11 JANUARY 1908, Page 3

On the resumption of the hearing of the Druce case

on Monday, Professor Pepper, the Senior Surgeon and Con- sultative Adviser to the Home Office, gave evidence as to the construction of the coffin and the nature of the contents revealed by the recent exhumation. There was, be stated, no lead in the coffin, and the body, which was well preserved, was that of a man of from sixty-five to seventy- five, with moustache, whiskers, and full beard, closely corre- sponding to the photographs of Mr. T. C. Druce which have figured throughout the Police Court proceedings. After further evidence as to the identity of the remains had been given by Mr. Tbackrah, who had been employed by Mr. T. C. Druce, and was now a partner in the Baker Street firm of that name, Mr. Atherley-Jones made an important statement. Deliberation and anxious consultation since the exhumation bad confirmed his view that "in a certain event" it would be impossible for the prosecution to go on, and he added that he would be acting entirely contrary to the best traditions of his profession if he were to persist in the case. Mr. Plowden expressed his entire approval of this course as at once proper and inevitable. The exhumation had "pricked the mis- chievous bubble" of the alleged identity of Druce and the Duke of Portland. In discharging Mr. Herbert Druce, Mr. Plowden observed : "You leave this Court with your truth- fulness absolutely and conclusively vindicated.. I think you deserve the acknowledgment of the Court for consenting to a course which, although it served your case, was nevertheless distasteful, and rightly and naturally so, to the feelings of a son and a Christian gentleman."