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 A Ripperologist Article 
This article originally appeared in Ripperologist No. 68, June 2006. Ripperologist is the most respected Ripper periodical on the market and has garnered our highest recommendation for serious students of the case. For more information, view our Ripperologist page. Our thanks to the editor of Ripperologist for permission to reprint this article.
Cousin Jack
By Rob Hills and Adrian Stockton

We’ve had Uncle Jack - now stand by for Cousin Jack. The title of this article was inspired by an email from Adrian Stockton who originally contacted me to exchange family tree information about the Stockton line. Adrian wrote: ‘My first cousin 3 times removed was Jack the Ripper - now that’s something to talk about.’

Adrian was referring to James Hardiman, a Whitechapel horseflesh purveyor and cat’s meat man. Ripperologist’s readers are well aware that I believe he was Jack the Ripper. His mother was Harriet Hardiman, who lived in the ground floor front room at 29 Hanbury Street and ran a cat’s meat shop out of it. On 8 September 1888, Annie Chapman’s mutilated body was found in the back yard of this house.

I have chronicled James’s life and exposed my theories in previous articles where I discussed the information I have so far gathered on the Hardiman family. Now, thanks to Adrian’s new information on the Stocktons, I can expand on our research. Harriet Hardiman, James’s mother, was a Stockton - Adrian’s Second Great Aunt, in fact - and constitutes the link between the Stockton and Hardiman families.

Back yard of 29 Hanbury Street

By going back through his main Stockton line, Adrian discovered that his ancestors were cattle dealers, cat’s-meat vendors and horseflesh dealers in the East End of London. In the early 19th century, Samuel Stockton - Harriet Hardiman’s father - was a cat’s-meat vendor in Whitechapel.1 He was born about 1804 in Queen Ann Street, Whitechapel, and died on 23 October 1865 at 1 John’s Place, Mile End New Town. Throughout his life he worked as a dock labourer, a hawker, a ‘cat’s-meat man’ and a hopper maker; that is, a maker of usually funnel-shaped containers used for dispensing small granular materials. On 2 February 1835, Samuel married Sarah Haswell in Bethnal Green. Sarah was born about 1816 in Whitechapel and died on 24 December 1896 at 6 Glass Street, Bethnal Green; the cause of death was given as Jaundice, Exhaustion.

Samuel and Sarah lived in and around Dorset Street, which plays a key part in every account of the Whitechapel murders. They had twelve children: Joseph (Adrian’s Great Great Grandfather), Samuel, Harriet Sarah (Adrian’s Second Great Aunt and James Hardiman’s mother), Elizabeth Jane, John Stephen, James, Martha, Jane, Mary Ann, Eliza, Emma and Sarah.

Harriet Sarah was born in Dorset Street, Spitalfields, which was her parents’ address at that time, and was christened on 29 July 1838 at Christ Church, Spitalfields. She married Edward Hardiman on 6 April 1857 at St Mary Spital Sq, Spitalfields, London. In the 1861 census, Harriet was recorded as living at 2 Well Street with her husband Edward, her daughter Sarah, age 3, and James, age 1. Well Street was renamed Preston Street by the time of the 1871 census and eventually became part of what is still known today as Hanbury Street - approximately the area at the top of Greatorex Street.

I believe Harriet’s husband is the Edward Hardiman recorded in the 1851 census as living with his parents at 17 Hunt Street, St Dunstans, Stepney. The record lists Samuel Hardiman - age 58, born Birmingham, occupation Bone Cutter, (Head); Sarah Hardiman - age 48, born St. Luke’s Middlesex, occupation Dealer in Clothes, (wife); Edward Hardiman - age 14, born Mile End, occupation Button Polisher, (son). At 12 Hunt Street there was a Mary Morris, age 68, born Coventry, occupation Narrow Weaver (blind), who is described as ‘mother-in-law’, although it is not clear whether she was Samuel Hardiman’s mother-in-law. A Narrow Weaver is a weaver of ribbons.Samuel Stockton and his family were also recorded in the 1851 census. They lived at 4 Silver Street, Parish of St Dunstans, Stepney. The family consisted of:

St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney High Street

Samuel Stockton; Head; mar 49 - vendor of cat’s meat. b Middlesex, Whitechapel.

Sarah Stockton - wife; mar 36 - b Middlesex, Whitechapel.Joseph Stockton - son; unm 16 occupation Japaner b Middlesex, Whitechapel.

Samuel Stockton - son; unm 15 b Middlesex - Mile End New Town.

Harriet Stockton - daur; unm 12 b Middlesex, Whitechapel.Elizabeth Stockton - daur unm 10 b Middlesex, Whitechapel.

John Stockton - son unm 8 b Middlesex, Mile End New Town.

James Stockton - son unm 5 b Middlesex, Mile End New Town.

Martha Stockton - daur unm 1 b Middlesex, Mile End New Town.

Jane Stockton - daur unm 1 b Middlesex, Mile End New Town.

Samuel and Sarah’s first son, Joseph, was born some time between 1833 and 1835 in Whitechapel. He was christened on 26 July 1835 in Christ Church Spitalfields. On 31 December 1861, Joseph married Sarah Susannah Speaight, daughter of Charles Speaight and Susanna Eggington, in Haggerston. Sarah was born on 27 April 1839 at 14 Scott Street, Bethnal Green, and was christened on 30 November 1842 in St. Matthews, Bethnal Green. In the 1851 census, Sarah’s occupation is recorded as a wire drawer; that is, someone who made wire from metal by drawing the metal through various holes in a template. At the time of his marriage, Joseph’s occupation was cattle dealer in Haggerston.

Christ Church dwarfs the Ten Bells, c1957

At some point Joseph and Sarah moved to Islington, where they are recorded in the 1881 and 1891 census returns. Joseph still appears as a cattle dealer. They had nine children: Joseph, Charles Speaight, Harriet Eliza, Elizabeth, Emily Louisa, Alice, Florence Louise, John and Alfred James Millie. Harriet Eliza is recorded in the 1881 census, age 15 as a General Servant in a Beer House at 42 Scrutton Street, Shoreditch. Harriet is recorded as the niece of the Beer House Keeper, Eliza Niblett, a 29 year old widow. Eliza’s three daughters and one son are also recorded at this address. All were born in Islington except Harriet, who was born in Tottenham. Tragically, Florence Louise died in February 1890, age 17. The cause of death was Pulmonary Phthisis (Tuberculosis). Her mother Sarah was present at the death at 20 Marriott Road, Islington.

Joseph died on 20 October 1896 in London County Lunatic Asylum, Ilford, aged about 62. The cause of his death was Exhaustion and Cardiac Failure, certified by Robert Jones, Superintendent of the Asylum. His occupation is listed as a meat salesman, formerly of 52 Moray Road, Islington. It is not known why he was admitted to the Lunatic Asylum, though in Victorian times it might have been for any reason out of many. It is sad that Joseph should end his days there. Throughout his life he strove to do the best for his family, migrating north of London and away from the living hell of the Victorian East End.

Joseph’s wife Sarah, now a widow, and her sons John and Alfred James Millie appear on the 1901 census in Islington. Sarah died on 31st July 1932 at Winchmore Hill, Middlesex at age 93. The cause of her death was Senectus. 2

Samuel and Sarah’s second son, Samuel, was born 1836 in Mile End New Town and was christened on 27th November 1836 in Christ Church Spitalfields. His place of birth is given as Fashion Street, Spitalfields - yet another street name which will be familiar to Ripper researchers. Samuel died on 4th March 1891 at 141 Charles Street, Mile End Old Town, aged about 55. The cause of his death was Malignant Disease of the Liver, and Exhaustion.

Samuel married his first wife, Mary Fitzsimmons, on 26 November 1855 in St. Matthias Parish Church, Bethnal Green. Mary was born about 1839 and died about May 1868 in Bethnal Green, age 29. Her occupation is recorded as Tailoress in April 1861. Samuel had worked as a Labourer from 1855 and is recorded as such in the 1861 census in Whitechapel. He worked as a dock labourer in 1863 in Weymouth and in 1867 in Bethnal Green. Samuel and Mary lived at 4 Johns Place. They had seven children: Eliza, Louisa, Samuel, Joseph Charles, Mary, Henry and Clara. In 1871, Samuel was once again working as a dock labourer in Whitechapel. At the time of his second marriage, to Jane Botfield, aka Jane Adamson, in April 1878, he was a General Dealer. He was recorded as having the same occupation in the 1881 census. At some time before 1891, he worked as a cat’s meat vendor. His wife Jane was a dealer in horseflesh (knacker) and is recorded as such in the 1891 census. Samuel and Jane had one daughter, Sarah.

Samuel and Sarah’s second daughter after Harriet, Elizabeth Jane, was born in Whitechapel at some time before 17 January 1841, when she was christened at Christ Church, Spitalfields. Elizabeth appears in the 1861 census living with her parents and other siblings at 1 Johns Place. Her occupation is recorded as a Shoe Binder.

The third son, John Stephen, was born about 1843 in Mile End New Town, was christened on 12 February 1843 in Christ Church Spitalfields and died about May 1901 in Mile End New Town, aged about 58. About August 1861, he married Louisa Stevens in Bethnal Green. Louisa was born in Bethnal Green about 1839. John Stephen and Louisa had five children: John, Samuel George, Joseph, James and Joseph. John Stephen appears on the 1861 census as a Labourer. Both he and Louisa appear in the 1881 census at the Bricklayers Arms, 92 Collingwood Street, 3 Colts Lane, Bethnal Green. The Bricklayers Arms was very close to Cudworth Street, which was James Hardiman’s address in 1885, and to Glass Street, Bethnal Green, where Sarah Stockton died in 1896. John Stephen is recorded as a Licensed Victualler. His eldest son John is recorded as a Barman at the same address in 1881. The Post Office Directory records a John Stockton as the Licensed Victualler in 1882 and 1884. In 1901, John Stephen worked as a Dealer in Horse Flesh. In 1915, the Post Office Directory records a Joseph Stockton at the Bricklayers Arms.

Samuel and Sarah’s fourth son, James, was born some time before July 1845 in Mile End New Town and was christened on 6 July in Christchurch, Spitalfields. He appears in the 1861 census as a Labourer and in the 1871 census as a General Dealer. James married Mary Ann Eliza Hare on 6 October 1863 in St. John Church, Bethnal Green. They had one son, Samuel Joseph.

The Pride of Spitalfields

Martha, Samuel and Sarah’s third daughter, was born between April and October 1847 in Mile End New Town and was christened on 17 October 1847 in Christ Church, Spitalfields. In December 1866, she married Edward Gillett in Bethnal Green. Edward was born in 1846 in Whitechapel. He appears as a Carman in the 1871 census, a dealer in cat’s meat in 1881 and a general labourer in Haggerston in 1901. Edward and Martha had six children: Edward, Sarah, Martha, George, Samuel and James.

Jane, Samuel and Sarah’s fourth daughter, was born on 28 September 1849 at 18 Chicksand Place, Whitechapel. This is very close to No. 13 Heneage Street, which was James Hardiman’s address in 1888. The numbering in Heneage Street appears to be the same now as it was in the 1880s. In the 1889 Trade Directory, No. 3 Heneage Street, on the north side of the road, is described as a Beer Retailer. The Pride of Spitalfields Public House occupies that location now. Previously this pub was called The Romford Arms, and may have been known by that name as early as 1888.3 No. 13 Heneage Street was on the same side of the road as The Pride of Spitalfields is now. Map evidence suggests it has been rebuilt since the 1880s. No. 20, where Sarah’s mother lived and where James’s infant daughter, Harriet Maria Hardiman, died on 18 June 1888, aged 1, was on the south side of the road. It no longer exists. Its site is now occupied by part of a playground.

Jane did not appear in the 1861 census at Johns Place with her parents Samuel and Sarah.

Mary Ann, Samuel and Sarah’s fifth daughter, was born on 5 June 1851 in Silver Street, Mile End New Town. She appears on the 1861 census, aged 10, at the Johns Place address.

St Philip the Apostle, Stepney

Eliza, Samuel and Sarah’s sixth daughter, was born on 26 October 1854 in Mile End New Town - Johnsons Place. She married George Botfield on 9 July 1871 in St Philip the Apostle, Stepney. George was born between 1851 and 1852 in Bethnal Green. His occupation was a General Dealer. George and Eliza had 11 children: George Henry, Eliza, Edward, John, Joseph, Alfred, James, Samuel, Sarah, Lizzie and Harry. Eliza was the death reportee of her mother Sarah in 1896. The death certificate records that she was present at her death. Her address is recorded as 10 Primrose Street, Bethnal Green.

Emma, Samuel and Sarah’s seventh daughter, was born about 1857 in Whitechapel.

Samuel and Sarah’s youngest child, Sarah, was born on 6 May 1859 in Mile End New Town, 1 Johns Court. She married Alfred Richard Goodchild on 9th December 1878 in St Thomas Church, Bethnal Green, the same church where James Hardiman had married Sarah Scott in 1876. In fact, as I learnt only recently, thanks to Adrian’s kindly sending me a copy of an extract of his family tree, the Hardimans were witnesses to the marriage of Sarah Stockton to Alfred Goodchild. They both made their marks with a cross, as shown on the marriage certificate. At the time of his marriage, Alfred’s occupation was meat salesman at 96 Nichols Square. Sarah’s address was 40 Nichols Square, in the midst of the area then renowned for violent street gangs such as the Old Nichol Gang and the Hoxton High Rips. Alfred and Sarah had seven children; Alfred, James, Louisa, Emily, Elizabeth, Samuel and John. Alfred died round March 1896 in Bethnal Green, aged about 39. His widow, Sarah, appears in the 1901 census as a vendor of cat’s meat at 6 Glass Street, Bethnal Green.

Adrian is a member of the Essex Family History Society. He has written an article for their magazine, Ripping Yarns, based upon my email to him, which coincidentally came at a time when his own investigation into his family history had, in his own words, ‘Ground, if not to a halt, to a crawl’. He had some time ago traced the Stocktons back to early 19th century Whitechapel, but had since let the trail go cold. Thankfully, his response to my email was what I had hoped for and we exchanged information that helped both of us with our own independent research. Adrian now claims James Hardiman as his most interesting ancestor - whether he was the Ripper or not.

As for me, I have progressed a bit further in my research into James Hardiman’s life. Not through the Internet this time. The Internet is undoubtedly a helpful tool for research. Sometimes, however, you can’t beat jumping on a train and going to places where you have never been before. This is exactly what I did recently when I visited the London Metropolitan Archives for the first time. I was trying to find more information on the period James Hardiman spent behind bars at HMP Wandsworth. In the 1881 census returns, he is recorded both as a prisoner there and as a resident at 29 Hanbury Street.

Luck was against me on the day of my visit to the LMA. Although the staff were very helpful, some of the nominal prison registers for Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth were currently unavailable and others were being transferred into microfiche. I was able to look through two registers that covered the period from March to November 1881. This was in itself an intriguing experience, but also a somewhat disappointing one: I did not find James Hardiman’s name in the fragile and musty pages.

Ideally, to search through the nominal prison registers, you need to know when the prisoner was processed through his initial reception at the establishment. Since my visit to the LMA I have learnt, as mentioned above, that in December 1878 James was a witness to the marriage of Alfred Goodchild and Sarah Stockton. This means that he was admitted to HMP Wandsworth at some time between December 1878 and the 1881 census. I can now narrow my search for a record of his admission. The National Archives also hold information relating to Victorian prisoners. Perhaps in my next article I will be able to report more definite findings about my favourite Ripper suspect, the crimes that got him into prison and the period he spent there. A photograph from his file, perhaps?

HMP Wandsworth

I strongly believe that if a photograph of James Hardiman exists and I find it, we will be looking at Jack the Ripper’s face. His forbidding countenance will then be added to the grainy, faded, black-and-white images of his victims. Or will the Ripper forever remain a faceless terror, the mysterious figure we conjure up in our imagination? Will we be finally looking at a real person - James Hardiman, woman killer - or will the wraithlike Ripper continue to haunt the streets of Whitechapel, when the sun goes down and cats begin to prowl?


Thank you to Adrian Stockton for his invaluable contribution to this article and for allowing extracts from his family tree to be used. Thank you to Malcolm Barr Hamilton, Borough Archivist, Tower Hamlets Local History Library, for information regarding Heneage Street. Thank you to the staff of the London Metropolitan Archives for their kind assistance. Thank you to the editorial team at Ripperologist: Paul Begg, Eduardo Zinna, Adam Wood and Christopher T George.


For more information on my continuous research on James Hardiman see my articles: Jack a Knacker? Ripperologist, issue 50 (November 2003); The Whore Slaughterer, Ripperologist, issue 52 (March 2004); Wallah Wallah Cat’s Meat, Ripperologist, issue 53 (May 2004); The Butterfly Collector, Ripperologist, issue 60 (July 2005) and From the Bars of the Cradle, Ripperologist, issue 62 (December 2005).


1 I had previously speculated that ‘Wallah Wallah’ was the street cry of the cat’s meat vendors. (See my article Wallah Wallah Cat’s Meat, Ripperologist, issue 53 (May 2004)). I have since discovered, however, that London’s cat’s-meat men cried out ‘Beep! Beep!’ as they did their rounds. ‘To Londoners, ‘‘Beep! Beep!’’ is the familiar cry of the cat’s meat men, picturesque peddlers who sell to thrifty housewives not the meat of cats but little skewers stuck with carefully diced meat for cats.’ Cat’s Meat, Time, 11 November 1929. Accessed 8 June 2006.

2 Senectus means ‘old age’ in Latin. When shown as a cause of death on a death certificate, Senectus means ‘died of old age’

3 If this was indeed the case, and the pub was known as The Romford Arms in 1888, its name could offer an alternative explanation for George Hutchinson’s statement to the police: ‘About 2.00 am 9th I was coming by Thrawl Street, Commercial Street, and saw just before I got to Flower and Dean Street I saw the murdered woman Kelly. and she said to me Hutchinson, will you lend me sixpence. I said I cant I have spent all my money going down to Romford. (Evans, Stewart P and Keith Skinner, The Ultimate Jack the Ripper Sourcebook, Robinson, London, 2000, page 376). Now let’s assume that he said ‘I have spent all my money going down the Romford’ instead of ‘to Romford’. This is perfectly plausible, as the names of public houses are often shortened in this manner in conversation. Perhaps George hadn’t trekked all the way from Romford after all.

Related pages:
  James Hardiman
       Dissertations: Cats Cradle 
       Ripper Media: Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide - James Hardiman