The Royal Masonic Conspiracy
When it comes to Ripperology many people will laugh in your face if you suggest that the Royal Masonic Conspiracy as a legitimate answer to the Jack the Ripper murders. Because of loop holes in the story, missing evidence, the unavailability of the technological advances of today, and just downright having to assume that facts are true when they may or may not be, many people discount this theory as a plausible explanation to the Jack the Ripper murders. When applying this logic people fail to realize that the same exact reasons listed above happen in every “plausible” Jack the Ripper suspect case. In every case facts are assumed, there is missing evidence, etc. and people still accept and recognize those suspects as plausible answers, and sometimes as the answer. It cannot go without noticing though, that there are quite a few more assumptions in the Royal Masonic theory than in other Jack the Ripper suspect case. While this point is undeniable, the fact that assumptions exist tell us that this explanation of the Ripper murders has many things in common with the other ones. The Royal Masonic theory is very interesting and definitely worth investigating. It delves deep into the realms of mystery, secrecy, rituals, and into the deepest, darkest corners of the East End of London.
The Juwes are the men who will not be blamed for nothing (Sugden 183). This famous quote is the basis for all allegations lodged against the famous brotherhood known as the Freemasons. This is where the Royal Masonic theory finds its foundations and where the first hints of a conspiracy start to show up. It is the removal of this phrase from a wall in the middle of the East End of London that causes people to suspect the Masons as a legitimate answer to the Jack the Ripper murders. In the early morning hours of September 30 1888 the double event of the Jack the Ripper murders occurred. While the murders obviously are important to our case the main thing about the double event that is important, is the message that was found written in chalk on a wall some one-hundred fifty yards away. This message was written in this fashion:
The Juwes are
The men That
for nothing .
While the aesthetics of the message are important to our case, we shall discuss that later. The main things we are concerned with are the events surrounding this message and who read between the lines and decoded the hidden meaning. One man was able to decode this hidden message and immediately realized what it was trying to say. That man was Sir Charles Warren, Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force. When Warren arrived on the scene he was taken and shown the message that was written on the wall. His first instinct and command was to tell the inferior officers to erase the message. The officers began to argue with Warren telling him that the message could be evidence to the murders that happened a few hours prior. The City Police even offered to take a picture with the camera they owned and Warren refused to let them do so. At the time Warren said he wanted the message erased for fear of what effect the anti-Semitic message would have on the surrounding Jewish communities. The message was erased and the only records we have of it now are in police reports and official documents. This seemed like a perfect reason to have the message erased. Warren was doing his duty in making sure that the Jewish communities around where the message was written never saw it. If they had it is very likely that there would have been riots and other such happenings. It wasn’t until several years later that people began to question Warren’s motives on erasing the message. It did not take long to find a motive and when it was found it rocked the Ripper world.
It was discovered that Sir Charles Warren was elected Founding Master of Quatuor Lodge No. 276 in 1884(Driver 121). What this means is that Sir Charles Warren was an initiated member in the bond of the brotherhood of Freemasonry. To people who know nothing of the Freemasons and their history, this fact would have no effect on this case at all. But, for people who know about the Freemasons this fact is the pivotal reason for suspecting that the Masons could be behind the Jack the Ripper murders. The one thing that people noticed first about the Juwes message was the deliberate misspelling of the word Jew. To an uninitiated eye this would look like a common spelling error when in fact it is the reason that we trace this message to the Freemasons. The word Juwes, when spelled like it was in the message, refers to the three characters Jubelo, Jubela, and Jubellum who take an active role in the initiation ceremonies of the Masons (Driver 121). These three characters murder Hiram Abriff, the Chief Architect of King Solomon’s temple, in an attempt to find out the secrets of a Master Mason. When they are tried for the murders each one of them calls out in woe and speaks his own punishment. The first, Jubela says “Oh that my throat had been cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots…” (Driver 49). The second of the Juwes, Jubelo, states “Oh, that my breast had been torn open, my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder…” (Driver 49). The third and final of the Juwes, Jubellum says “Ah Jubela and Jubelo, it was I who that struck him harder than you both! It was I gave him the fatal blow. It was I that killed him. Oh, that my body had been severed in twain, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes…” (Driver 49). When you read these statements and compare them to the ways in which the bodies of the Ripper victims were mutilated it becomes eerily apparent that there are huge similarities between the two. The statements of Jubelo and Jubela happen to two victims almost exactly as are stated. The only main difference is that instead of Catherine Eddowes’ bowels being placed over her left shoulder, they were placed over her right. The third statement is the worst of the punishments. In this statement the person’s body is torn in half and burned. Although Mary Kelley’s body was not cut in half or burned, it had the worst mutilations on it of all the Ripper murders. These similarities are one of the main reasons that people talk about the Masonic theory in the Jack the Ripper murders. While many people use the Juwes message to incriminate the Masons with the murders there are a few discrepancies we must look at. The main discrepancy is the wording of the message. From officials records we have two versions of what the message said. We have the one that was stated above “The Juwes are the men, that will not, be blamed for nothing.” This version comes from Constable Alfred Long who was the one who originally discovered the writing. In another police report made by Detective Daniel Halse there is a different version. In his report he writes that the message reads “The Juwes are not the men who will be blamed for nothing.” Even though only one word has been moved in the two versions, each version has a different message. In the first, that was reported by Long, the message says that the Juwes are behind the murders and that when people blame them, the accusations will legitimate or in another words they will not be blamed for nothing. The second version has a very different message. In Halse’s version the message states that there will be people who are blamed for nothing but the Juwes are not those people. This discrepancy is one of the major reasons that people discount this theory. Although this discrepancy is very prevalent, in every suspect case of Jack the Ripper there are discrepancies that must be assumed one way or the other for the case to be made. There are many more reasons that lead people to believe it was the Masons and those reasons will also be discussed in this paper.
Another thing that we must take into account when looking at the Juwes message is the way in which it was written, or the aesthetics of the message. As was seen earlier the aesthetics of the message are as follows:
The Juwes are
The men That
for nothing .
While this looks fairly meaningless, the message is written in the form of a triad. The first part being “The Juwes are the men that”, the second part is “will not”, and the third being “Be blamed for nothing.” The number three is very important to the Masons. There are three degrees or levels of a Mason. There is the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and the Master Mason (Driver 44). When Master Mason is achieved, the Mason may wish to continue his path through the ranks of the Masons and achieve 30 more levels. The highest rank one can achieve is a 33rd degree Mason. Also the number three plays pretty heavily into the Masons ritual. As was seen earlier there are three “Juwes” who take part in the ritual of the Masons. There are three people who are considered the founders of Masonry. There is also a side group of Masons known as the Templar Rite, and they have three orders called the Red Cross, Knights of Malta, and the Knights Templar. With the deliberate misspelling of the word Jew and the way the lines were written in a triad you can start to see how the Freemasons could have a part in this.
Now that I have discussed a little bit about the Masonic side of the story, I will move on to the royal side of the story and how it connects with the Masons. One point of fact that must be recognized is that the Royal Masonic theory was not even introduced as a possible answer until the 1970’s. In 1973 the popularity of the Jack the Ripper murders were increasing so much that BBC decided to produce a television show about them(casebook.org). In this television show BBC wanted to mix fact with fictional characters to produce a good show. The producers realized that in order to make a good show that they must investigate the murders so as to get their facts straight(casebook.org). They went to Scotland Yard looking for files and evidence and such and they were advised to speak to a man with the last name of Sickert who supposedly knew of a secret marriage between Prince Eddy and a catholic woman named Annie Elizabeth Crook (casebook.org). When they finally found Joseph Sickert the story he told them was an amazing tale that accused the Royal family of hiring the Masons to commit the Jack the Ripper murders.
The story starts with Joseph’s father Walter Sickert, the very famous painter who lived in the East End of London at the time of the Ripper murders (casebook.org). Apparently Walter knew the truth behind the Jack the Ripper murders and told it to Joseph later in his life. Walter had taken Prince Eddy on as an “apprentice” of sorts. Walter knew many people and was a very influential painter so the Royal family allowed Eddy to hang out with Walter. While working with Sickert, Eddy was introduced to a young Catholic woman named Annie Elizabeth Crook. Eddy took a liking to the young woman and about three years after their first meeting Annie became pregnant (Fairclough 4). The two had the child on April 18, 1885 and named her Alice Margret Crook. When the Queen found out about the child she became furious. For, not only was Annie a commoner but she was also a Catholic woman which meant that the heir to the throne after Prince Eddy would be a baby of Catholic descent. According to legislation that had been passed in years prior, Eddy’s marriage to a Roman Catholic made him give up his rights to the crown (Fairclough 4). The same piece of legislation that caused this to happen would also exclude Alice Margret from becoming the heir to the throne. To have this situation taken care of it is supposed that the queen handed the matter over to Lord Salisbury, her Prime Minister (casebook.org). Lord Salisbury ordered a raid on the house in which Eddy and Annie were living. The two were taken away in separate carriages, yet the baby Alice Margret escaped. After they were captured it is reported that Lord Salisbury enlisted the help of the Physician Ordinary to the queen. This man was named Sir William Gull and he had Annie put into a mental institution, where tests were done on her that made her slowly go insane and eventually die (casebook.org). This is where the story of the royal conspiracy would cease to exist if it were not for the person named Marry Kelly.
During the time that Eddy was living with Annie, Sickert found Marry in a poor house and took her to help Annie out with the new baby. Mary soon became the baby’s nanny and she learned all about Prince Eddy and started spreading the news all around the East End through her friends who were named Polly Nichols, Liz Stride, and Annie Chapman (casebook.org). The women urged Mary Kelly to blackmail the government for money to keep her quiet. When Lord Salisbury found out that Mary Kelly had been spreading the news around about the bastard child of Prince Eddy and also that she was blackmailing the government, he once again called on the assistance of Sir William Gull (Begg 359). Gull knew that he needed to eliminate everyone who knew of the baby to eradicate this situation. Thus, Gull hired a stage driver named John Nettley and also enlisted the help of Sir Robert Anderson, who was a Scotland Yard official and acted as the lookout while Gull committed the murders (Begg 362). With the team assembled, they set out to make the situation correct. The plan was to lure the women who knew of the baby into the carriage by offering them good food such as grapes or something of the like. These women would be very inclined to get into the carriage as they were all women living on the streets, so they did not get to eat good food very often. Once they were in the carriage the women would began to feel drowsy because unbeknownst to them the grapes and been tampered with and were poisoned. After the poison had taken effect Gull would kill the women. They thought they were done with the killings when they murdered Catherine Eddowes because the on the night of her murder she identified herself as Marry Kelly. So, Gull and his cronies thought they had killed Mary Kelly when in fact the actual Mary Kelly was still alive. They later found and murdered the correct Mary Kelly and thus finished the job as was handed to them by the Royal Family.
Many people discount this part of the theory because it was reported that several years before the murders happened Sir William Gull had suffered from a seizure and had lost the ability in his left arm, making him unable to commit the murders. The answer to this is that the seizure was faked so that no one could trace the murders back to the Royal Family. The family knew that they would be suspected so they had to cover all their trails and make sure all the evidence pointed away from them. They did this very effectively, as can been seen by the accusations towards the royal family not coming out until almost one-hundred years after the murders happened.
Now that both sides of the Royal Masonic Theory has been presented you are probably wondering how the two fit together. At first, it would appear that there should be a Royal Theory and a Masonic Theory and they should be two totally separate and different theories. When the Royal Masonic theory was first proposed in the 1970’s the interest in Jack the Ripper was already high and people were doing research more and more every day. When they began to research the accusations they uncovered the fact that most, if not all, of the Royals involved in the murders were in fact Freemasons. As was mentioned earlier Sir Charles Warren, the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Force, was a Freemason. Sir Robert Anderson, the Scotland Yard man and the lookout for Gull, was also Freemason. Prince Eddy ironically was also a Freemason. This fact leads many people to discount the theory as they do not believe that one Freemason would do those kinds of acts to another Freemason, but everyman has his price. It assumed that Gull as well as Netley was Freemason. We have no official records for this but if we accept that the Masons were behind the murders then we must assume that Gull and Netley were Masons. The amount of people who were involved and were Masons, coupled with the Juwes message, and combined with the ritualistic nature of the killings is what lead people to believe that the Royal Masonic Conspiracy Theory could be an answer.
I believe that the Royal Masonic Theory is a not only a possible answer to the Jack the Ripper murders, but is also a plausible answer. I am not saying that it is 100% for sure that the Masons and the Royals teamed up to kill street whores because of a bastard child. I am just saying that the Royal Masonic theory can be a plausible answer and anyone who is quick to discount it without doing some research, should not be called a Ripperologist. While many people find this theory a fun and intriguing tale with no factual evidence when, you begin to examine it you will see that a lot of the story is based in factual, evidential proof. This theory was very fun and exciting to research