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In Court...1880 ?

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  • In Court...1880 ?

    A fellow on Casebook ( Alan Dalgliesh ) just posted over there and brought up an 1880 assault case...which he asks whether its the Emma Smith or not.

    Anyone checked into this before ?


    SAMUEL SMITH, Breaking Peace > wounding, 28th June 1880.

    Reference Number: t18800628-414

    414. SAMUEL SMITH (44) , Feloniously wounding Emma Smith, with intent to do her grievous bodily harm.
    MR. CUNNINGHAM Prosecuted; MR. WAITE Defended.
    EMMA SMITH . I am the prisoner's wife—I live at 16, Thames Street, Commercial Road—I have not lived with the prisoner for six months previous to the 11th May—on that evening I was coming out of 16, Thames Street—I saw the prisoner knocking at the door three doors off—he came to me and offered his hand—he said "Do you intend to live with me again?"—I said "No"—he said "I will follow you"—I said "If you follow me, I will give you in charge"—he said "You cannot give me in charge, you have nothing to give me charge for"—I said "I can give you in charge if it is only for threatening my life with a knife"—he said "I did not"—I said "You did"—I went on up the street—he said "I will go wherever you go"—I said "When I get to the top of the street I shall see a policeman and will give you in charge"—he said "I will follow you and I will do for you"—on the previous Sunday he had come to me and asked me for a bonnet and shawl, and I gave them to him—he also asked me for two rings and the earrings I am wearing now—I said I would not give them to him—he went away when I ordered him out of the room—I said "You have got all you want, leave the room"—when we got to the top of Thames Street, at the corner of Commercial Road, he caught hold of the back of my hair—he had taken a knife from his breast pocket—I said "Spare my life, do not do that whatever you do"—he ran the knife into my left breast, saying "Die, you"—I fell with the knife in me—I remember its being taken out—I fell with my face on the ground—I was taken to Dr. Cave's, and from there I was removed to the London Hospital, where I remained till the 27th of May.
    Cross-examined. I was married to the prisoner fifteen years ago—I have lived with him twenty-one years—I lived with him before I was
    See original
    married—I have had nine children—the youngest is two years and seven months old—I have two sons in the militia—I do not know the young man that travels with a circus that I am accused of going with—my son did not find me in bed with him, nor with any young man—when I left the prisoner I left a child two and a half years old, and another nine years old—I quarreled with him—he had been drinking all the week—I went away with the man I am living with—he was a lodger—I went to fetch the child away a fortnight after, and was told it was in the country—the children have been in the workhouse three times—I have not been in prison—I have been in prison for twenty-one days—I was ashamed to own it—I have never left the prisoner before except to run into a neighbour's house from fear—I was there three days—I was not with another man—I did not sleep with a man—I sat in a chair all the while, and came backwards and forwards to see my children—I dare not stop with him—my eldest son is twenty years of age—the prisoner's brother visited me in the hospital—I did not confess to him nor to anybody that I had the disease—his brother told me he had it—I had it; the prisoner gave it to me; he brought it from London—I have known the man I am living with about fourteen weeks—I have not said I meant to get my husband penal servitude so that he could not interfere between me and the man—I did not scuffle with the prisoner till he attacked me—I was so stupefied I did not know what he did—it was my marriage ring he tried to take.
    Re-examined. He said ho would do for me before I left him—he said he said he had got another woman to do for him and his children—the wound could not have been accidental—he was quite sober—I was sober—I had just come from work—this is the knife he brought in his pocket the night he did the deed.
    (A thoemaker's knife).
    JAMBS SEVIER . I am a labourer of 9, Thames Street, Commercial Road—on the 11th of May, about 6.30, I saw the prosecutrix and the prisoner quarrelling—the prosecutrix said "I gave you on Sunday all you wanted, and cannot give you any more"—the prisoner said "Well, I'll follow you about till I do for you"—when they got to the arch in Thames Street the prisoner caught hold of the prosecutrix by the back of her nock and stabbed her in the breast with a knife—I was behind—I saw the knife flash in the air as it was held up in his right hand—I rushed to the woman—I saw the prisoner lying on his wife's chest on the ground—she got up and ran into a butcher's shop—I assisted in taking the woman to a doctor.
    Cross-examined. It was daylight.
    Re-examined. It looked to me as if it was done for the purpose.
    JOHN MARSHALL (Policeman H 140). On 11th May, between 6 and 7 p.m. I saw a crowd in the Commercial Road—I took the prisoner into custody for stabbing the prosecutrix with a knife—this was the knife which was handed to me by one of the mob, who said in the prisoner's hearing "He has stabbed his wife with a knife"—when I told the prisoner the charge he said "I hope it will finish her, she will be done for then"—he was sober.
    ALBERT EDWARD JONES . I am house surgeon in the London-Hospital—the prosecutrix was admitted on the 11th, between 6 and 7 p.m—I found a punctured wound in the left chest between the second and third rib, implicating the lung—she was suffering from the shock, and from loss of blood—she had also a small wound on the third finger of the left hand, the ring finger—she was under my treatment from the 11th to the
    See original
    27th, when she was discharged—it was a dangerous wound—the prosecutrix's life was in danger for some days—it has now perfectly healed.
    Cross-examined. It is difficult to say what force was used; it might have gone in with slight force; the danger arose from happening to hit a dangerous part rather than from the force used.
    The Prisoner stated before the Magistrate that the prosecutrix went away and lived with another man.
    GUILTY of unlawfully wounding.— Eighteen Months' Imprisonment.
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  • #2
    That's quite a find! (Maybe we have a new suspect for Jack?)
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


    • #3
      The reason I asked if anyone had done research on this Emma Smith is because I thought it probably had been researched before.
      Time will tell..some may not have seen the thread yet.
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      • #4
        Hi Howard

        There are several reasons to think it might not be the same Emma Smith. The one in the Ripper case, assaulted in the early morning hours of April 4, 1888, and who subsequently died, appears to have been younger than the woman in the 1880 Old Bailey assault case. The Emma Smith assaulted in Osborne Street is said to have had two children, less offspring than the Emma Smith in the 1880 case. See "Emma claimed to have both a son and a daughter living somewhere in the area of Finsbury Park, and was often heard to say that they should do something to help her situation."

        As we can see above, the Emma Smith in the Old Bailey case testified that "I have had nine children—the youngest is two years and seven months old—I have two sons in the militia. . . . my eldest son is twenty years of age. . . ."

        Best regards

        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


        • #5
          Good eye, Chris. I should have picked up on that.
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