This would have appeared even before the inquest into Harry Pace's mysterious death properly began.
From left: Leslie, Dorothy, Selwyn, Beatrice and Doris Pace.
(World's Pictorial News, 5 February 1928.)
Judge Told Jury “Free Mrs. Pace”
High Court Judge twenty-seven years, Sir Thomas Gardner Horridge died at Hove yesterday, aged eighty.
Sir Thomas figured in the trial of Mrs. Pace, tragic widow of Coleford, Glos, acquitted on his direction on the charge of murdering her husband. He was also one of the Judges who tried Roger Casement.
In the Divorce Court he was known as “Hustling Horridge,” because of his speed in dealing with cases.
On one occasion he remarked: “If women cannot get their lunch in three-quarters of an hour, they are not fit to be jurors.”
Here are other [sic] of his views on women: --“The word ‘woman’ is disappearing from the English language. A charwoman is no longer a charwoman, but a ‘charlady.’ There are lady typists, lady hairdressers, lady shop assistants and lady everything else.”
Daily Mirror, 25 July 1938, p. 18
I had the pleasure of reading an early draft of the book, which is a fascinating history of a poisoning case that gripped England during the 1920s: Did Beatrice Pace slowly murder her husband with arsenic? John's book is written in crisp, accessible prose and studded with priceless quotations from contemporary news reports and court documents. It has as many plot twists as any detective story, and also casts fascinating sidelights on everything from early forensic science to press ethics to the status of women in inter-war England. Highly recommended!
When the police attempted to smuggle Mrs. Pace out of a back exit she was surrounded by hundreds of cheering people, and it was with difficulty that her taxi was able to move off. Later an hotel to which the Pace children had been taken was besieged, and the crowd would not disperse till the children had shown themselves. An attempt to mob the car was foiled by the mounted police. [...]
As the Pace children, Doris, Leslie and the little boy known as Kenny, were taken to an hotel for tea they were followed by a large crowd which waited outside. The place was besieged, and on several occasions people forced an entrance. At last, to satisfy their curiosity, Doris and her brothers went out to the entrance and showed themselves to the people, who cheered them loudly. Doris was carrying a doll which had been presented to her by sympathisers.[...]
Visitors have thronged Gloucester from all parts of the country in the hope of hearing Mrs. Pace tried, and the hotels are full.
‘Pace Children Besieged in Gloucester Hotel’, Daily Mirror, 3 July 28, p. 3
Doris, the pretty little daughter of the accused woman, was again the centre of attraction after her mother had been taken to the prison. The hotel where she has her meals was besieged by thousands of people. There was a demonstration against the police, whose task was one of great difficulty.
The superintendent of the mounted police, in trying to clear the pavements, was almost thrown from his horse, and even the tactful efforts of the constables on foot aroused much resentment. So difficult was the situation that the superintendent appealed to the hotel proprietor to keep the girl out of sight as much as possible and to get her away quickly.
Doris herself is blissfully unconscious of the seriousness of the situation, and regards the whole thing as a great adventure. “I think it is very funny,” she said. “I am enjoying myself very much, and everyone is so kind to me.”’
‘Heart Attack of Woman Juror at Pace Trial’, Daily Mirror, 5 July 1928, p. 2
A key issue—which takes up three of the book’s ten main chapters—concerns police relationships with the public. These were characterized by patterns of conflict and comity that varied by class and gender. The working classes were most likely to respond to police interference with violence, while the middle and upper classes were more prone to be “patronizing” and send letters of complaint. Klein sees a general improvement in police and public interactions, noting an increased civilian willingness to assist constables in trouble and, more generally, to cooperate with investigations. Constables had friendly relations with the public through gossip, assistance, favours, perks, and charity. Such contacts show, Klein argues, that constables “remained part of the working-class community” (221). One tricky issue, however, involved police relationships with women, which took both consensual and coercive forms. One of the book’s most interesting aspects concerns the multifaceted relationship between policing and new transportation and communication technologies, particularly the growth of motoring and the expanding use of the telephone. Both sorts of tasks—whether directing traffic and ticketing motorists or responding to telephone requests for assistance with a myriad of (often petty) problems—not only interfered with what officers saw as their main duty (i.e., fighting crime) but also contributed to tensions between police and public: notably, the growth of motoring meant the “higher classes” had more encounters with (working-class) police officers. [...]
If one of Klein’s goals was to break down the public’s view of the police (perhaps held as much now as then) as a “monolithic entity” (110), she has succeeded magnificently by offering a complex portrait of how everyday policing was experienced as a mixture of boredom, excitement, violence, humour, tragedy, and, at times, absurdity. In a strikingly original chapter, the extensive institutional supervision to which constables were subjected even allows Klein to provide insight into police officers’ domestic lives. An effective combination of detailed research and clear writing, Invisible Men joins the ranks of the must-read books about British policing.