Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Legend Of Mary Jane Kelly

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
    A significant part of Kelly's backstory is missing, namely the part accounting for her arrival in London. Did she have some kind of employment offer awaiting her? Did she accompany an employer from Wales to London? Did she travel to London with her family or did she travel alone to London to meet up with family already in London? Whatever brought her to London would be have been of significance to Kelly's story, and therefore one would expect Kelly to have informed Barnett of these details. In contrast to details of her life in Wales, such as her time in Cardiff, however, we have no details whatsoever explaining her arrival in London. Why not?

    Details of Kelly's journey to London had to be omitted from the Kelly legend because anyone investigating them, such as the journalists covering her murder, on trying to trace them, would have readily discovered they were invented details. Any investigation in London, or along the way from Wales, of family, of employers etc accounting for her journey to London would soon have been discovered to be fake, so they had to omitted or the whole backstory would have unraveled.

    The missing details of Kelly's journey to London is thus consistent with her Barnett supplied backstory being a legend.
    Was Kelly herself complicit in the creation of the legend, do you think? Did she deliberately tell Barnett and the Breezer’s Hill people a fake story?

    Incidentally, I don’t believe Kelly ever lived at a Breezer’s Hill address. 79, Pennington Street seems to have been attached to 1, Breezer’s Hill when it was the Old Red Lion pub and the pub’s address fluctuated over the years between Breezers Hill and Pennington Street. When we hear of Kelly living in Breezer’s Hill/Pennington Street/the Highway with ‘Morganstone’ (Morgenstern) ‘Buki’ (Boekee) and Mrs McCarthy (possibly a Mrs Woodhouse née McCarthy), it gives the impression that she may have lived at 3 addresses in the area. In fact it seems that it was the people running the ‘bad house’ at 79, PS who moved about. Several of them relocated to Limehouse ca 1890 and there was also a connection between these people and another red light area near the Johnson Street gas works.

    Morgenstern, Boekee, Woodhouse (McCarthy), Miller and Maywood in combination are what I call the ‘Breezers Hill Mob’. A lot of work has been done on this group by the Sheldens, Debra Arif (+ myself and others) over the years. Over on JTRForums Howard Brown found a fascinating account of Johannes Morgenstern viciously attacking three prostitutes in Limehouse in 1890 (or thereabouts). He kicked one between the legs, stabbed another and beat the third with a poker. Before attacking the third woman, he removed his jacket and vest - a very chilling detail in my opinion. And then we have the axe attack on a woman named Lottie Jones in 1891 while John Miller was apparently running 79, PS. These were apparently very violent people who reacted badly to those when anyone got in their way.

    The period between MJK leaving the West End and turning up in Spitalfields is what interests me most about her story.
    Last edited by MrBarnett; 07-05-2021, 10:41 AM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

      You’re welcome, Martyn.

      Elizabeth Phoenix’s actions have always struck me as a bit odd. What could have motivated to reveal to the world that her brother-in-law was a Ratcliff Highway brothel keeper? Not explicitly, of course, but anyone putting 2 and 2 together could have figured it out.

      ...
      That's a good point.

      I believe Kelly come from a respectable London working class family, led a conventional life in service and then became estranged from her husband and or family. sometime between say 1885-1887. Something happened to her, perhaps got pregnant outside of marriage or acquired a STD, that caused this estrangement. She found herself out on the streets and ended up crossing paths with the Breezer Hill mob and then eventually Jack.
      Last edited by mpriestnall; 07-05-2021, 10:48 AM.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

        That's a good point.

        I believe Kelly come from a respectable London working class family, led a conventional life in service and then became estranged from her husband and or family. sometime between say 1885-1887. Something happened to her, perhaps got pregnant outside of marriage or acquired a STD, that caused this estrangement. She found herself out on the streets and ended up crossing paths with the Breezer Hill mob and then eventually Jack.
        That’s interesting, Martyn.

        Debra found a record of a woman named Jane Blair whose child, John Joseph, had been baptised in April, 1885 while she was living at 79, Pennington Street. The child had been born in the STGITE infirmary in December, 1885 and died a year later in Station Place a narrow close inhabited by the notorious Nodding/Noding family of brothel keepers who also moved to Limehouse in the early 1890s.

        The baptism record shows Jane Blair’s husband as John Blair, a labourer. He and Jane have proved impossible to definitively track down, but I did find one candidate for John who died in late 1884, aged 24.

        So many MJK echoes there: a woman - presumably a prostitute - living at 79, PS while Morgenstern/Boekee were in charge/middle name Jane/subsequently moving to Station Place near a gas works/a child named Johnjo(seph)/possible widowhood while in her 20s/untraceable after 1885…
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 07-05-2021, 11:20 AM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

          That’s interesting, Martyn.

          Debra found a record of a woman named Jane Blair whose child, John Joseph, had been baptised in April, 1885 while she was living at 79, Pennington Street. The child had been born in the STGITE infirmary in December, 1885 and died a year later in Station Place a narrow close inhabited by the notorious Nodding/Noding family of brothel keepers who also moved to Limehouse in the early 1890s.

          The baptism record shows Jane Blair’s husband as John Blair, a labourer. He and Jane have proved impossible to definitively track down, but I did find one candidate who died in late 1884, aged 24.

          So many MJK echoes there: a woman - presumably a prostitute - living at 79, PS while Morgenstern/Boekee were in charge/middle name Jane/subsequently moving to Station Place near a gas works/a child named Johnjo(seph)/possible widowhood while in her 20s/untraceable after 1885…
          Another thing to throw into the mix here is the fact that Blair is a Scottish name and the John Blair I have found in SGITE was from Glasgow. And something that is rarely mentioned is that the 2nd Bn Scots Guards were stationed at the Tower of London, a few minutes walk from Pennington Street, in October 1886. A coincidence?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

            Was Kelly herself complicit in the creation of the legend, do you think? Did she deliberately tell Barnett and the Breezer’s Hill people a fake story?
            Yes and no!

            I think the confusion about Kelly's Welsh/Irish origins is partly explained by her being, as I believe, a London born 2nd generation irish/welsh woman.

            She may have allowed people to believe she was irish/welsh because she wanted to hide from her husband/family in London after finding herself on the streets.

            I don't believe she originated the other details of her irish/welsh origins as supplied by Barnett at the inquest.

            I'm fully in on an establishment cover up of these murders and believe they supplied Barnett the rest of the legend to hide any connection to Astrakhan and Jack.

            What do you make of the missing details of Kelly's arrival in London?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

              That's a good point.

              I believe Kelly come from a respectable London working class family, led a conventional life in service and then became estranged from her husband and or family. sometime between say 1885-1887. Something happened to her, perhaps got pregnant outside of marriage or acquired a STD, that caused this estrangement. She found herself out on the streets and ended up crossing paths with the Breezer Hill mob and then eventually Jack.
              What do you make of Mrs McCarthy’s story about MJK and Mrs Buki retrieving a box of clothing from Kelly’s previous ‘landlady’, a French woman living in Knightsbridge?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                Yes and no!

                I think the confusion about Kelly's Welsh/Irish origins is partly explained by her being, as I believe, a London born 2nd generation irish/welsh woman.

                She may have allowed people to believe she was irish/welsh because she wanted to hide from her husband/family in London after finding herself on the streets.

                I don't believe she originated the other details of her irish/welsh origins as supplied by Barnett at the inquest.

                I'm fully in on an establishment cover up of these murders and believe they supplied Barnett the rest of the legend to hide any connection to Astrakhan and Jack.

                What do you make of the missing details of Kelly's arrival in London?
                I was born in Ireland but grew up in London. I very much have a London accent. My parents are Irish. Their parents are Irish. There are very few in that group who can speak Irish fluently. A few can speak some words. I know about three phrases. Language is pragmatic to your immediate surroundings generally.

                Why would a London girl be able to speak fluent Welsh unless she lived there for a formative part of her life?
                "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                  Yes and no!

                  I think the confusion about Kelly's Welsh/Irish origins is partly explained by her being, as I believe, a London born 2nd generation irish/welsh woman.

                  She may have allowed people to believe she was irish/welsh because she wanted to hide from her husband/family in London after finding herself on the streets.

                  I don't believe she originated the other details of her irish/welsh origins as supplied by Barnett at the inquest.

                  I'm fully in on an establishment cover up of these murders and believe they supplied Barnett the rest of the legend to hide any connection to Astrakhan and Jack.

                  What do you make of the missing details of Kelly's arrival in London?
                  Sorry, I posted my ‘what do you make’ before I’d read yours. But my post perhaps goes some way to answering your question?

                  Provincial - and Continental - women were being lured into vice in London all the time I believe. In Kelly’s case, if it was true that it had been her cousin in Cardiff who introduced her to prostitution, maybe someone in Wales recognise her potential to work in the more lucrative West End and trafficked her, knowingly or unknowingly, there.
                  Last edited by MrBarnett; 07-05-2021, 11:40 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                    I was born in Ireland but grew up in London. I very much have a London accent. My parents are Irish. Their parents are Irish. There are very few in that group who can speak Irish fluently. A few can speak some words. I know about three phrases. Language is pragmatic to your immediate surroundings generally.

                    Why would a London girl be able to speak fluent Welsh unless she lived there for a formative part of her life?
                    Especially if she had been born in Ireland.

                    One of my favourite research subjects is Bridget Enright (aka Biddy the Chiver) who was born in Wales in 1874 of Irish parents. For good measure, her father worked in an iron works and the family relocated to the East End around 1886. There was a lot of anti-Irish feeling in Wales at the time, stemming from the famine times when thousands of starving Irish workers flooded into industrial South Wales. I don’t imagine there was a lot of mixing between the two communities


                    I don’t think Welsh would have been taught in schools at the time and it seems unlikely that a Catholic Irish girl would have had sufficient exposure to the native Welsh culture to have picked up the lingo. That said, if she did in fact marry a Welshman then perhaps she might have picked up enough Welsh phrases to convince her Cockney pals that she was fluent in the language?
                    Last edited by MrBarnett; 07-05-2021, 11:43 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                      I was born in Ireland but grew up in London. I very much have a London accent. My parents are Irish. Their parents are Irish. There are very few in that group who can speak Irish fluently. A few can speak some words. I know about three phrases. Language is pragmatic to your immediate surroundings generally.

                      Why would a London girl be able to speak fluent Welsh unless she lived there for a formative part of her life?
                      I agree with your point about the pragmatism of one's language.

                      How good is the evidence that she spoke fluent Welsh and as opposed to speaking English with a welsh accent?

                      Could she not have a London accent with enough of a welsh twang to be occasionally mistaken to be welsh?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                        Sorry, I posted my ‘what do you make’ before I’d read yours. But my post perhaps goes some way to answering your question?

                        Provincial - and Continental - women were being lured into vice in London all the time I believe. In Kelly’s case, if it was true that it had been her cousin in Cardiff who introduced her to prostitution, maybe someone in Wales recognise her potential to work in the more lucrative West End and trafficked her, knowingly or unknowingly, there.
                        OK, but it's the absent of these kind of details from Barnett I'm questioning. I'm saying her irish/welsh backstory is completely fake, and Barnett avoided the details of how she come to London because they, being recent and concrete in nature, were too easy for journalists etc to investigate and prove they were made up. Hence their omission.

                        Do you think Barnett may have omitted the details because they related to an illegal/immoral way of life for Kelly and would have reflected badly on her?
                        Last edited by mpriestnall; 07-05-2021, 11:50 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                          I agree with your point about the pragmatism of one's language.

                          How good is the evidence that she spoke fluent Welsh and as opposed to speaking English with a welsh accent?

                          Could she not have a London accent with enough of a welsh twang to be occasionally mistaken to be welsh?
                          I think we have to be very cautious about the language in which the press accounts of these stories have come down to us. The original Cockney will have been tidied up to make it understandable to a non-Cockney readership. Was the word ‘fluent’ actually used? Was Kelly actually described as ‘an excellent scholar and an artist of no mean degree’ by Mrs McCarthy? I have my doubts. And in any case, how would someone who was not themselves a fluent Welsh speaker be able to tell if Kelly was fluent?

                          I reckon a few ‘bora das’ etc would have been sufficient to give her the rep of being a Welsh speaker among Eastenders with no Welsh connections.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                            OK, but it's the absent of these kind of details from Barnett I'm questioning. I'm saying her irish/welsh backstory is completely fake, and Barnett avoided the details of how she come to London because they, being recent and concrete in nature, were too easy for journalists etc to investigate and prove they were made up. Hence their omission.

                            Do you think Barnett may have omitted the details because they related to an illegal/immoral way of life for Kelly and would have reflected badly on her?
                            Barnett didn’t try to hide the sordid truth of Kelly’s past, did he? And he mentioned the West End and French episodes.

                            If the press had been able to ID Morganstone and Buki as Morgenstern and Boekee, they might have got a clue as to the ID of the French lady - her address at least. M&B may have left the Highway by then, but Mrs ‘Phoenix’s’ address was known. And for some reason she seems to have wanted her family connection to Kelly to be known.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                              I agree with your point about the pragmatism of one's language.

                              How good is the evidence that she spoke fluent Welsh and as opposed to speaking English with a welsh accent?

                              Could she not have a London accent with enough of a welsh twang to be occasionally mistaken to be welsh?
                              This is feasible.
                              "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                              - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                                I think we have to be very cautious about the language in which the press accounts of these stories have come down to us. The original Cockney will have been tidied up to make it understandable to a non-Cockney readership. Was the word ‘fluent’ actually used? Was Kelly actually described as ‘an excellent scholar and an artist of no mean degree’ by Mrs McCarthy? I have my doubts. And in any case, how would someone who was not themselves a fluent Welsh speaker be able to tell if Kelly was fluent?

                                I reckon a few ‘bora das’ etc would have been sufficient to give her the rep of being a Welsh speaker among Eastenders with no Welsh connections.
                                Again a feasible point.
                                "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                                - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X