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Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) Mphil

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

A Missing Daughter

The Pall Mall Gazette (July 13, 1885)

At Marylebone police-court on Saturday, a poor but apparently respectable woman renewed an application to Mr. Cooke for his advice in regard to her daughter, whom, she said, she had not seen or heard of since last May. A neighbour of hers, she informed the magistrate, asked her if she would like her daughter to go out to service, and that if she did she knew of a very nice situation. The girl was spoken to, and after some consultation the applicant was persuaded to consent to the girl going to the place, which was said to be at Croyden, the only condition being that an opportunity should be given her daughter, who was a fairly good scholar, to write home to her parents once a week. She left home to go to the lady at Croydon on Derby day, and she had not heard tidings of her since. Her neighbour had stated that she had received a letter from the girl's mistress and a sovereign, and that her daughter was quite well, but when she (applicant) wrote to her daughter at the address given, which was near Manchester, the letter was returned by the Post Office officials as "not known." Witness said her girl was only thirteen years of age, and after having read what had recently been published in an evening newspaper she greatly feared some harm had overtaken her daughter. Mr. Cooke: But do you mean to say that you let the girl go away with strangers without having made further inquiry than what you have just explained? Applicant: Well, sir, she said I should hear from her every week. Mr. Cooke: Then I consider it very great negligence on your part. You know you are the mother of the girl, and she is under age. By direction of the magistrate, Sergeant Carden (chief warrant officer) made inquiry into the matter, and subsequently reported that he had ascertained that the woman who had got the girl had been at one time a fellow-servant of the applicant's neighbour, that she had been in an infirmary, that the Charity Organization Society had helped her into a situation, and that she had since got married. The reason for the letter being returned by the Post Office was that it had been addressed to a place near Manchester instead of near Winchester, Mr. Cooke directed that the matter should be further inquired into.

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