1, Thursday, October 4,
(The Daily Telegraph, Friday, October 5, 1888, Page 3)
At the Coroner's Court, Golden-lane, yesterday [4 Oct], Mr. S. F. Langham, coroner for the City of London, opened the inquest into the death of Catherine Eddowes, or Conway, or Kelly, who was murdered in Mitre-court, Aldgate, about half-past one o'clock on Sunday morning last. The court was crowded, and much interest was taken in the proceedings, many people standing outside the building during the whole of the day.
Mr. Crawford, City solicitor, appeared on behalf of the Corporation, as responsible for the police; Major Smith and Superintendent Forster represented the officers engaged in the inquiry.
After the jury had viewed the body, which was lying in the
Mr. Crawford, addressing the coroner, said: I appear here as representing the City police in this matter, for the purpose of rendering you every possible assistance, and if I should consider it desirable, in the course of the inquiry, to put any questions to witnesses, probably I shall have your permission when you have finished with them.
The Coroner: Oh, certainly.
The following evidence was then called -
deposed: I live at 6, Thrawl-street, Spitalfields. I have been
married, but my husband is dead. I recognise the deceased as my
poor sister (witness here commenced to weep very much, and for a
few moments she was unable to proceed with her story). Her name
was Catherine Eddowes. I cannot exactly tell where she was
living. She was staying with a gentleman, but she was not married
to him. Her age last birthday was about 43 years, as far as I can
remember. She has been living for some years with Mr. Kelly. He
is in court. I last saw her alive about four or five months ago.
She used to go out hawking for a living, and was a woman of sober
habits. Before she went to live with Kelly, she had lived with a
man named Conway for several years, and had two children by him.
I cannot tell how many years she lived with Conway. I do not know
whether Conway is still living. He was a pensioner from the army,
and used to go out hawking also. I do not know on what terms he
parted from my sister. I do not know whether she had ever seen
him from the time they parted. I am quite certain that the body I
have seen is my sister.
By Mr. Crawford: I have not seen Conway for seven or eight years. I believe my sister was living with him then on friendly terms.
[Coroner] Was she living on friendly terms with Kelly? - I cannot say. Three or four weeks ago I saw them together, and they were then on happy terms. I cannot fix the time when I last saw them. They were living at 55, Flower and Dean-street - a lodging-house. My sister when staying there came to see me when I was very ill. From that time, until I saw her in the mortuary, I have not seen her.
A Juryman pointed out that witness previously said she had not seen her sister for three or four months, whilst later on she spoke of three or four weeks.
The Coroner: You said your sister came to see you when you were ill, and that you had not seen her since. Was that three or four weeks ago?
Mrs. Gold: Yes.
[Coroner] So that your saying three or four months was a mistake? - Yes. I am so upset and confused. Witness commenced to cry again. As she could not write she had to affix her mark to the deposition.
John Kelly, a
strong-looking labourer, was then called and said: I live at a
lodging-house, 55, Flower and Dean-street. Have seen the deceased
and recognise her as Catherine Conway. I have been living with
her for seven years. She hawked a few things about the streets
and lived with me at a common lodging-house in Flower and
Dean-street. The lodging-house is known as Cooney's. I last saw
her alive about two o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday in
Houndsditch. We parted on very good terms. She told me she was
going over to Bermondsey to try and find her daughter Annie.
Those were the last words she spoke to me. Annie was a daughter
whom I believe she had had by Conway. She promised me before we
parted that she would be back by four o'clock, and no later. She
did not return.
[Coroner] Did you make any inquiry after her? - I heard she had been locked up at Bishopsgate-street on Saturday afternoon. An old woman who works in then lane told me she saw her in the hands of the police.
[Coroner] Did you make any inquiry into the truth of this? - I made no further inquiries. I knew that she would be out on Sunday morning, being in the City.
[Coroner] Did you know why she was locked up? - Yes, for drink; she had had a drop of drink, so I was told. I never knew she went out for any immoral purpose. She occasionally drank, but not to excess. When I left her she had no money about her. She went to see and find her daughter to get a trifle, so that I shouldn't see her walk about the streets at night.
[Coroner] What do you mean by "walking the streets?" - I mean that if we had no money to pay for our lodgings we would have to walk about all night. I was without money to pay for our lodgings at the time. I do not know that she was at variance with any one - not in the least. She had not seen Conway recently - not that I know of. I never saw him in my existence. I cannot say whether Conway is living. I know of no one who would be likely to injure her.
The Foreman of the Jury: You say you heard the deceased was taken into custody. Did you ascertain, as a matter of fact, when she was discharged? - No. I do not know when she was discharged.
[Coroner] What time was she in the habit of returning to her lodgings? - Early.
[Coroner] What do you call early? - About eight or nine o'clock.
[Coroner] When she did not return on this particular evening, did it not occur to you that it would be right to inquire whether she had been discharged or not? - No, I did not inquire. I expected she would turn up on the Sunday morning.
Mr. Crawford: You say she had no money. Do you know with whom she had been drinking that afternoon? - I cannot say.
[Coroner] Do you know any one who paid for drink for her? - No.
[Coroner] Had she on a recent occasion absented herself from you at night? - No.
[Coroner] This was the only time? - Yes.
[Coroner] But had not she left you previously? - Yes, a long time ago - some months ago.
[Coroner] For what purpose? - We had a few words, and she went away, but came back in a few hours.
[Coroner] Had you had any angry conversation with her on Saturday afternoon? - No, not in the least.
[Coroner] No words about money? - No.
[Coroner] Have you any idea where her daughter lives? - She told me in King-street, Bermondsey, and that her name was Annie.
[Coroner] Had she been previously there for money? - Yes, once last year.
[Coroner] How long have you been living in this lodging-house together? - Seven years, in the self-same house.
[Coroner] Previous to this Saturday had you been sleeping there each evening during the week? - No; I slept there on Friday night, but she didn't.
[Coroner] Did she not sleep with you? - No.
[Coroner] Was she walking the streets that night? - She had the misfortune to go to Mile-end.
[Coroner] What happened there? - She went into the casual ward.
[Coroner] What was the evening you two slept at the lodging-house during that week? - Not one.
[Coroner] Where did you sleep? - On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we were down at the hop-picking, and came back to London on Thursday. We had been unfortunate at the hop-picking, and had no money. On Thursday night we both slept in the casual ward. On the Friday I earned 6d at a job, and I said, "Here, Kate, you take 4d and go to the lodging-house and I will go to Mile-end," but she said, "No, you go and have a bed and I will go to the casual ward," and she went. I saw her again on Saturday morning early.
[Coroner] At what time did you quit one another on Friday? - I cannot tell, but I think it would be about three or four in the afternoon.
[Coroner] What did she leave you for? - To go to Mile-end.
[Coroner] What for? - To get a night's shelter in the casual ward.
[Coroner] When did you see her next morning? - About eight o'clock. I was surprised to see her so early. I know there was some tea and sugar found on her body. She bought that out of some boots we pawned at Jones's for 2s 6d. I think it was on Saturday morning that we pawned the boots. She was sober when she left me. We had been drinking together out of the 2s 6d. All of it was spent in drink and food. She left me quite sober to go to her daughter's. We parted without an angry word. I do not know why she left Conway. In the past seven years she only lived with me. I did not know of her going out for immoral purposes at night. She never brought me money in the morning after being out at night.
A Juryman: Is not eight o'clock a very early hour to be discharged from a casual ward? - I do not know.
[Juryman ?] There is some tasks - picking oakum - before you can be discharged. I know it was very early.
Mr. Crawford: Is it not the fact that the pawning took place on the Friday night? - I do not know. It was either Friday night or Saturday morning. I am all muddled up. (The tickets were produced, and were dated the 28th, Friday.)
[Crawford ?] She pawned the boots, did she not? - Yes; and I stood at the door in my bare feet.
[Crawford ?] Seeing the date on the tickets, cannot you recollect when the pawning took place? - I cannot say, I am so muddled up. It was either Friday or Saturday.
The Coroner: Had you been drinking when the pawning took place? - Yes.
Frederick William Wilkinson
deposed: I am deputy of the lodging-house at Flower and
Dean-street. I have known the deceased and Kelly during the last
seven years. They passed as man and wife, and lived on very good
terms. They had a quarrel now and then, but not violent. They
sometimes had a few words when Kate was in drink, but they were
not serious. I believe she got her living by hawking about the
streets and cleaning amongst the Jews in Whitechapel. Kelly paid
me pretty regularly. Kate was not often in drink. She was a very
jolly woman, always singing. Kelly was not in the habit of
drinking, and I never saw him the worse for drink. During the
week the first time I saw the deceased at the lodging-house was
on Friday afternoon. Kelly was not with her then. She went out
and did not return until Saturday morning, when I saw her and
Kelly in the kitchen together having breakfast. I did not see her
go out, and I do not know whether Kelly went with her. I never
saw her again.
[Coroner] Did you know she was in the habit of walking the streets at night? - No; she generally used to return between nine and ten o'clock. I never knew her to be intimate with any particular individual except Kelly; and never heard of such a thing. She use to say she was married to Conway; that her name was bought and paid for - meaning that she was married. She was not at variance with any one that I know of. When I saw her last, on Saturday morning, between ten and eleven, she was quite sober. I first heard from Kelly on Saturday night that Kate was locked up, and he said he wanted a single bed. That was about 7.30 in the evening. A single bed is 4d, and a double 8d.
By a Juryman: I don't take the names of the lodgers, but I know my "regulars." If a man comes and takes a bed I put the number of the bed down in my book, but not his name. Of course I know the names of my regular customers.
Mr. Crawford: When was the last time Kelly and the deceased had slept together in your house previous to last week? - The last time the two slept at the lodging-house was five or six weeks ago, before they went to the hop-picking. Kelly slept there on Friday and Saturday, but not Kate. I did not make any inquiry about her not being there on Friday. I could not say whether Kate went out with Kelly on Saturday, but I saw them having their breakfast together. I saw Kelly in the house about ten o'clock on Saturday night. I am positive he did not go out again. I cannot tell when he got up on Sunday. I saw him about dinner time. I believe on Saturday morning Kate was wearing an apron. Nothing unusual struck me about her dress. The distance between our place and the scene of the murder is about 500 yards. Several Jurymen: Oh, more than that.
Mr. Crawford: Did any one come into your lodging-house and take a bed between one and two o'clock on the Sunday morning? - No stranger came in then.
[Crawford] Did any one come into your lodging-house about that hour? - No; two detectives came about three, and asked if I had any women out.
[Crawford] Did anyone come into your lodging-house about two o'clock on Sunday morning whom you did not recognise? - I cannot say; I could tell by my book, which can soon be produced.
By a Juryman: Kelly and the deceased were at breakfast together between ten and eleven on Saturday morning. If they had told me the previous day that they had no money I would have trusted them. I trust all lodgers I know. The body was found half a mile from my lodging-house.
The deputy was dispatched for his book, with which after an interval he returned. It merely showed, however, that there were fifty-two beds occupied in the house on Saturday night. There were only six strangers. He could not say whether any one took a bed about two o'clock on Sunday morning. He had sometimes over 100 persons sleeping in the house at once. They paid for their beds, and were asked no questions.
No. 881 of the City Police, said: I was on duty at Mitre-square
on Saturday night. I have been in the force seventeen years. I
went on duty at 9.45 upon my regular beat. That extends from
Duke-street, Aldgate, through Heneage-lane, a portion of
Bury-street, through Cree-lane, into Leadenhall-street, along
eastward into Mitre-street, then into Mitre-square, round the
square again into Mitre-street, then into King-street to St.
James's-place, round the place, then into Duke-street, where I
started from. That beat takes twelve or fourteen minutes. I had
been patrolling the beat continually from ten o'clock at night
until one o'clock on Sunday morning.
[Coroner] Had anything excited your attention during those hours? - No.
[Coroner] Or any person? - No. I passed through Mitre-square at 1.30 on the Sunday morning. I had my lantern alight and on - fixed to my belt. According to my usual practice, I looked at the different passages and corners.
[Coroner] At half-past one did anything excite your attention? - No.
[Coroner] Did you see anyone about? - No.
[Coroner] Could any people have been about that portion of the square without your seeing them? - No. I next came into Mitre-square at 1.44, when I discovered the body lying on the right as I entered the square. The woman was on her back, with her feet towards the square. Her clothes were thrown up. I saw her throat was cut and the stomach ripped open. She was lying in a pool of blood. I did not touch the body. I ran across to Kearley and Long's warehouse. The door was ajar, and I pushed it open, and called on the watchman Morris, who was inside. He came out. I remained with the body until the arrival of Police-constable Holland. No one else was there before that but myself. Holland was followed by Dr. Sequeira. Inspector Collard arrived about two o'clock, and also Dr. Brown, surgeon to the police force.
[Coroner] When you first saw the body did you hear any footsteps as if anybody were running away? - No. The door of the warehouse to which I went was ajar, because the watchman was working about. It was no unusual thing for the door to be ajar at that hour of the morning.
By Mr. Crawford: I was continually patrolling my beat from ten o'clock up to half-past one. I noticed nothing unusual up till 1.44, when I saw the body.
By the Coroner: I did not sound an alarm. We do not carry whistles.
By a Juror: My beat is not a double but a single beat. No other policeman comes into Mitre-street.
Frederick William Foster, of 26, Old Jewry, architect and surveyor, produced a plan which he had made of the place where the body was found, and the district. From Berner-street to Mitre-street is three-quarters of a mile, and a man could walk the distance in twelve minutes.
of the City Police, said: At five minutes before two o'clock on
Sunday morning last I received information at Bishopsgate-street
Police-station that a woman had been murdered in Mitre-square.
Information was at once telegraphed to headquarters. I dispatched
a constable to Dr. Gordon Brown, informing him, and proceeded
myself to Mitre-square, arriving there about two or three minutes
past two. I there found Dr. Sequeira, two or three police
officers, and the deceased person lying in the south-west corner
of the square, in the position described by Constable Watkins.
The body was not touched until the arrival shortly afterwards of
Dr. Brown. The medical gentlemen examined the body, and in my
presence Sergeant Jones picked up from the foot way by the left
side of the deceased three small black buttons, such as are
generally used for boots, a small metal button, a common metal
thimble, and a small penny mustard tin containing two
pawn-tickets. They were handed to me. The doctors remained until
the arrival of the ambulance, and saw the body placed in the
conveyance. It was then taken to the mortuary, and stripped by
Mr. Davis, the mortuary keeper, in presence of the two doctors
and myself. I have a list of articles of clothing more or less
stained with blood and cut.
[Coroner] Was there any money about her? - No; no money whatever was found. A piece of cloth was found in Goulston-street, corresponding with the apron worn by the deceased. When I got to the square I took immediate steps to have the neighbourhood searched for the person who committed the murder. Mr. M'Williams, chief of the Detective Department, on arriving shortly afterwards sent men to search in all directions in Spitalfields, both in streets and lodging-houses. Several men were stopped and searched in the streets, without any good result. I have had a house-to-house inquiry made in the vicinity of Mitre-square as to any noises or whether persons were seen in the place; but I have not been able to find any beyond the witnesses who saw a man and woman talking together.
Mr. Crawford: When you arrived was the deceased in a pool of blood? - The head, neck, and, I imagine, the shoulders were lying in a pool of blood when she was first found, but there was no blood in front. I did not touch the body myself, but the doctor said it was warm.
[Crawford ?] Was there any sign of a struggle having taken place? - None whatever. I made a careful inspection of the ground all round. There was no trace whatever of any struggle. There was nothing in the appearance of the woman, or of the clothes, to lead to the idea that there had been any struggle. From the fact that the blood was in a liquid state I conjectured that the murder had not been long previously committed. In my opinion the body had not been there more than a quarter of an hour. I endeavoured to trace footsteps, but could find no trace whatever. The backs of the empty houses adjoining were searched, but nothing was found.
Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown
was then called, and deposed: I am surgeon to the City of London
Police. I was called shortly after two o'clock on Sunday morning,
and reached the place of the murder about twenty minutes past
two. My attention was directed to the body of the deceased. It
was lying in the position described by Watkins, on its back, the
head turned to the left shoulder, the arms by the side of the
body, as if they had fallen there. Both palms were upwards, the
fingers slightly bent. A thimble was lying near. The clothes were
thrown up. The bonnet was at the back of the head. There was
great disfigurement of the face. The throat was cut across. Below
the cut was a neckerchief. The upper part of the dress had been
torn open. The body had been mutilated, and was quite warm - no
rigor mortis. The crime must have been committed within half an
hour, or certainly within forty minutes from the time when I saw
the body. There were no stains of blood on the bricks or pavement
By Mr. Crawford: There was no blood on the front of the clothes. There was not a speck of blood on the front of the jacket.
By the Coroner: Before we removed the body Dr. Phillips was sent for, as I wished him to see the wounds, he having been engaged in a case of a similar kind previously. He saw the body at the mortuary. The clothes were removed from the deceased carefully. I made a post-mortem examination on Sunday afternoon. There was a bruise on the back of the left hand, and one on the right shin, but this had nothing to do with the crime. There were no bruises on the elbows or the back of the head. The face was very much mutilated, the eyelids, the nose, the jaw, the cheeks, the lips, and the mouth all bore cuts. There were abrasions under the left ear. The throat was cut across to the extent of six or seven inches.
[Coroner] Can you tell us what was the cause of death? - The cause of death was haemorrhage from the throat. Death must have been immediate.
[Coroner] There were other wounds on the lower part of the body? - Yes; deep wounds, which were inflicted after death.
(Witness here described in detail the terrible mutilation of the deceased's body.)
Mr. Crawford: I understand that you found certain portions of the body removed? - Yes. The uterus was cut away with the exception of a small portion, and the left kidney was also cut out. Both these organs were absent, and have not been found.
[Coroner] Have you any opinion as to what position the woman was in when the wounds were inflicted? - In my opinion the woman must have been lying down. The way in which the kidney was cut out showed that it was done by somebody who knew what he was about.
[Coroner] Does the nature of the wounds lead you to any conclusion as to the instrument that was used? - It must have been a sharp-pointed knife, and I should say at least 6 in. long.
[Coroner] Would you consider that the person who inflicted the wounds possessed anatomical skill? - He must have had a good deal of knowledge as to the position of the abdominal organs, and the way to remove them.
[Coroner] Would the parts removed be of any use for professional purposes? - None whatever.
[Coroner] Would the removal of the kidney, for example, require special knowledge? - It would require a good deal of knowledge as to its position, because it is apt to be overlooked, being covered by a membrane.
[Coroner] Would such a knowledge be likely to be possessed by some one accustomed to cutting up animals? - Yes.
[Coroner] Have you been able to form any opinion as to whether the perpetrator of this act was disturbed? - I think he had sufficient time, but it was in all probability done in a hurry.
[Coroner] How long would it take to make the wounds? - It might be done in five minutes. It might take him longer; but that is the least time it could be done in.
[Coroner] Can you, as a professional man, ascribe any reason for the taking away of the parts you have mentioned? - I cannot give any reason whatever.
[Coroner] Have you any doubt in your own mind whether there was a struggle? - I feel sure there was no struggle. I see no reason to doubt that it was the work of one man.
[Coroner] Would any noise be heard, do you think? - I presume the throat was instantly severed, in which case there would not be time to emit any sound.
[Coroner] Does it surprise you that no sound was heard? - No.
[Coroner] Would you expect to find much blood on the person inflicting these wounds? - No, I should not. I should say that the abdominal wounds were inflicted by a person kneeling at the right side of the body. The wounds could not possibly have been self-inflicted.
[Coroner] Was your attention called to the portion of the apron that was found in Goulston-street? - Yes. I fitted that portion which was spotted with blood to the remaining portion, which was still attached by the strings to the body.
[Coroner] Have you formed any opinion as to the motive for the mutilation of the face? - It was to disfigure the corpse, I should imagine.
A Juror: Was there any evidence of a drug having been used? - I have not examined the stomach as to that. The contents of the stomach have been preserved for analysis.
Mr. Crawford said he was glad to
announce that the Corporation had unanimously approved the offer
by the Lord Mayor of a reward of £500 for the discovery of the
Several jurymen expressed their satisfaction at the promptness with which the offer was made.
The inquest was then adjourned until next Thursday.
Day 2, Thursday, October 11, 1888
(The Daily Telegraph, October 12, 1888, Page 2)
Yesterday [11 Oct], at the City Coroner's Court, Golden-lane, Mr. S. F. Langham resumed the inquest respecting the death of Catherine Eddowes, who was found murdered and mutilated in Mitre-square, Aldgate, early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 30.
Mr. Crawford, City Solicitor, again watched the case on behalf of the police.
Dr. G. W. Sequeira,
surgeon, of No. 34, Jewry-street, Aldgate, deposed: On the
morning of Sept. 30 I was called to Mitre-square, and I arrived
at five minutes to two o'clock, being the first medical man on
the scene of the murder. I saw the position of the body, and I
entirely agree with the evidence of Dr. Gordon Brown in that
By Mr. Crawford: I am well acquainted with the locality and the position of the lamps in the square. Where the murder was committed was probably the darkest part of the square, but there was sufficient light to enable the miscreant to perpetrate the deed. I think that the murderer had no design on any particular organ of the body. He was not possessed of any great anatomical skill.
[Coroner] Can you account for the absence of noise? - The death must have been instantaneous after the severance of the windpipe and the blood-vessels.
[Coroner] Would you have expected the murderer to be bespattered with blood? - Not necessarily.
[Coroner] How long do you believe life had been extinct when you arrived? - Very few minutes - probably not more than a quarter of an hour.
Mr. William Sedgwick Saunders, medical officer of health for the City, said: I received the stomach of the deceased from Dr. Gordon Brown, carefully sealed, and I made an analysis of the contents, which had not been interfered with in any way. I looked more particularly for poisons of the narcotic class, but with negative results, there being not the faintest trace of any of those or any other poisons.
stated: I reside at No. 12, Dilston-road, Southwark Park-road,
and am married, my husband being a lamp-black packer. I am
daughter of the deceased, who formerly lived with my father. She
always told me that she was married to him, but I have never seen
the marriage lines. My father's name was Thomas Conway.
The Coroner: Have you seen him lately? - Not for the last fifteen or eighteen months.
[Coroner] Where was he living then? - He was living with me and my husband, at No. 15, Acre-street, Southwark Park-road.
[Coroner] What calling did he follow? - That of a hawker.
[Coroner] What became of him? - I do not know.
[Coroner] Did he leave on good terms with you? - Not on very good terms.
[Coroner] Did he say that he would never see you again, or anything of that sort? - No.
[Coroner] Was he a sober man? - He was a teetotaller.
[Coroner] Did he live on bad terms with your mother? - Yes, because she used to drink.
[Coroner] Have you any idea where Conway is now? - Not the least. He ceased to live with Eddowes entirely on account of her drinking habits.
[Coroner] Your father was in the 18th Royal Irish Regiment? - So I have been told. He had been a pensioner ever since I was eight years old. I am twenty-three now. They parted about seven or eight years ago.
[Coroner] Did your mother ever apply to you for money? - Yes.
[Coroner] When did you last see her? - Two years and one month ago.
[Coroner] Where did you live when you last saw her? - In King-street, Bermondsey.
[Coroner] Have you any brothers or sisters by Conway? - Two brothers.
[Coroner] Where are they living? - In London.
[Coroner] Did your mother know where to find either of you? - No.
[Coroner] Were your addresses purposely kept from her? - Yes.
[Coroner] To prevent her applying for money.
The Foreman: Was your father aware when he left you that your mother was living with Kelly? - Yes.
Mr. Crawford: Are you quite certain that your father was a pensioner of the 18th Royal Irish? - I was told so, but I am not sure whether it was the 18th or the Connaught Rangers. It may have been the latter.
The Coroner: That is the 88th - I do not know.
Mr. Crawford: That is so. It so happens that there is a pensioner of the name of Conway belonging to the Royal Irish, but that is not the man.
To witness: When did your mother last receive money from you?
Witness: Just over two years ago. She waited upon me in my confinement, and I paid her for it.
[Coroner] Did you ever get a letter from her? - No.
[Coroner] Do you know anything about Kelly? - I have seen him two or three times at the lodging-house in Flower and Dean-street, with my mother.
[Coroner] When did you last see them together? - About three years and a half ago.
[Coroner] You knew they were living together as man and wife? - Yes.
[Coroner] Is it the fact that your father is living with your two brothers? - He was.
[Coroner] Where are your brothers residing now? - I do not know.
[Coroner] He was always with them. One was fifteen and the other eighteen years of age.
[Coroner] When did you last see them? - About eighteen months ago. I have not seen them since.
[Coroner] Are we to understand that you had lost all trace of your mother, father, and two brothers for at least eighteen months? - That is so.
Detective-Sergeant John Mitchell,
of the City police, said: I have, under instructions, and with
other officers, made every endeavour to find the father and
brothers of the last witness, but without success up to the
The Coroner: Have you found a pensioner named Conway belonging to the 18th Royal Irish? - I have. He has not been identified as the husband of the deceased. Detective Baxter Hunt: Acting under instructions, I discovered the pensioner, Conway, of the Royal Irish, and have confronted him with two sisters of the deceased, who, however, failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased. I have made every endeavour to trace the Thomas Conway in question and the brothers of Annie Phillips, but without success.
A Juror: Why did you not confront this Conway with the daughter of the deceased, Annie Phillips? - That witness had not been found then.
Mr. Crawford: The theory has been put forward that it was possible for the deceased to have been murdered elsewhere, and her body brought to where it was found. I should like to ask Dr. Gordon Brown, who is present, what his opinion is about that.
Dr. Gordon Brown: I do not think there is any foundation for such a theory. The blood on the left side was clotted, and must have fallen at the time the throat was cut. I do not think that the deceased moved the least bit after that.
The Coroner: The body could not have been carried to where it was found? - Witness: Oh, no.
City-constable Lewis Robinson,
931, deposed: At half-past eight, on the night of Saturday, Sept.
29, while on duty in High-street, Aldgate, I saw a crowd of
persons outside No. 29, surrounding a woman whom I have since
recognised as the deceased.
The Coroner: What state was she in? - Drunk. Lying on the footway? - Yes. I asked the crowd if any of them knew her or where she lived, but got no answer. I then picked her up and sat her against the shutters, but she fell down sideways. With the aid of a fellow-constable I took her to Bishopsgate Police-station. There she was asked her name, and she replied "Nothing." She was then put into a cell.
[Coroner] Did any one appear to be in her company when you found her? - No one in particular.
Mr. Crawford: Did any one appear to know her? - No. The apron being produced, torn and discoloured with blood, the witness said that to the best of his knowledge it was the apron the deceased was wearing.
The Foreman: What guided you in determining whether the woman was drunk or not?
Witness: Her appearance.
The Foreman: I ask you because I know of a case in which a person was arrested for being drunk who had not tasted anything intoxicating for eight or nine hours.
[Coroner] You are quite sure this woman was drunk? - She smelt very strongly of drink.
Sergeant James Byfield,
of the City Police: I remember the deceased being brought to the
Bishopsgate Station at a quarter to nine o'clock on the night of
Saturday, Sept. 29.
[Coroner] In what condition was she? - Very drunk. She was brought in supported by two constables and placed in a cell, where she remained until one o'clock the next morning, when she had got sober. I then discharged her, after she had given her name and address.
[Coroner] What name and address did she give? - Mary Ann Kelly, No. 6, Fashion-street, Spitalfields.
[Coroner] Did she say where she had been, or what she had been doing? - She stated that she had been hopping.
Constable George Henry Hutt,
968, City Police: I am gaoler at Bishopsgate station. On the
night of Saturday, Sept. 29, at a quarter to ten o'clock, I took
over our prisoners, among them the deceased. I visited her
several times until five minutes to one on Sunday morning. The
inspector, being out visiting, I was directed by Sergeant Byfield
to see if any of the prisoners were fit to be discharged. I found
the deceased sober, and after she had given her name and address,
she was allowed to leave. I pushed open the swing-door leading to
the passage, and said, "This way, missus." She passed
along the passage to the outer door. I said to her, "Please,
pull it to." She replied, "All right. Good night, old
cock." (Laughter.) She pulled the door to within a foot of
being close, and I saw her turn to the left.
The Coroner: That was leading towards Houndsditch? - Yes.
The Foreman: Is it left to you to decide when a prisoner is sober enough to be released or not? - Not to me, but to the inspector or acting inspector on duty.
[Coroner] Is it usual to discharge prisoners who have been locked up for being drunk at all hours of the night? - Certainly.
[Coroner] How often did you visit the prisoners? - About every half-hour. At first the deceased remained asleep; but at a quarter to twelve she was awake, and singing a song to herself, as it were. I went to her again at half-past twelve, and she then asked when she would be able to get out. I replied: "Shortly." She said, "I am capable of taking care of myself now."
Mr. Crawford: Did she tell you where she was going? - No. About two minutes to one o'clock, when I was taking her out of the cell, she asked me what time it was. I answered, "Too late for you to get any more drink." She said, "Well, what time is it?" I replied, "Just on one." Thereupon she said, "I shall get a ---- fine hiding when I get home, then."
[Coroner] Was that her parting remark? - That was in the station yard. I said, "Serve you right; you have no right to get drunk."
[Coroner] You supposed she was going home? - I did.
[Coroner] In your opinion is that the apron the deceased was wearing? - To the best of my belief it is.
[Coroner] What is the distance from Mitre-square to your station? - About 400 yards.
[Coroner] Do you know the direct route to Flower and Dean-street? - No.
A Juror: Do you search persons who are brought in for drunkenness? - No, but we take from them anything that might be dangerous. I loosened the things round the deceased's neck, and I then saw a white wrapper and a red silk handkerchief.
George James Morris,
night watchman at Messrs. Kearley and Tonge's tea warehouse,
Mitre-square, deposed: On Saturday, Sept. 29, I went on duty at
seven o'clock in the evening. I occupied most of my time in
cleaning the offices and looking about the warehouse.
The Coroner: What happened about a quarter to two in the morning? - Constable Watkins, who was on the Mitre-square beat, knocked at my door, which was slightly ajar at the time. I was then sweeping the steps down towards the door. The door was pushed when I was about two yards off. I turned round and opened the door wide. The constable said, "For God's sake, mate, come to my assistance." I said, "Stop till I get my lamp. What is the matter?" "Oh, dear," he exclaimed, "here is another woman cut to pieces." I asked where, and he replied, "In the corner." I went into the corner of the square and turned my light on the body. I agree with the previous witnesses as to the position of the body. I ran up Mitre-street into Aldgate, blowing my whistle all the while.
[Coroner] Did you see any suspicious persons about? - No. Two constables came up and asked what was the matter. I told them to go down to Mitre-square, as there was another terrible murder. They went, and I followed and took charge of my own premises again.
[Coroner] Before being called by Constable Watkins, had you heard any noise in the square? - No.
[Coroner] If there had been any cry of distress, would you have heard it from where you were? - Yes.
By the Jury: I was in the warehouse facing the corner of the square.
By Mr. Crawford: Before being called I had no occasion to go into the square. I did not go there between one and two o'clock; of that I am certain. There was nothing unusual in my door being open and my being at work at so late an hour. I had not seen Watkins before during the night. I do not think my door had been ajar more than two or three minutes when he knocked.
City constable, 964: On the night of Saturday, Sept. 29, I was on
duty in the neighbourhood of Houndsditch and Aldgate. I was there
at the time of the murder, but did not see any one nor hear any
cry. When I got into Aldgate, returning towards Duke-street, I
heard a whistle and saw the witness Morris with a lamp. I asked
him what was the matter, and he told me that a woman had been
ripped up in Mitre-square. Together with Constable Hollins I went
to Mitre-square, where Watkins was by the side of the body of the
deceased. Hollins went for Dr. Sequeira, and a private individual
was despatched for other constables, who arrived almost
immediately, having heard the whistle. I waited with Watkins, and
information was sent to the inspector.
[Coroner] At what time previous to that were you in Aldgate? - At twenty-eight minutes past one o'clock I passed the post-office clock.
caretaker at No. 5, Mitre-street, deposed: The back part of the
house looks into Mitre-square. On the night of Saturday week last
I retired to rest in the back room on the second floor about
The Coroner: During the night did you hear any disturbance in the square? - No.
[Coroner] When did you first learn that a murder had been perpetrated? - Between five and six o'clock in the morning.
By Mr. Crawford: A nurse, who was in attendance upon my wife, was sleeping at the top of the house. No person slept either on the ground floor or the first floor.
Constable Richard Pearce,
922 City: I reside at No. 3, Mitre-square. There are only two
private houses in the square. I retired to rest at twenty minutes
past twelve on the morning of last Sunday week.
[Coroner] Did you hear any noise in the square? - None at all. When did you first hear of the murder? - At twenty past two, when I was called by a constable.
[Coroner] From your bedroom window could you see the spot where the murder was committed? - Yes, quite plainly.
By Mr. Crawford: My wife and family were in no way disturbed during the night.
I reside at No. 45, Norfolk-road, Dalston, and am a commercial
traveller. On the night of Sept. 29, I was at the Imperial Club,
Duke-street, together with Mr. Joseph Levy and Mr. Harry Harris.
It was raining, and we sat in the club till half-past one
o'clock, when we left. I observed a man and woman together at the
corner of Church-passage, Duke-street, leading to Mitre-square.
The Coroner: Were they talking? - The woman was standing with her face towards the man, and I only saw her back. She had one hand on his breast. He was the taller. She had on a black jacket and bonnet. I have seen the articles at the police-station, and believe them to be those the deceased was wearing.
[Coroner] What sort of man was this? - He had on a cloth cap with a peak of the same.
Mr. Crawford: Unless the jury wish it, I do not think further particulars should be given as to the appearance of this man.
The Foreman: The jury do not desire it.
Mr. Crawford (to witness): You have given a description of the man to the police? - Yes.
[Coroner] Would you know him again? - I doubt it. The man and woman were about nine or ten feet away from me. I have no doubt it was half-past one o'clock when we rose to leave the club, so that it would be twenty-five minutes to two o'clock when we passed the man and woman.
[Coroner] Did you overhear anything that either said? - No.
[Coroner] Did either appear in an angry mood? - No.
[Coroner] Did anything about their movements attract your attention? - No. The man looked rather rough and shabby.
[Coroner] When the woman placed her hand on the man's breast, did she do it as if to push him away? - No; it was done very quietly.
[Coroner] You were not curious enough to look back and see where they went. - No.
Mr. Joseph Hyam Levy,
the butcher in Hutcheson-street, Aldgate, stated: I was with the
last witness at the Imperial Club on Saturday night, Sept. 29. We
got up to leave at half-past one on Sunday morning, and came out
three or four minutes later. I saw a man and woman standing at
the corner of Church-passage, but I did not take any notice of
them. I passed on, thinking they were up to no good at so late an
[Coroner] What height was the man? - I should think he was three inches taller than the woman, who was, perhaps, 5ft high. I cannot give any further description of them. I went down Duke-street into Aldgate, leaving them still talking together.
By the Jury: The point in the passage where the man and woman were standing was not well lighted. On the contrary, I think it was badly lighted then, but the light is much better now.
By Mr. Crawford: Nothing in what I saw excited my suspicion as to the intentions of the man. I did not hear a word that he uttered to the woman.
[Coroner] Your fear was rather about yourself? - Not exactly. (Laughter.)
Constable Alfred Long,
254 A, Metropolitan police: I was on duty in Goulston-street,
Whitechapel, on Sunday morning, Sept. 30, and about five minutes
to three o'clock I found a portion of a white apron (produced).
There were recent stains of blood on it. The apron was lying in
the passage leading to the staircase of Nos. 106 to 119, a model
dwelling-house. Above on the wall was written in chalk, "The
Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." I at
once searched the staircase and areas of the building, but did
not find anything else. I took the apron to Commercial-road
Police-station and reported to the inspector on duty.
[Coroner] Had you been past that spot previously to your discovering the apron? - I passed about twenty minutes past two o'clock.
[Coroner] Are you able to say whether the apron was there then? - It was not.
Mr. Crawford: As to the writing on the wall, have you not put a "not" in the wrong place? Were not the words, "The Jews are not the men that will be blamed for nothing"? - I believe the words were as I have stated.
[Coroner] Was not the word "Jews" spelt "Juwes?" - It may have been.
[Coroner] Yet you did not tell us that in the first place. Did you make an entry of the words at the time? - Yes, in my pocket-book. Is it possible that you have put the "not" in the wrong place? - It is possible, but I do not think that I have.
[Coroner] Which did you notice first - the piece of apron or the writing on the wall? - The piece of apron, one corner of which was wet with blood.
[Coroner] How came you to observe the writing on the wall? - I saw it while trying to discover whether there were any marks of blood about.
[Coroner] Did the writing appear to have been recently done? - I could not form an opinion.
[Coroner] Do I understand that you made a search in the model dwelling-house? - I went into the staircases.
[Coroner] Did you not make inquiries in the house itself? - No.
The Foreman: Where is the pocket-book in which you made the entry of the writing? - At Westminster.
[Coroner] Is it possible to get it at once? - I dare say.
Mr. Crawford: I will ask the coroner to direct that the book be fetched.
The Coroner: Let that be done.
Daniel Halse, detective officer,
City police: On Saturday, Sept. 29, pursuant to
instructions received at the central office in Old Jewry, I
directed a number of police in plain clothes to patrol the
streets of the City all night. At two minutes to two o'clock on
the Sunday morning, when near Aldgate Church, in company with
Detectives Outram and Marriott, I heard that a woman had been
found murdered in Mitre-square. We ran to the spot, and I at once
gave instructions for the neighbourhood to be searched and every
man stopped and examined. I myself went by way of
Middlesex-street into Wentworth-street, where I stopped two men,
who, however, gave a satisfactory account of themselves. I came
through Goulston-street about twenty minutes past two, and then
returned to Mitre-square, subsequently going to the mortuary. I
saw the deceased, and noticed that a portion of her apron was
missing. I accompanied Major Smith back to Mitre-square, when we
heard that a piece of apron had been found in Goulston-street.
After visiting Leman-street police-station, I proceeded to
Goulston-street, where I saw some chalk-writing on the black
facia of the wall. Instructions were given to have the writing
photographed, but before it could be done the Metropolitan police
stated that they thought the writing might cause a riot or
outbreak against the Jews, and it was decided to have it rubbed
out, as the people were already bringing out their stalls into
the street. When Detective Hunt returned inquiry was made at
every door of every tenement of the model dwelling-house, but we
gained no tidings of any one who was likely to have been the
By Mr. Crawford: At twenty minutes past two o'clock I passed over the spot where the piece of apron was found, but did not notice anything then. I should not necessarily have seen the piece of apron.
[Coroner] As to the writing on the wall, did you hear anybody suggest that the word "Jews" should be rubbed out and the other words left? - I did. The fear on the part of the Metropolitan police that the writing might cause riot was the sole reason why it was rubbed out. I took a copy of it, and what I wrote down was as follows: "The Juwes are not the men who will be blamed for nothing."
[Coroner] Did the writing have the appearance of having been recently done? - Yes. It was written with white chalk on a black facia.
The Foreman: Why was the writing really rubbed out? - Witness: The Metropolitan police said it might create a riot, and it was their ground.
Mr. Crawford: I am obliged to ask this question. Did you protest against the writing being rubbed out? - Witness: I did. I asked that it might, at all events, be allowed to remain until Major Smith had seen it. Why do you say that it seemed to have been recently written? - It looked fresh, and if it had been done long before it would have been rubbed out by the people passing. I did not notice whether there was any powdered chalk on the ground, though I did look about to see if a knife could be found. There were three lines of writing in a good schoolboy's round hand. The size of the capital letters would be about 3/4 in, and the other letters were in proportion. The writing was on the black bricks, which formed a kind of dado, the bricks above being white.
Mr. Crawford: With the exception of a few questions to Long, the Metropolitan constable, that is the whole of the evidence I have to offer at the present moment on the part of the City police. But if any point occurs to the coroner or the jury I shall be happy to endeavour to have it cleared up.
A Juror: It seems surprising that a policeman should have found the piece of apron in the passage of the buildings, and yet made no inquiries in the buildings themselves. There was a clue up to that point, and then it was altogether lost.
Mr. Crawford: As to the premises being searched, I have in court members of the City police who did make diligent search in every part of the tenements the moment the matter came to their knowledge. But unfortunately it did not come to their knowledge until two hours after. There was thus delay, and the man who discovered the piece of apron is a member of the Metropolitan police.
A Juror: It is the man belonging to the Metropolitan police that I am complaining of.
At this point Constable Long
returned, and produced the pocket-book containing
the entry which he made at the time concerning the discovery of
the writing on the wall.
Mr. Crawford: What is the entry? - Witness: The words are, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." [Coroner] Both here and in your inspector's report the word "Jews" is spelt correctly? - Yes; but the inspector remarked that the word was spelt "Juwes."
[Coroner] Why did you write "Jews" then? - I made my entry before the inspector made the remark.
[Coroner] But why did the inspector write "Jews"? - I cannot say.
[Coroner] At all events, there is a discrepancy? - It would seem so.
[Coroner] What did you do when you found the piece of apron? - I at once searched the staircases leading to the buildings.
[Coroner] Did you make inquiry in any of the tenements of the buildings? - No.
[Coroner] How many staircases are there? - Six or seven.
[Coroner] And you searched every staircase? - Every staircase to the top.
[Coroner] You found no trace of blood or of recent footmarks? - No.
[Coroner] About what time was that? - Three o'clock.
[Coroner] Having examined the staircases, what did you next do? - I proceeded to the station.
[Coroner] Before going did you hear that a murder had been committed? - Yes. It is common knowledge that two murders have been perpetrated.
[Coroner] Which did you hear of? - I heard of the murder in the City. There were rumours of another, but not certain.
[Coroner] When you went away did you leave anybody in charge? - Yes; the constable on the next beat - 190, H Division - but I do not know his name.
[Coroner] Did you give him instructions as to what he was to do? - I told him to keep observation on the dwelling house, and see if any one entered or left.
[Coroner] When did you return? - About five o'clock.
[Coroner] Had the writing been rubbed out then? - No; it was rubbed out in my presence at half-past five.
[Coroner] Did you hear any one object to its being rubbed out? - No. It was nearly daylight when it was rubbed out.
A Juror: Having examined the apron and the writing, did it not occur to you that it would be wise to search the dwelling? - I did what I thought was right under the circumstances.
The Juror: I do not wish to say anything to reflect upon you, because I consider that altogether the evidence of the police redounds to their credit; but it does seem strange that this clue was not followed up.
Witness: I thought the best thing to do was to proceed to the station and report to the inspector on duty.
The Juror: I am sure you did what you deemed best.
Mr. Crawford: I suppose you thought it more likely to find the body there than the murderer? - Witness: Yes, and I felt that the inspector would be better able to deal with the matter than I was.
The Foreman: Was there any possibility of a stranger escaping from the house? - Not from the front.
[Coroner] Did you not know about the back? - No, that was the first time I had been on duty there.
That being all the evidence
forthcoming, The coroner said he considered a
further adjournment unnecessary, and the better plan would be for
the jury to return their verdict and then leave the matter in the
hands of the police.
In summing up it would not be at all necessary for him to go through the testimony of the various witnesses, but if the jury wanted their memories refreshed on any particular point he would assist them by referring to the evidence on that point. That the crime was a most fiendish one could not for a moment be doubted, for the miscreant, not satisfied with taking a defenceless woman's life, endeavoured so to mutilate the body as to render it unrecognisable.
He [Coroner] presumed that the jury would return a verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown, and then the police could freely pursue their inquiries and follow up any clue they might obtain. A magnificent reward had been offered, and that might be the means of setting people on the track and bringing to speedy justice the creature who had committed this atrocious crime.
On reflection, perhaps it would be sufficient to return a verdict of wilful murder against some person unknown, inasmuch as the medical evidence conclusively demonstrated that only one person could be implicated.
The jury at once returned a verdict accordingly.
The coroner, for himself and the jury, thanked Mr. Crawford and the police for the assistance they had rendered in the inquiry.
Mr. Crawford: The police have simply done their duty.
The Coroner: I am quite sure of that.
The jury having presented their fees to Annie Phillips, daughter of the deceased, the proceedings terminated.We thank Alex Chisholm and Casebook Productions for allowing us to use their transcriptions of the inquests.