Victorian London - Crime - Violence, murders and assaults - Alleged Murder in Spitalfields (James Rutter)

The Times, Wednesday, Mar 16, 1870


Yesterday Mr. John Humphreys, the coroner for East Middlesex held an inquiry at the Cook and Hoop public-house., Church-street, Mile-end New-town, into the circumstances attendant upon the death of James Rutter, who is alleged. to have been murdered in Bacon-street, Bethnal-green on Saturday last.
Ann Rutter said she was the wife of the deceased, and resided at 36, Canal-road, Kingsland. About half-past 8 o’clock on Saturday night she had a quarrel with Henry Parker, her brother, who lived in the same house. The deceased was in the house at the time but she did not know it. Parker insulted her and said dreadful things. Witness, not knowing that her husband was at home, went out to look for him. On her return she found Parker had left the place. She had not seen him since.
    Sarah Scudder, the mother of the previous witness, gave corroborative evidence.

    Francis Brockhill, of 3, York-road, St. Luke’s, said he was in the same employment as Parker. On Saturday they left work together about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. At 8 o’clock witness went with him to the house in Canal-road.
    An altercation then occurred between him and his mother and sister respecting some money. He ordered the latter to leave the room, but she refused to do so, saying that she had as much right there as he had, he then said something more to her, and she went out to fetch her husband. While she was away he swore, and ran to the cupboard for a knife. He said that if the deceased hit him he would stab him. Witness did not know what he took out of the cupboard. They then left to go to the Ship publichouse, in
Bacon-street, where a friendly meeting was to be held. On the way he said he wished that he had a white-handled knife which he had left in the cupboard. Before getting to the publichouse they saw the deceased, and Parker, as if to avoid him, went into a shop. After calling at a coffeehouse in the Bethnal-green-road they went to the tavern in Bacon-street. On looking in they saw the deceased and his brother in front of the bar. The deceased came out, and finding Parker there struck him in the face. Parker stumbled and nearly fell, but recovering himself he ran across the road. The deceased followed and struck him again. As he did so Parker said “Don’t hit me; let me have one word; listen to what I have to say.” The deceased, however, challenged him to fight, but Parker declined to stand up, and afterwards contrived to run across the road. The deceased went after him, and struck him a third blow. Parker then turned and dealt a full blow at him in the chest. Witness did not see anything in his hand. The deceased went into the publichouse, and put his hand to his chest. Witness heard him say, “‘Take me to the hospital; I have been stabbed; I know I shall die.” On getting outside he became faint and fell. Some persons lifted him up and carried him along the street. Before this he said, “ Harry Parker has stabbed me.” The latter ran away, and witness, not liking to stop there by himself, ran away also. He could not say in what state the deceased was. An hour before before he was quite sober.
Abel Rutter, brother of the deceased, said that he was with the latter on the evening in question, and went with him to his house. They remained there four or five minutes. Witness heard Mrs. Ratter crying, and the deceased, on having his attention called to it, ascertained something from her. He and witness then went to the Ship publichouse. The deceased said he should go upstairs and see if Parker was there, and, if so, ask him what he meant by insulting his wife. Parker, however, was not in the house, and the deceased left. Witness stayed behind for about half a minute to light a pipe. On his going out he saw the deceased being picked up from the road. Witness had heard no quarrel, and he was sure there not time for the occurrences referred to by Brockhill He rushed to the deceased, who then said, “I’m stabbed; I’m a dead man.” These were his last words.

The Times, Wednesday, Mar 23, 1870

ALLEGED MURDER IN SPITALFIELDS - Yesterday morning Mr. John Humphreys, the Coroner for East Middlesex, resumed, at the Cock and Hoop publichouse, Church-street, Mile-end New-town, his inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of James Rutter, who  is alleged to have been murdered by Henry Parker, his brother-in-law, on the night of the l2th Inst. Inspector Oeder, of the H Division, who watched the case on behalf of the police authorities, produced a small razor knife, which was found on the morning of the 13th about 80 yards from the spot where the deceased was stabbed. The finder did not think anything about it at first, but on reading the reports of the inquest he took it to the police-station. Subsequently, it was subjected to a microscopical examination by Dr. Letheby, who, however, was unable to discover any traces of blood upon it. The witnesses Scudder and Brockhill were recalled and asked whether they bad seen it before. Each replied in the negative. Brockhill added that be did not see the instrument with which the deceased was struck. No fresh evidence was forthcoming. The Coroner, in summing up, said the testimony already given would enable the jury to come to a verdict. To bring in a verdict of murder it was necessary that malice aforethought should be proved According to the evidence, Parker had said that ha would stab the deceased if the latter struck him. The jury, after ten minutes' deliberation, returned a verdict of "Wilful murder " against Parker, and recommended. that a reward should be offered for his apprehension.

Times, March, 1870