East London Advertiser
Saturday, 24 November 1888.
FUNERAL OF THE LAST VICTIM.
The remains of the unfortunate woman, Marie Jeanette Kelly, who was murdered on November 9th, in Miller's-Court, Dorset-street, Spitalfields, were carried on Monday from the Shoreditch mortuary to the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Leytonstone, for interment, amidst a scene of turbulent excitement. On the afternoon of the murder the body of the murdered woman was conveyed to the mortuary attached to St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, and there it remained until on Monday. Since the inquest a great amount of sympathy for the fate of the unhappy creature has been created, but it remained for Mr. H. Wilton, the sexton attached to Shoreditch Church, to put sympathy into a practical form, and as no relatives have appeared he incurred the total cost of the funeral himself. Mr. Wilton has been sexton for over 50 years, and he provided the funeral as a mark of sincere sympathy with the poor people of the neighbourhood, in whose welfare he is deeply interested. The body was enclosed in a polished elm and oak coffin, with metal mounts. On the coffin plate were engraved the words: "Marie Jeanette Kelly, died 9th Nov. 1888, aged 25 years." Upon the coffin were two crowns of artificial flowers and a cross made up of heartsease. The coffin was carried in an open car drawn by two horses, and two coaches followed. An enormous crowd of people assembled at an early hour, completely blocking the thoroughfare, and a large number of police were engaged in keeping order. The bell of St. Leonard's began tolling at noon, and the signal appeared to draw all the residents in the neighbourhood together. There was an enormous preponderance of women in the crowd, and scarcely any had any covering to their heads. The wreaths upon the coffin bore cards inscribed with remembrances from friends using certain public-houses in common with the murdered woman. As the coffin appeared, borne on the shoulders of four men, at the principal gate of the church, the crowd appeared to be greatly affected. Round the open car in which it was to be placed men and women struggled desperately to get to touch the coffin. Women with faces streaming with tears cried out "God forgive her!" and every man's head was bared in token of sympathy. The site was quite remarkable, and the emotion natural and unconstrained. Two mourning coaches followed, one containing three, and the other five persons - mourners who had been fortifying themselves for the journey at a public house close to the church gates. Joe Barnett was amongst them, with someone from M'Carthy's, the landlord; and the others were women who had given evidence at the inquest. After a tremendous struggle, the car, with the coffin fully exposed to view, set out at a very slow pace, all the crowd appearing to move off simultaneously in attendance. The traffic was blocked, and the constables had great difficulty in obtaining free passage for the small procession through the mass of carts, vans and tramcars.
ANOTHER SUPPOSED OUTRAGE.
Early on Wednesday, what was at first believed to be another murder of a kind similar to those which have recently created so much horror and consternation in the East End was reported. Fortunately, the occurrence was not so tragic as the previous outrages, and, as far as can be ascertained, may have been one of the ordinary character, and totally unconnected with the ghastly murders which have taken place during the past four months. The intended victim in this case is a woman known indifferently as "Tilly" and "Flossie." None of her acquaintances appear ever to have heard her surname. She is said to be the wife of a respectable tradesman in Clerkenwell, who, in consequence of her dissipated habits, had separated from her, but allowed her 10s. a week. The alimony has lately, it is understood, been stopped on account of the woman's course of life. She has three children at school, supported by the father, and is a fairly well educated woman of about 30 years of age. Her own statement of the circumstances attending the presumed attempt upon her life is that she has been living in Spitalfields or the vicinity for nearly four years. She had been wandering about the streets all night, having no money to pay for a lodging, and at 7 o'clock in the morning she was accosted by a man who inquired the reason of her early appearance, and on being informed, inquired the price of double beds in a lodging-house. The price was 8d., and the man, described as being tall and dark, thereupon took the woman to a common lodging-house in George-street, Commercial-street. There they remained till 9 o'clock, when the woman ran down the stairs screaming that "he had tried to murder her." Following her came the man, after whom two or three persons started in what was evidently not a very enthusiastic pursuit, inasmuch as he evaded them by the simple device of turning down a side-street, upon which they gave up the pursuit. Another man was standing at the door of the lodging-house when the criminal came down with a hue and cry after him, but - and the witness's own suggestion is significant - he thought that the person pursued was only a common thief, and therefore did not think of trying to arrest him.
What actually passed between the two actors in the scene is not at present known, but the principal fact is that the woman was not seriously injured, inasmuch as the slight scratch on her throat, inflicted, she says, with a knife, was not so dangerous as to prevent her offering to walk to the police station in Commercial-street, to which the police, with an exaggerated idea of her injuries, insisting on carrying her in an ambulance. One circumstance which may seem to disconnect the crime with other recent outrages is that the woman asserts that she has known her assailant for over 12 months.
A small crowd gathered round the lodging-house during the day, and one or two so-called arrests were made - so-called, inasmuch as they were merely those of persons who were taken charge of by the police to protect them from idle and malicious suggestions which might have resulted in personal injury. The general opinion, however, is that if any crime was really attempted it would, consummated, have been what for the sake of contradiction in this particular, must be called an ordinary murder.
SUICIDE BY A SHOEMAKER AT POPLAR. - A shoemaker named Robert Buchan, aged 40, of Robin Hood-lane, Poplar, committed suicide on Monday morning by cutting his throat. The act was seen by a neighbour, who was unable to prevent the deceased from carrying out his purpose. The reason for the suicide is unknown.