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The Legend Of Mary Jane Kelly

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  • #16
    Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    "Alice was reportedly in Dublin as late as September 1887 when she was fined for using abusive language. The newspaper reports mention that this is the same Alice Carroll involved in the 1883 trial."

    The newspaper report does indeed say this, but I've wondered whether it is accurate.

    As far as one can judge from her testimony, Alice Carroll was a respectable and reasonable person. It was even reported that she was going steady with a constable on the Dublin Police Force.

    While this doesn't make it impossible that she was later fined for using abusive language, it seems a little out of character, and I wonder if some journalist & wag, noting the woman's name, wasn't pulling our legs. The Irish look down on informers, to say the least, and he might have found it amusing to report that this was the same Alice Carroll of Phoenix Park infamy.

    Of course, I have no proof of this, but it might be noted that there appears to have been another Alice Carroll, born around 1868, (two years later than 'our' Alice) who is listed in Mountjoy Prison in 1899. (A women's prison in Dublin). It gives her age as 31, born in The Coombe, which is district in Central Dublin, but one I **don't think** would encompass Eccles Lane, St. Michan's Parish. So it looks like there may have been two Alice Carrolls, roughly the same age, bouncing around Central Dublin in the 1880s.

    Just a guess--
    The unconfirmed information I have on Alice Carroll is that as a result of information given by informants and witnesses who were closely connected to the fenian group, five men were subsequently convicted and hanged in 1883. These five were Joe Brady, Michael Fagan, Thomas Caffrey, Dan Curley and Tim Kelly.

    Alice Carroll’s specific evidence was against Brady and Kelly, and for giving evidence the authorities gave her the sum of 500 and offered her a new identity. At the time of the trial in 1883, she was 17 years old and therefore would have been twenty-two at the time of the Whitechapel murders. Mary Kelly was supposedly around twenty-five at the time of her murder according to Joseph Barnett.

    Carroll was described as having bright, golden-red, hair and very pretty blue eyes, as did Kelly.

    Alice apparently lived with her parents, two brothers and three sisters in Lower Eccles Lane, just off Dorset Street, Dublin. She used to regularly shop for her mother in Hardwick Street where there was a grocery store owned by the McCarthy’s and another store owned by the Hutchinson’s.

    Joseph Brady one of the killers, had a girlfriend named Annie Meagher who hated and despised Carroll with a vengeance for giving evidence, which led to his execution. Following which she is quoted as saying to a witness, “The sun has gone from my sky, and the heart has been torn from my body.” She was also claimed to have verbally abused Alice Carroll using words along the lines of, “I hope someday your heart is torn from you as has mine.”

    Alice Carroll apparently had a hard time in Dublin. The murders and the subsequent executions had caused concern and she felt safer to stay at home with her mother. She was abused constantly on the streets. On one occasion there was an effigy of her burnt near her home. She remained in the family home for a few years after the trial and her last known whereabouts were that she was still in Dublin in 1887 having been arrested for being drunk.

    On another note, a second witness who gave evidence in the trial James Carey was also hunted down by the Fenians and shot on board a ship heading for South Africa so the Fenians were clearly out to seek revenge on those who gave evidence.

    www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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    • #17
      Originally posted by etenguy View Post

      Hi Trevor

      I think the post below by Debra Arif from 2014 (sorry don't know how to link to other threads) adds some useful information about Alice Carroll - making it unlikely this was MJK, I think.
      Right-click on the post number (top-right of post), and click Copy link. Then you can paste the link or create a link with your own text (using the Link option on the edit bar)...

      I think this post by Debra Arif from 2014 ...
      Andrew's the man, that is not blamed for nothing

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      • #18
        Originally posted by NotBlamedForNothing View Post

        Right-click on the post number (top-right of post), and click Copy link. Then you can paste the link or create a link with your own text (using the Link option on the edit bar)...

        I think this post by Debra Arif from 2014 ...
        Thanks NBFN - I'll try that next time.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

          Thanks for your thoughts, Wicks.

          My take was Kelly was London born, whose parents were Welsh, Irish or even Scottish. This may mean she spoke with a mixed accent, influenced by the locals plus the native accents of her parents.
          How would she gain an accent if she never lived in Ireland, Wales or Scotland?

          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post
            Just for info: I started this thread with the intention of trying to pick apart Kelly's "legend".
            Hello Martyn.

            Regardless of whether we privately accept or dismiss all or any part of her Legend, when faced with multiple 'Mary Kelly' candidates, it is that very Legend we will all turn to in order to sort the candidates out.

            Regards, Jon S.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              Hello Martyn.

              Regardless of whether we privately accept or dismiss all or any part of her Legend, when faced with multiple 'Mary Kelly' candidates, it is that very Legend we will all turn to in order to sort the candidates out.
              Sure, knowing which elements of a candidate to accept or reject is an interesting call. However, if a Kelly candidate connects to good candidates for JTR and/or Astrakhan, then we can be comfortable we've found the right Kelly, by virtue of a process of a acceptable level of mutual corroboration, so to speak.

              Assuming of course there is such connections to find. I'm sure that will be the case.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                How would she gain an accent if she never lived in Ireland, Wales or Scotland?
                I admit I'm no expert on accent acquisition. But I was wondering, if say, some of her elder siblings plus her parents, spoke with a Welsh accent for example, is it not possible that the London born Kelly might develop a mixed Welsh/London accent that might be hard to place by some people who she met later in life?

                I'm suggesting it was the authorities who gave her the fake background rather than being derived from Kelly. If however, she was forced to leave her family (or husband?), and found herself on the streets, for some reason, she might have adopted a minor deception herself, say such as calling herself Kelly or claiming she was Welsh born (to hide from her family/husband maybe?), and the authorities then built on this foundation that she herself initiated.

                Martyn
                Last edited by mpriestnall; 06-19-2021, 09:20 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by mpriestnall View Post

                  I admit I'm no expert on accent acquisition. But I was wondering, if say, some of her elder siblings plus her parents, spoke with a Welsh accent for example, is it not possible that the London born Kelly might develop a mixed Welsh/London accent that might be hard to place by some people who she met later in life?

                  I'm suggesting it was the authorities who gave her the fake background rather than being derived from Kelly. If however, she was forced to leave her family (or husband?), and found herself on the streets, for some reason, she might have adopted a minor deception herself, say such as calling herself Kelly or claiming she was Welsh born (to hide from her family/husband maybe?), and the authorities then built on this foundation that she herself initiated.

                  Martyn
                  Hi Martin,

                  I would concur that it would be absolutely possible for Kelly to have a kind of hybrid accent if surrounded in London by Welsh relatives.

                  My evidence for this is purely anecdotal and based on a case study of one (!) but when I started primary school in Yorkshire, my slight Scottish accent was commented on by some of the teachers and other kids.

                  My mum was Scottish.

                  As I grew up and my friends exerted more influence, I guess the Yorkshire influences prevailed, but I've recently seen an old video of me messing round with a bunch of friends aged around 17.

                  I was surprised at how Yorkshire I sounded but you could still hear slight Scottish inflections on certain words.

                  Now after spending nearly three decades north of the border, and a period in Germany, I have a total mongrel of an accent

                  English people think I sound quite Scottish, Scottish people think I sound very English.

                  Some people just can't place it and think I'm Irish / Aussie / Canadian, so yeah, to me it's perfectly feasible that Kelly could have a strange hybrid of an accent that was difficult to identify if her folks were Welsh (or Irish) but she'd spent time in London.



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                  • #24
                    As I'm the proponent of the Mary Thomas theory which Martyn feels is a waste of time, I can assure you whilst it is pain-staking, I do believe I am making headway and producing good evidence is time-consuming. That's the nature of evidence versus theory. I have a theory and I am building my case with evidence. Perhaps that is something to consider? I think theories are never a waste of time. Proving them should not be deemed as such either.

                    I think there is mileage in Wickerman's suggestion of identity theft.

                    I believe the woman known to us as Mary Jane Kelly in Miller's Court who was murdered was Welsh.

                    At some point between 1881-1888 their paths crossed and elements of the real Kelly's story was intertwined with her own. Why? That I have some ideas why, but that should be established later.

                    The real Mary Kelly may have actually died before our MJK, giving her the comfort to use the name. Or she was alive post-1888 and did not connect the dots. Or she did but never came forward. Or she was abroad.

                    Park my Thomas theory for one moment. I am convinced the clue is in the Welsh / Irish link. Why did some believe she was Welsh who spoke fluent Welsh - and some believed she was Irish and not Welsh? This muddled version of her history needs unmuddling.

                    Was there some kind of missionary who dealt with who he thought was Mary Kelly a few years prior in London who absolutely dismissed the Welsh link? But then we have witnesses saying she spoke fluent Welsh / was from Wales closer to the time of her death?
                    "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                    - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
                      "Alice was reportedly in Dublin as late as September 1887 when she was fined for using abusive language. The newspaper reports mention that this is the same Alice Carroll involved in the 1883 trial."

                      The newspaper report does indeed say this, but I've wondered whether it is accurate.

                      As far as one can judge from her testimony, Alice Carroll was a respectable and reasonable person. It was even reported that she was going steady with a constable on the Dublin Police Force.

                      While this doesn't make it impossible that she was later fined for using abusive language, it seems a little out of character, and I wonder if some journalist & wag, noting the woman's name, wasn't pulling our legs. The Irish look down on informers, to say the least, and he might have found it amusing to report that this was the same Alice Carroll of Phoenix Park infamy.

                      Of course, I have no proof of this, but it might be noted that there appears to have been another Alice Carroll, born around 1868, (two years later than 'our' Alice) who is listed in Mountjoy Prison in 1899. (A women's prison in Dublin). It gives her age as 31, born in The Coombe, which is district in Central Dublin, but one I **don't think** would encompass Eccles Lane, St. Michan's Parish. So it looks like there may have been two Alice Carrolls, roughly the same age, bouncing around Central Dublin in the 1880s.

                      Just a guess--
                      RJ,

                      There were at least three Alice Carrolls who fell foul of the law in Dublin in the 1880s. Two of them, your Coombe example and one from Eccles Lane, had been born in 1866. The other was younger, so we can ignore her.

                      The two 1866 candidates were different heights and weights, one (Coombe) was a ‘dealer’ and the other (Eccles Lane) had no occupation. Clearly different women.

                      The 1887 press report that identified the AC charged with abusive language as the Phoenix Park witness gave her address as 13, Eccles Lane and said she had no occupation. This same woman - same name, age, address and lack of occupation - had been imprisoned in 1886 for the same offence. The Coombe lady had numerous convictions.

                      Unless there were two AC’s of the same age living in Eccles Lane and the reporter got them muddled up, it seems probable that the 1887 woman was indeed the Phoenix Park witness. The idea that a journalist would play a ‘joke’ by identifying the wrong woman seems highly unlikely.

                      Gary
                      Last edited by MrBarnett; 06-19-2021, 11:38 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Had Mary Kelly ever set foot in Ireland? At least once in my opinion, for she had certainly kissed the Blarney Stone.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post
                          On another note, a second witness who gave evidence in the trial James Carey was also hunted down by the Fenians and shot on board a ship heading for South Africa so the Fenians were clearly out to seek revenge on those who gave evidence.
                          Perhaps, but it should be noted that this has been disputed by historians. Carey was indeed shot dead on shipboard, but it has been suggested that O'Donnell wasn't actually on board the ship to assassinate him, but learned of his identity accidently, or even that this was an unrelated dispute, milked it for all it was worth in order to portray the Irish Invincibles as having a lot longer reach than they actually had.
                          Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-19-2021, 01:23 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                            The 1887 press report that identified the AC charged with abusive language as the Phoenix Park witness gave her address as 13, Eccles Lane and said she had no occupation. This same woman - same name, age, address and lack of occupation - had been imprisoned in 1886 for the same offence. The Coombe lady had numerous convictions.

                            Unless there were two AC’s of the same age living in Eccles Lane and the reporter got them muddled up, it seems probable that the 1887 woman was indeed the Phoenix Park witness. The idea that a journalist would play a ‘joke’ by identifying the wrong woman seems highly unlikely.

                            Gary
                            Thanks Gary. I didn't realize the 13 Eccles Lane address had been given, which casts a different light on the matter.

                            Still, the journalist doesn't inspire my complete confidence, because he also wrongly claimed that Alice Carroll had been a matron of the New Ross Work House. This wasn't the same women; the matron's name was Honora Carroll, and the newspaper was forced to reprint a retraction, so it doesn't appear that his information on Carroll was particularly trustworthy. Was he even certain who she was?


                            Click image for larger version  Name:	Carroll.JPG Views:	0 Size:	76.7 KB ID:	760457


                            I don't find the idea of a journalist publishing deliberate misinformation as strange as you do, but anyway one looks at it, it seems highly unlikely that a woman given a hefty pay-out of 500 pounds would relocate to a slum in London and soon take up the life of a prostitute. It's a curious theory.
                            Last edited by rjpalmer; 06-19-2021, 01:24 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Click image for larger version  Name:	8E9B0793-ABFE-4BFF-A20A-AFC0E6B7F3E9.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	93.4 KB ID:	760459
                              Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                              Thanks Gary. I didn't realize the 13 Eccles Lane address had been given, which casts a different light on the matter.

                              Still, the journalist doesn't inspire my complete confidence, because he also wrongly claimed that Alice Carroll had been a matron of the New Ross Work House. This wasn't the same women; the matron's name was Honora Carroll, and the newspaper was forced to reprint a retraction, so it doesn't appear that his information on Carroll was particularly trustworthy. Was he even certain who she was?


                              Click image for larger version Name:	Carroll.JPG Views:	0 Size:	76.7 KB ID:	760457


                              I don't find the idea of a journalist publishing deliberate misinformation as strange as you do, but anyway one looks at it, it seems highly unlikely that a woman given a hefty pay-out of 500 pounds would relocate to a slum in London and soon take up the life of a prostitute. It's a curious theory.
                              It is a strange story. It makes you wonder what Alice went through on the two occasions she was in jail.

                              Above is a press report about the offence in December, 1885, which presumably led to the Jan., 1886 imprisonment. Again, the Eccles Street address is mentioned, so it would seem to be the same AC. The description of her as the most troublesome of a group of young women congregating in O’Connell Street is at odds with the idea of her being a quiet respectable girl who kept herself to herself for fear retribution from those of Fenian sympathies.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

                                Thanks Gary. I didn't realize the 13 Eccles Lane address had been given, which casts a different light on the matter.

                                Still, the journalist doesn't inspire my complete confidence, because he also wrongly claimed that Alice Carroll had been a matron of the New Ross Work House. This wasn't the same women; the matron's name was Honora Carroll, and the newspaper was forced to reprint a retraction, so it doesn't appear that his information on Carroll was particularly trustworthy. Was he even certain who she was?


                                Click image for larger version Name:	Carroll.JPG Views:	0 Size:	76.7 KB ID:	760457


                                I don't find the idea of a journalist publishing deliberate misinformation as strange as you do, but anyway one looks at it, it seems highly unlikely that a woman given a hefty pay-out of 500 pounds would relocate to a slum in London and soon take up the life of a prostitute. It's a curious theory.
                                How long would it take for a young woman to spend that kind of money or for her relatives to help spend it? 5 Years is a long time in anyones life

                                Another intersting snippet is with regards to whether or not John McCarthy her landlord at Millers Court was related to the same McCarthy family who owned the shop near to where she lived in Ireland if he was then bingo the quest to identify Mary Kelly is over.

                                www.trevormarriott.co.uk

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