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Casebook: Jack the Ripper - Message Boards » Victims » Elizabeth Stride » Elizabeth Stokes and Mary Malcolm « Previous Next »

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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1375
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2004 - 2:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Elizabeth Stokes and Mary Malcolm

I have recently been typing up some articles regarding the evidence of these two ladies, who were sisters. Mrs Malcolm was the woman who claimed that Stride was her sister and gave her name as Elizabeth Watts. She was also the woman who claimed to have had the premonition of the murder by feeling kisses on her cheek. Having carried out a pretty efficient hatchet job on her sister's reputation, the errant sister, known by that times as Elizabeth Stokes, turned up very much alive and defended her besmirched reputation.

So we have three names for these two sisters - Mrs. Malcolm, Mrs. Watts and Mrs. Stokes. The other clues were that Elizabeth Stokes claimed a link with Bath in that her former husband, Mr. Watts, was the son of a wine merchant from birth. She also gave the name of her second husband as Joseph Stokes and said that he was a brickmaker. Although the description of his trade was substantially correct, but his name was actually Edward. It appears that the two sisters had the birth name of Delamare and were both born in Bath. This link comes from the 1881 census when Mrs. Malcolm and her husband were living with her elderly, widowed mother.

I have so far found only one definite entry for Elizabeth Stokes which is from the 1891 census:

3 Lewis Place, Woolwich
Edward Stokes aged 46 born Strood, Kent - Bricklayer's labourer
Elizabeth Stokes aged 49 born Bath, Somerset - Charwoman

As regards Mrs. Malcolm, although I have not yet been able to trace the date of her marriage, this appears to have taken place between 1871 and 1881. In the 1871 census I have found her husband to be, Andrew Malcolm, listed as an unmarried lodger:

29 Broad Street, Golden Square, Westminster
Andrew Malcolm aged 22 born Glasgow - Tailor

By 1881, the two had married and were living with Mary's mother:

47 Baldwins Gardens, London
Augustine Delamare aged 73 born Middlesex - Widow - Ink maker
Son in Law:
Andrew Malcolm aged 32 born Scotland - Tailor
Mary Malcolm aged 37 born Bath - Tailoress

The 1891 census lists the two living alone:

3 Cranmer House, Fox Court, Holborn
Andrew Malcolm aged 43 born Glasgow - Tailor
Mary Malcolm aged 43 born Bath, Wiltshire - Tailoress

It appears that the aged mother may well have emigrated to the USA. An individual of the very distinctive name Augustine Delamare is listed as travelling to the USA but I have yet to track down a definite date for this.

In her inquest evidence, Elizabeth Stokes listed her siblings as follows:
Matilda, Thomas, James, Mary and Elizabeth.
There is still work to do in tracing these, and I will post any further results.

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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 1748
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 1:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have today found this statement by Elizabeth Stokes which gives a very full account of her eventful life.
Morning Advertiser 10 October 1888:

At the inquest on the body of the woman murdered in Bernerstreet, and who had previously been identified as Elizabeth Stride, Mrs. Mary Malcolm, of Red Lion square, swore that the deceased was her sister, Elizabeth Watts, whom she had last seen alive on the Thursday preceding the murder. Elizabeth Watts has now been discovered in the person of Mrs. Stokes, the wife of a brickyard labourer living at Tottenham. Mrs. Stokes says:- "My father was a publican in the village of Colerne, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. There were eight children in our family, four girls and four boys. I have one sister in New Zealand, and one brother still lives in Wiltshire. But I have no idea where the rest of the family are. My maiden name was Elizabeth Perrin. I have been married three times. My first husband was Mr. Watts, a wine merchant at bath, to whom I was married at Bristol. My second husband's name was Sneller, whom I married at Deal; and my third and present husband's name is Stokes, to whom I was married at St. Andrew's Church, New Kent road, on December 15th, 1884. He has been employed lately at Plowman's Brickfield, Tottenham. Mrs. Malcolm, who gave evidence at the inquest, is my sister, but I have not seen her for years, and I do not expect to see her until I attend the adjourned inquest on the 23rd inst. My sister, Mary Malcolm, has never, as she swore, given me any money. It is untrue that I saw her on the Thursday preceding the murder. I was out washing on that day at Mrs. Peterkin's laundry, near White Hart lane. I never used to meet her, as she said, in Red Lion street, to receive 1s from her. I am not short of clothes, and I never lived in Commercial road nor kept a coffee house in Poplar. I may take a little drink now and then, but my sister never saw me in drink. My two children, by my first husband, Watts, were taken from me, and that preys on my mind at times. I never quarrelled with my first husband. Watts's friends did not approve of our marriage on account of my being a poor girl. He was sent abroad, and died in America, leaving me with the two children, a boy and a girl. Where they are I do not know. Their father's friends took the children from me, and I was placed in the lunatic asylum of Fisherton House, near Salisbury. The relieving office of Bath got me out, and I then went to live as a domestic servant at Walmer. There I made the acquaintance of Sneller, whom I afterwards married at Deal Church. He was engaged on a vessel in the Royal Navy, which was stranded on St. Paul's Island, and there he died. His half pay was then stopped, and I was left destitute. Subsequently I was put in the Peckham Lunatic Asylum, under Dr. Stocker and Dr. Brown, because I endeavoured to gain possession of my two children, whom I have never seen or heard of since they were taken from me. The Lunacy Commissioners afterwards pronounced me to be sane, and I was again discharged, perfectly destitute. Owing to my troubles my memory is somewhat impaired. I married my present husband, Stokes, four years ago."
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 564
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005 - 2:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Chris,

Interesting stuff there. Sounds like she led a harsh life.

It seems rather odd that the details Mary Malcolm gave about her sister better match Elizabeth Stride's life than Malcolm's real sister. I wonder if she came up with them from reports about her life for attention-seeking purposes. I know some people occasionally wonder if Stride somehow convinced Malcolm that she was her sister, which would seem rather amazing, but there has to be some sort of explanation.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
 Profile    Email    Dissertations    Website
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Phil Hill
Username: Phil

Post Number: 161
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 1:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are two possibilities, it seems to me, having recently re-read the books on this:

More probably (a) Mary malcolm made the whole thing up for reasons of her own (rather like Violenia).

However, I am open to option (b) that Liz Stride had somehow impersonated Elizabeth Stokes over a long period. How it might have been done I don't know, but I see just a hint of his possibility in the statements we have.

What do others think?

Was this a source of income for Liz which might have allowed her to avoid prostitution to some extent, and to get by by doing cleaning work most of the time?


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