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Frederick Foster

Witness at Catherine Eddowes' inquest.

Frederick William Foster was the City surveyor who presented plans and maps relating to the Eddowes murder as well as sketches of her injuries to the inquest. These consisted of a scale map of Mitre Square and a sketch of the murder scene (both with Eddowes' body in situ), a map of the area between Mitre Square and Goulston Street upon which were marked two possible routes the murderer could have taken. He also made three sketches of Eddowes' mutilations, one full-length depiction as she was found, one in the mortuary and one concentrating on the facial injuries. He stated:

"I have made the plans produced - I have them in three sections one 8 feet to an inch, another 200 feet to an inch from an Ordnance map of the City - I have marked on an Ordnance Map of the same scale from Berner Street to Mitre Square - that would be 1144 yards about 3/4 of a mile - it would take about 12 minutes to walk it from one to another".

"It is the nearest route that anyone unaccustomed to it would take it - There are 2 routes to Goulstone Street one from Church Passage through Duke Street crossing Houndsditch through Gravel Lane, Stoney Lane crossing Petticoat Lane and through to Goulstone Street. A person going from Mitre Square to Flower and Dean Street would go as the most direct route across Goulstone Street - it would take within 1/4 of an hour to get there".[1]

Foster's plans were discovered in the basement of the (Royal) London Hospital in Whitechapel by Professor Francis Camps and his assistant Sam Hardy in the 1960s[2]. They are currently held in the hospital's museum and archives.


  1. Coroner's inquest (L), 1888, No.135, Catherine Eddowes Inquest, 1888 (London Metropolitan Archives)
  2. Jack the Ripper: Scotland Yard Investigates, Stewart P Evans & Donald Rumbelow (Sutton 2006)

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