Friday, April 11, 2014

JUGEND — illustrations by Heinrich Kley

1 [1932] Cover design ‘Maskierte am Tisch’ (masked character at table), Vol. 37, Jugend, No. 5, p.65, January 26.

HEINRICH KLEY (1863-1945), pen-and-ink master from Munich, was a frequent contributor to the weekly papers Jugend (1897-1938, 231 times) and Simplicissimus (1908-44, 141 times in total). Part of his work was published in full-color. Two issues of Jugend contained mostly Kley art. In January 1910 the Carnival Special, Jugend No. 5, focused on his fantasy art. In 1915 the New Year’s Day Special, Jugend No. 1, put the spotlight on his industrial drawings and paintings. JUGEND (youth, subtitle: ‘Münchner illustrierte Wochenschrift für Kunst und Leben’ – Munich illustrated weekly for art and living) was published by ‘G. Hirth’s Verlag in München & Leipzig.’

2 [1910] Kieler Woche (Kiel Week – the annual sailing event in the city of Kiel), Vol. 15, Jugend, No. 5, p.99, page-wide drawing in the Carnival Special, January 29.
3 [1912] Der Fund im Winterwalde (discovery in wintry forest), Vol. 17, Jugend, No. 52, p.1597, full page of the ‘Weihnachts-Nummer’ – Christmas Special, December 21.
4 [1919] Adagio, Vol. 24, in Jugend, No. 46, p.1044, full page, November 11.
5 [1910] Luftschiffverkehr Isarathen – Oberammergau (a dream of airship travel between the Munich Königsplatz square, nicknamed ‘Isar Athens,’ and Oberammergau in the distant Bavarian Alps, site of famous Passion Plays; the station has seperated platforms, one for ‘Katholiken’ or Catholics, the other for ‘Freie Menschheit/Gemischter’ or Free Mankind/Mixed, further specified as ‘Protestant, Israeli, Methodist, Lutheran, Buddhist, etc. etc.’), Vol. 15, Jugend, No. 5, p.126, back page of the Carnival Special, with the publisher’s credits at the bottom, January 29.
6 [1911] Der Esel des Silen (Silenus’ donkey), Vol. 16, Jugend, No. 45, p.1201, full page, November 4.
7 [1911] Das Recht auf Erotik (the right to erotica), full page with a textual quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, Vol. 16, Jugend, No. 28, p.730, full page, July 8.
8 [1914] Der Sekt-Centaur (the bubbly wine centaur), Vol. 19, Jugend, No. 6, p.157, full page of the ‘Faschings-Nummer’ – Carnival Special, February 14.
9 [1918] Centauren-Balz (centaur mating season), Vol. 23, Jugend, No. 13, p.227, page-wide drawing, March 25.
10 [1910] Amazonen bei der Schiessübung im Lager Lechfeld (Amazons at the firing excercise in camp Lechfeld), Vol. 15, Jugend, No. 5, pp.100-101, center spread of the Carnival Special, January 29.
11 [1910] Cover design ‘Antiker Faschingsumzug nach München’ (classical carnival procession to Munich), Vol. 15, Jugend, No. 5, p.97, of the ‘Faschings-Nummer’ – Carnival Special, January 29.
12 [1938] Foxtrott, page-wide drawing, Vol. 43, Jugend, No. 5, p.73, February 1.
13 [1928] Der Pantoffel (the slipper), Vol. 33, Jugend, No. 8, p.117, February 18.
14 [1897] Cover design ‘Die Jugend breitet ihr Kleid aus’ (Jugend extends her dress), Vol. 2, Jugend, No. 13, p.201, March 27.
15 [1911] Carmagnole, full page with a poem by Karl Henckell, Vol. 16, Jugend, No. 42, p.1115, October 14.
16 [1915] Marktschreier Viviani (mountebank Viviani), Vol. 20, Jugend, No. 2, p.36, back page, January 7.
17 [1915] Torpedo-Boot im Bau (torpedo boat under construction), Vol. 20, Jugend, No. 1, p.7, full page of the New Year’s Day Special, the first in the Great War, January 1.

Our thanks to the

Simplicissimus & Jugend Project,
Ulrich Merkl,
Alexander Kunkel

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Purkess Family of Dean Street

1 [1848] ‘Dora Livingstone the Adultress; or, the Quaker City,’ by American author George Lippard.
“We cannot get out of the fact that the paper is sensational, but still, barring the sensational illustrations, there is nothing in the paper to which objection can reasonably be taken. And as to the illustrations, why the Illustrated London News and the Graphic now publish portraits of criminals and scenes of criminality, which they did not formerly do. If such a policy is not bad for them, it cannot be bad for me.” — George Purkess, Jun.

by Robert J. Kirkpatrick
THE NAME Purkess was associated with cheap and sensational periodical literature for a large part of the 19th century – George Purkess senior published around 20 penny-part serials between 1831 and his death in 1859, and his son George Purkess junior carried on the tradition, in the process becoming particularly well-known for his Illustrated Police News. Surprisingly, however, beyond details of some of their publications, very little has been written about the family, and the name of Purkess rarely appears in any of the studies on Victorian periodicals and in the biographies and memoirs of their contemporaries. 

It is now possible to tease out details using online census and other records (a harder task than might be imagined, given frequent transcription errors and, more importantly, the frequent use of the variant spelling of “Purkiss”), and as a result a surprisingly complex picture emerges.

2 [1848] ‘Tyburn Tree; or, the Mysteries of the Past,’ by J. Dicks, Esq. (James Lindridge), illustration by W.H. Thwaites.
George Purkess senior was born on 29 September 1801 in Westminster, London, the son of John and Mary Purkess. He had at least two brothers and one sister – John, born in 1800; Stephen, born in December 1804, died January 1809;  and Elizabeth, born in September 1807. He married Ann Elizabeth Atkinson in the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields on 15 June 1824. They went on to have at least seven children:  Mary Ann Purkess (born 29 December 1824, died January 1858), Eliza Atkinson Purkess (19 December 1826), Elizabeth Atkinson Purkess (1 February 1830), George James Purkess (10 February 1832), William Robert Purkess (6 August 1833), John Haven Purkess (born in 1836, died 1838), and Henry Purkess (5 July 1838).

The baptism records for these children show that between 1824 and 1830 George Purkess senior was a stationer living in Westmoreland Street, Marylebone; from 1830 onwards he was shown as a bookseller in Dean Street, Soho.

At around this time he also had premises at 61 Wardour Street, Soho. In September 1829, in partnership with William Strange and George Cowie, he launched the Monthly Theatrical Review, although this only lasted for four numbers, and in March 1831, in partnership with George Berger (who was operating out of Holywell Street) he launched The Satchel:  A Repository of Wit, Whimsies and What-not, which ran for just nine issues.

In October 1832, again in partnership with William Strange and George Cowie, plus five other publishers, he launched the Girls’ and Boys’ Penny Magazine, which ran until July 1833.

Another partnership, this time with a group of publishers including George Berger, William Strange and George Vickers, saw the Meteor, launched in May 1845 and which ran for just 3 numbers.

3 [1849] ‘Purkess’s Illustrated Works, Always in Print. In Penny Numbers.’
Between 1832 and 1860 he operated out of Old Compton Street, Soho, and then moved to 286 Strand. In the 1840s he began issuing penny bloods, including The Life and Adventures of Jack Rann (1845), Tyburn Tree, or The Mysteries of the Past (1848), The Life and Adventures of Jack Sheppard (1849), The Monk, A Tale of the Inquisition (1851), and Jack Cade, the Insurrectionist (1851). He also issued a Library of Romance and a series of 39 Penny Pictorial Plays in the late 1850s.

Ann Elizabeth Purkess died in 1839, aged 38, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. At the time of the 1841 census, George Purkess senior was recorded as a bookseller living in Dean Street, along with Mary Purkess, aged 16, and Anne Purkess, aged 18. This was, presumably, George’s niece, the daughter of John Purkess (see later).

Ten years after this, on 25 March 1851, in the parish if St. James, Westminster, George Purkess senior married Eleanor Hemmens, the daughter of Joseph and Esther Towers, born in Eton, Buckinghamshire in 1821 (baptised on 7 January 1821). She had previously married John Hemmens (born in 1816), on 24 December 1835, at Upton-cum-Chalvey in Buckinghamshire. They had two daughters:  Ellen Hemmens, baptised on 24 October 1836 at Eton, and Elizabeth Adelaide Hemmens, born in Eton in 1839.

In the 1841 census, John is living in Thames Street, Windsor, Buckinghamshire, shown as a picture dealer, along with an Ann Birch (aged 20), and his daughters Ellen and Adelaide. Eleanor was recorded (as Ellen) living in Eton High Street with her mother and her brother Alfred. Also recorded is a one-week old son, who had not yet received a first name. Born on 29 May 1841, he was later baptised Alfred Joseph Towers Hemmens at St. Anne’s Church, Soho, on 19 June 1842.

4 [1848] ‘Dora Livingstone the Adultress; or, the Quaker City,’ by American author George Lippard.
John Hemmens died and was buried in Upton-cum-Chalvey on 19 March 1851. His death enabled Eleanor to marry the man with whom she had been having an affair for the previous seven or eight years. On 3 January 1844 Eleanor and George, although unmarried, had had their first child, Henry Hemmens Purkess, who was baptised at St. Anne’s, Soho, on 6 February 1844. Eleanor was recorded as Ellen; George was shown as a bookseller in Dean Street. They had a second child, Emma Josephine Purkess, on 20 September 1845 — she was baptised at St. Martins-in-the-Fields, Soho.

The 1851 census shows an Elizabeth Hemmens, aged 38 and born in Yorkshire, occupying an address in Wellington Road, Upton-cum-Chalvey, along with daughters Ellen, aged 15, and Adelaide, aged 13, and a son, Arthur, 5 months. Who Elizabeth was is anyone’s guess, unless she was John Hemmens’s sister. Eleanor had, by then, married George Purkess, and the 1851 census shows the couple living at 60 Dean Street, with Eleanor recorded as Ellen. Also living there were George’s daughter Elizabeth, his sons George, William and Joseph (actually Alfred Joseph), his nephew Henry Purkess, and his niece Jane Purkess. Emma Josephine Purkess and her brother Henry were away at a small boarding school in Pamber, Hampshire, run by Mary Ann Smallbridge. Ten years later, Emma was a pupil at girls’ school in Sherborne, Dorset.

5 [1849] ‘The Life and Adventures of Jack Sheppard.’
At some point, George Purkess senior entered into partnership with his son George, operating out of Old Compton Street, Soho, and 85 Salisbury Street, Marylebone, as George Purkess and Son, Booksellers and Publishers. This partnership was dissolved by mutual consent in June 1856.

George Purkess senior died three years later, at 60 Dean Street, on 28 May 1859 (not 1862 as most other sources state), leaving an estate worth just under £1,000 (around £85,000 in today’s terms). Eleanor was the sole executor and the sole beneficiary. When she died, at 60 Dean Street on 6 December 1869, her sole executor was the publisher Edward Lloyd. The business passed to her sons, Alfred and Henry.

George Purkess junior was, as shown above, born on 10 February 1832 in Soho, and baptised George James Purkess. At the time of the 1841 census he was away at a small boarding school, run by Joseph Stansbury, in St. Matthew’s Road, Bethnal Green, along with his brother William. (One of the other five pupils was an Edward Lloyd, aged 6, who may well have been the eldest son of the publisher Edward Lloyd.)

6 [Aug 1889] ‘G. Purkess’s Publications.’
In 1851, he was living with his father in Dean Street. After the dissolution of their partnership, George Purkess junior took a new partner, Arthur Harding Walters, opening a wholesale stationers and newsagents at 16 St. Albans Place, Edgware Road. This partnership was dissolved, by mutual consent, in June 1864, with Harding acquiring all the assets, stock and debts. A few months later, on 29 November 1864, Walters married the 19 year-old Emma Josephine Purkess, George’s step-sister.

“One of the leading features in these second-rate newsvendor’s windows – perhaps the leading feature, and certainly the object to which it is the special desire of the present writer to draw attention – is always a great broadsheet of huge coarsely executed wood-cuts, representing, in a style of art the badness of which has never been surpassed in any period of our civilisation, every kind of violent and murderous act, every foul and diabolical crime, every incident marked by special characteristics of noisomeness, horror, or cruelty, which the annals of the week preceding the publication day of this grievous sheet have furnished for the benefit of the morbidly disposed part of the British public.” – ‘Nothing Like Example’, All the Year Round, May 30, 1868

7 [Mar 8, 1879] ‘Peace’s Dream the Night before his Execution.’
In the meantime, George Purkess junior had launched Purkess’s Penny Library of Romances in January 1863, and in 1865 he took over the Illustrated Police News, which had been launched on 20 February 1864, published by John Ransom at 83 Fleet Street and apparently owned by Messrs. Lee and Bulpin. In her book Cruel Deeds and Dreadful Calamities:  The Illustrated Police News 1864-1938 (British Library, 2011), Linda Stratmann speculates that Lee was actually Henry Lea, a publisher of periodicals and penny-part serials then operating out of 112 Fleet Street. Bulpin was probably Edwin Bulpin, a leather manufacturer of 130 Fleet Street and 36 King William Street.

Lee and Bulpin appear to have severed their connection with the paper in 1865, followed by John Ransom, although George Purkess was not named as the new proprietor-publisher until November 1865. Surprisingly, this was only six months after Purkess had been through the bankruptcy court – operating out of 43 Albert Street, Camden Town, and described as a newspaper proprietor, he had signed, on 12 May 1865, a deed of composition to pay five shillings in the pound to his creditors.

Purkess went on to launch the Illustrated Police Gazette in 1867, and in 1870 he began issuing the series Books for the Million, some of which had previously been published by his father in the 1850s. In 1871 he launched the Halfpenny Police Gazette which was incorporated into the Illustrated Police News after only six numbers, and also in the 1870s he issued a handful of penny-part serials, including The Life and Recollections of Calcraft the Hangman (1871), Charles Peace, or the Adventures of a Notorious Burglar (1879-81), and Florence Maybrick:  A Thrilling Romance (1889).

8 [Jul 27, 1889] The Illustrated Police News, masthead.
In March 1885 he launched the short-lived Family Doctor and People’s Medical Adviser (26 numbers). His office addresses during this period were 83 Fleet Street up until 1865, 274 Strand between 1865 and 1868, 286 Strand from 1868 to 1890, and 34 Catherine Street from 1890 until 1892.

There appears to be no trace of George Purkess junior in the 1861 census, but on 2 July 1864 he married Elizabeth Ward Coham, a widow born in 1834, at All Souls Church, Marylebone. She had previously been married (in 1860 – her maiden name was Elizabeth Ward Walke) to John Harding Coham, a surgeon, who had died in December 1862.

In 1871, George and Elizabeth were living at 12 Gloucester Crescent, Marylebone, with two servants. Ten years later, they had moved to 25 Avenue Road, Marylebone, now employing three servants. Elizabeth Purkess died the following year, on 1 September 1882, leaving a personal estate worth just under £2,000 (around £170,000 in today’s terms).

9 [May 7, 1877] ‘Buffalo Bill.’
George remarried on 19 January 1886, his second wife, Emily Elliot, having been born in Lambeth in 1855. They had already had a daughter, Emily Maude, born on 1 December 1879, when George’s first wife was still alive, although she wasn’t baptised until 12 January 1887, at Christ Church, North Brixton, Lambeth, with the family’s address shown as 107 Gower Street.

Later that year, Purkess bought 77 Gower Street, while keeping the property in Avenue Road. The 1891 census shows him (described as a newspaper proprietor) living at 77 Gower Street with his wife, daughter and three servants (one of whom was a nurse, presumably caring for George who by then was in poor health).

George died from tuberculosis the following year, on 10 December 1892, at 25 Avenue Road, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. He left an estate valued at just over £10,000, worth around £900,000 in today’s terms. As well as leaving all his personal property (including carriages and horses) to his wife, his will stipulated that his executors (his wife and William Moult, a banker’s clerk) were to dispose of his business, investing the money raised to provide an income to be shared between his wife (two-thirds) and his daughter (one-third). He also left all his freehold and leasehold property to his wife, although no addresses were given.

His wife died on 5 November 1896 at 3 Chalcott Terrace, Regent’s Park Road, Marylebone, having apparently squandered most of her inheritance, and leaving an estate of just £379.

10 [1871] “To the Editor of ‘The Times.’”
George Purkess senior’s brother John Purkess married Elizabeth Sarah Jenkins, born in 1796, at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on 10 September 1820. They went on to have eight children:  Elizabeth Sarah Jenkins Purkess (born 14 July 1821), Ann Purkess (21 September 1822), John Edward (24 August 1824), Amelia Ruth (17 May 1826), Henry William (4 February 1828), Louisa (6 July 1830), Mary Ann (16 November 1831 - died on 5 April 1835, ten days after her baptism), and Jane Mary (17 November 1834).

They were all baptised in Marylebone – John’s occupation was given as “Trade” between 1821 and 1824, Stationer in 1828, Clerk in 1830, and Music Seller in 1826, 1834 and 1835. In the baptism records after 1826, his address was given as 10 Grove Street, Marylebone.

By the time of the 1841 census, the family had moved to Devonshire Street, Lisson Grove, Marylebone – John Purkess senior was not shown as having an occupation, while his son John Edward was shown as a hatter.

John Purkess senior died two years later, and was buried in St. Mary’s, Paddington Green, on 9 April 1843. His wife died twelve years later, having moved to Salisbury Street, and was buried in the same churchyard.

11 [Mar 1, 1879] ‘Charles Peace; or, the Adventures of a Notorious Burglar,’ No. 42.
John Edward Purkess appears to have followed a rather erratic career path – in 1851 he was shown in the census records as a carpenter, living in a lodging house at 36 Nutford Place, Marylebone, and in 1861 he was living with his wife Maria and son Walter at 85 Salisbury Street, and shown as a stationer, presumably working with George Purkess junior. However, John and Maria were not married, although they did eventually marry on 12 March 1866, at St. James the Great, Bethnal Green.

Maria was Maria Lucy, born around 1829. Walter had been born around 1847. There appears to be no record of his birth or baptism, but there is a curious marriage record, at Christ Church, Marylebone, dated 19 September 1864, for a Walter Purkess and a Jane Owens. Walter was shown as living in Salisbury Street, and Jane in Devonshire Street. Walter’s father was John Purkess, but his profession was shown as Wheelwright. Furthermore, both Walter and Jane were shown as “of full age” (i.e. over 21), although Walter would only have been around 17 or 18.
12 [Feb 15, 1879] ‘Peace and the Jew Fence,’ cut in The Illustrated Police News.
There appears to be no trace of the family in the 1871 census, but in 1878 or 1879 they moved from 85 Salisbury Street to 13 Salisbury Street, with John still in business as a newsagent. His name had disappeared from the Post Office Directory in 1881, although the census for that year shows John and Maria living at 13 Salisbury Street, John now having become a Broker’s Assistant. He died later that year, with his wife dying in 1882.

John Edward’s brother, Henry William Purkess, born in 1828, spent all of his life working in the Purkess family business. In 1851, he was living with George Purkess senior, his uncle, at 60 Dean Street, presumably working for him although no occupation was given in the census record. In 1861 he was living with Alfred Purkess, his cousin, at 60 Dean Street, described as a publisher’s assistant.

There appears to be no trace of him in the 1871 census, but in 1881 he was recorded living at 135 Marylebone Road, described as a publisher. Also living with him were his wife, Harriet (born in Islington around 1828), and their daughter Amy, born in 1866. (Unfortunately, there appears to be no trace of either a marriage record or a record for Amy’s birth.)

They later moved to Balcombe Street, Marylebone, where Henry died in 1891. Harriet died in Marylebone in 1909.

In the meantime, Alfred Joseph Purkess, having changed his name from Alfred Joseph Towers Hemmens, and his brother Henry Hemmens Purkess, had taken over the business established by George Purkess senior following his death in 1859.

13 [Oct 12, 1867] ‘The Alton Murder,’ advertised in The Illustrated Police News.
The 1861 census shows them occupying 60 Dean Street, both described as publishers. Also in the household were Alfred’s cousin Henry;  Esther Towers (i.e. Alfred’s grandmother), a visitor;  and one servant.

Two years later, on 10 September 1863, Alfred Joseph, using the name Alfred Joseph Towers Hemmens, married Emily Charlotte Pratchett (born in London around 1825) at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Soho. They went on to have four children: Reginald (born 1865), Henry (born 1867), Lizzie Emily (born 1870), and Edwin (born 1871).

In 1871, the head of the household at 60 Dean Street was shown as Joseph Purkess, a bookseller (i.e. Alfred Joseph). With him were his wife Emily, along with three of his children; Henry Purkess, Joseph’s brother, described as a bookseller; and two servants.

14 [Dec 14, 1878] ‘A Man Mistaken for an Escaped Gorilla,’ cut in The Illustrated Police News.
The partnership between Alfred and Henry Purkess went into voluntary liquidation in May 1875, with the notice in the London Gazette referring to “the affairs of Alfred Joseph Towers Hemmens and Henry Purkess”. Amongst their publications had been the penny-part serial The Monk (36 numbers), and a series of Purkess’s Penny Pictorial Plays, which included adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin;  Ivanhoe, or The Jew’s Daughter;  Mazeppa, or The Wild Horse of Tartary; Obi, or Three-Fingered Jack;  and The Motto, or The Hunchback of Paris.

According to Linda Stratmann, Alfred and Henry then emigrated to South Africa, possibly accompanied by William Robert Purkess. William, who was living with his father in Dean Street in 1851, appears to be absent from all the succeeding census records. Neither is there a record of him dying.

On 28 August 1856 George Purkess junior’s sister Elizabeth Atkinson Purkess married Charles Shurey at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Shurey was a licensed victualler, born in Thame, Oxfordshire, in 1827. They went on to have five children:  Annie (born 8 November 1857), Charles (born 8 May 1859), Harry (born 1 November 1860), George Arthur (born 1862), and Frank (born 20 May 1864. died the following year). In 1861, Shurey, Elizabeth and three of the children were living at 28 Leigh Street, St. Pancras.

15 [Dec 14, 1878] ‘Three Days at Sea on a Chest,’ cut in The Illustrated Police News.
At the time of the 1871 census, Shurey was the landlord of the “Lord Palmerston” at 60 Hampstead Road, St. Pancras, but by 1881 he had taken over the business at 60 Dean Street left by Alfred and Henry Purkess. The census return for that year records him occupying 59 & 60 Dean Street, described as a Publisher and Stationer employing six men and three boys, with his wife, three sons Charles, Harry and George (all shown as Assistant Stationers), along with Henry Purkess, Elizabeth’s brother, who had been born in 1838, and two servants. Henry was also described as an Assistant Stationer.

Charles Shurey died on 20 May 1881, a few weeks after the census was taken. He left a personal estate worth £5,271 (just under half a million pounds in today’s terms). His will, for which his wife and George Purkess junior were executors, stipulated that his business at 60 Dean Street should continue until his youngest son, George Arthur, reached the age of 21 (in 1883). His three sons therefore carried on running the business, which still had the name Purkess & Co., until November 1883, when their partnership was dissolved by mutual consent.

16 [1874] ‘The Whitechapel Tragedy.’
Charles Shurey junior continued running the business, still using the name Purkess & Co. – he is recorded in the 1891 census at 60 Dean Street, described as a newsagent, alongside his wife Laura, a servant and a shop boy. George returned to the licensed trade, becoming a publican. Charles and Harry also launched their own publishing careers, initially independently but later in partnership as Shurey’s Publications, at 2 & 3 Hind Court, 17 Tudor Street, and later 1 Farringdon Avenue.

In 1892 a new company was formed, wholly independent of both the Purkess and Shurey families, to take over the Dean Street business. A consortium of seven men, led by George Lyon Bennett, a former Secretary of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, formed Purkess & Company, Limited, with a share capital of £12,000, divided into 12,000 £1 shares.

It was incorporated on 4 July 1892, operating out of 60 Dean Street, with Bennett as the Managing Director. It took over the remains of the 21 year lease which had been taken out on 60 Dean Street in 1883, as well leases on Nos. 6 and 7 Southampton Mews, Holborn, also part of the old company’s assets. Bennett was initially the majority shareholder, holding 6,997 shares, with a W.E. Mcleod holding 4,998.

17 [Aug 1889] ‘Florence Maybrick, A Thrilling Romance.’
Bennett appears to have quit the company in 1894, with the Hon. Montague Charles Francis Bertie named as Managing Director and a new majority shareholder. But in March that year a receiver was appointed following a court order obtained by the company’s creditors. In April 1896 the receiver notified the Companies Registration Office that the business, now officially at his office at 66 Coleman Street, Moorgate, was not being continued, although he was still acting in an official capacity.

In November 1897 he wrote again saying that some debts were still to be collected and some assets were still to be distributed. The company was finally dissolved by notice in the London Gazette on 17 June 1898.

It is not known when Henry Purkess died, but Elizabeth Shurey, after living at 113 Oxford Street for a while, died on 18 December 1895, at 13 Clarendon Villas, Hove, Sussex, leaving an estate worth just £373. The Purkess publishing dynasty had come to an end.

— an Interview with George Purkess, Jun. — is HERE.

18 [1879] ‘Marwood the Hangman,’ cut in The Illustrated Police News.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Protest and Propaganda

“EVERY NEGRO in the South knows that he is under a kind of sentence of death; he does not know when his turn will come, it may never come, but it may also be at any time.” – John Dollard, Caste and Class in a Southern Town, 1937
Protest and Propaganda; W.E.B. Du Bois, the Crisis, and American History, edited by Amy Helene Kirschke & Phillip Luke Sinitiere, 270 pages, 6.125 x 9.25, 32 illus., index, University of Missouri Press 2014

Daniel Coit Gilman, the founder of the oldest university press in the United States (1878) defined the role of the university press role as “to advance knowledge, and to diffuse it not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures – but far and wide.” The University of Missouri Press, founded in 1958, has just published a notable example of advanced knowledge diffusion with Protest and Propaganda, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History containing ten essays by a diverse set of contributors with background in History, African-American Studies, Art History, English, Political Science, Biblical Studies and Communications Arts & Sciences. 

Modern technology allows the reader to augment the essays by online study of archived runs of The Crisis on digital libraries. Copies from the 1910s and 20s can be browsed at HathiTrust and Open Library. Contemporary issues are available at Google Books.

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was the founder, editor and chief writer of The Crisis; A Record of the Darker Races, a Negro magazine begun November 1, 1910,which made use of “positive propaganda,” verbal and visual, to fight for black civil rights in a white supremacist society. Du Bois guided The Crisis through World War 1 and left the magazine 1n 1934. It was envisioned primarily as a newspaper, also a historical record of the brutal suffering of blacks under Jim Crow, mob violence and lynching.

The Crisis,Vol 10, No 2, June 1915 
The essays speak to a variety of interests including philosophy, propaganda in art and text, the Great War, women’s suffrage, religion, prophecy and The Crisis children’s page. The articles are as follows.

1  W.E.B. Du Bois and Positive Propaganda – A Philosophical Prelude to His Editorship of The Crisis

2  W.E.B. Du Bois as Print Propagandist

3  Art in Crisis during the Du Bois Years

4  “We Return Fighting” – The Great War and African American Women’s Short Fiction

5  W.E.B. Du Bois and The Crisis of Woman Suffrage

6  The Crisis Children’s Page, The Brownies’ Book, and the Fantastic

7  God in Crisis – Race, Class, and Religion in the Harlem Renaissance

8  W.E.B. Du Bois’s Prophetic Propaganda – Religion and The Crisis, 1910-1934

9  The Crisis Cover Girl – Lena Horne, Walter White, and the NAACP’s Representation of African American Femininity

10   The Crisis Responds to Public School Desegregation

A catalog of University of Missouri Press books can be browsed HERE.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Dancing School by Heinrich Kley

Dancing Teacher, Elephant, Crocodile…

Simplicissimus-Bilderbogen, single-sheet comic strips, were regularly published by Albert Langen in his Simplicissimus before World War I. Most of these comic pages were drawn by Thomas Theodor Heine and Olaf Gulbransson. Heinrich Kley (1863-1945), pen-and-ink master, was a frequent contributor to the weekly papers Jugend (1897-1938, 231 times) and Simplicissimus (1908-44, 141 times.) Kley also drew at least one of the Simplicissimus-Bilderbogen. This two-page example was Number 5 and inserted in Volume 16, Number 51, May 18, 1912. Its title ‘Die Tanzschule,’ translates to The Dancing School. The text in rhyme was written by Karl Borromäus Heinrich (b.1884).

[1] front
[2] back

Ein Krokodilweib kokettierte
Mit einem Elefantentier,
Teilweise wohl aus Lust am Flirte —
Doch grösernteils aus Bildungsgier.

Our thanks to the
Simplicissimus Project

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Strange History of Spring-Heeled Jack (2)

1886 — Spring-Heeled Jack, the Terror of London No. 26, by the author of Turnpike Dick, the Star of the Road, London: Charles Fox, 48 numbers

by John Adcock

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” — Shakespeare

“The Antiquary brings his treasures from remote ages and presents them to this; he examines forgotten repositories, calls things back into existence, counteracts the effects of time, collects the dust of departed matter, moulds it into its pristine state, exhibits the figure to view, and imports it with a kind of immortality.” — William Hutton, 1839

“The condition of an Author, is much like that of a Strumpet… and if Reason be required, Why we betake ourselves to so Scandalous a Profession as Whoring or Pamphleteering, the same exclusive Answer will serve us both, viz. that the unhappy circumstances of a Narrow Fortune, hath forc’d us to do that for our Subsistence, which we are much asham’d of.” A Trip to Jamaica, by Ned Ward, 1698

MORNING NEWSPAPERS. In England in 1837 telegraphs and telephones did not exist. Evening reading was mostly done by candlelight. The streets were lit by gas which could appear quite dim on a misty day. Messages were sent by street-messengers or by the two-penny post, parcels were sent by foot or by coach. The railroads were in operation, but not one route had been completed by 1838. There were seven daily morning newspapers; the circulation leader was the Times, followed by the Morning Chronicle, Morning Post, Morning Herald, Morning Advertiser, and the Public Ledger. Many proprietors published an evening edition as well.

A harried subeditor had to rely on his own gut instinct as to the veracity of the penny-a-liner reports deposited overnight in the newspaper mailbox. Fraudulent reporting was not uncommon in the scribbler’s subculture. The Waterloo Bridge Mystery of early October 1857 is a perfect example; human remains discovered in a carpet bag caused a newspaper sensation. It turned out to be a manufactured hoax by a “well known penny-a-liner,” low in funds during a slow news period.

STEEL JACK. On December 23, 1837, Parliament was prorogued by the Queen to the sixteenth of January. While parliamentary reporters were paid leave through the holiday, the penny-a-liners were left to their own resources. Five slow news days later, on December 28, 1837, the Morning Chronicle reported that “some scoundrel, disguised in a bear-skin, and wearing spring shoes, has been seen jumping to and fro before foot passengers in the neighborhood of Lewisham…”

EFFECTS OF ARISTOCRATIC EXAMPLE. For the last two or three nights several “larks,” as they are called, have been played off at Greenwich, and which are assigned by rumour to certain parties who have recently figured before the public in an unenviable character. Among other pranks these persons demolished a valuable statue placed in the garden of Mr Collins, painter, in Blisset Street. Crackers were also attached to the door of Mr Painter, of No.16, Royal-hill, at midnight, and set fire to, and the noise occasioned by them seriously alarmed the family, who had retired to rest. The fellows, it is stated, next attempted to remove the sign board at the Fox and Hounds, No.8, Royal-hill. It is likewise currently reported that some scoundrel, disguised in a bear-skin, and wearing spring shoes, has been seen jumping to and fro before foot passengers in the neighborhood of Lewisham, and has in one or two instances greatly alarmed females. This feat, it is said, is to decide a wager; he having undertaken to play off these freaks for a number of nights in nine different parishes without being apprehended. A sharp look out, however, is being kept after him, and there is little doubt that he will be the loser. He has been named STEEL JACK by the inhabitants of Lewisham, many of whom are afraid to leave their houses after dark. 

THE MARQUIS OF WATERFORD. The headline could only have referred to the waggeries of Lord Waterford and his drink-sodden companions, Edward Horner Reynard, Sir Frederick Johnstone, the Hon. Mr. Villiers, and Captain Grantham, who lived for perpetrating the drunken ‘larks’ described. Waterford’s drunken exploits in April, 1837 had been reported in all the London newspapers and at the time of the ‘Steel Jack’ report he was said to be residing in London. This newspaper column, which clumsily mixed two separate stories, was to bond Waterford and Spring-Heeled Jack together in the public mind forever. Other than newspaper innuendo no evidence backs up the theory, but I have found another suspect and the evidence against him is much more compelling.



The first section of this story is straightforward enough, with dates and addresses, but the second part contains no facts that can be checked. In fact it merely resuscitates the old story reported in the New Times (London) on January 16, 1826, under the heading REMARKABLE GHOST, wherein the ghost, clad in steel armour and a pair of spring boots vaulted over a ten-foot wall. That report was superseded by the account in Pierce Egan’s Life in London in 1825 which reported on the New Hammersmith Ghost who was supposedly a nobleman’s son who carried on his pranks for a wager. The ‘steel’ in ‘Steel Jack’ reflected the ghost’s appearance in armour. The writer had a long memory.

THE SUBEDITOR. The most important job on a daily newspaper like the Morning Chronicle, where Steel Jack made his debut, belonged to the subeditor, “the real heart and centre of the great machine whose influence is felt all over England.” The tasks of the subeditor began about seven o’clock in the evening and ended when the newspaper was “put to bed” between four and five o’clock in the morning, for “midnight is the noon of the daily paper office.”

he it is who knows the night before what the paper of the next morning is going to contain; who decides whether the ‘copy’ which poor Flimsy the penny-a-liner has dropped into the box with fear and trembling an hour before, shall be accepted and paid for, or flung carelessly into the wastebasket; who writes the short, stinging notes at the end of letters of disagreeable or wearisome correspondents… who compiles the readable summaries of the day’s news… and under whose direction the whole of that vast array of close reading, the law reports, accounts of meetings, accidents, ceremonies, and races, letters from foreign correspondents, and miscellaneous items of information which made up the bulk of every modern newspaper, are gathered together, condensed, digested, and arranged…” ‘Scissors and Paste’, in Chambers’s Journal No. 207, December 14, 1867

FLIMSY. In order to make up five or six copies the penny-a-line author used a ‘flimsy’ made of silver paper and lined with oiled tissue, which was written on once with a stylus made of polished agate or ivory. Flimsy was greasy to the touch and subeditors frequently resorted to hand-washing during a shift. The subeditor was also responsible for trimming the verbosity of the liners ramblings from a column to a few lines. The liner’s long-winded ‘English’ was adopted in order to receive as large a price for the copy as possible. “On an average not one-tenth of the mass of ‘flimsy’ manuscripts received every night by the subeditors of the morning papers is accepted and printed.”




The major news departments consisted of six departments although the employees sometimes worked for more than one department. The typographical department was made up of about sixty compositors, the commercial department handled supplies, advertising, management and accounts, and the reporting department was made up of parliamentary reporters, police reporters, and penny-a-liners. Foreign correspondents had a department to themselves and it was one of the most expensive to manage. The Editorial department included editors, subeditors, and authors of leaders, articles on fine arts, literature, and drama. The sixth department was general, consisting of day and night porters, messengers, assistants, couriers employed on Foreign Service and labourers.

SENSATIONAL STORIES. Searches through all issues of that week show that sensational unsubstantiated stories like that of Steel Jack were not commonly printed by the Morning Chronicle. Thursday’s paper ran to four pages. Six cases of crime were brought before the courts, a few drunks, a case of bigamy, one burglar, an embezzler, an assault, and the capture of a smuggling vessel on the Thames River. Friday’s edition featured another four pages with coverage of five petty crimes ranging from shoplifting to forgery. There was no follow-up to the Steel Jack story or the aristocratic pranksters on Friday or Saturday and the Morning Chronicle didn’t publish on the last day of the year, Sunday, December 31, 1837.

So near the end of December 1837, a strange being, known as ‘Steel Jack,’ later to be dubbed ‘Spring-Heeled Jack,’ was reported to be haunting the suburbs of London alarming females. The first mention, in the Morning Chronicle, tossed ‘Steel Jack’ off as an afterthought to a notice of pranks known to be played by the sporting gentry. The West Kent Guardian reprinted the Morning Chronicle column on December 30, 1837. On January 6, 1838, the Guardian published another scoffing account under the headline ‘Spring Jack.’ He was to be seen “day and night, at the corner of every lane, street, and road…”

THE MORNING CHRONICLE. The Morning Chronicle was a Liberal newspaper owned by Sir John Easthope, a stockbroker, and two others, Simon McGillivray, and James Duncan. The editor was John Black. The Morning Chronicle branched off with an evening paper titled the Evening Chronicle on January 31, 1835. The subeditor of the Morning Chronicle on December 23, 1837 was John Payne Collier, Shakespearean scholar, antiquarian, barrister, and parliamentary reporter.

…the premier literary scholar in London…
JOHN PAYNE COLLIER. John Payne Collier (1789-1883) was born January 11, 1879, the year of French Revolution. He was a research scholar who contributed to the publications of the Camden Society, the Percy Society, and the Shakespeare Society. The Percy Society collected ballads, songs, plays, and popular literature of ancient times. By 1850 J.P. Collier was celebrated as the premier literary scholar in London.

John Dyer Collier, his father, worked as a penny-a-liner filling the columns of periodicals and newspapers. He was the editor of The Monthly Register in 1802 The prosperity of the family had its ups and downs moneywise but the family home was host to Henry Crabb Robinson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb, and William Hazlitt as well as John Dyer’s colleagues in newspaper journalism. The boy John Payne helped keep the family by colouring engravings (possibly for the Cruikshank family manufactory) and at fifteen, after mastering shorthand, joined his father as a penny-a-liner. Old Dyer was hired by The Times and Payne became his paid assistant aged fifteen (1805). He learned his journalism firsthand from parliamentary and police reporters and counted among his friends Charles Dickens, George Cruikshank and Thomas Hood. 

ANTIQUARIAN BOOKS. It was then he had his first introduction to antiquarian books in the bookshop of Thomas Rodd, a friend of John Dyer’s. Seven years later (1812) the young journalist left The Times for the Morning Chronicle. Three years later (1815) he was back at The Times as Parliamentary reporter. He was dismissed mid-1823 by Thomas Barnes and returned to the Morning Chronicle until 1847. He was the subeditor of the Morning Chronicle from October 16, 1837, until May 1838 when he was replaced by Thomas Fraser. By 1850 John Payne Collier was celebrated as the premier literary scholar in London.

THE OLD CORRECTOR. On January 31, 1852, in The Athenaeum, Collier announced a startling find, a Shakespeare Second Folio dated 1632 corrected by a mid-seventeenth century hand. It became known as the ‘Perkins folio’ based on an owner’s inscription on the cover and was published in one volume in 1853 and in six volumes in 1858. Collier blundered by presenting the original annotated manuscript to the duke of Devonshire in 1853. The manuscript was then loaned to the British Museum in May 1859 where it was carefully examined by Frederic Madden, keeper of manuscripts, assisted by N.E.S.A. Hamilton and Nevil Maskelyne. John Payne Collier’s sterling reputation would come crashing down in July 1859 when Hamilton published the results of his examination of the folio in The Times.

“It turned out that the old corrector was a modern myth. He had first made his corrections in pencil, and in a modern hand, and then he had copied them over in ink, and in a forged ancient hand. The same word sometimes recurred in both handwritings. The ink, which looked old, was really no English ink at all, not even Ireland’s mixture. It seemed to be sepia, sometimes mixed with a little Indian ink.” ‘Literary Forgeries,’ in Books and Bookmen, Andrew Lang, 1886 

FABRICATIONS. It is now well known that his literary fabrications go back as far as 1831 with the publication of a History of English Dramatic Poetry and Annals of the Stage, in which according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography “fabrications of historical evidence and documentary text are interspersed in an otherwise meticulous and original scholarly work.”



FACT. J.P. Collier was working for The Times on December 7, 1809, when they published the account of the man with the curry comb headlined MONSTER.

FACT. J.P. Collier was a reporter on the Morning Chronicle on December 31, 1824, when an account was published under the headline THE HAMMERSMITH MONSTER (not the first account, which was THE NEW HAMMERSMITH GHOST – December 12, 1824 – published in Pierce Egan’s Life in London).

FACT. J.P. Collier was a parliamentary Reporter on the Times on December 13, 1833 (RESUSCITATION OF THE HAMMERSMITH GHOST).

FACT. J.P. Collier was the subeditor on the Morning Chronicle on December 28, 1837 (EFFECTS OF ARISTOCRATIC EXAMPLE). Collier had been employed as subeditor on October 16, 1837, replacing Charles Mackay. In 1839 Collier was demoted from subeditor to reporter.

FACT. J.P. Collier, like many other prominent literary figures, started his career as a penny-a-liner, a free-lance newspaper reporter. Although he claimed “I never engaged but with The Times and Chronicle, and my work for country newspapers was both political and literary – comments and criticisms,” it seems most likely that he (like many literary men) supplemented his income with penny-a-line contributions to a variety of newspapers. In his Old Man’s Diary Collier did confess to writing for the Morning Herald. It’s not impossible that he had contributed the majority of early Monster reports to six newspapers at a time. Curiously Steel Jack and his predecessors almost always made their appearance in newspaper columns in the month of December when Parliament was prorogued, a slow news time of year.

FACT. J.P. Collier was well-acquainted with Joseph Haslewood, the man who purchased the pamphlet The Wonder of Suffolk (1677) from the auction of George Nassau’s collection in 1824. He may also have examined the Earl of Oxford copy that was bequeathed to the Bodleian Library in 1814. If anyone in England was familiar with The Wonder of Suffolk it would have been Collier, who had access to every major antiquarian collection of broadsheets and pamphlets in England. (See my previous post on Spring-Heeled Jack HERE).

None of these facts are decisive however. Collier may have been an innocent bystander to the events of 1809, 1824, 1833 and 1837 but he is a more plausible suspect than the “Mad Marquis” of Waterford ever was. If Collier was in fact the perpetrator of all these newspaper columns he was the first to portray the MONSTER with claws, the first to mention the wearing of armour, the first to document the spitting of flames, and the first to describe the wearing of spring-heeled shoes. 

NO MATTER HOW YOU SLICE IT. John Payne Collier, the 19th century’s most notorious fraud, forger and hoaxer, was the subeditor responsible for giving the okay to the ‘Steel Jack’ report published on December 28, 1837, in the Morning Chronicle, and that may not have been his last contribution to the myth of ‘SPRING-HEELED JACK.’

[ To be continued in our next — ]


Mike Dash (compiler of the indispensable 
Calendar of Sources, 1996), 
David Clarke, Paul Chambers, 
Theo Paijmans, Mike Davis, Petr Janacek