A truly unique survior. This is the police exhibit drawn of by PC 689 William Henry Poole, City of London Police in April 1912 for the case of R-V-Tebbit. As crime scene photgraphy remained in its infancy the exhibit is in ink and watercolour, is signed by William H Poole April 1912, City of London Police. This relates to Police Constable 689 William Henry Poole. Records show PC Poole provided plans, models and sketches of vehicles in two other cases at the Old Bailey around the time (refer to Old Bailey online records) including the Sydney Street siege in 1911. He also produces a plan of bullet holes in a taxi in case in Fenchurch Street that occurred in September 1912. In that case there were three bullet holes, one in the glass and two in the cover of the taxi. That incident occurred in September 1912 eight months after the date of this particular exhibit.
In march 1912, as Leopold De Rothschild of the famous banking family was leaving the Rotschild bank in St Swithens Lane, London, his vehicle, a six cylinder Napier, was approached by the would-be assassin William Tebbit who fired a number of shots as the vehicle in an attempt to kill Rothschild. Newspaper coverage was extensive.
The Preston Herald refers to Mr Rothschild’s vehicle on the day in question being a "big six cylinder Napier, completely enclosed with a glass front and side windows” The Mercury Courant states “The glass on the right hand side was completely shattered by the assailants bullets". The Luton Times refers to three shots being fired between the two chauffeurs. The Herald refers to Tebbit standing almost in front of the vehicle and firing two shots.
It is now generally agreed that five shots were fired at the vehcile, three through the front and two at the side although no exact record showing this was available. Thsi hitherto missing exhibit clearly shows the location of the bullet holes.
Whilst Rothschild survived the shooting, a policeman, PC Charles Berg who was on special duties at the bank, was shot in the jaw tackling Tebbit. He survived but was badly injured.
Tebbit was taken to The Old Bailey in April 1912 and pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Rothschild.
Leopold de Rothschild was known for travelling through London in a coach pulled by zebras.
This rare surviving exhibit from a notable Old Bailey Trial is a fine example of early crime scene recording. Housed in an early 20th century frame.
Measuring: (frame) 40 cm x 31 cm
London, England, 1912