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Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

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Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

Post by Karen on Sun 27 Mar 2011 - 3:52



Some vivid recollections of celebrities and famous crimes and criminals are given by Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry Smith, K.C.B., in his book of reminiscences, "From Constable to Commissioner," published today (price 7s. 6d.) by Messrs. Chutto and Windus.
Sir Henry Smith, who was formerly Commissioner of the City of London Police, and who was married last summer in his seventy-fourth year, has written a chatty volume which he carefully calls, "the work of sixty years - most of them misspent." It contains anecdotes on many subjects, from stories of his cousin, the late Robert Louis Stevenson, down to fresh sidelights on the unsolved mystery of Jack the Ripper.
He disagrees entirely from some of the theories with regard to the identity of the Whitechapel murderer held by his old colleagues, Sir Charles Warren and Sir Robert Anderson, who were then at the head of the Metropolitan Police.
"There is no man living who knows as much of these "Ripper" murders as I do," writes Sir Henry Smith boldly, "and before going further I must admit that though within five minutes of the perpetrator one night and with a very fair description of him besides, he completely beat me and every police officer in London, and I have no more idea now where he lived than I had twenty years ago.


"The Ripper" certainly had all the luck," says the ex-Commissioner bitterly. On the night of Saturday, September 29, 1888, he was seen in the company of a woman at the Goulston-street exit of Mitre-square, City, and shortly after killed that woman and another one who had been in Sir Henry's custody at Bishopsgate Police Station twenty minutes before.
The only eye-witness description of the murderer ever obtained was given to Sir Henry Smith by a German, who saw the couple together. His description of "Jack" was: "A young man about the middle height with a small fair moustache, dressed in something like navy serge, and with a deerstalker's hat - that is, a cap with a peak both fore and aft."
"Since this chapter was written, my attention has been drawn to an article in "Blackwood's Magazine" of March this year," continues Sir Henry. "It was the sixth of a series by Sir Robert Anderson, entitled "The Lighter Side of My Official Life."
"In this article Sir Robert discourses on the Whitechapel or Jack the Ripper murders, and states emphatically that the criminal was living in the immediate vicinity of the scenes of the murder, and that if he was not living absolutely alone his people knew of his guilt and refused to give him up to justice."
"The conclusion," Sir Robert adds, "we came to was that he and his people were low class Jews, for it is a remarkable fact that people of that class in the East End will not give up one of their number to Gentile justice, and the result proved that our diagnosis was right on every point."


Sir Henry Smith disputes this theory of Sir Robert Anderson, and tells how a high official wiped out some writing on the wall in chalk which might have solved the mystery.
"To obliterate the words that might have given us a most valuable clue, more especially after I had sent a man to stand over them till they were photographed," comments Sir Henry severely, "was not only indiscreet but unwarrantable."
Sir Henry tells in another place how he gained the Kaiser an undeserved reputation for unpunctuality. When the German emperor first visited the Guildhall the reception committee had an enormous amount of work to get through, and fixed the Kaiser's departure from Buckingham Palace at noon without letting the Commissioner of Police know.
This would have meant either that the imperial visitor would have arrived at the banquet half an hour too soon, or would have had to sit in his carriage in the street for that time, overlooked by windows crowded with all nationalities, which, as Sir Henry hints, at that time would have been "to court disaster."
Queen Victoria and the Kaiser altered their plans on Sir Henry's urgent application, and on the following day all London was rather indignant with the Emperor for his unpunctuality. Only two men know that he left to the minute as privately arranged, and met most willingly and cheerfully every suggestion put before him.
"A fair lady-in-waiting" once scored off Sir Henry, as he frankly admits. All "police passes" were stopped for a certain civic function, and a letter of regret was sent to each applicant, signed "Yours most sincerely, Henry Smith."
"Vehicular traffic was stopped at the Mansion House Station at 2:30 p.m.," he next explains. "About three o'clock the lady drove up, holding in her hand my letter, adroitly folded, with only "Henry Smith" visible. Instantly her horses' heads were taken hold of by the City Police.
"Can't allow your carriage to proceed any further, madam," said the inspector. "Not allow my carriage to pass!" she cried indignantly. "You must surely recognise your own Commissioner's signature?"


"Beg your pardon, madam," said the puzzled inspector. "I was not informed that Sir Henry had sent you a pass," and gaily the lady drove to her destination, excellently well pleased with herself.
"While complimenting her afterwards," concludes the ex-Commissioner, "I intimated that in future any communication between us must necessarily be verbal."
Earl Grey once complimented Sir Henry Smith on some of his testimonials.
"I say, my dear fellow," he remarked on coming to a most elaborate one, "this is the best testimonial I ever read in my life."
"I am very pleased indeed to hear your opinion of it," I replied, "for I wrote it myself."
"What's that you're saying? What do you mean?" asked Earl Grey in astonishment.
"This is what I mean," I answered. "If a man has not intellect enough to write a testimonial in his own favour and energy enough to stand over a friend till he signs it, he's not fit for the position I aspire to."
Every page of this book shows the versatility of Sir Henry Smith, for there are separate chapters on "R.L.S.," golf, racing, hunting, shooting, deer-stalking, and dogs, as well as "crime."
Sir Henry, who is now spending his leisure in Scotland, is still a vigorous sportsman, as this book shows, and is equally at home hunting and shooting as in following tangled police clues.

Source: The Daily Express, London, Wednesday October 5, 1910, Page 5

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

Post by Mr Hyde on Mon 15 Jul 2013 - 17:15

I had a good laugh about thirty years ago.

 Some Ripperologist was debunking any relationship between "The Strange Case of of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Jack the Ripper.".
 His reasoning was the three year gap between 1885 and 1888.

 Inspector Newcomen was obviously based on Major Henry Smith.

 That square in Soho,may not have been in Soho.
 It does however provide a clue.
 One of many in that novella.

 Incidentally,Soho Square was once the location of "The Magical Brothel".  AKA Edward Hyde.

 Note how quickly Smith arrived at Mitre Square.

 Any guesses as to who the eight year old girl who was trampled in "Queer Street" may have been.
 You would have to go back a smidge over twenty years.

 Suspect our "Jack the Ripper" was not a newcomer to being blackmailed.

Mr Hyde

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Re: Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

Post by Karen on Mon 5 Aug 2013 - 18:17

The reason that it was being discussed in 1885 is certainly no coincidence, for they planned to do these murders in 1888; because "888" is the number for Jesus in numerology. Plus, the murder of Annie Chapman on September 8 is also significant for it was on this day that the Virgin Mary was born.

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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Re: Cousin of Robert Louis Stevenson

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