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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Doctors and Coroners

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  #1  
Old 07-10-2016, 03:50 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Default London mortuaries

I found this report whilst looking for information on London mortuaries. It's from 1898 so some of the mortuaries had been much improved since the ripper victims had been in residence, but I thought it was interesting none the less.

http://wellcomelibrary.org/moh/repor...m=0&s=0&cv=207

Also contains lots of other potentially useful health statistics for the city's inhabitants.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:57 PM
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Wellcome Library

This guy is starting to pop up a bit recently.
Someone opening a shop or sumfin.....
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:17 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Don't get too excited, it was just the mention of him in the other thread that jogged my memory.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:21 PM
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Sorta guessed that
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:18 PM
ChrisGeorge ChrisGeorge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
I found this report whilst looking for information on London mortuaries. It's from 1898 so some of the mortuaries had been much improved since the ripper victims had been in residence, but I thought it was interesting none the less.

http://wellcomelibrary.org/moh/repor...m=0&s=0&cv=207

Also contains lots of other potentially useful health statistics for the city's inhabitants.
Hello Joshua

We know that some crime victims in the East End were taken to temporary morgues which were little more than a shed. I wrote an article for Ripperologist magazine about Sir Samuel Brighouse, coroner for Southwest Lancashire, who oversaw the inquests on James Maybrick and Deeming's family at Rainhill. Although he and the quoted police surgeon were talking about northern England and not London, some of the same remarks might apply particularly to those temporary East End mortuaries:

". . . Sir Samuel Brighouse . . . described the Aintree mortuary as a dirty, disreputable outhouse. The police surgeon described the place as little better than a cart-shed: there was no table and no supply of warm water; the little bowl was filthy and not fit for anyone to wash his hands in; the walls were dirty. His box of instruments, he said, had to be left on the floor or put down on the ground outside. The mortuary slab was the kind of slab which was in common use 50 years ago. The coroner gave orders that the Aintree mortuary should be closed and not used even as a resting-place for bodies. . . ." (From ‘Inadequate Mortuaries.’ The British Journal of Nursing, January 1935, 18.)

For the complete article on Brighouse, see http://www.casebook.org/dissertation...brighouse.html.

Best regards

Chris
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:45 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Thanks Chris, nice article.

Some of the doctors were critical of the mortuary facilities in 1888, notably Dr Phillips at the Annie Chapman inquest;

"I went to the labour- yard of the Whitechapel Union for the purpose of further examining the body and making the usual post-mortem investigation. I was surprised to find that the body had been stripped and was laying ready on the table. It was under great disadvantage I made my examination. As on many occasions I have met with the same difficulty, I now raise my protest, as I have before, that members of my profession should be called upon to perform their duties under these inadequate circumstances.
The Coroner: The mortuary is not fitted for a post-mortem examination. It is only a shed. There is no adequate convenience, and nothing fit, and at certain seasons of the year it is dangerous to the operator.
The Foreman: I think we can all endorse the doctor's view of it.
The Coroner: As a matter of fact there is no public mortuary from the City of London up to Bow. There is one at Mile-end, but it belongs to the workhouse, and is not used for general purposes. "

By 1898, when the report was written, almost every parish in the capital had (or at least had plans to provide) purpose-built public mortuary facilities. I guess it took a few more years before this spread to the provinces.

I think this interesting link was posted in another thread (which I can't now seem to find) detailing the history of their appearance;

http://www.stgite.org.uk/media/housesforthedead.pdf
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:18 PM
Ginger Ginger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Rogan View Post
By 1898, when the report was written, almost every parish in the capital had (or at least had plans to provide) purpose-built public mortuary facilities. I guess it took a few more years before this spread to the provinces.

I think this interesting link was posted in another thread (which I can't now seem to find) detailing the history of their appearance;

http://www.stgite.org.uk/media/housesforthedead.pdf
What a fascinating link. I'd not realized that proper mortuaries were such a recent development. I probably should have known that, but didn't.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:49 PM
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Shoreditch Vestry Board had a stand alone mortuary behind their Church.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:31 PM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is offline
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Wasn't that where Mary Jane was taken?
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