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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Mary Ann Nichols

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  #21  
Old 04-28-2016, 02:01 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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It does indeed, but did narrow boats come down from Birmingham along the Grand Union and then, via the Regents Canal, continue into the Thames and through the Pool of London into the City to drop off passengers?

And even if they did take that rather circuitous (and dangerous) route, why would you not say they travelled to London on a barge along the Grand Union Canal, rather than 'up the Thames'?
Well, the last few miles would have been upstream, so technically it would make sense, even if it was an unlikely route. I'm not sure the barge would take a diversion just for passengers...is it possible they worked their passage, on a cargo barge headed for the City?
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2016, 02:59 PM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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Well, the last few miles would have been upstream, so technically it would make sense, even if it was an unlikely route. I'm not sure the barge would take a diversion just for passengers...is it possible they worked their passage, on a cargo barge headed for the City?
What form of propulsion would they have used going upstream on the tidal Thames in the early 1840s, I wonder?
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2016, 11:04 PM
miss marple miss marple is offline
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As Kate had been in London since she was a year old and probably had a cockney accent, apart from her stay in Wolverhampton. He presumed she was a londoner. Where she was born probably never came up as it was not important.

Mary Kelly made a point of stressing her Irish heritage by saying she was born in Limerick because she was brought up in Wales. She may have been born in Wales ,her parents being born in Ireland.,but being irish was important to her, rather than Welsh. Joe Barnett was second generation Irish.

Miss Marple
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2016, 11:51 PM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
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What form of propulsion would they have used going upstream on the tidal Thames in the early 1840s, I wonder?

Canals were constructed with towpaths on the side, a horse would tow the barges along (or for smaller vessels people could do it).

Really interesting historically is getting through the tunnels, which was done by the crew lying down on their backs and pushing against the tunnel roof with their legs. I say interesting, because it led to formation of professional guilds of leggers, who'd work the long tunnels, and who'd struggle for the privilege of doing so, and also because it led to some of the early public safety improvements, tunnels eventually being constructed with recessed bricks in places to make it easier to push while less likely to fall off the barge and drown.
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Old 04-29-2016, 03:28 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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Canals were constructed with towpaths on the side, a horse would tow the barges along (or for smaller vessels people could do it).

Really interesting historically is getting through the tunnels, which was done by the crew lying down on their backs and pushing against the tunnel roof with their legs. I say interesting, because it led to formation of professional guilds of leggers, who'd work the long tunnels, and who'd struggle for the privilege of doing so, and also because it led to some of the early public safety improvements, tunnels eventually being constructed with recessed bricks in places to make it easier to push while less likely to fall off the barge and drown.
All very well for canals or the lazy upper reaches of the Thames, but not for the stretch between Limehouse and the City. There were no towpaths there, the banks were lined with docks, wharves and large-scale mercantile shipping (for a comparison see below).

I think the Eddowes family would most likely have come down from the Midlands along the Grand Union Canal and would have disembarked at somewhere like Paddington basin, not in the City. Their route would not have involved the Thames.

I'd be very surprised if there is some kind of documentation proving that they came 'up the Thames'. The source was probably a Wolverhampton family member whose grasp of southern inland waterways was not very good.

Gary

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  #26  
Old 04-29-2016, 04:22 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
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Thank you, mrbarnett, you're right, of course, I was thinking only of the journey in the smaller canals, not the Thames.

Obviously the Thames has been navigated for centuries, in the 19th century a lot of goods were carried by the Thames sailing barges. It's my understanding that they primarily carried cargo, but anyone claiming to sail up the river on a barge could easily be referring to them. I would say they probably were, as the barges were well known, but that would be difficult to determine conclusively, I imagine.
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:03 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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Thank you, mrbarnett, you're right, of course, I was thinking only of the journey in the smaller canals, not the Thames.

Obviously the Thames has been navigated for centuries, in the 19th century a lot of goods were carried by the Thames sailing barges. It's my understanding that they primarily carried cargo, but anyone claiming to sail up the river on a barge could easily be referring to them. I would say they probably were, as the barges were well known, but that would be difficult to determine conclusively, I imagine.
Hi Kattrup,

But Thames sailing barges were not used on the narrow and shallow inland waterways. So there is a disconnect between the family's obvious route down from the Midlands and the suggestion that they arrived in the City on a barge.

Gary.
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2016, 05:04 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Mmmm, very atmospheric photos, MrBarnett. That does show a bit of a contrast.

The Grand Union also connects to the Thames at Brentford, so it's possible they could have come 'down the Thames', rather than up. But you're probably right about the description not being entirely accurate.

Interestingly, a lot of the canal barges were apparently owned by Pickfords. Which gives the most tenuous of possible links to Lechmere and the Torso killings...
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  #29  
Old 04-29-2016, 05:21 AM
MrBarnett MrBarnett is offline
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Yes, Joshua, the Brentford route would have been an option, but would have presented a similar problem to the one via the Regents Canal.

I'm by no means an expert, but I don't think the shallow-drafted craft used on the canals would have been suited to the tidal Thames as it flowed through London. And the propulsion issue would have been the same in either direction.

As you say, Pickfords were prominent in canal transport.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:54 AM
Kattrup Kattrup is offline
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I'm by no means an expert, but I don't think the shallow-drafted craft used on the canals would have been suited to the tidal Thames as it flowed through London. And the propulsion issue would have been the same in either direction.
.
I just chipped in to reply to this question originally, I don't know the source of the Nichols-info beyond what's quoted in this thread.

With respect, propulsion was wind power, or for smaller vessels rowing. The barges and ships were perfectly capable of sailing upstream, even when heavily laden, though the tide and currents would have made it more difficult - hence the need for pilots and crew specialized in that craft. And vessels, too - the sailing barges were shallow drafted, 3 feet as I recall, constructed to access docks and side rivers along the Thames.

Not knowing anything more about the source, I don't find any reason to distrust it. The route may seem illogical now, when looking at a map, but barring any conflicting statement, is there reason to disbelieve it?
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