The Metropolis

City History: Filmmaker Si Mitchell brilliantly explains the Tottenham Outrage of 1909

Mike Pollitt | Thursday 27 September, 2012 11:57

Si Mitchell’s 10 minute documentary about the Tottenham Outrage, an anarchist murder which shocked Edwardian London, is superb. Talking corpses, blood-spattered maps, dodgy Latvian accents and a narrator wandering in and out of chase scenes…this is a visual style which really, as they say, brings history to life.

Wikipedia has a full run down of the story behind the film. I excerpt the introduction below:

“The Tottenham Outrage is the name given to an armed robbery and double murder which took place in Tottenham, Middlesex and Walthamstow, Essex, on 23 January 1909, which was carried out by two anarchists Paul Helfeld and Jacob Lepidus both Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. The “Outrage” became a cause célèbre in Edwardian London, with the route of the murdered policeman’s funeral cortège being lined by a crowd of half a million people. The event led to the creation of the King’s Police Medal, to reward the gallantry of the police officers involved. It also reinforced a feeling of xenophobia, fear of immigrants, and anti-Semitism.”

See also:

City history: English Heritage’s round up of London’s newest listed buildings
Profile: Stratford filmmaker Winstan Whitter
Sketch: Dr Richard Barnett’s Sick City Project – London’s history of death and medicine

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Mike Pollitt

About this writer

Mike Pollitt

Mike Pollitt is the editor of The Metropolis.


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