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  • Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    ... If it’s true, it suggests Kate may have been doing something that brought in money behind Kelly’s back.
    You know, something's been rattling around my head for a while now, after not thinking about this topic for a decade and more... Again: I can't imagine others on here haven't already considered this; but, still...

    Among
    Catherine Eddowes’ clothes and possessions:
    "A piece of red gauze silk worn as a neckerchief."
    https://victorianwhitechapel.tumblr....lston-graffiti

    "Specific items of clothing identified prostitutes in London, such as a red scarf and a skirt hitched to the left side."
    https://vocal.media/fyi/the-historic...Ud2SwMrqwyQxsA

    Yes, I know the period is way off in the latter quote; did any of that communicated meaning survive up to 1888?

    And, yes, I also know that red scarves figure in other JtR murders; and in more than one way, too.

    (For completeness' sake, having mentioned red scarves: I have wondered now and then whether socialism might conceivably be a factor in these killings. Certainly I can imagine Lechmere -- the dispossessed aristo white Christian boiling with rage and resentment -- harbouring a wild, inchoate hatred for streetwalking women, incoming Jews, and work-shy, order-threatening socialists alike (Yes: Berner Street was him, all right!). Would we find scarf-wearing 'political consciousness' in our C5 -- in the year of the famous 'matchgirls' strike'...?)

    M.

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    • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
      Here's a transcript of the portion of a 1906 article by Henry Smith dealing with Catherine Eddowes and John Kelly and the question of where Catherine was headed and why, that I mentioned earlier in the thread. Just for completeness. There were two articles published in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine Vols 178 and 179 titled 'The Streets of London' and 'More about the streets of London' by
      LIETENANT-COLONEL SIR HENRY SMITH, K.C.B., EX COMMISSIONER CITY OF LONDON POLICE

      MORE ABOUT THE STREETS OF LONDON
      BY LIETENANT-COLONEL SIR HENRY SMITH, K.C.B., EX COMMISSIONER CITY OF LONDON POLICE
      Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine Vol 179 1906 pp 693

      The Ashford hop-fields furnished the Whitechapel murderer with one of his victims. The night of Saturday, September 29, 1888, was a glorious one. It was light as day when shortly after midnight Catherine Eddowes left the police station in Bishopsgate, and not three-quarters of an hour afterwards was cut to pieces. This woman was the wife of a soldier, whom she left to live with another man. She drank heavily, and that, as I afterwards discovered, was not her only failing. She and her "husband" had made some money "hopping" and had got through it all in a week's time. On the afternoon of the 29th she pawned a pair of boots to get something for supper; but, instead of doing so, got drunk on the proceeds and was locked up, --a typical case altogether of everyday life in the "Far East" When sober enough to take care of herself she was released, the "reserve man" in charge of the cells advising her to go straight home and face the "hiding" which she said she was sure to get from her "old man." His advice she did not follow, for instead of walking away northwards in the direction of "Flower and Dean Street," one of the very worst streets in that notorious locality, he noticed that she turned left, and to the left again up Houndsditch, which would lead her inro Mitre Square, where she met her fate, presumably in the endeavour to replace by other means the money she had squandered. A ghastly sight she was by the light of the harvest moon as she lay in the corner of Mitre Square, and one not easily forgotten. Her "husband"-bad as he was, he was too good for her-I found fairly intelligent, and with a certain amount of confidence in and chivalrous feeling for the miserable being with whom he had lived. God knows how his confidence was abused! "She drank a bit, sir" he admitted, "but I am sure she would never do anything wrong." "I don't want, I assure you, " I said, "at such a time to hurt your feelings, but what was she doing about Aldgate and Mitre Square at that hour?"
      "Well sir, you see," he replied, "this is how it was; she had a daughter, very comfortable, living in Bermondsey; and whenever we were hard up she would go across to her, and she never came back without something." This story I was disinclined to believe, seeing that he could not, or would not, tell me where the daughter lived; but after a great deal of trouble, having discovered the woman in question, I found she had not seen her mother for years. How the money was got when times were hard does not call for explanation from me. That explanation " the streets of London" will afford.
      I posted this ramble on Facebook, it should maybe have been better posted here:

      Major Smith was an acknowledged raconteur and as such, we should expect him to embellish his stories to give them colour and set a scene, but there is usually a factual core to the story which is the reason for telling it. In this case, the context of the story is alcohol, and Smith’s rather naïve effort to explain through example how it drinking to excess could lead to the common lodging house, the hop-fields “where the most degraded of either sex herd together”, and the streets.

      Smith incorrectly believed that Eddowes, having pawned John Kelly’s boots, spent the money on drink, which led to her being found falling-down drunk and taken to the cells. As we know, this was not the case, but Smith asks that Eddowes was doing to in Mitre Square in the early hours of that morning and suggests that she was soliciting in an effort to earn the money she’d got for Kelly’s boots and spent on booze. Of course, we now know that Eddowes did not spend that pawn money on alcohol, which raises the question of how she managed to get sufficient alcohol to get so drunk that afternoon.

      However, Smith accurately recalls John Kelly’s story that Eddowes had left him to visit her daughter in Bermondsey, a habit when they were really hard up, and how she always returned from these visits with a little “something”. Smith doubted the story, as was confirmed when the daughter confirmed that her mother did not know where she lived and that she had not seen her for some time. If Eddowes didn’t get that money from her daughter, where did she get it from? Smith evidently believed she got it from prostitution. It also leaves as valid Smith’s theory that Eddowes was soliciting that night, except not to recover the pawn money but to get the money she usually had when she returned from “visiting her daughter”.

      Whether or not Smith’s theory was correct - and I think it is plausible that she thought or knew that on her return to the lodging house a handful of coins “from her daughter” would have lessened the telling off she anticipated from the bootless Kelly – we can see in this anecdote why Smith believed Eddowes was an occasional prostitute. In Smith’s eyes, there was no other reasonable explanation for Eddowes being in Mitre Square, or for the money she returned with from a daughter she hadn’t really seen. Not that it matters, but Smith’s thinking wasn’t that Eddowes was a prostitute because she was poor and destitute, or that she chose a coal-hole cover as a bed for the night.

      One might also note that Smith remarked favourably about John Kelly and evidently thought that he was ignorant of Eddowes deceptions. Whether he was or not is open to question, but if Eddowes only resorted to prostitution when times were hard and if she kept it a secret, that may explain the generally favourable reports about her.

      Comment


      • I think that's a fair summary, Paul and for what it's worth, similar to my own thinking, which is why I mentioned what Smith said earlier in the thread as an illustration of how long the debate about whether or not Catherine Eddowes was soliciting has been going on, in relation to Smith vs Kelly, the 'husband'----thinking Smith's opinions were known already.
        As I mentioned before, the two articles were huge and I didn't have time to transcribe more than the relevant paragraph about Eddowes and Kelly to get more context. I didn't actually realise they were unseen as far as the majority of people were concerned.

        Smith also wrote in relation to the murders;
        "To give an account of the "Whitechapel Murders" would be an outrage on decency. One looks for crime in Whitechapel and Spitalfields, but the details of this sequence are shocking beyond description, and it is only in pursuance of what I have already written that I allude to them at all..."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
          I think that's a fair summary, Paul and for what it's worth, similar to my own thinking, which is why I mentioned what Smith said earlier in the thread as an illustration of how long the debate about whether or not Catherine Eddowes was soliciting has been going on, in relation to Smith vs Kelly, the 'husband'----thinking Smith's opinions were known already.
          As I mentioned before, the two articles were huge and I didn't have time to transcribe more than the relevant paragraph about Eddowes and Kelly to get more context. I didn't actually realise they were unseen as far as the majority of people were concerned.
          In case anyone wants to read more, both articles are available online.

          (1) Blackwood's Magazine vol. 178, pp. 640-656 (1905) is at the Internet Archive:
          https://archive.org/details/blackwoo...e/640/mode/2up

          (2) Blackwood's Magazine vol. 179, pp. 693-709 (1906) is at Google Books:
          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...AMAAJ&pg=PA693

          [Edit: Corrected date of publication of second]

          Comment


          • Thanks, Chris. I accessed the articles through Gale so couldn't link to them.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
              Thanks, Chris. I accessed the articles through Gale so couldn't link to them.
              There's a useful list of online copies of Blackwood's Magazine at the Internet Archive and elsewhere, though some of them at other places aren't accessible in the UK:
              https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.ed...?id=blackwoods

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