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A Timeline of Events in the Life and Death of Martha Tabram
Courtesy of Casebook Productions

MAY 10, 1849

Martha was born at 17 Marshall St, London Rd, Southwark to Charles Samuel White and his wife, Elisabeth (nee Dowsett).1

MAY 1865

Martha's parents separated. Charles then lodged at Mrs Rebecca Grover's, 31 Pitt St, St George's Rd.2

OCT 1865

Charles suffered from a severe attack of diarrhoea.3

NOV 15, 1865

Martha's father died suddenly at the age of 59.4

NOV 18, 1865

The inquest of Charles White was conducted by William Payne at the Gibraltar pub, St George's Rd. Charles's death was listed as natural causes.5

DEC 25, 1869

Martha married Henry Samuel Tabram at Trinity Church, St Mary parish, Newington, and they lived at Pleasant Plc.6

FEB 1871

Martha and Henry moved to 20 Marshall St. Their first child, Frederick John, was born.7

DEC 1872

Martha and Henry had a second son, Charles Henry.8

1875

Henry left Martha because of her drinking. Henry gave Martha a weekly allowance of 12s (60p).9

c.1876

Martha began living with Henry Turner.10

1878

Martha began to publicly bother Tabram for more money. Because of this, and because she had started living with another man, Tabram reduced the allowance to 2s 6d (12 1/2p).11




BY 1888

Turner did not have regular employment. He and Martha earned a living as hawkers.12

FEB 25, 1888

Annie Millwood was attacked.13

c.MAR 1888

Martha and Turner lodged at Mrs Mary Bousfield, 4 Star Plc, Commercial Rd.14

MAR 28, 1888

Ada Wilson became a victim of a robbery, turned assault.15

APR 4, 1888

Emma Smith died from her assault.16

JUN 1888

Mary Ann Connolly, a prostitute, began living in Crossingham's common lodging-house, 35 Dorset St.17

c.END OF JUN 1888

Martha and Turner, without notice and still owing rent, left Mrs Bousfield's.18

c.MID JUL 1888

Turner left Martha due to her drinking. Martha eventually moved to a common lodging house, 19 George St, Spitalfields. She continued hawking and also supported herself by prostitution. (This is Martha's last known address.)19

SAT, AUG 4, 1888

Turner last saw Martha in Leadenhall St. Martha was destitute, and he gave her 1s 6d (7 1/2p) to buy stock.20




MON, AUG 6, 1888 (Bank Holiday)
10:00pm


Martha and Connolly met two guardsmen, one a corporal, the other a private, at the Two Brewers (typically accepted as the one which is located at 154 Brick Ln). (Martha and Connolly had known each other for 4-5 months.)21

MON, AUG 6, 1888 (Bank Holiday)
11:00pm


Ann Morris saw Martha with soldiers outside the White Swan pub, 20 Whitechapel High St.22

MON, AUG 6, 1888 (Bank Holiday)
10:00pm - 11:45pm


Martha, Connolly, and the two soldiers walked and drunk around Whitechapel.23

MON, AUG 6, 1888 (Bank Holiday)
11:45pm


The couples separated. Connolly took the Corporal up Angel Alley, and Martha took the Private up George Yard.24

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.12:15am


Connolly left the Corporal at the corner of George Yard. She then headed towards Aldgate.25

    George Yard, a narrow alley, running north-south between Wentworth St and Whitechapel High St. From Whitechapel High St, entrance was gained through a covered archway, next to The White Hart. The George Yard Bldgs, located at the northeast corner of George Yard, to the back of Toynbee Hall, was a tenement that was converted from an old weaving factory.26
TUE, AUG 7, 1888
1:40am


Joseph Mahoney and his wife, Elizabeth, returned to their room at 47 George Yard Bldgs.27

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.1:45am


Mrs Mahoney went to a chandler shop in Thrawl St.28

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.1:55am


Mrs Mahoney returned with their supper. The staircase was unlit, but she neither noticed nor heard anything unusual. After supper, they went to bed, sleeping undisturbed. (The staircase gas lamps were usually turned off at 11:00pm.)29

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
2:00am


Police Constable Thomas Barrett (226H) saw a Grenedier Guardsman standing in Wentworth St (north end of George Yard). Upon questioning, the soldier said that he was waiting for a "chum who had gone with a girl."
    The soldier was 22-26 years old, stood 5'-9"/10" tall, had fair complexion, dark hair, a small dark-brown moustache turned up at the ends. He had one good conduct badge and no medals.
With the exception of the Private, PC Barrett saw no one else in the area.30

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
3:30am


Alfred George Crow returned to his room, 35 George Yard Bldgs. He saw something on the first floor landing, but took no notice of it. He heard nothing unusual during the night. (It was not unusual for people to sleep in the stairwell.)31

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.4:45am


John Saunders Reeves, 37 George Yard Bldgs, prepared to leave for work; he went to bed at 6:00pm.32

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.4:50am


Reeves came down the stairs, and, on the first floor landing, he found a woman lying in a pool of blood.33

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
4:50am


Without examining the body, Reeves left to find a constable.34

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
(4:53am)


Reeves returned with PC Barrett.35
    A plump woman lay on her back; hands at her sides - tightly clenched; there was an absence of blood from her mouth; her legs were spread open; her clothes were disarranged, torn open at the front, and "turned up as far as the centre of the body", leaving the lower part of body exposed; There was no blood on the stairs leading to the landing.36

    She was 34 years old; 5'-3"; dark complexion; dark hair; was wearing a dark green skirt, a brown petticoat, a long black jacket, brown stockings, pair of side-spring boots, and a black bonnet (all old).37
TUE, AUG 7, 1888
(5:00am)


PC Barrett sent another constable for Doctor Timothy Robert Killeen, 68 Brick Ln.38

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
c.5:30am


Dr Killeen arrived and pronounced life extinct, estimating that she had been dead for about three hours [c.2:30am]. Further examination revealed that she had been stabbed 39 times about the body, neck, and privy part with a knife or dagger.39

Once the ambulance had arrived, Dr Killeen ordered the body to be taken to the mortuary shed in Old Montague St.40

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
9:30am


Crow woke up. Upon going down downstairs, he noticed that the object he saw earlier was not there.41

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
That Morning


Divisional Inspector Ernest Ellisdon placed Detective Inspector Edmund John James Reid (H-division) in charge of the case.42

Martha was photographed, and her description was circulated in 116 infirmaries.43

Dr Killeen conducted the post-mortem:
    An effusion of blood between the scalp and bone; the brain was pale but healthy; at least 22 stab wounds to the trunk; 17 in the breast, including 5 stabs wounds to the left lung, 2 stabs to the right lung - albeit healthy, and the heart was stabbed once, which was rather fatty; except for stab wound nothing about the heart to cause death; some blood in the pericardium; the liver was healthy and stabbed 5 times; the spleen was healthy and stabbed twice; both kidneys were healthy; the stomach was healthy and stabbed 6 times; the intestines were healthy; the other organs were healthy; the lower portion of the body had one stab wound - 3" long and 1" deep, but was not mutilated; there was a lot of blood between her legs; nine stab wounds to the throat, yet it was not cut, and there was no evidence that the carotid arteries had been severed; the breasts, stomach, abdomen, and vagina seemed to have been the main areas; death was due to hemorrhage and loss of blood; sexual intercourse had not recently taken place; no evidence of a struggle; except for the wound on the chest bone, all injuries seem to have been inflicted by a right-handed person, using a penknife; the stab wound to the heart might have been made by a dagger or bayonet by a left-handed person.44
TUE, AUG 7, 1888
10:00am


Elizabeth Mahoney was informed that a murder had been committed in the building.45

TUE, AUG 7, 1888
That Day


DI Reid took statements from the tenants at the George Yard Bldg:
    Martha was a stranger to all of them. No one heard anything. (No suspicion attached to residents.) Francis Hewitt, superintendent of the building, and his wife live in a room that was only 12' from the scene, "And we never heard a cry." Mrs Hewitt said she had heard a single cry of "murder" early in the evening, but she was sure that it did not come from the first floor landing. (The Hewitts stated that cries of "murder" were almost a nightly occurrence, so they didn't pay attention to them.)46
DI Reid took PC Barrett to the Tower of London for a parade of Grenedier Guardsmen who were confined to the guardroom. (It was assumed that the guards were confined for discretions committed during the holiday.) PC Barrett did not recognize any of them because they were not dressed. DI Reid arranged for another parade for the next morning.47




WED, AUG 8, 1888
11:00am


DI Reid and PC Barrett were at the Tower of London for a second line-up of guardsmen. (The guardsmen were either on leave or absent during the night of the murder.) PC Barrett first picked out a private with medals. DI Reid told PC Barrett to be certain of his choice. PC Barrett reviewed the line-up, again. This time he picked out a private without medals. Both guardsmen were taken to the orderly room. DI Reid asked PC Barrett, why he picked out two different men? PC Barrett explained that the first private he chose had medals, where as the private he saw that morning did not. Without even his name being taken, the first private was released. The other private was John Leary. He denied being PC Barrett's man, stating that he and Pvt Law had spent most of the evening together. They were in Brixton, drinking until the pubs closed. While he was relieving himself behind a building, Pvt Law had disappeared. Pvt Leary then headed toward Battersea, Chelsea, went past Charing Cross, and on into the Strand. While there, he met up with Pvt Law at c.4:30am. Together they went to Billingsgate, had a drink, and returned to the barracks at 6:00am. Pvt Law was escorted into the orderly room, were he independently corroborated Pvt Leary's story. DI Reid was satisfied with their story, allowing both men to leave.48

THUR, AUG 9, 1888

Connolly went to the Commercial St Police Station. She stated that she knew Emma [Martha] for several months, and that during the Bank Holiday night, they were with two soldiers - one a corporal, the other a private. She said that she would recognize both men, and that she would attend a line-up on the following morning.49

THUR, AUG 9, 1888
1:30pm


DI Reid was at the Tower of London when Corporal Benjamin returned from being absent without leave since Monday. His clothes and bayonet were checked for blood stains, coming up clean. He had been with his father, Landlord of the Canbury, Kingston on Thames, all Monday night, leaving Tuesday morning. His story was confirmed, and he was released.50

THUR, AUG 9, 1888
That Afternoon


George Collier, Deputy Coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, opened the Tabram inquest at the Working Lads' Institute, Whitechapel Rd. (Coroner Baxter was on vacation in Scandinavia.)51
    DI Reid, H Div, watched the case on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).52

    Witnesses:

    Elizabeth Mahoney53

    Alfred Crow54

    John Reeves55

    PC Barrett56

    Dr Killeen57

    The inquiry was adjourned until Thursday, Aug 23.58
FRI, AUG 10, 1888
11:00am


A line-up of guardsmen at the Tower of London was scheduled for Connolly, but she failed to show up and could not be found.59

SAT, AUG 11, 1888

The police continued their search for Connolly, but were unable to locate her.60

SUN, AUG 12, 1888

Police Sergeant Caunter (CID) located Connolly at her cousin's, Mrs Shean, 4 Fuller's Crt, Drury Ln.61

PS Caunter took Connolly to DI Reid. She promised to attend a line-up at the Tower Monday morning.61

MON, AUG 13, 1888
11:00am


Connolly viewed the line-up, consisting of Non-Commissioned Officers and privates who were on leave during the time of the murder.
    "Can you identify anyone?" asked DI Reid. "They are not here. They had white bands round their caps," answered Connolly. (The white bands indicated Coldstream Guards.)
The soldiers were then dismissed.63

MON, AUG 13, 1888
That Day


Henry Tabram read in the newspaper that the murdered woman's name was Tabram.64

TUE, AUG 14, 1888

Tabram identified the body as that of his wife, Martha.65

DI Reid arranged for a line-up of Coldstream Guards (who were absent or on leave during the Bank Holiday) at the Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk for Connolly.66

WED, AUG 15, 1888

DI Reid took Connolly and PC Barrett to the Wellington Barracks.67

Connolly picked out two men. One being the Corporal who was with her. The other being the Private who was with Martha.68

The Corporal was actually Pvt George who had two good conduct badges. Pvt George was with his "wife" at 120 Hammersmith Rd from 8:00pm Monday night to 6:00am Tuesday morning. The other soldier was Pvt Skipper who was in the barracks that night since 10:50pm. Both accounts were proven correct.69

THUR, AUG 23, 1888
2:00pm


Deputy Coroner Collier resumed the Tabram Inquest.70
    Witnesses:

    Henry Samuel Tabram71

    Henry Turner72

    Mrs Mary Bousfield73

    Mrs Ann Morris74

    Mary Ann Connolly75

    The Deputy Coroner presented his summation.76
A verdict of wilful murder against some person or persons unknown was returned.77

REFERENCES

The following abbreviations apply:
MEPO=Scotland Yard files, HO=Home Officie files
DT=The Daily Telegraph, T=The Times, MG=The Manchester Guardian, LT=London Times
A-Z=The Jack the Rippper A to Z, 2nd ed, (Begg, Fido, Skinner),
JTRUF=Jack the Ripper: The Uncensored Facts (Begg),
CHJTR=The Complete History of Jack the Ripper (Sudgen)


1 CHJTR, p21

2 ibid

3 ibid

4 ibid

5 ibid

6 CHJTR, p22

7 ibid

8 ibid

9 ibid

10 ibid

11 ibid

12 CHJTR, p22-23

13 CHJTR, p31

14 CHJTR, p23

15 CHJTR, p31-32

16 JTRUF, p32; A-Z, p432; CHJTR, p32

17 JTRUF, p33

18 CHJTR, p23

19 CHJTR, p23

20 CHJTR, p23; A-Z, p465

21 CHJTR, p26; JTRUF, p32-33; A-Z, p92; Ripperologist n22, p36

22 MEPO 3/140, f50; Ripperologist n23, p42

23 MEPO 3/140, f38

24 MEPO 3/140, f38, 50 (incorrectly states Angel Court, instead of Angel Alley)

25 JTRUF, p33

26 A-Z, p93

27 JTRUF, p33-34

28 ibid

29 JTRUF, p33-34; CHJTR, p15; MEPO 3/140, f38

30 MEPO 3/140, f35, 38; JTRUF, p34

31 MEPO 3/140, f38-39; JTRUF, p34; CHJTR, p15

32 CHJTR, p15; MEPO 3/140, f37

33 MEPO 3/140, f34

34 JTRUF, p34

35 CHJTR, p15

36 CHJTR, p15-16; MEPO 3/140, f34

37 CHJTR, p15-16; MEPO 3/140, f34

38 MEPO 3/140, f34; JTRUF, p34


39 MEPO 3/140, f34, 37; CHJTR, p17

40 MEPO 3/140, f34; CHJTR, p17

41 LT, Aug 10 88

42 JTRUF, p36

43 MEPO 3/140, f34

44 CHJTR, p17, 28; JTRUF, p34; MG, Aug 11 88

45 MG, Aug 11 88

46 MEPO 3/140, f38-39; CHJTR, p18

47 CHJTR, p24

48 CHJTR, p24-25; JTRUF, p35; MEPO 3/140, f40

49 CHJTR, p25-26; MEPO 3/140, f44

50 MEPO 3/140, f40,41,47,56

51 ibid

52 T, Aug 10 88

53 MG, Aug 11 88

54 T, Aug 10 88

55 ibid

56 ibid

57 ibid

58 ibid

59 MEPO 3/140, f41

60 MEPO 3/140, f45

61 CHJTR, p26; MEPO 3/140, f45

62 MEPO 3/140, f45

63 MEPO 3/140, f41, 45, 57; CHJTR, p26

64 CHJTR, p21

65 ibid

66 MEPO 3/140, f41, 51

67 MEPO 3/140, f47

68 MEPO 3/140, f41-42

69 MEPO 3/140, f42, 47

70 MEPO 3/140, f49

71 T, Aug 24 88

72 ibid

73 ibid

74 ibid

75 ibid

76 DT, 24 Aug 88

77 MEPO 3/140, f51



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