Orsam Books

The 'Facts' of Iconoclast

On 5 August 2020, five days after the appearance of 'Bunny's Aunt', in #580 of the Special Announcement thread, the Major posted a string of nine so-called 'facts' to counter 'Bunny's Aunt', with an invitation to 'Let me know if I've got my facts wrong here'.  I cannot resist such an invitation.

Let's go through them together shall we:

1.  We have no idea what Florrie told James she was going to London for - she may well have mentioned she was going to see her aunt, or someone else's aunt, or her own godmother (we'll never know).

It's a bad start.  We know perfectly well what Florrie told James she was going to London for.  Dr Hopper tells us that, 'They both told me that the cause of Mrs Maybrick's visit to London was that the Countess de Gabriac, Mrs Maybrick's godmother, had come to London to see Sir James Paget and that she had called Mrs Maybrick to stay with her'.  That is crystal clear.  Based on that evidence, the prosecution counsel told the jury that, '....the reason she gave her husband for going to London was that she had an aunt who was going to undergo an operation...'.  We know that Addison has misunderstood some of the details of the evidence but the point he was making was that THIS was the reason she gave her husband for going to London.  So we do know perfectly well what Florence told James she was going to London for.  It was to see her godmother!

2. Before Florrie went to London, Maybrick wrote in his scrapbook that she was welcome to it and that he actively wanted her to see her aunt (this suggests that she had said she was going to see her aunt, or John Baillie Knight's aunt, or her godmother - whichever it was, Maybrick wrote 'aunt' before Florrie went to London).

False again.  What is written in the scrapbook shows that the forger was relying on secondary sources, believing that Florence was off to London to see her aunt when it was, in fact, her godmother.

3. After the trip to London, Dr Hopper (not Fuller) visited the Maybricks and went on the record as saying that they had both said that she had been  to see her godmother (Florrie may have said it and James concurred, James may have said it because by then Florrie had said this was the case, or they both said it because by then that was Florrie's official line).

False.  Hopper clearly stated that the visit to Florrie's godmother was 'the cause' of her visit to London.  In other words, that is why she went and was the reason given as to why she was going beforehand.  It wasn't a retrospective story invented after the event.  It was the reason for her actually going there.  Hopper says that he was told this by both James and Florence.  I have no idea what Iconoclast means by 'Florrie's official line'.  Not that it needs to be but the evidence of Hopper is actually corroborated by the evidence of Alice Yapp who was recorded in the press as saying that Florence went to see 'her mother' but must have been misheard, having said 'her godmother'.

4. Dr Hopper's testimony was not called at the trial

That's not even correctly put.  Dr Hopper's testimony WAS called at trial but he wasn't asked about the cause of Florence's visit to London.

5. Someone told Mr Addison that Florrie had gone to London supposedly to see her aunt

That's not true. Addison's information came from his brief prepared by the Treasury Solicitor.  In his brief he would have read that Florence had gone to London to see her godmother, for that was the evidence of Dr Hopper.  To the extent that he relied on the evidence of Alice Yapp, one thing we know is that she did NOT say that Florence went to London to see an aunt.  No-one would have 'told' Addison anything because that's not the way it works.

6. In his opening remarks, Mr Addison said Florrie had been to see her aunt

Finally, at point 6 we get something true.   But it's what I said in 'Bunny's Aunt' so why is he repeating it? 

7. The papers reported she'd been to see her aunt

Yes, exactly.

8. The books reported that she'd been to see her aunt

By jove, I think he's got it!

9. Lord Orsam decided this was unequivocal evidence of a mistake by a forger because Maybrick therefore could not possibly have made the mistake of writing 'aunt' before Florrie's trip to London

That's correct.  Florence told her husband she was going to see her godmother, the Countess de Gabriac.  Therefore, Maybrick could not, and would not, have wrongly written in his personal journal that she was going to see her 'aunt', thus anticipating the error that was only made for the first time two months after his death!

You'd never have guessed it took Iconoclast five whole days to come up with that rubbish would you?


19 September 2020