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More details about Dr. Morgan Davies

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  • More details about Dr. Morgan Davies

    The section I am currently typing up of the O'Donnell book makes reference to the story of Morgan Davies.
    I did some work on him for the "Cast of Thousands" but have since added a bit more.
    Below is what I have in note form to date:

    (c) 2004
    Dr. Morgan Davies
    Dr. Morgan Davies was the medic who was accused by R.D.Stephenson of being the murderer with a graphic description of his re-enactment of the murders in Stephenson's presence.
    According to the account furnished by Stephenson on 26 December 1888, he gives the following alleged information about Davies:
    - Stephenson and Davies discussed the murders almost nightly when Stephenson was a patient at the London Hospital
    - Davies opined that the murderer was impotent without some strong sexual stimulus such as sodomy, which he alleged the murdered performed on his victims.
    - Stephenson says he was a woman hater
    - Stephenson describes him as a man of powerful build
    - The enactment took place in the presence of five doctors when Davies acted out sodomy on an imaginary victim, then cutting her throat from behind and mutilating the body in a frenzy.
    - Davies was superficially calm immediately after this re-enactment, albeit his face was very pale.
    - Stephenson alleges that he was informed by the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette that Mary Kelly was sodomised.
    - According to Stephenson, Davies was a House Physician at the London Hospital.
    - Davies had recently acquired a house in Castle Street, Houndsditch.
    - Stephenson alleges that Davies said if things did not work out in his new home, he intended settling in Australia.
    What can we learn about Davies apart from what Stephenson tells us?
    Date of birth: All sources I have consulted agree that Davies was born in 1854 which means that at the time of the murders he would have been 34 years old.
    Place of birth: Herein lies a problem. The A-Z says that Davies was born and bred in Whitechapel and indeed the 1881 census and the 1901 census both say that he was born in Whitechapel. However, the 1891 census says that he was born in Llanwyrygan, Cardigan in Wales. Certainly his name is strongly Welsh. Looking at the birth records for 1854 under his name we find:
    1st Quarter (Jan-March)
    Davies, Morgan registered in Llandilofawr (Reference 11a 510)
    2nd Quarter (Apr-June)
    No possible matches
    3rd Quarter (July-September)
    No possible matches
    4th Quarter
    Davies, Morgan registered in Llanfyl (illegible) (Reference 11b 731)
    So, in short, for 1854 there are two, among the Morgan Davies entries, with a Llan.... registration district but no entry at all for Whitechapel. We must also remember that Davies' future wife was born and brought up in Cardigan (see below for marriage details)
    Census entries:
    In the 1881 census, Morgan Davies was 27 years old, still unmarried and was living at 37-38 Great Alie Street, Whitechapel and described as a Surgeon and Physician, specifically a House Surgeon. This unnamed institution (the census data gives only an address) was obviously considerable as it lists over 140 medical and domestic staff and over 560 patients. But I have yet to find out under what title this sizeable institution went. The head of this institution was one Thomas Peters.
    By the 1891 census, Davies is listed as a 37 year old married man and has set up his own household. His address is given as 5-9 Goring Street, Aldgate and his occupation is that of Registered General Practitioner. His wife's details are that she was called Margaret Davies, was 33 years of age and born in Cardigan.
    There are two others listed in the household:
    Jane E Julian , his step-daughter aged 8, born in Bow.
    Ann M Evans, his niece, aged 15, born in Cardigan.
    By the time of the 1901 census, the 47 year old Davies had moved to 10 Goring Street, just over the road from his 1891 address. He is described as a medical practitioner and the others in his household are as follows:
    His wife Margaret aged 42, born in Llanshipstead, Cardigan and three children. These were a daughter (first name unknown) aged 9 born in St Botolph Aldgate, a son of 5 named Geraint, and another son aged 3 named Georgeon, both also born in St Botolph Aldgate. There was one servant named Alice Draper, aged 21, born in Kennington, London.
    For reference, Goring Street is a very short thoroughfare very close to Mitre Square, which runs between Bevis Marks and Houndsditch.
    From the census data, it is apparent that Morgan Davies married certainly between the 1881 and 1891 censuses and probably between late 1888 and 1891, if Stephenson's account is to be believed in his descriptions of Davies' attitudes to women.
    There is only one marriage record during this period of an individual named Morgan Davies marrying a spouse whose first name was Margaret. this was registered in London City (which included St Botolph Aldgate) in June 1890 and shows that Morgan Davies married a Margaret Julian. Also listed on the entry is a Frank Mercer, who presumably was the witness.
    Looking at Davies' spouse, prior to their marriage, in the 1881 census, the only Margaret Julian of appropriate age and place of birth is a married woman living in Aberystwyth. She was married to David Julian, a grocer, and they lived at 8 Princess Street, Aberystwyth, Cardigan. They had one child named Sarah Rowland Julian who was 3 weeks old at the time of the census. This marriage must have produced at least one other child as Morgan Davies, in the 1891 data, is listed as having a step daughter called Jane E Julian aged 8 who was born in Bow.
    Additional information:
    The Medical Register 1887
    Davies, Morgan
    Address: 9 King Street, Finsbury Square, London EC
    Date and place of registration: 19 April 1881 E (England)
    M.B.,Mast. Surg. 1879
    M.D. 1884 Univ. Aberd.
    R. Coll. Surg. Eng.: Mem. 1879, Fell. 1882
    R. Coll. Phys. Lond.: Lic. 1880.
    Address from other editions of the Medical Register:
    1883: London Hospital, London E.
    1891: 10 Goring Street, St Mary Axe, London EC
    1895: 10 Goring Street
    1899: 10 Goring Street
    1903: 10 Goring Street
    1907: 10 Goring Street
    1911: 10 Goring Street
    1915: 10 Goring Street
    1919: 10 Goring Street
    1923: Not listed
    Date of death: currently not known
    Place of birth: Looking closely at the 1891 census again, the place of birth (comparing with places that do actually exist in Cardiganshire) is as follows:
    LLangwyryfon or Llangwyryvon
    "LLANGWYRYVON, or LLANGRWYDDON, (LLAN Y GWYRYDDON), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 8 miles (S. by E.) from Aberystwith"
    From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833
    There is NO birth of a Morgan Davies registered in Cardiganshire in 1854, but there were 4 births of that name in that county in 1855, all in the last quarter of that year.
    Two of these were registered in Aberystwyth, the other two being in Tregaron and Aberayron.
    This allows us to identify what I am certain is the later Dr. Davies in the 1861 Wales census:
    Tynewydd, Llangwyryfon, Wales
    Head: David Davies aged 77 born Llangwyryfon - "Formerly a hatter and Freeholding 7 acres"
    Wife: Jane Davies aged 73
    Jane aged 14 born London
    Morgan aged 7 born London
    This suggests that the apparent contradiction in place of birth - London or Wales - might be resolved in that Morgan and his sister may have been born in London but raised, for whatever reason, by their grandparents in Llangwyryfon. This still does not explain why Davies listed his place of birth in some censuses a London and in at least one as Wales.
    However, this may be a case of serendipity in that this suggests that the neither of the 1855 Morgan Davies births refer to the person we are seeking. In the 1861 census this Morgan is listed as7 years old, which is entirely consistent with later censuses. So this would suggest we are looking for a Morgan Davies born in 1854 in London.
    All censuses were held in early April of the relevant year, so for Morgan Davies to be 7 years old in April 1861 he would have to have been born in the first 3 months of 1854 or the latter 9 months of 1853. One census entry for him gives his place of birth not only as London, but specifically as Whitechapel. Within the time period outlined above, only ONE record fits the facts:
    Name: Morgan Davies
    Year of Registration: 1853
    Quarter of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec
    District: Whitechapel
    County: London, Middlesex
    Volume: 1c
    Page: 345
    One other document to which we have access is Davies's marriage certificate:
    Date: 18 June 1890
    Place: Parish Church, St Botolph, Aldgate
    Name: Morgan Davies
    Age: 36
    Condition: Bachelor
    Profession: Surgeon
    Residence: 10 Goring Street
    Father's name: John Davies
    Profession of father: Dairyman
    Name: Margaret Julian
    Age: 32
    Condition: Single and unmarried
    Residence: 46 Tabernacle Street
    Father's name: Evan Evans (deceased)
    Profession of father: Farmer
    So, as we speak, I am seeking two pieces in the jigsaw
    1) In the 1871 census there are a number of possible matches and I cannot yet isolate definitely which is Davies
    2) The date of his death: he disappears from the Medical Register some time between 1919 and 1923 - but was that due to his death or simply giving up practice?

  • #2
    Here is a copy of the marriage details:


    • #3
      Here is the 1861 census entry - Morgan and his sister with his grandparents:


      • #4
        To answer one of my own questions, a search of the Probate register shows that Morgan Davies went back in his final days to Wales and died there on 21 August 1920:


        • #5
          Goring Street, where Davies lived for so long, formed part of the beat of PV Harvey who found Eddowes' body in Mitre Square.
          From what I have seen the street is now entirely modern buildings.
          Does anyone have any period photos of Goring Street please?


          • #6
            Hello Chris

            I had thought, but might be mistaken, that we have been down this road before in regard to an obituary on Dr. Morgan Davies. Here is the one from the British Medical Journal 1920;2:416, 11 September 1920:

            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
   Hear sample song at

            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at


            • #7
              Hi Chris
              That is certainly new to me - thanks for posting
              Chris S


              • #8

                I am a rare visitor to the site these days, so have only just seen this thread.

                I have posted some info about Davies under the A-Z thread (discussion thread 2, post 22)

                If you haven't found him already, he is in Whitechapel with his father on the 1871 census, but surname is recorded as Davis rather than Davies.