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Kate McCarthy

Witness at Frances Coles' inquest.

Born 1873, Whitechapel, living at 42 Royal Mint Street with her widowed father, brother Michael and sister Jane[1]. Fiancee of Thomas Fowles. Seen with Fowles near Swallow Gardens by William Friday and the Knapton brothers on the morning of Frances Coles' murder. She made a statement to Sergeant James Nearn on 25th February 1891:

I reside with my father brother and sister at 42 Royal Mint Street, and have done so all my life. I work at Messrs Stowers, wine Merchants Commercial Street E as a bottler.

I am engaged to a young man Thomas Fowles who resides in Back Church Lane, the number of the house I do not know.

On Thursday evening 12th inst I went to the "United Brothers Club" Commercial Street, where Tom Fowles is doorman and he and I left together at about half past twelve, and walked together as far as 42 Royal Mint Street, arriving there at about 1.15am 13th inst. We stood talking together at the front door for about half an hour, until a quarter to two and Fowles wished me goodnight or good morning, and I went straight to bed.

At about twenty minutes to two just before Fowles left me I saw the two Knaptons and another man pass on the opposite side of the street towards the Minories, one of the Knaptons shouted out good night. Almost immediately afterwards Jumbo (who I know as well as the Knaptons) passed also on the opposite side of the street, with a whip in his hand he was going towards the Minories.

During the time I stood at the door I saw no other person.[2]

Kate McCarthy appeared briefly at the last day of the Coles inquest and like Thomas Fowles, restated the timings that morning. She said that when she had gone indoors it was 2.15am, as she heard the clock chime. She justified this by saying that Fowles had said it was also 2.15am, and he had a watch to go by.[3]


  1. Census reports 1891
  2. MEPO 3/140, ff.81-2
  3. Inquest report, The Times, 28th February 1891

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