|Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide|
|This text is from the E-book Jack the Ripper: A Suspect Guide by Christopher J. Morley (2005). Click here to return to the table of contents. The text is unedited, and any errors or omissions rest with the author. Our thanks go out to Christopher J. Morley for his permission to publish his E-book.|
Dr. John Williams
In the book Uncle Jack, author Tony Williams, and co-author Humphrey Price, present to us an entirely new Ripper suspect in the form of the eminent Victorian doctor Sir John Williams. Tony Williams, a distant descendent of Sir John, became suspicious of his illustrious ancestor when he chanced upon a handwritten letter held at the National Library of Wales, along with Sir John's personal possessions. A letter by Dr Williams to a person called Morgan, credited as Dr Morgan Davis, an alleged Ripper suspect himself.
In the letter, the Dr makes his apologies for not been able to meet as arranged, as he would be attending a clinic in Whitechapel. The letter was dated 8 September 1888, the date the second Ripper victim Annie Chapman was murdered in Hanbury Street. Also found among the doctor's possessions where a surgical knife, about six inches in length, so well used that the point had been snapped off. A diary belonging to Sir John from 1888, with many pages missing. And a document from 1885 which listed an abortion he had performed on a woman called Mary Anne Nichols, (the name of the first Ripper victim was Mary Ann Nichols, without an extra e).
Tony Williams, in presenting his theory against Dr Williams, also makes the following claims.
That the Ripper victims, at one time or another, may have attended the Whitechapel Workhouse infirmary while Dr Williams may have worked there. That he may have known Mary Kelly while residing in Wales, and that they were both possibly lovers. That he resembled in likeness the description of the man seen by George Hutchinson with Mary Kelly shortly before she was murdered. That the motive for his murderous rampage was due to his wife's inability to have children. Dr Williams, desperate to have children, and intent on looking for a answer to his wife's infertility, used the women of the East End as guinea pigs on which to practice his surgical skills, in the hope of finding a cure for infertility. When this failed to provide the answers, he took this a stage further. He removed the organs from his victims to complete his research, and as the authors claim, perhaps may even have gone so far as to attempt to transplant these organs into his infertile wife. Lastly, that the reason for the cessation of the murders was that after murdering his former lover Mary Kelly, he suffered a breakdown, which resulted in his and Jack the Ripper's early retirement.
John Williams was born 6 November 1840 in Blaenllynant, Gwynfe, Carmarthenshire, Wales. His father David Williams, was a farmer and Congregationalist minister, who died from typhoid fever when John was two years old. His mother Elinor, was described as a strongly religious character, with high standards and expectations. She would stay and farm Blaenllynant after the death of her husband.
Instead of following a career in the ministry like his mother whished, John Williams chose a career in medicine. He attended the Normal school in Swansea, and in 1857 studied mathematics at Glasgow University. He returned to Wales in July 1859 where he was apprenticed to surgeons and apothecaries at Swansea. In 1861 he studied medicine at University College Hospital, Gower Street, London, and gained his MRCS, MB, MD, and was a prize winning student. After qualifying he returned to Wales and began working as a GP in Swansea.
It was while in Swansea that he would join the Freemasons.
It was at this time he met his wife to be, Mary Elisabeth Ann Hughes, known as Lizzie. She was described as a refined, religious girl. She was the daughter of a Welsh industrialist Richard Hughes. The couple were married in 1872, he was 32 years of age she 22.
The couple moved to London, where he quickly gained a reputation as a leading Obstetrician. He would become President of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He retired from his London practice in 1903 and moved to Aberystwyth Wales. His wife Lizzie died in 1915, whereupon Sir John threw all his energies into establishing the National Library of Wales, and donated 25,000 books from his personal collection. Considered by his peers as a vain, difficult and aggressive man, he was knighted in 1902, and died on 24 May 1926 at the age of 86.
Research and debate is continuing on Dr John Williams.
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