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following is a list of the killed :-Mary Ellen Sherwood, 16, domestic servant; Thomas Merchant, 18, baker; Eliza Lucas, 18; Patrick Donovan, 17; Alfred Ken, 18; Thomas Pearson, 21, shopman; Samuel Hill, 13; William Daves, 14 ; George Potter, 11 ; Henry Charles Vining ; Ellen Jones, 15; Sarah Ann Belbey, 18; Catherine Brewer, 16; Joseph Smith, 15; Charles Pring, 17; Elizabeth Hall, 60; William Samuel Alder, 21; Charles Tallot, 14. With one exception, that of Ellen Jones, who resided at Weston-super-Mare, all the persons identified lived in Bristol.
The Bristol Theatre had only been built three years ; and it was supposed that special care had been taken in its construction to provide for safe ingress and egress under all circumstances. It had received great crowds without an accident on many former occasions, and although it is easy to be wise after the event, the ample width and length of the passage might fairly justify the assumption that it would meet all demands upon its space. The theatre was reopened on the 29th, but only to a thin audience. The shock of what occurred will pass slowly away from the minds of those who might easily have themselves been victims.
There were many hair-breadth escapes. Several people were rescued from the crush by good Samaritans, who let down a rope from a roof that overhung the passage; but at last this rope was dragged away from its owners, thrown down, and trampled upon. So little sense of the great danger was there among the crowd that some persons whose actual companions were separated from them and killed succeeded in making good their own way into the theatre, and enjoyed the performance without any anxiety about the fate of those who were less fortunate.
30. TRIAL OF TROPMANN, THE PANTIN MURDERER.— The trial of Jean Baptiste Tropmann, known as the Pantin murderer, terminated in Paris in a verdict of guilty, and the prisoner was accordingly sentenced to death. The crimes of which Tropmann was convicted caused a thrill of horror throughout the whole civilized world; as well they might, for a more hardened and inhuman wretch has seldom, if ever, appeared at the bar of justice. The prisoner, who was not more than twenty, was indicted for the murder of no less than eight persons, as well as for crimes of lesser magnitude, such as forgery, &c. We give the following facts as they were proved at the trial :
Rather more than three months before, all Paris was electrified by the rumoured discovery of six newly-buried and scarcely cold bodies in a clover-field in the commune of Pantin. An agricultural labourer, when going to his work, had noticed that the earth was spattered with blood and brains, had found a human head lying but a few inches below the surface, and had forthwith informed the police, by whom the six corpses were speedily disinterred. These consisted of a woman and five small children. The woman had been killed by a blow from behind, but her body bore no fewer than thirty wounds. Two of her children had been strangled, but all appeared to have been slashed, and battered, and mangled, as if with the fury and malice of a demon. On inquiry it was found that the family-whose name was Kinck-had only the day before arrived from Roubaix, that the wife had inquired for her husband at the Hotel du Chemin de Fer du Nord, and had then gone, no one knew whither. A person who had been staying at the hotel, and who had given the name of Jean Kinck, had disappeared about the same time, and about him, for some days, no information could be obtained, though the accession of such a group of dead bodies made the Morgue by far the most popular of Parisian attractions. Three days after the first discovery, a man who called himself Fisch was arrested at Havre as a suspected person. He had been staying at different hotels, making sinister utterances, and trying to obtain fraudulent embarkation papers, in order to start for the United States. His answers to the gendarme were confused and unsatisfactory. On his way to the Procureur Imperial he almost successfully attempted to commit suicide, and when searched a number of the missing Jean Kinck's papers were found upon him. Clearly, the "suspect” had had something to do with the Pantin murder, which was just then making so much stir, and the conversations of his gaolers soon made him aware that he was to be interrogated with respect to them.
As soon as Tropmann (the soi-disant Fisch) heard this, he must have felt that his game was up.
But with consummate craftiness, he endeavoured to put the best face on a very suspicious-looking situation. The authorities scarcely believed that any single man could have committed such wholesale homicide, and their prisoner forth with turned their doubts to account. He had been present, he said, when Madame Kinck and her children met their deaths; nay, he had been in a measure the instrument of their murder. But at the worst he had been only an accessory. Jean Kinck, the head of the family, had doubted his wife's fidelity; had arranged with his son Gustave to leave France for America, and the two had taken their friend Tropmann into their confidence, with whose aid they had carried out the plan which they had contrived for murdering all the other members of the family. But this fiction was too flimsy to hang together after Gustave Kinck's body was found only a few yards from the place where his kinsfolk had been laid. Then came new subterfuges and fresh falsehoods, ending, however, in a confession that he had poisoned Jean Kinck with prussic acid, and had buried him in the environs of Watwiller, in Alsace, some time before despatching the other members of his family. Search was made, the body was found, and the solution of the mystery was at length complete.
The evidence at the trial showed that Tropmann had ingratiated himself in Kinck's favour, and wormed himself into his confidence, with the set and deliberate purpose to murder him, in order to gain possession of his property. With this view he had fostered Kinck's purpose of visiting Alsace, had accompanied him to Cernay, with his own hand had prepared the poison, which he afterwards poured into the wine flask he carried with him, handing it to Kinck at a moment when the two were in a secluded place, in which he might speedily get rid of the body of his first victim. Then began a system of fraud and forgery by which he induced Madame Kinck and her family to come up to Paris. Foiled in his endeavours to get one of Kinck's cheques cashed, he wrote to Madame Kinck, in her husband's name, telling her a story about an injury to his hand, which compelled him to employ Tropmann as amanuensis, and urging her to come speedily to the capital, where he would meet her. The poor woman, anxious about her husband, and eager to join him, took the fatal journey, and only narrowly missed her last chance of life. Tropmann had directed her to come by a particular train, and had promised to meet her at the station on its arrival. By an accident, however, she reached the terminus some hours earlier, and at once went to the hotel, expecting there to find her husband. Had Tropmann been in she would have found that he was passing under Kinck's name, and this suspicious fact might have led to the discovery
of the truth. But the soi-disant Kinck was out, and full of hope and confidence the family party set out to keep the tryst at the previously appointed hour. They met the man who had calmly resolved to take their lives. Without thought of evil, they accompanied him to Pantin, where the mother and the two youngest children got out, accompanying Tropmann to the place where the husband and father was supposed to be staying. They must have gone some little distance, for the coachman, engaged with the prattle of the remaining children, heard nothing to excite his attention. Only twenty minutes had elapsed when Tropmann returned, looking as cool as when he left, and yet in those twenty minutes he had committed three murders, and was bent on committing as many more, in addition to those of the father and his eldest son, both of whom had already fallen by his hand. In the presence of these facts, it is not to be wondered that even the ability and ingenuity of M. Lachaud, who defended the prisoner, failed to discover any ground of defence but that of insanity, which in such a case was but“ madness run mad.” Never has a criminal been brought to justice for whose offence there was less excuse or extenuation, and the Procureur did but express the sentiments of universal humanity when he urged that the punishment should be equal to the crime.
Tropmann was guillotined about three weeks afterwards.
EMINENT PERSONS DECEASED IN 1869.
A few weeks after his incarceration the
death of George III. occurred, in 1820, The Right Hon. Sir John Cam HOBHOUSE, by which Parliament was dissolved, and G.C.B., P.C., F.R.S., BARON BROUGHTON, he obtained his liberation. At the geneof Broughton de Gyffard, in the county of ral election of that year he was elected Wilts, and a Baronet, who died on the M.P. for Westminster. In February, 3rd of June at his town house in Berke. 1832, he entered Earl Grey's Govern. ley-square, was the son of Sir Benjamin ment as Secretary of War, which office Hobhouse, the first baronet, by his wife, he held till April, 1833. He was Chief Charlotte, daughter and heiress of Secretary for Ireland in April and May, Samuel Cam, Esq., of Chantry House, 1833 ; Chief Commissioner of Woods and Wilts. He was born June 27, 1786, and Forests in 1834, but resigned in Novem. educated at Westminster School and at ber of that year. He was President of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he the Board of Control from April, 1835, graduated in 1808. He was a most in- to September, 1841, and from July, 1816, timate friend of Lord Byron, and accom. to February, 1852. He was M.P. for panied the illustrious poet on his travels Westminster from 1820 to 1833; for in 1809, and was with him during his Nottingham from 1834 to 1847 ; and for first visit to Greece and Turkey. Mr. Harwich from 1848 to 1851. He was Hobhouse on his return home published made a P.C. in 1832, and a G.C.B. in an interesting narrative entitled “A 1852. He succeeded his father as second Journey through Albania.” He was baronet August 15, 1831, and was raised also author of “Imitations and Trans- to the peerage of the United Kingdom lations from the Classics, with Original as Baron Broughton de Gyffard February Poems ;” and “The Last Reign of Na. 26, 1851. His Lordship married Lady poleon.” To him Lord Byron dedicated Julia Hay, youngest daughter of George, the fourth canto of “Childe Harold." seventh Marquis of Tweeddale, and by Mr. Hobhouse took advanced Liberal her (who died April 3, 1835) had three views in politics, and was a zealous and daughters. unremitting advocate of Parliamentary Reform. His celebrated letter to Mr. Canning, which appeared in a news- THE EARL OF DERBY, K.G. paper of the day, was long remembered as one of the keenest of satires. In De- Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley, fourcember, 1829, he wag, in consequence of teenth Earl of Derby, who died at his the letter written by him, which con- residence at Knowsley, near Liverpool, tained some severe remarks on the con- on the 23rd of October, was born at duct of certain members of the House of Knowsley, on March 29, 1799, being the Commons, and which was declared a eldest son of the thirteenth Earl, then breach of privilege by that assembly, only called Lord Stanley. He was arrested and imprisoned in Newgate. educated at Eton, and at Christ Church College, Oxford, where he gained the for political office. When Čanning was Chancellor's prize for a Latin poem on authorized to form a Ministry, in 1827, “Syracuse,” but took no degree or that brilliant statesman, too Liberal for honours. His literary scholarship, his his old party, was deserted by the Eldon taste and knowledge of classical poetry, and Liverpool set of Tories and by the far surpassed the attainments of most Duke of Wellington, but was joined by University students. He had an equal several moderate Whigs, Lord Lansturn for oratory; and, while yet a boy, downe, Lord Goderich, Lord Dudley, would practise elocution under the direc. Lord Palmerston, and Mr. Stanley. tion of Lady Derby, his grandfather's Lord Goderich, afterwards Earl of Ripon, second wife, who had been a professional became Secretary for the Colonies, and actress. At twenty-two years of age he Mr. Stanley was Under-Secretary; but got a seat in the House of Commons as on the death of Canning, a few months M.P. for Stockbridge, in Hampshire, a afterwards, Lord Goderich undertook to small nomination borough, now defunct. be Prime Minister. The Colonial DeHe sat quite silent three or four years, partment was now taken by Mr. Hus. and made his first speech, a clever one, kisson; but Mr. Stanley did not find the in favour of a private Bill for the light- Government quite Liberal enough for ing of Manchester with gas. The readi. him. He was a strenuous advocate of ness and force of statement he showed Roman Catholic emancipation, of Par. on this occasion was noticed by Sir liamentary reform, reciprocity in free James Mackintosh, a good judge of trade, with a moderate fixed duty on speakers. Mr. Stanley's second speech corn, and the Liberal foreign policy of was in opposition to Mr. Joseph Hume's Mr. Canning. “I am convinced," he motion, on May 6, 1824, for the reduc. said, " that the old and stubborn spirit tion of the Irish Church Establishment of Toryism is at last yielding to the to some proportion with the services it liberality of the age--that the Tories of performed. He maintained that the the old school, the sticklers for inveteEstablishment was of great social use- rate abuses under the name of the wis. fulness, and that Church property was dom of our ancestors, the laudatores temas inviolable as any private property. poris acti, are giving way on all sides-His eloquence was praised by Plunkett. that the spirit which supported the Holy In that month of May the young politician Alliance, the friend of despotism rather married the Hon. Emma Bootle Wilbra- than the advocate of struggling freedom, ham, second daughter of Baron Skel. is hastening to the fate it merits, and mersdale, of Latham House, the owner- that all its attendant evils are daily be. ship of Latham having passed from the coming matters which belong to history Stanleys long before and gone to the alone." Such were the sentiments of Bootles. A foreign tour, extending to Mr. Stanley. From the autumn of 1828, the United States of America, in com. during the Administrations of Lord pany with the late Lord Taunton, then Goderich and the Duke of Wellington, Mr. Labouchere, and with another and until the accession of Lord Grey to gentleman, the present Speaker of the power, in 1830, Mr. Stanley remained House of Commons, took place a year or out of office. two later. In his subsequent life Lord In the Whig Ministry of that mo. Derby seldom cared to travel. He built mentous period, Mr. Stanley, then about himself a house called Stanley Lodge at thirty years of age, was a member of the Ballykisteen, in Tipperary, where he Cabinet, as Chief Secretary for Ireland. would stay three or four months at a He had lost his seat for Preston in spite time. He was fond of shooting and of the Derby local influence, being there walking about the country, but made defeated by Henry Hunt, the ultra-Radi. few Irish acquaintances, though his cal declaimer, in a fierce election congrandfather had large estates there. At test, and taking refuge in the Crown the general election of 1826 he gave up borough of Windsor. Mr. Stanley was his seat for Stockbridge, and was re- quite as earnest as Lord John Russell, turned for the borough of Preston, where and much more vehement, in his advo. the Earl of Derby owned almost every cacy of the Reform Bill. It is said that, house in the town. One of Mr. Stanley's when the House of Lords first rejected speeches of this period was against the the Bill, and a Tory Government was to Manchester and Liverpool Railway, be formed, he leaped upon the table at which traversed the Knowsley estates, Brookes's Club and harangued his politi. when he denounced railways as “a mad cal friends, proposing that they should and extravagant speculation.”