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Mary Kelly's West End Madam

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 21 Dec 2011 - 20:49

THE ARMSTRONG CASE AND OTHERS.

SIR, Permit me, without egotism, to unite myself with some "excellent persons," who think that Mr. Stead has been engaged in a very noble work. It is my pleasure to read The Echo every day, and I write, therefore, in pretty full knowledge of the line you have deemed it your duty to take in regard to the Pall Mall Gazette and Mr. Stead. It is not for me to suggest a criticism upon the part you, with other journals, have taken in the matter. I venture to ask for a few lines in your columns upon a much more momentous topic. There is a feeling spreading amongst thousands of good and pure people in the East-end, that the laws of England has been used of late in the interests of the rich and the upper classes, and against the less fortunate, but not less loyal and moral part of the community. So deep is this impression, that the quotation of any remarks made by Magistrates and Judges awakens a suspicion not at all favourable to the moral weight of such an opinion. The justification given for this unhappy and, to my mind, dangerous state of public feeling, may be summed up in a few words. Colonel Baker (convicted of a gross assault) was made a first-class misdemeanant! Baron Huddleston passed a vindictive sentence in the Poole police case, and the "powers that be" have refused to mitigate a sentence worthy of Judge Jeffries. Mrs. Jeffries got off with a fine, and a trial was stopped in which exposures would have been made calculated to shock Society and the public journals infinitely more than the revelations in the Stead case. The East-end Socialists have been treated by all the legal authorities with scandalous injustice, and, being poor, all their efforts to get substantial redress have failed. Now I am not saying that there may not be some exaggeration in the feeling to which I have referred. Mr. Stead's imprisonment at Coldbath Prison as a common criminal will certainly intensify it. Next to the law, the public press represents the justice of the nation. A somewhat similar feeling exists in regard to some of the most prominent London papers. The political future of England is quite pregnant enough with difficulties and serious problems. It will only add to the anxieties of all good people if, in addition to the natural difficulties of political life, there arises amongst the people a distrust of Judge and journalist. That such a distrust does exist no one who lives Eastward can doubt. - Yours, &c., GEO. S. REANEY.
73, East India-road, E.

Source: The Echo, Friday November 13, 1885, Page 6

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 21 Dec 2011 - 21:00

MR. HENRY VARLEY AND THE JEFFRIES CASE.

SIR, Referring to the naming of the aristocratic patrons of Mrs. Jeffries, you suggest that the accusations "rest on the unsupported statement of a discharged servant who has never undergone a cross-examination." You will doubtless remember that it was not the fault of the prosecution that Bellchambers was not cross-examined. Neither Mr. D'Eyncourt at Westminster, nor Mr. Edlin and his fellow-purists at the Middlesex Sessions, showed any anxiety to test the truth of the evidence offered. At the time you made some strong remarks on the failure of justice in the case. Since then the names of those accused have been published in the Sentinel, and elsewhere. The accused have not yet vindicated their characters, and apparently do not intend so to do. Remembering the risk of libel, it is not likely that responsible editors would commit themselves to unsupported and scandalous statements about royal, "noble," and tuft-hunting personages. As to Sir William Harcourt, he is not likely to obtain many votes from the class whose daughters are compelled to enter upon domestic service at an early age.

Yours faithfully, J.H. STEPHENSON.
322, Gray's-inn-road, Oct. 22

Source: The Echo, Friday October 23, 1885

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 21 Dec 2011 - 21:09

HOUSE OF COMMONS - THURSDAY

THE JEFFRIES CASE. - SIR W. HARCOURT, in reply to Mr. J. Stuart, said with regard to the case of Inspector Minahan on the 28th of February, 1884, he had come to the decision that the charges brought by this officer against both his superiors and subordinates were without foundation. Minahan had now resigned, but it appeared had brought similar charges against officers in the Eastern division, in which he had formerly served, and on that occasion, in consideration of the length of his service, he had been merely transferred to another division, and had then expressed his gratitude for the leniency shown him. There had been no desire whatever to hush up the case.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, May 24, 1885, Page 3

N.B. Whatever, indeed!

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 21 Dec 2011 - 21:30

THE JEFFRIES CASE AGAIN.

ALLEGED POLICE PERSECUTION OF WITNESSES.

At Westminster Police-court today, Harold Clifton Baring, 25, horsekeeper, was charged with being drunk, disorderly, and assaulting Fox and Cooke, constables of the T Division. He was further charged with damaging the uniform of one of the officers. Fox stated that shortly after twelve on Saturday night he saw the prisoner drunk and leaning against a public-house at the corner of Church-street, Chelsea. On ordering him away he made use of most filthy language and said that no one policeman should move him. Witness endeavoured to get him away, and he then became very violent, threw witness in a struggle, and kicked him in the leg. A man named Clarke said that he went to the assistance of the police, and saw the prisoner deliberately kick the constable. Prisoner was drunk. Cooke corroborated on this point, and gave evidence to the effect that whilst assisting his brother constable on the way to the station prisoner kicked him on the calf of the leg, and tried to throw him. Prisoner altogether denied the drunkenness and assaults, and said that he had been repeatedly threatened by the police of the district because he was a witness in the well-known case of Mrs. Jeffries. They had boasted that they meant "to have him" the first chance they could get, and on Saturday night he was taken in custody for no reason at all. Edward Walker, a cabman, and Henry Hunt, labourer, who were drinking with the prisoner in the public-house until closing time swore that he was sober. The first-named witness also asserted that the Constable Fox threw the accused down and knelt on his chest. Jeremiah Minahan, ex-Inspector of Police at Chelsea Station, and now described as a debt collector, volunteered his evidence. He wished the Magistrate to know that in the case of Mrs. Jeffries the prisoner was one of his witnesses, and through this he had incurred the animosity of the police. Prisoner complained at the Middlesex Sessions that the Chelsea police had threatened him because he was one of the witnesses prepared to depose that he had seen them receive money. Minahan added that other witnesses had been threatened by the police. Mr. D'Eyncourt said he had little doubt but that the prisoner was drunk. He would, however, give him the opportunity of calling witnesses. Prisoner was put back so that the next case, a charge of disorderly conduct against Thomas Stonham, clerk, of 17, Paulton-square, Chelsea, might be taken. This charge was a corollary of the preceding one. Accused alleged that he was unwarrantably dragged from his own doorstep because he had remonstrated with the police as to their violent treatment of the prisoner Baring. Mr. D'Eyncourt said there appeared to be something he did not comprehend at present. He would remand both Baring and Stonham till tomorrow, and have all the evidence before him it was possible to obtain.

Source: The Echo, Monday June 15, 1885, Page 2

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Thu 22 Dec 2011 - 2:28

MR. STEAD'S IMPRISONMENT.
THE EXETER HALL DEMONSTRATION.

[FROM A CORRESPONDENT.]

Passing Exeter Hall, last Thursday evening, a stranger to what was going on there would be surprised at the crowd that was clamouring for entrance, only to be pushed back with the peremptory declaration that the hall was full - a circumstance which presently necessitated an overflow meeting in the Lower Hall. Entering the thronged building, to which by an act of peculiar adroitness we forced our way, we came upon a scene of almost wild enthusiasm. The mystery to the stranger would have been that it was the enthusiasm of denunciation, and that the denunciation was hurled against the Government and against a judge in particular, and the daily Press of the metropolis in general. The poor reporters, who could not help it, were hissed and hooted at. The Government shared with the judge in almost equal execration. It was evident from the sound and sensible exposition of affairs which excited this burning enthusiasm that the conscience of the vast assembly had had its sense of right violated. There was a terrible earnestness not only in the speakers, but in the audience, which went even beyond the speakers in their vociferous abjuration of a deep wrong, and an equally vociferous demand for its redress. It would be impossible for a sound and sober-minded man not to be moved by the statements that were not only made, but substantiated by reference to Blue Books and other authoritative records. Make what deductions you would on the score of feeling, or what modifications you might on the showing that the law in its letter had been broken, it was impossible to escape the conclusion that a grievous wrong had been committed, and that innocent and pure-minded people were suffering instead of some deeply guilty ones.
Well-informed readers who are "up" on the topics of the day will have judged that the meeting in question was convened in the interests of the Stead case. No effort had been made to pack that meeting; it was not widely announced; the great public knew little of its coming on; some representatives of the Press knew nothing of it. It was the spontaneous expression of a multitude of the most moral and Christian men and women concerning the result of a trial which had stirred their souls to their depths; and they were there in their thousands to protest against the treatment accorded to a good man, in the name of the law, for his righteous efforts to put a stop to the greatest iniquity of the land. Granted, as some of them would grant, that the methods adopted for redressing a great evil were indefensible, and regretting, as some would regret, that a high-minded man had placed himself in a false position, and had, at least, seemed to do evil that good might come, yet that a man who meant only good, and had, as a matter of fact, accomplished only good, should be the sufferer, while "evil men and seducers" were left at liberty to "wax worse and worse," was a state of things that the moral conscience of that multitude, rendered yet more keen by Christian considerations, could not calmly permit. On the contrary, they could not but admire the splendid self-abnegation by which a man of lofty purpose had sacrificed himself in order to save the bodies and souls of poor innocents from a debasement deep as damnation.
We have referred almost exclusively to the spirit of the meeting. The platform was of a very high order, as will be seen by the mention of such names as Benjamin Scott, the City Chamberlain, who presided, Dr. T.B. Stephenson, Dr. Clifford, Mrs. Josephine Butler, Mrs. Henry Fawcett, Revs. Hugh Price Hughes, Newman Hall, and a host beside. The facts and sentiments they advanced may be briefly summarised. Mr. Scott, from long and painful acquaintance which inquiry had given him with the terrible extent of the social evil, was able to adduce the most irrefragable evidence that for years the monstrous iniquity of juvenile abductions had been going on with the knowledge of those who ought to have suppressed it. Dr. Stephenson could support the testimony of the Pall Mall Gazette, from an acquaintance with the children of the poor gained during an experience of eighteen years among that particular class. Mrs. Josephine Butler, with the zeal of her soul burning against moral impurity, was there to express her astonishment that she was not placed in the dock with the others, since she deserved it as well as they; but she adroitly conjectured that she knew the reason, though she would not speak of it. She carried the meeting wholly with her when she spoke about the legal mind taking its stand upon minor points and technical quibbles to such an absurd extent as to be found, by and by, acting in direct contradiction of the grand spirit of the law. The greatest opponents of their cause she declared to be Scotland-yard, with its irresponsible body of police, and "the accursed London Press." The Rev. E. Davies, of Finchley, said that Mr. Stead's work had exalted him to a hero, and the Government had made him a martyr at the Central Criminal Court. He protested against the whole of the resources of the State being taxed to drag an heroic man, whom they had caught tripping in a technicality, to the dock, while the Goliaths of vice were untouched, and asserted that the Armstrong case would be handed down to the future as a "monster piece of jobbery." Mrs. Fawcett's earnest words were listened to with breathless attention as she moved a resolution expressing sympathy with Mr. Stead "in the punishment he is now undergoing for his heroic, self-sacrificing, and successful efforts on behalf of women and children." She held that that meeting was not for the purpose of petitioning for Mr. Stead's release, but rather to protest against the monstrous farce of the prosecution and sentence. She was not there to ask their mercy or pardon for Mr. Stead, but to say that she never knew any public man whose character had shown forth in such crystal purity, in such perfect self-forgetfulness, or in such generosity and chivalrous devotion to the poor and helpless as the character of the man who lies a prisoner in Holloway Gaol. She declared herself to be lifted up with joy and thankfulness to think that our country had in her the stuff of which that man was made. Compared with the revelation of such a beautiful soul, she felt that the miscarriage of justice, the combined forces of calumny and of jealousy, were as nothing. In twenty months' hence the utterances of petty spite will be forgotten, while the heroic Englishman who risked his liberty, his fair fame, and all that a man holds dear, for the sake of dealing a heavy blow at the most devilish traffic which exists in the world, will never be forgotten while a spark of generosity still lives in English hearts. Dr. Clifford rose to the height of the occasion when he declared that you could not padlock a soul, and that, before now, prisons had proved the most profitable soil for the advancement of morality. The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes declared that the justice of the people rose above that of the judge in this instance. When it came out that Mr. Stead had actually been sent to a plank bed, to prison dress, to coarse fare, to oakum picking, and to every indignity of a felon's cell, except the treadmill, all other feeling gave way to such an outbreak of Christian rage that the Government yielded at once, and ordered that Mr. Stead should be treated as a first-class misdemeanant. Malice, as usual, was stupid, and by so extravagantly overshooting the mark Mr. Stead's opponents lost any advantage they might have derived from appearing to have the forms of justice on their side. They remembered with what scrupulous care Valentine Baker had been pampered. So-called gentlemen, guilty of the vilest assaults upon young girls, were to enjoy something like luxury in prison; indignities were reserved for those who had risked their very lives in a Christ-like determination to make assaults upon girls impossible. The Government deserved no thanks for the mitigation of Mr. Stead's sentence. The justice of the people now demanded that the prison doors should be thrown open in order that the friends of little girls might walk out, and that the friends of vile women who provided for their debauchery might walk in. They did not envy the mental condition of those excellent persons who diligently tithed mint, anise, and cummin, while the weightier matters of truth, justice, and mercy demanded attention. The Pharisees were very irritable, and angrily refused to recognise the great services of Jesus Christ to the bodies and souls of their fellow-citizens because they said He had broken the technical Sabbath law; the judges were against Him. There are still those who, if they discover a solitary moral offence, or even some technical breach of the law, become blind to larger issues. Perhaps if those who were endeavouring to point out a mote in Mr. Stead's eye, would be good enough to take the beam out of their own, no evil results might follow. Let him that is without sin cast the first stone; and let him that has never stumbled, and will never need mercy, depart from the Divine example, and become strict to mark and severe to punish. Let him only that has risked his life for Christ and the poor, as Mr. Stead had done, undertake to lecture him. Mr. Hughes also announced that at a large and influential gathering of Methodist ministers, held on the previous Monday, it was resolved, with only two dis-sentients, to petition the Queen for the immediate release of Mr. Stead. It was also unanimously resolved to urge upon the Government the vigorous and immediate enforcement of Mr. Stead's Act, and many other laws which tend to the promotion of social purity. The duty of the hour, Mr. Hughes maintained, was to deluge the Queen with petitions. It was believed that the Queen would welcome such expressions of the national will.
The memorial to Her Majesty contains the following sentences, among others: -

We bring before your Majesty the statements concerning this dreadful traffic in the bodies and souls of large numbers of your most defenceless subjects. The Lords' Committee, which sat for ten months in order to inquire into this dreadful slavery, through Lord Dalhousie, stated that it "surpassed in arrant villainy and rascality any other trade in human beings in any part of the world, in ancient or modern times." Lord Shaftesbury, who was one of the Lords' Committee, affirmed "that anything more horrible or anything approaching the wickedness and cruelty perpetrated in these dens of infamy in Brussels it was impossible to imagine." Lord Dalhousie further stated that "upwards of twenty procurers had been at work to the knowledge of the police since 1875."
Though these awful facts have been known to the Legislature since 1880, nothing effectual was done to stay the horrors of this appalling traffic, until Mr. Stead, one of the most heroic and courageous of your Majesty's subjects, staking fortune, reputation, and position, threw himself into the breach, and secured the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
These facts are well known to millions of your most Gracious Majesty's subjects, and they are overwhelmed with shame and indignation that Mr. Stead should, because of his transgression of the mere letter of the law, have been sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
The evidence abundantly proved that there was not, and could not have been, any criminal intention. Further, that every act of Mr. Stead, some of which your memorialists do not attempt to justify, was designed to expose these hideous crimes, and to call public attention to the defective condition of the law, in order to put an end at once to this dreadful traffic.
Your memorialists desire to call the attention of your most Gracious Majesty to the fact that a noted procuress, a Mrs. Jeffries, resided in Church-street, Chelsea. The slave-dealer kept twelve immoral houses, which houses, the evidence showed, were mainly frequented by noblemen and gentlemen in the upper classes. In May, 1885, this notorious woman was brought to trial; her complicity with the home and foreign traffic in girls and women was well known; twenty witnesses were ready to give their testimony; and yet, because of her wealth and position, the trial became a travesty of justice. Accommodated with a seat in Court, covered with sealskin robes, her brougham waiting outside to convey her to her sumptuously-furnished villa, she was instructed to plead guilty, and fined 200 pounds. Your memorialists believe that a more grave miscarriage of justice never took place. For more than twenty years this buyer, seller, and exporter of English girls and women has carried on her criminal traffic.
Your memorialists are deeply pained to do this, but they cannot fail to point out the connection which they believe exists between the unjust prosecution of Mr. Stead and this successful attempt to "hush up" the notorious Jeffries case. They believe that this prosecution of Mr. Stead was instituted not as a terror to the evildoer, but as an oppression and persecution of the friends of liberty, purity, and womanly honour.
We ask your Majesty's gracious attention to the fact that the jury had the strongest objection to bring a verdict of guilty against Mr. Stead, and but for Mr. Justice Lopes they would not have done it. The verdict was much more a result of the judge's action than of the jury's. Straining at the mere letter of the law, Mr. Justice Lopes, in the judgment of your Majesty's memorialists, put the law on the side of injustice and oppression.

It may be added that not only in the metropolis has the public conscience been roused; reports of almost equally large, and certainly as enthusiastic, meetings come from South Shields, Bath, Sevenoaks, Trowbridge, Newport, and other places.

Source: The Nonconformist and Independent, November 26, 1885, Page 1130

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Guest on Thu 22 Dec 2011 - 13:35

The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon

by W.T.Stead.

http://www.victorianlondon.org/publications/maiden.htm

ENTRAPPING IRISH GIRLS

"The influx of Irish immigration is comparatively small, but some girls still arrive in London from Liverpool. The snaring of these girls is accomplished with more art than by the lassoing method that used to prevail in Ratcliff-highway. One of the most ingenious, but most diabolical methods of capture is that which consists in employing a woman dressed as a Sister of Merry as a lure. This I have been assured by ladies actively engaged in work among the poor is sometimes adopted with great success. The Irish Catholic girl arriving at Euston is accosted by what appears to be a Sister or Mercy. She is told that the good Lady Superior has sent her to meet poor Catholic girls to take them to good lodgings, where she can look about for a place. The girl naturally follows her guide, and after a rapid ride in a closed cab through a maze of streets she is landed in a house of ill fame. After she is shown to her bedroom the Sister of Mercy disappears, and the field is cleared for her ruin. The girl has no idea where she is. Every one is kind to her. The procuress wins her confidence. Perhaps a situation is found for her in another house belonging to the same management, for some broth-keepers have several houses. Drink is constantly placed in her way; she is taken to the theatre and dances. Some night, when worn out and half intoxicated, her bedroom door is opened — for there are doors which when locked inside will open by pressure from without — and her ruin is accomplished. After that all is easy — except the return to a moral life. Vestigia nulla retrorsum."

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Fri 23 Dec 2011 - 1:26

THE PROTECTION OF GIRLS.

The passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill does not appear to have been followed by any sensible diminution of the agitation set on foot by the Pall Mall Gazette, or even its more offensive incidents. On Saturday morning, however, that paper published a document of very great importance, the following pastoral, addressed by Bishop Temple to his clergy: -

"Reverend and dear Brother - The passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, and still more the circumstances which have attended the passing of that Act, appear to me to lay a fresh and serious responsibility on us the clergy. The exposure lately made of the extent and organisation of vice in the metropolis has caused the greatest pain and distress to many excellent people, and not a few believe that this exposure has done more harm than any use to be made of it can do good. I have not shared and do not share that opinion. The hot indignation that has been roused all over England is certain, in my judgment, to overpower the moral mischief which so many fear. And I feel confident that the result will be a general raising of the moral tone on this subject throughout the country. It will be - in some degree it is already - far more difficult than it was before to speak lightly of impurity. Men's minds have been opened to the fearful evils which are inevitably bound up with this sin. Young men have strong passions, but they have generous instincts, and many who would otherwise have been morally hurt by what has been told have been stirred to horror at the spectacle now unveiled of such callous cruelty. But there is a danger that this may not last. And it is here that our special responsibility is found; for a reaction to indifference would be disastrous indeed. It appears to me to be our duty to consider carefully how we may use the opportunity, and for this reason I write this letter.
"I think that in the first place we are bound to dwell much in our teaching on the duty which the old owe to the young in this matter. There is no measuring the mischief which men of mature age can do and have done by speaking lightly of impure conduct, or by encouraging the false and utterly unchristian notion that purity is impossible in the male sex, and therefore not required. Still more important is the duty which parents owe to their children. It is possible for parents to inculcate purity as none else can, and it is a duty which is often grievously neglected.
"It may not be wise to touch very often on such subjects before a mixed congregation; but strong, earnest teaching is needed even there sometimes. And very often at seasons of special solemnity, such as Advent or Lent, services for men only will give opportunities for being more plainspoken than would be right before women and children.
"In the second place, you may be able to form societies of men with a special view to the encouragement of purity of life and conduct, or to engraft such an aim on your existing parochial societies. Young men are not unwilling to unite in such movements and to avail themselves of the helps thus offered them in fighting against this strong temptation. Such societies can do much to banish impure conversation and impure literature, and to help all the right-minded to put a ban on unchaste livers.
"Thirdly, in the preparation of candidates for confirmation and in your general teaching you can insist with the utmost earnestness on the duty of not dallying with temptation. This, which is a duty in the conflict with all sins, is pre-eminently a duty in the conflict with impurity.
"Fourthly, you can do your part in what, taken as a whole, belongs more properly to the laity - the formation of vigilance committees and similar machinery for watching over and aiding in the administration of the law. Much more can probably be done by steadily enforcing the law than has been done yet.
"But, above all, I entreat you to labour diligently to raise the tone of public feeling and opinion, and to maintain a high standard thereafter. It is in the principles that men hold rather than in any rules or laws that they lay down, or machinery they form, that our hope rests of purifying society in any real or permanent measure. Our teaching should be graver, more earnest, more solemn on this subject than it has ever been before. To know the evil as we know it now, and be unaffected by the knowledge, will indeed make all worse instead of better.
"I pray God to be with you in your endeavours, and to bless the issues of all you do. - Your brother in the Lord Jesus Christ,
"August, 1885, Fulham Palace, S.W." "F. LONDIN.

On Monday in charging the Grand Jury at the Middlesex Sessions, the Assistant-Judge, Mr. Edlin, Q.C., observed that there were several charges of indecent assault upon female children of tender years, and added: - "Charges of this kind have always to be dealt with very carefully, and now more than ever they will need the closest investigation. There has recently been a flood of obscene literature, the suggestive and corruptive influence of which must have been felt in every court and lane and alley in the metropolis, so industriously has it been brought within the reach of the poorest of the population. Plain speaking with regard to acts of the grossest immorality - the same speaking as I read yesterday the Bishop of London deprecated before women and children - has been made plain indeed to the smallest intelligence. You are doubtless aware that these glaring pictures of shameless and triumphant vice, with their elaborate details of abominable lust, have been regarded by many estimable persons as a necessary teaching and exposure. Certainly they have now become knowledge for old and young alike, and without pausing to inquire if they be presentment of fact or fiction, or questioning for a moment the good intention of those who designed and painted them, it were as idle to expect that they will not injuriously affect the minds of thousands of children of both sexes before whom they have been exhibited, as to hope that people can permanently breathe a foul and vitiated atmosphere without injury to bodily health. The subject is a repulsive one, and I have no intention to pursue it, but it is impossible not to notice that the seed thus sown has already begun to show signs of inevitable fruit."

(From the "Daily News.")

Proposals for the protection of girls were considered on Friday at a conference held in St. James's Hall. Mr. George Russell, M.P., presided, and was supported on the platform by Mr. Stansfeld, M.P., Lord Lymington, M.P., the Dean of Gloucester, and by a number of ladies and gentlemen who have interested themselves in a scheme for the formation of a National Vigilance Association to enforce the laws relating to criminal vice and public immorality. In the body of the hall there were gathered between two and three hundred persons. Ladies, to whose co-operation in the work of the conference much importance was attached by many of the speakers, were so numerous in the body of the hall as to make it doubtful whether they were not in the majority. In his opening speech, the Chairman rejoiced in the conference as the commencement of an attempt to do by public and organised effort what many had long tried to do silently and singly. As social reformers they had endeavoured to cope with an evil involving much suffering, sorrow, and national degradation. As citizens they had resented the ostentatious defiance of the law, and as men they could make no terms with rank cruelty and injustice. The main difficulties which had handicapped them he described as isolation and silence - the want of knowledge of fellow-workers, and of a centre of united action, which it was the business of the conference to supply, and a universal silence, the silence of the press, the silence of pulpit teachers and parents, the pharisaical silence of opponents, and the mistaken silence of many righteous people. When the conscience of England had been awakened, Parliament had listened to its voice, and the recent Act for the amendment of the criminal law had been passed. He regretted that it was not all he had wished it to be, but he recognised in it, with all its defects, a strong, clear, and workable measure, which it was their business to see enforced. While commenting on past inefficiency in the enforcement of such laws as had existed, he declared he would be untrue to his deliberate convictions if he did not say that the circumstances attending the Jeffries trial were of the most unsatisfactory kind. Ex-Inspector Minahan's statement having once been made, the public had a right to see it sifted to the bottom. The whole of the system of hushing up was abhorrent to him. Their first object ought to be to secure due enforcement of a salutary and righteous law, to let light into dark recesses, detect criminal vice, and punish the offenders. At the close of his speech the chairman announced that a letter had been received from Mr. Auberon Herbert, which would be handed to the reporters. While not differing as to the protection of children, Mr. Herbert protested against the association being formed to attack not only criminal vice but also public immorality, and asked whether it had been considered that in driving men and women out of public places and out of the streets, they would necessarily degrade the women, produce a lower type of character, and further degrade the men who went with them.
The first resolution recommending "the formation of a National Vigilance Association of men and women for the enforcement and improvement of the laws for the repression of criminal vice and public immorality," was moved by Mr. Stansfeld, M.P., who said his experience in connection with another agitation had taught him and many others that in the enforcement of the laws of morality or the law of the land in so far as it was framed to support the law of morality they should place no faith in the action of the police or any of the constituted authorities in this country. He did not mean to convey any undue or unfair reflection on the police, but he knew this to be a subject on which nothing less than the awakened and organised conscience of the country would suffice for the efficient enforcement of the law. He drew hope for his own Bill from the principle underlying the recent Act, which he held to be this, that vice shall not be treated as a necessity for man, and he described the objects of the new association as the enforcement of the law, the improvement of the law, and by their action in every town and village, the keeping awake and vigilant the conscience of the people of the land. Mr. Montagu Cookson, in seconding the resolution, speaking from knowledge of London and the Continent, expressed the opinion that there was no city in the world in which immorality stalked abroad in such daring colours as in the metropolis. A section of the audience loudly applauded the suggestion that if we had laws for the repression of the liquor traffic an enormous stride would be taken in the direction of repressing the companion vice which the association had to deal with. The Rev. H.W. Webb Peploe pointed out the existence already of a central vigilance committee, and suggested that its information and organisation might be utilised. On his reading the names of his influential committee, some one in the hall shouted, "Where are these gentlemen today?" The impossibility of bringing them back to town at such short notice was pleaded in answer, but some members of the committee were said to be present, and Mr. Percy Bunting presented himself as one of them; he, however, did not support Mr. Peploe's proposal, but objected to the affiliation or merging of the new associations being contemplated at present. Their objects he regarded as in some respect distinct, and he added significantly that there was not a single lady on the Central Vigilance Committee, and that this was not accidental, whereas the new association was going to have women going hand in hand with men at every stage of its work. Mr. Rowlands then came forward with a lively criticism of Mr. Webb Peploe's committee, doubting whether all its members were Lord Brabazons and Samuel Morleys, and he made it a matter of reproach that it should be so near a certain Chelsea house for many years without bringing about a prosecution. This apparently deciding the question of amalgamation, the resolution was put to the vote and carried, a gentleman in the audience, who desired to speak after the meeting had decided to proceed to the vote, being reckoned as a dissentient.
The second resolution proposed to include all existing local vigilance committees in London and the country willing to affiliate themselves to the National Association, and all persons willing to co-operate in the work. Viscount Lymington, M.P., who proposed the motion, warned the conference against entering on a crusade against vice at large instead of adhering to its main object, the suppression of criminal vice. Amid some murmurs and cries of "No," he expressed the opinion that if they meant to suppress brothels and allow the police to drive women off the streets, they would only drive the evil deeper. They would put it out of sight, but would probably intensify it and further degrade the women themselves. The Rev. Father Murphy evoked dissentient cries by referring to the Contagious Diseases Acts agitation as a controverted subject which should be kept in the background if disunion were not to be courted. Answering this argument, the Rev. Hugh Price Hughes, in a vigorous and loudly applauded speech, said if the repeal of the legislation which Mr. Stansfeld sought to repeal was to be an open question, they had better separate and not meet again. Of not a man who believed in these Acts was the sympathy or co-operation worth a rush. Let such all go away. They believed that trade in vice could be suppressed as much as trade in gambling. They were not prepared to have on the statute books of a Christian country any endorsement of the principle that any vice was necessary or venial. Mr. Peploe, in vindicating his committee against Mr. Rowlands's suggestions, said he had never heard of Mrs. Jeffries's existence until an application was made to him to find two persons to undertake a prosecution. Miss Tod, Belfast, dwelt on the material difficulty of getting decent pay for girls, arguing that of all possible causes of temptation to women poverty was the greatest. The Dean of Gloucester (Dr. Butler) addressed the conference on the recentness of the changes which had taken place in the attitude of men's minds towards other evils such as slavery and intemperance, and drew the inference that much could be accomplished by endeavouring to make the heinousness of vice felt. The resolution was passed with the following addition: -
"In furtherance of its object the National Vigilance Association shall endeavour (1) to secure the formation of local vigilance committees of men and women in every town, and the appointment of a trustworthy person as associate in every village in the land; (2) to afford such local committees and associates such advice, information, and assistance as may be required; and (3) to consider from time to time such amendment of the law, local or general, as experience may show to be needed. The object of the local committees will be (1) to co-operate with the local authorities for the objects of the National Association; (2) to facilitate the harmonious co-operation of all agencies engaged in preventive or rescue work; and (3) to consider all the questions concerning the protection of girls, the prosecution and exposure of offenders; and (4) generally to stimulate and maintain a healthy public opinion on the subject of public morality."

It was agreed that the new association should be directed by a council with Mr. G. Russell, M.P., as chairman, and Mr. R. Thicknesse and Mr. Coote as secretaries. Among those nominated on the council were the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Bedford, Cardinal Manning, Professor Stuart, M.P., Mr. Stansfeld, M.P., Mr. Broadhurst, M.P., Mr. Stead, Mr. W. Bramwell Booth, and several well-known clergymen, besides Miss Ellice Hopkins, Mrs. Fawcett, Mrs. Bradley, Mrs. Josephine Butler, and other ladies.

At the afternoon sitting of the conference resolutions bearing on rescue and preventive work were discussed. The first of them, laying down the lines of an appeal to the people of England, and of another appeal to employers, was seized upon by some members of the Social Democratic Federation for an exposition of their views. The Bishop of Bedford had started the discussion by moving the resolution in a speech urging hearty effort in order that the evil to be feared from "the circulation of the terrible things that had been brought before them all" might be minimised and the good results prevail. Miss Ellice Hopkins had addressed herself to women and demanded some sacrifice from them, including, in order to reduce the number of unmarried men, a willingness to train and educate their daughters to be the wives of poor men. "They will be much happier," she said, "as the wives of poor men than not wives at all. Many single women are eating out their hearts because their parents have a very comfortable ideal for them, which leads to the starvation of the heart, which, mind you, is the hungriest part in a woman's nature." Mrs. Fenwick Miller had followed to enforce a principle to be laid down in the proposed public appeal that the law of chastity was equally binding on men and women. Then Mr. Williams, of the Social Democratic Federation, in his rough and ungrammatical but vehement and eloquent speech, proposed to introduce a protest against the employment of girls at low wages and for more than eight hours, and especially against Government work being given to contractors who employ women's labour at unremunerative prices. This speaker startled his audience by the proposition that the Revised Version of the Bible had been made the means of demoralising women, his process of reasoning being that instead of men working at trade union prices girls had been employed in its production, and that the low rate of girls' wages was directly conducive to the evils under discussion. He also contrasted the earnings of the match trade girls with the wealth which enabled their employers to do munificent deeds in the East-end. Mr. Champneys, another Democrat, in supporting his colleague, formulated his remedy as being "briefly to take away riches from the rich rather than life from the poor." Mr. Williams was induced by Mr. Coote to cut out of his amendment the reference to the eight hours' limitation of work, but carried the rest of his amendment to a division with such considerable encouragement that on a show of hands the chairman had evident difficulty in making sure that the majority was against the Democrats. It was generally agreed, as a concession to their views, to insert in the appeal to employers a request to discourage "starvation wages" as well as the excessive hours, overcrowding, and other evils already mentioned in the resolution. In the absence of Mr. Scott, the City Chamberlain, a resolution, which was passed, in favour of efforts similar to those of the Women Passengers' Protection Society, was moved by Mr. Stead, to whom an enthusiastic reception was given. To a resolution on the employment of women suggesting various means of improving the condition of the female labour market, Dr. Drysdale desired to add a rider expressing the opinion that no solution of the question would be fundamental which did not take into account the excessive over-population of the country, caused by the extremely large families so common amongst working classes. The rider was seconded by a lady (Mrs. Heatherley), who desiderated a total change in the laws of marriage. The amendment was summarily rejected. Mr. Stewart Headlam coming next forward with an amendment proposing that the resolution should not offer encouragement to emigration, laid it down that prostitution would never be got rid of until we got rid of landlordism, a suggestion endorsed by Mr. Verrinder, of the Guild of St. Matthew's, on the ground that landlordism was undoubtedly at the bottom of overcrowding. The resolution was ultimately adopted free from all amendments of this or any other character, and other resolutions in favour of the multiplication of places of innocent recreation for girls, of action against overcrowding, and of the provision of refugees for girls at night, were passed. The subject of industrial schools and the changes needed in the reformatory system was referred to the general council.

To be continued.........

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sat 24 Dec 2011 - 1:07

MR. BENJAMIN SCOTT AND THE POLICE.

Mr. Benjamin Scott, the Chamberlain of the City of London, has addressed the following letter to Sir Richard Cross in reference to a question asked in the House of Commons by Mr. Cavendish Bentinck, M.P.:

Right Honourable Sir Richard Cross, G.C.B., M.P.,
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Sir, - I beg to forward you, as nearly as is possible, a verbatim copy of remarks made by me at a meeting held on the 22nd inst., at the Memorial Hall, on the occasion of a presentation of a testimonial to ex-Inspector Minahan, of the T Division of the metropolitan police. I omit anything said in reference to matters outside Mr. Bentinck's question. Being asked to move a resolution demanding inquiry into allegations made by Inspector Minahan, I said:

"The metropolitan police force possessed many good and brave men. It would have been strange if it had not been so, seeing that the force was recruited from natives of the British Isles. Sergeant Cole, who picked up the dynamite in Westminster Hall, was a brave man, and so was Police-constable Davis, who had attacked two armed men on a housetop, to a testimonial to whom I had been happy recently to contribute. But the metropolitan police system was objectionable; there was no responsibility to any representative body, as there was in the City and in the various corporations in England and Wales. Some 12,000 men in London, out of about 25,000 in England and Wales, were irresponsible to the public. The system provided no impartial, independent tribunal to whom could be referred for investigation any such complaint and allegations as were made by Mr. Minahan. The late Home Secretary, upon receiving his complaint, had remitted it for inquiry to the very persons complained of, which appeared to me an extraordinary course for a lawyer to pursue. Sir William Harcourt was a man of great debating power; he filled a very influential position in her Majesty's councils, and he was protected in regard to what he might say by the privileges of Parliament. When asked a question on this subject he asserted that Minahan had spoken falsely when upon his oath as a prominent witness for the prosecution of the woman Jeffries. Now, it was said, noblesse oblige, and it would have been expected that Sir W. Harcourt would have spoken very carefully of the character of a man on a matter on which he could have no personal knowledge whatever, and which was sub judice. It was excellent to have a giant's strength, but tyrannous to use it like a giant. This is what it appeared to me Sir William Harcourt had done, I say it with regret as a Liberal in politics. Minahan had been degraded in rank, and had felt, as any honest man would have done, that he must resign his position in the force and lose his pension; he appealed to the Home Secretary, who sent his appeal to those who had degraded him, and they had made statements respecting him which Minahan had declared and still declares to be false, and the matter remained without independent investigation until this day. In addition to his complaint of personal wrong, Minahan had charged publicly that his superior officers were in collusion with Mrs. Jeffries, and that members of the force received her money. Minahan had been the first to lift a corner of the veil which covered certain abominations, and another had rent the veil in twain; and now it would be impossible to cover again what it had concealed until the law was altered, and more effectual provision was made for the protection of women and girls."
I then moved the resolution. - I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BENJAMIN SCOTT.

Chamber of London, Guildhall, July 27.

Source: The Centaur, Saturday August 1, 1885

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sat 24 Dec 2011 - 6:34

Vanity Fair has the following: - "The purity of the administration of justice in England has hitherto been the one thing in the country against which no word has been said, or could be said. And the greatest safeguard of this purity is the publicity of judicial proceedings which enables all men to judge of their fairness and impartiality. And the result of the combination of judicial publicity and judicial purity is that, whatever doubts may be felt as to other matters, the public have hitherto felt the most absolute confidence in English courts and English judges. A case has, however, recently occurred which displays a departure from the usual and wholesome practice of English courts such as cannot too strongly be deprecated, and such as raises a serious suspicion that an English Judge has lent himself to a transaction of a most questionable nature. The matter is one of such importance that it must be sifted to the bottom. It appears, from the answer of the Home Secretary to a question addressed to him by Mr. Fowler on Thursday, 9th July, that one Mrs. Jeffries was cited to be tried for keeping a disorderly house at the Middlesex Sessions, and that, instead of the proceedings being, as is usual in criminal cases, conducted wholly in public, "the Judge, together with the counsel for the prosecution and defence, had a private interview before the prisoner was called upon to plead; that at the conclusion of that interview the prisoner, by the direction of her counsel, pleaded guilty, and thereupon was sentenced to the nominal punishment of a fine of 200 pounds." Mr. Fowler asked a third question - viz., whether "the prisoner's counsel was informed at this private interview that, in the event of his client pleading guilty, the sentence would be one of a fine and not of imprisonment;" but as to this Sir Richard Cross replied, not by a denial, but by saying that "as to the third point the Judge was at present abroad, and he could not give any information." The Judge who is alluded to in this matter is Mr. Edlin, Q.C., the Assistant-Judge at the Middlesex Sessions; and the imputation he lies under by the affirmative answer of Sir Richard Cross to the first two of the three questions, and by his failure to answer the third by a negative, is that he, Mr. Edlin, lent himself to a private "squaring" of a case preliminary to its public trial, and thus rendered that trial a purely formal if not a wholly fictitious proceeding. And what makes the matter especially serious is, that this case of Mrs. Jeffries is one which it has been openly alleged to have been thus arranged in order to save from exposure persons of high position. This therefore was precisely a case in which it was very unadvisable to have private interviews imported into the matter, for, however upright and impartial the Judge may be, such an importation in such a case, followed by such a result, could not but give occasion for imputations which, if true, would show Mr. Edlin to be unfit for the office he holds. But it is not necessary nor would it be right or fair to believe, upon our present information, that this imputation is true. Mr. Edlin is abroad, and has presumably been asked for explanations, which he will of course, in due time, give, for it is to be supposed that he is not inaccessible. But how came it that Mr. Edlin should be abroad at this time? It is stated to be due to a suggestion of the late Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt, who, as is declared, suggested that he should take a good holiday and go abroad to re-establish his health. The matter is one which, for Mr. Edlin's and Sir William Harcourt's sake, should be cleared up, and, as there has been ample time since the 9th July to communicate with Mr. Edlin, it is to be hoped that Mr. W. Fowler will repeat his third question and will obtain an answer to it."

Source: West London Standard, August 1st, 1885, Page 6

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sat 24 Dec 2011 - 7:22

SENATORS IN HARNESS.

Yesterday the Peers sat for an hour and twenty minutes. With the exception of a River Thames Bill, the business was all of a non-contentious character. Lords Bramwell and Wemyss detected in the Thames Bill some minute violation, presumably of Personal Liberty and Property Defence principles, and took a division with the usual ill-luck.
In the House of Commons, Dr. Cameron announced that he will next Session move the immediate overthrow of the established Kirk of Scotland. This looks like business. Dr. Cameron is popular north of the Tweed, where his notice of motion will probably serve as a political call to arms. Replying to a question, Lord John Manners intimated that the Post Office would accept liability for the conveyance of parcels according to a scheme of insurance not yet wholly settled. One penny up to 5 pounds, and twopence up to 10 pounds, would be the probable scale. All insurance fees to be paid into the Treasury. The plan seems feasible enough. Mr. McCoan is much exercised about the non-exaction of the fine 500 pounds imposed on his compatriot, Mr. O'Brien, for contempt of Court. Sir William Hart-Dyke, he complained to Mr. Speaker, is vague and evasive when interrogated on the subject. Mr. Speaker, alas! could not, or would not, promise any redress. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is making but slow progress with the constitution of his Royal Commission on Trade depression. Yesterday he was still unable to "name" the Commissioners - a subject of deep discouragement to Mr. Arthur Arnold and Mr. Henry Broadhurst. Sir H. Tyler asked if it was intended to complete the Souakim-Berber Railway, so as to "confer the blessings of civilisation on Central Africa." Mr. W.H. Smith replied that there was no immediate intention. On the contrary, a large portion of the material had been brought back at great cost. Mr. T.P. O'Connor suggested that the Members of the late Government should be served with the bill, but the hint was not taken. Mr. Smith further added, in reply to Mr. James Stuart, that steps are being taken to relieve both the European and Indian troops at Souakim. According to Mr. Smith's own showing the place is like an oven - 97 degrees at 9 a.m., and 102 at 3 p.m. The reforms in Armenia spoken of in the Berlin Treaty were made the subject of inquiry by Mr. Bryce and Mr. McCoan; but Mr. Bourke did not find it to the advantage of the public service to say whether Sir H.D. Wolffe's instructions embraced the subject or not. Mr. Villiers Stuart, who knows whereof he speaks, asked Mr. Bourke if the "kourbash" and "bastinado" are still being as freely applied to the Egyptian fellahs as formerly; whether there are now men compelled by the lash to dig canals with their fingers, &c. Mr. Bourke, of course, could not say. This "know nothing" attitude is bad enough, but it is commendable compared with the official glosses which Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice and Sir Charles Dilke were wont to put on such enormities. Again Sir William Harcourt defended himself and the heads of the Metropolitan Police from the charge of connivance with Madame Jeffries and Company. Howbeit, he did not manage to exculpate himself to the satisfaction of Mr. Philip Callan, who will call his conduct in question on the Appropriation Bill. Lord John Manners promised Mr. Alderman Lawrence that it should be possible for him to send off a sixpenny telegram for the first time on October 1st.
At last the ghastly subject of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill was reached, and the House went into Committee. At the suggestion of the Home Secretary, power to grant search-warrants for girls or women detained for immoral purposes was conferred on Justices of the Peace on the sworn information of any parent, relative, guardian, or other person really acting for the welfare of the detained. This provision Mr. Hopwood described as "fussy legislation, suggested by people who thought they could govern the world better than Providence." It may be so. Alfonso of Castile held that if he had been consulted at the Creation he could have suggested many improvements. There is never any lack of Alfonsos. Mr. Stansfield then moved a new clause of a particularly filthy character affecting doctors and midwives. This led to declarations by Mr. Samuel Morley and Mr. R.T. Reid, Q.C., both members of the Committee of Inquiry, that the allegations in the Pall Mall Gazette were "substantially true." If they were true, urged Mr. Stavely-Hill, with reason, let the offenders be named, tried, and convicted. "The filthy editor of a filthy production had no right to make such charges against Englishmen, and then shelter himself behind a Committee of four men unfit to conduct the trial of a domestic cat." On a division the Stansfield Clause was rejected by 115 votes to 50. Mr. Labouchere proposed a very sensible clause, withdrawing parental authority from parents who encouraged the ruin of their daughters, but it was negatived, and the Bill eventually passed through Committee.
The Secretary for Scotland Bill next engaged the attention of the House. Sir Lyon Playfair opposed the transference of the Scottish Education Department to the new functionary. Better far have one responsible Minister of Education for Great Britain. Mr. Forster declared that Scottish Education was not merely an example to England but to all Europe. But handing it over to a Secretary of State meant handing it over to a Board, and that would not improve it. Mr. Mundella was still more antagonistic. The Bill was not a step forward but backward, and one fraught with disaster to education in Scotland. What Scotsmen wanted was less Greek and more modern languages, modern sciences, and the application of art to industry. Eventually Sir Lyon, by leave, withdrew his amendment, and progress was reported on Clause 3.
Several Bills of minor importance then passed quickly through Committee; but in the Irish Labourers (No. 2) Bill a piece de resistance was not unexpectedly found. Mr. King-Harman moved the deletion of the word "compulsory" as applied to leases. The Attorney-General opposed the amendment, contending that compulsion was an absolute necessity of the situation. No division was taken. On the retention of Clause 4, Mr. King-Harman, greatly daring, divided the House - for, 87; against, 7! Mr. Sexton moved that power should be given to the sanitary authorities to erect Labourers' Dwellings, in given cases, out of the rates. The amendment was rejected by 56 votes to 18. Eventually the Bill passed through Committee with very little change.
Mr. Bryce then moved the second reading of the Infants' Bill. Mr. Onslow opposed, and the House divided on the question of adjourning the debate - for, 17; against, 54. The Bill was accordingly read a second time, and at the unearthly hour of 5:50 this morning the House rose.

J.M.D.

Source: The Echo, Tuesday August 4, 1885

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Mon 26 Dec 2011 - 9:20

The abduction and exploitation of young girls was also taking place in Manchester, in the county of Lancashire:

ALLEGED DRUGGING OF A YOUNG WOMAN.

A singular case came before the Manchester city magistrates on Thursday. Thomas Woolridge, who was described as a turf correspondent, and Jan Woolridge, his wife, were charged with keeping a disorderly house at 10, Clarendon-street, Oxford-street. - William Eadson, an officer in the service of the Manchester and Salford Society for the Prevention of the Degradation of Women and Children, said that on Thursday last, the 15th inst., he saw a cab stop at the door of the house in question. He stood close to the horse's head and saw a young woman carried into the house in an insensible state by the two defendants. Two girls went up the door and said the young woman had been drugged. The female prisoner afterwards came to the door and told the girls that if they knew the young woman they could take her away, as she did not live there. Suspecting there was something wrong, witness called a policeman and went with him into the house. In the kitchen witness saw the young woman lying on a couch. She was insensible, and they remained some time trying to bring her to, but it was a long time before she showed any signs of regaining consciousness. She had two fits, and as she appeared to have been drugged she was taken to the infirmary. She was eventually sent home to her parents in Liverpool. The woman had previously been fined 10 pounds and costs for a similar offence, and both the prisoners were now sent to prison for three months with hard labour. Notice of appeal on behalf of the man was given.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, October 25, 1885, Page 2

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Tue 27 Dec 2011 - 1:23

A LONDON SCANDAL.
EXTRAORDINARY REVELATIONS.

In connection with the cablegram which was published a few weeks ago with reference to the Pall Mall Gazette and profligacy in high life, the following from a London weekly is of interest:

Our readers will recollect that a few weeks ago a notorious procuress named Jeffries, who had long been carrying on her abominable calling, was convicted at Middlesex sessions, and sentenced to pay a fine of 200 pounds, which, of course, was instantly forthcoming. At the same sessions a man who was convicted of a similar offence was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. In Parliament Professor Stuart brought the subject under the notice of the Home Secretary, who, however, declined to interfere. We have now before us the June number of the Sentinel, a monthly penny periodical, professing to be the "organ of the Social Purity Movement," published by Dyer, of Paternoster Square, which contains the full particulars of this gross outrage on justice. From an article headed "Titled Criminals and Their Protege" we make this extract: - "The whole proceedings at the Middlesex session on 5th May, in the case of the woman Jeffries, were highly, if sadly, instructive. The trial was fixed for 10:30 a.m. Arriving there about ten minutes before that time, a member of the Committee which was prosecuting, with three friends (two of whom were representatives of the press), only succeeded with great difficulty in passing the policemen who were stationed to keep out the public on various pretexts; one insisting that the Court was crowded, and another that he had orders to admit no one. After contradictory statements such as these the member of the Committee was not surprised on entering to find that he was the only spectator in the space allotted to the public. The next notable thing was that the jury and other persons in Court were kept waiting for half-an-hour in the absence of Mr. Edlin, Q.C., the presiding Magistrate (somewhat inappropriately termed the "assistant" Judge) and Mr. Besley and Mr. Montagu Williams, the leading counsel respectively for the prosecution and defence. On the latter entering the court at half-past 10, he (at once requested Mr. Besley," says the special reporter of the West London Press, "to retire for a private consultation." It was understood in Court that the Judge closeted himself with them - certainly an extraordinary thing, highly adapted to give colour to the report mentioned in a London evening newspaper, usually well informed, that they were attempting "to effect some method by which the case could not be heard." For the Judge to have patiently waited half an hour, while the "opposing counsel" arranged a case in the interests of the culprit and her clients would have been almost equally extraordinary. Certainly, the subsequent proceedings, including the speeches of counsel and Judge and the verdict of the jury, fitted into each other so harmoniously as to unmistakably suggest to the spectator an exact pre-arrangement. On re-entering the court, Mr. Montagu Williams said to his client, Mrs. Jeffries, "Say you are guilty," which she accordingly did."
The Sentinel likewise contains the speech, at Lutton, of Mr. Wookey, secretary of the Gospel Purity Association, wherein he made the following comments on the escape of Mrs. Jeffries: - "We have in England," he said, "nearly 150,000 fallen girls who gain their daily bread by leading a life of sin and shame. The great majority of these girls are fatherless, many of them motherless. Where they come from or to what place they are going few want to know. They may go to the prison and penitentiary, or perish in the streets from hunger, or die of sickening disease in a lock-hospital, or seek their death by

"A plunge in the muddy river."

No one is any the wiser except the police. Yet the male traitors, but for whom these girls might still have been

"In the bright sunshine of those summer days,
When not a cloud passed by to darken them."

are allowed to walk in and out amongst the poor as if there was nothing in their soul and body murdering life of which they need be ashamed. Nay, more they are often found sitting in Parliament making laws by which we have to abide. They have occupied the chief places in courts of justice. It is not long ago since one of her Majesty's Judges died in a house of ill-fame, and soon after that a member of the House of Lords stood in the dock to be tried for an indecent assault upon a defenceless servant girl. Working men, it is your daughters that are sacrificed, and it is time you rose in all your strength and looked these rich scoundrels in the face, telling them to stand back, daring them to rob your children of their character, which is their all. The proceedings at Westminster Police-court have been the subject of much excitement in certain quarters. An old woman of infamous character, between sixty and seventy years of age has been upon her trial for keeping a number of human slaughterhouses. It was my painful duty to be present, and never shall I forget the sight. In front of the dock sat the old woman (Mary Jeffries) elegantly dressed. At her back sat a long row of fallen girls. Near these stood eight or nine young men, whose fingers glistened with diamond rings, and whose feet were covered with patent shoes. The evidence went to prove that these houses of infamy were used exclusively by the aristocracy. George Bellchambers, late coachman to the woman Jeffries, gave the names of half-a-dozen clubs, among which are the Marlborough and Army and Navy, where he had taken notes announcing the arrival of girls. Since then I have had the painful privilege of looking through an immense quantity of evidence collected for the London Committee that prosecutes in this case, and I was not surprised to see that amongst the crowd of male debauchees the names occur of not a few of exalted rank."
Here the speaker gives what he alleges is a list of several of Mrs. Jeffries "distinguished customers."
It contains the names of a reigning sovereign, four noblemen, one baronet, colonels, captains, consuls, and that of a conspicuous member of the English Royal Family, at the mention of which we are told an "immense sensation" was created; also that all these names would have been mentioned in Court had not the matter been got rid of in the way stated above. The list appears in the columns of our contemporary. Indeed, the full details of this scandal are boldly published in the pages of the "Sentinel."

Source: Evening Post, Volume XXX, Issue 46, 22 August 1885, Page 1

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 7:46

THE CASE OF MRS. JEFFREYS.
TRAFFIC IN ENGLISH GIRLS.

SURPRISING REVELATIONS.

At Westminster Police Court, London, on Friday, May 15th, Mary Jeffreys, sixty-five, widow, surrendered to her recognisances to further answer the charge of keeping disorderly houses in Church-street, Chelsea.
The prosecution was, counsel stated, instituted by the London Committee for Suppression of the Continental Traffic in English girls, with the assent of the vestry clerk at Chelsea. The defendant occupied the houses 125, 127, 129, and 155, Church-street, Chelsea, and it was proved that intercommunication existed between the three first-mentioned, so that visitors to one house could leave by apparently independent premises. In this matter the notoriety and odium attaching to visiting an ordinary house of questionable repute was avoided, and, as Mr. Purcell stated in opening the case, the system adopted was, in a moral sense, more mischievous than if there were scenes of disorder and scandal to deter visitors. The evidence already given is that of a cook and coachman formerly in Jeffreys's service. The former spoke to assignations at the different premises, and the latter deposed that he used to drive his mistress to a number of houses where well-dressed prostitutes resided. He also stated that he brought women of the class mentioned in defendant's brougham to the houses in Church-street, gentlemen being there previously by appointment. Mrs. Jeffreys would direct him to fetch different women, and he was the medium of much of her correspondence with them and gentlemen of position of various clubs, including the Marlborough, the Army and Navy, the Thatched House, the Bachelors', and the Turf. On one occasion, when in the park, defendant told him that formerly she obtained large sums for supplying a foreign person of great distinction in Belgium with "ladies," and that she had "trod on the toes" of another person living in Lodge-road, who took "the king" away from her.
After a private consultation between Mr. D'Eyncourt and Mr. Montagu Williams, the case was proceeded with.
Thomas Davis, a cabdriver, who succeeded Belchambers as the defendant's coachman, proved that in April last year the defendant kept various carriages. Mrs. Jeffreys sent witness with notes to 79, Thistle-grove, Brompton (Miss West). [Mr. Purcell did not ask for the names of gentlemen.] The answer was a verbal one, and repeated to Mrs. Jeffreys. Nos. 3 and 4, Thurloe-place, contained women who were sent for, and at No. 7, Drayton-terrace. Miss Willoughby was included in the same category. Telegrams came, and the women were fetched, and gentlemen arrived. The object of coming was not mentioned. At St. James's Villa, in Church-street, assignations were made, and ladies and gentlemen met. Saw them come and go. This went on by day and night, and gentlemen stayed at the house sometimes all night, leaving at ten or eleven in the morning. Had seen three "couples" in one day at St. James's Villa. There were three separate bedrooms. Had known the couples come together. Knew that the women were prostitutes, as they had so many different men come to see them. Had driven these women to other houses of the defendant. The gentlemen and women sometimes left together, and witness had fetched cabs in the morning, and in the later part of the day. He was only in the service for a month. There was a bother between him and Mrs. Jeffreys. Since he had left the service he had driven to 70, Church-street (one of the defendant's houses.) Mrs. Jeffreys came up to him, and asked who he was waiting for. He replied, "A gentleman," and defendant said she would stand aside, and see who it was. She stood in the doorway adjacent for about ten minutes, and not finding the gentleman she went to the house, and high words ensued. Mrs. Hazell lived at that very house, owned by Mrs. Jeffreys, and she was a prostitute.
Cross-examined by Mr. Williams: She was a prostitute, and had stated to witness that she had seen several gentlemen in the course of the day. Had been subpoenaed to attend the Court by ex-Inspector Minahan, who asked him several questions. Had only received 5s. on the subpoena.
Jeremiah Minahan, late inspector of the T Division of Police at Chelsea Station, stated that his attention was first called to Mrs. Jeffreys house in 1882. His attention had been attracted by cabs pulling up at all hours of the day and night. Had known cabs wait in Church-street from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Assignations went on, the women being prostitutes. In August, 1882, he saw and spoke to Mrs. Jeffreys. In the course of conversation she said she kept eight "houses." At that time witness was an inspector of police, and made a note, but the book in which the notes were taken at the time had been stolen from his desk at Chelsea Police-station.
By Mr. D'Eyncourt: She did not use the word "brothel."
By Mr. Williams: She mentioned the name of a dead police-sergeant, and stated that she kept her houses well, and the police knew that. She also gave the names of gentlemen and women who visited her houses. She stated that in one of her houses "Mabel Grey" was seduced, and mentioned the name of the gentleman who seduced her. She also told the witness the price that gentlemen paid, usually 5 pounds, of which she took 2 pounds, and handed the girls the balance. She also admitted that not only in London did she carry on the traffic, but sent young girls to Paris, Brussels, and Berlin. While speaking to her one of the servants passed to a prostitute, and was ordered to make haste, as a gentleman was waiting. On the 9th April, 1883, he made a report to Mr. Fisher, the superintendent of the T Division, and in March of this year took notes in writing, and now produced them. Watched 125, Church-street, 127, 129, 155, and 70, Church-street. Watched for a week. The witness deposed to the frequent visits of gentlemen and women, and the regulation of the business by the defendant, who frequently went from one house to another, sometimes on foot and occasionally in the brougham. An extensive trade was carried on, as many as twenty people going to the house in one day. One woman, who went into 125, Church-street, spoke to witness, and said, "How do you do, ducky?" Witness had examined the rate-book under the 14th and 15th Vic., cap. 99, sec. 14, and produced a copy thereof by counsel. Witness had a fixed salary from Shaen and Roscoe, solicitors for the Society for the Suppression of Vice, and also for stopping the importation and exportation of girls for immoral purposes. Had received about 35 pounds from the solicitors mentioned, and paid for subpoenas, &c. The defendant had offered to bribe him, and volunteered what he thought was gold. She stated that it was no use for the public to watch her houses, as they were properly conducted for the use of persons of high position, and said all things voluntarily. He was afraid that the other inspectors had not been beyond suspicion, nor the other officers of the division.
In a long and tedious cross-examination the witness admitted that he had published a pamphlet airing his grievances, showing that he had been punished for faithfully performing his duties to the public by being reduced from a third-class inspector to first-class sergeant for improper and disrespectful conduct, and making false accusations against his superintendent and brother inspectors. He at once resigned, and took no pension. Long before he left the police his memorandum book had been stolen from his desk at the police station. Had no idea as to the purloiner, but it must have been a comrade or member of the force.
After some further evidence and legal argument, the case was again adjourned and the bail enlarged.

ALLEGED CONNIVANCE OF THE POLICE.

On Thursday the case was resumed.
Although the names and addresses of well-known courtesans who were sent for at different times by the defendant have been freely given in the course of the inquiry, a veil has been thrown over the identity of her male aristocratic clientele, the counsel repeatedly cautioning the witnesses not to mention the names of gentlemen to whom they had taken letters, &c., from Jeffries. A very remarkable feature in the investigation has been the testimony given by an ex-Inspector of police named Minahan, who alleged that three years ago, when stationed at Chelsea, he had a conversation with defendant, who admitted to him, inter alia, that she kept eight houses of a particular class, and that she did such a "high-class and aristocratic business" that the police could not interfere with her. Defendant also mentioned that she exported young girls to Paris, Brussels, and Berlin, and that she kept her houses and connection as quiet as it was possible to do. The deponent further alleged that she offered to bribe him with gold, and that, on reporting this fact and the purport of the communication before mentioned to his superintendent and brother inspectors, he was laughed at for his pains, and told to be careful what he was saying.
Nellie Thompson, a young woman residing in Maude-grove, Chelsea, deposed that she attended on subpoena, and not willingly. In October, 1882, she knew Mrs. Jeffries' houses in Church-street, Chelsea. She had received gentlemen there, and money from both defendant and her servants. She met other girls at the houses at various times. She lived at 155, Church-street, for one month, and made the acquaintance of from a dozen to twenty different gentlemen there. Afterwards she went to live at 70, Church-street, another of defendant's houses. She was fetched from No. 70 by the servants to other houses.
Cross-examined: She ceased to go to Mrs. Jeffries in January, 1883. She was asked to attend at the court by a discharged servant of the defendant, named Belchambers. He brought her a subpoena, but she declined to say what passed between them when it was served. She had taken a temporary lodging, so that her present address should not be made public.
Frederick Beales, butler in the service of the Rev. Alfred Povah, of 123, Church-street, Chelsea, deposed that this residence was right opposite defendant's house, No. 125. He had been with the Rev. Mr. Povah for eighteen months, and during that period he had seen cabs drive up to the defendant's houses at all hours of the day and in the early morning. The women who went there appeared to be of the class called "gay." They had called at his master's house by mistake, and asked for Madame Jeffries. He had watched from his window until three o'clock in the morning, and seen cabs at the houses.
Michael Walsh, Constable 618 T, who was examined as a hostile witness by Mr. Besley, deposed that three or four years ago, while on duty in Church-street, a person resident there complained of the annoyance of cabs driving up to the defendant's house at the corner of Elm Park-road. He had never seen women go to the houses, although "he kept his eyes open." He once made a statement to a solicitor for a divorce case relative to what he had seen, but he could not now remember what was taken down.
Mr. Williams objected to Mr. Besley cross-examining his own witness.
Mr. Besley said the witness was a policeman. They knew well enough what the police were doing in this case. They were trying to screen the defendant.
Mr. Williams observed that this was a scandalous insinuation against a respectable body of men.
After a good deal of evidence as to the results of observation kept on the defendant's premises, defendant was committed for trial, reserving her defence by the advice of her counsel.
[At the Central Criminal Court, three weeks later, defendant pleaded guilty, and was fined 200 pounds and costs.]

Source: Taranaki Herald, Volume XXXIII, Issue 5834, 12 August 1885, Page 2

N.B. The mention of the name "Mabel Grey" is very interesting, since I had mentioned her in my book, "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders" (2006) by Karen Trenouth. Mabel Grey was an actress, who also worked as a high-class prostitute for Mrs. Jeffries. The photo in my book (found on page 156) shows Mabel Grey standing beside Kate Walsh, aka Kate Cooke, who just happened to be the wife of the Earl of Euston, Henry James Fitzroy. Could the gentleman that seduced her be the Earl of Euston?


Last edited by Karen on Thu 29 Dec 2011 - 8:34; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 14:25

Here are several photographs of Mabel Grey:

[img][/img]

Mabel Grey

Mabel Grey was a beautiful and notorious demimondaine in London in the 1860s and 1870s. Her real name was Annie King and she began as a shop girl in Regent Street. Grey frequented the theater, where she received her courtiers, in elegant and costly clothes with some of the best diamonds in London. She was actually not an actress, but was one of the most photographed women in England. Grey died in childbirth in Brussels.

Date: 1875 circa 5 years
Original Format: Carte de Visite
Item#: MES21880
Photographer: Wheaton (New York)
Height: 1230px
Width: 738px

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

Source: www.picturehistory.com

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Thu 29 Dec 2011 - 9:03

A few more photos of Mabel Grey:

[img][/img]

Caption Mabel Grey. Photograph.
Artist Unknown
Keywords London Pleasures of London entertainments Mabel Grey beauty prostitute prostitution
Artwork medium Printed material
Copyright notice © Peter Jackson Collection

[img][/img]

Subjects Grey, Mabel.
Summary Bust, to left, with long, curly hair.
Bookmark http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/15003366
Work ID 15003366
Mabel Grey
Date(s) of creation: [ca. 1855 - ca. 1900]
1 photograph : albumen silver carte-de-visite ; on mount 10.7 x 6.5 cm., approx.
Reproduction rights owned by the State Library of Victoria
Accession No: H29529
Image No: a15487

[img][/img]

License All rights reserved by Beniah Brawn

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 12:02

A sitting for the reception of proofs in the bankruptcy of Mr. W.H. Vane Milbank was held on June 26, when a dressmaker and milliner, of Piccadilly, sought to prove for a debt of 500 pounds. On behalf of the debtor this was resisted on the ground that the claim was made for goods supplied to the notorious Mabel Grey, who had been living "under the protection" of Mr. Milbank. It was stated that there were various other claims to which the same preliminary objection applied. The Registrar reserved his decision.

Source: The Week's News, July 29, 1871, Page 948

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 12:09

DEATH OF "MABEL GRAY." - One of the London celebrities has just passed away. Mabel Gray, as she was known to the public, died late on Friday night of consumption. The Queen of the demi-monde, whose portrait has been in every shop window for the last four or five years, had a most remarkable career. At one time she was engaged to be married to the heir to one of the oldest English dukedoms, but by the strenuous interference of his friends, and the granting for life to her of a liberal provision, what would have been a gross mesalliance was fortunately prevented. Many stories are told of her eccentric extravagance, but let the soil lie lightly on her remains, for in times of biting distress Mabel Gray was a woman whose charity covered a multitude of sins. - Birmingham Morning News.

Source: The Central Press, Monday January 30, 1871, Page 6

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 12:11

[img][/img]

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Mon 2 Jan 2012 - 7:20

[COPYRIGHT STRICTLY RESERVED.]
GREAT SCOTLAND YARD: PAST AND PRESENT.

EXPERIENCES OF THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS.
BY EX-CHIEF INSPECTOR CAVANAGH.

HER MAJESTY'S OPERA.

In speaking of Her Majesty's Opera I am not alluding to the building now being demolished, but to the old house, which was burned down in December, 1867. I had the misfortune to witness this sad occurrence, and assure you the regret I felt is more than I can here explain. There was something very fascinating about the old place. Whether it referred to the glories of the house in connection with the great artistes who for so many years gave delight to the many thousands of subscribers and visitors, or to the air of comfort always pervading the place, I am unable to say. I only know that on a great night - and, as a rule, they were mostly great nights - and when the house was packed to its fullest capacity, no grander sight could possibly be imagined than it presented. There were 197 boxes! - (No circles in those days) - stalls, pit, amphitheatre, and gallery; and when, on the opening night, "God save the Queen" was being sung, and all were upstanding, the sight was a magnificent one. My connection with the establishment extended from 1857 to 1863 inclusive. Mr. Lumley was, of course, the guiding star, but he had behind him a splendid help in Mr. Charles Nugent, who was connected with the theatre for the long period of 40 years. Others included Mr. Sloman, who, on the stage, was here, there, and everywhere in connection with the machinery, &c., &c. He, too, had been many years at the theatre. When I first went to the place such artistes as Alboni, Piccolomini and Belletti were those I most clearly call to mind, but shortly afterwards I had the good fortune to witness, on their first appearances at the theatre, Titiens, Trebelli, Ginglini, Bettini, and Santley. I suppose very few now call to mind Madame Alboni. If they do they will acknowledge that no finer or purer contralto voice belonged to a human being. Madame Alboni was very stout, and caused much merriment at the time by the dresses she was compelled to wear in certain characters. Here is an instance: - When appearing as the Page in Lucrezia Borgia, she was compelled to wear her tunic to her ankles, which provoked much merriment on the stage. Of course she knew what caused the laughter, but, jolly soul as she always was, would join in it, until she had to sing the drinking song, "Il Segreto," and no one ever sang it as she did. Very little was thought of the stoutness of the lady then. Her grand voice electrified everyone, and over and over again had she to respond. About the finest quartette in Lucrezia Borgia I ever witnessed was that composed of Alboni, Titiens, Ginglini, and Belleti.
It won't do to pass over Mdlle. Piccolomini, who, I should say, was Mr. Lumley's trump card for more years than one. She created her part in Traviata, and when this opera was performed, as it was very frequently, it always drew a "big" house. Again, with Belletti, as the old sergeant in the Daughter of the Regiment, she was a great favourite - no one surpassing her in the character she assumed. It was played almost as frequently as any of the other operas. We don't hear of it very frequently now; it seems to have almost died out. It was not to opera alone that Mr. Lumley looked for support. It was always supplemented by ballet, and my impression is that almost as many came for the latter as for the former.

AN INCIDENT ON THE STAGE.

Titiens had been at the theatre for some considerable time, and, of course, became a tremendous favourite. A certain gentleman, who had been one of Mr. Gye's most substantial supporters, but who transferred his patronage to her Majesty's, was completely carried away by the singing and acting of the great prima donna. She was performing in Norma one night, and on this occasion threw all her previous efforts into the shade. I was standing by the side of the stage talking to the fireman, an old fellow who had been as long at the theatre as anyone - when I received a nudge from him. He asked me to watch the gentleman referred to. I did so and saw that his whole mind was concentrated upon Titiens' performance. He kept shouting "Bravo!" until he shouted himself hoarse, clapping his hands all the while. As the great actress came off after her immense effort, and amidst the applause of the huge audience, down flopped the infatuated one on his knees, kissing, in the presence of all on the stage, the hand of his adored one. I have seen a good many sights on the stage, but never saw anyone go so far as did the wealthy seceder from Covent Garden. The old fireman drily remarked, "Don't you think, if I did my duty, that I ought to turn the hose on him?" All he got for his pains was a pat on the head from the actress.

BURNING OF COVENT GARDEN.

My first connection with the Lyceum was when the "Wizard of the North" gave his legerdemain feats there. It will be remembered with reference to Anderson, the "Wizard," that on the occasion of his bal masque at Covent Garden theatre in March, 1856, the house was burnt down. As I stood upon the steps of the old police-station in Bow-street about five a.m. on the eventful day (the 5th), what a sight met one's gaze! Masqueraders dressed as clowns, harlequins, columbines, pantaloons, soldiers, policemen, country lasses, barristers, judges, countrymen, swells (no mashers at that period), queens, kings, and all that go to make up a bal masque, came rolling out of the theatre pell-mell. The scene was a grand but awful one. As fast as they were able the police kept on moving away, to a safe distance, the revellers in the night's orgie, with terror on their countenances; ladies, of a particular walk in life, escorted by their Cavaliers - who only a minute before had been "footing" it most merrily - ran screaming from the place. The flames had taken almost immediate hold of the theatre, and in a very short time after the outbreak in went the roof. What a sight! I shall never forget it, nor the noise created by the falling in of everything disengaged from the walls.
The heat was terrific. The firemen, seeing there was no chance of saving the theatre, turned their attention to the buildings in Bow-street and Hart-street, and of course in a short time had the fire under control.
Anderson didn't do much at the Lyceum, and to my idea was one of the poorest conjurors we have had. However, while at the Lyceum, a good story is told of him. Next to the theatre was a tobacconist's. Into this one day Anderson went, and requested to be supplied with some good cigars. The gentleman behind the counter, only too delighted to do business, placed several boxes before him. The "Wizard" taking a cigar asked for a light, which was at once handed to him; but, draw as he would, he couldn't get any smoke from it. He drew the attention of the tobacconist to it, who seemed surprised, and said it was an "Intimidad," and that he never had a complaint before. Taking a knife from his pocket, Anderson slit the cigar from top to bottom, when out came a lot of sawdust. The tobacconist was petrified, and tried another and another with the same result. At last, losing all patience, he declined to have his stock mutilated in this way, and informed his would-be customer he had had quite enough of him. The cigar merchant afterwards ascertained the "Wizard" was the joker.

THE ARGYLE AND HOLBORN.

The Argyle rooms and the Holborn casino, afterwards called the "National Assembly rooms," flourished at the same time and did a rare stroke of business. The former is now the Trocadero music-hall, and the latter the Holborn restaurant. The Argyle was kept by Mr. Robert Bignell, who was in possession for many years and very popular. The place was looked upon by many as an actual necessity - that it was far better for a particular class to be hidden away from the public gaze, than that they should flaunt themselves in a public thoroughfare. This view was taken not only by the general public, but by the gentlemen on the bench at the Middlesex sessions, who, year after year, granted the license with scarcely an observation. But, as time went on, public opinion altered, and, slowly, but surely, a change began to creep over even those who, only a short time before, were loudest in their protestations that the place was a necessary evil. A portion of the justices, led by Major Lyon, caught the infection, and at last the license, held for so many years without a rebuke, was finally refused, and the rooms closed for ever as a casino. What consternation there was among the old habitues! What were they to do now? - where to go to? My impression is that the closing of the Argyle and the casino developed the music-hall.
At this late date how many remember the old National Assembly rooms in Holborn? The place originally was used as a swimming bath. Even now, from its formation, it is very evident. The well of the building was made use of for swimming and diving purposes, while the lounges round about were utilised in the way of boxes by the bathers. After a time the proprietor took it into his head that a little dancing during the winter months might prove profitable. Consequently he ran the baths during the summer, and in the winter converted the place into a casino.
Then there was the portly Mr. Packer, in frill-shirt fronts, a la Jullien, leading or rather conducting the orchestra of a dozen good performers; Mr. Purdy, the veteran M.C., and his assistants, Messrs. Mott and Page; Mrs. Kean, in charge of the wine-bar; Davis, in charge of the cigar do.; and last of all Mr. William Smith, the manager, who loved to be styled, as everyone did style him, "British William."
Mr. Hedgeman was no ordinary man. Very short, very stout, never smiling, fairly generous; but always wide-awake as to the preservation of his license, about which, as the time for its renewal approached, he showed evident signs of nervousness. There wasn't much to be nervous about, for, as I said before, like the Argyle, at the period of which I am writing, scarcely an observation relating to either place escaped the bench.
The class of persons frequenting the "rooms" in Holborn was very different to those who visited the Argyle. At the latter place bookmakers, officers in the army, swells, and fashionable women were those who patronised Mr. Bignell; while tradesmen, City clerks, lawyers' ditto, &c., went to make up Mr. Hedgeman's company. The women frequenting the place belonged to a more modest station in life, so that taken altogether the Holborn Casino acquired the reputation of being a well-conducted establishment.

MABEL GREY.

While I was at the Casino the celebrated Mabel Grey put in an appearance. I don't know what she was celebrated for, except it was her jewellery and her brougham. Mabel at first patronised the Argyle, but for some reason, best known to herself, transferred her custom to the Holborn sanctum. Mabel Grey's name was in everyone's mouth at this period, why, I couldn't understand. There was little more about her personal appearance than could be met with by scores in the neighbourhood of Piccadilly-circus. But the secret was this; She happened to attract, as many thousands of her class have done before her, and in all times, and as they are sure to do in the future, a wealthy young gentleman, who lavished - squandered is the better term - any amount of money upon her, thus making her the celebrated woman she was. Had it not been for this stroke of luck (?) she might have remained the unknown Miss King she was before her notoriety. She was the daughter of a commercial traveller. Doesn't it seem strange how, a seemingly sensible man, the "cutest of the cute," and who in a matter of business would "corner" you in an instant, is in another instant bagged by one of the Mabel Grey type, and if in after years he be fortunate enough to shake her off, what a wreck, as a rule, he becomes! I have known hundreds of these cases which have come under my personal knowledge. How many occur daily that we know nothing about!


THE DECANTER AND THE MIRROR.

It is astonishing how quickly the angry passions rise, and frequently with very serious results. I happened one evening to be sitting talking to my old friend Davis at the Cigar bar upstairs, when he drew my attention to a couple of well-dressed men who were having an altercation respecting a lady who was not many miles away. Suddenly, and without the slightest warning, one of them took from the table the decanter containing the wine they were drinking, and hurled it at the head of the other man, who ducked just in time to miss it, and to allow the mirror immediately behind him to get the crack instead. Of course I had him at once - the lady had the usual fit of hysterics. I sent for Hedgeman and asked him the value of the glass, "Twenty guineas" replied the little man. The one who took such very poor aim had only a "fiver" in his pocket; this he paid down, and gave a cheque for the balance. The cheque turned out right, but of course he was not admitted again.

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, February 12, 1893, Page 6


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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Mon 2 Jan 2012 - 18:04

FAST LIFE IN LONDON.

The great event of the past week, which for fast men has rivalled in interest either the Derby or Oaks, was a dinner party given by Mabel Grey at St. James' Hall, on last Thursday. Seventy invitations were issued, that is to say, found purchasers amongst the wealthy representatives of almost every club. I do not affirm that the Athenaeum sent many learned pundits, but the privileged few, willing to pay the moderate sum of ten pounds a ticket, were permitted to revel in company with the elite of the Demi-monde, and partake of a banquet Lucullus might have envied. Every eatable to provoke and satisfy appetite, with every inducement to mirth which daring dissipation suggested to the prodigal hostess, abounded in profusion. The menu was in itself a culinary epic, affording startling proofs of dexterity in cooking, which many of the ladies present had no previous experience of, even during their brief official connection with the scullery. Eldest sons with ruined hopes, and younger brothers with expectations, rendered homage to the fair sisterhood who travestied fashionable life. The place of honor was filled by an officer in the Life Guards. In the evening, Miss Grey received a select circle of friends. Dancing was kept up till a late hour, and the names of the gentlemen present were not announced in the Morning Post. This, the first ball of the season, in rivalry of our less scrupulous neighbours, has caused a great sensation. It is regarded as a daring triumph of profligacy, such as is altogether without any previous example amongst us, and for the time has thrown all other entertainments into the shade. - London Letter in Manchester Courier.

Source: Colonist, Volume XII, Issue 1216, 3 September 1869, Page 3

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Mon 2 Jan 2012 - 18:24

The two new theatres I spoke about are open. The "Globe," I fear, will be a failure. A capital comedy by Mr. H.J. Byron, called "Cyril's Success," has been played there, and the house is light and pretty; but a comedy per se will not draw people to the "Globe." Besides, I hear that the theatre was only run up to be run down. Street improvements will soon require the site, and then, of course, compensation will come in useful.
I anticipate greater things from the "Gaiety." It is a beautiful house, decorated to perfection, and certainly has no rival in beauty or comfort. The bill is light and pleasant; burlesque and ballet are the great attractions, and burlesque and ballet necessarily require pretty girls. Before and behind the curtain we see nothing but pretty girls. All the actresses are pretty and, to tell the truth, a trifle fast; all the attendants are pretty, and a trifle fascinating. In these days of the drama, this is what hits the public. Art is out of the question. Paint and padding, fair hair and gilding, pretty legs and dreamy scenery, light and love - these are the orthodox stage properties.

"My face is my fortune, sir," she said.

This is the parable that the actress of the period takes in hand. A pretty photograph, carefully posed, and well-tinted, is advertised in the shop windows, and the young lady instantly becomes a celebrity, and walks about with thousands of pounds' worth of jewels on her neck and fingers. A certain notorious "Mabel Grey," once a nursemaid, then a ballet-dancer, has thus flourished to fame. The fascinating photograph, mysteriously introduced next to dignitaries of the church in the shop windows, took the public. The photograph became notorious; afterwards, Mabel Grey became notorious. She now receives a heavy salary to appear nightly and be stared at in the Holborn Casino. Young lordlings sigh for the honor of touching her hand, and behold Miss Mabel Grey is transformed from an insignificant nobody into La Reine du demi-monde! Telle est la vie!

CLARENCE CAPULET.

Source: Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 13, Issue 1028, 6 March 1869, Page 3

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Re: Mary Kelly's West End Madam

Post by Karen on Tue 3 Jan 2012 - 10:04

Mabel Grey, the queen of the demi-monde in London at present, has been sued by her costumier, Mr. Simonds, for 46 pounds, on account of dresses supplied to enable her to appear in the part of "Sardanapalus." The defendant stated that she never received any salary, nor ever expected any, she having acted only as an amateur. It was proved that she was a minor, being only 19 years of age last November. Verdict - Not liable.

Source: Wellington Independent, Volume XXV, Issue 2995, 19 May 1870, Page 4

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