\ Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Times [London] - 20 November 1888

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Times (London)
Tuesday, 20 November 1888


The funeral of Marie Jeannette Kelly took place yesterday at Leytonstone Cemetery. Several thousand persons had gathered outside Shoreditch Church. Shortly after half-past 12 the coffin was borne from the mortuary to the car. Three large wreaths were on the coffin, which bore the inscription, "Marie Jeannette Kelly, died November 9, 1888, aged 25 years." The car was followed by two coaches containing mourners, among whom was Joseph Barnett. Shortly after 12:30 the funeral procession left Shoreditch, and proceeded by way of Hackney-road to Leytonstone. The Rev. H. Wilson Robinson calls attention to the fact that Mr. Henry Wilton, who has been clerk of St. Leonard's Shoreditch, for 50 years, is bearing the cost of the interment. If the public wish to bear any share in the expense they can send their subscriptions to Mr. Wilton, at the church. Should there be a surplus a tombstone would be erected.


Yesterday Mr. Wynne E. Baxter, Coroner for the South-Eastern Division of Middlesex, resumed his adjourned inquiry at the Vestry-hall, High-street, Shadwell, respecting the death of ANNIE HANCOCK, aged 32, lately living at 13, Puross-road, Brixton, whose dead body was found floating in the Thames off Wapping on Friday week, under mysterious circumstances.

Mr. F. E. A. Cavell, solicitor, appeared on behalf of Mr. Frank Pain, and Inspector Reid and Detective Sergeant Francis, Thames Police, watched the case on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department.

On the last occasion only part evidence of identification was taken, and the finding of the body. The following additional evidence was now given:-

George Hancock, who objected to his private address being made public, and wrote it down for the benefit of the Coroner, said he was a carpenter. He recognized the photograph produced as that of his wife, Annie Hancock. She left witness some ten years ago. Up to the present time they had been married 14 years and two months. He believed the age of deceased was 32, and she was 17 or 18 when they were married. He had not seen her since they separated, but could recognize her from the four photographs produced. Witness had not seen the body.

Mrs. Annie Muschamp, of 4, Claud-road, Rye-lane, Peckham, said she saw the body of deceased. It was that of her daughter, Annie, the wife of the last witness. She knew that deceased had been living apart from her husband for over ten years. Witness last saw her alive on the 18th of October, at her own house, 13, Puross-road. At that time she was in good health, and as far as witness knew was in no trouble.

Alice Land stated she had been servant to deceased, and identified the body at the mortuary. She last saw deceased alive on Monday, the 22d ult. Deceased left the house at 20 minutes past 4 that afternoon to meet her friend at Liverpool-street, and she never returned.

Beatrice Williams, who objected to her address being publicly known, stated she was a widow. She recognized the photographs produced as being likenesses of the deceased, whom she knew by the name of Mrs. Nash, and that she lived in Puross-road. On the Monday that deceased was missing witness met her at Charing-cross, and again in the Northumberland publichouse at 25 minutes to 12 the same night. Witness left her there in the company of a gentleman, who was a stranger to witness. Deceased had had a little drink, but knew what she was doing. Witness believed she was in no trouble, and was a woman of most lively disposition. At that time deceased was carrying a small fancy basket, and was wearing a small gold chain, which was attached to her brooch in front. The chain produced was not the one deceased was wearing that night.

By the jury. – She recognized the brooch produced, which deceased was wearing at the time.

By Mr. Cavell. – The gentleman she saw with the deceased was a tall fair man, with heavy moustache, and wore a brown overcoat.

John Henry Stephenson, of the Reformatory and Refuge Union, stated he was a rescue officer of the union. He had known the deceased since September 30, 1886. He then saw her at Holloway Prison. On October 4, 1886, her two children, George Hancock and Annie Hancock, were committed by Mr. Bridge, at Bow-street, to industrial schools. He had since seen deceased. Shortly before the 25th ult. he saw her leaving Liverpool-street Station. She was dressed in dark clothing.

Mr. Frank Pain stated he lived in Newcastle-street, Strand, and was a stock salesman. He had seen the body of the deceased, whom he had known by the names of Miss Nash and Miss Muschamp. He had not been making her an allowance. He last saw her alive on the 22d of October at Broad-street Station, and there was no disagreement between them. He told her he might be up on the Wednesday following. Deceased used to come and meet him at any station he told her to. It was incorrect to say he allowed her £5 a week. When he saw her he did not appear to be in low spirits, and he did not complain of her conduct with other men, although he had seen her with one or two. He could not remember that she met him by appointment, but she knew his habits and about the time he would be leaving Liverpool-street Station. Deceased met him about 20 past 5, and he left by the 5:30 train. She did not tell him what she was going to do that night, and he had no suspicion that she was likely to make away with herself. He went to her house last Monday.

By Sergeant Francis. – He first knew of the death of the deceased last Wednesday, from the servant, Alice Land, who was accompanied by a detective.

By Mr. Cavell. – He never made her an allowance, and had never given her any jewelry. He returned to London the following Wednesday and went straight to Euston Station. From there he went to the Lakes, then to Liverpool, and on to Dublin. In fact he was travelling until the 7th instant. On one or two occasions deceased had told him she wished she was dead.

Mr. Michael M’Coy, surgeon, stated that since the last inquiry he had made a post-mortem examination. There were no external marks of violence. The body was very much discoloured and decomposed. He should say the body had been a fortnight or more in the water. He should say the cause of death was asphyxia from drowning. Mr. M’Coy then drew attention to the state of the mortuary, which was only 10 ft. by 6 ft., and was simply a public disgrace. He really had to make the post-mortem on the top of a shed, and there was no water, towels, or other convenience, besides being very bad light there.

The CORONER said several juries had represented this state of affairs, but without any result. This was not a mortuary, and was simply a shed belonging to the rector, who allowed it to be used.

Detective Sergeant David Francis, Thames division, said he had made inquiries into the case. He could not find any one who saw deceased later than Beatrice Williams.

The CORONER, in summing up, said at first the case looked a very suspicious one, but the evidence produced that day left little doubt that the deceased committed suicide.

The jury then returned an open verdict of “Found drowned.”

Mr. John Troutbeck, the coroner for Westminster, held an inquiry at St. George’s Hospital into the circumstances attending the death of RICHARD BROWN, aged 36 years, until recently a constable in the Metropolitan Police, stationed in the E Division at Hunter-street, who committed suicide by shooting himself with a revolver in Hyde Park on the 16th inst. Mr. Louis Sidney Torre, of 3, Percy-square, King’s-cross, said he had known the deceased about ten years, and last saw him alive on Tuesday, the 13th, when he was at witness’s house. He then seemed rather despondent, but complained of no trouble. He did say he had resigned his situation in the police force, and added that he was going either to Mexico or to Africa. He was a sober, steady man, and said he had saved about £130. With the exception of witness, who was his second uncle, he had no relations. Witness complained that because one of his cards was found upon the deceased, some one at the hospital informed a news agency that witness himself had committed suicide. Inspector Austin Askew, of Hunter-street Police-station, stated that the deceased was guilty of a slight breach of discipline, and with others appeared before the Assistant Commissioner, who allowed him to resign in order that he might preserve his testimonial, and he left the service last Tuesday. He joined the police on August 16, 1886, and was a steady, respectable man, and did his duty fairly well. In reply to a juryman, Inspector Askew said the breach of discipline was that the deceased ought to have gone on parade for night duty at a quarter to 10, and he neglected to do so. Police-constable Duncan M’Kenzie, 593 A, stated that he was on duty outside the Hyde Park Police-station at midday on Friday when he heard a whistle blown. It sounded like a policeman’s whistle. Upon going along the footpath leading from the Serpentine he saw the deceased sitting on a seat with the revolver produced tightly clasped in his right hand and blood flowing from his mouth. He was removed to the hospital. No whistle was found. William Richards, a pawnbroker's assistant, of 34, High Holborn, deposed that Brown came there and purchased the revolver on Thursday, saying he was going to shoot in a match with a fellow-constable. It was a pin-fire with six chambers. He loaded the weapon outside the shop. Harris Bloom, a dealer, of 166, Drury-lane, said that the deceased had supper with him on Thursday night. He showed him the revolver, which he said he had bought for protection, as he was going to California. Mr. F. W. Parker, house surgeon, stated that the man died three hours after his admission, the bullet having entered his mouth and penetrated his brain. The jury returned a verdict of “Temporary insanity.”

Related pages:
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