Exploding the Ripper Masonic link
Conspiracy theorists have long sort to link the Whitechapel murders with Freemasonry. In this article, Masonic historian David Peabody explodes the myth.
Walter Sicker, the Victorian artist had a studio at 15
Street by Government
officials, with Sickert as an
According to Stephen Knight's book Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, published in 1976, the suggestion that Freemasons were behind the Whitechapel Murders was first laid before
the public in Butchery, the third episode of the BBC series in the 1960s.
Scriptwriters Elwyn Jones and John Lloyd had attributed the idea to their
fictional policeman, Detective Chief Superintendent John Watt.
It was in the last episode that all is revealed and that a conspiracy of Freemasons at the highest level, concealed and assisted in the murders according to Masonic ritual.
Knight then suggests that had the theory been anchored in a serious attempt to
explain who the killer or
killers were, and why Masons should have perpetrated the murders, would have been meaningful. The meaningful theory that Knight then
relates is truly a Ripping
yarn. As conspiracy theories go, it rates alongside 'Who killed JFK?' It has all the ingredients: a member of the Royal Family, a mad doctor,
the Commissioner of Police, a clairvoyant and, of course, a
Donald Rumbelow finds the best account of Knight's theory in The Complete Jack the Ripper. He relates the story as follows:
Cleveland Street, London, and the motive for the murders is the alleged marriage of the Duke of Clarence, the eldest son of Edward VII, to a Roman Catholic.
It is alleged that the Duke of Clarence was a regular visitor to the studio, were he met and fell in love with Annie Elizabeth Crook,
who worked at a tobacconist
She became his mistress and subsequently his wife.
Walter Sickert and a Mary Kelly are supposed to have witnessed the marriage. A daughter, Alice Margaret,
was born to the couple on
18 April 1885.
The affair supposedly had to be kept secret because the bride was a Roman Catholic, and with the amount of anti Catholic feeling that then
existed, the announcement of such a marriage might have shaken the foundations of the throne itself.
In April 1888, the Duke of Clarence and Annie Crook
are said to have been abducted from Cleveland
The couple were then taken away in separate carriages and never saw each other again. Annie was detained for four months in Guy's Hospital, where she was operated upon by Sir William Gull, the Queen's physician, who destroyed her memory in some terrible way. She was never the same again.
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