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jarett kobek
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Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 3:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On page 18 of Neal Shelden's pamphlet on the topic of Catherine Eddowes, Shelden writes:

"1866 Kate's cousin, Christopher Charles Robinson, 18, was hanged at Stafford gaol for the murder of his fiance Harriet seager in Wolverhampton. Kate and Thomas were two of the 4,000 strong crowd and even sold a gallows ballad. (Story first discovered by Mrs. Kate Amy, mentioned in Ripeprana of 1995. Thanks to David O'Flaherty)."

Earlier in the same work, Shelden writes that Eddowes and Thomas Conway made their living by selling "chapbooks" written by Conway. Not having access to a back catalogue of Ripperana issues, I was wondering if anyone could possibly post any further information about the gallows ballad that Eddowes and Conway were supposed to have sold. Has it been uncovered in any substantial way or is it just known to have been sold?

Any additional information on either the execution on TC's chapbooks would of course be greatly appreciated. Am I wrong in presuming that these would have been printed works that have some remote possibility of survival into our current era?

Thanks,

Jarett
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Dan Norder
Chief Inspector
Username: Dannorder

Post Number: 581
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 6:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

High Jarett,

I know a few of these sorts of things have survived, as there are some on Mary Ann Cotton and others. I don't have any information on the ones Conway and Eddowes sold, though. Perhaps someone else here can help you out on that.
Dan Norder, Editor
Ripper Notes: The International Journal for Ripper Studies
 Profile    Email    Dissertations    Website
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David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 777
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 7:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jarett,

There aren't any further details in Ripperana. There's only a couple of paragraphs in their "Notes and Queries/Intelligence Received" section; they cite an article from the "Black Country Bugle" of January 1995 that Kate Amy had sent in; the article itself isn't reproduced. A good first step would be to track down the original article to see what it says, so I've sent an email to the Bugle to see if it's possible.

In case you're interested, Neal sent me a transcript of an article about the Christopher Robinson execution which I don't think he used for his book. Eddowes and Conway aren't mentioned, but it's up on the Christopher Robinson thread in the Catherine Eddowes section and makes for interesting reading.

Hope that helps,
Dave
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jarett kobek
Unregistered guest
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2005 - 4:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

David,

Thanks for your inquiries with the Bugle. Please let us know if they pan out!

Thanks,

Jarett
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David O'Flaherty
Chief Inspector
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 804
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 6:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jarett,

I did hear back from the Bugle. I will probably order a copy but not anytime soon, so in case someone doesn't want to wait on me:

"The article you mention was reprinted in our 1995 Bugle Annual, a copy of which can be obtained from ourselves for the inclusive price of 6.75 by Air Mail.

If you want us to send you a copy please send covering letter, together with payment (in sterling please) to Black Country Bugle, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, West Midlands B64 5HL, England."

Cheers,
Dave

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jarett kobek
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Posted on Sunday, October 30, 2005 - 1:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello David and all,

I finally have gotten around to ordering the Bugle Annual-- it came a few weeks ago but only now have I had the time to scan the relevant materials. The article itself is a bit disappointing for anyone even remotely familiar with general Ripperana or Eddowes in specific-- it contains a brief rehash of the circumstances of the Double Event and then makes the (in my opinion) fallacious argument that Eddowes was not a prostitute. The one place where the article does shine is in its discussion of the minutiae of Eddowes and Thomas Conway(-Quinn)'s relationship, the excerpts of which are attached below.

part one of article excerpt
part two of article excerpt
part three of article excerpt

Unfortunately, this article is not in any way sourced and thus raises more questions than provides answers. To my mind this level of minute detail must require a source. There is a certain overlap of information between this article and Dave Froggatt's casebook article. Is it possible that the source for the Bugle article are the same as Froggatt's? (This would be, presumably, Wolverhaptom news reports of the period.)

Incidentally, the last (of the 4) pages in the Annual related to Eddowes is a copy of her birth certificate-- provided by none other than the same Dave Froggatt! I checked around the casebook & the internet for his email address but could not turn anything up-- does anybody have contact information for him? He may be able to shed some light on this matter.

Thanks all for the help,

Jarett
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David O'Flaherty
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 1088
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jarett,

Thanks so much for sharing that (and going to the trouble of ordering it). Yes, the information is very detailed so I also wonder what the source is. If the article has a byline, perhaps the writer can be tracked down and asked what he/she based this information on. I've never heard those details before but then I haven't read all the books. I wonder if anyone else has?

Thanks again Jarett, terrific work on your part, if you don't mind my saying so.

Cheers,
Dave
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David O'Flaherty
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 1089
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 1:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jarett,

Missed your inquiry about Dave Froggatt. I understand that he is a publisher of facsimiles, reprints, and collectors' editions up in Birmingham, so it could very well be that he provided some of the information used in the article. Some time ago (2000) Ripperologist gave ordering information for him as Flat 1, 26 Moat Lane, Birmingham B26 1TJ. I have no idea if that's current though. I'm sure some of the posters or lurkers around here know him, since it seems he might have attended the recent 2005 conference in Brighton? Perhaps someone has a current email address for him and wouldn't mind helping you get in touch. Maybe they'll drop you a line here or contact you privately since you've provided an email address. If all else fails, maybe the people at Loretta Lay (www.laybooks.com) can help.

Dave
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jarett kobek
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 2:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Dave,

Judging from its yearbook, The Bugle is a very strange publication indeed-- there are no bylines, and its primary concern seems to be the oddest possible articles related to the surrounding area (which includes Eddowes's birthplace of Wolverhampton). The Bugle reads a bit like tabloid journalism with a focus not on the celebrities of the present but on the public figures, hauntings, and crimes of the distant, regional past. In all my years of hunting down articles for various reasons, it definitely ranks as one of the strangest finds.





One of the reasons that this article is of such interest to me is that I have read I think most commonly (and some not so commonly) available sources on Eddowes and have never come across such specific reference to any part of her life (other than her last few months in London.)

Thank you for the address for Mr. Froggatt-- I shall write him post haste and see if he can't provide some help in this matter. If anyone else has a faster way to get in touch (preferably email) than letter writing, it would be extraordinarly helpful.

In the meantime, I suggest that the sources Froggatt lists in his casebook article might be as good a place to start as any. These are:

The Evening Express and Star, Friday 5th October 1888

The Wolverhampton Chronicle, Wednesday 10th October 1888

I did a cursory check in OCLC/Worldcat to see if any libraries in the database have either of the papers, but the results were negative on both. Does anyone have a clue as to where they could be found? Would the British Library have them?

Thanks Dave and all,

Jarett
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David O'Flaherty
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Oberlin

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Jarett,

Mr. Froggatt might be able to help with those articles. If not, I'd try Wolverhampton Archives before the British Library.

Cheers,
Dave
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Chris Scott
Assistant Commissioner
Username: Chris

Post Number: 2247
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 2:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is the full article, kindly supplied by Jarett:

Black Country Bugle
January 1995

"KIDNEY" KATE EDDOWES - JACK THE RIPPER VICTIM WHO ONCE SOLD PENNY BALLADS AT BILSTON MARKET

The general assumption that all of the women butchered by Jack the Ripper during his reign of terror in London's East End, 106 years ago, were prostitutes, added posthumous insult to horrific injury for the maniacal murderer's fifth victim - "Kidney" Kate Eddowes.
Born at Wolverhampton in 1842, Catharine Eddowes' callous nickname was inspired by the fact that her left kidney was removed by the Ripper and half of it posted to the authorities with a covering letter which claimed that the sender had fried and eaten the other half and found it to be delicious. It was received in a cardboard box by Mr. George Lusk, chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee three days after the Ripper's "double event" on September 30th, 1888, when Elizabeth Stride (proven prostiute) preceded "Kidney Kate" by a few hours on the Ripper's list of victims.
"Long Liz" (as she was known to her clients) went under the kinfe at about 10 p.m. that night in Berner Street whilst Kate Eddowes died in Mitre Square in the early hours of the following morning (about 1.30 a.m.) after being released from cells at the local police station where she had slept off the results of a drunken binge and was considered sober enough for release at 1 a.m. The policeman who found her body (Constable watkins) described it as "ripped open like a pig for market." The overwhelming majority of strait laced Victorian sociery felt little, if any, sympathy for "street women" preyed upon by the Ripper - somen even hinted that "The Spitalfields Slayer" was carrying out a divine mission in attempting to decimate the ranks of prostitutes whose "filthy infections" (it was said)were catalysts for sex related diseases. These it was claimed were transmitted to respectable ranks of society by "family men" who could not resist the lure of the backstreet sirens whose conduct (as one devout clergyman put it) was mindful of a "stinking mess of putrefied corruption on the face of society" and was wildly cheered for his eloquence.
Was it fair to place Catharine Eddowes amidst the "gangrened gangs" of disease ridden slags who hawked their scabby wares around Spitalfields dark alleys at that time? After due research and deliberation, we think not. Though fond of the gin bottle and liable to comical or cantankerous conduct once she had emptied it, Kate Eddowes was a generally healthy and fairly industrious woman who often found, during her days in the East End, casual work on the Spitalfields market. At other times she enjoyed fruit and hop picking in rural Kent. In fact she had returned from a hop picking "holiday" there, only a couple of days before her fatal meeting with the Ripper in the early hours of the first day of October, 1888. But that is the end of her story.
It began, as earlier stated, in Wolverhampton where she was born in 1842. The Eddowes family, of Welsh extraction, originating from the Pontypool area, were part of the influx of job seeking workers who converged upon the Black Country from all directions during early 19th century industrial revolution.
George Eddowes (Snr.) was a colliery ostler / blacksmith who soon found employment at a Moxley coalpit and sent for his immediate family and other kinfolk as he became settled in the Bilston area. He later moved to Merridale Street, Wolverhampton, where he established a hay and corn merchant business to keep him in his old age. Some idea of the cosmopolitan mix of Wolverhampton's population in the middle of the last century can be gained from a glimpse of the 1851 census returns. George Eddowes then lived at No. 20 Merridale Street with several members of his family. Other "immigrants" who lived in the same street were John Gee (No 16) a "japanner" born at Shifnal, Shrops. John Hitchen (No. 17) clerk to Bass and Company (Burtom Brewers) was born at Retford (Notts.) His wife, Ann, was from Coalbrookdale (Shrops.) where their eldest daughter, Elizabeth (infant school governess) was also born whilst her 8 year old sister was the only member of the household who could claim Black Country birth. Also living at No. 17 and designated lodgers, were Jane Shore (National School governess) born at Liverpool and Sarah Bangham (seamstress) from Lurgashall (Sussex.)
At No. 18 Jane Waltho (wife of Henry Waltho - general grocer) originated from Kington (Herefordshire).
At No. 19 the head of the household, John Kirkham (caroenter was born in Moulsham (Essex) and his lodger, described as a "clerk to factor" was "Brummie."
At No. 21, the head of the household, Robert Butt (clerk to Oil and Grease Merchant) was from Neath (Glamorgan) though his wife, Martha (private milliner), son Alfred, and servant, Elizabeth Ellis, were all Wednesbury born.
At No. 22, William Slack (coal agent) born in Bolas (Shrops.) lived with his wife, Ann (born at Edgmond, Shrops.) and children, John (japanner's clerk) and Mary Ann (school mistress) both born at Bolas.
At No. 23 were James Brown (annuitant), his wife, Amelia, and married daughter Anne (Pringle) born at Berkswick (Staffs.), Whilston (Wilts.), and Kiddrminster (Worcs.) respectively.
At No. 25 the head of the household was Richard Garbett (Spirit and General Commission agent) boirn at Shelfied (Shrops.) His wife, Susannah, was from Whitgreave (Staffs.) whilst their children were all born at Shifnal (Shrops.)
This digression from the main theme of the article allows us a glimpse of Merridale Street 143 years ago as a mainly "immigrant" quarter - of salubrious status when the trades and professions of those listed are taken into account. It also indicates that George Eddwoes Snr. had prospered in life to earn a place amidst such exalted neighbours and must have counted his move from Pontypool a successful one.
Not that all of the Eddowes family found such a comfortable niche as New Wulfrunians. George Eddowes Jnr. (a Japanner by trade) had departed with his growing family for pastures new half a dozen years before. Had he stayed put long enough for inclusion on the 1851 census the family name would never have been dragged through the bloodstained mud of the Ripper murders a few decades later. Such is fate.
The move to Bermondsey (London) could be dubbed a disaster from the start. Unable to find regular work, George Eddowes turned to drink and his dependants suffered accordingly. When his wife passed away in 1855 their younger children, including Catharine, were taken into the workhouse. News of their plight eventually filtered back to Wolverhampton and Catharine was offered a home with her aunt who lived in Bilston Street.
The arrangement worked well for a time but ended in acrimony when Cathatrine was turned out for becoming romantically involved with an Irish ex-guardsman who earned a precarious living by selling penny ballads in and around public houses in the town. Catharine's aunt did not approve and gave her young charge the choice of finishing the affair or leaving her house. Her niece, young, headstrong and infatuated by the handsome and poetical Irishman, who signed himself Thomas Conway-Quinn, chose the latter and moved with the street ballad writer to Birmingham where her good looks and bubbling personality were definite assets as she helped him sell rhyme sheets around the streets and pubs of the old Hardware capital. Hangings, in particular, made Conway-Quinn's creative juices flow and when executions took place, they often journeyed to Warwick, Worcester or Stafford to make a killing as crowds of people who gathered for executions were willing to pay a penny to obtain a rhyming memento of the occasion.

Cousin of Kate who committed a crimson crime in 1866:
On one such trip to Stafford in January 1866 she experienced the trauma of seeing her own cousin, Christopher Robinson, hanged for the murder of his sweetheart at Wolverhampton - and then helping to sell copies of a scaffold ballad about him to the assembled crowd, estimated to number around 4000 persons on the fatal morning. Little did she known that some 20 years on her own name would echo and send a shudder throughout the land in connection with an even gorier murder!
They returned from Stafford in style, booking inside seats on Wards coach with proceeds from ballad sheet sales. It had been a profitable trip and after leaving the coach at Wolverhampton, the jubilant poet hired a donkey cart and set off with Catharine for Bilston where he ordered another 400 copies from Sam Sellman, the Church Street printer. Her quick wit and repartee had played a major part in selling so many copies of her poetical companion's ballad at Stafford and he rewarded her with the price of a flowered hat from Woolley's in Bilston High Street whilst he waited in the Market Tavern for Sam Sellman to run off the extra order which would be on sale at their regular pitch on the following Monday. Such was their lifestyle, comfortable at that time as they lived as man and wife for a spell in lodgings at Moxley. Conway-Quinn produced impromptu ballads about any event which captured the public interest and made a fair living from rhyming talents which, he considered, would be even more fully appreciated in London - hence their eventual move to the metropolis. In all, they remained together for some twenty years, producing three children. The second of these, George (born in 1868), she named after her father and grandfather, so she must have retained some family pride though the move to London rpoved to be an ill startted venture. Conway-Quinn took increasingly to the bottle and Catharine's life from then on went into a gradually descending spiral. She and the poet finally parted company in 1880 but she soon picked up with another Irishman - a brawny meat market porter named Jack Kelly. They were habitual drinkers in Spitalfields' low taverns that teemed with drunks, criminals and prostitutes but there is no evidence that Catharine Eddowes ever took to the game. She preferred to earn her gin money by cadging and occasional labouring work in Spitalfields Market - sometimes becoming a public nuisance when she drank too much.
Her last binge resulted in arrest for being drunk and disorderly on the evening prior to her horrific death. She was released from the cells at Bishopsgate police station at 1 a.m. with a caution not to hang about from the duty sergeant. "Don't worry, old c*ck," she is said to have replied. "Jack the Ripper won't get me. I know 'im and will soon be livin' it up on the reward." Within the hour her lacerated body was found in Mitre Square, about thirty minutes walk from the police station in Bishopsgate. Among other operations which her torso had been subjected to was the removal of her left kidney (said by the physician who carried out the post mortem to have required surgical skill and anatomical knowledge on the part of the remover.) A few days later Mr. George Lusk (chairman of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee) received, through the post, a small box containing half od a human kidney with a covering letter, address From Hell which read as follows:
Mr Lusk, Sir, I send you half the kidney I took from one woman, preserved it for you. Tother piece I fried and ate. It was very nice. I may send you the bloody knife which took it out if you only wait a while longer. Signed, Catch me when you can, Mr. Luck.
So died Catharine Eddowes. There is some irony in the fact that in the best years of her life she made a living from selling "Murder ballads" and in her worst was, herself, the subject of a "Ripping Rhyme" more macabre than anything Conway-Quinn ever wrote and conferred upon her, in the annals of red murder, the tasteless nickname, "Kidney" Kate.

Now listen, ladies of the town,
On who red Jack has got a down.
For pence you lift your petticoats,
For Love this gent will slit your throats,
And if there's time midst death's red spout
He'll cut and carve your kidneys out.
Like your late sister "Kidney" Kate
You might end up on Red Jack's plate
And like some other slags and sinners
Provide the Ripper's tasy dinners.

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