Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Feilding Star, Volume XI, Issue 2762, 9 July 1915

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Ghosts In Deptford by Cicely Fox Smith





Ghosts In Deptford


If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as very well they may,
A man might find the night there more stirring than the day,
Might meet a Russian Tsar there, or see in Spain's despite
Queen Bess ride down to Deptford to dub Sir Francis knight.

And loitering here and yonder, and jostling to and fro,
In every street and alley the sailor-folk would go,
All colours, creeds, and nations, in fashion old and new,
If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as like enough they do.

And there'd be some with pigtails, and some with buckled shoes,
And smocks and caps like pirates that sailors once did use,
And high sea-boots and oilskins and tarry dungaree,
And shoddy suits men sold them when they came fresh from sea.

And there'd be stout old skippers and mates of mighty hand,
And Chinks and swarthy Dagoes, and Yankees lean and tanned,
And many a hairy shellback burned black from Southern skies,
And brassbound young apprentice with boyhood's eager eyes,

And by the river reaches all silver to the moon
You'd hear the shipwrights' hammers beat out a phantom tune,
The caulkers' ghostly mallets rub-dub their faint tattoo —
If ghosts should walk in Deptford, as very like they do.

If ghosts should walk in Deptford, and ships return once more
To every well-known mooring and old familiar shore,
A sight it were to see there, of all fine sights there be,
The shadowy ships of Deptford come crowding in from sea.

Cog, carrack, buss and dromond — pink, pinnace, snake and snow —
Queer rigs of antique fashion that vanished long ago,
With tall and towering fo'c'sles and curving carven prows,
And gilded great poop lanterns, and scrolled and swelling bows.

The Baltic barque that foundered in last month’s North Sea gales,
And last year's lost Cape Horner on her sails,
Black tramp and stately liner should lie there side by side
Ay, all should berth together upon that silent tide.

In dock and pond and basin so close the keels should lie
Their hulls should hide the water, their masts make dark the sky,
And through their tangled rigging the netted stars should gleam
Like gold and silver fishes from some celestial stream.

And all their quivering royals and all their singing spars
Should send a ghostly music a-shivering to the stars —
A sound like Norway forests when wintry winds are high,
Or old dead seamen's shanties from great old days gone by, —

Till eastward over Limehouse, on river, dock and slum,
All shot with pearl and crimson the London dawn should come,
And fast at flash of sunrise, and swift at break of day,
The shadowy ships of Deptford should melt like mist away.






Cicely Fox Smith was born 1 February 1882, into a middle-class family in Lymm, near Warrington, England during the latter half of the reign of Queen Victoria. Her father was a barrister and her grandfather was a clergyman. Smith well might have been expected to have a brief education and then to settle down to life as a home-maker either for her family or her marriage partner.
She was well educated at Manchester High School for Girls from 1894 to 1897, where she described herself later as "something of a rebel," and started writing poems at a comparatively early age. In an article for the school magazine Smith later wrote "I have a hazy recollection of epic poems after Pope's Iliad, romantic poems after Marmion stored carefully away in tin tobacco boxes when I was seven or eight." All of that early work is lost unfortunately. She published her first book of verses when she was 17 and it received favourable press comments.
Wandering the moors near her home she developed a spirit of adventure. She would follow the Holcombe Harriers[disambiguation needed] hunt on foot as a girl. She had a fierce desire to travel to Africa but eventually settled for a voyage to Canada. Smith likely sailed with her sister Madge in 1911 on a steamship to Montreal, where she would then have travelled by train to Lethbridge, Alberta, staying for about a year with her older brother Richard Andrew Smith before continuing on to British Columbia (BC). From 1912 to 1913 she resided in the James Bay neighbourhood of Victoria at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, working as a typist for the BC Lands Department and later for an attorney on the waterfront. Her spare time was spent roaming nearby wharves and alleys, talking to residents and sailors alike. She listened to and learned from the sailors' tales until she too was able to speak with that authoritative nautical air that pervades her written work.
On 23 November 1913, Smith, with her mother and sister, arrived home in Liverpool aboard the White Star Line steamer Teutonic on the eve of World War I. She and her family then settled in Hampshire.
Poet[edit]

I'm Back

Hello 

Please let me apologise for the disruption and disappearance of "Old Deptford History" for the 3 weeks. I had domain/set-up issues but I'm happy to say this has now been sorted. Thanks for your patients and continued support whilst I've been off air!

very best regards to you all,

Andy

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

John Collins Chandler Shop



This chandle'r shop was located at No 53 Addey Street Deptford

Off License in Church Street Deptford






Does anyone know where this off license was located in Church Street??








Stowage 1904



This old photo of the Stowage also shows St Nicholas's Church just in view on the left and the Charnel House left/centre. 
A Charnel House is a vault or building where human skeletal remains are stored. They are often built near churches for depositing bones that are unearthed while digging graves The term can also be used more generally as a description of a place filled with death and destruction. The Charnel House was also known as the Watch House or Mortuary and was built soon after the rebuilding of the main part of the church at the end of the 17th C. At that time, bodies would be laid there for safekeeping. The building was restored in 1958.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

London Gazette 4th November 1864

James Pearcey, of the Ship Defiance, Grove-street, Deptford, in the county of Kent, Licensed Victualler,"

Master Lumper and Stevedore, having been adjudged bankrupt under a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy, filed in Her Majesty's Court of Bankruptcy, in London, on the 10th day of October, 1864, a public sitting, for the said bankrupt to pass his Last Examination, and make application for his Discharge, will .be held before John Samuel Martin Fonblanque, Esq., a Commissioner of the said Court, on the 2nd day of December next, at the said Court, at Basinghall-street, in the city of London, at two o'clock in the afernoon precisely, the day last aforesaid being the day limited for the said bankrupt to surrender. Mr. Herbert Harris Cannan, of No. 36, Basinghall-street, is the Official Assignee, and Mr. W. W. Aldridge, of No. 46, Moorgate-street, is the Solicitor acting in the bankruptcy.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Deptford, Grove Street Fire

London Fires in 1851.
 
Fires are continually occasioned by domestic animals, cats, dogs, rats, &c* The past year presented a novelty in the
 
Remarkable Discovery of a Fire by a Horse. — On Thursday, February 13th, about 1 a.m., intelligence was given at the fire- engine stations in London that a fire had broken out in Grove Street, Deptford, at the " Ship Defiance," public house. This fire was, however, promptly extinguished by the inmates and police. The messenger who gave the alarm at the West of England Fire-engine Station made a mistake, saying Globe Street. The engine was instantly horsed and started ; and Globe Street, Deptford, not being known to the firemen, they kept the high-road, trusting to the receipt of more precise and accurate information as they approached Deptford. Proceeding along at their usual rapid rate, they reached High Street, Deptford, when all of a sudden one of the engine-horses came to a dead stop, and refused to move a step further. Encouraging words and the whip were resorted to, but the only result was the horse's throwing himself on his haunches. Surprised at this extraordinary occurrence, curiosity was excited, when one of the firemen, addressing Mr. Connorton, the Superintendent, exclaimed — " Good God ! this house is on fire," pointing at the same time to the house opposite which the horse had so unaccountably stopped. The premises in question belonged to Mr. Wright, seedsman and corn-chandler, and on looking through the fanlight, the fire was found raging in the shop. The firemen instantly roused the neighbours ; and having collected a number of pails filled with water, they then broke open the shop door, and had nearly extinguished the fire before the policeman on the beat knew of the occurrence. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Mill Lane, 1903.


Mill Lane now Brookmill Road. Photograph taken from Deptford Broadway. The buildings on the right were originally lodging houses but were demolished in 1895 to make way for another lodging house, Carrington House.

Manning's Soup and Pie Shop 1904.


Manning's Pie & Soup House or 'The Old Pudden Shop' as it was also known was located at No. 147 Deptford High Street. Pay sixpence for the best meal in the world! It was demolished in 1907

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

At the Kings Head 1649


During my research I came across this token stamped Kings Head in Deptford. Its a 1/4p Traders Trading Token. Could this refer to the Kings Head Public House which was on the corner of Church Street and Albury Street ? Trade tokens were issued in the 17th century, between 1648 and 1673, in response to a lack of low denomination being produced by the crown. To ease the monetary situation, boroughs and cities across the country, began producing tokens to be used within the locality; in London the situation differed, due to the scale of the population, needed to issue private tokens, rather than one accepted city wide.
Tokens were issued by tradesmen for their business, and would also be accepted by other traders in the locality, as long as they knew the issuer and were assured that they would be able to redeem the value of the token. In a period when people often lived their entire lives within a relatively small area, this system would rely on the trust of the businesses in the neighbourhood. Tradesmen would keep a tray below their counter, where they would collect tokens from other issuers, and then redeem their collected value with the issuer.
Trade tokens were most commonly issued, as farthing, half penny, and penny denominations. Tokens were only issued as farthing tokens until 1656, when half penny tokens began to be brought in to circulation. With the silver half penny of the crown going out of use in 1661, this will have further increased the need for a half penny token, and it was at this time that it became a more common issue than the farthing. Penny tokens, were also issued by traders, most commonly by coffee-houses, the goods they sold being of a higher value than may be common elsewhere. There are also a small number of instances where higher denominations of coinage were issued, including tuppence and sixpence. 
A variety of information would be represented on the trade tokens; this could include, the place of issue, the issuers name, their trade, the denomination, with the denomination, the farthing often was not marked, it was recognisable by its smaller size, but the half penny and penny tokens often had the denomination written on them, in text or numerically. Most commonly featured, was a triad of initials representing those of the issuer, and their wife (or sometimes son). Read on the token from left to right and the up, the middle initial would be that of the wife.

Throughout the period of issue for the trade tokens, there were often plans by the Crown to produce farthings, it was only in 1672, that the first was finally issued. On the 16th August 1672, a proclamation was made by the crown, ordering the minting of trade tokens to cease, a further proclamation was issued in 1673, but it was only with the issue of a third proclamation in 1674, that the issue of trade tokens, finally ceased. By this time the use of trade tokens had once again, begun to fall, so the latest dates for tokens, are relatively rare.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Parrish Family Lamerton Street


I recently made contact with a gentleman by the name of Roy Parrish. He sent me this brief insight of his younger life whilst living in Lamerton Street. His description of the house and living conditions mirrors exactly the recollection I have of my grandmothers house in Albury Street, particularly avoiding using the outside toilet especially after dark!  Roy say's........ 

"My grandfather lived there from the mid 20th century when the street was still a fairly new. The house where my grandfather and father lived was very dark inside, and to a very young boy like myself then in the 1950s a very creepy environment to live in. There was another family who lived in their house and they resided on the ground floor with our Parrish family of eight living on the floor above, so you can see they were very cramped conditions to live in. The High street end of Lamerton Street backed on to the old post office in Creek Road and the yard had the usual outside toilet which I always managed not to use!   As a point of interest I did my family tree some years back and was fortunate to do my whole family in one afternoon as all the records from St Alfege's church showed their family had been living in Deptford since the 18th century".



Roy has a number of stories which he can recall from over the years and when he has passed them on to  me I will post them.

Lamerton Street.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013





This old photo was sent to me by Trish Gage who was born in Deptford. It shows her grandad standing outside Borehams which was located in the High Street c1920's, I think.  It appeared on the TV documentary London's Secret Streets, Deptford High Street. My thanks to her for sharing this photo.

Andy

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sweet Shop in Church Street - 1940's - 50's

I believe this is the sweet shop just round the corner from Albury Street heading south to the Broadway.



After a bit of research the shop wasn't around the corner of Albury Street. It was in fact located by the Broadway as this sketch by Thankful Sturdey shows. Shops to the left were demolished in the 1940's


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

London & Brighton South Coast Railway



Can anyone recognise the road where this photo was taken. Could it be Grove Street?

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Newsagents in Church Street 1950's

Was this the shop known as Maynards? 
It was just round the corner from Albury Street.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

AN EXTRAORDINARY CONTEST. 1907


A novel competition was held a few weeks ago along the Brighton, to London road between two men, each of whom claimed the title of champion bottle walker of the world. The terms of the competition were to walk from Brighton to London with a two gallon stone bottle weighing about 12lbs. balanced neck downwards on the head. Three stoppages not to exceed two  minutes were allowed, which meant that the bottle could only be lifted from the head three times and if a man missed-stepped and over balanced his bottle so that he had to put his hands up to save it from falling this counted as one stoppage. James Fowler won the race in fine style. His finish along the crowded streets of Deptford, where he dexterously avoided pedestrians and vehicles without overbalancing his burden, and was cheered by a great crowd!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

An Elopement Romance in Deptford


Australian Town and Country Journal Saturday 19 March 1892

A Deptford correspondent tells a remarkable story. Three months ago a couple of rooms in a dingy cottage in a court off the High Street were taken by a middle aged man and his daughter, a girl of about 18. Of the history of the new arrivals nothing was known in the district, and beyond the facts that the man's name was John M'Kenna, that he was out of employment, and had latterly existed on a few shillings a week which his daughter was able to earn at shirtmaking, nothing was discovered about him until a day or two ago. At the be- ginning of December the girl was seized with influenza. In a fortnight she was dead, and M'Kenna was left to shift for himself, with a mattress and a dose of influenza as the sum total of his earthly possessions. Parish relief he declined to solicit, and though the old woman of the house, who was not much better off than himself, did all she could to alleviate his distress, death from starvation and disease combined loomed near. But when things were as bad as they well could be, a fashionably attired lady called at the house and enquired for M'Kenna. On being ushered into his poverty-stricken room she fell on her knees beside the sick man's bed, and exclaimed, "Oh, Jack, forgive me" During that night and the two succeeding days the strange visitor nursed the patient with loving tenderness, and all that money could command was provided. The devoted nursing, the proper remedies for his malady, and the nourishing things got for him to restore his failing strength, between them had a beneficial effect, and M'Kenna began to mend. Now comes in the pathetic part of this remarkable story. His nurse, worn out by watching at length herself fell a victim to the influenza. She was removed to another house, and medical men gave her every attention. Pneumonia, however, the accompaniment of influenza, which is worse than the disease itself, supervened, and proved fatal on January 26, to the intense grief of M'Kenna. The fashionably dressed lady was his erring but repentant wife. They were married nearly 20 years ago, M'Kenna being at that time in business at Hammersmith. Their married life appears to have been unhappy, and the wife eloped with a common friend. America was the country to which the runaways went. They experienced, many vicissitudes, and the man at last made up his mind to try his luck at the goldfields in Lower California. Finally he and a few others obtained a concession to work a claim in Cacachiias. which proved to be one of the richest districts in the Mexican Republic. Their efforts were attended with phenomenal success, and each of them made a huge fortune. Last year Mrs. M'Kenna's lover met with a fatal accident, whereupon she sold out his interest in the mine for £65,000, and returned to England to try and find her first love. She traced M'Kenna after a weary search to his destitute abode in Deptford, and the pair were completely reconciled. M'Kenna is "a richer man today richer," at least, from a monetary view by £62,000, his wife leaving all her money to him.

The Railway Tavern

This photo is of the Railway Tavern, Hamilton Street, Deptford. John Hoare kindly gave permission to me to post. It was sent to him by Richard Menari. John thought the photo was taken in the 1880s, detail from the early photograph of 'The Railway Tavern', of a poseter for the Film 'Birth of a Nation'but having 'tweaked' the image he noticed the advertisement for the 1910 film 'Birth of a Nation' at the Scala Theatre! 

I carried out further research and found that the Scala Theater was one of a few venues allowed to loan the film in 1915. Unless the poster has been in the window for 5 years 1915 through 1916 looks about right.

 The Scala Theatre had a few successful runs in its early days including “A Royal Divorce” (1906) but by 1911 it was being used as a cinema. Films provided the main fare through much of the First World War and “The Birth of
a Nation” was a big attraction in 1915. 

The landlord in the 1880s was Duncan Jenkins, who was thought to have been one of the gentlemen standing at the door. Mr. Jenkins bought the Railway Tavern some time after the 1881 census, and sold it in 1888.

My thanks again to John Hoare and Richard Menari for allowing me to post the photos.
You can find out more about John Hoare's family at  http://www.johnh.co.uk/history/railwaytavern.htm

Friday, 17 August 2012

Nelsons Home for Sale 1932.

 I have always been interested in the history of numbers 34 and 36 Albury St, in particular the connection between these properties with Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton These interesting articles appeared in Australian Hobart newspaper "The Mercury" on Friday 1st January 1932 

America has eyes on the old home of Nelson, at Deptford, London, and unless the building can be scheduled as an ancient monument or funds are forth-coming to have it, the mansion will go over the Atlantic. It is No. 34 Albury Street, tucked away in a mean neighbourhood, and it is full of memories to the hero (says the "Sunday Dispatch"). The front door chain is a portion of an anchor chain taken from the Victory by Nelson when the ship was home for refitting a few years before the Battle of Trafalgar. The back door was taken from another of Nelson's ships, the Bellerophon, which he commanded at the Nile. It served as a hatch aboard the ship, and Nelson fitted a couple of massive hinges. The hatch handles are still employed to open the door. The oak staircase has been smothered with thick paint since Nelson's day, but its beauty may still be seen in places where the paint has been rubbed away. The front door knocker is that which Lady Hamilton must have often raised when she called on Lord Nelson at this wonderful old house. Over the doorways is a carving attributed to Grindling Gibbons. Many of the tenement houses which now compose the street have similar carvings over their doors. Offers from Americans have resulted from an advertisement inserted in a New York newspaper. It was headed, "Nelson’s Old Home for Sale" and it offered the house as a whole or in parts. No price was named, and buyers were asked to get into touch with the vendors at Albury Street. The vendors are the Committee of the Deptford Babies Hospital, which occupies the house and another adjoining it.


NELSON'S COTTAGE


CHAIN ON THE FRONT DOOR.

An old cottage has just come into tho news again. Perhaps ilt is the most romantic cottage in England after Anne Hathaway's. It has a splendid present as well as a past. It is one of a pair of cottages believed to be over 300 years old, and today the house is the Deptford and Greenwich Babies Hospital. But there are touches about the hospital which are like no other hospital. The kitchen door is a cabin door and the front door chain is from Nelson's Victory. Long ago in Deptford's heyday, Lord Nelson rented one of these cottages, says the "Children's Newspaper." Deptford has known both Nelson and Drake. Where Nelson used to live there are now 20 babies. But unluckily there are scores of sick babies outside the hospital waiting to come in. The hospital stands in one of the most crowded parts of London, and 20 beds are not enough. Princess Alice, one of the voluntary workers maintaining the hospital, is asking for help. They would be sorry to leave Nelson's cottage, yet 300-year-old cottages do not make ideal hospitals, and certainly 20 beds are not enough for the demand upon them.


HMS Bellerophon.

 

 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Jane Maria Clousen



On 25th April 1871 a policeman discovered a young woman named Jane Maria Clousen on her hands and kness on Kidbrooke Lane in Eltham. She had been beaten by a hammer and died of her injuries five days later in Guy’s Hospital. She was only seventeen years of age. The murder of Jane Clousen (The Eltham Murder) remains unsolved and it has been claimed that Kidbrooke Lane is haunted by an apparition attributed to her and also ghostly screams. Jane Maria Clousen was born No 44 New King Street, Deptford, 27th April 1854. Her father was James Clousen and mother Jane Clousen. Janes older sister, Sarah, died of consumption in 1863 when Jane was nine years old. Her mother died four years later. A year after her mother’s death, aged fourteen, Jane entered service as a maid in the household of the proprietor of a Greenwich based printing company, Ebenezer Whitcher Pook and his wife Mary. Jane was described as being ‘rather a good-looking girl—not dirty, a very clean, respectable young woman, hard-working and industrious. Whilst working at in the Pook hosehold on London Street, Greenwich, it is said Jane had a relationship with Ebenezer’s son, Edmund Walter Pook (born Walworth 1851 – died 1820) who was three years older than her. On 13th April 1871 Jane was dismissed from service. The Pook’s claimed that her work was slovenly, her appearance unkempt and her attitude was lazy and unpleasant. However it was suggested that she was dismissed because of her relationship with Edmund and fear that he will end up marrying below his station.

Jane moved to 12, Ashburnham Road, Greenwich. It was suggested by the Police that she continued to correspond with Edmund and met him secretley. After telling Edmund that she was pregnant he agreed to meet her in the Blackheath area and they would run away together. There was however no evidence spporting claims that Jane and Edmund ever wrote to each other or that they met after her dismissal. In fact during the testimony of Inspector John Mulvany of Scotland Yard they recounted an interview with Pook where he denied seeing her after her dismissal. Denied writing to her and described her as a ‘dirty young woman’.

As previously mentioned, on 25th April 1871 a policeman named Donald Gunn discovered Jane on a path near Kidbrooke Lane: “I went on the foot-path beside the lane—when I returned I came back in the lane, and I then found a young woman on her hands and knees, on the side of the lane next Eltham—the lane runs from Eltham towards Morden College……when I got up to the woman, she was……moaning very faintly, "Oh, my poor head, my poor head!"—I asked her what was the matter with her, and she made no answer—I noticed that her right cheek was covered with blood—I put my hand on her left shoulder and gave her a slight shake, and asked her what was the matter, and how she came by the injuries—she raised her left hand, and said "Take hold of my hand," at the same time turning her head a little to the left, which enabled me to see her face, and I noticed a cut on her left cheek and a lump of blood on her forehead, which appeared to me to be her brain protruding; I should say it was just in the centre of the forehead—when I saw such a fearful sight, I hesitated a moment to give her my hand; and as I stretched forth my hand she fell flat on her face, and said "Let me die!"—she never spoke after that—when I could not get her to answer any questions I turned round, and found there was blood just exactly behind where I was standing—I should say it would cover nearly a foot square, it was a large clot of blood, clear blood; there were spots of blood about a foot square, but there was one large clot, a lump of blood as it were in the middle of it—I saw some footmarks about, a good many, close by where the blood was—the ground was very soft and sloppy—her gloves were lying within 2 feet of her, one in the other, and her hat within 2 feet of her gloves—I looked about, but could not see anyone, and I ran down to Well Hall Farm, knowing that the ostler would be in the stables at that time, and I sent for a stretcher—as I went down to Well Hall, one of the men told me that Sergeant Haynes was outside—I told him what I had found in the lane—he went up to where the woman was lying, and I went to Eltham after a stretcher—she was then taken on the stretcher to Dr. King's surgery, and then to Guy's Hospital—when I found her, her head was lying close by the hedge, towards Eltham; her head was bobbing up and down from the ground”. [Testimony of Donald Gunn - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org), 10th July 1871, trial of Edmund Walter Pook (f18710710-561).]

Her injuries were better described by Michael Harris the house-surgeon at Guy's Hospital: ” —about 7 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, the deceased was brought there—she came at once under my examination—I have my notes of it—she was quite unconscious, and very cold—the injuries were very severe which she had received, and were chiefly confined to the anterior half of the head; they were all of an incised character, clean cuts—there was one slight abrasion on the left cheek; with that exception they were incised—there were altogether about a dozen wounds on the face and head—there was one over the left ear—there was a wound down to the left temporal bone, and it was smashed in; the bone itself was fractured and depressed—on the bone being raised, the brain was discovered to be lacerated—the injury was external and internal—there were two other wounds which were more severe than the others on the face—one above the right eye, about 3 inches in length; the bone was completely smashed up, so much so that several fragments were lying quite loose, and the brain was protruding; that was a cut—the other was a transverse wound on the upper lip, which extended down to the upper jaw bone, which was broken, and a piece was removed; that was also a cut—those were the most severe of the injuries—there were altogether twelve or fourteen, the others were less serious, but they were quite separate, distinct wounds—there were several cuts on the arms and hands, at the back of the hands; they also appeared to have been produced by a sharp, cutting instrument—they were such wounds as might have been produced in a struggle, if she had been defending herself against violence—there were two cuts on her arms, just as they would be if she had put up her arms in front to defend herself; those were clean cuts, they were quite superficial, not deep—there was one very slight bruise on the right thigh—I think those were all the injuries I observed—the bruise on the thigh was recent, I should say a few hours—she remained under my care at Guy's till she died, on the 30th, about 9 o'clock in the evening—she died from the direct effect of the wounds.” [Testimony of Michael Harris - Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org), 10th July 1871, trial of Edmund Walter Pook (f18710710-561).]

Jane was indeed pregnant and had been for about 2 months. However, the baby was dead and already decomposing. It was considered that the baby had been dead about two weeks, which would put its death at about the time she was dismissed from the Pook household.
A stain was found on the right wristband of the shirt Edmund Pook wore on the evening of the murder and he had a scratch on his left arm. He told the police he had seen Jane that evening in the company of another man, and remembered telling his brother when he got in, who confirmed the statement.
The murder weapon, a plaster’s hammer was discovered in the grounds of the nearby Morden College by the gardener, Thomas Brown. It had blood marks on the handle but looked like I had been wiped clean. It had been bought at the tool shop of Mr Thomas at 186, High Street, Deptford and Plook was identified as the customer who bought it. (This was later proved to be a case of misidentification and it had been bought by someone else.)
Edmund Pook was arrested and tried for the murder of Jane Maria Clousen. The police at the time considered the evidence pointed toward Pook being responsible. Pook was found guilty in the Coroners Court (where he was represented by Henry Pook – no relation) and the case then went to The Old Bailey on 10th July 1871 where the trial received vast media coverage and Pook was found innocent and acquitted as there was a lack of credible evidence.
In an article entitled the The Eltham Murder Trial, The Sydney Morning Herald had the following to say on Thursday 19 October 1871 – “The spirit and manner of the police in their attempts to trace the death of Jane Maria Clousen to Edmund Walter Pook, as disclosed in Court, and commented upon by the Lord Chief Justice and by the counsel on both sides, show that there is no man's life that may not be jeopardised at some time or other in its ordinary progress by this feature of admistering criminal law. Now we disclaim, in limine, any suspicion of the police as a body. We willingly credit them with fair, honest, and laudable motives, taking for granted that in so large a number of men there will be an average proportion of individual exceptions. But it by no means follows that because in the exercise of their constabulary functions they come up to a high standard of merit they are qualified to 'assume the direction of prosecutions for criminal offences. Indeed, when the subject comes to be thought upon, the presumption will be found to lie the other way. Bodies of men organised and disciplined as are the police, are actuated strongly by an esprit de corps. They emulate each other in the discharge of their official duties, and are jealous of the reputation of their comrades. They are not, however, men of refined culture. They are not conversant with human nature at its best. Their imagination has to manipulate coarse and foul materials; and their prejudices render them extremely' sceptical of innocence whenever a public charge has been made. All this, which may very well suit the performance of their proper work as constables, unfits them to guide with discrimination the conduct of a prosecution which should be as judicial in its character as the trial to which it leads. We do not say that in the case of the accused Walter Pook there was on the part of the police, regarded as prosecutors, any deliberate and wilful attempt to mislead the Court and the jury - any conscious effort to tamper with the evidence which they had collected, or which had been brought before them. But their bias was most perceptibly in aid of the supposed clue hastily seized hold of by them in the first instance. By its consistency or inconsistency with the theory they had formed of Pook's guilt they judged of the worth or worthlessness of facts as evidence and gave them prominence or thrust them aside accordingly. Having apprehended their man, they naturally looked about for further evidence in support of their conjecture that he was the criminal; and if they felt a stronger desire than other men would have done to bring out a result in harmony with their first proceedings, the ill-chosen position, rather than the dishonest character, of the men must bear the chief blame. It is an infirmity of nobler minds than theirs to be less anxious to find themselves on the side of truth than to find the truth on their side.”
Some however saw the trial as a farce and thought he had escaped justice through his family’s connections. Pook even had to take out a civil case against slander which he won when a pamphlet saying he murdered Jane was printed and distributed. However, such was the media storm and public outrage surrounding the case, Edmund and his family fled London.Jane Maria Clousen was buried at the Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery and was carried there on a horse drawn carriage with female pall bearers dressed as maids. It is worth noting that a labourer named Michael Carroll some time later confessed to the murder whilst he was in Australia. The Sydney Police offered to detain him but Scotland Yard Authorities did not consider this man to be Clousen's murderer.
Ghost? Is there evidence of the ghost? I am not sure and have not read any actual witness accounts. It could just be nothing more than the typical ghost story we often find attached to old famous murders.

My thanks to Ian at mysteriousbritian.com for allowing me to post this story.











Saturday, 23 June 2012

Anyone for Cocoa

What is a Carman?

The Worshipful Company of Carman website with some historical information Link at http://www.thecarmen.co.uk A description of the work of carmen is found at Link to http://www.gander-exeter.freeserve.co.uk/gander/carmen.html The term "carman" is also used on railroads in USA and Nova Scotia and as a streetcar driver in UK. Usually it meant the driver of a covered cart. In colonial America carmen were regulated and had responsibilities for maintaining the streets. In the Dutch-Colonies mailing list Peter Christoph quotes from the Donogan Papers as follows: "The regulations in Albany in the 1680s appear in The Dongan Papers, 1683-1688, Part 1, pages 46-47 (where they are called Carmen). There were to be five and no more, appointed by the mayor and aldermen. They were to repair the streets when required by the mayor without compensation, cart the "dirt" (a euphemism) from all the streets to some convenient place. They were to be paid no more than three pence for hauling a load of goods except that for pantiles and bricks they were to be paid six pence, since they required special handling. The loads should be "reasonable for a horse to draw." The carmen are to unload and transport corn and wheat "with all possible speed." They are to make satisfaction for any goods they damage, and to behave civilly to all persons. No Negro or other slave shall drive a cart under penalty of twenty shillings to be paid by the owner of the slave (brewers' drays and beer carriages the only exceptions)." For all who have searched the surname Carman and found the occupation instead, this is a description of the English use of 'carman' as an occupation. The term was also used in 17c New York where carmen had specified responsibilities for maintaining roads. A carman was a delivery driver usually working for an employer. Could possibly be self-employed doing general haulage with his own horse and covered cart or wagon but these were mostly called 'carriers'. The Worshipful Company of Carmen was formed in 1516, to have the monopoly of plying for hire as carriers in the City. The Company would licence the vehicles, arrange where vehicles could stand awaiting custom and decide the rates to be charged. The livery colours are white and red, and a history of the Company (The Worshipful Company of Carmen by Eric Bennett, 1952) Records surviving at the Guildhall Library run from the 1660s to the late 20th century - the Court Minutes are the longest run, and some of the other records only cover very limited periods - lists of Freemen are only available up to the 18th Century, for example. In later time, a person may describe himself as a Carman, when he means that this is his trade, but if he is an employee within a large firm is most likely not to be a member of the Livery Company. The use of Carman (Master), or Master Carman probably indicates that the person is the proprietor of a firm of carriers, who may, therefore, (but not necessarily) be a member of the Livery Company.

Victualling Yard Entrance at Deptford


 1901


1888


1840?