Combing through the newspaper reports on Jack the Ripper one does come across some quite bizarre events and escapades in which his name of turned up.
Indeed, by January, 1889, it is more than apparent that the name “Jack the Ripper” had become well entrenched within the national consciousness, and all manner of associations – from street ballads to East End Waxworks were making use of it.
The Isle of Wight County Press and South of England Reporter, for example, published the following gem in its edition of Saturday, 12th January, 1889:-
JACK THE RIPPER AND THE PIGEONS
H. M. Maynard v Stanfield
Mr. W. H. Wooldridge stated that the plaintiff was a gentleman lately residing at Holmwood, in Hyde. For some years he had been largely connected with the breeding of pigeons and dogs, and in that way was well-known in the world.
Last September he had a transaction with the defendant and let him have a rather famous pigeon, a white carrier cock, for which he was to have something in exchange.
He now declined to take anything and wanted his pigeon back or £5 its value.
HE HAD RUN INTO HIS HOUSE
Plaintiff was called and bore out Mr. Wooldridge’s opening.
Defendant asked him if he did not run into his house with a hundred men, women, and boys after him, calling him “Jack the Ripper” and shouting murder, and if he had not threatened to cut the throats of two women.
Plaintiff:- “That is nothing to do with the case.”
The Judge:- “What did “Jack the Ripper” say to the pigeons?”
HE HAD SAVED HIM FROM BEING LYNCHED
Defendant said that the plaintiff got in company with two women in Portsmouth and threatened to cut their throats and had run away.
He went out to the people and promised that plaintiff should go to the police station if they would keep from molesting him. They would have lynched him, if he had not protected him and taken him to the police station and given an account of who he was.
If they decided to have him locked up, he offered to stand bail for him.
He put him into the parcel office and left him there (laughter).
HE WAS VERY THANKFUL
He went to Fareham and the next day turned up at Salisbury. He said he was very thankful to him for the manner he protected him and would give him a Pigeon. He afterwards sent him the pigeon.
Defendant also added that he sent the plaintiff a dog and pups, and he sent them back, witness having to pay five shillings and sixpence carriage.
HIS KIND ACTIONS
The pigeon came into his possession for his kind action not only on that occasion, but on hundreds of others.
He had paid money out of his pocket for him, fed his pigeons, and had been answerable for money; and now he was going to rush him for a thing which was not worth five shillings.
Mr. Maynard said that the defendant’s statement was incorrect.
Mr. Wooldridge:- “Did you promise him a pigeon?”
No, that was not true.
Defendant said that he had a witness to prove that the bird was given to him. He put in letters bearing on the matter.
GIVE BACK THE PIGEON
His Honour ordered the defendant to give back the pigeon within seven days.
Defendant asked if be was to have no recompense.
His Honour:- “That is not before me.”
Defendant said that he did not want the pigeon.”