Many people were involved - for good and ill - in the events surrounding Inspector Minahan's investigation into the affairs of peers and politicians, and their too-close-for-comfort dealings with child prostitutes in London. In no particular order, here they are.


Bow Street Police Station, Covent Garden

Inspector Jeremiah Minahan (b. 1842), an Irish officer based at Bow Street station until March 1882, where he suddenly discovered a capability for waywardness. 

Chief Inspector Wood, Minahan’s superior, who did not approve.

DS Charles Berry, a detective sergeant.  

DS William Reader, a detective sergeant.

PC Tom Flawn, a young constable. 

George Broach, a drunken prisoner.   


King’s Road Police Station, Chelsea 

Inspector Jeremiah Minahan, who arrived in Chelsea from Bow Street in April 1882 and proceeded to graduate from waywardness to outright rebellion.  

Superintendent William Fisher (b. 1837), who did not approve.

Inspector Charles Ross, Fisher’s loyal henchman, who did not approve. 

PC McIlwain, Ross’ loyal henchman… 

PC Hocken, a young constable.

PC Hide, who failed to clean up the dirty station.


Uverdale Road, Chelsea

Barbara Pennant Minahan (b. 1838), Jeremiah’s wife, the daughter of a Welsh bishop.


Church Street, Chelsea

Mrs Mary Jeffries, (b. 1820), a brothel-keeper, trafficker and infamous queen of the London sex scene.

Maria Watts, Mary Jeffries’ former maid, who left in disgust.

George Bellchambers, Mary Jeffries’ former coachman, who left in disgust.

Elizabeth Bromwich, Mary Jeffries’ more ambivalent former maid, who simply left.

Ann Clark, a cook whose kitchen window lay opposite Mary Jeffries’ brothels.

Mr Bailey, Ann Clark’s short-tempered master.

Montagu Williams QC, (b. 1835), Mary Jeffries’ congenial defence barrister. 


Lisson Grove, Marylebone

Charles Street - 

Eliza Armstrong, (b. 1872), a missing girl, sweet-tempered and loyal.

Mrs Elizabeth Armstrong, (b. c. 1848), Eliza’s worn down, hard drinking mother. 

Charles Armstrong, (b. c. 1844), Eliza’s chimneysweep father.

Nancy Broughton, the Armstrong’s neighbour.

‘Bash’ Broughton, Nancy’s husband.

Rebecca Jarrett, (b. 1846-1850), Nancy’s friend and former workmate, and Eliza’s new ‘mistress’: a troubled woman with a dark past.

William Cooke, the long-suffering local magistrate.


Elsewhere - 

Madame Louise Mouret, a shady French midwife. 

Henry Smith, a concerned cab driver.


Westminster and Mayfair

The Harcourt family –

Sir William Harcourt (b. 1827), Liberal Home Secretary, a man of oafish physique and intellect: Inspector Minahan’s arch adversary.

Loulou Harcourt (b. 1863), Sir William’s son and private secretary. 

Thérèse Harcourt, (b. c. 1835) Sir William’s first wife.

Elizabeth Cabot Ives, (b. c. 1831), Sir William’s second wife.  

Lady Frances Waldegrave, (b. 1821), Sir William’s ambitious aunt.

George Granville Harcourt, (b. 1785), her old grumpy husband.


Sir William Harcourt’s friends -

Richard Monckton Milnes, (b. 1809), politician, poet and man of letters: the ‘cool of the evening’, the black of the night.

Reginald Baliol Brett, (b. 1852), Sir William’s protégé and Loulou’s friend.

George Cavendish-Bentinck, (b. 1821), a Tory MP and Sir William Harcourt’s Mayfair neighbour.


Fleet Street

William Thomas Stead, (b. 1849), editor of the Pall Mall Gazette: a lusty puritan.

Mr Jacques, a reporter for the Pall Mall Gazette: Stead’s shadowy sidekick.

Thomas Catling, (b. 1838), editor of Lloyd’s Weekly.

Henry Hales, (b. c. 1829), a tenacious reporter for Lloyd’s Weekly.


Scotland Yard

Lieutenant-Colonel Douglas Labalmondiere, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, (b.1815). 

Inspector Edward Borner, a police officer.   


The Soho Placeurs (Traffickers)

John Sallecartes, (b. c. 1836), a Belgian thug. 

Frederick Schultz, Sallecarte’s partner: violent, dark and handsome.  

Emile Regnier, (b. c. 1845), a former French Communard and habitual thief.

Edouard Roger, (b. c. 1841), a Brussels brothel-keeper.


The Guileless Girls

Adelene Tanner, (b. 1860), a vulnerable girl trafficked by Sallecartes and Roger. 

Emily Ellen, (b. 1859), a feisty girl trafficked by Sallecartes and Roger.

Lydia King, (b. 1860), a trafficked girl.


Reformers and God-fearing radicals

Alfred Dyer, (b.1849), a Quaker, publisher and social purity reformer: shy and furious.

Josephine Butler, (b. 1828), a relentless campaigner for female rights, and a woman of beauty and intellect. 

William Bramwell Booth, (b. 1856), chief of staff of the Salvation Army: a quiet fanatic who was bullied at school.

Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, (b. 1821) America’s first female doctor now residing in Hastings.

Benjamin Scott, (b. 1814) Chamberlain of the City of London, a self-made successful financier and social reformer. 

Henry Varley, (b. 1835), a Notting Hill butcher and evangelical preacher.



Explore the world in which these characters moved with Booth's 1880 map of Poverty