The Bousfields had rented lodgings to Martha Tabram at 4 Star Street, Commerical Road East. Martha Tabram lived there for an unspecified period of time in 1888, leaving (without settling her debt) at around mid-July 1888.
Mary Bousfield - she was also referred to as Mrs. Luckhurst - was one of the witnesses who identified Martha's body:
She [Tabram] has also been identified by Mrs. Luckhurst of 4 Star Place, Commercial Road, as her lodger Mrs. Tabram but passing by the name of Turner, taking the name of a man with whom she lived until a month ago. (MEPO 3/140, ff. 44-48)
Mary Bousfield testified at the Tabram inquest on Thursday, 23 August. The East London Advertiser supplied perhaps the most detailed transcript of her comments:
Following this witness came the landlady of the house where deceased had last lived. She was nervous and very indistinct and rambling in her remarks. Having been sworn she deposed that she was Mrs. Mary Bousfield, the wife of William Bousfield, a wood cutter, living at 4, Star-street, Commercial-road. To the best of her belief the deceased was named Martha Turner. That was the name she went by. She left her lodgings there about three weeks ago. She got her living by selling matches. Witness had known her about four months. As far as could be seen during that time she was a woman of temperate habits. Witness had told the officer that deceased was a woman who would rather have a glass of ale than a cup of tea. She owed some rent. Witness did not believe she knew two persons in the street, for she was a very retired person, and never brought anyone home with her. Previous to deceased coming to witness's house she was living with a man of the name of Turner. Deceased told witness that Mr. Turner was very good, and helped to support her two children, whom she, witness had never seen.
Inspector Reid: Deceased left without giving any notice. Her furniture consisted of two mattresses only. Deceased returned one night after she left unbeknown to witness, and left the key of her room. (East London Advertiser - 25 August 1888)
The Eastern Post supplied some extra detail from Bousfield's testimony, concerning Martha Tabram's alleged intemperance:
The Coroner: Then she was not habitually "boozing."
Witness: No, sir. I cannot say she was a woman that got habitually drunk. (Eastern Post - 25 August 1888)
The East London Observer supplied some additional details from Bousfield as well:
She was a hawker, her stock in trade being needles, pins, menthol cones, &c. ....
She was a person who was rather reserved, and never brought any female companions home with her. Previous to coming to my house to lodge, she was living with a man named Turner. I believe she picked up with this Mr. Turner soon after she was separated from her husband. I don't know how long that would be, but I should think, about thirteen or fourteen years. She used to tell me that Mr. Turner was very good to her, and helped to support her two little children - although I have never seen them. (East London Observer - 25 August 1888)
Researcher Chris Scott found the Bousfields in the 1881 census. They were at 4 Star Place at the time. They had three children in 1881, James (age 1), Mary (age 5) and Bella (age 1 month). Both Mary and William were born in St. George's, London. William was 27, and Mary was 34. This would make her about 41 years of age at the time of the Tabram inquest.Official Sources
MEPO 3/140, ff. 44-51
East London Observer - 25 August 1888
East London Advertiser - 25 August 1888
Eastern Post - 25 August 1888
The Jack the Ripper A-Z (Begg, Fido and Skinner)
The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook (Evans and Skinner)