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Barnett's marriage as listed in the 1911 census

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  • Barnett's marriage as listed in the 1911 census

    The 1911 census record for Joseph Barnett is intriguing.
    He is listed as a "household" of one, with no family or other residents listed.
    The details given for 1911 are as follows:
    Name and Surname: Joseph Barnett
    Relationship in Family: Head
    Age: 53 (i.e. born 1858)
    Status: Married
    Completed years of marriage: 23
    Total children born: None
    Occupation: Market porter (Fish)
    Industry or service: Billingsgate
    Status: Worker
    Birthplace: London Whitechapel
    Postal Address: 60 Red Lion Street, E.
    The entry also includes his signature.
    The significance is not immediately apparent. For the 1911 census the form on which the information was entered was substantially reworked and some fields were included for the first time. One of these was the length of marriage completed.
    From this item of info on Barnett's census entry, it is being claimed that as of 1911 Barnett had achieved 23 years of "completed marriage" and this means that his marriage dates, allegedly from or before April (always the month of the census) of 1888, the very year of the murders.
    What are we to make of this?

    I am attaching his signature and a copy of the main details:

  • #2
    Dear Chris:

    Outstanding find,sir.
    A while back you ( Nina likewise located the article) put up an article which mentioned Barnett being chatted up by press representatives ( the "roaring drunk" article...which was found in an American paper ).

    In that article, there was mention of a woman living with Barnett at that time. I'll go find that and put the link up....and see if I can locate that other article ( I have a hunch that it came from the Mid South of the US)

    Thanks tons for this Chris !!!
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    • #3

      Here are two links Chris....

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      • #4
        Hi Chris,
        There was a thread on casebook about this started by Mark Ripper, with some interesting follow up information you might be interested in.

        The thread is here
        Mark found that Joseph's wife was named Louisa and was in the workhouse at the time of the 1911 census.

        Mark also posted the signature from Barnett's porters licence from Paley's book for a comparison with this 1911 census signature.



        • #5

          Thanks for that info and kudos to Mark Ripper as well !
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          • #6
            Was there a Louisa who testified at the inquest?

            The description should read a "notorious Whitechapel character" which doesn't bode well for her marriageability considering Barnett's attitude toward the ladies of the night...


            • #7

              I'm glad that ,as usual, you reminded me of something which I'll get to in a moment.

              Before I do...this attitude Barnett is supposed to have had towards prostitutes can't, honestly, be demonstrated and is only hearsay. For all we know, he may have been with one,fifty,or no prosses after Kelly's murder.
              Its just like the basis of Paley's theory of Barnett as Ripper...that he had echolalia...which cannot be proven.
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              • #8
                You're right Howard

                He didn't have any objection to shacking up with an ex-prostitute as long as it gave him some semblance of a relationship

                He seemed to move in very quickly with Kelly so he was either very trusting or very naive - or he didn't mind what may occur in the future

                At least he doesn't seem to be the type to be a ponce or a pimp

                His signature looks quite educated


                • #9
                  This is the article that both Nina Brown and Chris Scott found a while back and refers to what Nemo mentioned in the previous post :

                  Notice the emboldened sentence at the bottom

                  I've copied it and placed it here so we don't have to go back and forth between links.

                  Is it just possible that ( just thinking out loud here ) that Barnett was married prior to Kelly's death...but not to Kelly ? In essence, Barnett, a previously married man, living with Kelly ?

         it possible that Barnett was married to Kelly ( we've seen references to the two as being married after her murder ) but there is no record of the marriage and it may have been a "common law" marriage or a relationship that Barnett would consider as living in a "married" state ?

                  Or....did Barnett marry someone after Kelly's murder...from November 9th to Dec. 31st,1888....which would fit the 23 years married mentioned on the census report Chris Scott provided ?

                  Wheeling Register (Wheeling, West Virginia)
                  November 18, 1888

                  ABOUT WHITECHAPEL

                  Gossip Concerning the Fiend’s Latest Atrocity

                  LONDON, NOVEMBER 18 - In England there is not much interest in anything just now but the Whitechapel murders and the details surrounding it, Warren’s resignation, etc. As I wrote you last week, either Warren or the Home Secretary Matthews had to go in obedience to public clamor, and Matthews was sufficiently clever to maneuver Warren’s neck under the ax of popular favor. People are not satisfied yet, however. The Tories declare that Matthews should go instead of Warren; the Liberals declare that both should have been turned out, and it is very likely that the Whitechapel killer will have the honor of overturning a Cabinet Minister as well as the Chief Commissioner of Police.

                  About the mysterious murders nothing more is known and fresh ones are expected. Some clever individual having invented a detailed description of the man seen walking about with Mary Kelly just before she was murdered, has been hired at five times his usual salary to walk about with the police and try to see the man again. It has been pointed out that the murders have all been committed at changes of the moon, which is taken as strengthening the lunatic theory. Four men in one day, having got drunk, conceived the notion of personating the great murderer. Each howled out in the street that he had just cut up another woman. Each was pelted for his pains by a mob and each is now doing two weeks.

                  One young German has got an exalted notion of English Puritanism and respectability. He landed in this country on Tuesday or Wednesday. He stared, perhaps, a little impolitely at a woman on the Whitechapel road. A quarter of an hour later some policeman rescued him, much injured, from a furious mob and took him to the lockup. He was let go on his statement that he was going to America. The woman had cried out that he was “Jack, the Ripper, the Whitechapel murderer,” but the German, who did not understand a word of English, thought all the demonstration was brought about by her English feelings of propriety being shocked by his indiscreet staring.Last week I saw the man, Joe Barnett, who had lived with the woman Kelly up to a short time before she was butchered. He then begged for money to bury his poor dear, and wanted it understood that he ‘ad a ‘art as well as men with black coats on. He was furiously drunk at the inquest and is living with a certain not pious Whitechapel character who testified at the inquest and became enamored of the drunken brute because, as she said, of the romantic interest attaching to him, which illustrates life in London’s slums. Kelly’s remains will be buried on Monday.
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                  • #10
                    I'm sure that should read "notorious" instead of "not pious"

                    Wouldn't the "romantic interest" be by women of the general public who sometimes have a ghoulish fascination with the characters in such court cases?

                    Being a worker and with his decent morals on show, he might have been considered quite a catch for an East End woman

                    It is stated that the 23 years must run from April 1888, but might not someone who was married in say May, have their previous year of marriage noted the following year

                    ie someone not married in April 1888 would appear so in the census, but in April 1889 they would be noted as having been married for 1 year even if they married quite late in 1888?


                    • #11

                      My two cents on the matter is that if Mr. X and Ms. Y are said to have been married at anytime in the year 1000, then at anytime in the year 1023, it can be said they were married for 23 years.

                      However, technically, thats obviously not the case. I personally leave that up to Chris or someone else more well versed in the census/genealogy aspects as they would know the correct way these things are listed. I wouldn't know whether they, the census people, accepted "ballpark" figures on U.K. censuses.
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                      • #12
                        IF there is any validity in the info about the marriage given in the 1911 census, then as of April 1911 (the date of the census) Barnett's marriage had completed 23 years. To make this completely clear, the column on the census return form that specifies this is headed: "Completed years the present marriage has lasted."
                        This means that if this info is correct, Barnett would have married between April 1887 and April 1888.
                        In the 3rd quarter (July to September) of 1887 the marriage took place in Hackney of a Joseph Barnett. All the people listed on the relevant register page are:
                        Edward Henry Aldrich
                        Joseph Barnett
                        Emily Alexandra Johnson
                        Louise Rowe
                        The 1891 census lists Edward H Aldrich, living at 94 Forbury Road, Shoreditch, with his wife Emily A. This shows that Joseph Barnett married Louise Rowe.
                        If I find anything more I'll post here


                        • #13
                          That is a good find, Chris.
                          So either this Joseph Barnett was already married when he 'took up' with Mary Jane,or he isn't the right Joseph Barnett (and this is the same one identified by Paley isn't it?)


                          • #14
                            I wonder if it was the Louise Rowe who was the barmaid at the Victory 266 Commercial Rd in 1881?


                            • #15
                              If the one I think the most likely turns out to be right, her birth name was actually Louisa, not Louise.
                              She is listed in 1871 and 1881 as the Southwark born daughter of John Rowe, a butcher and she is aged 7 in 1871. Her name is given as Louise E Rowe. However, for that period (1863/4) there is only one Rowe female with the right middle initial born in Southwark. In the last quarter of 1863 there is listed registered at St George's, Southwark, a Louisa Eliza Rowe (see below)
                              If this is her, she would have been aged 24 at the time of the marriage.
                              Her listing in the two censuses is as follows:

                              2 Appach Road, Lambeth
                              Head: John Rowe aged 65 born Nether Compton, Dorset - Retired butcher
                              Wife: Alice aged 54 born lambeth
                              Daughter: Louise E aged 17 born Southwark
                              10 Victoria Terrace, Lambeth
                              Head: John Rowe aged 55 born Nether Compton - Butcher
                              Wife: Alice aged 45 born Lambeth
                              Phoebe aged 22
                              Louise E aged 7
                              Both born Southwark