Posted: May 7, 2009 in Other Ripper Research

Sir George Compton Archibald Arthur (1860-1946)

A Chum of Dashing Prince of Wales Arrested for the Whitechapel Horror.

Sir Geo. Arthur is Pocketed by the Police while Prowling among the Prostitutes.

Royalty in Trouble.
Special to The Chronicle,

NEW YORK, NOV. 19. — The World’s cable from London says: Just think of it! One of the Prince of Wales’ own exclusive set, a member of the Household cavalry, and one of the best known of the many swells about town who glory in the glamour of the Guelphs, getting into custody on suspicion of being the Whitechapel murderer! It is the talk of clubdom tonight. Just now it is the fashionable fad to slum it in Whitechapel. Every night scores of young men who have never been in the east end before in their lives, prowl around the neighborhood of the murders, talking with the frightened women, and pushing their way into the crowded lodging houses. So long as two men kept together and do not make nuisances of themselves the police do not interfere with them, but if a man goes alone and tries to lure a woman of the street into a secluded corner, to talk with her, he is pretty sure to get into trouble. That was the case with George Arthur, of the Prince of Wales’ set. He put on an old shooting coat and a slouch hat and went to Whitechapel for a little fun. He got it! It occurred to two policemen that Sir George answered much the description of "Jack, the Ripper." They watched him and when they saw him talking with a woman, collared him. He protested, expostulated, and threatened them with the vengeance of royal wrath, but in vain. Finally a choice was given him to send to a fashionable west end club to prove his identity and he was released with profuse apologies for the mistake. The affair was kept out of the newspapers, but the jolly young baronets of the Brooks club, consider the joke too good to keep quiet. Sir George is quite a figure in London. He is the son of the late Sir Frederick Arthur, who was an influential man in his day. Sir George was conspicuously on the turf a few years ago and was intimately associated with the Duchess of Montrose. Then he turned his attention to theatricals and when Bancroft produced Fedora he let Sir George appear as The Corpse.
The report is tonight that he is going to Monte Carlo for a few weeks, that he may escape the ridicule and royal humiliation that must necessarily follow his folly and very injudicious adventure.

Source: Aspen Daily Chronicle (Aspen, Pitken County), November 20, 1888, page 1

Important points to consider regarding this news story:

* This information goes to show that the Police were still looking for "Jack the Ripper" as late as November 20, 1888 which means that they obviously did not feel comfortable in the fact that they had caught the Ripper, whom they believed to be an insane Polish Jew, after the Mary Jane Kelly murder of November 9, 1888. If an insane Polish Jew was sent to an asylum after Kelly’s death, why would they still be looking for "Jack the Ripper?" Even more important, is the fact that they were looking out for "toffs" slumming it in the East End.

* It also shows that the Police clearly felt that George Hutchinson’s meticulous witness statement had some merit – since his statement was made only 8 days before this incident with Sir George Arthur.

THE Sir George Arthur episode will take the piquancy out of the latest London fad – that of "slumming it" through Whitechapel and following the crimson path of the fiend who has been making it hideous.
Source: Aspen Daily Chronicle (Aspen, Pitkin County), November 21, 1888, page 2


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