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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Scene of the Crimes

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  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 02:10 PM
SGHILLUSTRATION SGHILLUSTRATION is offline
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Default Millers Court Gate?

In The Complete Jack The Ripper A To Z, under the entry for Mary Ann Cox, theres a quote that mentions Millers Court having an iron gate (unless i'm reading it wrong). Mrs Coxs niece is quoted as saying -

'She saw Mary coming through the iron gate with this gentleman, a real toff. This night as they got under the lamp in the court they stopped'

Did the court at the time of the murder have a gate? I havent ever seen any visual reference for this
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  #2  
Old 11-02-2011, 02:39 PM
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John Bennett John Bennett is offline
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This is the account given to Dan Farson, I do believe.

Mrs Cox's neice seems to have mixed up a few stories with perhaps the mythology that had developed by the time she said these words (probably in the late 1950s when Farson was researching the Ripper for TV). It is therefore at least 70 years after the event.

This is the only account I can think of with reference to an iron gate. Even contemporary sketches don't show one. Therefore, I think caution is advised...
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:18 PM
SGHILLUSTRATION SGHILLUSTRATION is offline
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Yes, you're right - it is from some time after the fact, it just seemed like quite a specific detail. None of the contemporary press reports show a gate
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:08 PM
Adam Went Adam Went is offline
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Yes I certainly haven't heard anything about a gate in the past. Is it possible though that there might have been a gate there which was rarely, if ever used, much like the doors into the passageways at 29 Hanbury St and others were rarely closed due to the amount of traffic through them?

Cheers,
Adam.
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  #5  
Old 11-03-2011, 02:44 AM
Rob Clack Rob Clack is offline
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There was no iron gate.

Rob
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2011, 04:21 AM
Phil Carter Phil Carter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bennett View Post
This is the account given to Dan Farson, I do believe.

Mrs Cox's neice seems to have mixed up a few stories with perhaps the mythology that had developed by the time she said these words (probably in the late 1950s when Farson was researching the Ripper for TV). It is therefore at least 70 years after the event.

This is the only account I can think of with reference to an iron gate. Even contemporary sketches don't show one. Therefore, I think caution is advised...
Hello John,

Caution should be advised throughout the Farson tale, imho.

kindly

Phil
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2011, 12:59 PM
richardnunweek richardnunweek is offline
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Hi,
Could it not have referred to the Iron plate across the arch of the court[ Millers court]?.
It may have been known to the locals as the ''Iron gate'' being the entrance to the passage.
With reference to the tale allegedly told to Dan Farson, I have a open mind.
Unless the late ''Farson fabricated such a meeting with Cox's niece , I find several points of intrest.
Regards Richard.
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:15 PM
Stephen Thomas Stephen Thomas is offline
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There was no iron gate.
You're right as always there, Rob but it is interesting, though not I suppose surprising, how often the word 'gateway' appears in Ripper literature given that 3 canonicals were killed in gateways. In this context Mrs Prater is supposed to have said she lived in the room over the gateway to Millers Court by which she would have meant the alleyway entrance in Dorset Street.
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2011, 02:24 PM
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John Bennett John Bennett is offline
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For those who wish to compare the two stories - the first is Cox's witness statement taken on 9th November:

I am a widow and an unfortunate. I have known the female occupying No 13 room Millers Court about 18 months. I knew her by the name Mary Jane. About a quarter to twelve last night I came into Dorset Street from Commercial Street, and saw walking in front of me Mary Jane with a man, they turned into the Court and as I entered the Court they went in doors, as they were going into her room, I said good night Mary Jane, she was very drunk and could scarcely answer me, but said good night, the man was carrying a quart can of beer. I shortly afterwards heard her singing. I went out shortly after twelve and returned about one o’clock and she was still singing in her room. I went out again shortly after one o’clock and returned at 3 o’clock, there was no light in her room then and all was quiet, and I heard no noise all night.
The man whom I saw was about 36 years old, about 5ft 5in high, complexion fresh, and I believe he had blotches on his face, small side whiskers, and a thick carroty moustache, dressed in shabby dark clothes, dark overcoat and black felt hat.
Mary Jane was dressed I think, last night when I saw her, in a linsey frock, red knitted crossover around shoulders, had no hat or bonnet on.


And the story as apparently related to Dan Farson by Cox's neice:

"The night of the murder of Mary Kelly my aunt was very young, just married with one child. She was standing at her door and waiting for her husband who was a bit of a boozer. She saw Mary coming through the iron gate with this gentleman, a real toff. Mary was always bringing home men, mostly seamen from a pub called the Frying Pan, singing and holding their arms with a bottle of gin under her arm. This night as they got under the lamp in the court they stopped. Mary's words were "all right love don't pull me along". My aunt said they were only a few yards away from her, at the door she said she saw him as plain as looking at her hand. He was a fine looking man, wore an overcoat with a cape, high hat, not a silk one, and a Gladstone bag. As they went into the house, Mary called out "goodnight" to my aunt."

(She also added that her aunt heard 'terrible screams from Mary, but no one took any notice because it happened often'). Finally, she is quoted as saying this about the discovery of Kelly's body:

"Now next morning a Mrs Storey who was always in and out of Mary's room to have a pinch of snuff and a chat, was the first person to find the terrible body. Mary had a string on the door so anybody visiting had no need to knock. She dashed next door to my aunt and they both went in. My aunt never forgot the sight she saw."
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:09 PM
SGHILLUSTRATION SGHILLUSTRATION is offline
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Thanks John, when you see the two side by side i think it becomes obvious that the tale has been embellished a little !
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