Saturday, 24 November 1888
FUNERAL OF THE VICTIM.
Arthur [sic] Bachert, the young man who gave to the police a description of a man seen in the neighbourhood of Berner-street at the time of the murder of Elizabeth Stride, is reported to have stated on Monday that he was awakened at his home in Newnham-street that morning by a policeman, who called his attention to some chalk writing on the blank wall of the house as follows: "Dear Boss, - I am still about; look out. - Yours, JACK THE RIPPER." It is stated by Bachert that the writing resembles that on the now famous postcard and letter published by the police, especially the B in "Boss," and the R in "Ripper." A crowd collected, and Mrs. Bachert partly removed the cause of their attraction by washing out the letters. Otherwise the police would have photographed the writing.
On Sunday evening a venerable lady called upon Mr. Wilton, the undertaker, and said she wanted a lock of Mary Kelly's hair, and was willing to pay anything for it. The undertaker replied that it was impossible, and continued obdurate in spite of his visitor's entreaties. The lady explained her mission at some length. She was acquainted, she remarked, with a female Spiritualist, who has been blind since she was three years of age. The sightless Spiritualist was a "strong medium," and, could she but have a lock of the deceased's hair, the lady felt sure the murderer's accurate description would be revealed. The singular request, it need scarcely be added, was not complied with, and the aged lady expressed her sorrow at the result of her visit.
The funeral of Marie Jeanette Kelly, the victim of the latest Whitechapel murder, took place on Monday at Leytonstone Cemetery in the presence of a large number of people. An hour before the remains left the mortuary many hundreds of persons assembled around Shoreditch Church, and watched in silence the funeral arrangements. The coffin, which was of elm and oak, with metal fittings, was placed on an open hearse drawn by two horses, and was followed by two mourning carriages, containing the man Joseph Barnett, who lived with the deceased, and several of the unfortunate woman's associates who gave evidence at the inquest. The coffin bore the following inscription: "Marie Jeanette Kelly, died Nov. 9, 1888, aged 25 years," and on it were placed two crowns and a cross, made of heartsease and white flowers. The cross had been subscribed for by the murdered woman's associates in Dorset-street. Attached to it was a large card, bearing the words, "A last tribute of respect to Mary Kelly. May she rest in peace, and may her murderer be brought to justice." The whole of the funeral expenses were defrayed by Mr. Wilton, who for 50 years has acted as sexton to St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, in the mortuary of which the body has been lying. At half-past twelve, as the coffin was borne from the mortuary, the bell of the church was tolled, and the people outside, who now numbered several thousands, manifested the utmost sympathy, the crowd, for an East-end one, being extremely orderly. Vehicles of various descriptions took up positions outside the church railings, and traffic was completely blocked until the hearse moved off.
The funeral procession, which left Shoreditch Church at a quarter to one, made but slow progress through the crowds of people and vehicles. All along the route signs of sympathy were to be seen on every hand, and it was a very touching sight to witness many poor women of the class to which the deceased belonged greatly affected.
The distance from Shoreditch Church to the cemetery at Leytonstone by road is about six miles, and the route traversed was, Hackney-road, Cambridge-heath, Whitechapel-road, and Stratford. In the Whitechapel-road the crowds on each side [of] the roadway were very great, and there was a considerable amount of emotion manifested. The appearance of the roadway throughout the whole journey was remarkable, owing to the hundreds of men and women who escorted the coffin on each side, and who had to keep up a sharp trot in many places. But the crowd rapidly thinned away when, getting into the suburbs, the car and coaches broke into a trot. The cemetery was reached at two o'clock. The Rev. Father Columban, with two acolytes, and a cross bearer, met the body at the door of the little chapel of St. Patrick, and the coffin was carried at once to a grave in the north-eastern corner. Barnett and the poor woman who had accompanied the funeral knelt on the cold clay by the side of the grave, while the service was read by Father Columban. The coffin was incensed, lowered, and then sprinkled with holy water, and the simple ceremony ended. The floral ornaments were afterwards raised to be placed upon the grave, and the filling-up was completed in a few moments, and was watched by a small crowd of people. There was a very large concourse of people outside the gates, who were refused admission until after the funeral was over.