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Emma Smith - Ripper Victim or Husband's Revenge?

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  • Emma Smith - Ripper Victim or Husband's Revenge?

    Emma Smith - Ripper Victim or Husband's Revenge?
    -A. J. Griffiths-Jones-

    http://ajwriter.simplesite.com/435440238

    On 6th April 1888, Coroner Wynne Baxter reported to police the death of 45 year-old Emma Smith, a woman who had been attacked four days previously by a gang of men, and had died from her terrible wounds. It was later believed that this was the first of the infamous 'Whitechapel Murders' perpetrated by a fiend who became known as 'Jack the Ripper.' However, a case brought before London magistrates in 1880, may hold the key to poor Emma's murderer.

    In 1880 a shoemaker named Samuel Smith was found guilty of stabbing his estranged wife, Emma, in the chest with a knife. The assault was the direct result of a domestic argument in which Emma had returned to the family home to visit the children. Samuel had demanded she return her wedding ring and a pair of earrings but the woman refused, causing her husband to become enraged.

    During the trial, Emma Smith gave evidence stating that she had been taken to the London Hospital for treatment and that it had been necessary for her to stay on a ward for several days. She also confessed that, upon her release, Emma was threatened by her brother-in-law who wanted the couple to reconcile. Given the gravity of the wound, after testimony from Dr. Albert Jones who attended the victim, Samuel Smith was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

    I have been able to ascertain that upon release Smith became a pauper inmate at the local workhouse. This case could of course have no bearing upon that of the Emma Smith from 1888, but the ages match and the circumstances of Emma's unfortunate lifestyle would make sense. Perhaps we shall never know.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
    Emma Smith - Ripper Victim or Husband's Revenge?
    -A. J. Griffiths-Jones-

    http://ajwriter.simplesite.com/435440238

    On 6th April 1888, Coroner Wynne Baxter reported to police the death of 45 year-old Emma Smith, a woman who had been attacked four days previously by a gang of men, and had died from her terrible wounds. It was later believed that this was the first of the infamous 'Whitechapel Murders' perpetrated by a fiend who became known as 'Jack the Ripper.' However, a case brought before London magistrates in 1880, may hold the key to poor Emma's murderer.

    In 1880 a shoemaker named Samuel Smith was found guilty of stabbing his estranged wife, Emma, in the chest with a knife. The assault was the direct result of a domestic argument in which Emma had returned to the family home to visit the children. Samuel had demanded she return her wedding ring and a pair of earrings but the woman refused, causing her husband to become enraged.

    During the trial, Emma Smith gave evidence stating that she had been taken to the London Hospital for treatment and that it had been necessary for her to stay on a ward for several days. She also confessed that, upon her release, Emma was threatened by her brother-in-law who wanted the couple to reconcile. Given the gravity of the wound, after testimony from Dr. Albert Jones who attended the victim, Samuel Smith was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

    I have been able to ascertain that upon release Smith became a pauper inmate at the local workhouse. This case could of course have no bearing upon that of the Emma Smith from 1888, but the ages match and the circumstances of Emma's unfortunate lifestyle would make sense. Perhaps we shall never know.
    In 1880, this Emma Smith had allegedly been married for 23 years and was a grandmother.

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    • #3
      Excellent, Gary.

      I'll let the woman know of your find.
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      • #4
        Presumably this is the same case:

        image.jpeg

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        • #5
          That be da one, Gary.
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          • #6
            It's an interesting story, Amanda. Thanks for posting it How.

            It seems as though Emma began living with a man named James Sevier in Thomas Street. I know that Annie Chapman was said to be known by the name Sivvey (or similar) because she lived with a sieve maker but Sevier is a similar sounding genuine surname and piques my curiosity.

            Her husband Samuel was living in Britannia Road at the time of the attack. Just mentioning it in case that hasn't come up yet and it might be a useful way to trace Samuel.

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            • #7
              Another thing that I found interesting about the case is the mention that, at the magistrates court, "A gentleman from the Associate Institute for Improving and Enforcing the Laws for the Protection of Women" watched the case. The victim being too ill to attend.
              That is an organisation I have never come across. Has anyone else?

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              • #8
                The sentence was much too lenient.


                I found the case on FMP crimes straight away, because it was marked, which means the story must have come up before. Samuel's age was given as 44.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
                  The sentence was much too lenient.


                  I found the case on FMP crimes straight away, because it was marked, which means the story must have come up before. Samuel's age was given as 44.
                  Yes, it was an image I'd already looked at before on FMP so I must have read about it before but don't recall where. It may even have been on Amanda's blog if it's been there a while.

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                  • #10
                    Debs, there's lots of stuff in FMP newspapers for the organization with the snappy title, only it's called 'Institution.'

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Robert. I'll check that out later.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, How, for posting the link to Amanda's website. It looks very interesting.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
                          Thanks, How, for posting the link to Amanda's website. It looks very interesting.
                          Yes, it does. I'm not too convinced about the possibility of MJk having a prosthetic leg though. I believe that McCarthy's mention that MJK was able to 'walk about and was not helpless' was probably in relation to him mentioning that he frequently saw her the worse for drink. He was perhaps saying she was not legless when drunk, not that she was actually legless.

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                          • #14
                            Is that the circular mark on her right leg? There was discussion some years ago over whether it was a cut or a stocking.


                            There was a marriage at Lambeth in 1865 between a Samuel Smith, bootmaker and an Emma Farrer.

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                            • #15
                              There are definite east end baptisms for children of John Samuel Smith, bootmaker, and Elizabeth Emma Smith.

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