12 October 1888
The adjourned inquest on the body of Catherine Eddowes, alias Kelly, aged 43, who was found murdered in Mitre Square on September 30, was resumed yesterday morning, at the city mortuary, Golden Lane, before Mr. S. F. Lanham, city coroner. Colonel Sir James Fraser, Major Smith, Superintendent Foster, and Detective Sergeant Outram represented the police authorities; and Mr. Crawford, the city solicitor, appeared for the London Corporation.
Dr. Sequira was the first witness called. He said he resided at 30, Jury-street, Aldgate. He was called to Mitre Square on the 30th of September, and was the first medical man to arrive. He reached the place about five minutes to two o'clock. He agreed with the medical evidence already given by Dr. Goodwin Brown and by Mr. Crawford. The place where the deceased was found was the darkest place in the locality; but there would be plenty of light for the murderer to see to inflict the injuries. He did not think that the murderer had any anatomical skill. Death must have been instantaneous after the severance of the neck and windpipe.
Dr. Saunders, medical officer of health and public analyst for the City of London, said he had received the stomach of the deceased for analysis, and had carefully examined its contents, more particularly for poisons of the narcotic class, with negative results. There was not the faintest trace of these or any other poisons. The witness added that he was present at the post-mortem examination of the body, and he had formed the opinion that the wounds were inflicted by some one who possessed no great amount of anatomical skill.
Annie Phillips, of Dilston Grove, Southwark, the wife of a lampblack packer, said she was a daughter of the deceased, who had always told her she was married to her father. Her father was Thomas Conway, a hawker. He left her mother suddenly, and she did not know what had become of him. They were not on very good terms; but he did not say they would never see him again when he left. She had never seen or heard of him since. He was a teetotaller, and he left her mother because she took to drink. The witness had not the slightest idea where he was now. He had never used any threats to the deceased. Her father had been in the 18th Royal Irish Regiment and was a pensioner. He left home between seven and eight years ago. The deceased often applied to the witness for money. She last applied to her about two years ago at a house in King-street, Bermondsey. She was not certain that her father was in the 18th Royal Irish; he might have been in the Connaught Regiment. She had never had a letter from her mother. She had seen Kelly in a lodging-house with the deceased, and they were living together as man and wife. She believed her father was living with her two brothers; but she did not know where they were. She saw her brothers from five to eighteen months ago, and she could not give the police the slightest clue to find them. She was not aware that her mother had lived with some one else recently. She saw nothing of the deceased on the day previous to her death.
Detective Sergeant Baxter Hunt said he had discovered a pensioner named Conway, of the 18th Royal Irish. Two of the deceased's sisters had seen him, and they had failed to recognise him as the man who used to live with the deceased. The witness had made every endeavour to trace the father and brothers of the last witness. The deceased's daughter had not seen Conway. Conway had received his pension in October last.
Dr. Brown, re-called, said he had no doubt the woman was murdered in the square.
Police Constable Roberts deposed that on the Saturday night previous to the murder the deceased was lying on the footway in High-street, Aldgate, drunk, surrounded by a crowd of people. He set her up against the shutters, yet she fell down again. He obtained assistance and conveyed her to the Bishops-gate police station, where she was asked what her name was. She replied, "Nothing." She was wearing an apron, which he identified as the one produced, a portion of which was found on the body, another portion being found in Gouldstone-street after the murder.
Police Sergeant James Bifield said he remembered the deceased being brought to the station on Saturday at about quarter to nine drunk. She remained at the station till 1 a.m., and gave her name as Mary Ann Kelly, of Fashion-street. She said she had be (sic) hopping in Kent.
George James Morris, watchman to Messrs. Kearley and Tonge, tea dealers, Mitre Square, was the next witness. He said that he went on duty at seven o'clock on Saturday evening, the 29th of September. At a quarter-past or quarter to two on the following morning Police Constable Watkins went to him and in a most agitated manner said, "Oh dear, here is another woman murdered in the corner." He had heard the description already given of the finding of the body, and he agreed with it. When the body was found he ran up Mitre-street into Aldgate and blew his whistle for police assistance. He did not see any suspicious person about at the time. He told two constables that there had been another terrible murder in Mitre Square.
The Coroner: Had you heard any noise in the square before you were called by Police Constable Watkins? No.--Had there been any cry of distress, would you have heard it? Yes.
George Clapp, 5, Mitre-street, Aldgate, caretaker, deposed that the part of the premises in which he slept looked into Mitre Square. During the night of Saturday, September 29, and until six o'clock the following morning, he heard no sounds in the square.
Police Constable Pierce (922, City), who resides at No. 3 Mitre Square, said he could from his bedroom window see plainly the spot where the body was found. He went to bed about twelve o'clock on Saturday, the 29th ult., and neither he nor any of his family heard any noise or disturbance. At 2.20 a.m. he was called to the scene by a constable.
Joseph Lawende, of 45, Norfolk Road, Dalston, a traveller, stated that on the Saturday night he and some friends stayed until 1.30 a.m. at the Imperial Club in Duke-street, Aldgate. The witness and his friends while on the way home saw a man and a woman standing at the corner of Church Passage. The witness only saw the man's back. He was taller than the woman. She wore a black dress and hat. The police had shown him the clothes of the deceased, and he believed they were the same. The man was wearing a cloth cap with a cloth peak.
By Mr. Crawford: The distance from the club to the spot where they saw the two persons was about ten yards. The man and woman were talking quietly, and there were no sounds of quarrelling.
Police Constable Alfred Long deposed to finding a portion of the deceased's apron in Gouldstone-street with smears of blood upon it. On a wall in the same street was written, "The Jews are the men that will not be blamed for nothing." The witness reported the fact to the inspector on duty at Commercial-street station.
Detective Halse, of the city police force, said that on hearing that a woman had been murdered in Mitre Square, he gave instructions to have the neighbourhood searched, and every one examined. It was decided to have the writing about the Jews rubbed out for fear of a riot. The writing was in chalk. It had the appearance of having been recently written. The witness protested against rubbing out the writing.
A juryman complained that the police, after finding the piece of apron in Gouldstone-street, had not prosecuted their inquiries by searching the model dwellings. The clue had been kept up to that time, and then it was lost.
Mr. Crawford said that he could call witnesses to prove that a vigilant search was made in all the dwelling-houses in and around Gouldstone-street.
Police Constable Long having returned with his pocket-book, which contained a copy of the writing from the wall, said his attention was afterwards called to the fact that the word "Jews" was spelt "Juews." After he found the piece of apron he searched the staircase leading into the buildings, but he made no inquiries from the tenants. The writing was rubbed out about five o'clock in the morning.
The Jury returned a verdict that the deceased was murdered by some person or persons unknown.