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 A Ripperologist Article 
This article originally appeared in Ripperologist No. 6, June 1996. Ripperologist is the most respected Ripper periodical on the market and has garnered our highest recommendation for serious students of the case. For more information, view our Ripperologist page. Our thanks to the editor of Ripperologist for permission to reprint this article.
Catherine Eddowes: Wolverhampton and Birmingham
by Dave Froggatt

The "Old Hall" building stood on the site that is now the Central Library in Wolverhampton. It had been rebuilt in brick in the 16th century for the Levesons, Lessee Lords of Wolverhampton. In the 18th century, Joseph Turton junior, an iron factor, purchased the hall. It later became known as "Turton's Hall" and it was here that the Old Hall Tin and Japan works was situated. This handsome building was demolished in 1883.

Catherine was born in Wolver hampton in 1842, the daughter of a tinplate worker, George Eddowes. George had been apprenticed to the stamping trade at the Old Hall works.

His father a tinplate worker also, was the oldest hand in the employ of the firm. George married a young woman who had been engaged as a cook at a well-known hostelry in the town, and the pair went to London to seek their fortunes.

A large family numbering twelve in all was born to them, and a few years after the birth of Kate the mother died, the father dying a few months afterwards. Catherine was brought up by an aunt in Bilston Street, Wolverhampton from the age of six years until she was a grown-up young woman of 21 or 22. During this time she was employed as a colour stover and a grainer at the Old Hall works.

When about eighteen years old, Mi she went to stay with an uncle in Birmingham. His name was Thomas Eddowes, a shoemaker by trade living on what was known as "The Brick Hill", Bagot Street. She obtained work in the town as a tray polisher, with a firm in Legge Street. She only stayed in Birmingham however for about nine months and then went back to Wolverhampton, where she lived for a time with her grandfather also named Thomas Eddowes. She became associated with an old pensioner named Thomas Conway (whose initials "T.C." were found tattoed on her arm at death), and left Wolverhampton with him. She returned to Birmingham but did not live with her uncle on that occasion; he saw her frequently however. He denied that it was in Birmingham that she formed the acquaintance of Thomas Conway. He spoke of Catherine as a "nice looking girl, very warm hearted, and of a lively disposition."

Catherine and Thomas Conway made their living by selling books written by Conway about famous people and hangings. They moved to several Midland towns. In 1880 they separated. In 1881 she joined John Kelly with whom she was living seven years later in his lodgings in Flower and Dean Street, in the East End of London. She met her death at the hands of an unknown assassin in Mitre Square on Sunday 30th September 1888, in the City of London. At the funeral, the mourning cortege had some difficulty in penetrating the large crowd outside, among whom threats against "Jack the Ripper" were loud and frequent.

Main Sources:

The Evening Express and Star, Friday 5th October 1888

The Wolverhampton Chronicle, Wednesday 10th October 1888


Related pages:
  Catherine Eddowes
       Home: Timeline - Catherine Eddowes 
       Dissertations: A Piece of Apron, Some Chalk Graffiti and a Lost Hour 
       Dissertations: Anything But Your Prayers: Victims and Witnesses on the N... 
       Dissertations: By Accident or Design? A Critical Analysis of the Murder... 
       Dissertations: Double Trouble: Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes 
       Dissertations: Grave-Spitting & Other Tall Tales 
       Dissertations: Hyam Hyams 
       Dissertations: May My End A Warning Be: Catherine Eddowes and Gallows Li... 
       Dissertations: Stephen White, Amos Simpson and Eddowes' Shawl 
       Dissertations: The Funeral of Catherine Eddowes 
       Dissertations: The Marking of Catherine Eddowes 
       Message Boards: Catherine Eddowes 
       Official Documents: Catherine Eddowes's Inquest 
       Official Documents: Mitre Square - Census Listings 
       Press Reports: Alderley and Wilmslow Advertiser - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: British Daily Whig - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 10 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 17 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: City Press - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Daily Telegraph - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Advertiser - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Observer - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: East London Observer - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Eastern Post - 13 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Echo - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 10 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening News - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Evening Standard - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Frederick News - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 1 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 12 Oct... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 2 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 3 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 4 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 5 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Freemans Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser - 6 Octo... 
       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 20 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Illustrated Police News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Irish Times - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Lloyds Weekly News - 30 September 1888 
       Press Reports: London Evening News - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Macclesfield Courier and Herald - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manchester Guardian - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Manitoba Daily Free Press - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Montreal Daily Star - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Morning Advertiser - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Munster News - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: New York Times - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: North Eastern Daily Gazette - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: North Eastern Daily Gazette - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 01 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 03 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 04 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 05 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 06 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Pall Mall Gazette - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Penny Illustrated Paper - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: People - 14 October 1888 
       Press Reports: People - 7 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Philadelphia Times - 3 December 1888 
       Press Reports: Police Gazette - 19 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Police Gazette - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: St. James Gazette - 8 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 4 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Star - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times - 11 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 1 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 16 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 2 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 3 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 6 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Times [London] - 9 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Trenton Times - 23 May 1892 
       Press Reports: Weekly Herald - 5 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Woodford Times - 12 October 1888 
       Press Reports: Woodford Times - 5 October 1888 
       Ripper Media: Catherine Eddowes: Jack the Ripper Victim 
       Victims: Catherine Eddowes 
       Victims: Catherine Eddowes: Her Last Known Movements and Discovery... 
       Victorian London: Mitre Square 
       Witnesses: Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown 
       Witnesses: Emily Birrell 
       Witnesses: James Blenkingsop