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Work among the fallen as seen in the prison cell

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  • #16
    Originally posted by tnb View Post
    I would agree that Chapman would seem the only viable option for a named Whitechapel Murders victim, and although trying to pencil Eddowes in would throw an interesting light on certain enigmas, I think it would be pretty unlikely that, even if Kelly did his best to maintain a fiction about 'hopping', that none of the official inquest witnesses would have got wind of it.

    Don't forget the Pinchin Street Torso though (which I know Debra won't have!) - if the good Reverend were convinced that he knew the identity of that particular woman, as Lydia Hart or whomever, then it is quite possible that that woman, whether she was indeed the PST or not, had been imprisoned and had received the clothes from him shortly before he believed she had been killed by the same 'Whitechapel Murderer' (as many did, at the time).

    Also, although we tend to go by the official reckoning of the 11 WM victims as listed in the Met/HO files, bear in mind that this information would not have been available to the Reverend at the time he was writing; and as we will all know from even the most cursory flick through contemporary press reports, a great deal more names were attached to the case at various times. Perhaps Mr Merrick even knew more than we do now about the mysterious 'Fairy Fay'?

    It certainly seems there may have been more going on in Millbank in the years 1886-1890 than most historians would have us believe. I shall be visiting the National Archives in a few weeks and shall of course report back if I find anything!
    I agree with everything you have said here, Trevor. Although I hadn't actually thought about Pinchin Street I must admit. Now you've mentioned it, I remember Elizabeth Jackson's whereabouts was also unaccounted for in the weeks before her murder until she re-appeared on 31st May 1889, and was murdered shortly afterwards.

    Hopefully you can get to the bottom of what was going on at Millbank 1886-90, and find out if these accounts are just out of date writings.

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    • #17
      Chances are Annie Chapman also attended St Batholomew's Hospital.
      Morning Advertiser, 10th September 1888

      "Timothy Donovan, deputy at the lodging house, 35 Dorset street, stated that after the deceased left on Monday last he found two large bottles in the room, one containing medicine, and labelled as follows:- 'St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Take two tablespoonfuls three times a day.' The other bottle contained a milky lotion, and was labelled 'St. Bartholomew's Hospital. The lotion. Poison.'"
      Agreed, Simon. I also think it likely that the press would have tracked down the relevant arrest and/or court records had Dark Annie been committed to prison shortly before her death. That there is an absence of any such report implies that she wasn't Merrick's mystery victim.

      I would agree that Chapman would seem the only viable option for a named Whitechapel Murders victim, and although trying to pencil Eddowes in would throw an interesting light on certain enigmas, I think it would be pretty unlikely that, even if Kelly did his best to maintain a fiction about 'hopping', that none of the official inquest witnesses would have got wind of it.
      I very much doubt that John Kelly was spinning a yarn, Trevor. Remember that Eddowes reportedly spoke of her hop-picking exploits whilst visiting the Shoe Lane Casual Ward. Since this corroborates Kelly's story, it effectively excludes Kate from the list of Millbank possibles. Increasingly, therefore, it's beginning to look as though Merrick was doing a 'Mary Malcolm'.

      Regards.

      Garry Wroe.

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      • #18
        Some photographs of Millbank Prison from the 1880s

        General View down main corridor
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        Doctor Winder and dog
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        Governer in doorway
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        Chapel through archway
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        main passageway Warder Banyard in foreground
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        Doctor Winders quarters
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        Capt T Kirk Patricks quarters Ivy archway
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        Large arch looking across main alley way.
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        Rob

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        • #19
          Fantastic photos Rob - where are they from (if you can tell me :-)? )

          Just to backtrack and clarify a little, I was not suggesting that Eddowes' hopping story was likely untrue, simply addressing the suggestion before it was made, and coming to much the same conclusion as you, Garry.

          I think one issue in trying to interpet which victim the Rev was referring to (rightly or wrongly) - that is if we wasn't just talking completely off the top of his head - is which murder he was referring to as 'the last'. Obviously if we knew that then we would at least have a timeframe as to which murders he could be referring to (ie only up to that one). The immediate assumption is MJK, partly because a lot of us have become accustomed to thinking of her as the last, and also because the description of the traumatic sight-seeing tour seems to fit with what we have heard about people going to Miller's Court, bloodstains still extant etc etc. That would knock mine and Debra's suggestions about the Pinchin St Torso and Elizabeth Jackson out of the window. Fair enough. However, that said, the fact that he states 'at least five of the' shows he numbered the victims greater than the canonical 'Ripper' 5. While the simplest explanation would be that he included Smith and Tabram, and still ended at Kelly, I do not think the possibility can be dismissed that he personally included several more, perhaps even crimes we know nothing of. 5 out of 6 or even 7 would surely even to him writing appear as one hell of a coincidence. It is hard to imagine Pinchin St or Swallow Gardens would have such an effect on anyone visiting though - unless they had a particularly gruesome guide!

          If I had to nail my colours to the mast at this stage I would say that I find the whole story unlikely, but perhaps more down to misidentification than anything sinister, allied to perhaps a bit of healthy exaggeration. How well would a visiting minister get to know the prisoners? If for example he met an 'unfortunate' woman from the East End area with a Midlands accent but didn't remember her name, it is not beyond the realms of possibility - nor in any way disingenuous - that he may begin to 'remember' certain other details on hearing about Eddowes murder. He may not have checked his facts too carefully. I use Eddowes simply as an example, obviously.

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          • #20
            Thanks for these great photos Rob!
            Some sort of archway study going on by the photographer by the looks of it?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by tnb View Post
              Fantastic photos Rob - where are they from (if you can tell me :-)? )
              Hi Trevor, they are from the London Metropolitan Archives.

              Originally posted by Debra A View Post
              Thanks for these great photos Rob!
              Some sort of archway study going on by the photographer by the looks of it?
              Hi Debs,

              He seems to be more interested in the arches then the people that were in them.

              Rob

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              • #22
                confirmation

                A little snippet from the Manchester Times, Saturday, May 4, 1889, which confirms that women prisoners were still being sent to Millbank after 1888.

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                • #23
                  I have been searching through the Licences of Parole for Female Convicts, 1883-1887 Home Office and Prison Commission: Female Licences. PCOM4
                  now on Ancestry.
                  These files include some women released on licence from Millbank between 1883-1887 [although I am not sure how complete the database is] and so far no familiar names connected to the Whitechapel murders have turned up.

                  The database itself is brilliant to browse through though. The individuals files are digitaly reproduced in full, including photographs of the women, biographical details, names and addresses of associates and contacts etc., Letters written to the prisoner and correspondence between police and the prison. Fascinating stuff!

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                  • #24
                    One thing I have noticed in these Licences of Parole records is the amount of women who used aliases. I've only found a couple who didn't have any, most had at least two.
                    Another interesting thing (might interest Rob if no one else ) is the number of women who changed religion whilst in Millbank (they had to make formal application), just like Catherine Mylett appears to have done when she appeared in various workhouse and infirmary records.

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                    • #25
                      Hello Debs,

                      This is fascinating indeed. It may lead to one name change that we are aware of...good luck and good hunting!

                      best wishes

                      Phil
                      Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                      Justice for the 96 = achieved
                      Accountability? ....

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        This is a great find

                        Among Kates possessions was a pawn ticket for a pair of mens boots dated 28 September in the name of Jane Kelly

                        I wonder if the Reverend was confused about the dates. Maybe he did help one of the women but was confused by name changes etc.

                        Also Pollys whereabouts between December 1887 and Janurary 1888 are a mystery.

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                        • #27
                          Thanks Phil and Belinda,
                          I can't tear myself away from these records!

                          One thing is clear, there were an awful lot of women using the aliases Kelly, McCarthy or Davis in Whitechapel and Spitalfields amongst the Irish Catholic prisoners. A lot of these women had family and acquaintances in the Brick Lane, Flower and Dean street areas.

                          One thing I did come across quite by surprise was the mention of Ben Goodson. Anyone familiar with mine and Rob's research on Catherine Mylett will know that Ben Goodson was the man Catherine cohabited with at 18 George Street Spitalfields,3 months before her death.

                          Dave Knott, recently and convincingly, identified Ben Goodson as the brother of Henry 'sugar' Goodson, the pugilist involved in the 1882 'fight in a chapel' where John McCarthy of Dorset street fame was also involved.
                          Dave also mentioned that in 1888 one of the lodgers at 29 Hanbury St worked for the Goodson's (who were carmen) at Brick Lane.

                          Ben is mentioned in the file of a woman named Bridget Kelly, born 1862 and convicted in 1882 for robbery with violence in the Ratcliffe Highway. The file (as most do) consists of photograph of the convict, previous convictions, record of conduct while in prison, description of prisoner, record of correspondence while in prison etc. The file also contains a letter, signed by Inspector Abberline, in response to the prisoner govenor's request for information about a man named Ben Goodson and his whereabouts. Bridget was not allowed to correspond with Ben based on the results of Abberline's finding that he mainly kept company with thieves.

                          Ben is also mentioned in the file of another Whitechapel convict, Annie Cohen and this time a letter from Sergeant Thick in reply to the govenor is included, detailing the fact that Ben Goodson cohabited with Annie Cohen at some point previous to 1881..even though he was seemingly a married man since 1868 and still having children with his wife as late as 1885!

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                          • #28
                            Hello Debs,

                            Yes I agree, these records are indeed enthrawling and facinating. I have started looking through them too, trying to see what comes up.

                            best wishes

                            Phil
                            Chelsea FC. TRUE BLUE. 💙


                            Justice for the 96 = achieved
                            Accountability? ....

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              New clothes

                              Polly Nicolls was wearing, among other things, a "brown linsey frock, apparently new", - I had wondered about that, as well as where as where she got her new bonnet. Maybe she fits the bill.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Debra A View Post
                                As far as accuracy of facts go, I wonder if this did apply to any of the Whitechapel victims? I can't think who offhand though.

                                .."0ne of them was released from the place and received a gift of clothes from me within twenty four hours of her murder."
                                "See what a jolly bonnet I've got now"? Did Polly Nichols spin a yarn about having just been released from Millbank in order to get some new clothes?

                                (Apologies, Curious. I posted this and then saw your post which preceded it)

                                Regards, Bridewell.
                                Last edited by Bridewell; 05-11-2012, 07:53 PM. Reason: Addition.
                                I won't always agree but I'll try not to be disagreeable.

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