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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Victims > Mary Jane Kelly

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:19 PM
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Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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Default Mary Kelly = Mary Brider?

I was uncertain whether to post this under Mary Kelly as victim or James Kelly as suspect!

I recently read a magazine article which boldly proclaimed on the cover "We Name Jack the Ripper!" Their candidate, not to introduce any bogus suspense, was James Kelly. I had already read some years back the Tully book about James Kelly, but two things in the article in particular attracted my attention.

The first, which I must say at the outset is in my opinion pure invention, claims to quote from a "Home Office file." The year, author or reference number of this file are all undisclosed. This document is purported to say: "It has been established beyond a possible doubt that a certain James Kelly, who escaped from Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum on January 23rd, 1888, and the infamous Jack the Ripper are one and the same person." Of course, if any one knows of the existence of this "Home Office file" then I would be very interested to know any further details and would be more than willing to stand corrected.

The second feature in the magazine article, written by John Sanders, is speculation that Mary Jane Kelly, of Millers Court, was, in fact, James Kelly's sister in law! The section in the article reads as follows:
"Author James Tully next contemplates the possibilities surrounding Mary Kelly's name. James Kelly's murdered wife Sarah had a sister named Mary back in Cottage Lane, who was known to have left home shortly after her sister was murdered. Did she become a prostitute, he wonders, and take the name Kelly in order not to be traced by her parents."

In view of the weightiness of this claim, I thought it only right to look at what James Tully himself had said. In fact, this section in his book, "The Secret of Prisoner 1167" is low key and really makes no really grandiose claims, but is rather in the nature of speculation;
"Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder whether there was, in fact, any connection between Mary and James. It is always possible, I suppose, that she could have been his wife's young sister. Mary Brider would have been of 'Mary Kelly's' supposed age. According to Barnett, Mary Kelly 'left home about four years ago;' so did Sarah Brider's sister leave Cottage Lane after the tragedy there - perhaps because of her mother's part in it - and, for whatever reason, take to the streets using her sister's surname of 'Kelly' to avoid being traced by her parents? She had certainly left the family home by the time of the 1891 census.
far fetched, perhaps, but stranger things have happened and, certainly something happened with this murder to send the police the very next day in search of James Kelly. It is the strangest of all the strange incidents that link Kelly and the Ripper, and we should study it in detail."

So, is the mystery of Mary Jane Kelly's identity solved at last? Was Mary Kelly in fact Mary Brider? Again, I will not tease you with falsely engendered suspense. The answer is NO. The reason for Mary Brider's apparent disappearance is, as so often the case, a very mundane one. There was one mistake in the listing of her name in a document pertaining to her - that is all.

James Kelly's wife, Sarah Ann Brider, was the daughter of John Charles Brider, a bricklayer, and his wife Sarah Ann. The family came originally from Westbourne in Sussex where John Charles was born and he and his wife were married in 1860. Sarah Ann Brider was born on 18 June 1861, her birth being registered in Islington, and was baptised in the same parish on 28 July 1861. the family address at the time of the baptism was given as Hornsey Road. James Kelly and Sarah Ann Brider were married at the Parish Church of St Luke's on 4 June 1883. The details of both parties are given as follows:

Name: James Kelly
Age: 23
Condition: Bachelor
Rank of Profession: Upholsterer
Residence at time of marriage: 21 Cottage Lane, City Road
Father's name and surname: John Miller
Rank or profession of father: Clerk

Name: Sarah Ann Brider
Age: 21
Condition: Spinster
Rank or profession: Indian envelope worker
Residence at time of marriage: 21 Cottage Lane, City Road
Father's name and surname: John Charles Brider
Rank or profession of father: Bricklayer

Sarah Kelly (née Brider) died on 24 June 1883.

Now, the following facts are true:
1) Sarah Brider did have a younger sister
2) That younger sister's name was Mary
3) That sister was born in 1863, making her exactly the same age as the supposed age of Mary Jane Kelly
4) Mary Brider was not listed with her parents and two brothers in the 1891 census.
So, what happened to her?

In 1863, Quarter 4, the following birth was registered in Westbourne, Sussex:
Name: Mary Ellen Brider
Year of Registration: 1863
Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
District: Westbourne
County: Sussex
Volume: 2b
Page: 333
Why Mary Ellen was born back in the family home of Sussex rather than in London, where her parents had been living at the time of her older sister's birth in 1861, cannot be known.
However, the crucial document is that relating to Mary Ellen Brider's marriage, which took place in October 1889, or 11 months after the murder of Mary Jane Kelly.
The reason for confusion is that on the marriage certificate her name is listed as Ellen Mary Brider, instead of Mary Ellen. But all the attendant details - her age, the name and trade of her father, the groom's address - leave no doubt that we are looking at Mary Ellen Brider, Sarah Ann's younger sister and James Kelly's sister in law. She married James Ferguson who was, ironically, a policeman.
The marriage took place at At Clement's Church, St Luke's, on 26 October 1889. The two principal parties are listed as follows:

Name and Surname: James Ferguson
Age: 28
Condition: Bachelor
Rank or profession: Policeman
Residence at time if marriage: 21 Cottage Lane, City Road
Father's name and surname: John Ferguson
Rank or profession of father: Bricklayer

Name and Surname: Ellen Mary Brider
Age: 26
Condition: Spinster
Residence at time of marriage: 15 Radsworth(?) Street, Baldwin Street
Father's name and surname: John Charles Brider
Rank or profession of father: Bricklayer
The reading of the first street mentioned in the address of the bride is problematic, and any thoughts on what this should be would be welcomed. I am posting a copy of the marriage certificate below.

This of course also explains why Mary Ellen is not listed with her parents in the 1891 census:
21 Cottage Lane, Old Street
Head: John Brider aged 50 born Sussex - Bricklayer
Wife: Sarah Brider aged 50 born Sussex
Children:
Frank aged 21 - Packer
Isaac aged 18 - Clerk (Solicitors)
Both born in London

If I find out any more about Mary's life I will post it here.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2010, 01:22 PM
claire claire is offline
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Ah, Chris, you're good!
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best,

claire
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2010, 04:31 PM
j.r-ahde j.r-ahde is offline
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Hello Chris!

An interesting coul-have-been, yes, indeed!

And now for some details;

If there would be family photo, presenting Mary Brider as a tall, wide-faced girl, the possibilities of her being "our" Mary will increase a great deal!

All the best
Jukka
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:38 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Chris,

Well done that man... a very interesting find indeed.

And dare I say it, another name to list together with all the other ones..

I was once asked..

"Do you not think that finding Mary Kelly is like looking for a needle in a haystack?"

I answered..

"Needles are normally found in needlework boxes...not haystacks"

Again, nicely done Chris. Another one ticked from the list.

best wishes

Phil
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:03 AM
Roy Corduroy Roy Corduroy is offline
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Quote:
15 Radsworth(?) Street, Baldwin Street
There is a Radnor St near Baldwin St. These are on the old maps too, off the City Road not too far from Cottage Lane.

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Did the registrar switch addresses for the couple? Looks like it. In any case, you've put this one to bed, Chris. Outstanding

Roy
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:07 PM
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Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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Hi Roy
Many thanks for the message and the suggestion re. the address
I agree it is odd that the groom is shown at HER address and she at a previously unknown address. Her parents are still shown at Cottage Lane 2 years later in 1891
I am attaching an enlarged version of the problematic address. To be honest, it looks too long to be RADNOR and definitely looks as though it ends in _ORTH. I know it is unimportant but I hate loose ends!
Thanks again
Chris
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:37 PM
Chris Chris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I am attaching an enlarged version of the problematic address. To be honest, it looks too long to be RADNOR and definitely looks as though it ends in _ORTH. I know it is unimportant but I hate loose ends!
The piece of "Commercial and Legal Intelligence" below, from The British Journal of Photography, January 13 1922 (at the Internet Archive), suggests 'Radsworth' is correct. In fact I wonder whether Radsworth Street was renamed Peerless Street (as shown in Roy's map above) after the works mentioned:

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Old 02-07-2010, 04:59 PM
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Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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Many thanks Chris for the answer to that conundrum - much appreciated
And Im sure your suggestion about the Peerless/Radsworth rename may well be right
Thanks Chris S
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:12 PM
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Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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The only light at the moment I can throw on the suggestion that the bride and groom's addresses may have been mistakenly entered on the 1889 marriage certificate, is that in 1881 the following people are listed at 15 Radsworth Street:
1881 Census:
15 Radsworth Street, St Luke, City Road

Head: David Holton aged 29 born Shoreditch - Painter
Wife: Elizabeth Holton aged 24 born Spitalfields
Children:
David aged 4
William aged 2

Head: Frederick Dunkley aged 37 born Shoreditch - Blacksmith
Wife: Elizabeth Dunkley aged 37 born St Lukes
Children:
Frederick aged 15
Elizabeth aged 12
Arthur aged 9
William aged 2

Head: William Littley aged 64 born Bath - Carpenter
Children:
Catherine aged 33 - Button work
Rose aged 20 - Lic. work
Emily aged 17

Head: Rhoda Evans aged 60 born St Lukes
Children:
John aged 29 - Ink filler
Richard aged 20 - Ink filler

Head: Ann Dooley aged 69 born St Lukes - Charwoman

I'm trying to track down who was listed there in 1891
Chris S
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:27 PM
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Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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Chris
Quick update - in the 1891 census Peerless Street and Radsworth Street are both listed separately...

In 1891 the following families are listed at 15 Radsworth Street:

William Lawrence, 46 year old paraffin lamp porter, and 3 children

William Stanton, aged 22, general porter, and wife

Robert G Keefe, 33, engine stoker, wife, 5 children, and his sister, Alice Reynolds

Last edited by Chris Scott : 02-07-2010 at 05:32 PM.
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