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 Catherine Eddowes

Catherine Eddowes

Birth
Wolverhampton, Metropolitan Borough of Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England
Death 30 Sep 1888 (aged 46)
Whitechapel, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England
Burial Newham, London Borough of Newham, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 1844 · View Source
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Victim of Jack the Ripper. She was the fourth of five confirmed Ripper victims. Most modern investigators and researchers believe that Jack the Ripper had more victims than the five confirmed ones. Catherine Eddows had lived for over ten years with Thomas Conway, the father of her two sons and a daughter. The sons still lived with their father, while the daughter was married to a lampblack packer. Catherine Eddows had left Conway due to her addiction to alcohol about 1880. Since 1881, she had been living with John Kelly as a common law wife at a lodging house at 55 Flower and Dean Streets, in Spitalfields. Their arrangement was that each would pay for half of the room, eight cents a night. Thin, with high cheekbones, dark eyes and black hair, she was considered still pretty despite the hardships and poverty of her life. During the harvest season in August and September, she and Kelly would join the thousands of migrant workers in the farming district of Kent, helping to gather in the harvest of hops for the money. In the clean air of the countryside, they slept in the barns, earning a shilling for each bushel of hops they gathered. Despite the work, they had just returned to London broke, about two nights before her death. Kelly would testify at her inquest that she was not a woman of the streets, as he did not tolerate her being with another man. The morning of her death, they had pawned his boots so they could purchase food; the pawn ticket was found on her body. That afternoon she told Kelly that she would borrow a few pennies from her married daughter, and at 8:30 pm the police arrested her for public drunkenness (she often sang loudly when drunk, making a nuisance of herself to more proper passersby). She would spend the next several hours at the Bishopsgate Police Station. Despite still being intoxicated, she was released shortly after 1:00 am since the police figured she would go home; all of the nearby taverns had already closed for the night. She walked to the poorly lit Mitre Square, about a ten-minute walk from the Bishopsgate Police Station. Mitre Square was towards the center of London, away from where she lived with Kelly, and was about a twenty minute walk from the clubhouse of the International Working Men's Educational Club (IWMEC), where Ripper victim Elizabeth Stride had been murdered just thirty minutes earlier. Police Constable Edward Watkins discovered her body at 1:44 am, lying in a dark corner at Mitre Square; Constable Watkins had patrolled Mitre Square at 1:20 am, and had not noticed anything unusual then. Watkins immediately alerted other police. The body of Catherine Eddowes had been left lying on her back, her dress was bunched up, exposing her abdomen which had been sliced open and her intestines and organs cut out and left on the ground next to her. Her throat had been sliced open, and her body was horribly mutilated. Unlike earlier Ripper victims, her face was deeply cut with multiple slices and was completely disfigured. Police Doctor Gordon Brown was immediately summoned to the scene and determined that she had died just after 1:30 am. The police transported her body to the Golden Lane mortuary, where doctors performed a postmortem examination. Chief Inspector Donald Swanson would later testify at her inquest that her face was damaged "almost beyond identity." Most modern investigators believe this Ripper murder marked an increased escalation in his rage against women.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1844
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Catherine Eddowes (14 Apr 1842–30 Sep 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1844, citing City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Newham, London Borough of Newham, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .