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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Mary Jane Kelly » Mary and Joseph Flemming « Previous Next »

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Chris Scott
Chief Inspector
Username: Chris

Post Number: 768
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joseph Flemming in 1891 census

I posted on the old boards the census entry for 1881 which I was reasonably sure related to the Joseph Fleming (sic) mentioned in the evidence as a previous partner/lover of Mary Kelly and who, it was suggested, she was still seeing. Fleing is described as a mason or plasterer from Bethnal Green.

The entry I found in the 1881 census is:

Lodger at 61 Crozier Terrace, London
Born 1859 in Bethnal Green
Age at time of census - 22

Repeated searches of the 1891 census data failed to find Flemming (including variant spellings) but I think I have now found him. The reason for the problem was, as usual, transcription error in the searchable index. His surname had been transcribed as Henning but I am certain that examination of the original sheet (see below) shows this should indeed be Flemming. Both age and place of birth are consistent with the 1881 data - trade is different but after a 10 year gap that is hardly impossible.

The details for 1891 for this Joseph Flemming are as follows:

Lodging House, 9 Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green, London

Aged 32
Born Bethnal Green
Boot finisher

If these are indeed the same person, the main difference (apart from the trade) is the marital status - I will be searching the registers to see if I can locate a marriage for Joseph Flemming between 1881 and 1891.


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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1229
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 4:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joseph Flemming

From A-Z:
"She (Kelly) left Mrs. Carthy's to live with a man connected with the building trade, who, Mrs. Carthy thought, wanted to marry Kelly. This was resumably Joseph Fleming, a mason or plasterer from the vicinity of Bethnal Green, with whom she been associating prior to meeting Barnett, who used to visit here while she was with Barnett, and of whom she was apparently very fond."

Joseph Flemming is a shadowy but important figure in Mary Kelly's background. Testimony at the time suggested that the relationship between Kelly and Flemming was very close and that Kelly carried on seeing Fleeming after the start of her relationship with Barnett.

Firstly the spelling of his name. In census records his name is usually rendered as FLEMMING but in his birth record it is spelt FLEMING. His birth was registered at Bethnal Green in the 2nd Quarter (April to June) of 1859 (Volume 1c page 254). His parents were Richard Fleming, a plasterer, who was born in Ramsgate, Kent in 1822 and Henrietta Fleming, who was born in Camberwell, Surrey in 1822. His mother's maiden name was Henrietta Masom and the couple were married in Lambeth in the 3rd Quarter of 1842 (Volume 4 page 205).
Joseph had an elder sister named Jane who was born in Hoxton in 1857, and two younger sisters, Mary Ann born in Bethnal Green in 1863 and Jessie born in Bethnal Green in 1868.
The family is listed in the 1871 census living at 60 Wellington Street, Bethnal Green.

By the time of the 1881 census, Joseph had left home and was living in lodgings in 61 Crozier Terrace which was in Homerton, north east of Bethnal Green. By this time he is listed as following his father's trade as a plasterer. His landlady was Ellen Copping, a 35 year old laundress. Also living in the household were Ellen's two daughters - Emily aged 13, and Ann aged 2 - and a second lodger, John Percy, a 27 year old ropemaker, also born in Bethnal Green.

Joseph's family is listed in the 1881 census as living at 4 Cyprus Street and is listed as follows:
Richard Fleming aged 59 born Ramsgate, Kent - Plasterer
Henrietta Fleming aged 59 born Camberwell, Surrey
Mary Ann aged 19 born Bethnal Green - Brace machinist (Fancy goods textiles)
Jessie aged 13 born Bethnal Green
Alice W Rickiam aged 65 born Southsea, Hampshire, Nurse
Emma E Emsworth aged 41 born Lambeth - Lodger

By the time of the 1891 census, Joseph's father, Richard Fleming, is listed as an inmate in the Shoreditch District Infirmary. His details are given as:
Richard Fleming, Married, aged 70, Plasterer, born Ramsgate, Kent.
Richard Fleming's death was registered in Shoreditch in the 1st Quarter of 1894. (Volume 1c Page 59)
In the 1891 Census, Joseph's mother and younger sister are listed as living at 123, Lever Street, City Road as follows:
Henrietta Fleming aged 69 born Camberwell - Married
Jessie Flaming aged 23 born Bethnal Green - Brace machinist

As for Joseph himself, it looks very much as though he had changed his trade by 1891. At that time he would have been 32 and this, coupled with the fact that he was born in Bethnal Green, led to the only viable identification for him in the 1891 data. This listed him as living in a lodging house at 9 Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green and gave his details as follows:
Joseph Flemming aged 32 born Bethnal Green - Boot finisher.
This entry lists him as married but no wife is included in the listing for the lodging house. The trade of Boot Finisher is not written in as such but is ditto marks from the entry above and I have on occasion found this type of entry to be in error.

By 1901 Joseph's aged mother was still alive and living at 220 Chalk Close, Shoreditch. The household is listed as follows:
Henrietta Fleming aged 79 born Camberwell
Jessie Fleming aged 33 born Bethnal Green - Brace machinist
Grand daughter:
Henrietta Finch aged 25 born Bethnal Green - Cork factory

To date I have been unbale to trace Joseph himself in the 1901 census data.

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