Before you leave..

Hi. I hope you are finding the W.T. Stead Resource Site helpful. If so, please consider making a contribution to help me preserve this valuable resource for future researchers. As a subscription-free resource, this website depends on donations to help with the cost of development, hosting and historical research. Thank-you.

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) Mphil

Reasons to support this website..

A treasure trove of contemporary documentation..
Richard Webster - The Secret of Bryn Estyn: The Making of a Modern Witch Hunt

Mr. Webster's Opening Statement

The Old Bailey (October 23, 1885). Quoted in Alison Plowden, The Case of Eliza Armstrong: A Child of 13 Bought for £5 (1974)

It will be my duty, gentleman of the jury, on behalf of the Crown, to lay an outline of the facts of this case before you, as simply as I possibly can, in order to enable you to follow the evidence which will afterwards be given by the various witnesses. I will make one preliminary observation only, and that is to ask you to dismiss from your minds anything you may have heard or read about this case; because no one can doubt that the question involved has been much discussed on both sides in the public press and elsewhere. I am sure I shall have the concurrence of my lord, when I urge the jury to try this case only upon the evidence which may be given in the witness-box.

There are several indictments against the defendants, but at the present moment the accused are before you on one indictment simply. It is perfectly true that in the Police Court, other and perhaps more serious charges were preferred against them, but I have been most anxious that their mouths should not be closed, and that if they have any explanation to give which will be consistent with innocence in the eyes of the law, it shall be open to them to give it. Under the provisions of a recent statute, they will be able to give evidence themselves if they desire to do so, and therefore I have taken it upon myself to have them charged with what might be called the lesser offence. They are arraigned under the 55th section of the Act which provides that whosoever shall unlawfully take, or cause to be taken, any unmarried girl under the age of sixteen years out of the possession and against the will of her father or mother, or of any other person having the lawful charge or care of her, shall be guilty of misdemeanour

About this website

I founded this website in 2001 to assist me in my own research on W.T. Stead, little knowing then that it would become the largest online resource on Stead's life and career. Today this site is used by students, scholars and institutions around the world and has significantly contributed to the Study of W.T. Stead and the evils which he campaigned against. I hope you find it useful.

If you have a question that explicitly concerns any of the content on this website, feel free to Contact me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. However, please note that I no longer work in academia. With a very "busy" business to run, the time I can spare responding to enquiries through this website is finite, to say the least. So, please do not ask me to do research for you or assist in matters of family history.

Finally, though this website includes a section on Stead's obsession with spiritualism, I myself am not remotely interested in the subject. So, if you think you have seen Stead's ghost in your kitchen or believe you are the reincarnation of the great editor himself (or anyone else who died on the Titanic), I beg you not to tell me about it..

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) MPhil