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The Third Man

The visit to Toronto of Inspector Walter Andrews in December 1888 has been the subject of much controversy amongst Ripperologists.  Inspector Andrews was identified by Walter Dew, in Dew's 1938 autobiography, 'I Caught Crippen' as one of three detectives investigating the Whitechapel murders, along with the famous Inspector Frederick Abberline and the rather lesser known Inspector Henry Moore. According to Guy Logan, journalist and crime writer, in his 1928 book, 'Masters of Crime', Andrews was 'sent specially to America in December, 1888, in search of the Whitechapel fiend...' . Given that 'Dr' Francis Tumblety - reported to have been arrested on suspicion of the Whitechapel murders but not charged due to a lack of evidence - is known to have fled to the United States from London via Le Havre while on bail for indecency offences on 24 November 1888, it has been assumed by many that Andrews' trip to Canada, departing England on 29 November 1888, must have had something to do with Tumblety.  He obviously wasn't searching for him, because Tumblety went to New York, not Toronto, but in a three part trilogy in the 'Casebook Examiner' (April-October 2010), R.J. Palmer has argued that Andrews was in Canada to carry out secret background research into Tumblety in the event of his being charged with the Whitechapel Murders.  Those who oppose the notion that Tumblety was even considered by Scotland Yard as being a Jack the Ripper suspect, such as Simon D. Wood, and others such as Wolf Vanderlinden, have claimed that the visit of Andrews to Canada was part of the secret work on behalf of the Times being carried out by Scotland Yard detectives in North America: Inspector Jarvis and Chief Inspector Shore supposedly carrying out similar investigations in the United States (although, as we have seen in 'England Sends Her Spies', and will see further in 'The Thomas Barton Affair', this was decidedly not the case).

The one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that, whatever the primary purpose of Inspector Andrews' visit to Canada, it was not related to the publicly stated reason, namely the extradition of a man wanted by the Canadians for fraud.  This, it is said, was no more than a cover story for Andrews' real purpose.  Apparently, the evidence is so overwhelming that Andrews was doing something other than merely accompanying a prisoner to Toronto that it is hardly worth even considering that this was the mission he was engaged on.  As Wolf Vanderlinden says in his 'Ripper Notes' article, 'That Inspector Andrews was doing something in Toronto for the week he stayed seems obvious', and, 'It was obviously some secret mission which required expenses that would not turn up in any British Government account book', and,'...there is no doubt about this, Scotland Yard must have wanted one of its men to travel across the Atlantic for some, seemingly secret reason other than the return of a Canadian fugitive.'  And R.J. Palmer agrees: 'It must be acknowledged at the outset that Walter Andrews' trip to North America was mysterious' he says at the start of part 2 of his trilogy.  The purpose of this article is to challenge the accepted notion that Andrews had an ulterior motive in making the journey to Canada.  We will see that he went to across the Atlantic for the very reason he was supposed to have done. 

As it happens, a moment's consideration of the facts shows that there was absolutely nothing suspicious about Andrews' visit.  He arrived in Toronto with his prisoner on Tuesday, 11 December 1888, when that prisoner was taken straight before a magistrate and remanded into custody until Monday, 17 December 1888.  At the hearing on Monday, 17 December 1888, which Andrews naturally attended, the prisoner was committed for trial and, with his work done, Andrews started back on his journey to England the very next day, leaving Toronto on Tuesday 18 December.  It really was as simple as that.  On the face of it, there is nothing suspicious there at all.  But, as we have seen in  'England Sends Her Spies' by the time Andrews left Toronto it was widely believed that two other English detectives had been wandering around the United States looking for incriminating evidence against Irish Nationalists to support the Times in its case before the Parnell Commission.  If they were doing this, then it stood to reason that Andrews was too.   But the facts of the matter suggest otherwise.


Roland Gideon Israel Barnett was a professional conman who, by 1888, had spent his life swindling everyone he came across.  Born in February 1846, the son of Bennett Barnett, a reputable Jewish dealer in paintings and curiosities, Roland, who attempted to make a living as a commission agent, never seemed to hold onto his money and first became bankrupt in his early 20s.  The Times of 18 March 1868 referred to, 'The bankrupt, Roland Gideon Israel Barnett...described as of 202, Piccadilly, and a number of other residences, financial agent trading as Trelawny & Co, and also as Barnett & Co, H.N. Bagster & Co and B. Bennett' and reported that he had debts of over £3,000.  It looks like he was discharged but was then made bankrupt again in the following year because the London Gazette of 12 March 1879 reported that, 'Roland Israel Gideon Barnett late of 11 Ovington Square, Brompton, and of No. 26 Duke Street, Piccadilly, in the county of Middlesex, then of the New Ship Hotel, Brighton, in the county of Sussex, now of the Van Inn, High Wycombe, in the County of Bucks, and now of 26 Duke Street aforesaid, Commission Agent, having been adjudged bankrupt under a Petition for adjudication of Bankruptcy, filed in Her Majesty's court of Bankruptcy in London, on the 15th day of February 1869, a public sitting, for the said bankrupt to pass his Last Examination, and make application for his discharge, will be held...on the 15th day of April next.' 

Barnett described himself in the 1871 census as an 'accountant' but he was, in reality, acting as a money lender and bill discounter, going under the false surname of 'Noel'.  A judgment of Mr Justice Blackburn in civil proceedings at the summer assizes at Croydon in August 1871 stated that two young army officers had been 'in want of money and were in communication with a money-lender named Burnett, alias Noel...whose real name it appeared was Israel Gideon Burnett (sic), though he assumed the mere aristocratic name of Noel.'  The judge said that 'Burnett' who was, of course, Roland Barnett, introduced the officers to another man named Elcho and the two officers were swindled by the pair out of their money.  

The type of swindle that Barnett was engaged in during these years was later described in the New York Herald as follows:

'Roland seldom if ever advanced money direct to his clients.  His method was this: When a person had applied to him for a loan on good collateral, or had disposed of his reversionary interest in property, an appointment would be made for a certain day and hour at Barnett's offices. Barnett then would express regret that he had loaned out all his money, whereupon the client would become excited and say, "But I must have my money this afternoon." The wily usurer would appear to be in a great state of perturbation, and at length suggest a visit to a friend of his in the East End who might accommodate him with the money but of course additional interest would be charged.  And it was.  A ride to Whitechapel or Mile End would be undertaken in a hansom cab and a visit paid to some small dealer, who after a great deal of persuasion (apparently) would consent to advance the amount, less his commission, to Barnett on the understanding that his client should buy an Oriental mirror or some other antique incumbrance of no earthly use to him.  Barnett would then take his commission and pay for the purchase out of the client's money, handing that unfortunate what was left, which was of course very little.'

Within a few years, through swindles of this kind, and also assisted by a wealthy young man called Frederic John Reid, who foolishly agreed to go into partnership with him in April 1874 as a financial agent, and entrusted him with more than £3,500, Barnett had recovered his financial status sufficiently to attract a famous music hall performer, Nelly Power, after he saw her perform at the Surrey Theatre.  Miss Power, whose real name was Ellen Maria Lingham, agreed to marry Barnett in June 1874, believing him to be a wealthy and reputable financier.  She soon realised her mistake when Barnett not only used her money and assets to pay off his debts but gave her venereal disease too.  He became bankrupt again in November 1874, having admitted in court a few weeks earlier that he had been 'in embarrassed  circumstances' at the time of his marriage (York Herald, 23.10.1874).  By November 1875, Mrs Barnett had had enough and commenced divorce proceedings.  Her divorce petition (J77/166/4077) said that Barnett, 'has also on divers occasions made use of threatening and disgusting language towards your petitioner [Mrs Barnett] by calling her a bloody bitch and using the most filthy and disgusting language and urging your petitioner to commit adultery with some rich man.' 

Appearing in Clerkenwell Police Court on 18 November 1875, following an altercation with one of his wife's male friends, Barnett said that he had traded as a financial agent in Buckingham Street, Strand, and admitted to sending circulars from there to youths in college, undoubtedly to offer to act on their behalf in financial matters.  Barnett was also forced to admit that he had previously been in custody at Marlborough Street Police Court on what he described as a 'fictitious charge' and had been summoned to Bow Street Police Court on a summons for having obtained a bill of exchange and not giving proper value for it.

In July 1876, legal proceedings commenced by the Earl of Lewes revealed that Barnett had been pretending to be solicitor called John Cave Pain (who was a real solicitor) and had been sending out circulars from his office in the Strand 'to procure money from people'.  The Earl of Lewes had foolishly given Barnett bills of exchange for large sums of money which he never saw again. As a result of the frauds revealed by these proceedings, a judge ordered Barnett, who was still bankrupt, to be detained in Holloway prison in 1877.  Eventually, Barnett secured his release from gaol and appears to have been discharged as a bankrupt; but two years later, on 27 June 1879, a warrant was issued for his arrest for obtaining a sum of £45 from a butcher called Henry Charles Button by means of false pretences.  That warrant was not executed because Barnett went into hiding and, soon afterwards, fled the country, supposedly in debt to the sum of £100,000, leaving a lot of unhappy creditors behind him.

After a gap of a few years, during which time his whereabouts are unknown, Barnett was next seen in New York where he organised an opera company known as 'Barnett's New York Ideals'.  This failed (he probably embezzled the proceeds) and he was employed in collecting sums for the Jewish Messenger newspaper in January 1884 but took the money for himself and, before being arrested, fled to Canada.  He began his Canadian adventures in Montreal, Quebec, where he was part of a consortium called The Crystal Palace Opera House Company which converted the Victoria Skating Rink into a summer opera house. The venture lost $25,000 dollars during the summer of 1884, most of which was believed to have been misappropriated by Barnett. At the end of the year, Barnett then headed to Toronto, Ontario, where, using a letter of introduction from his lawyers, managed to make the acquaintance of Mr A.A. Allen, the cashier of the Central Bank of Canada.  Posing as a wealthy financier and/or theatrical manager, Barnett made a single deposit of $500 to prove his credentials and then, over a period of several years, while living the high life, spending, it is said, $1,000 a week, took out various large loans which were never repaid, and engaged in a little securities fraud (in August/September 1887), contributing to the collapse of the bank in November 1887.

Shortly before the collapse, Barnett fled to New York and there committed further financial frauds, including 'a rather gigantic note swindling operation' (Toronto World,12.12.1888) until the police started looking for him and he went to Atlantic City on 4 July where, during the Independence Day celebrations, he was reported to have spent 'considerable cash in buying champagne for several members of  [the Carleton] Opera Company'  (New York Herald, 22 July 1888) before he sailed for England on 7 July 1888, taking with him one of the members of that opera company, a Miss Rose Beaudet.

In London, Barnett, apparently going under the name of 'Belmont', was 'living in high style'  in Craven Street in the Strand (Toronto Evening News, 20.09.1888 & 11.12.1888) while carrying on business under the firm name of Belmont & Co at 7 Old Burlington Street, near Piccadilly (Toronto Evening Telegram, 11.12.1888).   According to Inspector Andrews (Toronto Daily Mail, 12.12.1888):

'..I have known Barnett for over twenty years.  I know the place he was born....He has never been convicted of any offence in the United Kingdom, but his reputation has not been the best.  One day last August I ran across him in Piccadilly... His business was that of bill broker and theatrical agent.  The same old game.  We knew that he was wanted in the United States and from a copy of THE [TORONTO DAILY] MAIL which I came across at the hands of a friend, I learned that he was wanted in Canada on an extraditable charge under the Fugitive Offenders Act.  I arrested him on the old warrant and detained him, awaiting further developments.'

The story told by Andrews to the Toronto Daily Mail might not have been not entirely true because it seems that Andrews had, in fact, been tipped off by an informer that Barnett was back in the country (and Wolf Vanderlinden has found a note in the Toronto Police files saying that the Chief of Police in Toronto handed Andrews $50 to give to his informant as a reward). Thus, he probably did not 'run across' Barnett by chance in Piccadilly. Anyway, regardless of how he found him, with the outstanding warrant from 1879 on a charge of obtaining money by false pretences in his possession, Inspector Andrews was able to arrest Barnett on 30 August 1888 (Toronto Evening News of 11.12.1888).

Barnett, described as a 'theatrical agent', appeared at Wandsworth Police Court on the following day, Friday 31 August 1888, when the magistrate, Mr Plowden, remanded the prisoner for the attendance of witnesses, expressing his willingness to accept two sureties of £250 which Barnett evidently could not deliver (Morning Post, 01.09.88).  According to Andrews: 'The Canadian authorities were then notified' (Toronto Daily Mail. 12.12.1888). 

Over in Canada, the news reached the Toronto police - presumably from Andrews or Scotland Yard (but possibly from Andrews' informant) - that Barnett was in England although it is unclear if they understood that he was in custody.  A story in the Toronto Evening News of 4 September 1888 reported the following:



A Cable Sent to England Asking For His Apprehension

That there was something new in connection with the Central Bank to-day was painfully evident by the deep veil of mystery that shrouded the dark and handsome features of Sergeant Detective Reburn.  He couldn't keep still a moment, but, roamed from room to room in police headquarters, as if in search of something.  Anon, he held a whispered consultation with Mr. W.A. Foster, solicitor for the Central Bank, and then quietly sidled down to the police clerk's room  The Chief himself appeared much disturbed and a little after ten o'clock engaged a hack and drove hurriedly to the residence of the Attorney-General, with whom he had a lengthy interview.  The police earnestly denied that there was anything special on hand, but a NEWS reporter has learned that this afternoon there will be issued a warrant for the apprehension of Israel Gideon Barnett, the financial fakir who carried off a goodly pile of Central Bank bills shortly before the collapse of the institution.  Barnett is now in England, and a cable message will be sent this afternoon to Scotland Yard asking for his apprehension, the specific charge against him being conspiracy and fraud.'

The warrant was indeed issued.  The Toronto Evening Telegram of 5 September 1888 reported the following:


Charged with Embezzling $10,500 from the Central Bank

At half-past 3 o'clock this afternoon, Detective Inspector Stark went to the Police Magistrate's residence, Heyden Villa, and swore out two warrants for the arrest of Roland Gideon Israel Barnett in London, Eng.  In the warrants, Barnett is charged with obtaining by fraud, from the Central Bank, two drafts for $5,250 each.  A cablegram for his arrest will be sent by Chief Constable Grassett to the Scotland Yard authorities this evening.'

Back in London, a further remand hearing was held at Wandsworth Police Court on Thursday 6 September, although Barnett was not present due to a mistake by the prison authorities. A Mr E. Dillon Lewis informed the magistrate that, shortly before leaving America, the prisoner's last act, 'in a continuation of a long career of crime', was to steal a bill of exchange from a well-known merchant there called 'Mr Carnack' (although his name was, in fact, E.H. Carmick). Mr Dillon Lewis said that Barnett had been indicted by a grand jury who had returned true bills against him but that he had fled to England before being arrested (Era, 08.09.88).

By this stage, Scotland Yard must have received the cablegram from Canada.  A subsequent letter from the Home Office to the Colonial Office (dated 8 November 1888) states:

'It would appear that the Metropolitan Police started the case in this country [i.e.extradition proceedings] on receipt of a telegram from the Toronto Police.'

The first entries relating to the extradition of Barnett to Canada which are found in the Home Office's register of correspondence (HO 46/93) are dated 11 September 1888; they note the issuance of a warrant to extradite Barnett for fraud to Canada.

In the meantime, there was some controversy over in Canada about the reporting of the intended issue of the warrant for Barnett's arrest.  The Toronto police were criticizing the press for the leak of the news which, they believed, would reach Barnett in London and mean that he would flee from England and escape justice again.

Thus, the Toronto Evening News of 9 September 1888 reported that: 'The detectives blame the Police Clerk or his assistants for having supplied THE NEWS reporter with the information about the warrant for Barnett, thus, they claim, frustrating the ends of justice...'.  The newspaper countered that, in fact, it would be shown that 'either the liquidators or the detectives were careless of their duties and negligently neglected work that should have been performed with promptness'.  An investigation into the leak was mentioned.  The newspaper also stated:

'Roland Gideon Israel Barnett has not yet been arrested, and he is probably ere this comfortably settled in France.  It is over a month ago since the police were informed that the wily Hebrew was in England, but no efforts were made to capture him until within the past week, and then the criminal machinery moved so slowly that the man wanted had plenty of time in which to escape.'

While the Toronto detectives might not have been telling the press everything, the fact that they seem to have been claiming that the leak could have caused Barnett to escape justice suggests that the Toronto police were not being fully informed about events in London by Scotland Yard.  This may be because Scotland Yard had not yet arrested Barnett under the Canadian warrant and, until they did so, it was always possible that he would be discharged from the offence stated in the nine year old English warrant and walk free.  Alternatively, it is possible that the Canadians knew that Barnett had been admitted to bail and could have been released from prison at any time and then gone into hiding or left the country. So a certain amount of caution was required.

At a further remand hearing at Wandsworth on 13 September 1888, the magistrate had clearly been informed of the Canadian arrest warrant prior to the hearing.  According to Inspector Andrews: '...when he [Barnett] came up before the court on a remand I had him discharged on the old warrant and swore out a new one on the strength of Inspector Stark's cablegram.' (Toronto Daily Mail, 12.12.188). 

Thus, in a pre-arranged sequence, Barnett was discharged by Mr Plowden but, at the same time, the magistrate said that the prisoner would be required to clear himself of a charge of a more serious character. As soon as he left the dock, Barnett was immediately rearrested by Inspector Andrews under the Canadian warrant.  He was then taken to Bow Street Police Court where he was charged under the Fugitive Offenders Act with committing fraud in Toronto. There, Mr Vaughan refused to accept bail and remanded him into custody (Era, 15.09.88).  This was in accordance with section 5 of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881 which stated:

'A fugitive when apprehended shall be brought before a magistrate who (subject to the provisions of this Act) shall hear the case in the same manner and have the same jurisdiction and powers, as near as may be (including the power to remand and admit to bail), as if the fugitive were charged with an offence committed within his jurisdiction.'

It took a few days for this news to reach Canada but it eventually did so on 19 September 1888  when the Toronto Evening News reported:



He Will Be Brought To Toronto And Tried For Fraud.

Roland Gideon Israel Barnett has been captured at last, he having been arrested in London, Eng. over a week ago, and it is altogether probable that Detective McGrath will leave for England immediately to bring him back.  The authorities decline to give any information with reference to Barnett's arrest but it is generally understood that the charge against him is the one published in THE NEWS two weeks ago to the effect that on the 6th September, 1887, he defrauded the Central Bank out of two drafts of $5,250 each.

The fakir financier was arrested on the day after the investigation held by the Commissioners as to the statement that one of the police clerks had supplied THE NEWS with the information as to the warrant for Barnett, so that after all THE NEWS did not defeat the ends of justice by publishing the same, and the row raised by the detectives proved verily to be a tempest in a teapot.'

The very next day, however, the optimism that a detective would be despatched to bring back Barnett 'immediately'  had faded.  The Toronto Evening News of 20 September 1888 carried the headline 'BARNETT IN ENGLAND  - AND LIKELY TO REMAIN THERE FOR SOME TIME.' 

The story had actually been first published earlier in the day by the Toronto Daily Mail under the headline: 'WHO IS BLUFFING?  SCOTLAND YARD DETECTIVES HAVE FIRST CLAIM ON BARNETT' with a sub-headline: 'He Was Arrested Days Before the Toronto Authorities Thought of Fetching Him Back - Not Likely to Return for Some Time - A Strong Case Against Him.'  The newspaper had discovered that Barnett had been remanded in custody but that he had not yet been committed so that the proceedings were likely to rumble on for a while.  This information had been obtained by a representative of the newspaper, 'from an English detective, who was in Toronto last night on his way from England to Chicago' (so perhaps some new controversy will arise as to the identify of this particular detective in Toronto in September!).

Furthermore, there was a fear that Scotland Yard would have their own charges to level against Barnett.  Thus, the Toronto Daily Mail/Evening News report of 20 September 1888 stated:

'Of course if the police here want him the English authorities will have no objections to handing him over when they get through with him.  It is altogether probable however, that it will not be less than five years before they quit their hold on him.'

The newspapers were still smarting over the allegations that they had behaved irresponsibly and the report also stated:

'When Detective Inspector Stark accused some person or persons unknown of having probably defeated the ends of justice by "giving away" the issuance of the warrant for the arrest of Roland Gideon Israel Barnett, it was no doubt done in the belief that such was the case.  Mr. Stark, however, was making a mistake. He believed that Barnett had friends in the city who, to save themselves, would cable him to get out of the way.  Had they done so, however, they would have been too late, as days before the police authorities here decided to have him arrested he was safe behind the bars on another charge.  It will be remembered that, despite all the quizzing to which the Chief of Police and the detectives have good-naturedly submitted, not one of them has said that Barnett was arrested on the information sworn to by Inspector Stark.  If, as an evening paper says, Chief Grassett received an answer to his cablegram of the 5th September, that answer must have been that Barnett was already in the clutches of the law, as he was arrested by the English detectives on the 1st (sic).'  

So the penny had finally dropped that Barnett had been in custody at the time that the Canadian warrant was sent to London.  However, contrary to the Toronto media speculation, it may be that Scotland Yard's answer to the cablegram was that the Toronto police needed to act quickly otherwise Barnett might be released.

On 21 September 1888, a report from Toronto, published in the Ottawa Journal of that date, stated:

'There is some discussion here as to how Roland Israel Gideon Barnett is to be got over from London, now that he is arrested. It is believed it will be a hard fight to get him here.'

The main problem for the Toronto police was that they needed to provide sufficient written evidence to persuade a London magistrate that the case against Barnett was strong enough for extradition.  The most important witness, A. A. Allen, was not in Canada while another key witness, broker James Baxter, was refusing to come from Montreal to Toronto to provide a deposition. The problem was that Baxter was himself potentially facing criminal charges arising from the collapse of the Central Bank and believed he would be arrested if he set foot in Toronto.  He was subpoenaed to attend in Toronto on 23 September but failed to do so and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest (Manitoba Free Press, 26.09.88).  Detective Reburn of the Toronto Police was sent to Montreal to enforce the warrant. 

A hearing before a Montreal judge for that judge to endorse the warrant for Baxter's arrest took place on 28 September (Ottawa Journal, 28.09.1888) but it was found there were flaws with the way the warrant had been drafted in that it did not state that it had the consent of the Attorney General nor did it make clear which city Baxter was being summoned to appear in (Toronto Daily Mail, 30.09.1888 & 01.10.1888). A second warrant, with these flaws corrected, was issued in Toronto and received in the post by Detective Reburn in Montreal on 1 October (Toronto World, 02.10.1888).  On 2 October, the judge in Montreal indicated he would endorse the warrant but Baxter's legal representative applied to a Superior Court judge for a writ of prohibition preventing the warrant being signed that day on legal grounds.  A hearing of the matter was set down in the Superior Court for 23 October but the Toronto World noted gloomily that if Baxter lost he could appeal to the Privy Council and: 'Thus it may take years before the case is finally decided'.  The Toronto Evening News was equally gloomy about the effect of the failure to arrest Baxter on the Barnett extradition proceedings, commenting:

'As the Baxter case has been put off until the 23rd of October, the English authorities will not be able to hold Barnett for so long a time....It looks as if by the time Baxter is brought to Toronto Barnett will be at liberty.'

A dejected Detective Reburn arrived back empty handed in Toronto on 3 October.  To make matters worse he had been bitten by a huge mosquito on his journey and thus sported 'a curious looking wound on the side of his forehead' while 'his face was as solemn as a funeral procession.' (Toronto Evening News, 03.10.1888).

There was no time to wait for the outcome of the Baxter proceedings.  The evidence had to be provided to London fast even if it was relatively weak.  According to the Toronto Evening News, the extradition papers had already been sent to London by the evening of 2 October, for the newspaper said on that date that Barnett would not be able to be held in England 'unless the depositions already sent are considered strong enough.'  If correct, this would presumably mean that they were despatched immediately upon learning that Baxter would not be coming to Toronto.  On the following day, 3 October 1888, in a gloomy assessment of the prospects for extradition, the same newspaper stated that:

'Roland Gideon Israel Barnett languisheth in an English prison, awaiting the arrival of the depositions that may set him at liberty or bring him across the sea to Toronto.  It is well known among the legal fraternity that the depositions already made, and which have been endorsed by the Government authorities at Ottawa and sent to England, are not considered strong by those who took them, and that it is the reason why Baxter's evidence is considered necessary.'

A report in the Northern Advance newspaper on 4 October 1888 (possibly filed on 2 October) stated:

'The Minster of Justice attached yesterday the necessary signature to the papers which are intended to bring back to Canada Roland Gideon Barnett..'.  

It may be that the papers were not sent to London until 4 October (bearing in mind that Wolf Vanderlinden has found a letter of that date enclosing them) but they had certainly arrived in London by 15 October for, on that date, Scotland Yard sent them to the Home Office (CO 42/797).  The next day, 16 October, Godfrey Lushington at the Home Office sent them to Mr Vaughan, the magistrate at Bow Street Police Court, under cover of the following letter (HO 134/10):


'I am directed by the Secretary of State to transmit to you the enclosed copy of the evidence in the case of Roland Gideon Israel Barnett who has been arrested under the Fugitive Offenders' Act, and is now under remand on a charge of Fraud  [which occurred] at Toronto, Canada.'

It seems that the Canadian authorities were not optimistic of success and the following report in the Toronto Evening News of 22 October 1888 is very revealing of the pessimistic view then being held in Canada about the Barnett case:


The Weary, Weary, Bank Muddle.

The Detective in the Case Called Off.

No News of Barnett from England....

....The Toronto Authorities Perplexed and Anxious.

It looks as if the Central Bank prosecutors and the Police Magistrate are becoming tired of the struggle to get Jim Baxter to Toronto, and that his evidence will never be secured.  Three weeks ago the depositions charging Roland Gideon Israel Barnett with Fraud, in connection with the Central Bank, were sent to England, and up to the present not a word has been heard from the Home authorities.  The police do not even know if the papers have safely arrived and furthermore they are at a loss to know what they should do with Barnett in the event of their securing his extradition.  Cashier Allen has given his ultimatum to the effect that wild horses cannot drag him to Canada, Baxter declines to visit the Province of Ontario under any pretence and even the only important witness the liquidators have succeeded in examining had to be threatened with jail for contempt of Court before he would sign his deposition.

It is an open secret that the police authorities in Toronto are tired of the whole affair, and seeing no chance to be able to secure a conviction are anxious that the papers in the case shall be pigeon-holed for good and all.


A NEWS reporter called on Chief of Police Grassett at noon to-day and asked him if anything had been heard from the Home authorities in connection with Fakir Barnett.

"Not a word" replied the Chief.  "The papers must have arrived there some time ago, but as yet we have not been notified that such is the case.  Of course it takes a considerable time for a letter to arrive here from England but so much time has elapsed since the papers were sent away that we are now daily looking for some word.  Of course the authorities might have notified us by cable, but they have not done so.  It is probable that a long remand has been made in the Barnett case, for the purpose of awaiting the papers we sent...To-day's mail has arrived, but it has brought no news in connection with the Barnett case".' 

A point to note here is that communications by cable were expensive and the Metropolitan Police were only going to send urgent messages using that medium.  According to Inspector Stark of the Toronto Police (Toronto Daily Mail, 23.11.1888):

'You know there is no telephone communication with Scotland Yard and telegraphy is a trifle high, so we have to depend very much on her Majesty's mail.' 

The main problem, though, was that, at this stage, in late October, there was nothing for Scotland Yard to report.  Everything was in the hands of the magistrate at Bow Street but, according to one Canadian newspaper, Barnett 'moved every power of British law to prevent his extradition to Canada' (Toronto World, 12.12.1888).  It certainly appears to be the case that he fought his extradition hard because it was not until 6 November that he was committed to Holloway prison to await his surrender to the Canadian authorities. 

The committal was in accordance with the Fugitive Offenders Act of 1881 which stated at section 5 that, if the evidence provided raised a strong or probable presumption that the fugitive was guilty of the offence mentioned in the warrant, 'the magistrate shall commit the fugitive to prison to await his return and shall forthwith send a certificate of the committal and such report of the case as he may think fit, if in the United Kingdom to a Secretary of State, and if in a British possession to the governor of that possession.':  (As per s.39 of the Fugitive Offender's Act of 1881, the expression 'British possession' meant 'any part of Her Majesty's dominions', i.e. including Canada.) 

The Home Office informed the Colonial Office of this committal by way of letter on 8 November 1888 (HO 134/10) and, at the same time, confirmed that the Toronto police 'have produced the necessary papers to justify the fugitive's surrender.'

There was then a delay of two weeks but this can be explained by the terms of the Fugitive Offenders Act of 1881 which stated at section 5 that:

'Where the magistrate commits the fugitive to prison he shall inform the fugitive that he will not be surrendered until after the expiration of fifteen days, and that he has a right to apply for a writ of habeas corpus or other like process.' 

In other words, Barnett could not be surrendered to the Canadian authorities - so there was no point in the British authorities suggesting to Toronto that a Canadian officer be sent over to collect him - until fifteen days after the committal hearing, which had been on 6 November, so that the time for an application would expire on 21 November.  With that deadline approaching, on 19 November 1888, the Assistant Commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Department, Robert Anderson, wrote to the Under Secretary of State at the Home Office reminding him that Barnett had been committed from Bow Street Police Court nearly fifteen days earlier and estimating that if a British officer was required to accompany Barnett to Canada the cost would be in the region of £120. His letter (CO 42/797) read, in full, as follows:


I am directed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis to acquaint you for the information of the Secretary of State, that on the 6th instant, the prisoner Roland Israel Gideon Barnett, referred to in the letter from this office of the 15th ulto. was committed in accordance with the provisions of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881, from the Bow Street Police Court by J. Vaughan Esq to take his trial in Canada for fraud committed there. The usual 15 days to appeal against the decision will expire on the 21st instant, and it will be necessary for the Secretary of State to issue the warrant for the prisoner's surrender as soon as the necessary arrangements are made for conveying him to the Dominion of Canada.

I may mention for the information of Mr Secretary Matthews that Rowland (sic) I.G. Barnett was in custody (for an offence committed in England about 5 (sic) years ago) when the papers for his surrender under the Fugitive Offenders Act were received from Canada.

An indemnity for the expenses of conveying the prisoner to Canada has not been received, and in compliance with the Home Office Instructions dated 4th February 1882, as to the proceedings for the surrender of Fugitive Offenders, I am to request that the Secretary of State may be pleased to ascertain from the Colonial Office whether an indemnity will be obtained in Canada for the expenses which will amount to about £120 if an officer of this force is deputed to convey the prisoner to Toronto.'

Anderson letter.jpg

This letter was forwarded by Godfrey Lushington of the Home Office to the Under Secretary of State at the Colonial Office on 20 November 1888 (HO 134/10) under cover of the following:


With reference to the letter addressed to you from this department on the 8th instant regarding the Extradition of Roland Israel Gideon Barnett, I am directed by the Secretary of State to transmit to you herewith, to be laid before Lord Knutsford, a copy of a letter he has received from the Commissioner of Police, and I am to request that his Lordship will be so good as to take steps to ascertain at once whether the Canadian Government will guarantee the expenses in the case, and what arrangements they propose to make.'

As at 21 November 1888, Barnett had either not made an application for habeas corpus within the fifteen day period specified by the statute, or such an application had failed, so the extradition proceedings could go ahead.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the news reached the press that Barnett's return to Canada was close at hand.  A report in the Toronto Evening News on 22 November 1888 stated as follows:

'Roland Gideon Israel Barnett, the foreign fakir who played such havoc with the Central Bank funds, will come to Toronto after all, and it is said that although the extradition proceedings will be fully completed, he is now as anxious to get here as he has been to get out of the English bastille where he is now confined. The police authorities have been exceedingly anxious to impress the newspaper reporters with the belief that they had heard nothing as to Barnett on the proceedings against him since they sent to England the depositions charging the fakir with fraud; in fact, so anxious were they in this particular that only three officers besides the Police Magistrate and Chief Grassett were entrusted with the secret.  A NEWS reporter received a hint that the Barnett matter had taken a new turn and he interviewed the heads of the department.  Inspector Stark simply smiled and said he had no information on the subject, while the other officers quietly said that their mouths were shut and could therefore answer no questions. is stated that Barnett's extradition was decided upon last week.  The fakir made a hard fight, and judgment was reserved.  It has not been given yet, but an official intimation has reached Toronto to the effect that Barnett will be ordered for extradition on the depositions sent from Toronto, and the necessary papers will be ready with the judgment in a few days.  It is also stated that Barnett may escape a criminal prosecution, and that he has made a series of startling, although not altogether unexpected statements, involving more than one person in a high position, and charging them with criminal participation in the wrecking of the Central Bank...The police authorities profess to be in ignorance of any statement made by this man Barnett, but decline to discuss the affair at present, more than to say that Barnett will certainly be brought to Toronto.'

The story about the 'startling' statements seems to be journalistic speculation because Barnett is not known to have made any such accusations when he came to Canada. Contrary to the suggestion that the proceedings had not been completed, as at 22 November, Barnett had been committed for extradition and now had no right to apply for his release but no firm arrangements appear to have been made as to how to get him across the Atlantic.

On 23 November 1888, the British authorities awoke to the consequences of delay in extraditing Barnett under the terms of the Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881.  That Act stated at section 7:

'If a fugitive who, in pursuance of this part of this Act, has been committed to prison in any part of Her Majesty's dominions to await his return is not conveyed out of that part within one month after such committal, a superior court, upon application by or on behalf of the fugitive, and upon proof that reasonable notice of the intention to make such application has been given, if the said part is the United Kingdom to a Secretary of State, and if the said part is a British possession to the governor of the possession, may, unless sufficient cause is shown to the contrary, order the fugitive to be discharged out of custody.'

It is important to understand what this is saying and is not saying.  It is not saying that holding Barnett in custody in the United Kingdom for more than a month was illegal, only that, after one month from committal, a prisoner had liberty to apply for his release which might then be ordered by a judge.  Furthermore, it is not saying that Barnett had to be surrendered over to the Canadian authorities before the expiry of one month to prevent such an application, only that he had to have been 'conveyed out of that part' (i.e. out of prison and out of the country) by that time. 

Consequently, on 23 November 1888, Godfrey Lushington of the Home Office wrote to Robert Anderson as follows (HO 134/10):


I am directed by the Secretary of State to acquaint you that a copy of your letter of 19th instant relative to R.G. Barnett was on the 20th instant forwarded to the Colonial Office, and that their attention has today been called to the 7th Section of the Fugitive Offenders Act which provides that if not conveyed out of the United Kingdom within one month after his committal, a fugitive may apply to a Superior Court for his discharge, and to the consequent necessity of a speedy decision being arrived at as to the disposal of Barnett.

The Secretary of State has received an information from the Colonial Office that the Canadian Government will at once be asked by telegraph whether they are prepared to guarantee the expenses which would be involved in the conveyance of the fugitive to Canada, and which you estimate would amount to £120, and what arrangements they propose to make.

I am at the same time to call your attention to the last paragraph of the instructions issued in February 1882 which provide that steps should not be taken for the issue or execution of a warrant for the apprehension of a fugitive offender unless an indemnity has been obtained from the prosecutor, without instructions from the Secretary of State.'

The message from the Home Office was clear; nothing was to happen with Barnett until the Canadian Government agreed to provide an indemnity for costs.   Furthermore, the Assistant Commissioner was being gently rebuked for having taken steps to apprehend Barnett before such indemnity had been provided.  In response, Anderson protested that Barnett 'was already  in custody for an offence, committed in England, when the demand for his surrender, under the Fugitive Offenders Act, was received from Canada'  (CO 42/797).

As of 23 November, neither indemnity nor instructions as to what to do with Barnett had been received from Canada, probably because Canada had not yet been asked, bearing in mind that the time period in which Barnett could appeal had only just finished.  A telegram was sent to the Canadian authorities by the Colonial Office informing them that extradition had been granted and asking: 'Is colony prepared to pay expense of proceedings inclusive of passage money?'  (CO 340/4; CO 42/797).  The point was emphasised that everything that had been done so far had been at the request of Canada: 'London police acted at request of Toronto Police.  Tel reply. Time presses.' 

Time was now of the essence.  Robert Anderson fully appreciated that it was important for Barnett to be on a ship sailing for Canada before 6 December 1888 (i.e. one month after his committal) in order to prevent an application for his release; and the last ship to sail within that time frame was the SS Sarnia, a Royal Mail steamer of the Dominion Line, departing from Liverpool on 29 November 1888.  Barnett simply had to be on that ship.  Yet there were no instructions from Canada via the Colonial Office via the Home Office to put him on it.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Daily Mail of 23 November carried an exclusive but inaccurate story that Barnett, 'will probably be in Toronto by the end of the month.'  It said:

'The Toronto Police authorities are very reticent on the matter, and none of them will acknowledge that they know anything of the affair but THE MAIL has it on outside authority that Barnett was to leave England in charge of a Scotland Yard officer about the 21st inst.  A gentleman in this city received a letter the other day from a friend in London stating that Barnett had been committed for extradition, but as the law allows a certain time for him to enter an appeal he could not leave before the 21st.'

On 24 November 1888, the Assistant Commissioner of C.I.D. wrote again to the Under Secretary of State at the Home Office reminding him that the papers had been sent to the Home Office as long ago as 15 October and informing him of the urgent nature of the situation.   Robert Anderson wrote: 'The matter is now extremely urgent as the prisoner must be sent by steamer for Canada direct and I am informed that the vessel of the 29th is the last that will leave before the statutory period' (CO 42/797). Clearly he had no instructions as to what to do with Barnett.  Consequently, two days later, on 26 November 1888, with no reply received from Canada, in a letter marked 'Pressing', an official at the Home Office wrote to the Colonial Office (HO 134/10) as follows:


With reference to...the fugitive offender Roland Israel Gideon Barnett, I am directed by the Secretary of State to transmit to you herewith, for the information of Lord Knutsford, a copy of a letter from the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, dated the 24th instant, from which his Lordship will observe that the vessel leaving for Canada on the 29th instant is the last that will leave before the lapse of the statutory period during which the offender can be detained, and that it is consequently a matter of urgency to learn the decision of the Colonial authorities as to his being sent to Canada.'

The Colonial Office put the question to the Dominion Government of Canada in a further telegram on 26 November 1888 and, at last, two replies from the Governor-General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston, came back on the same day (CO 335/17; CO 42/796). First:

'With reference to your Tel of 23 Nov. Dom Govt will pay all expenses in connexion with Barnett's extradition.'


'With reference to your Tel. of 26 Nov. Dom Govt wish Barnett 29 Nov sent out by Mail.'

Finally the British police had an indemnity and Robert Anderson had his instructions. There was obviously no time for a Canadian officer to come to England to escort Barnett over to Canada.  It had to be an English officer and Inspector Andrews, who had twice arrested Barnett, was the obvious choice in a case of this importance.  The Secretary of State immediately approved a surrender warrant for Barnett to be delivered by the Governor of Holloway Prison into the custody of Inspector Andrews. That warrant (HO 134/25) stated:

To the Governor of H.M. Prison at Holloway
and to Inspector Walter Andrews
of the Metropolitan Police 

Whereas Roland Israel Gideon Barnett late of Toronto

Accused of the commission of the crime of fraud as a trustee, and fraudulently converting to his own use available security so as to deprive the owner of the use of the same within the jurisdiction of the Dominion of Canada was delivered into the custody of you the Governor of H.M. Prison at Holloway, by Warrant dated the sixth day of November 1888 pursuant to the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881.

Now I do hereby, in pursuance of the said Act, order you the said Governor to deliver the body of the said Roland Israel Gideon Barnett into the custody of Inspector Walter Andrews of the Metropolitan Police and I command you the said Inspector Walter Andrews to receive the said Roland Israel Gideon Barnett into your custody and to convey him within the jurisdiction of the said Dominion of Canada and there to place him in the custody of any person or persons appointed by the said Dominion to receive him, for which this shall be your Warrant.

Given under the hand and seal of the Undersigned, one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, this twenty sixth day of November 1888.

for Henry Matthews

On 27 November 1888, Godfrey Lushington of the Home Office wrote to the Under Secretary of State of the Colonial Office (HO 134/10) as follows:


With reference to recent correspondence relating to the case of Roland Israel Gideon Barnett from Toronto, Canada, I am directed by the Secretary of State to acquaint you for the information of the Secretary of State for the Colonies that he has issued Warrants for the surrender of the fugitive who will be taken back under an escort of the Metropolitan Police by the vessel leaving on 29th instant.

I enclose for transmission to the Colony the original papers relating to the case.'

It was now arranged.  Inspector Andrews would sail on 29 November aboard the Sarnia, to Halifax, Canada, with Barnett.  The journey was expected to be quite comfortable. According to the advertising blurb, all Dominion Line steamers had: 'Saloon, Staterooms, Music Room, Smoking Room and Bathrooms amidships where but little motion is felt, and they carry neither cattle  nor sheep.  The rooms are all outside, and the are comfortably heated by steam' (Montreal Gazette, 17.12.1888).  A cable message was sent by Scotland Yard to the Toronto Police on 28 November 1888 and received in Toronto at 12:00pm on that day:

'CHIEF CONSTABLE - By Fugitive Offenders' Act prisoner must be surrendered within thirty days after committal. Time expires 6th Dec.  Officer must be sent from here.  He will leave to-morrow.


The Canadian press, which reproduced this cable, was delighted.  The Toronto Evening News reported on Wednesday, 28 November 1888:


Sails for Toronto To-Morrow,

Along with an English Detective,

He Will Arrive in the City Next Week,

When a Warrant Will be Issued for Jim Baxter.

The Fugitive Offenders' Act - How Barnett was Defended - The Charges on Which He Will be Tried in Toronto.

Roland Gideon Israel Barnett will soon be on the high seas, his destination being Toronto.


Barnett made a hard fight in England to regain his liberty, being defended by Mr. Abraham, one of London's most eminent Hebrew lawyers, but the papers had been so carefully prepared here by the County Crown Attorney that there was not a loop-hole of escape, and on the 6th of November he was formally committed for trial, an order tantamount to his extradition....The prisoner had fifteen days after his committal in which to appeal to a Superior Court for a habeas corpus, but the time has expired and he has made no such appeal, being evidently convinced that he would have to come to Toronto sooner or later.

The Police authorities are reticent as to what action they will take when Barnett arrives in Toronto.  He will be prosecuted on two different charges...

When Barnett arrives in Halifax probably next week, Detective Reburn will be sent to that city to take charge of him and bring him to this city.'

The following morning's Toronto Daily Mail carried some further information, including what it claimed to be the motivation behind Inspector Andrews' journey (although the inspector was not named in the report).  It stated:

'Roland Israel Gideon Barnett is now on his way to this country, the period of his respite having expired.  He sailed this morning on the steamer Sarnia, of the Dominion line, and provided the trip is a pleasant one the steamer will arrive at Halifax a week from Saturday.  As stated exclusively in THE MAIL some days ago, he will be in charge of an officer from Scotland Yard.  It appears that one of the members of the staff of Scotland Yard was anxious to take a trip to America and ascertain how they did things in Toronto.  On this account the staff kindly and ably seconded the petition for Barnett's extradition a piece of courtesy that the Toronto staff may on some future occasion repay.  The prisoner and the officer will be met at Halifax by Inspector Stark, Chief of Detectives, and they will be conducted to this city.  As the officer desired to take in the trip to Canada, word was not sent to Colonel Grassett, Chief of Police, until it was too late to think of sending an officer over to England after Barnett, as he will have to be delivered over before the [6th] of December.'

Although the report contains some accurate information about Barnett's arrival, it is hard to see how the statement that 'one of the members of the staff of Scotland Yard was anxious to take a trip to America and ascertain how they did things in Toronto' can be anything other than speculation.  It is unlikely that there had been any further communication from Scotland Yard following the cable of 28 November saying that Barnett would 'leave tomorrow' other than, perhaps, telegraphic confirmation that he was on (or would be on) the Sarnia with Inspector Andrews.  The Toronto Daily Mail was clearly unaware that the British authorities had been waiting for confirmation from the Governor-General of Canada that the Canadians would pay for the extradition and, moreover, that it was too late for a Canadian officer to collect Barnett.

During the evening of Monday, 3 December, Inspector Stark (not Detective Reburn as the Toronto Evening News had anticipated) set off for Halifax. Travelling through the night, he arrived at Montreal on the Tuesday morning and put himself up at a hotel for the day, leaving on the Wednesday morning and arriving in Quebec that evening.  He stopped there and did some sightseeing the next day before crossing by ferry to Point Levis from where he caught the Intercolonial train and arrived in Halifax at noon on Friday 7 December (Toronto Daily Mail, 12.12.1888). He then just had to wait.

After ten days at sea, the Sarnia arrived at Halifax shortly after 7:00am on Sunday, 9 December 1888.  According to Inspector Andrews: 'Barnett and I had a capital voyage across the Atlantic. The prisoner had two or three days' sickness but he was able to be about nearly the whole of the time, and we had only about 24 hours of really bad weather...Barnett conversed freely all the way across, but when Central Bank was mentioned he became as silent as an oyster.  He would not speak a single word on the subject'  (Toronto Evening News, 11.12.1888).  Inspector Stark was waiting for them as they walked down the plank and onto Canadian territory.

We may note at this point that everything that was happening was perfectly in order and above board.  This is worth mentioning in view of the following internet posting by Wolf Vanderlinden dated 9 November 2010 in the thread 'Tumblety's Past; not Tumblety Today - Andrews' True Agenda' (Jack the Ripper Casebook forum, #103):

'In fact, Scotland Yard waited so long to deliver Barnett that by the stipulations of the Fugitive Offenders Act of 1881 (44 and 45 Vict cap 69) Barnett should have been granted his freedom three days before he and Andrews arrived in Halifax.  Andrews ignored the extradition law and handed Barnett over anyway.'

This is, of course, a misunderstanding of section 7 of the Fugitive Offenders Act; Barnett should most certainly not have been granted his freedom on 6 December, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as Vanderlinden seems to think.  It follows that Inspector Andrews did not ignore the extradition law when he landed with Barnett at Halifax.

At about 9:00am on 9 December 1888, Inspector Andrews, Roland Barnett and Inspector Stark boarded a special mail train from Halifax that carried them 700 miles to Quebec in twenty-one hours, with a brief stop at Moncton, arriving in Quebec City at approximately 6:00am on Monday, 10 December.  Following a short break in the city, they left Quebec at 1:30pm and, after a journey of some 150 miles, arrived at Mile End, five miles from Montreal, at about 2:00pm, where they caught the evening express train of the Canadian Pacific Railway for Toronto and, apart from a brief stop to take on water at Myrtle, came straight through during the night, arriving in Toronto, roughly 330 miles from Montreal, shortly before 11:00am on Tuesday, 11 December. 

It has been questioned why Andrews did not leave Barnett in the hands of Inspector Stark at Halifax and return immediately to England, but Andrews evidently did not regard his duty as having been discharged by transferring Barnett into the custody of a Toronto police officer at Halifax.  According to Inspector Stark, when speaking to a reporter from the Toronto Daily Mail about precautions they took in case a rescue attempt was made during the journey (Toronto Daily Mail, 12.12.1888):

'Inspector Andrews was in charge of the prisoner, and the bearer of a warrant from the Imperial Government to deliver the prisoner over to the authorities at Toronto.  Any person who interfered with him in the discharge of that duty, did so at his peril.'

Thus, we have it directly from Inspector Stark that Andrews remained in charge of Barnett until they arrived in Toronto. Furthermore, it should be obvious that Andrews might have been needed to give evidence to the Toronto magistrate of Barnett's arrest in London in case anything about the legality that arrest was challenged.  Andrews was very open about his plans to the journalists he spoke to following a short hearing before Magistrate Denison at the local police court, when Barnett was remanded into custody for six days (until Monday 17 December) for his examination, or committal hearing.  According to the Toronto Evening Telegram of 11 December 1888:

'Inspector Andrews is delighted with Toronto.  He says it so much resembles some of the fine English cities.  He thinks the girls are charming.  He will remain in Toronto until the prisoner is examined.'  (underlining added).

To the Toronto Evening News of the same day, Andrews gave his impressions of Canada: 'Well, I have hardly seen enough of it yet, but I must confess that I am completely amazed.  I had no idea it was such a big place.

The suggestion here (from the use of the word 'yet') is that Andrews was planning to relax and do some sightseeing while he waited for Barnett's examination.  That would only be natural after a hard ten day voyage and two day train journey.

Before this, Andrews gave some interviews to the press from the Rossin House Hotel where he was staying, having fortified himself with a draught of milk and some scotch whisky.  The Toronto World of 12 December 1888 obtained some interesting answers:

'The World asked Inspector Andrews what he  thought about the Whitechapel murders. "It is an unhappy subject to discuss, said he, and one which everyone is tired of both thinking and talking.  This much I will say, if ever that man is discovered it will be by chance.  Perhaps the woman he may attempt to murder may prove stronger than he, or again when his frenzy is on him he will betray himself.  As for theorizing there is too much of it.  Give us a little practice.  I hear that there are lots of people who think they know all about it.  Let them go ahead and see what they can do." '

After those wise words, Andrews was asked about recent events within Scotland Yard:

"Am I sorry that Sir Charles Warren has resigned?  Yes, I am.  He was a clever man and if he had been given a chance to carry out his intended reforms might have made his mark.  However, he resigned himself, and his resignation had to be accepted.  These changes, as you know, cannot add to the efficiency of the staff."

Then the six million dollar question.  Was Francis Tumblety the Whitechapel Murderer?

"Do I know Dr. Tumblety, of course I do.  But he is not the Whitechapel murderer.  All the same we would like to interview  him, for the last time we had him he jumped his bail.  He is a bad lot".

At the committal hearing on 17 December, Inspector Andrews was present in the police court, as the Toronto Evening News of that date reported: 'Away over in the corner of the room sat Detective Andrews...'  Barnett pleaded not guilty but was committed for trial.  Walter Andrews' work was done.  He could now return to England.  The Toronto Daily Mail of 19 December 1888 reported that: 'Inspector Andrews, of Scotland Yard, left last night for Europe'.   In other words, he was gone on Tuesday 18 December, one week after his arrival in Toronto.  It should be noted that this story was repeated in subsequent newspapers with later dates, thus confusing modern writers, but he clearly left Toronto on the Tuesday.   

His train journey might have suffered from delays because he was reported to have arrived in Montreal, en route to Halifax, on 20 December (whereas, on a normal journey, he should have been there the previous day).  In this respect, the Quebec Morning Chronicle of 19 December 1888 (in a report from Montreal filed on 18 December) recorded a 'tremendous wind and snow-storm' during the night which meant that, 'The trains are all arriving late...' . Andrews was almost certainly intending to catch the SS Sarnia on its return journey from Halifax on 22 December but continued bad weather conditions on his route (noted by Simon D. Wood) might have delayed him, forcing him to catch the Allan Line steamer, the Peruvian, which departed Halifax on 24 December.  [It transpires that Wood was wrong and that bad weather was over before his departure so that Andrews caught the Sarnia back on 22 December as planned.]

It is from the Toronto Daily Mail that we have the first indication that Andrews' stay in Toronto had involved more than just relaxing and waiting for the committal hearing.  It carries a very suspicious sounding 'quote' from Inspector Andrews.  The reason we need to treat it with caution is because the journalist from the Toronto Daily Mail says this:

'...Inspector Andrews is not the only officer of Scotland Yard.  In America at present on a similar mission, Inspector Fred Jarvis, bosom friend of his, and also Chief Inspector Shore of the same department, are in the United States hunting evidence.'

There then follows a reference to 'the celebrated McPharland' as being one of Pinkerton's men 'at work on the Irish National Societies'.   From this, it is very clear that the Toronto Daily Mail journalist had read, and been influenced by, the New York Herald story that falsely stated that Inspector Jarvis and 'Chief Inspector' Shore were in the United States hunting evidence. 

Superintendent Shore was back in London while Inspector Jarvis was at that time in Canada looking for Thomas Barton.  It is fair to point out that the Toronto Daily Mail journalist correctly spelt Jarvis' surname, whereas the New York Herald and Chicago Daily Tribune had both spelt it incorrectly as 'Jervis'.  However, the fact that the Toronto Daily Mail journalist was referencing the New York Herald story suggests that he would have spoken to Andrews - assuming he did speak to him - with a mind set fixed on a conspiracy involving English detectives.  Certainly, the headline of the story, 'WHAT ARE THEY AFTER?', was based on the assumption that Andrews was doing exactly the same thing as Jarvis and Shore.

The journalist has Andrews saying: 'Now, as I am leaving, I do not mind telling you that since I have been in Toronto I have obtained some important clues in the Parnell case - things I never dreamt of before.  But I can say no more, so don't press me.'  It would be extraordinary if, having been assigned to carry out a secret mission by Robert Anderson to assist the Times in its case before the Parnell Commission, Andrews freely confessed that he was doing just that to a reporter.   On the other hand, and more realistically, there is a perfectly innocent interpretation of those words, assuming that Andrews actually said them. 

On that last point, we should certainly consider the possibility that what Andrews actually said to the reporter was something like: 'I have learnt a lot of things since I have been in Toronto that I never dreamt of before' and he could have been talking about almost anything, such as 'things' about Barnett, but the reporter, fixated on Irish matters, after having read the recent stories about England having sent her spies, assumed him to have been talking about Parnell and 'improved' the quote a little bit to make Andrews' words clearer to his readers, no doubt believing that this is what Andrews must have meant to say.  Such a simple (and quite possibly correct) explanation will not appeal to everyone so let us consider what the perfectly innocent explanation of Andrews' words could be, assuming them to have been 100% correctly recorded.

While Andrews was in Toronto he probably met and socialized with a lot of residents of that city who would have been fascinated by having a Scotland Yard detective in their midst.  There were two obvious topics of conversation that they would have engaged the inspector in at that time, namely: (1) Who was the Whitechapel murderer? and (2) Was Parnell a dynamitard (i.e. a terrorist)? (or, to put it another way: Would the Times win its case?).   No doubt many local residents, some of whom would have been of Irish descent - Toronto was, according to the Toronto Daily Mail, a city of 'Orange lodges, sons of England and other kindred loyal institutions' -  gave Andrews the benefit of their views on both subjects, both of which were being fully reported in the Canadian newspapers, and some of them might have provided information to him that they thought would assist the Times in its case and, at the same time, the police in any criminal investigation of Parnell. All that Andrews might have been politely saying to the reporter was that he had been given a lot of information by the citizens of Toronto - clues in the Parnell case he had never dreamt of - and he wanted to thank them for their help.   If we switch 'Parnell' for 'Jack the Ripper' in the quotation we can see that it wouldn't mean that Andrews had actively been investigating the Jack the Ripper murders in Toronto, only that he had been given some clues in the case by people who had been eager to assist.  In the same way, there is nothing in the quote that suggests Andrews had been actively investigating the Parnell case. 

The innocent explanation is obscured in the article because the reporter - thinking he was onto a good story - added the information that: 'It is well known that the inspector paid several mysterious visits to parties in the city whom he called his friends, but even to the Toronto detectives he would not divulge these friends names' so that 'it is presumed he has an agent in this city' .  Such comments are no more than speculation and guesswork.  Routine visits to friends have become 'mysterious' and an assumption has been made that Andrews has an agent in the city without any evidential support.    It is all good for the story that the journalist wants to tell but has no real value.

Having satisfied itself that something funny was going on, the Toronto Daily Mail built up this story the following day with contributions from local Irish Nationalists who, of course, claimed to have known that Andrews was a spy as soon as he arrived in Canada, if not before.  There is a lot of self-serving waffle in the story but, in terms of supposed hard information as to what Andrews was doing in Toronto, we firstly have this:

'On the way to Toronto Inspector Andrews told Inspector Stark that he had some friends in the city he intended calling upon.  After he had been here a day or so a lady called upon him, and they took a cab and drove away up north in the city.  He  returned four or five hours afterwards.  He made several such calls.  To those who were apparently inquisitive he explained that the lady was a distant relative of his.'

Assuming that observation is true, and Andrews did make some journeys in Toronto with a lady friend, it goes nowhere near establishing that he was doing anything relating to Parnell or indeed anything at all other than sightseeing, or meeting, with a friend.   Then we have this:

'Then again there was his trip to Niagara.  When he returned from there he carried a large bundle of papers and books.  He said they were photographs.  What he could want with an armful of photographs was more than his friends could understand.  From these circumstances, and from what he said himself, only one inference could be drawn, and that was that he had some object in coming to Canada other than that of escorting Barnett.  He acknowledged to a reporter of THE MAIL that there were at present two Scotland Yard inspectors in the United States and that their names were Fred Jarvis and Chief Inspector Shore.  Did he consult with either of these  gentlemen while here?  It looks as if he did.'

It will be noted here that Inspector Andrews has supposedly acknowledged that there were two Scotland Yard inspectors in the United States even though this purported acknowledgement had not been included in the quote carried by the Toronto Daily Mail the previous day and, in fact, apart from the information that he was hunting for clues on the Parnell case, he had, or so it was reported, expressly stated that he could 'say no more'.  It is unlikely that Andrews confirmed that Fred Jarvis and Chief Inspector Shore were in the United States because (a) neither of them were at that time in the United States and (b) he would, in any case, have known that John Shore was a superintendent, his superintendent, not a chief inspector.

So we are left with a trip to Niagara that the journalist had curiously omitted to mention in his report of 19 December and some speculation around what Andrews was doing (and carrying).  What could be more natural than while spending time in Toronto, with six days to kill, Inspector Andrews should have visited the Niagara Falls?  It was only some 80 miles from Toronto and an obvious tourist site.  Of course, if one views the inspector's activities through the lens of him hunting for clues for the Parnell commission then anything will appear to be suspicious but it all seems perfectly natural.

On the same day as the Toronto Daily Mail published the second of its two articles about Andrews, on Thursday, 20 December 1888, the inspector was reported to have arrived in Montreal and, it seems, he immediately paid a visit to the Chief of Police in the morning, a fact that became known to local reporters.  A sensible account of his encounter with the Montreal journalists is found in the Montreal Herald of 21 December 1888 which stated:

'INSPECTOR Andrews of the Scotland Yard detective force, London, who brought over the celebrated Gideon Barnett, was in the city yesterday on his return to England. At the Central Station, which he visited yesterday morning he met several members of the press, and to their inquiries about the Whitechapel murders, said that so far the force was at sea, having no clue to work upon. They have arrested scores of suspected persons, but were forced to release them for want of sufficient evidence. The search is still kept up and will be until the culprit is captured.  Twenty-three detectives, two clerks and an inspector are specially detailed for the Whitechapel affair, and they have received as many as 6,000 letters from police officers and others trying to give clues to the fiend.'

There is clearly nothing strange about Andrews' behaviour in this report which was basically saying that Scotland Yard didn't have a clue as to the identity of the Whitechapel murderer and were using a lot of resources.  A nice little scoop but that looks like this was all Andrews had to say.   

To other journalists, however, Andrews appeared to be secretive about the reason for his visit. While there is nothing strange about a police officer making contact with another police officer in a foreign city, it is (just) possible that the reason for Andrews' visit was that he had been invited to police headquarters in Montreal by Chief of Police Hughes in order to discuss the case of a British man, John Langhorn, who had been arrested by the Montreal police three days' earlier (17 December) after he claimed to be Jack the Ripper.  Some newspaper reports stated: 'He will be held pending cable inquiries of Scotland Yard'  (e.g. Maysville Evening Bulletin, 19.12.1888) but it should be said that Langhorn was discharged by the local magistrate with a caution on 18 December (Montreal Gazette, 19.12.1888), having claimed that he had just been having a bit of 'fun'. (Toronto Globe, 19.12.1888).  Still, the Montreal police might have wanted Langhorn checked out and what could have been more natural than for Scotland Yard, having been cabled by the Montreal police about Langhorn, to have cabled Andrews to speak to the chief of police in Montreal while he was in that city when he stopped there en route to Halifax (as he had to do in order to change trains)?  That might have explained his 'mission' and, naturally, he would not have told the reporters outside the station what he was up to.

Instead, as we have seen, Andrews entertained the Montreal reporters with a short update about Scotland Yard's investigation into the Whitechapel murders which was then misinterpreted as meaning that he was in Montreal to investigate those murders. According to the New York Evening World of 21 December 1888, in a story filed from Montreal on 20 December 1888, headlined 'An English Detective Coming Here In Search of Jack the Ripper', it was stated:

'Inspector Andrews, of Scotland Yard, arrived here to-day from Toronto...He tried to evade newspaper men but incautiously revealed his identity at the Central Office, where he had an interview with Chief of Police Hughes.  He refused to answer any questions regarding his mission, but said there were twenty-three detectives, two clerks and one inspector employed on the Whitechapel murder cases, and that the police were without a jot of evidence upon which to arrest anybody.'

To make matters worse, the newspaper incorporated Tumblety's flight from England into its story by saying that 'a man suspected of knowing considerable about the murders left England for this side three weeks ago', thus making it seem like Andrews was chasing him, and this myth was repeated in a number of other newspapers. It was not the first time that it was said in the American newspapers that a Scotland Yard detective was chasing Tumblety.  The Chicago Daily Tribune of 9 December had already referred to the possibility that 'Dr Tumbetly (sic)' was 'the fellow that Scotland Yard detectives followed to New York and who is said to be on his way to Chicago'.  This could not have been anything to do with Andrews, who only landed at Halifax on 9 December, and there were no Scotland Yard detectives following Tumblety in New York, but the papers had now found a real detective who could be said to be on Tumblety's trail. 

The reporter evidently got the wrong end of the stick when, in merging the earlier story about Jarvis and Shore looking for Irish Nationalists, he wrote, regarding what was clearly the same impromptu press conference, that: 'It was announced at police headquarters today that Andrews has a commission in connection with two other Scotland Yard men to find the murderer in America'.  It is obvious that no such thing was ever 'announced' otherwise this story would have been widely reported with some form of quote but such quote never appeared.   

There are two myths to have emerged from the newspaper reporting of Andrews' visit to the Montreal police station.  Firstly, some newspapers (such as the New York Herald), possibly in the belief that he was chasing Tumblety, mistakenly reported that Andrews was on his way to New York, when he was actually going to Halifax, and this was picked up by others who were misled into reporting that he actually arrived in New York.  Secondly, the idea of Andrews hunting the Whitechapel murderer in North America made its way into British newspapers at the end of the year and is very likely to have been what influenced Guy Logan, either directly or indirectly, into believing that Inspector Andrews had been sent to America to chase the Whitechapel murderer when he wrote his book some forty years later.

After Andrews had left the police station in Montreal, it seems he spoke to a journalist from the Montreal Daily Star who, unlike the reporter or reporters who spoke to him outside the police station, was aware (presumably from the Toronto Daily Mail) of the 'rumor that he had been deputed by the London Times to collect evidence against Parnell and other prominent National Leaguers' and thus asked him about it. The report of the interview - previously unknown to Ripperologists - appeared in the Montreal Daily Star two days later, on 22 December.  As this interview became incorporated in subsequent stories about Andrews, and is very important to the story of how it has come to be believed that the inspector was in Canada for a reason other than escorting Barnett, it is reproduced here in full with two key sentences highlighted in colour:


For the London Times Against Parnell - Inspector Andrews' Statement.

Inspector Andrews of Scotland Yard, who brought Roland Gideon Israel Barnett of Central Bank fame, to Canada, was seen by a STAR reporter on Thursday evening and asked about the rumor that he had been deputed by the London Times to collect evidence against Parnell and other prominent National Leaguers.

"I cannot reply to that question." he said.

"Will you deny that such was your mission or part of your mission here?"

"Why do you press me?  You know I cannot divulge the secrets of my office.  No I cannot deny the statement."

"They say you have been very unsuccessful: that to try and find evidence here is simply lost time."

"I may not have been altogether unsuccessful, but I don't think I have been unsuccessful.  As for its being lost time to look for evidence in America, that is bosh.  A continual correspondence has gone on for years between Parnell, O'Donovan Rossa, and others, and much of this correspondence must fall as evidence against Parnell." 

"How does the case look at present?"

"I think the Times has an overwhelming amount of evidence, and they are pretty sure to get a verdict."

"How did you like Canada?"

"I am really surprised at the magnificence of this country.  I had no idea at all of its size, its resources and its possibilities.  And I am sure that very few people on the other side give Canada one half of the credit that is due to it."

"Regarding the police system the inspector said that in London they did not as yet have the alarm patrol waggon system.  He thinks it is the most perfect institution that he ever saw.  In London the number of men, 15,000, had to supply the lack of the alarm system.  That number, however, he said, was not nearly sufficient for the city.  Six thousand more men would be applied for next year.

Inspector Andrews has left for England.'

One can see that if this conversation was only slightly different from what was reported, it would be perfectly innocent. If the two sentences highlighted in colour were not accurate reflections of what Andrews actually said, and are omitted from the account, there would be nothing to indicate that he was collecting evidence for the Times. 

It is safe to conclude that Andrews did not say, 'No, I cannot deny the statement' because, in the context of his previous remarks, it makes no sense at all.  As the interview was reported in the newspaper, he had already said that he could not answer the question as to whether he had been deputed by the Times to collect information against Parnell and had just told the reporter that he could not divulge any secrets of his office yet in the next breath he has, supposedly, told the reporter that he could not deny the statement that he had been deputed by the Times to collect information against Parnell, so that he was now effectively admitting it.  There is no way that can possibly be true.  Andrews was an experienced detective, not a stupid man.  What might make sense is if Andrews had said, 'No, I cannot admit or deny the statement', or something like that, which the reporter either misremembered when he came to write up the story or, to the extent he had made notes, could not decipher those notes properly.

One might point to the statement 'secrets of my office' as some kind of admission that Andrews had secrets which he was not divulging but one cannot properly take positive information from denials of this sort and, if Andrews was refusing to answer the question, he was hardly likely to have made a mistake by revealing that he was in possession of secrets about his mission that were connected with Parnell.  

Turning to the second of the two quotes in the Montreal Daily Star interview, we can see that Andrews was responding to a two part question, or rather a statement; the first part of which was to the effect that he (Andrews) had been unsuccessful in finding information, while the second was a more general statement that trying to find evidence in North America was a waste of time.   What if Andrews, in following on from saying 'I can neither confirm nor deny the statement' actually said: 'I have been neither successful nor unsuccessful' as a way of emphasising the point that he wasn't telling the reporter anything and that the reporter subsequently twisted (or misunderstood) the answer to make it sound like Andrews was suggesting he had been partially successful?  The rest of his answer was no more than a general point that there was probably evidence against Parnell to be found in America.

We might also note that it would be a funny thing that the detective who, a few days earlier, had voluntarily boasted to a reporter of having found 'some important clues' in the Parnell case initially told another reporter that he couldn't talk about his work but then, in the next breath, blabbed out information, not that he had found some important clues, but that he had been neither successful nor unsuccessful in obtaining information.

What happened next is that, on 22 December, an enterprising journalist, who obviously sympathized with Irish Nationalists, filed a report which merged the Toronto Daily News report of 20 December with the Montreal Daily Star report of 22 December, and added some new elements (possibly obtained from a currently unknown third report in a Montreal newspaper) to create a bizarre, and clearly fabricated, hybrid story which was published in the Boston Globe of Sunday 23 December under the headline 'POLLUTED HANDS' and, with some small but significant differences, in the New York World of the same date under the headline 'IRISH EYES FOLLOWED HIM'. 

It begins on a false note by remarking that Inspector Andrews had a heavy valise with him when he left the Windsor Hotel in Montreal for Halifax which did not leave his sight - so, clearly, the author of the report could not possibly have known what was in it - yet it is boldly claimed that it was filled with 'documents, letters, type-written memoranda.'   In short, all that seems to have happened is that someone had seen Inspector Andrews transporting his luggage and, on the basis of previous reports, assumed that it simply must contain documents relating to his 'secret mission' rather than his own personal possessions.

The story then makes various allegations about the movements of Inspector Andrews while in Toronto which even Simon D. Wood accepts cannot all be true.  Thus, says Wood in his book, 'Parts of the Boston Sunday Globe's chronology are clearly inaccurate, and much of the surveillance details melodramatic padding.'  This is an understatement.

The story claims that Andrews stayed in Montreal for one day during his week in Canada, never leaving his hotel but receiving calls from several Irishman.  Montreal contained far more Irish Nationalist sympathisers than Toronto so a trip to Montreal seemed to be significant to those who believed that Andrews was a spy for the Times.  By way of explanation as to how Andrews got to Montreal, the story says this:

'Inspector Stark of Toronto met Andrews and Barnett at Halifax upon the Sarnia's arrival there. Two other men also saw them. Stark immediately took charge of Barnett. Then Andrews duty ended so far as Barnett was concerned and it was thought that he would return on the next steamer. Instead of doing so, he surreptitiously took an intercolonial train two nights after his arrival and left for Montreal. His Irish watchers were on the train also.  His baggage was telegraphed from Moncton N.B. the next night, to be sent to him at Montreal.'

Something has gone badly wrong with the surveillance here because it is a matter of record that Andrews accompanied Barnett and Inspector Stark from Halifax to Toronto.  In this respect, it is of particular interest that the Montreal Gazette reported the arrival of Barnett in its issue of 10 December 1888 by saying that Barnett was a passenger on the Sarnia 'in charge of Detective Andrews of Scotland Yard'  but then continued by saying that Barnett 'left for Toronto in charge of Inspector Stark on the English mail train', thus giving its readers in Montreal the false impression that Andrews had been left behind at Halifax.  When the same newspaper reported the following day's remand hearing, Inspector Andrews was not mentioned at all.  So readers of the Gazette in Montreal might well have wrongly believed that Andrews did not go into Toronto at this stage; and this error seems to have been incorporated into the fictionalised account of the inspector's movements which appeared in the Boston Globe and New York World.

Even if we are very generous and assume that some wires got crossed and what the story meant to say was that Andrews went to Montreal from Toronto (a journey of about 330 miles) on 13 December, two nights after his arrival in Toronto, or that he went to Montreal from Toronto on 11 December, two nights after his arrival in Halifax (but the first night of his arrival in Toronto), then the story still has big problems because, as we have seen, the Toronto Daily Mail of 20 December had already reported that Andrews was in Toronto during at least the first two days of his stay, being taken around the city by his female friend.  Furthermore, R.B. Teefy, a member of the National Executive of the Toronto branch of the Irish National League, had expressly stated in the Toronto Daily Mail of 20 December that Andrews did not go to Montreal.  Thus, he had been quoted as saying: 

'...others beside Inspector Stark were awaiting Mr. Andrews' arrival at Halifax, and...his movements in that city were watched.  Similar close attention had been arranged for him at Montreal, where, it was expected he would make his chief endeavour to fulfil the duties entrusted of him.  He didn't bother Montreal, however, and it soon appeared that it was in Toronto he intended to do his hardest work.' (underlining added).

So, in one version, Andrews' watchers say that he did not go to Montreal while, in another version, Andrews was followed all the way to and from Montreal.  It goes without saying that at least one version of this story has been fabricated. 

It gets worse because the story goes on to claim that, in addition to a day in Montreal, and in addition to spending some nights in Toronto, Andrews visited Niagara (Ontario), Detroit (Michigan) and Windsor (Ontario) in a six day period, a physical impossibility.   The journalist who wrote it thought it possible, however, because he believed that Andrews had 'been in Canada three weeks'.  During that time, it was said, he had 'received reports from two other Scotland Yard men', thus repeating the error of the New York Herald article that there were two Scotland Yard detectives in the United States at the time.  

Despite the obvious implausibility of the story, Simon D. Wood does not describe it as 'hokum' (one of this favourite words), which is what he usually says about newspaper reports containing blatant inaccuracies, but accepts it as basically genuine.  According to Wood, 'cross-checking other non-agency press reports suggests that the events described are fundamentally correct'  but, as he does not let us know what those other reports are, or how they can possibly corroborate the fantastic yarn spun by the Boston Globe, the entire thing should be consigned to the garbage.

We will, however, pay the story some attention because, while the visits to Detroit and Windsor are largely skipped over (although Andrews was said to have met a man called Worden in Detroit) - and we can ignore the visit to Montreal - the purported visit to Niagara is described in some detail which might seem to give the story some credibility.  Supposedly, Andrews was being covertly followed by two (and sometimes four) Irish Nationalists who made notes of his every movement.  The whole story is said to be sourced from a member of the Irish League and a big red warning flag appears when we learn that ,'Two weeks before' Andrews set out for Canada, R.B. Teefy, 'received a communication from the other side of the Atlantic apprising him of the fact that Inspector Andrews...would be given the task of bringing Barnett back to this country.'  That was some feat considering that the British government only received confirmation from the Dominion Government of Canada that Barnett should be brought over to Canada three days before the ship sailed.  As at two weeks before 29 November, on 15 November, Barnett could still have applied for habeas corpus so no plans had been made for his extradition. 

In any event, according to the story, after returning from Montreal, Andrews then left Toronto 'a week ago yesterday' which, considering the story was filed on 22 December, must mean a week before 21 December, namely Thursday, 14 December (although Wood dates it as the 15th), and is said to have travelled to Niagara, 'ostensibly to see the waterfall'  but in reality to meet with Inspector Fred Jarvis at Prospect House.

With Jarvis and Andrews both in Canada, there would be nothing wrong with the two of them meeting up for a combined social and sightseeing event, perhaps involving a discussion about Jarvis' hunt for Thomas Barton. However, considering that Jarvis was at that time based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, some 1,400 miles from Niagara, it would have been an extremely long journey to make and probably impossible to justify because he was there to locate Thomas Barton.  For that reason, we can state with confidence that no such meeting between Andrews and Jarvis took place at Niagara. 

Without question, the next part of the story, where Andrews supposedly meets 'the man known as Shore' at Hamilton (a city between Niagara and Toronto) is either a fabrication or case of mistaken identity. Superintendent Shore was not in North America.

There can be little doubt that the previous newspaper reports of Jarvis and Shore being in the United States had led to an assumption by the Boston Globe reporter or his Irish Nationalist source (if such a source existed) that Andrews simply must have met both of them when he went to Niagara, on the border with the United States, and this was, consequently, woven into the report.

In terms of timing, Andrews is said to have been at Niagara 'until Monday last' (i.e. 17 December).  While this is not impossible, due to Niagara being relatively close to Toronto, we know for a fact that Andrews was at the Toronto police court on Monday 17 December, yet there is no mention of this in the report.

One thing worth noting at this point is that, according to the Boston Globe story, Andrews only met Jarvis at Niagara.  There was no 'conference' involving those two detectives and Superintendent Shore.  It was obviously a misreading of the Toronto Daily Mail story of 20 December which caused the New York Herald's correspondent a few days later (23 December) to report that, 'The chiefs of this detective service were Fred Jarvis and Chief Inspector Shore and he [Andrews] had had a conference with them at Niagara which he hoped would prove fruitful.'  A good example of one newspaper story being elaborated on by another, thus expanding an already dubious story.  There never was any conference.

We have it from the Toronto Daily Mail that Andrews left Toronto during the evening of Tuesday 18 December (and there appears to be independent corroboration of this date in the Toronto Police files, according to Wolf Vanderlinden who has inspected them) yet, according to the Boston Globe report, 'Andrews during Tuesday [18th] and Wednesday [19th] frequently visited the resident detective in Toronto'.  So that must be another fabrication.  It is also stated in the report that Andrews set out for Montreal (on his way back to England) on Wednesday 19 December whereas he had left that city the night before.   In normal circumstances it should not have taken two days to travel from Toronto to Canada and either Andrews' train was delayed for some reason (bad weather perhaps) or he actually arrived on Wednesday, 19 December (and, in this respect, none of the reports stating that he arrived on the Thursday said they saw him arrive) but the fact that he was believed to have arrived on 20 December - or was delayed and did arrive on that day - is probably what confused the Boston Daily Globe's source into thinking that he must have left Toronto on the Wednesday and thus wove this error into his story as if it was a fact.

According to the Boston Globe report, when Andrews came to Montreal he was trying to give the impression that he was on business connected with the Whitechapel murders: this despite the fact that he had supposedly confessed his activities in respect of the Parnell case to a journalist a couple of days before.  We then have what must be a fabricated conversation by the journalist who filed the report in Montreal.  None of it rings true at all, especially the inept way that Andrews tries to change the topic of the conversation to the Whitechapel murders and the reporter ends the discussion at that point.  In fact, it can be demonstrated to be a fabrication by comparing it to the actual interview with Andrews from which it derives, namely the interview in Montreal Daily Star of 22 December 1888 reproduced in full above.

According to the Boston Globe report, 'Andrews was approached by the reporter, who endeavoured to gain an interview but was received with a stare that would have frozen the marrow in a polar bear's bones' .  This does not feature in the Montreal Daily Star report - nor indeed does it appear in the New York World version of the story on 23 December which is otherwise almost word for word identical with the Boston Globe version of the same day -and is clearly a fabrication designed to increase the dramatic tension in the story. The Boston Globe report continues:

'But he began to perspire when the reporter said: "It is generally understood, Mr Andrews, that your stay in this country has been lengthened by certain work you have been doing in connection with the Parnell commission."

"I had rather not answer that question," he replied.'

Pausing there, we can answer that question.  Andrews' stay in Canada was not lengthened at all.  He said from the outset that he would be staying in Toronto until Barnett was committed and that is what he did. Furthermore, there was no mention in the Montreal Daily Star interview of Andrews perspiring (something which also does not feature in the New York World report) and is an invention of the journalist.  The question itself does not appear in the Montreal Daily Star report but both the Boston Globe and New York World purport to know the exact wording of it.

 The interrogation continued:

'"Will you deny that such was your mission or part of your mission here?"

"Why do you press me?  You ought to know I cannot divulge the secrets of my office."

"But you won't say yes or no."

"No, I will not deny the statement."'

This was, of course, lifted from the Montreal Daily Star report but, here, the journalist, who has incorporated the interview from that report into his own story, has evidently noted that Andrews' volte face within the same answer is incomprehensible so has added the additional line 'But you won't say yes or no' to make sense of it.


The dialogue as reported in the Boston Globe continued:

"It is said that you have been very unsuccessful in your efforts; that to try and find bona-fide evidence detrimental to the league is lost time in this country.  What has been your experience?"

"I may not have been as successful as I might have wished, neither do I think from my experience, that I have been very unsuccessful.  As for its being lost time to look for evidence in America, that is all rot.  I am pretty certain that a continual correspondence has gone on for years between Parnell, O'Donovan, Rossa and others in this country and western America, whom I am not prepared to name, and much of this correspondence will naturally fall in line as evidence against Parnell when the proper time comes to present it."

"When will that be?"

"I cannot tell you, but it will likely be within a month, at the next sitting of the commission."

The last question and answer is a fabrication which does not feature in the original Montreal Daily Star report, as is the addition to the end of Andrews' previous answer that 'much of this correspondence will naturally fall in line as evidence against Parnell when the proper time comes to present it.'  Interestingly, the Boston Globe (like the New York World) does not include Andrews' statement from the Montreal Daily Star interview that: 'I think the Times has an overwhelming amount of evidence, and they are pretty sure to get a verdict'.  Such a statement would have upset their Irish Nationalist readers and its omission from the report confirms that the stories were no more than propaganda on behalf of the Parnellites.

Then the coup de grace.  Andrews supposedly asks a pathetic question of his own:

'"Don't you want to know something about the Whitechapel murders?"

"No thank you," replied the reporter. "I have got quite enough," and the interview ended.'

The notion of Inspector Andrews, described by one newspaper when he arrived at Toronto as 'somewhat phlegmatic'  (Toronto Evening Telegram, 11.12.1888) starting to sweat when asked a simple question by a newspaper reporter - one that he had supposedly already answered a few days earlier - and then breaking down under the mildest cross-examination before being reduced to trying to engage the reporter in a diversionary chat about Jack the Ripper while, our hero, having destroyed the witness, and obtained all the information he required to show that Andrews was hunting Irishmen, walks away in triumph, is utterly implausible and frankly ridiculous.


The exchange here was clearly fabricated because, in the Montreal Daily Star, Andrews did not mention the Whitechapel murders and the interview continued with Andrews telling the reporter how much he liked Canada.  We may also note that the New York World version of the story, which is 99% word for word identical with the Boston Globe story, includes Andrews asking, 'Don't you want to know something about the Whitechapel murders?' but then says, 'Andrews concluded with a smile', and has nothing about the reporter ending the interview by saying that he has got quite enough.   A heavy smell of fish is, therefore, left hanging in the air.

Fuel was added to the fire (or, rather, more smelly fish was thrown into the pond) on the same day as the publication of the Boston Globe/New York World report with a second report filed from Montreal (on 22 December) which was published in the New York Herald of 23 December under the headline :'INSPECTOR ANDREWS TALKS. ALLEGED INDISCRETION OF AN ENGLISH DETECTIVE WITH REGARD TO HIS DOINGS' in which it was said that despite having previously denied that he was in search of evidence to injure the Parnellites (although there are no reports of any such denials):

'This morning on the eve of his departure for home the emissary of Scotland Yard admitted that he could not deny the charge, and practically acknowledged that this was his mission. He had, however, to admit that he had not been very successful, many of the men whom he had interviewed declining to become informers on their trusted leaders.  Some evidence of an unimportant character may have been gathered, but it is the genral (sic) belief here that it will not affect the proceedings before the Parnellite Commission to any material extent.  Mr Andrews distinctly said he had not been looking after Fenians and Invincibles, confining his attention to members of the National League, especially recent arrivals from Ireland, though he had had communications with English police agents in the United States, and from this latter source he hoped much.'

It can be clearly seen from the first two sentences that the source of this report is the Montreal Daily Star interview into which a fabricated addition has been inserted, stating that many of the men Andrews had interviewed had declined to become informers.  Fortunately, we have the original interview in the Montreal Daily Star which shows that Andrews said no such thing.  We may also note that none of the previous comments were made 'This morning' (i.e. 22 December, which was the date that the story was filed) but on Thursday 20 December, as stated in the Montreal Daily Star. 

The second half of the above quoted paragraph was derived from the Toronto Daily Mail story of 21 December 1888 which had said that:

'The English detective was not on the hunt for Fenians and Invincibles, and was not engaged in ferreting out political refugees.  On the contrary, the Inspector was searching for Leaguers willing and able to give evidence before the Parnell Commission that would tend to make the National League responsible for murder and other outrage in Ireland, and his statement to this effect did not insinuate anything more.' 

This was nothing more than the conclusion of the Toronto Daily Mail journalist or editor (based on what exactly, is unclear) but we can see that, in the New York Herald, this has become Inspector Andrews' own words (i.e. 'Mr Andrews distinctly said...') when he had said nothing of the kind.

The fabrication in the New York Herald then continues, for it states:

'Though he could not divulge the secrets of his profession, he could say that there was an organized detective system on behalf of the British government both in Canada and the United States, and that if the names of these detectives were made public Irishmen all over the world would receive a shock that would cause a sensation beside which the Phoenix Park tragedies would pale into insignificance.'  

This is based on nothing more than the imagination of the writer, although it might have been partly derived from Andrews' reported comments about the hunt for the Whitechapel murderer. 

When it comes to the concept of these fabricated additions being made to previously published stories, it is certainly worth noting an extraordinary incident that occurred a few months later, following the murder by Clan-na-Gael of an Irish-American doctor, Patrick Henry Cronin, in Chicago on 4 May 1889.   Reports from Toronto were filed by a Toronto journalist called Charles Long on 11 May 1889 which featured interviews with Dr Cronin despite him being dead at the time.  These despatches were particularly helpful to Clan-na-Gael because the deceased Cronin reportedly admitted to Long that he was a British spy and told him he was on his way to London to testify against Clan-na-Gael.   It was stated in the St Paul Globe of 1 June 1889 that, 'Long fabricated these stories out of his fertile brain for the purpose of making money out of them.'  In respect of Inspector Andrews, there was not only money to be made out of articles proving that he was in Canada to collect evidence for the Times but also (as in the Cronin case) good propaganda for the Irish Nationalist cause at a time when a fair number of reporters and newspapers in North America appear to have had Irish Nationalist sympathies.


In short, Inspector Andrews was engaged in no secret, improper, mission.  It might conceivably be the case that when Andrews' superiors learnt he was off to Canada they asked him to carry out some lawful task in that country. We don't have a day to day itinerary of what Andrews was doing for the entire week in Canada so we can't say for sure it didn't happen.  There would not be anything very surprising about such efficient use of manpower although, at the same time, there is absolutely no reliable evidence to suggest that he did anything of the kind and he almost certainly did not.  But to claim that his primary purpose of going to Canada was anything other than delivering Barnett, or that he used Barnett as a cover story for another mission, is quite at odd with the facts.


When we look at the mechanics by which Simon D. Wood and Wolf Vanderlinden allege that Inspector Andrews' mission was hatched, we find not only vagueness and uncertainty but rather different theories offered by the two of them. 

According to Vanderlinden, the legal procedure used against Barnett was odd from the start.  Thus, he says, in his 'Ripper Notes' article (part 1):  'Rather than simply letting Barnett go free or shipping him off to New York (sic) to face fraud charges the police magistrates just kept remanding him on the nine year old British charge.'  This comment was, unfortunately, based on an evident misunderstanding of the legal procedure whereby Barnett, after his second arrest on 13 September, was actually being remanded on the Canadian warrant, not the nine year old British charge, which had been dropped.  He was only remanded twice on the British charge. 

This error leads Vandelinden to the erroneous conclusion that: 'It was as if the authorities were making sure that Barnett was returned to Toronto even if the Canadians seemed to be resisting' . Vanderlinden offers no sensible evidence that the Canadians were 'resisting' the extradition - and of course they were not - but what Vanderlinden does not do is tell us why the British authorities would have been making sure Barnett was returned to Toronto in the face of Canadian resistance.  Were they all - the Home Office, the Colonial Office and Scotland Yard - in on a plan from as early as September 1888 to infiltrate a British detective into Canada to do some covert investigative work relating to Parnell in three months' time?  Clearly not very urgent investigation if so!  Were they really trying to foist Barnett onto a reluctant Canadian police force, despite the fact that the Canadian police had initially asked for Barnett's extradition?  He doesn't actually say, leaving us to draw our own conclusions from his musings.

Certainly Simon D. Wood does not seem to have been impressed with Vanderlinden's theory that the entire mission had been carefully plotted virtually from the time of Barnett's arrest.  In his book, he says that by 19 November, 'It is not known whether up until this moment Robert Anderson had been looking for a surreptitious way to send another officer to North America...' but he thinks that the A.C.C. now had a 'perfect opportunity' arising from the urgency of the need to send Barnett.  Strangely - or not so strangely - he doesn't say that it is also not known whether after this moment Robert Anderson was looking for a surreptitious way to send an officer to North America.  The fact of the matter is that there is not one iota of evidence that Robert Anderson had even the slightest interest in sending an officer to America to assist the Times or do any work at all relating to the Parnell Special Commission.  The Times was perfectly capable of hiring its own private detectives and there was simply no need for Scotland Yard men to do anything at all in America, especially as Anderson was fully aware that he would come under scrutiny; so it would have been foolish to use police detectives to act in this way.

Was Inspector Andrews' secret mission, according to the conspiracy theorists, a carefully planned one or was it arranged at the last minute when it was realised that a British officer was required to escort Barnett to Canada?  Vanderlinden doesn't tell us and we get little help from Simon D. Wood.  But Wood introduces another element to the conspiracy which is that the flight of Tumblety was all part of a carefully prepared plot.  Thus, he says, in his Ripperologist article: ' was not a coincidence that Tumblety fled to America in a blaze of carefully crafted publicity after being annointed as a Ripper suspect'.  Naturally, no evidence is offered to support this wild statement but one might think that he was saying that this was done as cover for Andrews' mission because, he says, the notion that a Scotland Yard detective was sent to America to track down Tumblety was 'nothing more than Whitehall disinformation.'

Pausing there, we can see that Wood has got carried away with himself.  The notion that a detective had gone to America to track the Whitechapel murderer came not from Whitehall but from misunderstandings in the press about what Andrews was doing.  In any event, it wasn't much of a 'carefully crafted' publicity campaign considering that almost none of the London newspapers even mentioned Tumblety and it would surely have been newspaper readers in London who would have been Scotland Yard's target audience if they were trying to provide an explanation for what Andrews was doing in Canada.

But hold on, before we get ourselves terribly confused.  Wood does not say that the flight of Tumblety was to provide cover for Andrews.  His cover story was already in place; the extradition of Barnett.  No, Wood claims that Tumblety's flight from justice was to provide a cover story for Superintendent Shore's trip to New York, even though this was never mentioned by anyone in London. Thus, in addition to the pretexts provided by Barton and Barnett for Jarvis and Andrews respectively, Wood says: 'Tumblety's new-found notoriety and dash for America via France furnished Shore with a similar pretext.'  Wood again presses the point that Shore landed in New York on 7 December when he says, 'It cannot have been by chance that he [Shore] arrived in New York just four days later [i.e. after Tumblety's arrival]. Shore did not of course arrive in New York on 7 December (and, as we have seen in 'England Sends Her Spies', even Wood now seems to think it might have been 21 November, although he didn't arrive then either) so, in the end, we do not need to worry about whether any such arrival was a coincidence or not which, of course, it could quite easily have been, had it actually happened.

So we don't get much help from our pair of conspiracy theorists about when the plot to send Andrews to Canada was hatched.  Neither of them seem to want to commit to anything.  It's not surprising considering that there clearly was no such plot.  Let us consider the facts of Barnett's extradition.

There is no doubt that Barnett was badly wanted by the Toronto police.  They issued a warrant for his extradition in September and then provided the requisite evidence in October.  To the extent that there was a month's delay, this (a) was not deliberate on the part of the Canadians and (b) had nothing to do with Scotland Yard.  Vanderlinden quotes a letter from the Toronto Chief of Police Grassett dated 21 September 1888, apologising for the delay in sending the papers out to London (which, he noted, was caused by a difficulty in getting hold of key witnesses, as described above). 

The reason, incidentally, why Vanderlinden felt able to say that the Canadians seemed to be resisting was on the basis of a newspaper report (for which he does not give a reference) that the Canadian justice minister was refusing to sign the necessary papers on 6 October.  Thus, in the first of his two articles, he says, 'For some unknown reason there was a snag on the Canadian end, and it was reported on the 6th of October that the Canadian Minister of Justice, Sir John Thompson, was refusing to sign the necessary papers.'  Bizarrely, however, in the second of his two articles, we find a footnote (number 3) which says that the New York Times of 6 October 1888 'stated that the problems with the extradition were caused by the Canadian Minister of Justice in Ottawa, Sir John Thompson, who was refusing to sign the papers'  but, Vanderlinden then adds, 'This was incorrect but it did save the Toronto police some public embarrassment'.  So Mr Vanderlinden here appears to be saying in his second article that the single source he had used to support an important point in his first article was totally wrong!  Furthermore, as we have seen, there was a newspaper report on 4 October that the minister had already signed the papers by that date and, in the second of his two articles, Vanderlinden himself quotes a letter dated 4 October 1888 from Chief Constable Grassett to Robert Anderson, found in the Canadian archives, in which Grassett actually encloses the depositions and papers!  So much for the Canadians resisting.

Clearly, Toronto wanted to press forward but everyone was constrained firstly by the fact that Barnett needed to be committed by the Bow Street magistrate which, presumably because Barnett's lawyers were challenging the Canadian evidence, did not happen until 6 November.  We may note that the same letter from the Toronto Chief of Police of 4 October 1888 put forward by Vanderlinden includes an apology that the evidence was not as strong as he would have liked (corroborating what the Toronto Evening News said on 3 October as seen above); and that makes sense of why it took so long for a committal. Then everyone was paralysed by the fact that Barnett had fifteen days to, in effect, appeal his committal.  That was all due to the legal system.  It may be noted that this was the first extradition being effected from England to Canada under the 1881 Fugitive Offenders Act so no-one, at least on the Canadian side, was entirely sure how it would all work. 

The most important factor that needs to be borne in mind is that, when it came to the critical question of how Barnett was going to be removed to Canada (and who was going to pay for this), the proper channel of communications between England and Canada was between the Colonial Office and the Dominion Government of Canada.  And all communication between the Colonial Office and Scotland Yard was via the Home Office.  Even if the Toronto police wanted to send an officer to London to collect Barnett, someone was going to have to provide authority for them to spend the money to do this so that the Toronto police were as much at the mercy of the Dominion Government of Canada as the British police were.  Nothing could be done until the Canadian authorities decided what they wanted to do. By the time the fifteen days were up after Barnett's committal, it was too late for an officer to come over from Canada to be able to get Barnett onto a ship sailing back to Canada before 6 December and, if no-one was coming, Barnett simply had to be escorted by a British officer on the Sarnia on 29 November because that was the last ship sailing out. 

It was clearly unfortunate that the effect of the Fugitive Offenders Act was that a Canadian officer could not be invited to come to England before 22 November (because there might not be a prisoner for him to collect if he left any earlier than that and his journey would have been wasted) yet, by that date, there simply wasn't enough time for such an officer to come to England and be able to board the last ship sailing for Canada before the cut-off point of 6 December.  We can only wonder what was going through the mind of the drafter of the Act in effectively allowing only fifteen days for arrangements to be made to return a prisoner to a distant foreign country; but that was all the time that the Act allowed and the British authorities were constrained by the legislation in their dealings with Canada.

There is, of course, no question but that, at any time, the Canadians could have informed the British that they were sending an officer over to London to collect Barnett on their own volition but they never did. Consequently, if Scotland Yard hadn't arranged for his transportation then Barnett would have been able to apply to a judge to be set free and there was a fair chance he would have been successful. Such an outcome would have been nothing short of disastrous. 

If Andrews had been assigned any kind of second mission, therefore, it must have been very last minute but, as Scotland Yard already had agents in the United States and Canada, there was no obvious need to send Inspector Andrews to do anything. It is hard, in any case, to see what he could possibly have achieved in such a short space of time as one week in Toronto.

Before leaving the Parnell conspiracy behind us, a quick mention for Vanderlinden's bizarre theory as to why Inspector Andrews (deliberately) let slip his mission to the press about the hunt for clues relating to Parnell.  In saying to a reporter in Toronto that he had found 'important clues in the Parnell case, facts that he did not dream had existed' he was supposedly targeting one Irish man who lived in Buffalo who, he hoped, would read this statement in the newspapers and would then come forward to speak to someone (exactly who is not made clear bearing in mind that Andrews himself was on his way back to London). This man supposedly had some important information and was being paid by a Canadian private detective on behalf of the Times although, by 23 November, the private detective suspected he was being duped by him.  Vanderlinden wonders if it was possible that Andrews' statement about having found the important clues was intended as 'an extra incentive for the Buffalo labourer to come forward with his invaluable evidence.'  Why such a statement would have incentivised the labourer - whose main incentive appeared to be money - is not clear and, indeed, if his information had been genuine, he might well have thought that his input was no longer required, considering that the British detective had everything he needed.  So the theory can be quite easily ignored.

Having disposed of the Wood/Vanderlinden theory, we now need to turn our attention to the R.J. Palmer theory that Andrews was in Canada to carry out research on Tumblety. This gets off to a wobbly start on the facts from the outset when Palmer says:

'In September 1888 Andrews arrested Roland Giddeon (sic) Barnett after spotting the longtime confidence man lounging in Piccadilly. Andrews knew Barnett by sight from past offenses, but was unable to hold him for any recent criminal activity in London.  Instead, he discovered Barnett was wanted in Canada for fraud against the Central Bank of America and promptly secured a warrant under the Fugitive Offenders Act.'

As we have seen, Barnett was arrested by Andrews on 30 August 1888.   While it is certainly the case that Barnett had not committed any 'recent' criminal activity in London, it is misleading for Palmer to say that Andrews was unable to hold him for criminal activity in London because Barnett was indeed held for two weeks on a nine year old English warrant.  It is also misleading to say that Andrews secured a warrant under the Fugitive Offenders Act without explaining that the request for this warrant came from Canada, albeit that it appears to have been Andrews who informed the Canadians that Barnett was in London. While the purpose of this article is not to pick out minor factual errors in Palmer's article; the point here is that the way Palmer writes it, probably by accident rather than design, leaves the reader with the impression that it was Andrews on his own who was pushing to get Barnett to Canada and opens the door to the inspector having had a light bulb moment in thinking that here was his chance to get across the Atlantic, all expenses paid, for whatever reason.

Not that Palmer says any such thing in his 'Casebook Examiner' article but in an internet post on the Jack the Ripper Casebook forum on 19 October 2010 ('Tumblety's Past; Not Tumblety Today - Andrews' True Agenda' #43), he speculates that 'whatever Anderson was doing' it might have started 'at the time...Andrews arrested Barnett right after his appearance in Wandsworth Police Court on 13th September.'  It was a strange comment because that does not fit with his theory that Andrews went to Canada to research Tumblety's past, bearing in mind that Tumblety's arrest had not yet happened as at 13 September. What Palmer said in the 'Casebook Examiner' article was simply that the Roland Barnett case 'became Scotland Yard's vehicle for sending Andrews to America in late November 1888.'  However, in pushing this theory he quite badly twists the facts because he says:

'The authorities in Toronto, blissfully unaware that Barnett's extradition papers had been filed in London on November 6th were still scrambling to get Barnett's papers in order.'

The footnotes in Palmer's article at this point have gone wrong - and footnote 27 should be footnote 28 - but the reference he gives is to pages 24-25 of Vanderlinden's 'Ripper Notes' article.  However, Vanderlinden was, on those pages, talking about events in October 1888 and the fact is that, by 6 November 1888, all the Canadian papers had been filed.  The Canadians were not scrambling around at all.  For Palmer, of course, until Tumblety was arrested on or shortly before 7 November, there could not have been any secret plan to infiltrate Andrews into Canada.  Indeed, it seems for Palmer that the plan started on or after 19 November 1888 when the New York Tribune reported that Tumblety was Canadian (although the idea that Robert Anderson was an avid reader of the New York Tribune is far fetched).

For Palmer, therefore, there is great significance in the fact that Robert Anderson wrote to the Home Office about Barnett, who was still lingering in Holloway prison, on 19 November.  One might think that it was only natural that the A.C.C. would want to know what was going to happen to Barnett once the fifteen day period after his committal was up but Palmer turns this query into a key part of his theory.  Thus, referring to Godfrey Lushington's letter of 23 November (reproduced in full above), he says:

' is clear from Lushington's letter that Robert Anderson had inquired about the feasibility of sending a man to North America and was further asking if he could use the extradition of the prisoner to Roland Barnett to do it.'

With the greatest respect to Mr Palmer, and even allowing for the fact that he had not seen the letter from Anderson (quoted in full above), this is nonsense of the highest order.  No such thing was clear at all from Lushington's letter and it certainly does not feature in Anderson's actual letter.  It is an example of someone reading what they wanted to read into a document because of a pre-determined theory.  All that Lushington's letter showed - as reflected in Anderson's letter - is that Robert Anderson was very sensibly writing to the Home Office for instructions as to how to dispose of a prisoner who had been committed for extradition but was sitting in a British prison.  In the absence of the imminent arrival of an officer from Canada, he would have been grossly negligent had it not occurred to him that a British officer might be required to convey Barnett to Canada and, in that context, it was rather sensible to calculate how much it would cost so that the Canadians could be asked to indemnify the cost.  For that reason, Palmer's claim that, 'What is equally clear is Anderson's intense interest in sending a man to America - revealed by the fact that he had already drawn up an estimate of the cost of the mission...', is, in fact, not clear.

According to Palmer: '...under the auspices of the Fugitive Offenders Act, it was entirely up to the Canadians to come and fetch Barnett.'.  This statement is not correct. There is nothing in the Act that says such a thing.  On the contrary, a Home Office memorandum, dated 31 March 1890, entitled 'Memorandum as to Procedure in Extradition Cases and Cases Under The Fugitive Offenders Act, 1881' (HO 347/8) says, in the section under the 1881 Act dealing with the extradition of fugitives from British Possessions (which, as per section 39 of the Act, includes dominions), that if a prisoner makes no application for a writ of habeas corpus within fifteen days of committal, or he makes an application which is refused, then:

'the Secretary of State issues his warrant for the surrender of the prisoner, and he is either handed over to an officer deputed for that purpose by the Governor of the British possession, or he is taken out to the British possession by an English officer, according to the arrangement that may be made in each case.' (underlining added)

This memorandum reflected the procedure in 1888. So there was nothing procedurally improper about a British officer taking Barnett to Canada.  

Then we have Palmer commenting that 'none of these negotiations [about Barnett's conveyance to Canada] actually states that the officer had to be an inspector'.  Well no, that is true, but then again there was nothing that said it had to be an officer of another rank either. We can certainly find other examples from the period of detective inspectors accompanying prisoners to a foreign country:  Inspector Tunbridge escorted Alice Woodhall when she was extradited to the United States at the end of May 1888 (HO 144/475/X18533), Inspector Abberline escorted William Henkel to Germany in June 1888, having personally arrested him in Aberdeen (HO 144/473/X16778) and, according to a surrender warrant in HO 134/25, it would appear that Inspector Henry Moore escorted Oscar Moeller to Germany in September 1888.

Palmer states a bland truism when he says, 'Technically almost anyone could have escorted Barnett back to Toronto - a detective-sergeant or even a pair of constables.  Interestingly, Robert Anderson chose Andrews.'  But is it really interesting?  Andrews was the officer who had arrested Barnett on the English warrant and then arrested him again on the Canadian warrant.  Given the importance of the case, demanding a senior officer be responsible for getting Barnett to Canada. Inspector Andrews was the obvious choice.  In fact, had Anderson sent anyone else, of any rank, to Canada, we might today be asking: 'Why didn't he send Andrews?'  The whole issue is a mystery that is not a mystery.  Simon D. Wood, incidentally, makes a similar point to Vanderlinden in his book when he claims, without any evidential support, that extradition to Canada was 'a routine errand' which could have been handled by 'a lowly Detective Sergeant' .  Had something gone wrong with the extradition - such as the escape of the prisoner - questions might have been asked why a lowly detective sergeant was used rather than a more experienced senior officer.

We may note one other point made by Palmer about Andrews' selection.  Noting that Andrews was once involved on a case with Detective Sergeant Froest, one of the two detective sergeants who arrested Tumblety, Palmer suggests, on the basis of this single case, that Froest 'may have been Andrews' detective sergeant.'  Palmer does not explain what he means by this nor does he provide any evidence that inspectors actually had their own detective sergeants in the way, presumably, that television Detective Inspector Morse had Detective Sergeant Lewis as 'his' sergeant.  But it doesn't seem to have worked like that in the C.I.D in 1888.  Just to give one example, Detective Inspector Tunbridge was working with Detective Sergeant Dinnie in respect of the case of Alice and Harriet Woodhall in April 1888 (HO 134, page 42) yet, when it came to the apprehension of Harris Groman at Plymouth in May 1888, this was effected by Detective Inspector Tunbridge and Detective Sergeant Richards (HO 144/475/X18980).   Palmer's attempt to link Andrews with Tumblety via Froest therefore fails.

In any event, Palmer claims that it is plausible that Robert Anderson had 'a sudden inspiration', presumably at some point between 19 November and 26 November, that he had the perfect opportunity to send an officer out to Canada to do some background research into Tumblety, in order to build up a case against him as the Whitechapel murderer.  It's a little hard to know what Andrews could have been hoping to find in Canada but, leaving that aside, Palmer tells us that the timing of Andrews' visit was 'highly suggestive' and that 'one can readily see that Robert Anderson's bureaucratic gyrations to send a man to North America and the C.I.D.'s investigation of Francis Tumblety's American antecedents dovetail perfectly.'  Or was it just a pure coincidence that Barnett had to be escorted to Canada on 29 November when Tumblety was on bail for indecency offences?   (The answer is: yes.)

There is a timing problem in any case with Palmer's theory.  Scotland Yard must have known shortly after 24 November that Tumblety had fled from England, because the American newspapers were not only reporting it (on 1 December) but reporting that the British police had spoken to Tumblety's sureties. It was certainly known that Tumblety had fled on 10 December, when Tumblety did not appear to take his trial, because the Evening Post reported that a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on that date.  Given that Tumblety was no longer under British jurisdiction, what would have been the purpose of Inspector Andrews conducting an investigation into him in Toronto after that date?  And Andrews definitely knew that Tumblety had fled from bail when he arrived in Toronto because he told a Canadian journalist that this had happened.  If he had been sent there to do background research into a suspect for the Whitechapel murders it would have been pointless to proceed because the suspect was gone.

It is not only that there is a timing problem, there is also the fundamental problem that the entire mission of Inspector Andrews was dependent on the Canadian authorities agreeing to indemnify the costs.  In the absence of such an indemnity, it would have been a question for the Home Secretary as to whether whether the British government would fund the extradition.  Either way, it is remarkable that an investigation into Tumblety, the suspected Whitechapel murderer - which was supposedly very important - was dependent on a decision from a foreign country as to whether it would agree (unknowingly) to pay for it.  We know that Tumblety was initially remanded into custody on 7 November 1888 and committed for trial on 14 November with his trial due to take place at the Old Bailey sessions commencing on 19 November.  Had he been acquitted he would have walked free long before the Sarnia set sail.  Even with the adjournment to 10 December, which was at the request of the defence, Tumblety could easily have been free before Andrews returned to London, and probably before Andrews had discovered anything in Canada, rendering any research he had done into Tumblety worthless.  One would have thought that such research would have had to have been done immediately upon Tumblety's arrest on the indecency offence to avoid the risk of it being a waste of time.  Dilly-dallying during almost the whole of November in the hope that the Canadians might agree to fund the extradition of Barnett to Canada does not make much sense. If the answer is that Robert Anderson did not know of Tumblety's Canadian connection until 19 November then it still does not make sense that nothing was done to send a man to Canada for ten days.

We can contrast this approach with the approach taken by Scotland Yard when carrying out research into Thomas Neill Cream in 1892.  Cream was suspected of murdering Matilda Clover but was arrested on a holding charge of blackmail on 3 June 1892, after information was received by the C.I.D. that he was likely to leave the country.   Such a charge was nevertheless a serious one; in August 1886, for example, one Joseph Cull was found guilty at the Old Bailey of 'Threatening to accuse Mr. Robert Whitby of an infamous crime with intent to extort the sum of 10s from him' and received a ten year prison sentence (Times, 06.08.1886).  Cream was alleged to have sent a letter to a doctor saying that he had evidence that the doctor's son had caused the death of two girls and that he would not go to the police if the doctor gave him £1,500.  He was charged at Bow Street on 5 June and bail was continually refused until he was finally charged with murder on 19 July. 

On 14 June, Pinkerton's Detective Agency provided Scotland Yard with some background information on Cream, showing that he had been convicted of murder in Chicago in 1881 and had been discharged from Joliet Prison in July 1891 before going to Quebec. With the Home Secretary having written to Robert Anderson on 9 June 1892 to express the hope that 'no exertion will be spared on the part of the Police to follow up any clue they may possess in regard to this individual [Cream]'  (MEPO 3/144), Inspector Jarvis was despatched to New York on 18 June 1892 to find out more about him, arriving on 25 June. He travelled across the United States and Canada over a three month period, filing regular reports back to London, until he returned to Liverpool on 28 September. In the meantime, Cream had been committed for trial on 27 August, with his trial being stood over from the September to the October sessions.

There was no secrecy involved in Inspector Jarvis' mission and no fake cover story was required.  One of the witnesses interviewed by Jarvis in Canada came to London to give evidence against Cream on the murder charge to the Bow Street magistrate on 27 August 1892 and expressly stated in open court that he had been seen by Inspector Jarvis after he had communicated with the police in July (Times, 29.08.1892).  Furthermore, the newspapers were fully aware of the inspector's mission, with the Oxford Journal of 16 July 1892, for example, reporting that: 'Inspector Jarvis of Scotland Yard has been making close enquiries into the antecedents of the man Neill, at Chicago and has collected the details of one remarkable chapter in the career of the accused, who in Chicago and Canada was known as Cream.'  This was before Cream had even been charged with murder.  The return to London of the inspector at the end of September was also reported, with it being stated in various newspapers that he had been 'to Canada and the United States to obtain information bearing upon the career of Thomas Neil, or Cream'.  It is difficult, therefore, to convincingly argue that the circumstances of Inspector Jarvis' long trip to the United States and Canada in 1892 are similar to Inspector Andrews' short visit to Toronto in 1888.

We don't need to spend much time on Palmer's big point regarding Andrews' stay in Toronto:

'What remains unknown is why Andrews accompanied Stark back to Toronto, lingered in and around southern Ontario for roughly a week, visited Montreal, and then boarded a ship to England, all while investigating something that has never been revealed in any document.'

We have seen that it is not unknown why Andrews went to Toronto and waited there until Barnett was committed for trial.   The notion that Andrews should have stayed at Halifax and caught the next steamer back is not realistic. As we have seen, Andrews believed it was his duty to deliver Barnett to the Toronto authorities and it is perfectly understandable that he should have waited in Toronto in case he was needed to give evidence about Barnett's arrest and, moreover, so that he could report to his superiors as to what had happened to Barnett.   As for why Andrews stopped at Montreal, it needs to be remembered that Montreal was a changing point for a train journey from Toronto to Halifax. But we cannot entirely rule out the fact that Andrews was asked to speak to the Montreal Chief of Police about John Langhorn.

In conclusion, in respect of the R.J. Palmer part of the theory, the extradition of Barnett was not used 'as a convenient prop'  by Andrews, as Palmer claims.  There is not a shred of evidence that the inspector was doing anything related to the Whitechapel murders in Canada, whether researching Tumblety or anything else; the one exception possibly being the case of John Langhorn, but even there we have no actual evidence of Andrews' involvement.  Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence but the crushing weakness of the theory needs to be emphasised.


A final strand to the argument that Andrews was working for the Times out in Canada is that he actually brought back documents which, in January 1889, Robert Anderson gave to his master spy, Henri Le Caron (Thomas Beach) for Le Caron to produce in front of the Parnell Commission in February 1889.  Thus, in his book, Simon D. Wood draws attention to a New York World story which says that Andrews left Canada on Christmas Eve with 'a satchel' (wasn't it a valise?) 'full of so-called evidence', noting that it was only just over a month later, in early February 1889, that Le Caron entered the witness box before the Parnell Commission, 'having had sight of certain documents furnished by Robert Anderson.'  For Wood, this cannot possibly be a coincidence.  Andrews had supposedly brought back to London certain documents and then, a few weeks later, Le Caron was given 'certain documents' by Anderson.  Is this case closed?

Anyone who remembers the UK comedy programme 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' may recall the sketch of a police interrogation of a suspect after a lorry load of eggs was stolen. And what had the police found in the suspect's refridgerator?  Some eggs!  So clearly the police had their man.  Simon D. Wood's argument has similar qualities but, whereas the egg theft suspect probably couldn't prove they were not the same eggs in his fridge, we can certainly prove that the documents given to Le Caron by Robert Anderson did not come from Inspector Andrews or, indeed, from any of the other police officers allegedly roaming around America looking for evidence. For Le Caron informed the Parnell Commission exactly what Anderson had given him: it was a selection of letters from his (Le Caron's) own correspondence with Anderson stretching back to 1868. 

As Le Caron told the Commission on 7 February 1889 (and reported in the Times of 8 February 1889): 'I had access only to my own correspondence, and particularly desired that nothing but matters in my own handwriting should be subjected to my jurisdiction.'  Thus, he told the Commission, 'I first saw the correspondence from which I have culled a portion of my testimony in a bundle of documents that were given to me by Mr R. Anderson.'   Although he refers to both 'correspondence' and 'documents', the bundle only contained his letters and possibly manuscript copies of American Fenian circulars enclosed with his letters which Le Caron had copied out by hand.

Consequently, the Home Secretary was asked by a Member of Parliament (Mr Cobb) in the House of Commons on 5 March 1889, 'whether it was a fact that Mr Robert Anderson, of Scotland-yard, in January last, at his private residence in Linden-gardens, handed to a Times witness calling himself Le Caron (who described himself as a military spy, and whose real name was Beach), a number of confidential documents, forming part of a correspondence which had come into Mr Anderson's possession in his official capacity.' (underlining added).

The answer of the Home Secretary, which eventually came on 15 March 1889, was:

'I am informed that Mr Anderson did hand to a witness named Le Caron, certain letters which had been written by Le Caron himself  confidentially to Mr Anderson under a pledge that they should be given to no-one but Le Caron himself...Although Mr Anderson acted without my knowledge or sanction, I think he acted properly in handing to Le Caron documents which had come from Le Caron, and which were necessary to enable him to give full evidence on any matter that the Commission deemed material.' (underlining added).

Likewise, Robert Anderson's letter to the Times (published in the Times of 21 March 1889), which Simon Wood refers to briefly, makes clear that the documents in question were simply letters that Le Caron had written to him over the years which Le Caron wanted to see in order to refresh his memory when preparing his statement for the Commission.  As Anderson's letter states when he starts to discuss this issue, 'And now as to the letters.' The reason Anderson was being criticised about this was because it was said that the letters were not in his gift to hand over, being related to official government  business, whereas his defence to the accusation was that they were received privately. Thus, he says: 'He [Le Caron] referred to my often-repeated assurance that I treated his letters as unofficial papers, and declared that he was counting on being allowed to see them.' Anderson explains that he 'was determined to place his documents at his disposal'. (underlining added).

Should further confirmation be required that the documents Anderson gave to Le Caron were documents authored or written by Le Caron himself, we find it in a statement prepared by Robert Anderson for the Commission which can be found in the National Archives (HO 144/1538/5).   In that statement, Anderson says that he assured Le Caron that he had kept his promise 'to treat his letters as private papers, that they were all in my private house and that he might claim them back at any time.'  Anderson continues: 'He arranged to call for them and did so. I made them into two parcels and he took one on the first occasion and the other on the second.'  Those are the only papers he gave Le Caron.  Absolutely nothing to do with Inspector Andrews.

As Le Caron said to Sir Charles Russell (when asked where he got the documents from), 'There is no mystery about it, unless you are making one yourself.'


Overall, it needs to be recognised that there is no good reason to suspect that Andrews was doing anything in Toronto other than accompanying a prisoner for extradition.  When one analyses the reasons why stories suggesting otherwise appeared in the newspapers in 1888 we can see that everything started with the false stories about Inspector Jarvis and Superintendent Shore which were then built up by some probable twisting, misreporting or misunderstanding of Andrews' words and what would appear to be a wholly fabricated account of Andrews' movements in Toronto and Montreal - but even if Andrews was genuinely followed, the watchers must have misinterpreted what they saw.  Citizens of North America in 1888 might have been suckered by the stories they read in their newspapers but there is no reason for us to be suckered in 2015.


First published: 21 May 2015

Republished: 30 August 2023

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