Police Sergeant in Middlesborough and later Chief Constable of Leicester, Chesterfield, and Birmingham where amongst other things, he was involved in the Jack the Ripper investigations and the Ledsam Street dynamite conspiracy.

 

Joseph Farndale
27 April 1842 to 8 August 1901

The Whitby 5 Line 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAR00350B

 

 

 

  

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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB

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I would like to thank Samantha Malkin who put me right on a number of points regarding Joseph and his nephew Joseph (FAR00463) who was also a Chief Constable

 

 

Born

 

Joseph Farndale son of John Farndale a labourer of Ewecote, Newholm, Whitby and Margaret Farndale formerly Dowson, (FAR00262), born at Newholm, baptised 4th May 1842.  He was born on 27 April 1842.

(Whitby PR & IGI)

Joseph Farndale, born Whitby District, Reg second quarter of 1842

(GRO Vol 24 page 514 - free BMD, 1837 online)

 

 

Early Life

 

Census 1851 - Eskdaleside:

John Farndale, head; age 32; agricultural labourer; born Newholm; (1819).

Margaret Farndale, wife; age 31; born Newholm (1820).

Thomas Farndale, son; age 11; scholar, born Newholm (1840) (FAR00344).

Joseph Farndale, son; age 8; born Ruswarp (1843) (FAR00350B).



Census 1861 - Bottons Buildings, Eskdaleside:

John Farndale, head; marr; age 43; waggoner; born Newholm (1818).

Margaret Farndale, wife; age 41; born Newholm (1820).

Joseph Farndale, son; age 19; drainer; (1842) (FAR00350B).

 

1861 Census

 

Joseph Farndale was now boarding with the Paget family, a drainer, unmarried, aged 21, at Hawsker cum Stainsacre, Whitby

Married

Joseph Farndale of full age, Police Sergeant of Middlesbrough, son of John Farndale, farmer married Jane Newton of full age, a spinster of Middlesbrough daughter of John Newton a coachman at the Parish Church Middlesbrough, on 6 Nov 1865. (Joseph was 23 at his marriage).


 

Family

 

John W Farndale, born 1866 (FAR00472)

 

 

 

Police Sergeant of Middlesbrough

 

 

 

 

Chief Constable of Chesterfield Police, 1870 to 1871

 

Sheffield Independent, 5 February 1870


The Factory Act. Mr. Superintendent Joseph Farndale was appointed inspector for the borough, in accordance with the provisions of the Factory Act.

 

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 26 February 1870 and repeated 2 March 1870

 

Borough of Chesterfield, Police Clothing. The WATCH COMMITTEE will receive tenders for 22 coats, 35 pairs of trousers, 26 pairs of boots and 13 helmets to be supplied not later than 1st May next. All Tenders are to be submitted before Saturday 5th March next. Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable. 

 

 

 

 

Chief Constable of Leicester Police, 1871 to 1882 (11 years)

 

Joseph Farndale was appointed Head Constable of Leicester Police on 27 October 1871. He replaced Mr Charters. His salary was £220 per annum, with a house included.

 

Shortly after his appointment, on 19 December 1871, Leicester police ceased to be responsible for fire fighting and Leicester Borough Fire Brigade was created.

 

In 1872, Joseph Farndale called for a change in image, replacing long frock coats with tunics, heavy rattles with a whistle and chain and high silk hats with lighter caps. He also introduced a probationary period of up to 5 weeks during which time a police officer required to prove his suitability for role.

 

In 1878, sergeants of the Borough wrote to Joseph Farndale to complain about the practice of turning off street lights during summer months.

 

He appears to have continued to live at Chesterfield (but if a house was included in his Chief Constable of Leicester package, why did he live at Chesterfield?)

 

1871 Census, Chesterfield

 

Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable of Police, 28

Jane Farndale, his wife, 29

John W Farndale, their son, 2

Sarah Vaughan, a general servant

 

No photo description available.

 

1873 Chief Constable Joseph Farndale formed the Leicester Borough Police brass band and over the succeeding years they gave concerts in the town’s public parks.

 

 

 

18 March 1878:

 

 

Leicester Daily Mercury, 15 August 1879


Leicester Police Holiday. On Thursday the members of the Borough Police force held their annual holiday at Great Glenn, the residence of the mayor. The band of the force proceeded by the conveyance, and a portion of the men went by the 9.30am train, another section following by the afternoon train. A substantial lunch having been partaken of, a cricket match was played between the Police Force and a team from Great Glenn., resulting in a victory for the former. … the party, which was subsequently joined by Mr Joseph Farndale, the Chief Constable.

Leicester Chronicle, 6 December 1879


Shocking accident at Groby Pool
A Young lady drowned.
On Tuesday afternoon, a shocking incident occurred at Groby pool, by which a young lady lost her life, and several other persons had a narrow escape.
[At the inquest] the following evidence was given:- Joseph Farndale: I am Chief Constable of the Borough of Leicester. I knew the deceased; she was the daughter of William John Bruis, of Leicester, shoe maker; she was 19 years old.”

 

Derbyshire and Chesterfield Herald, 12 June 1880

 

The Leicester Borough Police have a capital institution, to wit, an annual dinner, and at this attends the Mayor and many members of the Corporation who show their appreciation of that which in too many instances is a much abused body. But my principal object in drawing attention to the fact is that the chief constable of the large borough mentioned is Mr Joseph Farndale, who will be pleasurably remembered as head of the staff of police in Chesterfield some years back, whence he went to Leicester, receiving the appointment above the heads of a large number of candidates. On the occasion of this dinner a most interesting presentation was made to Mr Farndale by chief constables who had served under him. The presentation consisted of a paid of handsome bronze ornaments, on one of which was inscribed the following: “Presented to Joseph Farndale, Esq., Chief Constable of the Borough of Leicester, as a memento of the esteem and gratitude felt by the subscribers, all of whom have had the privilege of serving under him.” The subscribers were Mr G Windle, chief constable of Hanley; Mr G Mercer, chief constable of Colchester, both of whom were members of the Chesterfield Police; Mr C Pole, chief constable of Halifax; Mr D Preston, chief constable of Banbury; Mr J Wilkinson, chief constable of Kendal; Mr J Pemberton, chief constable of Grantham; and Mr C Clarkson, chief constable of Wakefield.

 

 

 

 

1881 Census, 94 Municipality Building, Bishop Street, Leicester (note this needs to be reconciled with dates when Chief Constable at Leicester)

 

Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable, 38

Jane Farndale, his wife, 40

John William Farndale, their son, 12

Alice Bush, a visitor and Naomi Parsons, general domestic servant

 

In March 1882, Joseph Farndale left the Leicester Force to become Chief Constable of Birmingham. James Duns took over as Chief Constable by which time the salary was increased to £300 per annum plus rent, rates, free coal and uniform.

 

Chief Constable of Birmingham City Police, 1882 to 1899

 

 

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 25 January 1882

 

Mr Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable of Leicester, has been appointed chief superintendent of the Birmingham Police Force, at a salary of £700 per annum.

 

Gloucester Citizen 25 January 1882

 

The Birmingham Watch Committee have appointed Mr Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable of Leicester, to the vacant post of Chief Superintendent of the Birmingham Police Force, at a salary of £700 per annum. The other four selected candidates were Captain Orr, of Greenock; Mr Clarkson, Chief Constable of Wakefield; Mr Catbush, Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police; and Mr Jervis, Chief Constable of Blackburn.

 

 

Derbyshire and Chesterfield Herald, 28 January 1882

 

I am pleased to note that Chief Constable Joseph Farndale, who was for some years the head of the Chesterfield Borough Police Force, and who has since filled the important office of Chief Constable of the Borough of Leicester, has been appointed to the high position of Chief Constable of Birmingham. The post was vacant by the resignation of Major Bond. Mr Farndale’s salary will be £700 a year in his new position. He has had a remarkably successful career as a police officer, but has always won golden opinions from all with whom he has come into contact. Mr Farndale succeeded at Chesterfield Mr Samuel Stevens who has just been appointed Chief Constable of Nottingham. Mr Farndale was one of five candidates out of a large number, the others being Captain Orr, of Greenock, Mr Clarkson, CC of Wakefield, Mr Catbush, chief inspector of Metropolitan police force and Mr Jervis, CC of Blackburn.

 

Burnley Express, 28 January 1882

 

Mr Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable of Leicester, has been appointed chief superintendent of the Birmingham Police Force, at a salary of £700 per annum.

 

 

 

Birmingham Daily Post, 17 March 1882

 

The Chief Constable of Birmingham, Joseph Farndale, was yesterday presented with a silver salver and £200 by the Mayor of Leicester and the Crown Court in the presence of a large number of * and chiefs of police of Coventry, Rochdale, Grantham, Banbury and Leicester. The Mayor said Birmingham had gained a most worthy chief, who left Leicester with the esteem of the whole community.

 

Reading Mercury, 25 March 1882

 

The chief constable of Birmingham, Mr Joseph Farndale, late of Leicester, was last week presented with a magnificent silver salver and £200, by the Mayor of Leicester.

 

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 10 May 1882

 

Seditious Utterances by a Constable – The new Chief Constable of Birmingham, Mr Joseph Farndale, who has taken the place of Major Bond, has just made a sharp example of an indiscreet member of the force who had been heard to express sympathy with the perpetrators of the recent outrages in Ireland. The constable, who is a young Irishman, and had not long joined the force, used disloyal words in the presence of some of his colleagues, and the matter was immediately laid before the Chief Constable. The office was reported, and his explanation not being deemed satisfactory, he was called upon to resign. This is the first case of the kind that has ever happened in the Birmingham police force. The prompt action of the chief of police has met with general approval, though the severity of the measure appears to have taken the indiscreet officer completely by surprise.

 

 

Manchester Evening News, 14 April 1884

 

The chief constable of that place [Birmingham], is a man who has few rivals in his particular walk of life, and he fully deserves the eulogium passed upon him by the Home Secretary last year. Mr Farndale commenced life as an ordinary constable, I believe in Middlesbrough, and he has worked his way upwards to his present position. He occupied the post of chief constable in two or three other towns before ging to Birmingham, in each one of which he added to his reputation. The circumstances of his career have given him an amount of experience which is comparatively rare, and he has added to it a very careful study of the criminal law, in the knowledge of which he has not many superiors. Mr Farndale is very much opposed to the practice of selecting retired army officers for the posts of chief constable, and he himself is a strong argument in favour of his theory that such positions ought to be filled by men practically acquainted with the routine of police work.

 

Birmingham Daily Gazette, 8 October 18


A CONFESSION AND ARREST IN BIRMINGHAM.
 
At The Birmingham Public Office on Saturday, before Messrs. J.D. Goodman and W. Holliday (magistrates), Alfred Napier Blanchard (34), described as a canvasser, of 2, Rowland Grove, Rowland Road, Handsworth, was charged on his own confession with committing the Whitechapel murders.

Detective-sergeant Ashby said that on Friday night the prisoner was in a public-house in Newtown Row, and he told the landlord that he was the Whitechapel murderer. He repeated the statement to several people and witness arrested him. When at Duke Street Police Station he denied being the murderer, but witness thought proper to keep him in custody. The police had not yet had time to make inquiries, and knew nothing of the prisoner's antecedents.

Richard King, landlord of the Fox and Goose, Newtown Row, said the prisoner came to his house about eleven o'clock on Friday morning, and remained till about a quarter past eight at night. During his stay in the house he drank about five and a half pints of beer. About half-past twelve o'clock he asked witness what kind of detectives they had in Birmingham. Witness told him he believed them to be very clever men. Prisoner said that it would be a funny thing if the Whitechapel murderer were to give himself up in Birmingham. Witness acquiesced, and prisoner continued, "I am the Whitechapel murderer." Turning round to an elderly gentleman sitting in the bar, prisoner said, "Look here, old gentleman; perhaps you would not think there was a murderer in the house." "I don't know about that," replied the customer; "you might not look unlike one." Prisoner said, "I am one, then." Later on the old gentleman asked prisoner had he got the knife with him, and he answered that he had left a long knife behind him. Someone asked prisoner how he did the murders without making the victims scream. He explained that this was done "simply by placing the thumb and finger on the windpipe and cutting the throat with the right hand." He said he had "done six of them in London." He was sober when he made this statement. Turning round to witness prisoner said, "You are a fool if you don't get the thousand pounds reward offered for me; you may as well have it as anyone else."

Mr. Farndale (Chief Constable) informed the magistrates that he did not attach the least importance to this arrest. At the same time prisoner had placed himself in a most serious position, and could not complain if the magistrates thought fit to remand him for inquiries. At present nothing had been ascertained with respect to him beyond information contained in some papers found upon him.

 

Mr. Goodman thought that some further inquiries should be made.

The prisoner asked if he might say a few words, and, having obtained permission, stated that he was stationed in London, and was a canvasser for a London firm. He had recently been working up North. He was now on his way to London, and when he made the statement incriminating himself was labouring under great excitement, having been previously reading the reports of the inquests. The statement was, on the face of it, ridiculous, and he was sure they would admit that. He could give them references in Birmingham.

Mr. Barradale (Magistrates' Clerk) told the prisoner that he could give any references he had to Mr. Farndale for inquiry. As the prisoner said he was a murderer, it was a question whether time should not be given to make inquiries.

Mr. Goodman: It is your own fault that you are in this position.

The prisoner said he was aware of this, but at the same time he was labouring under great excitement.

Mr. Barradale: Were you suffering from the drink?

Prisoner: Partly from drink and partly from nervousness. I had been drinking for two or three days.

The prisoner was remanded until to-morrow.

Mr. Barradale told him that if he wished any messages to be sent the police would assist him in every way. He could telegraph to anybody living away from the town and write to anyone he thought proper.

As he was proceeding towards the cells, prisoner said he had a favour to ask. Would the press be kind enough not to mention this case? It was a serious matter for him, and should his employer get to hear about it he would lose his situation.

Mr. Barradale: The magistrates have no power over the press.

The prisoner then went below.

 

 

The Star -  Largest Circulation of Any Evening Paper in the Kingdom. LONDON. FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER, 1888. ONE HALFPENNY. Front Page:

MAINLY ABOUT PEOPLE.

Mr. Joseph Farndale, the Chief Constable of Birmingham, who is making the running for the Chief Commissionership, is an excellent officer. Birmingham got him from Leicester, where from working a beat he had risen to the position of head policeman. There was some talk of Mr. Farndale when Sir Edmund Henderson resigned, and the Birmingham Watch Committee - the Town Council Committee that has control of the police - were in despair. They would have been very glad for his sake if he had obtained promotion, but at the same time they fervently hoped that he would not be taken away from them.

Birmingham ascertained by sad experience the disadvantages of a military despotism. Major Bond, a gentleman who achieved some little distinction in Ireland, was Mr. Farndale's predecessor. He was a provincial Charles Warren, and it was not long before Birmingham rebelled against his iron rule. The police lost touch with the people, and neither the people not the police liked it. He had to go, and from occupying a position of honor and eminence he came to be an Irish resident magistrate. When the Major went the first qualification which the people and the press demanded in his successor was that he should be a civilian. Mr. Farndale had an excellent record, and has thoroughly justified his selection.

The secret of his success is that he carefully avoids any display of force. Shortly after the disturbances and the sacking of the West-end, there was some fear of a similar occurrence in Birmingham. The Chief Constable dealt with the situation in a very admirable manner. He did not attempt to interfere with the demonstration, and carefully refrained from crowding Costa-green with policemen or from irritating the people by any unnecessary display of authority. There was no bludgeoning, no violence, and the consequence was that the crowd, amongst whom were a good many bad characters who would have stuck at nothing in the way of plunder, gradually dispersed.

 

The Chief Constable himself preserved his good temper throughout, and was cheered by the crowd as he passed. He has the advantage of being a handsome man - a great point with the crowd. He looks remarkably well in his uniform and on horseback, and he is always in evidence whenever there is anything moving.

When the dynamite plot was discovered in Birmingham, the Chief Constable was in his proper place, and directed the investigations so well that not a mistake was made. Night and day he remained at his post until the right moment came, and then the police swooped down and captured the gang. The result was that the dynamite conspiracy, which had its head-quarters in Birmingham, was completely crushed out of existence.

Mr. Farndale looks something over 40. He is tall, broad-shouldered, athletic, has good features and looks like a gentleman. He has the bald head that comes of wearing a constable's helmet.

 

Birmingham Daily Post 27 June 1889

 

Inspection of the City Police Force. Colonel Cobbe, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary for the Midland District, yesterday afternoon inspected the police force in the yard at the rear of the police station in Duke Street … The men were drawn up in their various divisions …  Mr and Mrs Farndale were driven into the centre …Superintendent Sheppard then presented the Chief Constable with an handsomely illuminated address … He wished the chief a long life and good health, and referred to the kindness that Mr Farndale had always shown to members of the force. The address, which was read by Superintendent Sheppard, was as follows: “Address to Joseph Farndale Esq., Chief Constable for the City of Birmingham – We, the undersigned, deputed by a meeting assembled and representing the whole body of the Birmingham Police Force, consisting of 550 members, heartily congratulate you upon your resumption of duties as chief in this large and important city. We rejoice at your restoration to health, as we sympathised with you in your serious and protracted illness; and it is now a source of happiness for us to have the opportunity of thus expressing to you how much we cherish and admire those qualities so characteristic of you, and which have drawn and endeared us to you during your chief constableship here. We feel that when and wherever qualities abound which have distinguished your career in such an eminent degree then will a true appreciating and grateful people respond and unmistakably demonstrate in no uncertain way the inspiration in their hearts. We therefore ask you sir, prompted by these feelings, to accept this illuminated address, not for its intrinsic value, but rather as an outcome of our expression of pleasure and congratulations upon your resumption of duties, and as a small token of our admiration of your worth as chief, man and friend. With a fervent wish that your convalescence be of long duration and that you live long in the buoyancy of health to champion our cause as hitherto in the course and conduct of our duties, and in the path of wisdom, justice and right. Signed, on behalf of the members of the force, Superintendents Wm Wilcox, Rd Sheppard, Wm Shaw, Philip Stephenson, Joseph Hervey, James Black, and David Noon.” Superintendent Wilcox also added a few words in a similar strain, and presented two handsome bouquets to Mrs Edwards and Mrs Farndale. The Chief Constable, in acknowledging the presentation, expressed the great pleasure which this unanimous demonstration on the part o f the men had afforded him. He was in a measure prepared for something of the kind, because of the kindness that had been shown towards him by all the members of the force during his illness. He attributed his recovery in a great measure to this cause, because cheerfulness of mind played a great part in such matters. … The Mayor, on behalf of the City, expressed gratification at seeing Mr Farndale once more about and making progress towards as he (the speaker) hoped, perfect health. … Cheers were then given for the Chief Constable, and afterwards for the Mayor, and the constables then dispersed to their various divisions.

 

 

Birmingham Daily Post, 7 and 17 July 1889

 

Presentation to Mr Farndale

 

A largely attended and representative meeting was held at the Council House, yesterday, for the purpose of making a presentation to Mr Joseph Farndale, the chief of police, upon his restoration from his long and serious illness. Mr Jaffray occupied the chair and amongst those present were the Rev Canon Wilkinson, Alderman Sir Thos Martineau, the Town Clerk (Mr E O Smith), Alderman Pollack, Messrs W Holliday, A Hill, G Marris, HG Reid, JC Holder, WM Ellis, TH Bartlett, Joseph Ansed, Councillor Lawley Parker, Councillor Barclay, Councillor Bishop, … Mr Farndale was warmly applauded on entering the room. The balance sheet showed that the memorial fund amounted to £433 1s and that the expenses, including the preparation of an illuminated address, were £28 1s. There were 201 contributors.

 

The Chairman read the following address which was illuminated for framing by Mr Morton, and of which a copy was bound in book form with the names of the subscribers:- “To Joseph Farndale, Esq., Chief Constable for the City of Birmingham. Dear Mr Farndale, - We, the undersigned, on behalf of several of your friends and well wishers, are desirous of tendering to you our warm and sincere congratulations upon your restoration to health after your late severe and prolonged illness, and of expressing to you the hope that such restoration is of a permanent nature, and the gratification we feel in seeing you are able to resume the active duties in your important office. We acknowledge with pleasure the efficient and masterly manner in which you have controlled the civil order and protected the individual and material interests of this great city; the able assistance  that you are ever ready with unvarying courtesy to afford to all persons in connection with your office, even in matters not forming part of your official duties, and the high esteem in which you are held by the officers and men of the force of which you are chief; and we look forward with pleasure in the hope of seeing your face amongst us for many years. As a mark of our personal regard we request that you will accept the accompanying cheque for £405. We are, dear Mr Farndale, faithfully yours …”

 

In handing over the address, the Chairman said he could not sit down without expressing, on behalf of that very representative meeting of Mr Farndale’s fellow townsmen, their appreciation of his character and service. He was old enough, unhappily, to remember a succession of chief constables in Birmingham, and he spoke of the sentiments of those who knew most intimately how Mr Farndale discharged his duties when he said that no officer who ever presided over the police force had ever discharged his duties with more courtesy, with less friction, and with ore ability. They all knew how easy it was to cause annoyance in the discharge of delicate and responsible duties as those which pertained to the chief of police. They had the proof of it very recently in London, where something of a social revolution was threatened by the friction – he did not say whether what was done was right or not – which took place between the police and the civilians. They had never experienced anything of the sort since Mr Farndale came amongst them. There had been the utmost good feeling, and it was well not only that the law should be respected, but that its administration should be so gentle it was scarcely felt or seen. Then, with respect to the regulation of the streets, none of them could fail to see the improvement as regarded safety of persons crossing the streets at crowded points through the organisation of the traffic and the invariable courtesy with which the police were ready to ‘help the lame dog’ across. Then take another matter, the dispersion of large assemblies on a wet night from the town hall. What a chaos it used to be, and how almost impossible for those in charge of ladies to get away. Now, however, they simply handed a card to a policeman, it was taken in the most polite way, and their carriage was found without disorder or delay. Within Mr Farndale’s household – the police force – maters were admirably arranged, and a finer body of men it would be impossible to find. Even the London newspapers, who found fault with many things in Birmingham, and who were bound to say something nasty (laughter) never Said anything disparaging of the police. (Hear, hear). In the proceedings the other day the most prominent feature was the martial bearing and action of the police force. Mr Farndale had already received from the members of his force a recognition of his kindliness of spirit and the good feeling which prevailed between him and those under his command. The present meeting, which might be taken as representative of the whole town, testified to the general appreciation of the way in which he had conducted his difficult and delicate duties, and they echoed the hope expressed that Mr Farndale may regain as much health and strength as he previously enjoyed, and that he might long be spared to discharge the duties of his important office, (Applause). The Chairman, in conclusion, handed over to Mr Farndale the cheque for £405, and expressed regret that Mrs Farndale was not able to be present to receive the beautiful bouquet which it had been intended to present to her.

 

Mr Farndale, in reply, said that he had not ben altogether ignorant of the fact that some presentation was to be made to him, but he was greatly surprised at the extent to which the movement had been taken up. He thanked the committee and subscribers most sincerely and he thanked Mr Jeffray not only for occupying the chair and for the too flattering words he had uttered concerning himself, but for the way he had spoken of the police force. He was very proud pf the Birmingham Police, and he was greatly pleased t find that pride was shared by a very large number of the inhabitants of the city. There had been some misapprehension current with regard to the number of case in which men were reported against, especially for drunkenness; but he was glad to say that whereas some years ago the reports every year amounted to several hundreds, last year, with an augmented force, the number of offences for which members of the police force were reported were just brought down to two figures, being only 99. He fully endorsed what had been said as to the manner in which the force performed their duties. They could have no greater proof that they discharged their duties intelligently than the fact that fir the last two or three years – certainly two, if not more – they had not had a single complaint or action brought against any constable for illegal arrest or illegal search, although they were often called upon at a moment’s notice to decide cases which some of his friends, who were lawyers, would want a little time to consider. It had been his lot to receive testimonials on several occasions but they had been parting gifts by the sorrow of saying ‘goodbye’. He was glad that feature was not characteristic of the present occasion. He thanked those of all classes, from the lord lieutenant and high sheriff down to the most humble citizens, who had expressed sympathy for hum in his illness; and he echoed the chairman’s hope that he might be spared to serve the people of Birmingham, who had never lost an opportunity of showing him kindness, and who had evinced so generous an appreciation of his services.

 

On the motion of the Rev Canon Wilkinson, seconded by Dr Lawson Tait, a vote of thanks was passed to the chairman and to the two hon secretaries, and the proceedings terminated.

 

Mr Farndale has received from an anonymous contributor, signed himself ‘a friend’, the sum of five guineas, which the donor said he should have been pleased to have added to the private list if he had been aware of it at the time.

 

 

 

1891 census, Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Kings Norton, Warwickshire

 

Joseph Farndale, Chief of Police, 48

Jane Farndale, 50

John William Farndale, a medical student, aged 22

Three visitors

Three servants – a parlour maid, a housemaid, and a cook

 

 

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 29 July 1893

 

Deaths

 

FARNDALE – on the 18th inst, at the house of her cousin, Mrs Hodgson, at Stockton on Tees, Jane, wife of Joseph Farndale, Chief Constable of Birmingham, formerly chief constable of Chesterfield.

 

 

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 18 March 1899

 

The health of Mr Joseph Farndale, the popular and brilliant Chief Constable of Birmingham, is causing the greatest anxiety. I earnestly hope to be able to report better new next week. Mr Farndale has many friends in Derbyshire, which he made when Chief Constable of Chesterfield.

 

Hull Daily Mail, 30 May 1899 (also reported in Dundee Courier, 30 May 1899)

 

Mr Joseph Farndale has resigned the Chief Constableship of Birmingham in consequence of ill health. He has occupied the post for 17 years.

 

Western Times 31 May 1899

 

The resignation of the Chief Constable of Birmingham (Mr Joseph Farndale) through ill health will cause a vacancy in a post to which a salary of £900 a year is attached. Like the Chief Constable of Exeter, and many of the best men at the head of the police force, he rose from the ranks. He was Chief Constable of Chesterfield at the age of 26. Mr Farndale’s reputation was enhanced by the breaking up of what was known as the Ledsam Street Dynamite Conspiracy. The arrest of Whitehead in Ledsam Street in 1883 and the subsequent capture of Daly and Egan in the same month are matters of history. In consequence of the part he played in the arrest of those men the Watch Committee, with the approval of the home secretary, increased Mr Farndale’s salary to £100 per annum. Sir William Harcourt, in writing to express his approval of the action of the Committee said, “I desire to testify the very high opinion I have formed of Mr Farndale, the Chief Constable of Birmingham, throughout the whole of this matter and in other transactions of a similar nature, in which I have received from him valuable assistance.”

 

Leeds Times, 3 June 1899

 

Mr Joseph Farndale has resigned the Chief Constableship of Birmingham in consequence of ill health. He has occupied the post for 17 years.

 

Manchester Evening News, 5 July 1899

 

The Chief Constableship of Birmingham. The Birmingham Watch Committee yesterday received tabulated statements concerning the applicants for the chief constableship of the city. There are exactly 50 applicants, and it is a notable fact that over half of them are gentlemen whose only qualification appears to be a military training. Among the candidates is Mr Farndale (FAR00463), the chief constable of York, a nephew of Mr Joseph Farndale, the retiring chief. …

 

Manchester Evening News, 8 July 1899

 

The vacant Chief Constableship of Birmingham. The judicial sub-committee of the Birmingham Watch Committee yesterday held a special meeting to consider the applications – exactly 50 in number – for the office of Chief Constable, rendered vacant by the resignation of Mr Joseph Farndale. The proceedings which were conducted in private, lasted upwards of an hour, and at the conclusion it was stated that eight gentlemen had been selected to attend personally before a further meeting of the sub-committee, to be held next Friday, when the final choice will in all probability be made :- The eight applicants in question were … Joseph Farndale, 35, Chief Constable of York  (FAR00463) …

 

Manchester Evening News, 17 July 1899 (also reported in Lincolnshire Chronicle 21 July 1899 and Edinburgh Evening News, and Dundee Evening Telegraph 17 July 1899)

 

Appointment of the Chief Constable for Birmingham. The Birmingham Watch Committee at a special meeting this morning appointed Mr GH Rafter, Chief Constable of the City. Mr Rafter who is 42 years of age, has been District Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary at Boyle. The appointment was vacant owing to the retirement of Mr Joseph Farndale through ill health. Mr Rafter has had 16 years’ Irish police experience.

 

So on Joseph Farndale’s resignation as Chief Constable of Birmingham through ill health, his nephew, also Joseph Farndale (FAR00463) was shortlisted amongst eight to succeed his uncle, but in the event Sir Charles Haughton Rafter was appointed.

 

 

 

The Birmingham City police force was established by special Act of Parliament in 1839, following chartist rioting. During Joseph’s tenure as Chief Constable, when Birmingham became a city in 1889, the town police became the Birmingham City Police.

 

Chief Constables of Birmingham City Police included:

 

1839 – 1842: Captain Francis Burgess

1842 – 1860: Richard Stephens

1860 – 1876: George Glossop

1876 – 1881: Major Edwin Bond

1882 – 1899: Joseph Farndale

1899 – 1935: Sir Charles Haughton Rafter KBE KPM

1935 – 1941: Cecil Charles Hudson Moriarty CBE OBE CStJ

1941 – 1945: Sir William Johnson

1945 – 1963: Sir Edward Dodd

1963 – 1974: Sir William Derrick Capper

 

 

 

Died

 

Joseph Farndale age 59 at Aston District Sep 1901, (ie born 1842).

 

 

Joseph’s gravestone at Witton Cemetery in Birmingham

 

His death was recorded in the sub-district of Sutton Coldfield in 1901. He died on 8 August 1901 at the Hollies, Sutton Coldfield at the age of 59 years, the retired Chief Constable of Police.

 

He was later Chief of Police at Birmingham

 

 

Official Gazette, 17 December 1901

 

Manchester Evening News, 8 August 1901

 

Death of the Ex Chief Constable of Birmingham. The death is announced of Mr Joseph Farndale, late Chief Constable of Birmingham. He died at Sutton Coldfield this morning. Mr Farndale retired two years ago. He was Chief Constable at the time of the Fenian conspiracy, in which Egan, Daly, and Gallagher were concerned. The American papers alleged that Mr Farndale and the then chief detective hatched the plot artificially, but Day confessed this was nonsensical.

 

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 9 August 1901 (also appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post, 9 August 1901)

 

Obituary. Mr Joseph Farndale, who retired from the Chief Constableship of Birmingham a couple of years ago on account of health, after nearly 20 years service, died yesterday at Sutton Coldfield. He first joined the force in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and at the age of 26 was appointed Chief Constable of Chesterfield. Two years after he was appointed Chief of Leicester, and 10 years afterwards was appointed to Birmingham.

 

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 9 August 1901

 

Mr Joseph Farndale, who retired from the Chief Constableship of Birmingham a couple of years ago after nearly 20 years service, died yesterday at Sutton Coldfield. He discovered the dynamite plot in Birmingham.

 

Gloucester Citizen, 9 August 1901

 

Personal Gossip. … Mr Joseph Farndale, who from 1882 to 1899 occupied the position of Chief Constable of Birmingham, died on Thursday.

 

Gloucester Citizen, 13 August 1901

 

The funeral of Mr Joseph Farndale, formerly Chief Constable of Birmingham, took place on Monday at Witton Cemetery, amid every outward manifestation of respect and sympathy. About 200 Birmingham policemen attended.

 

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The Whitechapel murders

 

The Star, London, 23 November 1888MAINLY ABOUT PEOPLE.

 

Mr. Joseph Farndale, the Chief Constable of Birmingham, who is making the running for the Chief Commissionership, is an excellent officer. Birmingham got him from Leicester, where from working a beat he had risen to the position of head policeman. There was some talk of Mr. Farndale when Sir Edmund Henderson resigned, and the Birmingham Watch Committee - the Town Council Committee that has control of the police - were in despair. They would have been very glad for his sake if he had obtained promotion, but at the same time they fervently hoped that he would not be taken away from them.

 

Birmingham ascertained by sad experience the disadvantages of a military despotism. Major Bond, a gentleman who achieved some little distinction in Ireland, was Mr. Farndale's predecessor. He was a provincial Charles Warren, and it was not long before Birmingham rebelled against his iron rule. The police lost touch with the people, and neither the people not the police liked it. He had to go, and from occupying a position of honor and eminence he came to be an Irish resident magistrate. When the Major went the first qualification which the people and the press demanded in his successor was that he should be a civilian. Mr. Farndale had an excellent record, and has thoroughly justified his selection.

 

The secret of his success is that he carefully avoids any display of force. Shortly after the disturbances and the sacking of the West-end, there was some fear of a similar occurrence in Birmingham. The Chief Constable dealt with the situation in a very admirable manner. He did not attempt to interfere with the demonstration, and carefully refrained from crowding Costa-green with policemen or from irritating the people by any unnecessary display of authority. There was no bludgeoning, no violence, and the consequence was that the crowd, amongst whom were a good many bad characters who would have stuck at nothing in the way of plunder, gradually dispersed.

 

The Chief Constable himself preserved his good temper throughout, and was cheered by the crowd as he passed. He has the advantage of being a handsome man - a great point with the crowd. He looks remarkably well in his uniform and on horseback, and he is always in evidence whenever there is anything moving.

 

When the dynamite plot was discovered in Birmingham, the Chief Constable was in his proper place, and directed the investigations so well that not a mistake was made. Night and day he remained at his post until the right moment came, and then the police swooped down and captured the gang. The result was that the dynamite conspiracy, which had its head-quarters in Birmingham, was completely crushed out of existence.

 

Mr. Farndale looks something over 40. He is tall, broad-shouldered, athletic, has good features and looks like a gentleman. He has the bald head that comes of wearing a constable's helmet.

 

5C1413C1 

 

The Whitechapel murders were committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London between 3 April 1888 and 13 February 1891. At various points some or all of these eleven unsolved murders of women have been ascribed to the notorious unidentified serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Most, if not all, of the victims—Emma Elizabeth Smith, Martha Tabram, Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Jane Kelly, Rose Mylett, Alice McKenzie, Frances Coles, and an unidentified woman—were prostitutes. Smith was sexually assaulted and robbed by a gang. Tabram was stabbed 39 times. Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly, McKenzie and Coles had their throats cut. Eddowes and Stride were killed on the same night, minutes and less than a mile apart; their murders were nicknamed the "double event", after a phrase in a postcard sent to the press by someone claiming to be the Ripper. The bodies of Nichols, Chapman, Eddowes and Kelly had abdominal mutilations. Mylett was strangled. The body of the unidentified woman was dismembered, but the exact cause of her death is unclear.

 

The Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, and private organisations such as the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee were involved in the search for the killer or killers. Despite extensive inquiries and several arrests, the culprit or culprits evaded identification and capture. The murders drew attention to the poor living conditions in the East End slums, which were subsequently improved. The enduring mystery of who committed the crimes has captured public imagination to the present day

 

 

Alfred Napier Blanchard

Blanchard, a 34 year old canvasser, who resided at 2 Rowland Grove, Rowland Road, Handsworth, was arrested in the Fox And Goose public house, Newton Row Aston, Birmingham, on 5 October 1888 after being overheard describing how he had committed the Whitechapel murders. According to the landlord of the Fox And Goose, Richard King, Blanchard entered the pub on Friday morning at about 11 o'clock and commenced drinking until quarter past 8 at night. He consumed about 5 and a half pints of beer. While in the pub, Blanchard struck up a conversation with the landlord and asked him what kind of detectives they had in Birmingham, the landlord replied that he believed them to be very clever men, to which Blanchard replied, 'It would be a funny thing if the Whitechapel murderer were to give himself up in Birmingham', before declaring, 'I am the Whitechapel murderer'. Someone asked him how he had done the murders without making the victims scream, to which he explained that this was done by simply placing the thumb and finger on the windpipe and cutting the throat with the right hand, he also claimed he had done six of them in London. Blanchard said to the landlord, 'you are a fool if you don't get the thousand pounds reward offered for me, You may have as well have it as anyone else'.

When he appeared in court he told the magistrates that after drinking heavily and reading about the murders he had became excited and claimed them as his own. After police inquires, it was proved he was in Manchester when the Whitechapel murders occurred, and had been there for some two months prior to his visit to Birmingham.

 



By David O’Flaherty
“What a foolish man you have been.”
 – T.M. Colmore to Alfred Blanchard

False confessions are curious by-products of many “celebrated” murder cases, and the killings in Whitechapel were no exception. In any casual reading of the contemporary press, readers are likely to encounter the exploits of men like John Fitzgerald, Benjamin Graham, William Bull, and the unnamed individual who, following John Kelly’s identification of Catherine Eddowes and while he was making his statement, burst into Bishopsgate station and confessed his responsibility. These men were “mad drunk” at the time they made their confessions.1 Although all were ultimately cleared, these were no harmless cranks-the authorities had to check the validity of every statement, the background of each confessor. Faced with locating the actual Ripper and other legitimate criminals in Whitechapel, the growing public anxiousness over the Ripper crimes, and increasing criticism from the press that the investigation was being botched, police found their resources stretched thin. False confessions only drained them further.

The contemporary press seems to have blamed overindulgence in alcohol as the primary force moving these would-be Rippers, and most recanted their confessions as soon as they were sober. How accurate is this belief? Certainly, drink played a role in producing these confessions, but might there be a darker force at play? Perhaps in the murky corners of England’s pubs, there were men who silently applauded the Ripper, maybe even envied him. Readers will be more familiar with the public’s outrage over the murders-the idea that there were those who were simpatico with the Ripper is a disturbing one.

To explore this idea, it is worthwhile to examine one incident in detail, and the false confession of Alfred Napier Blanchard affords us an opportunity. The Blanchard incident took place on 5 October 1888, in a tavern called The Fox and Goose, which was located in tiny Aston, England, today a part of Birmingham. Birmingham (Blanchard was actually lodged in Handsworth, also now a part of Birmingham) was only a pit stop for Blanchard, who was making his way down from Manchester to London, where he was employed as a canvasser by a London firm.

 

What was Blanchard’s business? Canvasser, defined by Maunders’ Treasury of Knowledge (1831), as “he who solicits anything” is an exceptionally broad term. There is also a political connotation to the word, not only in modern times, but during the time of Victoria as well-Maunders also defines canvass as “to sift, to examine, to debate, to solicit votes, to sue for honors.”2 In 1888, parliament had passed the Local Government Act, which established county councils to administer the “business of the county justices in quarter sessions as well as significant highway functions.”3 The electorate created these councils, and elections were held throughout Britain in 1888, specifically in Birmingham in October or November.4 However, since Blanchard’s business seems to have been in Manchester and Handsworth only a stopping point, it seems doubtful that he would have had any political concerns there, although this idea might hold true for Manchester.

Another equal, perhaps more likely, possibility is that Blanchard was a traveling salesman. Hardware traveller was his occupation in 1881, and Blanchard’s younger brother Augustus was involved in sales, too.5

Returning to definitions for a moment, Wordsworth’s Dictionary of the Underworld (1995 reprint of a 1950 edition) takes a more sinister view of canvassing: “the talk used by a racketeer in interesting, convincing, and ‘selling’ a prospective sucker” and “the smart talk, of a racketeer operating a short-change swindle.”6 While there is no evidence to suggest Blanchard was a con man, such shadowy shadings seem apt considering Blanchard’s subsequent arrest.

Undoubtedly, knowing which London firm Blanchard worked for would clear up the mystery. It is likely that police would have recorded the firm’s name in the report of Blanchard’s arrest, or perhaps there was mention of it in the Birmingham court archives, where Blanchard made his appearances. This writer attempted to find both. At this time, it is unknown where the police archives are. As for Birmingham’s court archives, no record of Blanchard’s appearance has survived. There are no records in the City’s holdings for the Petty Sessions before 1899. Minute books for the Quarter Sessions have survived, but there are no references to Blanchard’s case. Since it appears that authorities only detained Blanchard while checking his background, and brought no actual charges against him, archivists feel that it is unlikely any record of his court appearance would have been kept.7

Yet we do have contemporary press reports. The Star (6 October 1888), The Manchester Guardian (8 October 1888), and The Times {London} (8 October 1888) all carried abbreviated versions of Blanchard’s arrest the evening of Friday, 5 October. Birmingham’s local press provides more detail, particularly The Birmingham Daily Gazette, which covered Blanchard’s appearances in court. Here then, is an account of what occurred, from the paper’s 8 October 1888 edition.

 


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5 April 1883. The Ledsam Street dynamite conspiracy made national news. Alfred Whitehead was arrested at 128 Ledsam Street on April 5, 1883, on the charge of manufacturing nitroglycerine, or dynamite. Whitehead was one of the Irish-American or American-Irish party of the Land Leaguers or Home Rulers. Well supplied with funds from New York, Whitehead quietly arranged his little manufactory, buying glycerine from one firm and nitric and sulphuric acids from others, certain members of the conspiracy coming from London to take away the stuff when it was completely mixed. The deliveries of the ingredients attracted the attention of Mr. Gilbert Pritchard, whose chemical knowledge led him to guess what they were required for; he informed his friend, Sergeant Price, of his suspicions; Price and his superior officers made nightly visits to Ledsam Street, getting into the premises, and taking samples for examination; on the morning of 5th April Whitehead was arrested, though not before he had been watched in sending off two lots of the dangerously explosive stuff to London.

 

No less than 200lbs weight of explosives were still on the premises. The men who carried it to London were caught with the dynamite in their possession, and, along with Whitehead, brought to trial, each of them were sentenced to penal servitude for life. The distribution of rewards in connection with the "dynamite outrages," so far as Birmingham people were concerned, was somewhat on a similar scale to that described by the old sailor, when he said "prize-money" was distributed through a ladder, all passing through going to the officers, while any sticking to the wood was divided among the men. Mr. Farndale, the Chief of Police, was granted an addition to his salary of £100 per year; Inspector Black was promoted to the rank of Superintendent, adding £50 a year to his salary, and was presented with £100 from Government; Sergeant Price, became Inspector, with a rise of £41 12s. a year, and received a bonus of £200; Inspector Rees' salary was raised to two guineas a week, with a gift, of £50: while Mr. Pritchard, to whom belonged the conspicuous service of having given the information which led the police to act, was rewarded (!) with £50, having lost his situation through his services to the public.

 

These illustrations are from the Illustrated London News. Top left image is of 128 Ledsam Street. Top right (2) is Detective Sergeant Richard Price. Below that (3) is the scullery where the dynamite was made. Left of that (4) is the kitchen with the police "discovering" the packaged dynamite. Below that (5) is a detail of one of the carboy containers - each containing 170lb of nitro-glycerine. Bottom right (6) is a vat in the cellar containing explosive liquid.

 

 

 

 

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