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Dr Killeen of Brick Lane

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  • The original photo is in a sealed frame behind glass. The owner has provided this additional copy. It’s perhaps not as sharp as the first, but there are no reflections. Good enough for our purposes I’d say.

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    • Click image for larger version

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      The Killeen family have generously shared some photos of a testimonial booklet produced for Dr. Killeen in 1888. It was printed in Ennis near the family home at Clonfeigh and may well have been shown or sent to Dr Swyer when Killeen joined his practice.

      The booklet contains numerous individual testimonials from senior Dublin medical men under whom Killeen had studied or with whom he had worked. I will transcribe one or two later to give a flavour of how he was perceived by his colleagues, but for now here’s a photo of the front cover - complete with what look like blood stains.

      Note: Click on the picture to get a clearer image.

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      • EXAMPLE TESTIMONIAL:


        I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Timothy R. Killeen during the whole period of his Studentship, and have much satisfaction in adding my testimony to that of many other friends as to his abilities, industry, and good conduct during the entire time referred to. By his upright and straightforward demeanour, he has succeeded in gaining the confidence of his seniors in the profession, and has always won the hearts of the poor patients entrusted to his charge, by unvarying attention and skilful care.

        He has, to my personal knowledge, embraced every opportunity of attaining a thorough knowledge of the various departments of professional knowledge, both theoretical and practical, and has also, as all his teachers can testify, attained an unusually high proficiency in each.

        I know of no student who has left any of our institutions, during the last decade, to whose will and opinion I could attach greater value, and I sincerely hope that his future career, in which I shall always take the warmest interest, will be the deserved reward of the work, which as a student he has so thoroughly well done.

        I know of no professional appointment, to which Dr. Killeen can be eligible, for which I will not cordially recommend him, and I feel confident that he will fulfil, with honour to himself, and with the greatest advantage to his patients, any trust which he may hereafter be charged in the practice of his profession.



        J. FREEMAN KNOTT M.K.Q.C.P.L., M R.I.A., Fellow and Senior Demonstrator of Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Fellow of the Academy of Medicine in Ireland Gold Medallist of the Pathological Society, &c

        34, York Street Dublin,

        16th June, 1886








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        • My Killeen contact thinks there may be an old photo of Clonfeigh House. They tell me that before the 1970s it was a single-storied thatched property. Quite small my modern standards, but substantial by the standards of the time and place. Fingers crossed it can be found and we are allowed to see it.



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          • Great stuff, Gary. Thanks for posting and please thank your contact for sharing them.

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            • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
              Great stuff, Gary. Thanks for posting and please thank your contact for sharing them.
              I will do (I have done - profusely).

              I don’t know how many copies of the booklet Killeen would have had run off, but it’s almost certain that he had at least one with him in when he was in Spitalfields. It’s a genuine artefact owned by someone directly involved in the case that he may have carried around with him.

              That may sound a bit fanciful, but remember his statement at the inquest about being a fully qualified doctor. He was very young and new to the area, he may have felt it necessary to carry ‘credentials’ on his person.




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              • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                I will do (I have done - profusely).

                I don’t know how many copies of the booklet Killeen would have had run off, but it’s almost certain that he had at least one with him in when he was in Spitalfields. It’s a genuine artefact owned by someone directly involved in the case that he may have carried around with him.

                That may sound a bit fanciful, but remember his statement at the inquest about being a fully qualified doctor. He was very young and new to the area, he may have felt it necessary to carry ‘credentials’ on his person.



                Of course, I’m letting my imagination run away with me...but if you were Killeen, young, inexperienced and relatively unknown in Whitechapel, might you not carry your testimonial booklet around with you in your bag? Just in case.

                You can probably see where I’m going with this. ;-)

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                • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                  Of course, I’m letting my imagination run away with me...but if you were Killeen, young, inexperienced and relatively unknown in Whitechapel, might you not carry your testimonial booklet around with you in your bag? Just in case.

                  You can probably see where I’m going with this. ;-)
                  Gary, I don't know if anyone has mentioned this on the thread already but Mark Ripper suggested the idea of Dr Killeen being JTR in his book; Murder and Crime: Whitechapel and District (M.W. Oldridge)
                  It's amazing that the family still have this (apparently bloodstained) 1888 testimonial booklet in their possession!
                  This is all very fascinating. I hope you will continue with the thread.

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                  • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                    The Killeen family have generously shared some photos of a testimonial booklet produced for Dr. Killeen in 1888. It was printed in Ennis near the family home at Clonfeigh and may well have been shown or sent to Dr Swyer when Killeen joined his practice.

                    The booklet contains numerous individual testimonials from senior Dublin medical men under whom Killeen had studied or with whom he had worked. I will transcribe one or two later to give a flavour of how he was perceived by his colleagues, but for now here’s a photo of the front cover - complete with what look like blood stains.
                    Great stuff, Gary. I hope you will eventually do a write-up in Ripperologist.
                    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
                    It's amazing that the family still have this (apparently bloodstained) 1888 testimonial booklet in their possession!
                    I agree, stuff like that belongs in a proper archive!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

                      Gary, I don't know if anyone has mentioned this on the thread already but Mark Ripper suggested the idea of Dr Killeen being JTR in his book; Murder and Crime: Whitechapel and District (M.W. Oldridge)
                      It's amazing that the family still have this (apparently bloodstained) 1888 testimonial booklet in their possession!
                      This is all very fascinating. I hope you will continue with the thread.
                      If anything interesting comes to light, I will share it. There could be some private or professional correspondence still in existence, but if there is the family might not be willing to share it. I wasn’t aware of Mark’s theory, I’ll look that up. I’m not really thinking of Killeen as a suspect, but as someone intimately involved with the Tabram case which interests me for other reasons.

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                      • Originally posted by Kattrup View Post

                        Great stuff, Gary. I hope you will eventually do a write-up in Ripperologist.

                        I agree, stuff like that belongs in a proper archive!
                        Hi Kattrup,

                        It’s amazing what can come out of the woodwork after 130-odd years, isn’t it. Makes you wonder what else might be out there.

                        I’ve tinkered around with a number of subjects over the years without giving much thought to writing any of it up, but during lockdown I started doing just that. The trouble is, I’m not very disciplined and I flit from one subject to another at the drop of a hat. Also, the more I look into the subjects, the more I feel there is to say about them. Many of them deserve a book of their own.

                        I understand your point about an archive, but in this case the fact that the material is still with the family has worked out nicely for us. The person who contacted us had been very generous and seems to approve of what we are doing.

                        Gary



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                        • I’ve ordered Mark’s book. Thanks for the info, Debs!

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                          • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

                            Hi Kattrup,

                            It’s amazing what can come out of the woodwork after 130-odd years, isn’t it. Makes you wonder what else might be out there.

                            [...]

                            I understand your point about an archive, but in this case the fact that the material is still with the family has worked out nicely for us. The person who contacted us had been very generous and seems to approve of what we are doing.
                            Absolutely - I'm just prejudiced by my profession

                            As an archivist I often speak to people with interesting material that they might presently be unwilling to part with, for a number of reasons. Often simply that donating it means having to clean up decades old mess!

                            My practice is to hand them slips of paper marked "These documents/photos should be donated to the local archive" to leave with the material. Anyone can be hit by a bus, be hospitalised, have to move in a hurry etc. It's usually elderly people who possess this stuff and elderly people are also more at risk.

                            In that case, having left directions for whoever is sorting through things means the documents might not get chucked out.
                            I don't like calling it a "testament" as that's too morbid and hopefully people do decide to donate the material before shuffling off, but nevertheless it's the same principle: encouraging people to decide about their archival legacy while they can - otherwise people who don't care might do it for them.


                            Anyway, just a detour detailing that I hope the Dr. Killeen material that you've located will eventually make its way to a public archive. Until it does, I'm grateful that the family has taken care of it and is willing to share it.

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                            • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

                              Gary, I don't know if anyone has mentioned this on the thread already but Mark Ripper suggested the idea of Dr Killeen being JTR in his book; Murder and Crime: Whitechapel and District (M.W. Oldridge)
                              It's amazing that the family still have this (apparently bloodstained) 1888 testimonial booklet in their possession!
                              This is all very fascinating. I hope you will continue with the thread.
                              I’ve obtained a copy of Mark’s book. It looks very interesting, very well researched.

                              I immediately skipped to the Killeen section. It’s not very convincing as a suspect theory, I’m afraid, and seems to rest almost entirely on the fact that his brief time in the East End closely coincides with the timeline of the C5.

                              There’s also some theorising about Killeen’s Catholicism and his ‘gentle Irish home’ which is interesting, and mention of his subsequent rather uneventful career.

                              Thanks for the recommendation - a good read to look forward to.


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