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Lloyds Weekly London Newspaper

(September 27, 1885)

The expectation that the preliminary proceedings to the Armstrong case would be concluded yesterday, caused the Bow-street police-court to be again thronged with an eager and anxious crowd. Among those on the bench were the Hon Auberon Herbert and Prof. Stuart, M.P.; while in the body of the court were Mrs. Josephine Butler, Miss Emma Booth, ,"Marechal of Paris;" Mrs. Bramwell Booth, Mrs. "Captain" Jones, and other prominent members of the Salvation Army. Rebecca Jarrett looked much better than she has done on previous occasions; and Mrs. Combe, who is said to be a rich widow, also bore a more cheerful aspect. The prosecution closed without any special incident, but when Mr. Stead rose to read his address, the scene became one of a very singular and exciting character. The endeavour of the defendant to read out passages of his long address while the magistrate was rapidly running his eye through the printed slips, was ludicrous in the extreme. Again and again was he stopped, but after taking counsel with Mr. G. Lewis, who stood near him, Mr. Stead went on with cool pertinacity. The climax was reached when he said that he had received from Madame Mourez a bottle of chloroform wherewith to lull his supposed victim to sleep. He put the bottle in in [sic] evidence; and Mr. Poland, accepting it, said that at the trial he would indict him for that offence also. The proceedings were over an hour and a half before the usual time, and as the police kept the street clear near the police-court, the whole of the defendants succeeded in getting quietly away. Mr. Stead walked out unobserved. After him Rebecca Jarrett was handed into a cab, an officer accompanying her. Another cab took off Madame Combe. Directly after Mr. Jacques walked quickly out of the station without being recognised. Lastly came Mr. Bramwell Booth. He had thrown off the Salvation Army uniform, and evidently under considerable anxiety he stepped into a cab, accompanied by a member of the Army in plain clothes, neither of them being recognised. The various witnesses having been bound over. [T]he case now stands for trial at the next sessions, of the Central Criminal court, to be held on the 19th of October.

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