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David O'Flaherty
Police Constable
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 4
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 4:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've just seen a post from Neal Shelden from January 13th, 2003 (I don't think Neal will mind my quoting him):

"Christopher Charles Robinson has already been revealed as the cousin of Catherine Eddowes and was executed at Stafford in 1866.
I was surprised today to find the story about why he was sent to the gallows reported in The Times newspaper for the 10th January. I won't try to type the whole story here, but the gist of it appears to be that Robinson had cut his fiance's throat. Harriet Seager lay dead on the floor as Robinson then tried to cut his own throat three times, but was saved by a surgeon to face the noose.
Executioner was Smith, of Dudley.

Neal Shelden. "

Neal, if you read this, I don't have email for you--if you have this article scanned, would you mind sending a copy to me at Or if not, I'll gladly send you SASE to acquire a copy.


(Apologies, Stephen--I should have put this under "Shades of Whitechapel".)
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David O'Flaherty
Police Constable
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 5
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 4:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks to Neal Shelden for his willingness to share his research. Neal has told me that he has a new booklet on Catherine Eddowes coming out in the next couple of weeks--so keep a lookout for it.

This article appears in The Times, 10 January 1866, page 12, Column E:

"EXECUTION AT STAFFORD.—Charles Christopher Robinson was executed on Tuesday morning in front of the county gaol at Stafford, in presence of 4,000 spectators. Before his death he acknowledged the justice of his sentence. On the scaffold he exclaimed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” His death was not instantaneous. He made a statement to the chaplain, but wished it to be kept from the public. Robinson would have been 19 next May. His victim was somewhat older, but she would have been only in her 19th year. They had for a long time been affianced, and lived together in the house in which the murder was committed. The facts of the murder may be briefly told. On the afternoon of Saturday, the 26th of August, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher went out for a drive into the country, leaving Robinson and Harriet Seager alone in the house, with a young man named Wilson, a companion of Robinson, in the garden. During the afternoon the girl was seen by a servant girl of Mr. Fisher’s brother, who had gone to the house on an errand, crying as she stood cleaning knives in the brewhouse. Robinson at the time stood leaning against the door. Shortly afterwards a nephew of Mr. Fisher, a little boy, saw Robinson strike Seagar (sic) with his open hand in her face because she would not allow him to kiss her. The young man alluded to left about 4 o’clock, and Robinson, who had been shooting sparrows with him in the garden with a small gun, went into the house. About a quarter-past 4 the neighbours were alarmed by a cry that Robinson had shot Harriet, and upon entering the brewhouse the poor girl was found lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood, with her throat cut. At the time the neighbours entered the house Robinson was observed coming down stairs, with an open razor in his hand. He was then in his shirt sleeves, for he had not washed or dressed himself during the day. He went into the scullery where his victim lay dead on the floor, and, standing in front of a looking-glass that was hanging upon the wall, he deliberately cut his throat three times with the razor. At this juncture he was secured, a surgeon was sent for, and his self-inflicted wounds were sewn up after some resistance on his part. The defence upon the trial, however, was, first, that Seager had committed suicide, and that the prisoner in grief attempted his own life; and next, that he was insane when he committed the murder, insanity being hereditary in his family, as was shown by the fact of his half-sister being then in a lunatic asylum. It could not, however, be shown that he was insane either before or after the murder. The executioner was a man named Smith, of Dudley, who has for some years performed the duties of hangman at Stafford."

Neal tells me the Fishers mentioned in the story aren't related to Kate's sister Elizabeth Fisher.

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Gary Weatherhead
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It would be too much to hope for, but I would
be thrilled if Neal had uncovered a picture of Catharine in life. She was said to be a very attractive young lady in her youth. Attempts to describe her in death seem crazy due to the disfigurement. Nevertheless, authors continue to try.

I have just sent away for the booklet on Annie Chapman.

Best Regards
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L D'Silva
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 4:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anyone know how Catherine was related to Christopher Robinson? I know they were cousins, who were Christopher's parents?

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David O'Flaherty
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 321
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 2:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Linda

From Neal's booklet (referencing a 1995 issue of Ripperana): Robinson was the son of Christopher and Mary Ann Robinson (Eddowes), born 15 May 1847 in Wolverhampton. I'm assuming Mary Ann was a sister of Kate's father, George, but I haven't checked a census to confirm (George named one of his daughters Mary Ann in 1852, the last of the "Seven Sisters").

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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 2248
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 5:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is the initial Times report of the murder:
The Times 28 August 1865


We have to record the violent death of a respectable young woman at the hand of her acknowledged suitor, with an attempt at suicide on the part of the murderer.
Charles Christopher Robinson, now aged 18, was left without father or mother at the age of seven. His father had been a blacksmith and coal dealer, and occupied premises on the spot which forms the site of the present Market Hall in Wolverhampton. Dying first, Mr. Robinson left his wife with two sons, and also his daughter by a former wife. Upon her decease, Mrs. Robinson left her son Charles a farm, and some cottage property at Trysall, near Wolverhampton, worth, in all, £4000. The joint executors were Mr. Josiah Fisher, living in Sidney street, Wolverhampton, and Mr. Reuben Robinson, coal merchant, of Cleveland street, in the same place, brother to the boy's father, and who succeeded the father in the business of coal merchant. Charles has, ever since the death of his father, lived in the family of the first named trustee, and was, at his own wish, apprenticed to a cabinet maker, but did not remain with his master two years. On leaving through, it is alleged, an indisposition to work, he declined to pursue any calling, justifying himself by saying that "enough money had been got to keep him."
At the rear opf Mr. Josiah Fisher's residence, and having a frontage in Ablow street, is a public house with the sign of the Queen's Arms. This house is kept by Mr. Isaiah Fisher, son of Mr. Josiah Fisher, to whom it belongs. There was a ready communication between both houses, and each family was in almost constant intercourse with the other. Up to some few months ago a girl named Rosetta Flower lived a servant to Mr. Fisher, in whose family she died. During a portion of her illness an interesting young woman named Harriet Seagar assisted to nurse her. Seagar is the daughter of a blacksmith living at Coren, a country village near to Wolverhampton. As the sister of Mrs. Isaiah Fisher, Harriet Seagar had for some time before the illness of Flower been living at the Queen's Arms. During that time an intimacy which ripened into affection sprang up between her and Charles Chrostopher Robinson. At about the time of the death of Rosetta Flower he was acknowledged by the friends on both sides as her suitor, and the ultimate marriage of the young pwoplw was confidently anticipated. Adter Rosetta Flower's death, Harriet Seagar consented to enter the family of Mr. Josiah Fisher and act as their servant, but on tolerably equal terms. She was slightly, but not a twelvemonth, older than her suitor, and was therefore scarcely 19 years of age on Saturday last.
On that day Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Fisher, with Mrs. Isaiah Fisher (their daughter in law) left home about 3 o'clock in the afternoon to go to Codsall, about six miles from Wolverhampton. At that time, Charles Robinson was in the garden behind the house smoking, and Harriet Seagar was engaged about her domestic duties. Excepting these two, no one was left in the house in Sidney Street. About 4 o'clock, Emma Silleto, aged 15, servant at the Queen's Arms, was near the back door of Mr. Josiah Fisher, when she saw Seagar at work, but crying, and Robinson hear her. The impression left on Silleto's mind was that they had been quarrelling. In about half an hour afterwards Robinson went to the Queen's Arms and borrowed a knife board for Seagar's use. and with it took away a half a pint of ale. Half an hour afterwards Silleto sent one of her master's children for the board, and the messenger, a young boy, was told by Robinson that it was not donw with, and he must come again. Some time after 5 o'clock Silleto herself went for the board. Seagar stood using it in the back kitchen. She was still crying, and Robinson was standing at the entrance to the kitchen. At a little before six Silleto heard a gun fired in Mr. Josiah Fisher's house, and in a few minutes one of Mr. Josiah Fisher's children ran in from the garden, which separates the two houses, and cried out, "Charles has shot Harriet." Silleto ran across the garden and saw Robinson come downstairs and enter the back kitchen. The foot of the staircase can be seen from the garden. So soon as she caught sight of Robinson she called out, "What have you done to Harriet?" He replied, "I've shot her," and proceeded into the back kitchen. On looking through the window of the back kitchen she saw him standing without his coat, in front of a small mirror, which was hanging against the wall. While looking to the mirror he held a razor in his right hand, and cut, Silleto says, three gashes in his throat. She raised an alarm, and when neighbours came in they found him standing outside the back kitchen, his clothes extensively stained with blood that had been and was still flowing from wounds in his throat. An attempt was made to secure him, when he became very violent, and tried hard to tear open the wounds. With some difficulty he was overpowered, and his hands were fastened behind him. While this was going on, neighbours had eneterd the back kitchen and found Harriet Seagar lying lifeless on the floor. Death had been caused by a hideous cut to the throat, which, passing through the windpipe and all the arteries, extended to the spine. She was surrounded with blood, and, upon her head being raised, the last faint breath of life seemed to depart.
Having been temporarily bandaged with the apron of a woman who came up while he was bleeding, the murderer was led into an inner room. Here his wounds weressed in the usual manner by Mr. Summers and Mr. Vincent Jackson, surgeons. Before removing Robinson upstairs Mr. Summers found in the young man's bedroom a small pigeon gun reared at full c*ck against a table, upon which were porder, shot, and caps; and upon the bed there was a bloodstain, leaving the impression of a man's hand.
Police Inspector Thomas had now arrived, and, taking charge of the premises, he placed two policemen to guard the wounded murderer. The gun he found loaded with a heavy charge of some kind. In the back kitchen he found, closed up, a white handled razor, the blade and haft of which were clotted with blood. It was lying on the edge of the sink stone, upon which the knife board had been placed, and in front of which, upon the floor, the murdered girl was lying. Near the tazor lay a fork and a piece of leather, just as these might be expected to be found if, while the deceased was cleaning the fork, she was pulled backward bythe hairand her throat cut. Theextent of the wound leads the surgeons to the conclusion that this is the way in which she was murdered; and the fact that the hair was dishevelled would point to the same conclusion.
After having taken Seagar's life, Robinson would seem to have gone upstaits into his bedroom, and then to have attemtped to shoot himself; for not only was blood found on the bed in the impression described, but the barrel and butt of the gun likewise had blood upon them, and a charge of shot had passed into the ceiling and brought down some of the plaster. The gun, which bore marks of having been recently discharged, he would seem to have reloaded. The child of Mr. Isaiah Fisher, who first gave the alarm, appears to have been attracted to the house by the report of the gun, and, seeing Seagar lying surrounded with blood, conceived the notion that she had been shot. The alarm is thought to have brought the murderer downstairs before he had, by the second discharge of the gun, completetd the purpose with which he is supposed to have at first discharged it; but an equally ready means being at hand, when he got down he seems to have adopted it, and so gashed his throat with the razor that was already dripping with the blood of his victim.
Robinson's statement to Silleto that he had "shot Harriet" does not seem to have been correct, for Seagar's corpse does not, so far as it has been examined, bear marks of other in injuries than those occasioned by the razor. The gun belonged to a son of Mr. Josiah Fisher, and Robinson had been using it during the day in shooting at small birds. Except to remark to Silleto that he had "shot Harriet," Robinson is not understood to have said anything about the shocking crime which he has committed. There are two wounds upon his throat, one of them so superficial as to scarcely more than cut through the skin. The other does not include any of the principal arteries, and while it extends to each side of the cartilage of the windpipe it has not injured it. In a few days, therefore, it is expected that he will be sufficiently recovered to appear in the dock charged with the wilful murder of Harriet Seagar.
The coroner's inquest will be opened today. Awaiting this inquiry, the body of the murdered woman remains in the position in which it was first seen.
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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 2249
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 - 5:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And here is the first part of the inquest report:

The Times
29 August 1865


Yesterday, an inquest was held at the Graiseley brook Inn, Wolverhampton, before Mr. T.M. Phillips, coroner, on the body of the young woman Harriet Seagar, who was murdered by Charles Christopher Robinson, at the residence of both in Sidney street, in that town, on Saturday evening.
Mr. Thomas Walker, solicitor, was present watching the case, for the defence; and Mr. Bartlett was there, instructed by the Chied Constable and the friends of the deceased, for the prosecution.
Emma Silleto, servant to Mr. Isaiah Fisher, of the Queen's Arms, deposed that on Saturday evening between 5 and 6 o'clock she saw Robinson coming down the stairs of Mr. Josiah Fisher's house with a razor having blood upon it in his hand. She asked him what he had done to the deceased, and he said, "I have shot her." She then called in Mr. Bennett, who lived near, and who came in. When Robinson said he had shot the deceased he pointed to where she was lying. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon witness went to the back of Mr. Josiah Fisher's house. The deceased was then crying, and Robinson was standing near her. Half an hour afterwards she went again, and deceased was still srying and was cleaning knives and forks, Robinson standing by her.
By Mr. Walker - When Robinson came downstairs he went into the back kitchen, through the window of which she saw him cut his throat three times as he stood before a looking glass hung on the wall. His clothes were then covered in blood.
William Bennett, nailcutter, deposed that he lived near to Mr. Josiah Fisher. Saw the deceased and Robinson walking out on apparently friendly terms on Friday evening. Had never seen them quarrel. At about a quarter to 6 on Saturday he heard a report of a gun in the next yard, but thought nothing of it. Silleto then came to him and said that "Charley had killed Harriet." he went and saw Robinson standing opposite the back kitchen door with his throat cut. He pointed to the kitchen and said, "I have killed her." Witness looked through the kitchen window and then went for the doctor. He returned with Mr. Summers, surgeon.
Alfred Fullwood, aged 8, who lived with his parents in Ablow street, deposed that he was playing with a son of Mr. Josiah Fisher in Mr. Isaiah Fisher's yard. His companion told him that he had seen Robinson strike the deceased while she was sweeping the yard. Previously the witness seen him attempt to kiss the deceased; she pushed him away, and he then struck her in the face. She was crying beforte he did so. Shortly afterwards, and while deceased was in the back kitchen, Robinson went out and sent him (witness) away, shutting the back door after him.
Mary Ann Lewis, of Ablow street, deposed that on Saturday she heard the report of a gun in Mr. Josiah Fisher's house, and saw Silleto screaming. Went into the house and saw Robinson standing near the back kitchen door, with blood flowing from his throat. Asked him what he had done, but he made no answer, but in reply to a question, "Where is Harriet?" he pointed to the kitchen. Witness entered, and saw Seagar lying on the floor, partly on her left side, as though she had fallen upon her face, and then turned slightly over. On her throat there was a large wound. She was quite dead. Went upstairs to Robinson's bedroom. A gun was leaning against the dressing table, and it seemed as if one had recently been discharged. The room was in much disorder. The deceased was a respectable, steady, and modest girl.
George Henry Wilson, clerk, of Melbourne street, deposed that Robinson was an intimate friend of his. He was paying his attention to the deceased, and they were always on the best of terms. On Saturday afternoon he was with the two from about 3 to half past 4 o'clock. Did not think that Robinson was sober. He and Seagar were very friendly when he left. Robinson told the witness at one time during the afternoon that the deceased was crying, but he did not know what about. He was very dull and sullen.
Josiah Fisher deposed that he was a house agent, and the deceased lived with him as servant of all work. Robinson lodged with him, and was his first cousin. He was 18 years of age and was entitled to a considerable amount of property when he became of age. On Saturday afternoon witness and his wife went to Codsall, leaving the deceased at work, and Robinson and Wilson in the garden. Robinson had for two years paid his addresses to the deceased with a view to marriage. Six or seven weeks ago there was a quarrel between them, and she did not speak to him for some time. In Februrary an accident occurred which showed that Robinson was suffering from aberration of mind. On Wednesday night he was drunk, returned home much excited, and threatened the witness. Robinson had taken to drinking of late. His committing a murder was the last thing witness should have thought of.
Police Inspector Thomas deposed that he went to Mr. Fisher's house on Saturday evening. He saw the deceased lying on the floor with her throat cut, and quite dead. In Robinson's bedroom he found a loaded gun, with marks of blood upon it, and there was also a quantity of powder, caps, and shot near. The gun had evidently been previously discharged, inasmuch as he found the ceiling in one of the room impregnated with shots.
Mr. Llewellyn Summers, surgeon, deposed that he was called into Mr. Fisher's house, at about 6 o'clock, on saturday evening. he found the prisoner held on the ground, and with a wound in his throat. The deceased was lying on the floor of the back kitchen, quite dead, and her throat cut right to the spine - a cut such as would be inflicted by a razor. The body was warm. He dressed the wound of Robinson as soon as he would let him do so, for he resisted strongly at first. He was quite rational.
The girl Silleto was recalled, and said that she did not see Robinson attempt to kiss the deceased while she was sweeping the yard.
The Coroner thought that it would be well for a post mortem examination to be made.
The jury first of all thought that it was unnecessary, but subsequently assented to it. The Coroner also thought that Robinson should be present at the adjourned inquiry. Mr. Vinvent Jackson, surgeon, stated that the murderer's wound was four inches in length, but that it had severed none of the principal arteries, and he thought that he would be able to attend in a fortnight. The Coroner, therefore, adjourned the inquiry until this day (Tuesday) fortnight, at 2 o'clock.

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