The Complete Family History

- Continued

Pages  1   2          page 2 of 2


From London, England to New York, USA
The First Sasieni American Settlers



During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century many of our ancestors went to America from East London, England for the sole purpose of doing business or getting an education for their children in one of New York’s colleges. For some their aim was once this was accomplished they would return to England and prosper, whilst others risked everything to travel and settle permanently in America, selling all of whatever assets they had in hope of starting a new life. After entering America they wrote letters back to relatives about their lifestyles in the United States. Soon their relatives came to America to join them. They came because America was portrayed to be the land of opportunity; others came because they were encouraged by exaggerated stories of abundant job opportunities.

Reasons for leaving East London, England

London, England in the late nineteenth century and up to the early twentieth century can be seen as the dual identities of Dr Jekyll and Mr.Hyde; the flourishing West End of London contented itself with blissful ignorance while its East End counterpart manifested the unspeakable horrors of human depravity that are epitomized in the dark, grisly character of Jack the Ripper. The Whitechapel murders of 1888, perpetrated by the notorious killer known as Jack the Ripper, all occurred within a relatively small area of London’s destitute and crime-ridden East End. The Whitechapel district, together with the East End was an embarrassment to the elite London society that occupied West End districts like Mayfair and Kensington, described by one author as “a breeding ground for criminals, prostitutes and layabouts; a centre for depravity, degradation and disease.”

Whitechapel housed a community largely comprised of poor immigrant families, including many Jews fleeing persecution from Russia and Eastern Europe, most of whom were crammed into squalid tenements with 7-9 occupants per room. Most of the East End population was employed in factory work, with meagre earnings and harsh conditions. The overpopulation of the urban districts, combined with horrific health conditions exacerbated by poor drainage and inadequate sanitation created an environment in which diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, and the venereal diseases spread by prostitution claimed many lives and starvation, death became routine and a daily reality. The extreme poverty of the area also contributed to the rampant crime that plagued the East End. The scene of Whitechapel at the time of the murders of Jack the Ripper was likely a grim picture of poverty’s worst elements; unlit alleys and drunken vagrants created dangerous conditions for the many residents who had to live and work in the area.

The Decision to leave England – The Journey

Prior to leaving England the Sasieni`s had to book passage on a ship. They had meagre financial means. For the most part, emigrants paid very little money for a spot in the steerage compartments of passenger ships. On May 19, 1924, Alfred Sasiene described his voyage in steerage like this:
" I went on board, jammed in so tight that I couldn't turn round, there were so many people, you see, and the stench was terrible. When I got to Ellis Island they put the gangplank down, and there was a man at the foot, he was shouting at the top of his voice, put your luggage here, drop your luggage here. men this way, women and children that way. There was a mound of luggage and hoped I could find it again later."


Abram (Alfred) Sasiene


Residence 1911: 118 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1, England.

Immigrated to America on May 19, 1924. Arrived on the Leviathan at the port of New York.

Lived at :192 Beach, 119th St, Rockaway beach, New York, USA.  Worked for Bernard Brindze at 114 East 129th Street, NYC, USA.

Was naturalized on June 14, 1938 in Rockaway Park, Queens County, New York, USA.

Alfred Sasiene was a house painter in NY and also performed in vaudeville too for a time and was a part time clown and showman.


Eventually the Sasieni families arrived in New York. But before they would qualify for US citizenship they had to pass through Ellis Island just off the mainland of New York, an immigrant holding centre where immigration officials would determine whether the applicants would become US citizens or not.

Ellis Island

Immigrant arrivals reached approximately one million each year during the peak immigration period, 1900-1914. There was ever-growing numbers that taxed the facility with long lines and overcrowding. Ships dropped anchor outside the Narrows where Quarantine officers would come aboard to check for signs of epidemic diseases. If a ship was free of disease, doctors would then examine the first and second-class passengers, most of whom were given permission to land as soon as the ship docked. Steerage-class passengers were ferried to Ellis Island for inspection.

Sometimes new arrivals had to wait aboard their ships for days before being transferred to Ellis Island.  Once there they were often confined to the overcrowded barges for hours without food or water, waiting for their turn to disembark for inspection. The barges chartered by the steamship lines lacked adequate toilets and lifesaving equipment, they were freezing cold in winter and unbearably hot in the summer. When disembarking at Ellis Island some immigrants were so encumbered with large bundles that they kept their health certificates handy by clenching them between their teeth. Their assortment of baggage contained what must have been their most prized but portable belongings: clothing, feather beds, dinnerware, as well as photographs, family prayer books and other mementoes of their homeland.

The medical inspection began as soon as the immigrants ascended the stairs to the Registry Room. U.S. Public Health Service doctors stationed at the top of the stairs watched carefully for shortness of breathe or signs of heart problems as the immigrants climbed up the steps hefting their baggage. U.S. Public Health Service doctors sometimes had only six seconds to scan each immigrant during the line inspection. If a doctor found any indication of disease, he marked the shoulder or lapel of an immigrant's clothing with chalk. For example: "L" for lameness, "E" for eyes marked immigrants, some of whom had received several of these mystifying letters were removed from the inspection line and led to special examination rooms. There a doctor would check them for the ailment indicated by the chalk mark and give them a quick overall physical. Many had to be sent to the hospital for observation and care. Patients who recovered were usually allowed to land. Others, whose ailments were incurable or disabling, were sent back to their ports of origin.

The first Sasieni US settlers

The first Sasieni family members to become permanent American citizens arrived from England to the United States about 1905, although others had visited the United States decades before.

For some their original plan was to stay for a few months and to later return home to London, England, but most would prefer living in the United States and to become permanent residents, not because they didn’t like England, but they found living in America could offer better opportunities than what they had been used to in England.

After the Sasieni`s passed through Ellis Island, they were in a strange land with very few possessions. They tended to stick together in family groups of settlers. Few travelled south and even less ventured west. The majority clustered in tight groups in the city of New York. They continued with their religion, way of life and persisted to become good loyal American citizens although they still had to endure great prejudices. We see certain ethnic peoples such as Jews and Italians as whites today, but to turn-of-the-century scholars they were categorised as members of different, alien races.

Most of the Sasieni`s were moved into tenement type housing shortly after arriving in New York.

The first tenement in New York was built in 1833 by a savvy landlord who saw an emerging market for cheap multi-family housing, located on Water Street in lower Manhattan. The first tenement inspired other landlords to build affordable apartments for lower and middle class tenants. By 1864 more than 62 percent of New York's 800,000 residents called a tenement their home.

In the households the family's main purpose was to put food on the table and keep everyone clothed. Everyone in the household worked long hours. Those without special skills were forced to work in the unsanitary and unsafe industrial factories. For the first time in history mothers were the heads of a household. These mothers were responsible for raising children and keeping the house clean. Many mothers also supported the family by taking in boarders and doing laundry.

These families could barely afford education, a luxury at the time. This did not improve their reputation as immigrants. Very few went to college or acquired high paying jobs. They did the dirty work and the menial tasks in the city, but many immigrants were thrilled to be working, for in London and their parents in Amsterdam had been working as menial labourers for many years.

Every few years some would become homesick and journey back across to England to visit friends and family, mostly in the London area and some areas elsewhere.

The Sasieni families gradually assimilated into the American society. They were tremendous at saving money and extremely ambitious. The future generations were going to make enormous contributions to American society. Like all other ethnic groups that immigrated to the United States the Jews were stereotyped. When they entered America they were seen as filthy, mean and corrupt. The Sasieni`s lived through the stereotyping with their heads raised. They knew that immigrants made many contributions to the American society.

The second and third generations of Sasieni`s were born into America in the early to mid/late twentieth century. They grew to be Americans. They still had their Dutch/English heritage within them but soon rejected the old immigrant style of life. They needed to move out and become part of American society. They were assimilated into American society with the birth of new generation family members. Although our ancestors may have rejected the old European cultures, they indirectly began a new European culture. With the Dutch/English heritage in their blood forever there was no way to escape their past. Soon enough these new generation Sasieni`s were respectful and proud of their ancient heritage.

Today the descendants of those first English Sasieni immigrant settlers to America in 1905 are on average very successful and well educated persons in America and are moving up socially and educationally at a much faster rate than our ancestors did in previous eras. Most hold college degrees and in many respects these descendants are like their predecessors who came in the early 1900s with only a strong back and a willingness to work incredibly hard. This could be generally regarded as among the biggest success stories of their era. In 1910 our younger family members would have been below grade level for their age. Due to the lack of funds and prejudices against them, their prospects looked pretty grim at the time. But these family members, our ancestors, nonetheless began to thrive in America.

Shift from New York City

Later as the descendants progressed with better education and improved financial means, many would move from New York in search of better opportunities. The family members now known as the Sasiene`s and Sasine`s expanded to many cities over the United States. The following samples of United States Sasiene and Sasine family birth places has been taken from public records:

Astoria, Oregon, Atlanta GA, Atlanta, Georgia, Bellevue, Washington, Boston Mass, Brooklyn, New York, California, Corvallis, Oregon, Ithaca, Michigan, New Brighton PA, New Hyde Park, New Jersey, Rockledge, Florida, Seattle, Washington, Southern California, Tacoma WA, Texas.


The original Sasieni ancestors from Holland, to England and some further on to the United States, left their countries of origin seeking to escape abject poverty, i.e. economic refugees.

Having made slow progress after trying desperately to improve their living conditions and lifestyles in the original countries, through decades of battling against oppression, prejudice, lack of decent housing, lack of medical facilities, low education and limited employment opportunities, a few of the more enterprising family members made the difficult decision to join or take refuge in the United States low-wage market, which they considered at that period the only option available left open for them to increase their chances of prosperity, survival and well-being of themselves and their families.

Today the descendants of those first Sasieni Dutch and English family entrepreneur pioneers, now known by the surnames of: Sasiene and Sasine families of America are: doctors, scientists, dentists, management consultants, lawyers, poets, Information Technology specialists, school teachers, opticians, chemists, magazine writers and technical advisors who will no doubt continue to prosper well into the 21st century.


Video - Immigration Through Ellis Island, Award Winning Documentary Video Film

Take a look at this interesting video, filmed in a fish market - Jewish New York City 1903

This video is a view as to how so many Jewish Immigrants began their lives in America, the so-called land of opportunity

during the early part of the twentieth century.


Sassienie Family Tree

The Great Sasieni
Family Dispersal

During the mid nineteenth century up to the early part of the twentieth century all the Sasieni family members would have been living within and around Spitalfields of the East End of London, England. Then eventually after a period of 50 years most progressed and moved to more prominent areas within London, other cities in England and some to New York in the United States. All went their separate ways, probably between 1905 and 1915, mainly due to marriages and emigration into the United States.

As an example, about 1905 Morris Moses Sassienie moved with his wife and 12 children from Spitalfields to 118 Mile End Road, Stepney, London E1, England. During the period of 1905 and 1940 all his children began leaving the family home. 2 sons had immigrated to the United States, others had married and moved into new areas, 1 son and 3 daughters were moved next door to 122 Mile End Road when 118 was blitzed in 1940 during World War 2. Morris Moses Sassienie died 1940 in Malden, Essex, England.

Finally the Sasieni/Sassienie families became scattered into the four winds around the world. They began at Spitalfields in old London town with Wolf Jacob Sasieni and his children as one family. Almost 4 generations later, the descendants of Wolf Sasieni began moving away from the main family group and concluding with their modern day descendants separating into 4 branches of the family tree and becoming long lost cousins.


                                                                           Australia                  New Zealand                     England    


                   Thailand                                                 Israel                                  United States                       Canada

Sassienie Family Tree

Homes Of Our Immigrant Ancestors
A Pictorial History
Photographed by Anthony Steel - 2002

Homes of the first & second-generation Sasieni families in East London, England. Tenterground, Spitalfields & Mile End Road, London E1. Site of Captain Cook`s cottage, tenement block from 1901 with residents, the original local pub and Photos of surviving buildings taken 10th August 2002.

First photo: Tenement building 1901 – Tenter Ground Street. It is possible that some children in the photograph are Sasieni family members.
Second photo: Duke of Wellington pub, Spitalfields. Public drinking house built in 1775. Pub still in original format. Possibly a local gathering place of Sasieni husbands and men during the late 19th century.

Third Photo: Soup kitchen and temporary accommodation for the Jewish poor in Brune Street, Spitalfields. The building now rented out as office units. Facility mainly for the benefit of East European Immigrants being placed into the area during the later part of the 19th century.

There are no records of Sasieni family members receiving or donating to this soup kitchen.

Photos nos 1 and 2: Entrance into Whites Row off Commercial Street, leading to the Tenter Ground. Whites Row showing car park on right.

Photo no 3: Entrance to Tenter Ground. Red arrow points to the now (2002) only surviving building from 1878. Home of the original Dutch immigrant Sasieni families.
Photo no 4: Front view of tenement. A new building is being erected opposite. This once residential tenement is now used as workshops and warehouse storage.

Photo no 5: The original wood and iron front door entrances from 1878 still exist.
Photo no 6: Side view of building, Brune Street. Original Street sign. Although looking the worst for wear is still present.

Photo no 7: Side and rear view of building going into Bell Lane.
Photo no 8: Rear view showing original window frames and bottom left the remnants of a wooden stair case.


Photo no 9: The last stand. Late 20th century and mid 19th century together. This is Whites Row and side view of the Tenter Ground block.

This part of the building has been revamped, perhaps because this side is in sight of office workers and tourists.
Photo no 10 & 11: The beginning of development in the area.

Photo no 1: At the beginning of the 20th century, Morris (Moses) Sassienie moved from the Tenter Ground to this tenement flat: 118 Mile End Road, Stepney Green, London E.1 with his children. Building still has original front. Many family members were born in these premises, including Morris Sidney Sassienie in 1922
Photo no 2:
On the night of Thursday, February 13, 1941 during a bombing raid, a high explosive German bomb fell in Hannibal Road, Stepney, London E1, a proximity close to the Sassienie homes and damaged the roof of 118 Mile End Road. The remaining family living at 118 were given alternative accommodation at 122 and 124. 122 became the residence of Jacob (Jack) Sassienie, his wife Rachel (Rae) Shine and on the second floor their daughter, Stella Sassienie and her husband, Samuel (Sam) Lewis.

Photo no 3: 124 Mile End Road, Stepney Green, London E.1 became the residence of Doris Sassienie, her husband Alec Stern, children Farley Stern (later Farley David) and Steven Stern.   On the first floor resided, Sarah (Sally) Sassienie with her children, Valerie, Lesley Alan and Jacqueline.

Photo no 4: A wider view of these early 19th century properties. In the mid 1970s these buildings were no longer considered suitable for residential use. The compactness of the tenements prohibited any modernisation, expansion or advancement to the properties. The tenants progressed to more modern accommodations, some within the district, others moved away to other locations, after which the city council decided to demolish and rebuild the whole area. Similar buildings to the left of the picture were demolished; a few tenements remained becoming listed as historic buildings, hence are still there (2002) today.

What you have seen is the last vestige of our Dutch Immigrant ancestors. It is a hope that in the future more family will take new interest in our past family history and will encourage others to research and to bring more light into this long neglected corner of our immigrant ancestors in the East End of London, England, as sadly soon could be lost forever.

Sassienie Family Tree


Family Involvement - Major Historical World Events


Did the Father in Law of: Jacob (Jack) Sassienie 1890 – 1961
Witness a Jack the Ripper Murder?


Nathan Shine

According to Nathan Shine’s own oral statement first told to his parents and later his children, on 30th September 1888, Nathan Shine alleges that he left a working mans social club in Commercial Street, Whitechapel, London E1, England heading for his home. On turning into Berner Street from Commercial Street at approx 1.00am he saw a man holding a large narrow bladed knife standing over a woman who was lying on the ground, motionless. The man stared straight into the face of Nathan and then turned and made a swift retreat from the scene. At the same time, Nathan, in fear of his life, ran away in the opposite direction and took another route to his home. It appears that Nathan disturbed the man moments after the woman had been killed. Nathan Shine told of his experience to his parents but the episode was not mentioned again for many years, as for fears of reprisals, either from the murderer or from anti Semitic gangs.

Taken by word of mouth after the death of Nathan Shine from older members of the family, the woman Nathan had seen lying on the ground was probably that of ELIZABETH STRIDE and Nathan had described the man who was standing over the woman as: age, about 30; height, approx 5 ft 6 in; of pale complexion, dark hair; small dark brown moustache, full roundish face, broad shouldered; dressed in a dark jacket and trousers, black cap with peak but could see hair on both sides of head and holding a long thin bladed knife in his right hand. Of course when assessing Nathan’s description of the man, we must take into consideration that this event happened during the darkness of night and in Victorian era East End of London the streets were dimly lit by gas powered lighting, making any colours such as on clothing, hair very difficult to define, although Nathan Shine stated that he did see who he thought to be the murderer at close range.

Nathan shine’s story is very credible as the incident he described exactly matches in with the official police reports of the time. It followed that the body of ELIZABETH STRIDE was not mutilated. Mutilation was the usual practice of Jack the Ripper after a kill and it was concluded that Jack the Ripper was probably disturbed only moments after he stabbed Elizabeth Stride to death.

A possible string of events is as follows, some taken from Scotland Yard police records but most is unevidenced speculation:

The Ripper sees an East End of London resident, Israel Schwartz a Jewish man, immediately after he attacks his victim, but doesn't yet kill, Stride. Angered, and perhaps frightened of capture, he shouts an anti Semitic insult at Schwartz, walks away but keeps Israel Schwartz in view until Schwartz has walked off the scene. The killer then returns and kills Stride, but is again interrupted -- this time by Nathan Shine another Jewish man.

Frustrated with the Shine interruption (which prevents him from mutilating Stride), the Ripper searches for another victim, finding Catharine Eddowes in Mitre Square.

Fleeing quickly back into the heart of Whitechapel after killing Eddowes, the killer discards a piece of her bloody apron in Goulston Street. Angered at having had to rush his killings because of the interruptions of two Jews, the Ripper writes the cryptic "Juwes" message on the wall above the apron.

The murderer’s misspelling of the word Jews as Juwes, maybe evidence that Jack the Ripper was an uneducated man from a poor background, having difficulties with reading and writing, which was most common within the poorer communities in nineteenth century London, England.

In conclusion, Nathan Shine’s statement should be taken as literal. The Sassienie family and the Shine’s placed a great deal of credibility in it and the fact that they did not disclose the incidence (perhaps they were trying to keep Nathan Shine’s story from the press,) must show just how much the Shine`s, Sassienie`s and other Jewish people living in Whitechapel, London, England at those times had been living in fear of crime or creating any situation that could have materialised into a sort of mini pogrom against the Jews.





Elizabeth Stride was born during the year 1843 in Sweden. She came to London, England in 1856 and worked

as a prostitute in the Whitechapel district.

She was stabbed to death on 30th September 1888 in Dutsfield's Yard, Berner Street.

Elizabeth Stride had her throat cut, but was not mutilated.

The body was examined by Dr Blackwell and Dr Phillips.

Elizabeth Stride was buried in a pauper's (Poor) grave, no.15509 in East London Cemetery.


Video - Jack the Ripper murder locations - then and now

Video - Grave of Elizabeth Stride, East London Cemetery and probably buried beneath the grave is locked the secret as to the true identity of Jack the Ripper.


Sassienie Family Tree


Signalman Morris Sidney Sassienie
Dagenham East Train Crash Disaster - 30th January 1958


The Dagenham East rail crash was a railway accident on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line of British Railways that occurred at Dagenham, Essex, England. The accident took place at around 19:34 on 30 January 1958 and was a rear-end collision of two late-running trains in foggy conditions at Dagenham East station. The accident occurred after one train had passed signals at danger (red) due to a driver's error. Ten people were killed in the accident and 89 injured.

The trains involved were the 18:20 Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness and the 18:35 Fenchurch Street to Thorpe Bay. Both trains were steam hauled and consisted of 11 coaches carrying approximately 500 passengers each. The 18:35 train ploughed into the back of the 18:20 departure, which demolished three carriages and derailed several others. The locomotive of the 18:35 train and leading carriage were derailed. Some wreckage blocked the adjacent London Underground train line but did not cause any further accidents.

At the time, Morris Sidney Sassienie, noted as porter Sass on the official Government accident reports, was a British Railways signalman based at Dagenham East and was on duty on the day of the accident. Although Morris Sassienie was subject to enquiry, he was cleared and exonerated of committing any negligent actions that caused the train crash.

Train Operator(s)
British Railways (Eastern Region)

Primary Cause(s)
Driver error

Secondary Cause(s)

Signal passed at danger, rear collision, derailment

No. Fatalities
No. Injured



                 Click image to view the British

                            Pathe News Video


Click cover to view the M.O.T official

    accident report

Video - Train crash scene from the film: Train Of Events (1949)



In memory of those who were involved, survived and died in the Dagenham East Train Crash Disaster - 30th January 1958


Sassienie Family Tree


Father in law of Jacob Jack Sassienie and father of Rachel Shine


Offence: Theft > receiving
Verdict: Not Guilty

Trial of SHINE, Nathaniel (43, job buyer)


SHINE, Nathaniel (43, job buyer), feloniously receiving three pipes and one cigarette holder, the goods of Walter Scales, well noting them to have been stolen. Mr. A.H. Forbes prosecuted; Mr. Salkeld Green defended.


JOHN WILLIAM VINCENT, salesman to Walter Scoles, carrying on business as J. Wisbey and Co., 77, Houndsditch. The pipes shown to me come from our firm; they are worth 8shillings or 9shillings. They are not a job lot. We deal in the other articles shown to me. We are continually losing goods answering this description.


CHARLES WHITE. On November 21, I was employed by Wisbey's as assistant salesman. I think I first met prisoner about seven weeks ago in London Wall. We passed the time of day and spoke business. He said if I could get hold of anything and took it round to his house be would buy it of me. I have seen him at Wisbey's. I do not know if he has seen me. He knew where I was employed. These brushes came from Wisbey's. I took them to Mr. Shine's tike night before I was taken into custody. He met me in. Barnsbury. I sold him the pipes at dinner-time. To the beat of my belief we had three deals; they came to 23 shillings; I received only 10 shillings. They were not job lots Prisoner never asked if they were job lots.


Cross-examined. Wisbey's is a very busy place. I have seen prisoner in and out nearly all the three yean I was there. I had never spoken or nodded to him. I could not tell you if I had a conversation with him about his chest when I met him in London Wall. I would not swear he did not say he was suffering from consumption. He said he wanted to go to a hospital to get treatment. I said, "I am a life governor of a hospital myself and can get you a ticket." I gave him my address and told him to come to my house for a ticket. I believe I took the ticket when I took the thongs over. I do not think he asked me what I did for a living. I did not say, "I deal in job goods of any description." I may have mentioned pianos. I was a dealer in pianos I had a bag containing some goods. I could not tell you if I said to him, "I have got a few odds and ends here; could you do with them?" I night have done. I produced some side-combs, dressing-combs, a few purses and mouth-organs. I said, "These are odds and ends; give me 12shillings for them." He wad, "I will give 10 shillings."


Detective-constable FRENCH, City Police. On November 21, I arrested Charles White on a charge of stealing property belonging to his employer. He made a communication to me, in consequence of which I accompanied him to Bell Lane, where he pointed out prisoner. I said to prisoner, "I am a police officer, and I am going to arrest you with this man White for stealing and receiving some pipes, a cigarette, 1 tube, and other articles, the property of Messrs. Wisbey." Prisoner said, "You have made a mistakes" He then said, "I did buy some pipes in the dinner hour, and if you like to come round home I will show them to you." I went to his home, where the pipes were produced and the cigarette-holder. I searched the house and found various other property. (Witness identified the pipes.)

Cross-examined. When the pipes were found he said, "I am a job buyer; I bought some pipes and combs from this man," pointing to White, "who I thought was a job buyer also."




NATHANIEL SHINE (prisoner, on oath). I live at 5, Palmer Street. I have been a job buyer for 20 years. I have been doing business with Wisbey's over ten years. I have all the receipt. I am suffering from consumption. I have been in four hospitals. About six weeks before my arrest White approached me in London Wall. He said, "Hullo." I looked at him for a minute. I had seen him once or twice at Wisbey's; I thought he was a traveller. He said, "How are—you going on" I said, "I don't feel well, I am going to get a letter." He said, "l am life governor of a hospital; come to 26, Offord Road, and I will give you a letter." I did, and was glad to get the letter. At his house he asked me what I was doing. I said, "Buying job lots, what are you doing?" He said, "I have been working for a firm about 15 yean in pianos "; did not mention any name. I thought he was gentlemen; he had a very nice place. He produced a brown bag containing these pipes and other things. He asked 12 shillings. I did not ask him where he got them from. I said, "I will allow you 10shillings for them." I kept them for three weeks; I was trying to save the stuff for Christmas so as to buy the children some clothes. Three weeks following he came to my house. He asked for 12 shillings. I said, "I will give you 10 shillings in the dinner hour." The day following he sold me the pipes and; cigarette holder. He asked 4 shillings; I gave him 3 shillings. You can buy them as 10 shillings,

12 shillings and 15 shillings a dozen in any shop in Houndsditch. I have been carrying on business as a job buyer 20 yean in London.


Cross-examined. I was not frequently in Wisbey's during the two-months before November 21. I might go in now and again, and the governor would say, "Shine, I have not got anything for you to-day." I never saw White in the basement. Job buyers do not ask where the goods come from. I thought that White was a traveller. I did not know he was employed at Wisbey's or I should not have bought them. How could I think he worked there when I met him in London Wall? White admitted at the station, that be never informed me they were stolen.


Verdict, Not guilty.


It is alleged that Nathan Shine witnessed a Jack the Ripper murder, perhaps a suspect and may have been unjustly and discriminatorily victimised by the City of London and Westminster police for this reason.


Original Old Bailey court record

Click on image to view full size

Leon Sassienie

Son of Moses (Moppy) Sassienie & Yotje (Julia) Spier

British newspaper clipping from 1908



                                                             A wallet containing precious stones to the value of about

                                                             £1,500 has been stolen from Mr. L. Sassienie, a diamond

                                                             setter, of Hatton garden, who was carrying the stones in

                                                             his overcoat. Above, Mr. Sassienie is showing the pocket

                                                             from which the diamonds were lost.

                                                             In 1908, £1500 was the equivalent of £162000 today (2016).

                                                             Outcome of this case, unknown.



Branch three family member, husband of Rachel (Rae) Akker


Witness > Leon Sassienie

Offence: Breaking Peace > wounding

Verdict: Guilty


CHANDLER, Frederick (38, acrobat), feloniously wounding   Frederick Harris with intent to do him grievous bodily harm; feloniously throwing corrosive fluid at and upon Frederick Harris with intent to disable him and to do him grievous bodily harm and applying to him a certain destructive substance, with intent to disable him; stealing one coat, the goods of Margaret Sohaack.


Mr. Hardy prosecuted.


The first indictment was proceeded with.


FREDERICK HARRIS, jeweler. On March 6, I received this letter dated March 5 and signed "Fred Chandler," stating "Dear Harris.—I have just returned to town and want a stone, about 2 carats, white. If you can manage to call at my place at lunch time, about 12.30, I should be obliged. "I went to 9 Duchess Street, the address on the letter, and asked for Mr. Chandler; I had not known him before. I was shown upstairs and saw his wife. After about five minutes prisoner came in. He said, "You are not the man I meant, but anyhow, let me have a look at what you have got." I showed him some jewellery and he selected about a dozen articles worth £199. There were two brooches; one had some stones missing, which he wanted replaced, and one he wanted made into another article of jewellery. He asked me to return at 3 p.m. and he would have the money, which had come from Sydney, ready. I returned at that time, and he said he had been to his bank and he expected a messenger from there with the money. I waited till five, and I said I would not wait any longer and offered to go to the bank with him. I went with him to Oxford Street, where it was supposed to be; I think he said it was the London and Westminster. When he got to Oxford Street he said, "It is rather late now. If you will call at my flat tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock I will have the money waiting for you." On the next day, April 7, I called there at that time and saw his wife. Prisoner arrived about two or three minutes afterwards. I asked him if he had got the money from his bank, and he said, "Yes; everything was all right." He went into the bedroom. I was looking out of the dining-room window when I received a terrible smash on the head from the back. I tried to smash the window. He squirted ammonia in my face. He said to his wife, who was sitting down, "Run!" She ran out and he followed her. I collected my goods and gave chase. I had to give up and got into a taxi and told the driver to drive to the nearest doctor. On arriving there the doctor said I was reeking with ammonia. I told him I had been assaulted, and he went for a policeman. A constable came when I was bathing my head and I went with him to Duchess Street, where I saw prisoner. He said to me, "Harris, you won't charge me, will you, after all these years I have known you?" I said, "I have never seen you in my life until yesterday for the first time." He said, "I am sorry. It was a sudden impulse.' He said nothing about my having assaulted his wife; the first time I heard the suggestion was at the station.


Cross-examined by prisoner. I am the son of Mr. Harris, jeweller, of Houndsditch. I did not see you in Hatton Garden five months ago and offer you a pearl pin. I may have bought a pearl pin at that time. I bought one from Mr. Leicester. I did not meet you at the corner of Wardour Street four months ago and show you a diamond ring which I valued at £38 10s; I did not have a ring weighing 3 1/2 carats at that time; I had one weighing 1 1/4 carats at £36 a carat. I have been to a Mr. Marks to buy a ring, but I did not go with you; I offered to buy a ring that was marked £60 and weighing about 2 1/2 carats. I tried to sell a Mr. Green a pearl pin; I offered one for £9 10s and said I would give £9 Hack for it, but we did not do any business. I never met you the day before you wrote to me. You did not throw the ginger-beer bottle at me; you hit me with it. I was not sitting down at the time. Neither of you attempted to touch my bag containing the jewellery. I did not pick up the India rubber bottle and throw it at you as you were going down the stairs. When I looked through the jewellery at the station everything was all right. I do not remember your saying to me afterwards, "You had better consider before you charge me." or I told the doctor at the station that I felt all right and that I was only a bit shaken. I did not say at the police court that I was not sure if you had hit me. It was three days before I was able to go back to work. I did not tell your landlord that you were a friend of mine.


THOMAS ROSE , divisional surgeon. At 12.15 p.m. on March 7, I examined the prosecutor. He was suffering from a contused wound on the right side of the head; it was H shaped. He also had a scratch on the right side of the nose, which might have been caused by the nail. His tongue and the inside of his lower lip were acutely inflamed, caused by some corrosive fluid. This ginger-beer bottle (produced) might have caused the wound on the head. The green bottle contains strong fluid of ammonia, and this syringe (Exhibit 3) smells very strongly of ammonia. I could smell it on the prosecutor.


To prisoner. I do not remember his saying, "I feel all right, but a bit upset." He has not been permanently injured. (To the Jury.) By experimenting I find the syringe can squirt as much as 18 ft.


Police-constable JOHN WELSBY, 439 D. On March 7, I saw prisoner running across Woburn Place: I gave chase and caught him. There was blood on his face and collar and he had no hat on. I asked him what he was running for and he said, "I have had a row with a friend of mine and I hit him with a bottle. I do not think I hurt him. I hope I have not hurt him as much as I think I have. "I asked him where it occurred, and he said, "At 9 Duchess Street." I accompanied him there. I asked the boy who came to the door where the man was that had been hit and he said he had gone to the doctor. I sent another police constable to find where he had prone to, and I went with prisoner to the first floor front room. Underneath a chair, behind the door, I found this ginger-beer bottle; there is a piece knocked off it. I said to him, "What's this?" and he said, "That's what I hit him with." I walked to the door, and noticed on the bend of the staircase this syringe. The boy brought it up at my request. I smelt it, and it was so strong that I turned my head away. Prisoner snatched it out of my hand and said, "That is liquid I use." He squirted the contents on the carpet; they smelt like ammonia. I took that from him. He said, "What would you do, constable, if he assaulted your wife?" I made no reply. Prosecutor then arrived and said he would charge him. On the way to the station prisoner said, "I have lost a pocket-book with £200 in it." I told him to tell that to the inspector. A little way on he said, "Can I charge him with assaulting my wife as well?" I made no reply. At the station when charged he made no reply. He did not charge prosecutor with assaulting his wife, and so far as I am concerned he never gave any further information about the £200 that he said had been lost.


To prisoner. I do not remember you looking round when you were running and then stopping and walking towards me; you ran round a water-van to avoid me. I do not remember your saying when the syringe was found, "That is what Harris threw at me." I took down everything you said. When you squirted the ammonia out you never said anything about using it for clothes. The statements you made in the house I wrote down at the time; those you made on the way to the station I wrote down at the station before you were charged.


  JACOB WILLIAM PEWY . I live at 9, Duchess Street, where I let lodgings. On March 4 prisoner came with his wife and took a sitting and bedroom at £2 5s. a week. He paid 10s. deposit. He brought no luggage; they said that would follow. Nothing came when they were there. On March 6 I saw prosecutor leaving the premises. I followed him.


To prisoner. I know nothing about the advertisement offering £40 reward for 5 mill notes lost near Duchess Street. I asked prosecutor if he was doing any business with you, and he said, "No; he is a friend of mine."


Detective-sergeant BEX. About 12 noon on March 7, I saw prisoner at the Tottenham Court Road Police Station. I asked him if he wished to give me any information about the loss of his money to enable me to try and trace it for him. He said, "I will give all the information to my solicitor." He had a solicitor representing him at the police court. I went to 9 Duchess Street, where, in his bedroom, I found this green bottle, containing a small quantity of ammonia and this funnel, which is made to fit the syringe.




LIONEL GREEN jeweler, 36 Wardour Street. (To prisoner.) On December 29 you bought a wedding-ring from me. A week before I believe Mr. Harris called at my shop to look at single-stone ring. I believe he showed me a ring he had and some pearls. He offered a customer in my shop a pearl weighing six grains for £9 10s and offered to give £9 for it. I did no business with him. I believe you were in the shop at the same time; you looked at the ring I was showing to Mr. Harris at the same time. I think he showed you a large stone as well. (To the Court.) I can only say that at that time Harris and prisoner were together; I cannot say if they came in together.


Cross-examined. I have been sentenced to 12 months' for receiving stolen property.


LEON SASSIENIE , working jeweler, 16 Hatton Garden. (To prisoner) I have known you about 12 months. I have done several jobs for you; I have done two or three things to your design. I have seen you several times in Hatton Garden.


(Wednesday, April 24.)


NELLIE ROBERTS, I am the wife of the prisoner, whose name is Roberts. On the day of the assault prisoner opened a bottle of ginger-beer for me. He went out at about 11 a.m. Prosecutor called and was showing me some jewellery when prisoner returned. As the door opened I was handing prosecutor back a hairpin when the prisoner attacked him. I did not see the assault, but became frightened and ran out of the room. On the previous Tuesday I bought prisoner three penny worth of ammonia to clean some clothes; he said he had broken the bottle and he put the ammonia in an India rubber bottle, filling it with water. Prisoner is jealous and irritable.


Cross-examined. I was married to prisoner about four months ago. We then lived for a month in Tollington Square under the name of Ford; this was at my request. We then went to 9 Duchy Street in the name of Chandler. Prisoner told me he had lost a pocket-book containing £200 and that a £50 note had been taken from his coat. I do not know anything about it, or whether he has recovered it, or given information to the police. When prisoner struck prosecutor my head was turned; I heard prosecutor scream; I saw nothing at all. I simply rushed out of the room, out of the house, and into an empty house somewhere. I have stated all I remember.


FREDERICK CHANDLER (prisoner, not on oath), stated that, believing prosecutor was behaving improperly to his wife, he lost his temper, seized the ginger-beer bottle, and struck him on the head on the spur of the moment; that he made no attempt to throw ammonia, and that the smell was caused by its having been spilt in the room.


Verdict, Guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.


Prisoner confessed to having been sentenced at this court on September 7, 1909, to 15 months' hard labour for obtaining money by false pretences. Other convictions proved: South Londonssions, October 10, 1900, nine months for housebreaking; June 14, 1905, 15 months' for conspiracy to defraud.


Sentence: Five years' penal servitude.




Death notices of Moses Akker, father of Rachel (Rae) Akker

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Sassienie Family Tree


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