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The Community's Collective Wisdom "Scotland Yard was really no wiser on the subject than it was 15 years ago.."-F.G.Abberline,1903. The question is...are we ?

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Old May 2nd, 2015, 10:06 AM   #1
Alan Baird
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Default Inspr Cuddy/Townsend/PM Gladstone

I just thought I would share this story with you and hope you find it interesting.
George Cuddy was born in Ireland [Tyrone/Northern Ireland] in 1848. He joined the Metropolitan Police on the 4/1/1875 and was assigned to 'P' or Camberwell Division and was issued with the warrant number of 58563. George retired from the Police on the 7/1/1901, as an Inspector with Pembroke Dockyard. Prior to this he served as an Inspector with 'A' or Whitehall Division.
Inspector George Cuddy was involved in the Old Bailey trial, on the 29/5/1893, of William Henry Townsend [36] who was indicted for unlawfully sending to the Right Hon. William Ewart Gladstone a letter threatening to kill and murder him.
Spencer Lyttelton, the long time private secretary to Prime Minister Gladstone also gave evidence at the trial. The letter was received on the 26th of April 1893 and the letter stated the Prime Minister must drop the Irish Independence Bill. It also stated that William had seen Mr Gladstone yesterday and he looked so cheerful and happy that he decided against taking any action. Although, ''I could have fired six shots before anyone could have had a hand on me.'' It also stated, ''a quiet day with nature will quiet my nerves.'' Basically, the letter goes on to say taking both their lives could save the lives of hundreds of loyal Ulstermen and is surely sufficient justification for this action. The letter was signed W H Townsend, 17 Hyde Road, Sheffield.
William Henry Townsend had left Sheffield and stalked the Prime Minister in Downing Street, over the Monday and Tuesday [24/25 April] but it was Wednesday night when things started to go wrong. William attempted to enter the area but PC Herbert Johnson [554A] told him the gates were shut and that he could not enter from that direction. William turned around and fired a single shot from his revolver but PC Johnson managed to disarm him and with assistance took him to the King Street Police Station. Inspector George Cuddy was on duty there and talked with the prisoner and searching William's lodgings and found more ammunition.

I will post this now and will post the detail about the trial etc shortly, need to check a couple of things.
Alan.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 10:38 AM   #2
Alan Baird
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Default The Trial

sorry back again...............

At the trial, it came out that William Henry Townsend had a history of mental instability which would appear every few years and then he would disappear. In one period of instability, he had even joined the army before buying himself out 4 to 5 months later. His mother was considered an intelligent woman but was terrified of being placed in a lunatic asylum, as had happened to her brother. William's grandmother, on his fathers side also died in a lunatic asylum.
William had been working for the last 3 years for a Mr George Liversedge of Sheffield who was a gun maker and manufacturer, in his shop.
The jury found William Henry Townsend guilty of the charges whilst being insane and he was sent to prison/asylum. On the 28th of January of 1899, it would appear, he was released as ''recovered'' from Wandsworth Asylum.

Unfortunately, that is where the story ends, without an ending because I don't know what happened to William next. I was also unable to find his wife/cousin Emma Townsend and their children, either before or after, the trial, so I don't know how they managed to survive. It was said he was a good husband and caring father and of sober habits. If anybody finds any ending, I would be most grateful to know of it.

[Father - Henry Townsend 1832 Kenilworth Warwickshire.
Mother - Martha Ann Townsend [nee Matthews 1828 Bonnington Warwichshire.
William Henry Townsend 1857 Sheffield Yorkshire.
Frank T Townsend [brother] 1867 Heeley Yorkshire.
Married Emma Townsend 1878 Ecclesall Bierlow Yorkshire.]

Alan

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Old May 2nd, 2015, 11:27 AM   #3
Debra Arif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Baird View Post
Unfortunately, that is where the story ends, without an ending because I don't know what happened to William next. I was also unable to find his wife/cousin Emma Townsend and their children, either before or after, the trial, so I don't know how they managed to survive. It was said he was a good husband and caring father and of sober habits. If anybody finds any ending, I would be most grateful to know of it.
Hi Alan
According to The Daily Mail he must have relapsed or done something else after his discharge from Wandsworth as recovered because they reported that William died in Broadmoor in 1930:

"William Henry Townsend, aged 73, a gunsmith who has died in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, threatened to kill Mr. W.R. Gladstone, then premier, in 1893, being obsessed with the idea that he was doing a service to the nation."
Daily Mail (London) , August 23, 1930,
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 12:06 PM   #4
Alan Baird
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Default great information

Hi Debra,

That is really interesting and has taken me by surprise.

William's father was a factory owner, employing some men, boys and girls and was probably reasonable financially secure. I just thought that when William was released, the family may have discreetly helped him to live somewhere in anaminity. [maybe spelt that wrong] Now at least I know the very ending of the story but hopefully I can find the rest.

thanks,
Alan.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 12:37 PM   #5
Alan Baird
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Default instability periods

I forgot to add some information that gives a better picture of what William Henry Townsend's life was like during these periods of instability. In March of 1882, he left his family, giving no notice and leaving them without means of support, to travel to Australia. Then within 1 year, he came home and took Emma and the children back to live in Australia. By July of 1888, Emma and the children returned to England on there own, as again had went missing. Nobody knows when he returned to England, sometime between 1888 and 1889 but he visited his father in October 1889 and was in a very poor condition. Later he joined Mr Liversedge's employment in the gun business and then they had approximately 3 years of stability. It was during these normal years that individuals have stated he was a good husband and father and the family appear well and happy. Obviously, after his conviction and imprisonment, that may have been the last straw for Emma and the children.
George Cuddy was, I believe, a Police Sergeant with 'P' Division during the 1888 period.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 12:49 PM   #6
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Courtesy of Robert Linford.







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Old May 2nd, 2015, 12:54 PM   #7
Robert Linford
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Thanks How.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 01:23 PM   #8
Robert Linford
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Debs, he's in Broadmoor in 1911 as 'WHT' aged 54, married, gunmaker, born Sheffield.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 02:39 PM   #9
Debra Arif
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Debs, he's in Broadmoor in 1911 as 'WHT' aged 54, married, gunmaker, born Sheffield.
Thanks for that, Robert.
The court calendars from 1893 have him to be detained at her Majesty's pleasure in Holloway.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 03:35 PM   #10
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I think in 1911 Emma was on her own except for one servant, living in Sheffield and working as a telephone operator for the National Telephone Company Ltd. This was apparently taken over by the GPO the following year, and her name appears in that year in their appointments database.
She died in 1940 and left 452 (admin to her daughter Annie Wingfield).
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