Sunday, 20 May 2012

Birds, plumes and poison - 'Ennui' .


When Walter Sickert produced art work full of clues about society, Cleveland Street, Whitechapel an the Jack the Ripper murders, he (almost always) put paintings into a 'painting series' which told a story. He produced a prolific number of 'painting series'.

'Ennui' is a series of works. There are four different renditions of the painting 'Ennui', and a number of sketches, too.

Walter would often give away paintings belonging to a series to different friends, and in this way, keep the story ( his evidence) that he communicated through his paintings safe from the prying eye of the British secret service. His paintings usually reveal a part of a story which is often fully revealed by the series to which the painting belongs.

This rendition of 'Ennui' below is  the one Walter Sickert spoke about to Joseph Sickert, his grandson. ( You can click on it to view the full painting which can't be transposed in the full original size on blogger.)

You can see that the painting makes a clear reference to the Maybrick case, featuring James and Florie Maybrick. In the glass on the table there's evidence of arsenic poison. There's a decanter on the mantlepiece ( such features in the Maybrick case, traces of poison were found in a decanter.) . Florie Maybrick, ostensibly 'bored', leans against the chest of drawers, and James Maybrick sits smoking his cigar. 

The case referencing is highlighted in the preparatory sketch for 'Ennui' here ( courtesy Tate Galleries.) There's a clear reference to James Maybrick, Florie too, and the decanter has taken on a life of its own; it holds its hand over an astonished and quizzical face! :-) Again, the clear reference is to James rather than Florie Maybrick.



Notice that in this sketch rendition James Maybrick holds a letter close to his chest. 

On prime time television in 1974, Joseph Sickert, Walter Sickert's apparent grandson, told a vast audience of British people that when he was a boy Walter Sickert had showed him a number of his works, and told him that his paintings contained clues about the 'Jack the Ripper' murders, as indeed they do. According to Joseph, Walter apparently stated that 'a painting titled 'Ennui' '( French for boredom) contained a 'major clue' or 'clues' in respect of the Jack the Ripper case.

 'Ennui' has since come to be known as containing the 'supreme clue' about the 'Jack the Ripper' case. The words 'supreme clue' are often used.

'Ennui' is a 'painting series'. 'Ennui' is a full series that tells a part of the Jack the Ripper story.

Walter Sickert didn't point everything about the 'Ennui' painting series to his grandson Joseph, ( or he did, and between childhood and late adulthood a lot of it got forgotten by Joseph.) The 'Ennui clue' that Joseph recalled best in later life, was  a 'gull' on Queen Victoria's shoulder in a little painting hanging on the wall in one of the paintings in the series , which, he claimed the artist had told him, represented Sir William Gull.

 Walter told Joseph that Sir William Gull was responsible for  the torture of Joseph's grandmother, Annie Crook, of 1880s Cleveland Street ( West London).

 Annie Crook was ostensibly Walter Sickert's lover ( and early wife). 

 There are four different painting on canvas versions of 'Ennui'. Walter evidently showed Joseph the painting version above, where a 'gull on Queen Victoria's shoulder' is undeniably apparent in the little painting on the wall.

Did Walter Sickert mention to Joseph that the image of Queen Victoria in the painting hanging on the wall is painted showing her wearing the wings of a 'Blackbird', the sign of Jacobite rising and Stuart rebellion? 
Did he tell him that the suggestion in this is that Queen Victoria approved of Prince Eddy's union with a Stuart girl who passed in Whitechapel as 'Mary Kelly' ( final Jack the Ripper victim)?

 In the rendition of 'Ennui' shown below, the gull has diminished and the blackbird wings are more in prominence. Note also that the chappie smoking the cigar has changed somewhat. It's been suggested by web boffins that he looks more like Michael Maybrick than James Maybrick. The arsenic tumbling into the glass is very apparent. 
Perhaps the arsenic tumbling into the glass ( on the table) is more apparent here (below).


 A picture of Michael Maybrick for comparison.


 There are various possibilities that arise from the Sickert implication, which appears to have tempted a number of amateurs and/or ambitious authors to rush to judgement. It might be suggested that James Maybrick poisoned his brother 'in league' with Florie and her lover, and then framed Florie for unique involvement. Or, that "as a dastardly Freemason in league with the government, Freemasons and all that is corrupt and unhip"  he " poisoned his bother himself, and framed Florie Maybrick who is a miscarriage justice victim to sob about."

The more realistic implication in the 'Ennui' series however is that Sickert is suggesting that Florie Maybrick attempted the life of both Maybrick bothers in planting arsenic about the house. ( Hence, Micahel Maybrick's reaction in having her arrested.)   In any event, we must let Sickert's full works explain his individual paintings, and not try to take the paint and pen from him at any stage. 

 The blackbird wings on Queen Victoria in the little painting hanging on the wall in Walter Sickert's 'Ennui'  resemble the wings that he  painted on 'Mary Kelly' in his lovely satire of her  titled 'Blackbird of Paradise' , shown below- .


Many of Walter Sickert's paintings and sketches reveal that 'Mary Kelly' was a Stuart woman, an heir of the Stuart line, ( the line of the Bonnie Prince Charlie) who had a child by the Prince Eddy, Queen Victoria's and Prince Edward's heir, whose existence was deemed, by some, to be a threat to the prevalent 1880's British constitution and the British throne.

Queen Victoria is of course part Stuart herself; a direct descendant through several lines of Mary Queen of Scots, and yet it seems that in 'Ennui' Walter Sickert is emphasizing her 1888 allegiance - he seems to be implying that Queen Victoria was cooperating with an apparent plan to promote a Royal and powerful union with the Stuarts ( and with Stuart Freemasonry) via Prince Eddy's union with  'Marie Jeanette Kelly- and via the couple's little son, the third in line to the British Empire throne.

 Queen Victoria was apparently supportive of the decisions of her grandson and heir, who had apparently secretly married a Stuart girl.  

The 'gull' perched on Queen Victoria's shoulder in the painting on the wall (according to Walter Sickert's apparent advice to Joseph Sickert) represents 'Sir William Gull', who worked for Special Branch Police from time to time as a torturer.  In the 1880s 'Special Branch police was the British secret service, which has developed in many ways since that era.

Theoretically Queen Victoria was supposed to be in authority over 1888 Special Branch police, though of course she did not get a look in, except to be lied to about its goings on by smarming parliamentary ministers. The Special Branch police ledgers that have not yet been released to the public, which I have seen, reveal that when there were Fenian assassination attempts on the Royal couple Bertie and Alexandra, ( Prince and Princess of Wales in the 1880s )  this couple were mostly not in the know until the very last minute, when preventative intervention by Special Branch Spies was imminent. And there were several attempts on their lives. On many occasions the Royal family had almost no say in Special Branch police goings on whatever.


Above, a close up of the painting hanging on the wall in the rendition of 'Ennui' that Walter Sickert showed Joseph Sickert, his grandson. ( In some browsers you will need to click on it to see the full picture).  Queen Victoria has 'Blackbird' wings, a 'Gull' is perched on her shoulder, and in the bottom right of the picture, there is a 'Gladstone bag', which was associated with supposed sightings of 'Jack the Ripper' in early police documents and newspaper articles. The 'Abominable Coach' in which the Whitechapel murder victims were desecrated ( according to Walter Sickert via Joseph Sickert) is suggested by the little horse whip that Queen Victoria appears to be holding in her hand. The little horse whip is just a little like a pen plume.

 On the bottom left of the painting hanging seen on the wall in the version of the 'Ennui' painting that Walter showed Joseph there is a book, which may be either a bible or a diary- it's quite a heavy looking book. Or is it a pile of letters? I wish that part were just a little but clearer . Quite possibly the pre painting sketch that Walter Sickert drew and 'squared up' for 'Ennui', before transferring the picture to broad canvas contained a sketch of a pile of letters and another sketch of a bible or other book superimposed on the top of that, (as with the little preparatory sketch of 'Kelly's Library', which contains a sketch of a gentleman going through his letters inside a little tobacconists superimposed upon a sketch of a rosy faced dame doing the laundry .)

Walter Sickert seems to be suggesting in his 'painting on the wall inside a painting' ( shown in detail above) that contrary to the wishes of the Royal family, the state organized these 'Jack the Ripper' murders, via the auspices of Special Branch police, of course, with the assistance of Sir William Gull, the 1880s police torturer. 


Instantly noticeable about the 'painting on the wall' inside the version of 'Ennui' that Walter


.. Sickert showed Joseph is that Queen Victoria is depicted young, and wearing red. She isn't depicted as 'a rigid old oppressor dressed permanently in black, old hater of all things erotic, the embittered, sex starved, angry widow'.  Presumably Walter Sickert is suggesting her red robes of state. She was painted in these robes by numerous artists when she was young. Is Walter Sickert suggesting that Victoria was never the cruel ageing old Hanover 'Jack' you've all been lead to believe?

That she was deceived, 'bamboozled' and manipulated by Salisbury and Special Branch police during the 1888?

Other evidence ( including Sickert's) suggests they didn't even ask Victoira's permission before beginning their rampage. 

It is also noticeable that Walter Sickert's Victoria is wearing what looks like a clear suggestion of a barrister's or judge's wig . ( British Judges' and barristers' wigs have not altered greatly in two centuries.) Walter Sickert must have been suggesting that there was corruption in the British Justice system, suggesting that the Judiciary under Queen Victoria were involved in covering up the Jack the Ripper murders.

In the version of 'Ennui' depicted below, Queen Victoria seems to be depicted in the 'painting on the wall' holding a fanciful golden  plume. From one perspective, a strange figure seems to be creeping up on her, on her left; again there is the suggestion that she is being imposed upon by deceitful figures of state- or perhaps this resembles Sir William Gull's imposition upon her uniquely.

Did Walter tell Joseph Sickert that the two people in the forefront in the 'Ennui' paintings are two state scapegoats, one of whom  Special Branch police may have framed for the Jack the Ripper murders- James and Florence Maybrick?


Did Walter Sickert show his grandson the little fly paper sachet emptying the poison arsenic into the gentleman's glass in the rendition above? 

By the Tate 2010:  ....' in a letter to his friends, Ethel Sands and Nan Hudson, He (Walter) catalogued the abuses to which working class wives were vulnerable: men ‘hitting them with hammers, putting poisonous powders on cakes, trying to cut their throats, drugging their whisky’. ..'

Wiki on Florence Maybrick's arrest below:

'In April 1889, Florence Maybrick bought flypaper containing arsenic fom a local chemist's shop and later soaked it in a bowl of water. At her trial, she claimed that this method allowed her to extract the arsenic for cosmetic use. James Maybrick was taken ill on 27 April 1889 after self-administering a double dose of strychnine. His doctors treated him for acute dyspepsia, but his condition deteriorated. On 8 May Florence Maybrick wrote a compromising letter to Brierley, which was intercepted by Alice Yapp, the nanny. Yapp passed it to James Maybrick's brother, Edwin, who was staying at Battlecrease. ( The Maybrick family home). Edwin, himself by many accounts one of Florence's lovers, shared the contents of the letter with his brother Michael Maybrick, who was effectively the head of the family. By Michael's orders Florence was immediately deposed as mistress of her house and held under house arrest.'

 Did Walter Sickert show his grandson Joseph the 'meat juice bottle' full of poison on the ledge over the fireplace in the 'Ennui' rendition above? ( it looks like a sherry decanter, but the clear implication is that its contents are deadly.)

Wiki on the 'meat juice bottle' in the Maybrick case, below:

'On 9 May a nurse reported that Mrs Maybrick had surreptitiously tampered with a meat-juice bottle which was afterwards found to contain a half-grain of arsenic. Mrs Maybrick later testified that her husband had begged her to administer it as a pick-me-up. However, he never drank its contents. James Maybrick died at his home on 11 May 1889. His brothers, suspicious as to the cause of death, had his body examined. It was found to contain slight traces of arsenic, but not enough to be considered fatal. It is uncertain whether this was taken by Maybrick himself or administered by another person. After an inquest held in a nearby hotel, Florence Maybrick was charged with his murder and stood trial at St George's Hall, Liverpool, before Justice James Fitzjames Stephen, where she was convicted and sentenced to death.'

Florence Maybrick, the Victorian public knew, was unlikely to have touched said meat juice bottle without being asked, or known much about fly papers and arsenic, except to do her husband's bidding. She had her sentence commuted, after a public outcry.
 'After a public outcry, Henry Matthews, the Home Secretary, and Lord Chancellor Halsbury concluded 'that the evidence clearly establishes that Mrs Maybrick administered poison to her husband with intent to murder; but that there is ground for reasonable doubt whether the arsenic so administered was in fact the cause of his death'.

Many people think James Maybrick seems to have been artfully killed, and Florie Maybrick artfully framed ( it seems a tad clumsy a frame up to our modern eyes, but in the Victorian era where British judges and medics could throw their weight about even more than they do today, the perpetrators got away with their frame up). If arsenic poison didn't kill James Maybrick, what did? Why didn't the Maybrick autopsy look for anything except arsenic? Could another poison have been used to kill James, or mixed with arsenic to kill him? Florie's accusers stated that James died of arsenic poising because they knew she was giving it to him from time to time as a recreational drug on his request.

The evidence tends to suggest that James Maybrick was on the list of Special Branch 'patsies' ( scapegoats) who had been selected to be framed for the 'Jack the Ripper murders', and that he had to be got rid of in the process, along with his innocent wife, incase either of them objected. Below, a painting by Walter Sickert titled 'The American'. ( He's dated it 1908, which was nine years after Florie's trial). A clear portrait of the often lovely looking Florence Maybrick, which Walter painted when he had a studio at no 6, Mornington Crescent. Compare it with the photo of her, above. Walter Sickert seems to be suggesting that Florie was one of the socialites who visited Cleveland Street and Whitechapel while everyone was there.  See how in the painting Florie is placed in front of the mirror and chest of drawers that appear in Walter Sickert's painting 'Mornington Crescent' .....the title 'Mornington Crescent', as we saw in the post 'Walter Sickert and Annie Crook',  is a 'cover title' for a painting depicting the lovely Annie in a bedroom at 'no. 19 or no 21, Cleveland Street'. ( Click here for the post on Walter and Annie.) 


It's a beautiful painting isn't it: on the one hand, Florie could be being tempted, thinking of her lover, and contemplating poisoning her husband - on the other hand, she could be a sweet picture of innocence, an abused miscarriage of justice victim. 

In other words, Florie Maybrick may have used the secret letter delivery service that was nnamed 'Kelly's Library' . Florie was an admired and outwardly desirable young aristocrat and socialite and the West End of London was a desirable and fashionable, bohemian/anarchic place to be.

Here below, a Walter Sickert painting from the 'Jack ashore' series, using the same models. Walter Sickert seems to suggest Florie Maybrick in the process of murderous meditation. I think it's probably an illustration of the Prosecution case against Florie.Ostensibly, Sickert thought she Florie had indeed murdered her husband, and that the poor man had consequently been seen as a target for a "false allegation of his being 'Jack the Ripper'?"



Michael Maybrick, James Maybrick's brother, was a Royal Arch degree  Freemason who had participated in the London Music Hall scene in 1888. ( As did the Maybrick couple from time to time apparently). A Stuart Mason too? 

Notice that the dressing table from which Florie 'turns in murderous rage' is also suggestive of a piano. The series title 'Jack ashore' is relevant given the implications in the Music Hall song 'They all love Jack.' This song was written by Michael Maybrick ( apparently in collusion with Walter Sickert.)


THEY ALL LOVE JACK.

When the ship is trim and ready, and the jolly days are done,
When the last good-byes are whispered, and Jack aboard is gone;
The lasses fall a weeping, as they watch his vessel's track,
For all the landsmen lovers are nothing after Jack-
For all the landsmen lovers are nothing after Jack.

Chorus.
For his heart is like the sea. ever open, brave and free,
And the girls must lonely be till the ship comes back;
But if love's the best of all that can a man befall,
Why, Jack's the king of all, for they all love Jack!

Where he goes their hearts go with him; e'en his ship he calls her she!
Up aloft that "little cherub, " sure a maiden she must be;
And as o'er the sea he travels, the mermaids down below,
Would give their crystal kingdoms for the love of Jack, I trow-
Would give their crystal kingdoms for the love of Jack, I trow.
For his heart is like the sea, &c.

When he's sail'd the world all over, and again he steps ashore,
There are scores of lasses waiting to love him all the more.
He may lose his golden guineas, but a wife he'll never lack,
If he'd wed them all they'd take him, for they all love Jack-
If he'd wed them all they'd take him. for they all,they all. love Jack!
For his heart is like the sea, &c.
 
'Jack Ashore' was originally a series of cartoons about Scottish Sailors 
that appeared in Harpers magazine in 1873. Here. 
( an example cartoon below.) As a Music Hall song of that reference 
'They all love Jack'  would seem to be entirely innocent.
 
 
All four of these; James Maybrick, Michael Maybrick, Florie Maybrick and Richard Brierly are likely to have been in the know about 'Kelly's Library'. 

It may be that Michael Maybrick was a "spy" acting for Chief John Littlechild in the Music Halls. It is equally likely that Sickert simply employed the Music Hall reference as a 'clue' item for his paintings, as he was wont to do.  Neither makes Michael Maybrick a lone Jack the Ripper. Michael has alibis for all the 1888 Whitechapel murder dates.



Another interesting link here, showing  Florence Maybrick as a much older woman reduced to ruin by an allegedly infamous miscarriage of justice ..The link also shows that the mock up photo of James Maybrick dates to the Victorian era and was kept by James Maybrick's son all his life.

'Ennui' perhaps portrays the selection of James and Florence Maybrick as 'patsies'.  ( Scapegoats). It was quite easy apparently. In 1888, Florie was very bored in her domestic life, married to an an older man, ( James Maybrick) and the relationship had in some ways petered out ( though there seems to have still been some fondness between them). She's shown gazing into what is usually seen as the most boring of Victorian ornaments, a collection of dead, stuffed birds. She was having an affair in 1888. She was starting to behave in a somewhat compromising manner in front of  nosey vindictive servants at the Maybrick home, Battlecrease house, such was her frustration with her situation. 

Another somewhat alarming picture of Florie Maybrick, below. ( In the same photoshoot it would seem.)  She's "got the killer eyes, hasn't she?"
Any many such like to try to make fools of us. It's their game, let's face it.


Did Walter Sickert tell Joseph about the little matchbox in all the painting and sketch renditions, including the rendition above which ostensibly  indicates the one found beside the body of Catherine Eddowes, who was murdered on the night of the 'Jack the Ripper' 'double murder'? The matchbox that was described in Special Branch papers that were not released to the public in any shape or form until the later part of the twentieth century? The little matchbox that extraordinarily appears in the 'Maybrick Diary', which is widely acknowledged to be a very interesting (probably Victorian) forgery?


By one advocate of the 'Maybrick diary': 'The diary refers to a tin box, which was empty, and which was found and left by Maybrick at the murder of Catharine Eddowes, the fourth victim. There was indeed '1 tin matchbox, empty,' in the list of her effects drawn up  up by the police, but this list did not appear in the public domain until 1987, and the existence of the empty tin matchbox was unknown before then.'

Above the chest of drawers in the sketch rendition of 'Ennui' shown above is a portrait of a woman in a stylish travelling bonnet. Compare it the one that appears in Tissot's 'Travelling coat', 1882: 


The bonneted woman does not appear in any of the painting renditions. Bonnets  were a particular favorite of Florie Maybrick, needless to say. She even wore a fancy bonnet when leaving prison. (Very few British Justice System victims bother with that sort of touch).

Then again, perhaps Walter Sickert is inferring Mary Kelly's one time journey to France "With a gentleman" that was discussed at her makeshift inquest.

Or is the woman in the painting above the chest of drawers in the preparatory sketch reading a letter? :-)  

On the chest of drawers in the sketch rendition of |'Ennui' shown above, there again appears a glass case of preserved dead birds ( gloomily fashionable in the era ), at the centre of which Walter Sickert has drawn the image of a face beneath a top hat which looks very like an expressly distorted photograph of James Maybrick which is in the public domain ( seen left). The distorted photograph of James Maybrick was constructed during the Victorian era . 
In fact the said photograph is two photographs joined at the centre via use of Victorian photographic equipment. Two different glass plates will have been used on separate occasions, each half covered with an image, then projected onto one sole plate through light. 
Look (for example) at the light on the left of the top hat in the Maybrick photo, and the absence of light on the right of the photo. The photo is a mock up. The half picture of a man on the right of the photo looks like James Maybrick's corpse could well have done. What 1880's Special Branch police doing is this? Or might we ask 'What Hanoverian Masonic doing is it?' Was the photo used in 1889 as false evidence, perhaps, of James Maybrick's alleged state when with his beautiful wife, Mrs Maybrick? Or was it simply used to dress him up as a candidate for 'Jack the Ripper?' There is some evidence that it may have been constructed expressly to misrepresent him at the trial, alongside evidence of diary forgeries associated to the Maybrick case in 1889.

In the West Coast Times, Issue 7582, 27 December 1889.

'The Bogus Diary

A diary said to be the work of Mrs. Maybrick but bearing internal indications of having been judiciously "vamped-up," has passed into the possession of a weekly journal, and will see light in its columns before long. Baroness Von Roque admits that some of her daughter's private papers were stolen from Battlecrease House, but denies that this particular manuscript is authentic. The recent photo of Mrs. Maybrick which her relatives judiciously restrained from Medrington, the Liverpool photographer, from setting before the trial, has never been published. It represents her fatter and more sensuous than she looked in the dock, and couldn't by any stretch of imagination be called the likeness of a handsome or nice woman'.

An excerpt from a letter written by Florence Maybrick's mother published in the Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXIII, Issue 327, 28 December 1889, below :


...'A statement was circulated in London recently that three volumes of my daughter's diary had been taken from one of her boxes at Battlecrease House by a relative of the family and offered for sale; and that I had given a large price for them in order to suppress them. There is no truth whatever in this statement. My daughter did not keep a diary. It is quite true that some books are missing; it is supposed that they have been taken away by someone interested in my daughter's downfall. We have wanted these books since my arrival in England after my daughter's arrest. If these books had not been missing, much that is yet mysterious would have been made clear. I shall be able to tell you more about them when I see you. It is always a matter of regret that my daughter's papers and effects, as well as the household effects, were disposed of with such undue haste before the trial....'

 The distorted eyes of James Maybrick in the mocked up Maybrick photo above are exactly repeated in the sketch of the face inside the ghastly stuffed dead bird glass on the chest of drawers in Sickert's 'Ennui' sketch shown above. The eye on the right of that photo. The mocked up photo has the effect of presenting Poor James Maybrick as someone with something of a 'lunatic' appearance, psychopathic , a candidate for 'Jack the Ripper'. It differs from natural photos of him which present him as a gentle person, a simple Victorian gentleman doing his best to get by in unforgiving Victorian financial business. As in the photos below, for example.




Of course the fraud is unkind. Poor man had nothing to do with the murders.

 The Sickert sketch shown here was given to Lady Hamilton, one of Sickert's patrons and protectors, and signed in pencil. It was dedicated 'To Lady Hamilton' and annotated 'An Idyll of Peace'.

As with some of the paintings of Annie Crook and Mary Kelly, Walter Sickert used readily accessible artists models in order to enable him to depict the human form accurately when the original people he wanted to paint were not available. He used two artist's models called 'Hubby' and 'Marie' for the 'Ennui' paintings shown above. "Hubby' was also used as a model for Sickert to depict a Special Branch torturer in his paintings 'Jack Ahoy' and 'Jack ashore'. Some commentary has it that 'Hubby' was himself a sailor: 'a vous de voir ce que vous en pensez de cela'. :-) 'Drowning women' were depicted by the Pre - Raphaelite brotherhood ( famous for frequenting Cleveland Street, where they had their base) as figures of eroticism. (It does not mean that a model an artist used was once a sailor, simply because a painting is titled 'Jack ashore!')

Is Walter Sickert suggesting that Sir William Gull wrote the infamous Maybrick diary forgery in order to frame James Maybrick for the Ripper crimes? Where to with that then? Are there any handwriting similarities between Gull and the diary writer at all? Bearing in mind that were he the diary author, Gull would have been falsifying his own handwriting as much as is really possible, and writing a punctilious forgery. In handwriting examples which are in the public domain ( there are a spartan few) there seem to be two striking incidences of similarity :  Here is the widely published diary forgery photo:



Notice the diary writer's very stylistic 'I have' in 'for all I have done', and the stylistic 'this', where the stylistic bar on the 't' crosses the entire word. Compare these evidently stylistic features with Sir William Gull's handwriting of the same words 'I have' and 'this', in a letter shown below, ( first exhibited by Stephen Knight) dated twelve years earlier than 1889. ( In the letter Sir Gull is going on about his grapes, which he refers to as 'raisins', which have apparently been given way too much significance by researchers of the 'Royal conspiracy theory'. The Whitechapel girls ostensibly were not seduced into that awful coach with grapes.They were intercepted while delivering letters on behalf of 'Mary Kelly' and the young Prince).



There are real stylistic similarities. The only place in Sir William Gull's letter where he is as 'swirly' as the Maybrick diary forgery is his signature.
 It has historically been thought that a medical practitioner who had evidently dispensed with regular practice committed the Catharine Eddowes murder, removed her kidney, and sent it with this letter. Dr Gull does fit the profile as a retired medic still in charge of wards at Guy's hospital- and apparently a Special Branch police torturer.  Dr Gull will have been too old to commit the murder alone in 1888, with or without an accomplice. That does not mean that Special Branch police didn't take him with them on the nights of the 'Jack the Ripper' murders and use his services in that 'Abominable Coach.' The 'Mr Lusk ' letter is thought to have been written by a guilty party experiencing a post traumatic psychotic episode- the reason being it was posted before any information about the Catharine Eddowes murder ( such as the missing kidney) was released to the public.It was sent with a kidney supposedly obtained from Catharine Eddowes.Stephen Knight felt it could contain  a distortion of Sir William Gull's handwriting:


Although the letter is rigid, there is a certain 'swirly' in it in places that does resemble the 'swirly' apparently Victorian Maybrick diary forgery. The 'S' on the 'Signed' is clearly the same as letters in Gull's repertoire. ( Note the 'J' at the base of the page on the date mark of Gull's letter.)

Walter Sickert did tell Joseph about an 'Abominable Coach' in which the Whitechapel women were desecrated before being left on the side of the road- it appears in his own personal sketch collection:



William Gull was a powerful medic and had worked in the Royal Household.  No question, he could get away with a great deal and order the medical profession about as he liked. He didn't have the same influence with the medical students though. Many loathed him, and rioted against him. In one reception to his visiting lectures in Edinburgh the young Doctors booed and shouted him down so strongly, he had to cease speaking and leave.

What about Sir William Gull and poison? Is there another case that amplifies  the suggestion that William Gull administered poison to get rid of Special Branch patsies ( sacapegoats) or other deemed 'inconvenients'?

According to the Early Stephen Knight research, Gull was often called upon to get rid of 'inconvenients' on the part of Special Branch police and various society figures. Apparently this is what Walter Sickert told Joseph Sickert, who passed the story on to Stephen Knight. Walter Sickert originally suggested to Joseph that Sir William Gull was in the "Abominable Coach", assisting Special Branch police with the Whitechapel murders. So far no evidence has surfaced to discredit that assertion.

There is the famous Bravo case- Dr Gull, in the shape of a concerned expert and 'family Doctor' is supposed to have rushed to the rescue of a poisoned man . But did Gull supply the overdose of laudanum composition that did the killing in the first place? Or was the laudanum that murdered poor old Bravo mixed with arsenic by Sir William Gull?

'The Bravo's lived in a huge attractive house called the Priory in Bedford Hill, Balham, London. He administered to himself some Laudanum, a well know cure at the time for tooth ache.
At about 9:45pm Bravo was heard calling from his bedroom, he and Florence had separate rooms, he dashed from his room shouting for hot water to drink. Mrs. Jane Cannon Cox, a companion of Florence ( Florence Bravo) who lived in the house, heard the cries for help and rushed to the aid of Bravo, he was very ill and soon lapsed into unconsciousness. Florence was called from her sleep, and the doctor was called, the doctor suspected poison, but could find no trace.
When Florence Bravo was questioned, she stated that her husband had taken the Laudanum for neuralgia and may have swallowed some. Florence called in Sir William Gull one of the most notable doctors of the time. He questioned Bravo who continued with her story of Laudanum, Gull told the family that Bravo was dying from poison, Bravo eventually died on 21st April.'

What do Guy's Hospital they think they are doing continuing to name a children's ward after Sir William Gull after all these years? Does the Whittington have a 'Shipman wing'? No. It should have been enough that Gull was a Ripper suspect. 

 James and Florence Maybrick.

  
'Ennui' is definitely a major clue picture series. In that the clues mark essential aspects of the case, evidently. Not the most intricately woven, or the most poignant of the 'clue painting series' Walter painted, but the essential nature of the clues in  'Ennui' is undeniable. I wonder what Walter's exact words were to Joseph about it? Did he say the rendition he showed him was a 'supreme' clue painting, or a 'central' clue painting, or the 'easiest' clue painting, or what exactly? 

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The outline of the current situation in respect of the libel campaign against me and the legal stuff (click).