9. Others believed that Spring Heeled Jack was The Marquis of Waterford.
The idea that Spring Heeled Jack was an aristocrat began to grow out of the earliest reports of his crimes. Lucy Scales and her sister described how he had the demeanor of a ‘gentleman” However, even before Lucy’s attack, reports were coming in that substantiated the assertion of the letter received by the Mayor of London that Spring Heeled Jack was an aristocrat. The Times, on January 10, 1838, reported how a Thomas Lott of Bow Street had reported “some individual gentleman” who “drives about with a livery servant in a cab and throwing off a cloak, appears in these frightful forms and is to win a wager by the joke.”
Early Victorian London had the perfect candidate for an aristocratic Spring Heeled Jack: Henry Beresford, The 3rdMarquis of Waterford. An Irish nobleman, Waterford was considered eccentric at best. In the 1830’s he had a reputation for drunken brawling, vandalism- and rather unpleasant jokes. In 1880, E. Cobham Brewer, the original author of Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fables noted how the Marquis liked to “amuse himself by springing on travelers unawares, to frighten them.”
These unrestrained and erratic behaviors earned Waterford the epithet the “mad Marquis.” His persona fitted that of Spring Heeled Jack to a tee. He was just the sort of person to be roaming about in disguise playing frightening tricks upon people- especially women for whom he reputedly had nothing but contempt. However, although he was wild, the ‘mad Marquis” was never vicious. All that linked Waterford to Spring Heeled Jack was his reputation. However, the evidence suggested they could not be the same person. For when Jack was carrying out attacks in April 1837, The Marquis was being tried at the Derby assizes for an assault at Croxton Park Races.