No announcement yet.

The French Lady Uncovered ?

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The French Lady Uncovered ?

    Hello all,

    In doing some research on Henry James Fitzroy (The Earl of Euston) I came across the name of his wife, Kate Walsh. Kate was a prostitute that went by the stage name of Kate Cooke. Details here (Post #7).

    Curious about Kate Walsh I came across a bundle of information about her in the book; Murder, Mayhem and Music Hall:The Dark Side of Victorian London by Barry Anthony. On page 70 of this book it talks about Mrs. Rosalie Bernstein who kept a 'fancy shop' in Strand patronised by prostitutes and men wishing to meet them. Bernstein supplied the women in the house with fashionable clothing to be paid for in installments. Kate Walsh was one of these women along with her friend, Mabel Grey, shown in the photo in this book together.

    This immediately turned on the light bulb. Could Mrs. Bernstein be the supposed french lady, west-end brothel landlord and keeper of expensive dresses for Mary Jane Kelly? Many of the 'high-end' prostitutes working in west-end brothels were actresses of sort and were catering to clients of nobility such as the Earl of Euston. Kate Walsh was considered an actress and worked in Variety Theatre and circus. All of this makes me think of Mary Kelly and the little details Joe Barnett provided about her life from 1884 on; living in a west-end brothel; related to someone on stage,etc.

    Here is the link to a preview of that part of the book.

    What do you all think?

  • #2
    Bernstein was her name before she married. She married Charles Ochse who lived in Paris at one time. They both spoke french according to an Old Bailey transcript.

    Maybe this explains the 'french lady' spoken of by Barnett?


    • #3
      Madame Jeffries

      Not sure if this is the same Mabel Grey, spelled Gray in this link below. She was the protégé of Madame Jeffries. Interesting how it was claimed Jeffries sent prostitutes to Brussels, Paris and Berlin. (See Chapter Eleven)


      • #4
        Here is a list of possible connections if I'm right about the french lady.

        Montague Williams with Mary Jeffries (He was her counsel)
        Mary Jeffries with her protégé Mabel Grey (Annie King)
        Mabel Grey with her friend Kate Walsh (Kate Cooke)
        Mabel Grey and Kate Walsh with Rosalie Ochse
        Rosalie Ochse with Mary Jane Kelly (not proven, but possible)
        Kate Walsh with her husband Henry James Fitzroy, Earl of Euston
        Henry James Fitzroy with his cousin Arthur Balfour
        Arthur Balfour with his uncle Lord Salisbury

        Somewhere in all this, maybe we can find some answers?


        • #5

          Hello Jerry. Good find.

          If I recall properly, Sir Ed had employed some woman of unknown identity. Perhaps there is a link somewhere?



          • #6

            Hello (again) Jerry. Thanks for the listing.

            I daresay Simon Wood would know if anyone does.



            • #7
              Looking at the censuses and online trees, it seems Rosalie was born 'Pfahl' and the children later changed their name to 'Osborn.' Charles and Rosalie both died 1907.


              • #8
                Does anyone know what a court milliner is?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Robert Linford
                  Does anyone know what a court milliner is?
                  Is 'Milliner' a euphemism? Perhaps she made friends in high places?


                  • #10
                    Thanks Robert, Lynn,

                    This, of course, is the piece I refer to in this thread.

                    The Star
                    LONDON. MONDAY, 12 NOVEMBER, 1888

                    It would appear that on her arrival in London she made the acquaintance of a French lady residing in the neighborhood of Knightsbridge, who, she informed her friends, led her into the degraded life which has brought about her untimely end. She made no secret of the fact that while she was with this lady she drove about in a carriage,and made several journeys to the French capital, and in fact led the life of a lady. By some means, however, at present not exactly clear, she suddenly drifted into the East-end. Her first experiences of the East-end appear to have commenced with Mrs. Buki, who resided in one of the thoroughfares off Ratcliff-highway, now known as St. George's-street. Both women went to the French lady's residence, and demanded Kelly's box, which contained numerous costly dresses.

                    Mary Jeffries ran several brothels, one being at 15, Brompton Square. I don't know if this was considered Knightsbridge at the time but it certainly seems to be close enough to call it Knightsbridge. Jeffries traveled around town in a carriage and catered to 'high end' clients.

                    From the book, Madams:Bands and Brothel Keepers of London by Fergus Linnane

                    'Jeffries former coachman told how he delivered her messages to the homes of various women, and to gentlemen at their clubs including the Army and Navy.'

                    'The coachman told how he was driving Jeffries in her carriage in Hyde Park one evening.'

                    Was Mary Kelly referring to Jeffries? Did she travel to France, as many others have suggested, as a prostitute slave for Jeffries. Rosalie Bernstein offered a clothing business for the ladies to get dolled up for work. Due to the expensive price of the goods, some became indebted to her, such as Kate Walsh. Was she the woman that Mary and Mrs. Buki went to demanding the costly dresses?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Robert Linford
                      Does anyone know what a court milliner is?
                      I'm thinking it was a person in the trade of making outfits for judges, lawyers etc. of the court. A tailor for the court so to speak.


                      • #12
                        I double checked the meaning of (court) milliner in case there was something specifically British about court milliner. Milliner has always been to my knowledge a person who makes or decorates hats, usually women's hats. The word derives from Milan (Italy), and came into use about 1530 to describe those who imported fancy fabrics and such from Milan.

                        I wonder if the addition of the word court defines a location, such as a milliner operating in a court. (Like Mary Kelly trimming hats at Millers Court. ;-)) Alternately could it mean a milliner who provided the service to members of the royal court?

                        Mrs. Felix/Phoenix I believe was a milliner. If not her then a close relative working with her was in the trade.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript


                        • #13
                          They made the judges' black caps?

                          In 1881 they're living North House, Regent's Park, both court milliners. Seven children plus mother-in-law, plus governess, cook, housemaid, coachman and page.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Anna. Yes it would be interesting if they serviced royalty, but maybe too much to hope for.


                            • #15
                              Thanks Anna and Robert,

                              I found another bit of interesting information in the book, Murder, Mayhem and Music Hall: The Dark Side of Victorian London by Barry Anthony on page 189. A Chapter devoted to Florence St John, another friend of Kate Walsh and well know actress and chorus girl. She mentions the name Jacob Cohen. She was introduced to him by a nurse and relative of his, Miss Isaacson, when she was laid up with a lung complaint in the Seaside Convalescence home in Brighton. It is stated Jacob Cohen was a teacher with many sons and daughters. One son was Arthur Cohen, 20 year old sub-editor of The Financial Times who became her younger escort.

                              I've always been confused with the Jacob Cohen story. Could this be the same guy?