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  • Mary's child.

    I wonder: There's a missing phase in Kelly's life until she arrives in London, 1881- 1884.
    Kelly states she led a bad life in Cardiff ... but there are no records of her.
    I cannot say that I do not disagree with you.

  • #2
    Some writers have suggested Mary was in the infirmary due to a "bad pregnancy", whatever that means. In one of the earliest interviews Barnett gave to the press he said she did not have a child.

    If Mary was in an insane asylum in Cardiff and she was subsequently well enough to travel to London and start over, she need not have told anyone she had had a mental issue. Investigators at the time tried to find what infirmary she may have been in and did not find a record of her. My guess would be that she had active TB at one point, or a severe respiratory illness that was not readily resolved.

    Whatever Mary may have done in the lost time, nobody seemed to come forward to say they recognised her by name or other information.

    There was a Mary Jane Kelly who was an "inmate" both in prison and a reformatory, in or near Liverpool, when she was in her teens. I am curious about this woman but there are far better researchers than me who haven't made the connexion so she probably isn't the one.

    I believe Mary had a terrible drinking problem and that is why she seems to have worn out her welcome with various people.
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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    • #3
      Another possibility is that she had and lost a child either before or not long after birth and this had an effect on her mental state. The incidence of miscarriages and infant mortality in the LVP was very high compared to today especially amongst what was known as the 'lower classes'.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
        Some writers have suggested Mary was in the infirmary due to a "bad pregnancy", whatever that means. In one of the earliest interviews Barnett gave to the press he said she did not have a child.

        If Mary was in an insane asylum in Cardiff and she was subsequently well enough to travel to London and start over, she need not have told anyone she had had a mental issue. Investigators at the time tried to find what infirmary she may have been in and did not find a record of her. My guess would be that she had active TB at one point, or a severe respiratory illness that was not readily resolved.

        Whatever Mary may have done in the lost time, nobody seemed to come forward to say they recognised her by name or other information.

        There was a Mary Jane Kelly who was an "inmate" both in prison and a reformatory, in or near Liverpool, when she was in her teens. I am curious about this woman but there are far better researchers than me who haven't made the connexion so she probably isn't the one.

        I believe Mary had a terrible drinking problem and that is why she seems to have worn out her welcome with various people.
        Trying to understand Mary is like scooping water in sieve.
        I cannot say that I do not disagree with you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Phillip Walton View Post
          Another possibility is that she had and lost a child either before or not long after birth and this had an effect on her mental state. The incidence of miscarriages and infant mortality in the LVP was very high compared to today especially amongst what was known as the 'lower classes'.
          If she were placed in an asylum it would account for the missing years.
          I cannot say that I do not disagree with you.

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          • #6
            In one of the early press interviews before the inquest Barnett made a very short answer that Mary did not have a child. I think this was printed 10 November. Later reports have him agreeing with the interviewer that she had a child but it didn't ring true.

            Fusty, I like your expression about scooping water with a sieve. We have another one: Like nailing jello to the wall. Both pertain to MJK.

            In some ways Mary's timeline comes out OK with her stories and what her friends said. If one allows a few extra months here and there it all works out to her being about 26 years old. If she was older there are problems. Early on Barnett said she had been in the gay house for a "couple weeks" before she went to France and when she returned from France she went to the East End. With her female friends she indicated more or longer experience in the gay house.

            I can see where she would want to tell Barnett she didn't enjoy the life, it was past, didn't last long. didn't mean anything other than she didn't like it. I can also understand her telling female friends she rode in a carriage like a lady, etc. etc. Which version is the truth or is it somewhere in between?

            I have an idea she was in London, East & West for a little more than four years.

            In the end, JtR may have been not much of a man, just an extremely mentally ill person. Mary on the other hand may be the real prize in Ripperology.
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • #7
              Isn't it a virtual certainty that Mary bore a child at some point, even if she was only 25?

              In an age when it was every woman's duty to bear children and giving birth 8 times was normal, she more than likely had a child. Whether it lived or not is another matter.

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              • #8
                Reynolds's Newspaper
                11 November, 1888.

                THE VICTIM OF AN IRISHMAN.
                Further inquiries show that Kelly had no son. The boy who lived with her belonged to a woman with whom she was very friendly, and who stayed with her on several occasions. It is stated that it was the presence of this woman which caused the quarrel between Kelly and the man Barnett, with whom she had until recently lived....

                Wolf.

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                • #9
                  San Fran: Mary seemed to have a bit of a pattern of living WITH men. I can think of 3 names in the East End and there was her alleged husband. We have a pretty good idea via Mrs. Felix and Barnett that she had no children with her nor was she noticeably pregnant in about the last three years of her life.

                  If her pattern was actually living WITH men, I think we would assume she had actual sexual relations in a day before adequate contraception, so perhaps she was unable to conceive. We know how long she was with Barnett and he loved her and that sure indicates a full sexual relationship. Wonder what he would have done if she got pregnant?

                  Maybe she felt comfortable bringing clients to her room for complete sexual acts because she believed she could not conceive? Had she had a child with her husband for example and was the birth so traumatic she could not conceive? Just wild guesses but possibilities, maybe.
                  The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                  • #10
                    How could she be noticeably pregnant if she's a stout woman with loose clothes?

                    No one goes about asking a woman if she's pregnant when she gains weight.

                    And no one's saying she had a child with her. But I understand what you mean, Wolf.

                    How well did a red silk handkerchief work anyway? Was it only for STDs? Any contraceptive use indicates ability to conceive.

                    Barnett fathered no children as far as we know so I doubt he'd know if Mary was pregnant.

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                    • #11
                      And no one's saying she had a child with her. But I understand what you mean, Wolf.
                      Actually, San Fran, Anna alluded to this in her post: "In one of the early press interviews before the inquest Barnett made a very short answer that Mary did not have a child. I think this was printed 10 November. Later reports have him agreeing with the interviewer that she had a child but it didn't ring true."

                      The early reports of Kelly's death did state that she had a son who lived with her. There were even newspaper articles that told how the boy was sent to a neighbours while Kelly serviced the murderer. Reports of this supposed son started the talk that Kelly had children and/or was pregnant at the time of her murder. All this has caused some confusion over the years, and I was just pointing out that this was not true and, in fact, had been checked and the identity of the boy discovered. This is not well known and I thought it might be of interest.

                      Wolf.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by San Fran
                        I agree that she didn't have a child with her but that doesn't mean that she couldn't have gotten pregnant and given birth and given the child or children up.

                        It's not DaVinci Code or Sickert Code but I think an MJK candidate with a child in tow or not should be welcomed into the Ripperology home until she's identified as someone who never gave birth.
                        With the child mortality, etc. in those days I agree a MJK candidate with child is a possibility. Bridget Kelly had more than one child that died. Had she turned out to be MJK, she would have had no living children at the time of her death. I think we really thought she WOULD work out but she emigrated before 1888 and died in New York sometime in the next century.
                        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                        • #13
                          I watched a short video on JtR in which Donald Rumbelow contributed. He made the statement that something like 55% of children in the East End area died by the age of five. Or something like that. It was a video and that's what I remember. Shocking. So MJK COULD have had a number of children in her short life.
                          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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                          • #14
                            Thanks, Anna. I'm glad you wrote that.

                            I was beginning to think that Mary Jane Kelly as a mother was becoming considered part of the "romanticization" of her.

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