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  • Two Shillings

    When Frances Coles was found with her throat cut in the railway arch at Swallow Gardens, two shillings were found hidden behind a gutterpipe nearby, which were apparently presumed to be her earnings from her last client. Does anyone know precisely where these coins were found?
    One account says the pipe was 18 yards from the body. If this is correct it was presumably somewhere at the Chamber Street entrance, the body lying about 1/3 of the way into the (approx 40yd long) tunnel. But why would anyone connect these to Frances? Was it known practise for street prostitutes to hide their earnings somewhere other than on their person?

  • #2
    I would guess that in fear of being robbed the women would hide possessions nearby, possibly in places where other friends knew to which woman it belonged. A kind of a stash spot for a particular person.

    Respectfully
    MK114

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    • #3
      Mmm, maybe. Would it be a temporary measure, do you think, while they took care of a client they didn't trust? They'd have to secrete the money without them noticing, if so.

      The big question, of course, if the two shillings were indeed hidden by Frances....where did she get it from? Two hours earlier (possibly even less than one) at the doss-house she apparently didn't have fourpence for a bed. And yet, after Sadler left, she somehow bought herself a meal and got hold of enough cash for almost a week's doss.
      That must have been a busy couple of hours. Or did she perhaps steal the money from her last client, and that's why she had to hide it....and possibly why she died?

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      • #4
        That's a good question. I think either of those are good possibilities. I think there probably wasn't a lack of clients of course stealing was probably common place in such miserable a setting.

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        • #5
          I've heard of modern day drug addicts having temporary, random 'stashes'. It wouldn't surprise me if the prostitutes of the day had a similar practice.

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          • #6
            Yes, I'm sure it started somewhere.

            Respectfully,
            MK114

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            • #7
              so anything within a 15 metre circumference belongs to the deceased.. anyone could have dropped or lodged it...at any time

              Ven
              "..recognise your age, it's a teenage rampage..."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ven View Post
                so anything within a 15 metre circumference belongs to the deceased.. anyone could have dropped or lodged it...at any time

                Ven
                "..love gets you high..."
                Yes, this is my problem with the theory that people used it as a primitive banking system.
                One possibility, perhaps, is that the police were aware caches like this were used to avoid a direct exchange of money between client and prostitute?
                ​​​​​

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                • #9
                  Most likely, I would think they (police) had someone tell them the money was hers. Or like you say Ven anyone could have dropped something nearby. Police had to have a reason to say it belonged to her.

                  Respectfully,
                  MK114

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