Passports, Assassins, Traitors and Spies

By Martin Lloyd 5th October 2022

This fascinating talk by Martin Lloyd took the form of three stories given without slides or prompts.  The first story took the listeners back to the Paris Opera House on January 14th 1855. Emperor Napoleon III and the Empress were attending a performance.  When the royal party arrived, three grenades were thrown and it transpired this was a plot to kill the Emperor by an Italian revolutionary called Orsini.  He wanted a unified Italy. He gathered together a group of like minded English and French revolutionaries to help with the plot. To get into France Orsini needed a passport. French and Belgian passports cost about 4/3d, and English ones (the one he needed) cost £2 7s 6d.  There was much French anger that Orsini had gained entry using an English passport so Palmerston -PM at the time- introduced a Conspiracy to Murder Law to appease them.  Orsini was injured by his own grenade, captured, tried in 1858 and executed in Paris.

The second story happened in 1914. Germany had declared war and all US tourists were desperate to get out.  Charles Inglis, with the assistance of the American Embassy managed to get out and re-settled in Edinburgh.  He took long cycle rides overlooking the Naval Base at Rossyth. Eventually he removed to Ireland and wrote many letters to a contact in Norway.  These letters were opened by the censorship authorities and were found to contain military information for the Germans.  He was arrested by the Royal Irish Constabulary for spying.  His real name was Charles Hans Logi and the reason why he had an American passport was because he had been sent there to set up a spy ring.  Charles Hans Logi was found guilty by Court Marshall of spying. On 11th November 1914 he was executed at the Tower of London by firing squad.  After this all US passports had to have photos in their passports.

In May 1945 Captains Liquorish and Perry were looking for firewood on the German border and noticed they were being followed by a scruffy looking fellow who said he was aGerman called Fritz Hansen. It was in fact, William Joyce also known as Lord Haw Haw, and he was carrying an English passport.  He was arrested under the Treason Act of 1945 and all that was needed to convict him was one witness.  This one witness was an Inspector Albert Hunt who recognised his voice as he had heard him speak at rallies.  Joyce’s parents were Irish who emigrated to the USA and renounced their Irish nationality.  Joyce was born in the USA but managed to obtain an English passport saying he was Irish.  He was found guilty at trial on 4th January 1946 and hanged at Wandsworth Prison.