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Times (London)
2 July 1889


Mr. A. Braxton Hicks, the Mid-Surrey Coroner, resumed yesterday at the Star and Garter, Battersea, the inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of the woman whose mutilated remains, minus the head and some of the internal organs, were found in various parts of the Thames, in Battersea-park, and on the Chelsea Embankment.

Inspector Tunbridge and Detective-sergeant Briggs watched the case on behalf of the police.

On the opening of the proceedings at a few minutes past 12, the Coroner called Frederick Chinn, 493 T, stationed at Fulham, who ‘said that on June 7 he received the right foot and leg from Inspector Brown and removed it to the mortuary, this concluding the evidence of discovering the remains.

Catherine Jackson said she was the wife of a stone-mason, and was an inmate of Chelsea Workhouse. She had a daughter named Elizabeth, who was 24 on the 18th of last March. She saw her last on May 31. She was about 5ft. 5in. in height, very well formed, stout and plump, and her hands were in tidy condition as she had not done much work lately. Had never seen her bite her nails and did not notice them on this occasion. She had a beautiful set of teeth and they were all perfect. She had a fair complexion, hair rather golden. At the time she saw her she was wearing an ulster. She met her daughter casually in Queen’s-road, and the latter ran away when she saw her, but she stopped her and was with her on and off all the afternoon. The daughter said she ran away because she was ashamed to meet her mother. Had not seen her previously since the 6th of October. A piece of the ulster in which parts of the remains were found being produced, witness said she believed that to be part of the ulster she was wearing. It was the same pattern, as was also the button found on another portion produced. Witness noticed while they were together that she was pregnant, and asked her about it, and she said she expected to be confined in September and that the father was the main she was living with, whose name she mentioned—Jack Faircloth. She gave witness to understand that they had lived together at Ipswich, but getting no work to do they came to Poplar and afterwards to Battersea, where the man deserted her suddenly on the previous Monday, telling her he was coming back to dinner, but he never returned. Prior to this she had been in service and been in correspondence with her father and sister. When she left she promised to meet witness again on the following Saturday but never turned up. During their conversation she made no other communication about her recent life save what witness mentioned. She had been in service in Chelsea from the age of 16, and had generally been a good girl and held good situations. So far as she could learn, she had never gone wrong till seven months ago, and her ruin was not traceable to this man but to her love of company. Her daughter had a scar under one of her arms through cutting it was a vase about 12 years ago. It was about three inches long, but witness could not remember on which arm it was.

By the Jury.—She was about 12 years old, and the case fell off the mantelpiece and broke on her arm.

By the CORONER.—She was a proper, respectable girl till about seven months ago, as she had heard. If anything had happened previously she was unaware of it.

Mary Jackson, who said she was the daughter of the last witness, gave evidence of a similar character. In reply to the jury, witness said her sister used to wear a ring, a brass wedding-ring, as she wanted it to be thought she was married to Faircloth.

Marie Girards was the next witness called, and said she lived at 16, Lavender-sweep, Battersea, and was a dressmaker. She identified the pieces of ulster produced as having belonged to her, not only by the pattern but the make and the button. The make was peculiar, and she had no doubt about it. The ulster in question she gave away about three months ago to a Mrs. Minter, of Cheyne-road, Chelsea. Pressed again as to the identity, witness said she could have no possible doubt whatever about it.

Annie Jackson said she was sister to Mary and Elizabeth. The last-named was communicative with her, and she always knew most about her. After recapitulating much of Mary Jackson’s evidence she said that last August she saw her in Turk’s row, talking to a man. When she left him she came up and spoke to her. Witness thought by the way she was going on that she had gone wrong and accused her of it, but she denied it.

The CORONER said he had a great deal of important testimony which must be reserved for the next sitting.

Dr. Felix Kempster was then recalled, and stated that since the last inquiry he had carefully examined both arms lying in the mortuary, and, after scraping away the skin, found on one a scar from one and three-quarter to three inches in length. There was also a trifling scar some three-quarters of an inch long on the other arm. The marks were very faint and could not be found till the skin was scraped away, and the smaller scar was concealed by the skin being puckered over it. A ring had also evidently been worn on the ring finger.

The inquiry was then adjourned till Thursday next, and the CORONER said that he should issue an order for the burial of the remains in the name of Elizabeth Jackson.

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