigarette were set no great lasting harm might come to the indulger, but in order to keep up the feeling of elation another and perhaps another of the paper-wrapped poison is consumed, until the victim is in a state of wild frenzy. When in this condition he often goes on a rampage that brings death to whoever crosses his path. The period of temporary insanity lasts for several hours and is followed by the victim falling into a deep sleep that lasts 24 hours or more. He awakes with no knowledge of what has transpired while the full effects of the drug were upon him. It takes only a few months of constant indulgence in the cigarette habit to bring on permanent insanity.
It is stated that the marihuana weed grows profusely over a large area of Mexico and that it is found in considerable quantities on the Texas side of the Rio Grande River. In some districts it is a menace to livestock. The animals quickly learn to like the weed and when once they have obtained a taste for it they will eat nothing else. It brings death to them in a short time.
Really a Loco-Weed
In fact, the marihuana seems to be nothing less than the loco-weed that causes insanity to both men and beast. If the devastation of the drug is so great on this side of the Rio Grande, with our jails filled with men who have committed crimes while under the influence of the drug, and with our insane asylums filled with those who have lost their minds through the use of marihuana, imagine the terrible effect of its indulgence on the people of Mexico and then ask the question: Where do the Mexican bandits get their nerve to commit their attacks on the Americans and where do leaders summon courage to defy the government at Washington?
Then think of poor Queen Carlotta in her castle in France, with the doors of her mind closed forever from the light of understanding, apparently from an overdose of the drug administered in the form of tea by one of the enemies of her husband, Maximilian. The poor queen in her castle has been for fifty years and more awaiting death. Last year when the Germans invaded France they placed signs on this lone castle warning that anyone who disturbed the mad queen, as she is called, would be subject to severe punishment.
For Queen Carlotta is an Austrian and the Kaiser desired that she be protected, and the German soldiers responded nobly to his wishes, even refusing to fight in the vicinity of her castle.
History of a Queen
The story of Queen Carlotta’s insanity is one of the saddest in all of history, and her fate is even worse than that of her husband, who was shot to death at the direction of the French. As retribution for this deed they have given the queen the castle in the northern part of their domain and have maintained her for fifty years or more at their expense.
Here are the events that led to Maximilian’s regency in Mexico, his tragic end and the insanity of his queen:
In 1861 the Liberals and Conservatives in Mexico, while in the midst of one of those revolutions such as we have at the present day, seized on the property of foreigners. In consequence, Great Britain, France and Spain concluded a Triple Alliance at London with a view to forcing Mexico to pay indemnities. In December, 1861, a force of the Triple Alliance landed at Vera Cruz and occupied it without resistance, the Mexican troops having evacuated. After a successful conquest of many states it became apparent that the Emperor, Napoleon III, intended to interfere with the government of Mexico and perhaps establish a monarchy. The British and Spanish troops thereupon were withdrawn and the remainder of the conquest was left to the French troops.
On June 10, 1863, the French troops under General Forey entered the City of Mexico after it had been evacuated by President Juarez and his Republican troops. General Forey established a junta of 35 Mexican citizens and permitted them to establish an assembly of notables which decreed that Mexico in the future would be an empire with a Roman Catholic prince as sovereign to bear the title of Emperor. The crown thereupon was offered to Archduke Maximilian of Austria, of the Imperial House of Hapsburg.
The French were firmly established in the heart of Mexico but the army of Juarez still were firmly established in the southern and western portion of the country; and the contest of arms continued with varying fortune until the early part of 1864 when the Archduke Maximilian of Austria arrived in the Mexican capital to be proclaimed Emperor of Mexico. Maximilian was accompanied by his iill-fated wife who became the Empress Carlotta and the first lady of the new Empire. Maximillion had been placed on the Mexican throne through the instrumentality of the Emperor Napoleon.
The year 1864 was an eventful one in the history of Mexico. The French captured the city of Matamoras and the whole Mexican army was forced to surrender and become prisoners of war.
However, when the Civil War in the United States closed, the vitality of the Maximilian Empire declined. The United States, because of its internal affairs, was unable to act before, but when peace was restored the Monroe Doctrine was cited and the French were invited to leave Mexico. The French thereupon evacuated the country, leaving Maximilian and his imperialist followers to defend themselves against the Juarists. Maximilian remained despite the warning of Napoleon III to leave the country.
In May, 1876, the Juarists captured Maximilian and he and two of his generals were shot to death on June 19.
But before the death of Maximilian, the Mexicans had taken revenge upon his queen. Several of her servitors are said to have given her tea which contained the deadly marihuana. The potion was so strong that she soon lost her mind.
So the marihuana is more deadly today than it was in the time of Queen Carlotta, for the Mexicans now are using it in cigarettes, and with each cigarette the desire to take the United States and annex it to Mexico seems to become stronger. And so the victims of the drug sleep on with their minds wandering far into the regions of the impossible, for its marihuana after all -and not real nerve and courage – that seems to be behind Mexico.Marihu Carlotta

Jack the Ripper in America (1891)

Jack the Ripper in America (1891)

(From the McCook Tribune (McCook, Nebraska) – May 1, 1891)
NEW YORK – “Jack the Ripper” is believed by the police to have at last come to this city. Yesterday morning in the East River Hotel the body of a wretched woman was found with her abdomen horribly cut and her bowels protruding. Her name is not known. The resort in which the body was found is one of the lowest in the city. It is located on the southeast corner of Catherine and Market streets. The woman was known about the neighborhood has one of the half-drunken creatures who hang about the low resorts of Water Street and Riverside. She came to the hotel last night in company with a man who registered as Knickloi and wife. The couple were assigned to a room on the upper floor and went to bed at once. Nothing was seen or heard of them during the night. No cry or unusual noise was heard. This morning the attendant rapped at the door of the room occupied by the couple. There was no answer and he rapped again with no better result and finally broke in the door. A horrible site met his gaze. On the bed lay a woman in a big pool of blood. She had been dead for hours. Her abdomen had been fairly ripped open with a dull, broken table knife that lay in the pool of blood.
The viscera had been cut, and from appearances a part was missing. The woman’s head was bandaged. A cloth had been tied about her neck and face, but whether for any foul purpose or to hide any other traces of murder the attendant did not wait to see.



An American Suspect

One of the more talked about recent Jack the Ripper suspects is Dr Francis Tumblety whose name was suggested by Inspector Littlechild.

Prior to and during the Jack the Ripper Murders, Chief Inspector John Littlechild (1847-1923) was head of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Irish Branch – a post he held from 1883 and 1893.

Although Littlechild (as far as is currently known) had very little to do with the Jack the Ripper investigation itself, as a high ranking police officer in the Metropolitan Police he most certainly would have had frequent contact with the likes of Dr. Robert Anderson and Chief Inspector Swanson.

In 1913 the journalist George Sims was sniffing around for information on a Jack the Ripper suspect. He duly wrote to John Littlechild to ask if he had any knowledge of a Dr. D. being suspected of having committed the Whitechapel Murders.

Sims was evidently referring to ripper suspect Montague John Druitt, whose name (or at least hints of it) had been circulating through police circles for the previous fifteen or so years.

Littlechild wrote back to say that he had never heard of a Dr D. ever having being mentioned as a suspect. But he then went on to suggest a suspect who, in England at least, had not been mentioned up to that point. Littlechild wrote:-

“…amongst the suspects, and to my mind a very likely one, was a Dr T [who] was an American quack named Tumblety.”

He then went on to inform Sims that Tumblety had been arrested for “unnatural offences,” that he had been remanded on bail, that he had subsequently jumped bail and escaped to Boulogne, after which nothing was ever heard from him again. Indeed, according to Littlechild:-

“…It was believed he committed suicide but certain it is that from that time the ‘Ripper’ murders came to an end.”

Dr Francis Tumblety had been arrested and charged with acts of gross indecency with a number of males on 7th November 1888. As Littlechild stated in his letter to Sims he had been remanded on bail, which he did indeed skip and then he had headed for Boulogne.

However, contrary to Littlechild’s assertion that he disappeared and probably committed suicide, Tumblety was most certainly heard from again. Having made it to Boulogne, Tumblety sailed to New York and, on landing, soon had the American press hot on his trail in relation to his possible connection to the Whitechapel murders.

From the moment of his arrival in New York the New York Police Department also took an interest in him and Tumblety was kept under surveillance by Inspector Byrnes of the New York Police.

Questioned by journalists as he kept watch on Tumblety’s lodging about whether or not Tumblety would be returning to London to be question about the Jack the Ripper murders, Byrnes responded that, “…there is no proof of his [Tumblety’s] complicity in the Whitechapel murders, and the crime for which he was under bond in London is not extraditable.”

According to the New York Times, Inspector Byrnes:-

“…laughed at the suggestion that he was the Whitechapel murderer…”

A claim often made to back up Tumblety’s possible involvement in the Jack the Ripper Murders is that he is known to have collected medical specimens, including uteri.

But there is scant evidence to suggest that he ever did. The allegation that he did was made by Col. C. S. Dunham to the Williamsport Sunday Grit in which he mentioned being a guest at a dinner at which he had witnessed Tumblety fiercely denounce “…all women and especially fallen women.”Dunham went on to mention that Tumblety had then taken his guests to his office where he showed them a dozen or more jars containing the uteri of every class of women. 

But Dunham’s veracity is, to say the least, questionable. He himself was a known confidence trickster, who only made his claims after press allegations had linked Tumblety to the Whitechapel Murders. It is, therefore, highly possible, if not likely, that he made the story up in order to cash in on Tumblety’s sudden notoriety.

Another oft quoted piece of evidence against Tumblety is that people who knew him thought he was the killer. Again this is mere hearsay. Some of them might have thought so, but others were adamant that he wasn’t.

One woman who most certainly didn’t think he was capable of his crimes was his New York landlady Mrs. McNamara, who was quoted in the New York Herald as saying that “Dr. Tumblety…is a perfect gentleman. He wouldn’t hurt anybody.”

The case for Tumblety’s involvement in the Jack the Ripper Murders is a fairly weak one. Moreover, there is no concrete evidence that he ever visited Whitechapel, and he most certainly bore no resemblance to descriptions given by those who may have seen the face of the killer.

There is no evidence that he was ever violent – a view with which even Littlechild concurred as, in his letter to Sims, he states that Tumblety was “not known as a “Sadist” (which the murderer unquestionably was).”

Furthermore, three years after receiving Littlechild’s letter George Sims wrote his own autobiography and made no mention of Tumblety’s having been Jack the Ripper but stuck to his original belief in his Dr. D. theory.

The final nail in the coffin of the case against Francis Tumblety is that the Metropolitan Police themselves don’t appear to have considered him a viable suspect. Had they thought him responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders it is unlikely that they would have released him on bail. Even if they had, his whereabouts were known to their New York counterparts who could have arrested and extradited him at any moment.

The reason Francis Tumblety was not arrested in New York and extradited to England to face charges over the Jack the Ripper crimes can only be that he had been ruled out of any involvement in the Jack the Ripper murders.

Collins Express Seek More Vehicles, While B.R.S. Surrender Six

Collins Express Seek More Vehicles, While B.R.S. Surrender Six

This is the last post (at Least for the time being) as I have run out of free time on Commercial Motor site. I may try At a later date to see if i can get more time! This one is from:-
11th September 1959
Page 65

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Keywords : Liverpool, Studley, Business / Finance
[ON on the application by Collins Express Parcels, Ltd., Walsall od—to increase their A-licensed fleet by 16 vehicles and their receipts estimated £50,000—was reserved by the West Midland Licensing ity, Mr. W. P. James, when the case closed in Birmingham last week.
Much thought and deliberation had gone into the application, which had been part heard during April and May (The Commercial Motor, April 24 and May 29) said Mr. Harold Rogers for Collins. Earnings per vehicle had risen from £2,737, in 1957, to £3,186 in 1958, he added. There had been serious complaints from customers and the company had decided to increase their fleet.
British Railways, British Road Services and Hunts of Studley, Studley, Warwicks, objected to the application. Mr. B. W. Lennard, branch traffic superintendent of B.R.S,, said that 292 vehicles were operated by B.R.S. in the midlands area affected by Collins’ application. There had been a fall in traffic and B.R.S. had surrendered, or were in the process of surrendering, licences for six A vehicles.
Mr, J. S. Owen, a British Railways passenger official, confirmed a fail in traffic, but admitted that there had been a 10 per cent_ rise in rates, in August, 1958.
Hunts traffic manager, Mr. W. Spilsbury, said their business had not been falling off. Their vehicles were fully employed, and they had a number of common customers with Collins, he added.
Mr. R. C. Oswald, for the Railways and B.R.S., said Collins admitted that they were seeking new customers. Between 1954 and 1957 there had been a rapid build up from 58 to 79 vehicles, which they were now proposing to increase further.
For Hunts, Mr. D. E. Skelding said there had been an estimated £27,756 from new customers during 1958—almost doubling the existing figures. Collins were “over vehicle-ized,” he said, and added “it is easy to prove a need for increase when vehicles are only partly employed.”
THERE had been a reduction of 7m. 1 passengers on Liverpool transport department vehicles during the past two years, stated the general manager, Mr. W. M. Hall, in his annual report. He said that this was due to the increase in the number of car owners—which went up by five per cent. each year, This fact also caused the congestion which reduced the average speed of a Liverpool bus, through the city centre during the peak hours, to 6+ m.p.h., he said.