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Alice McKenzie - some details not seen before

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  • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
    As early as July 19th, two days after her murder, it was reported that the Peterborough police were denying that the Castle Alley victim was a native of their city. I think they may have got her confused with the, apparently Scottish, tramp of that name who had been arrested early in 1889.
    This is also from JTRForums:

    Another red herring was the suggestion that the tramp and/or the Whitechapel victim might have been related to a Scottish-born draper named John Mackenzie who was resident in Peterborough for a number of years. He had died there in 1881, his only daughter, Elizabeth, moved from Peterborough to Liverpool shortly after she married in 1878. In 1889, she too issued a denial of any knowledge of a relationship between her family and Alice McKenzie. It appeared in the Advertiser on August 3rd.

    ‘Mrs. Elizabeth Egan, 5, Spencer-street, Everton, Liverpool, writes to us: “In your edition of the 20th July I noticed that the unfortunate woman Alice Mackenzie, lately murdered in London, is supposed to have belonged to Peterborough, and my father’s name is mentioned in connection with the affair. As the only child of the late Mr. John Mackenzie, Trinity-street, formerly South-place [Peterborough], I wish to state that as far as my knowledge goes she was in no way connected with the family.”’

    I wonder if this Liverpool connection might have given rise to the claim in one report that Alice’s father had been a postman in Liverpool? It certainly seems a lot of effort went into attempting to establish Alice’s Peterborough connections once McCormack’s reference to the city had been publicised.


    • As an aside, I paid a few visits to the BNL when it was at Colindale, but I haven’t yet ventured to Boston Spa.

      If Alice did give evidence as a witness at the Peterborough sessions it would presumably have been before she moved to Leicester in 1861. She was only just 16 then, so how young might she have been when she gave evidence?

      I’ve had a look through online press reports of Peterborough Sessions cases between 1855 or so and 1861 and tried to follow up on any where the defendant was acquitted. No luck so far in finding an Alice of any surname providing crucial defence evidence.


      • All fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing everyone. Alice has always seemed to have been a bit of an enigma. Great to see this information coming to light.
        Best Regards,



        • I believe this was our Alice McKenzie in 1869 and that two years later she was living with Ben Palmer in Wood’s Buildings, between Whitechapel Road and Winthrop Street.

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