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  • 'The Pensioner'

    I have always been intrigued by this character that Annie Chapman stayed with in her latter days before her murder and how he came by his nickname.
    Also the fact that he only lived in Osborn Street and yet stayed with Annie in the lodging house over some weekends maybe means he was a married man or he wanted to keep his 2 lives seperate.
    The soap he gave/loaned her of course led up to a sequence of events that ended in her murder.

    Could it be that it is something as simple as he was a pensioner ?
    The way nicknames were thrown around at the time i doubt it but does anyone have any opinions or theories about him ?

  • #2
    The Soap and The Pensioner

    Hi, Halomanuk. As no one has answered your question, thought I'd give it a quick go:

    It was another lodger by the name of Eliza Cooper who lent Annie the soap, ostensibly for the use of Edward Stanley, known as "The Pensioner". When Eliza asked for it back, Annie didn't return it, but offered a very small bit of money instead (something like a half-penny). Eliza became angry & they got into a tussle. Annie is said to have slapped Eliza, and Eliza struck her, leaving Annie with a black eye which was still visible when she was murdered.
    There are a couple of versions of this story as well as another squabble which Annie & Eliza are said to have gotten into in the pub. The cause of the friction seems to have been that both women were "rivals for the affections" of the man they called "The Pensioner".

    Edward Stanley worked as a brick-layer, but apparently let others believe he was also an Ex-Soldier receiving an Army Pension. This seems to have given him some "status" in the community, and the idea that he received a small supplemental income must have increased his success with the local women.
    I say this because during the Murder Inquest Stanley was asked under oath if he was in fact an Army Pensioner, and he was extemely reluctant to answer. Told he must give a full and honest answer to every question put to him, Stanley had to admit that it was not true: he had NOT been in the Army and did NOT receive an Army Pension.
    (This incident is recorded in the Chapman Inquest transcripts, and makes interesting reading.)

    What I think is most interesting and illuminating about this story is that such a small thing as having a very meager Army pension was viewed as a "status symbol" by the impoverished residents of Whitechapel. Being known as "The Pensioner" gave Stanley's drab life a little "color". Stanley was profoundly humiliated when his neighbors suddenly found out that he was really "just like them", living hand-to-mouth, with no very fascinating personal story to tell.

    Hope this answers your question... Bye! - Archaic

    Comment


    • #3
      I want to know the Edward Stanley story, for what its worth. Primarily because, he lives at 1 Osborn Place, and that is practically right around the corner from Hanbury St. And i mean, prac-tic-'ly. Then again, its practically right around the corner from a lot of the murders, but thats incidental. More incidental considering it was Annie's neighborhood too. Imean, you cant get it now but you almost would have expected a little more to come out of his mouth than JUST THAT! I understand anonymity but whatever that was... It was pathetic.
      Who knows when it comes to the true nature of Edward & Annie's relationship? He was a bricklayer who kept two women; she was a casual prostitute. It almost makes for an episode of Taboo. Was his casual/nighttime profession that of a pimp?
      If he was a bricklayer, what are the chances he belonged to the Bricklayers Arms pub, and knew J Best and J Gardiner?
      there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

      Comment


      • #4
        There's a 2008 thread 'The Pensioner' on the Forum. Chris Scott did some research on this individual and posted it there. The following info is from him.

        Apparently Edward Stanley was born in St Luke's Parish Finsbury in about 1841. His parents were Irish and he had brothers. In the 1861 Census he was still living at home with his then widowed mother Bridget. (She states that she is a nurse in this census but in later ones she's a charwoman. So she was a strictly amateur nurse like Ted was a strictly amateur bricklayer.) He didn't serve an apprenticeship as in 1861 he was an errand boy.

        Ted Stanley doesn't seem as if he was anything other than a labourer on building sites, not a trained bricklayer. He'd been a lodger in common lodging houses in Whitechapel for years.

        'The Scotsman' newspaper interviewed Timothy Donovan, the lodging house keeper about Annie and Ted. Donovan told them 'The man appeared to be about forty to forty five years of age and was five feet six inches or five feet eight inches in height. Sometimes he was dressed like a dock labourer and at other times he had a gentlemanly appearance. He was rather dark. I believe she always used to find him at the top of the street'.

        This lurker at the top of the street doesn't appear to have been married. However, 'The Complete Jack the Ripper' does say that Ted was in the Hampshire Militia (a sort of Army Reserve) so there was some sort of military connection though he wasn't drawing a pension from it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Archaic View Post
          Hi, Halomanuk. As no one has answered your question, thought I'd give it a quick go:

          It was another lodger by the name of Eliza Cooper who lent Annie the soap, ostensibly for the use of Edward Stanley, known as "The Pensioner". When Eliza asked for it back, Annie didn't return it, but offered a very small bit of money instead (something like a half-penny). Eliza became angry & they got into a tussle. Annie is said to have slapped Eliza, and Eliza struck her, leaving Annie with a black eye which was still visible when she was murdered.
          There are a couple of versions of this story as well as another squabble which Annie & Eliza are said to have gotten into in the pub. The cause of the friction seems to have been that both women were "rivals for the affections" of the man they called "The Pensioner".

          Edward Stanley worked as a brick-layer, but apparently let others believe he was also an Ex-Soldier receiving an Army Pension. This seems to have given him some "status" in the community, and the idea that he received a small supplemental income must have increased his success with the local women.
          I say this because during the Murder Inquest Stanley was asked under oath if he was in fact an Army Pensioner, and he was extemely reluctant to answer. Told he must give a full and honest answer to every question put to him, Stanley had to admit that it was not true: he had NOT been in the Army and did NOT receive an Army Pension.
          (This incident is recorded in the Chapman Inquest transcripts, and makes interesting reading.)

          What I think is most interesting and illuminating about this story is that such a small thing as having a very meager Army pension was viewed as a "status symbol" by the impoverished residents of Whitechapel. Being known as "The Pensioner" gave Stanley's drab life a little "color". Stanley was profoundly humiliated when his neighbors suddenly found out that he was really "just like them", living hand-to-mouth, with no very fascinating personal story to tell.

          Hope this answers your question... Bye! - Archaic
          Thanks I thought it was strange that Stanley denied being "The Pensioner". I've also wondered if Donovan was possibly lying about annie picking up the envelope from the ground in the lodging house. Would the "Sussex Regiment" on the envelope be somehow connected to a pensioner?

          Comment


          • #6
            I would have thought the original communication in the torn envelope would have been addressed to a serving soldier in that regiment. The Sussex regiment were serving in India as part of the Black Mountain expedition that autumn of 1888. There's a memorial to the regiment in the seaside resort of Eastbourne giving details of some of the regiment's campaigns.

            http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex...tMemorial.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rosella View Post
              I would have thought the original communication in the torn envelope would have been addressed to a serving soldier in that regiment. The Sussex regiment were serving in India as part of the Black Mountain expedition that autumn of 1888. There's a memorial to the regiment in the seaside resort of Eastbourne giving details of some of the regiment's campaigns.

              http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex...tMemorial.html
              DThanks Rosella. Do you what regiment Thomas Bowyer was in?

              Comment


              • #8
                RockySullivan

                I looked down that very road your are thinking about on the UK National Archives. It directs you to a FindMyPast site that give pension records(?). I googled victorian british army vets. I didnt find Thomas Bowyer (not that i remember, at least, bad memory). I may have had to look under T Bowyer or T B. Overall i am suspicious of the Tom B name because of its frequency in this case, and the penchant for these people to double name themselves. Thomas Bowyer is the one they refer to as (Indian) Harry, right?
                there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                Comment


                • #9
                  ^ Mr Bowyer seems to be a a bit of a will o the wisp as far as tracking him as 'Indian Harry' is concerned. Those superb researchers Debra A, Chris Phillips and Chris Scott posted their findings on two possibles in the 'Witnesses' section here on Casebook.

                  One elderly candidate was born in 1825 in Mitcham in Surrey and was recorded as a pauper inmate of Shoreditch workhouse in 1891.

                  Another Thomas Bowyer was born Clapham in 1847, served in the Royal Artillery (including 15 years service in India.) He was discharged as medically unfit in 1886. According to his discharge papers he intended to settle in Plymouth but he
                  may have died in Wandsworth in early 1889.

                  The trouble is, so many British regiments served in India in the days of the Raj. If he was born early enough he may even, as a long shot, have served with the British East India Company's regiments before they were disbanded after the Indian Mutiny. Personally, JMO, the Thomas Bowyer of Clapham seems likely in which case he was a very ill man in 1888.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I followed the link to that website, Rosella. It said it was dedicated to the men of the 107th Sussex Regiment. I went to the UK National Archives. I put 1860 as the birth year plus/minus 5 years. I had to put the word SUSSEX in the keyword field. It returned a lot of 107th pensioners, but no Thomas Bowyer, Rocky.
                    Last edited by Robert St Devil; 09-28-2015, 09:08 PM.
                    there,s nothing new, only the unexplored

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi All,

                      Concerning Edward Stanley—

                      "Deconstructing Jack: The Secret History of the Whitechapel Murders," Chapter Nineteen.

                      Regards,

                      Simon
                      Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Very interesting, Simon, thanks. The Complete Jack the Ripper (Begg, Fido et al) will have to be revised, as it appears that Mr Ted Stanley is truly a man of mystery, may be someone else entirely and was ineligible to serve in the Hampshire Militia!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's stanley's testimony for those interested:

                          Edward Stanley, Osborn-place, Osborn-street, Spitalfields, deposed: I am a bricklayer's labourer.
                          The Coroner: Are you known by the name of the Pensioner? - Yes.
                          [Coroner] Did you know the deceased? - I did.
                          [Coroner] And you sometimes visited her? - Yes.
                          [Coroner] At 35, Dorset-street? - About once there, or twice, something like that. Other times I have met her elsewhere.
                          [Coroner] When did you last see her alive? - On Sunday, Sept. 2, between one and three o'clock in the afternoon.
                          [Coroner] Was she wearing rings when you saw her? - Yes, I believe two. I could not say on which finger, but they were on one of her fingers.
                          [Coroner] What sort of rings were they - what was the metal? - Brass, I should think by the look of them.
                          [Coroner] Do you know any one she was on bad terms with? - No one, so far as I know. The last time I saw her she had some bruises on her face - a slight black eye, which some other woman had given her. I did not take much notice of it. She told me something about having had a quarrel. It is possible that I may have seen deceased after Sept. 2, as I was doing nothing all that week. If I did see her I only casually met her, and we might have had a glass of beer together. My memory is rather confused about it.
                          The Coroner: The deputy of the lodging-house said he was told not to let the bed to the deceased with any other man but you? - It was not from me he received those orders. I have seen it described that the man used to come on the Saturday night, and remain until the Monday morning. I have never done so.
                          The Foreman: You were supposed to be the pensioner.
                          The Coroner: It must be some other man?
                          Witness: I cannot say; I am only speaking for myself.
                          [Coroner] Are you a pensioner? - Can I object to answer that question, sir? It does not touch on anything here.
                          Coroner: It was said the man was with her on one occasion when going to receive his pension?
                          Witness: Then it could not have been me. It has been stated all over Europe that it was me, but it was not.
                          The Coroner: It will affect your financial position all over Europe when it is known that you are not a pensioner? - It will affect my financial position in this way, sir, in that I am a loser by having to come here for nothing, and may get discharged for not being at my work.
                          [Coroner] Were you ever in the Royal Sussex Regiment? - Never, sir. I am a law-abiding man, sir, and interfere with no person who does not interfere with me.
                          The Coroner: Call the deputy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for that, Rocky. Picture of man trying to put as much space between him and Annie as humanly possible! As far as the Sussex envelope is concerned though, I don't think it had anything to do with Stanley, it was just a grubby piece of envelope Annie had picked up, either in the lodging house kitchen or elsewhere, to hold her pills. Perhaps the authorities were extra interested because Martha Tabram was believed to have been with soldiers and attacked with a bayonet-type weapon and the envelope and a so-called army pensioner tied in with that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rosella View Post
                              Thanks for that, Rocky. Picture of man trying to put as much space between him and Annie as humanly possible! As far as the Sussex envelope is concerned though, I don't think it had anything to do with Stanley, it was just a grubby piece of envelope Annie had picked up, either in the lodging house kitchen or elsewhere, to hold her pills. Perhaps the authorities were extra interested because Martha Tabram was believed to have been with soldiers and attacked with a bayonet-type weapon and the envelope and a so-called army pensioner tied in with that.
                              That could be why the coroner inquired about a connection. Probably right about the envelope, but after reading Bank Holiday murders I feel like what Donovan says can't be trusted.

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