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Charles Lechmere’s Lair?

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  • From the evidence of the 1861 census, while Maria was living in Thomas (Pinchin) Street and her young ‘husband’ (they weren’t legally married because her first husband was still alive) was grappling with the local tigresses and their bullies (pimps), her sister Charlotte was living at The Court, Monnington-on-Wye in Herefordshire. Charlotte’s husband was the butler to the Rev Gilbert Lewis, Canon of Worcester Cathedral and a local magistrate, who was resident at the Monnington Rectory.

    Exactly where at Monnington Court Charlotte and her children were housed isn’t known, but it would have been a very different environment from Tiger Bay.

    The Court:
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    • And here’s the Rectory:
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      • The Berner Street School opened (or was completed in 1886.
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        • Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
          The Berner Street School opened (or was completed in 1886.
          Thanks, Rob. My great aunt ‘Lizzie Mac’ went there a bit later, so I always access their registers through her. I discovered one family in the registers whose address was 34, Christian Street in the 1880s, but they weren’t in the catsmeat game.

          I have a vague memory that there were two Berner Street schools? That could be wrong.

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          • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

            Thanks, Rob. My great aunt ‘Lizzie Mac’ went there a bit later, so I always access their registers through her. I discovered one family in the registers whose address was 34, Christian Street in the 1880s, but they weren’t in the catsmeat game.

            I have a vague memory that there were two Berner Street schools? That could be wrong.
            The registers of the Berner Street School that Lizzie Mac went to go back to 1879. I think it was on the other side of the road from the board school. Did the earlier school merge with the new one, I wonder?

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            • There was a Board School just north of Batty Gardens which was disused in 1899. I think it would have been at the rear of the Laundry Building? It was in the 1889 directory. The new one on the corner with Fairclough Street is not on the street directory for 1889 or 1895.

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              • Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
                There was a Board School just north of Batty Gardens which was disused in 1899. I think it would have been at the rear of the Laundry Building? It was in the 1889 directory. The new one on the corner with Fairclough Street is not on the street directory for 1889 or 1895.
                Thanks, Rob. Is the 1889 directory available online?

                I called in at the Bishopsgate Institute after my last visit to BCL hoping to consult their directories to see if I could discover who was selling catsmeat in St George’s in 1889 +/- a year, but the library and archives aren’t open to walk-ins at the moment.

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                • I only have a few pages for the 1889, I got photocopies from Tower Hamlets Local History Library a few years back. I do have most of the street directory from 1888. Number 2 is where the metal burial vessel was made for the Pinchin Street remains.
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                  • Thanks Rob.

                    I was aware that the remains were interred in a metal cannister of some kind, but I didn’t know it was made at 2BL.

                    If the occupier of no. 4 was a coal dealer, perhaps he used the arches to store his stock.

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                    • There was 'Wooden Hoops Stored' on the 1890 Goad Map. Behind 2 and 4 , I wonder if this was connected to the arches as well?

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                      • Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
                        There was 'Wooden Hoops Stored' on the 1890 Goad Map. Behind 2 and 4 , I wonder if this was connected to the arches as well?
                        Yes, could be. I think it’s unlikely that the catsmeat vendor(s) using the sheds would have required the use of the arches.

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                        • There doesn't seem to be much room in that space. About 8 feet deep and 10 feet wide. Not much difference to Mary Kellys room.

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                          • Originally posted by Rob Clack View Post
                            There doesn't seem to be much room in that space. About 8 feet deep and 10 feet wide. Not much difference to Mary Kellys room.
                            Times 2?

                            Big enough for a catsmeat shop and a body or two I’d have thought.

                            I wonder if the metal bridges we see now are original or whether they were added later after a certain amount of structural alteration. It will be interesting to hear what Ed has to say if he gets down there at the weekend.

                            I’m going to Dorset for a while and my Ripperological endeavours, both online and off, will be on hold for a while.





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                            • Wasn't one number 6 and the other number 8? I'm pretty certain the bridges have changed.
                              Enjoy your time in Dorset.

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                              • Just got back.
                                If we call the three lines:

                                Line 1 - London and Blackwall Railway, later Great Eastern Railway to Fenchurch Street Station opened in 1840.
                                The original, most southerly line, was a viaduct with evenly spaced arches supporting the track. The same line with the same arches continued to Swallow Gardens where Francis Coles was murdered. Some of the smaller roads that go under this line, go through one of the arches but the bigger roads such as Leman Street, Backchurch Lane or Christian Street all have iron bridges. I think they are original as the butressing to support the bridges was clearly built at the same time as the arches of the viaduct.
                                Behind the sheds which comprised 6 and 8 Backchurch Lane was a solid wall with no sign of an opening. The arch behind would probably have been accessible from 4 Backchurch Lane (as described above). There is a brick set in the pavement in front of the recess that would have contained 6 and 8, that marks the front of those units and it is level with the front of the openings (of wood with the poster) that we mistakenly thought were 6 and 8. The big guy from Wigan allegedly called Al pointed this brick out to me as an old feature. I don't think these sheds had masonry sides.
                                Leman Street Station was immediately to the west of the Backchurch Street bridge.

                                Line 2 primarily served Haydon Square Goods Depot, which is why the track curves off north from Line 1, but it also accommodated the extension of the above line from 2 to 4 tracks which opened in 1893.
                                This line was constructed piecemeal. Some parts were clearly originally only one track width. It was then extended to just east of Backchurch Lane as two track. Finally in 1893 a bridge was constructed over Backchurch Lane to continue the track to Fenchurch Street and Haydon Square.
                                Frederick Street runs under this raised railway and the houses on Frederick Street were demolished when it was constructed.
                                This viaduct is not constructed of arches. The track is supported by piers or walls running lengthwise. Hence Frederick Street ran under it. On the opposite side of Backchurch Lane and accessible, long tunnel still runs under the track.

                                Line 3 is the most northerly and was constructed by 1886 and contained the arch under which the Pinchin Street Torso was found. The track is on a viaduct supported by similar arches to Line 1. Frederick Street emerges from one of the arches but the main bridge over Backchurch Lane was iron. The viaduct led on a curve to Commercial Road Goods Depot.

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