A CAST OF THOUSANDS
BY CHRISTOPHER SCOTT
It is probable that Albert Cadosch came physically closer to the killer then anyone else apart from his victims. On the morning of the murder of Annie Chapman, whose body was found in the yard at the back of 29 Hanbury Street shortly after 6 a.m., Albert Cadosch went out into the yard of the house next door, No 27, and heard a woman's voice say "No." Some minutes later he heard something heavy fall against the fence, which both physically separated the yards and prevented his seeing what was happening at the back of No 29.
There has been much discussion about how high the fence was, why he didn't look over and took no further action. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful justifier, but I do share people's frustrations with this nearest encounter with what was almost certainly the Whitechapel murderer.
Before we look at Albert's background, we must again mention the matter of his name and its spelling. In the course of looking at census returns, BMD records and press reports, I have seen his name spelled Cadoche, Cadosh, Cadoshe and Cadosch. I have adopted the spelling Cadosch because that is the form consistently used in the census returns from which the information below is extracted.
The first point of contact, to ensure that the correct individual was identified, was to confirm the residence of any of the Cadosch family at 27 Hanbury Street. This was found in the 1891 census:
27 Hanbury Street, Christchurch, Spitalfields
Elizabeth Cadosch aged 50 born Lambeth - Widow - China and glass dealer
Esther Cadosch aged 24 born Mile End
Irma (?) Cadosch aged 22 born Spitalfields
The surmise was that the Elizabeth Cadosch listed was Albert's mother and this was confirmed in the record of the family in 1871. At that time the family was living at 66 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, a road which ran parallel with Dorset Street to the north. The details given are:
Paul Cadosch aged 37 born France - Glass shade fitter
Elizabeth Cadosch aged 31 born Lambeth, Surrey - Glass shade fitter
Theodora aged 15 born France - Dressmaker
Albert aged 11 born Paris, France
Emma aged 3 born Spitalfields
Esther Southward aged 5 born New York, America
Eliza Panther aged 69 born Sheerness, Kent - Domestic servant
From this record we can deduce the following:
Albert was of French extraction and was himself born in Paris in or around 1860.
Albert's father, Paul, must have moved to England some time between 1860 (Albert's birth) and 1868 (Emma's birth who is listed as born in Spitalfields.)
The position of Esther in the household is problematic. Her status as "Sister" should refer to her relationship to the head of the household, Paul Cadosch, but the places of birth, the age difference and the surname Southward make this most unlikely. In the listing for 1891 (see above) there an Esther Cadosch of virtually the right age listed, albeit she is listed as born in Mile End and not New York. The most likely explanation, in my opinion, is that both Albert's parents had been previously married. This scenario would make Theodora and Albert the issue of Paul and his former wife in France, and Esther the daughter of Elizabeth by a previous marriage to a man named Southward.
Something odd definitely happened between Albert's parents in the period from 1871 to 1881. His mother, Elizabeth, is listed in 1881 living at 11 Buckle Street, London and the details are given as:
Elizabeth Cadosk (sic) aged 40 born Lambeth - Tailoress
Irma Cadosk aged 12 born Spitalfields.
In fact, Elizabeth was not widowed at all - her husband Paul was alive and listed as follows:
The French Hospital and Dispensary, 10 Lester Place, London.
Paul Cadosh (sic) aged 47 born France - Glasscutter and glazier
It is certainly intriguing that Elizabeth described herself as widowed and Paul as unmarried. One wonders also why he was an inpatient in hospital. Of course, these details are gone beyond recovery.
By 1881 Albert had married and had left home to set up his own household at 54 Finnis Street:
Albert Cadosch aged 21 born Paris, France - Glass cutter
Alice Cadosch aged 22 born Coggeshall, Essex - Dressmaker
Isabella Cadosch aged 3 born Paddington
Hannah Cadosch aged 6 months born Bethnal Green
Fred French aged 16 - Son in Law (sic - should probably read brother in law) born Coggeshall, Essex - General porter
Herbert French aged 14 - Brother in law - born Coggeshall, Essex - Carman's boy
Albert's occupation, glasscutter, would certainly fit in with the fact that in 1871 his father and mother were listed as a glass shade fitters. The two boys surnamed French are listed as brothers in law to Albert. The description of one of them as his son in law is obviously erroneous. Both boys are given as having the same place of birth as Albert's wife, Alice. As it happens I am acquainted with Coggeshall in Essex, and the fact that all three came from what is essentially a small village, must mean that the two boys are Alice's brothers, which tells us additionally that her maiden name would have been Alice French.
When we come to the census of 1891, Albert and his family have moved right out of London to Colchester in Essex. He has also had a complete change of occupation, him and his wife now running a fruiterer's shop between them. There is not necessarily anything sinister or connected with the murders, which prompted the family's move out of London. The place they moved to, Colchester, is very near to Coggeshall, where his wife came from. It seems most likely that the reason for the move was some reason connected to his wife's family. Here is the listing for Albert's family for 1891:
44 Stamwell Street, Colchester, Essex
Albert Cadosch aged 31 born Paris, France - Fruit dealer
Wife: Alice Cadosch aged 32 born Coggeshall - Shop keeper
Hannah aged 10
Ethel aged 9
Frederick aged 7
Herbert aged 5
Gladys aged 7 months
All children born in Bethnal Green
The fact that all children were born in Bethnal Green, and the youngest is only 7 months old (i.e. born in August 1890) means we can probably place their move to Essex very closely - some time between August 1890 and early April 1891, the date of the census.
I was unable to find Albert listed in the 1901 census. At 19 Stamwell Street in Colchester, the town where the family were listed in 1891, the following family members were listed:
Alice aged 42 - Tailoress
Ethel aged 18 - Tailoress
Fred aged 17 - postman
Hannah aged 20 - Dressmaker
Herbert aged 15 - Office boy
There is one additional child:
Nellie Cadosch aged 8 born Colchester, Essex.
Intriguingly, Alice is listed as the head of household but her marital status is given as married, not widowed.
In 1901 Albert's mother Elizabeth and Esther was living in a confectioner's shop at 39 Virginia Road, Bethnal Green.
Elizabeth Cadosch aged 60 born Lambeth - confectioner and baker
Esther Cadosch aged 33 born Mile End New Town - Plain needle worker.
So what happened to Albert's father, who in 1881 was listed as an inpatient in the French Hospital? He is certainly not listed in the 1891 census. From the earlier records of him we can deduce that he was born in or about 1834, so in 1890 he would have been 56 or 57. I think the answer to his fate lies in the record of a death registered in Whitechapel in the last quarter of 1890. That record tells of the demise of a Paul Alexander Cadosch and his age is given as 57 at the time of his death.
There are certainly many loose ends in the story of Albert Cadosch. What tangled web of marital events happened between his parents in years 1871 to 1881? Why was his father in hospital describing himself as unmarried, while his mother was listed as widow? And, finally, what happened to Albert himself? I have yet to find a record of his death or place where he was in 1901.
If only he had looked over the fence, history might have been very different!