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Jeffrey Green

Nickname of Edgar McManning or Manning (1889–1931), Jamaican criminal. Living in London by 1916 and working in an armaments factory, Manning achieved notoriety through widespread newspaper reports. Their misrepresentations have since fuelled memoirs, biographies, and histories. He shot three men in 1920 and was sent to prison for sixteen months. In 1922 he was alleged to be dealing in cocaine. The Times described him as an ‘important drug trafficker’: he pleaded guilty to being in possession. A year later he was again found with drugs, and again pleaded guilty. Newspapers linked him with a young woman's death through heroin, and with prostitution, but without evidence.

Cocaine use was expanding in London and the amended Dangerous Drugs Act changed the maximum sentence for possession from six months to ten years Manning was the first to be convicted under these rules and went to prison for three years He returned ...

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Jeffrey Green

charlatan from British Guiana who tricked and cheated numerous people in Britain in 1886. Nero can be listed among several con artists of African descent who attempted frauds in Victorian Britain, including posing as fugitive American slaves, colleagues of explorer David Livingstone, inheritors of wealth and rank in Africa, and collecting funds for black charities in Africa, the United States, and Canada. Details of these activities have been gleaned from newspaper reports, and one must assume the most successful charlatans were never arrested. Indeed, there were so many bogus claimants that their activities eroded the trust of potential patrons, and British abolitionists often needed the testimony of American antislavery campaigners in order to prove their legitimacy.

This sort of phenomenon has a long history, with English servant girl Mary Willcocks claiming to be the princess of Javasu in the 1820s. In a famous 1910 incident the author Virginia ...