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Mrs Rees 1888

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  • Hi Debs,

    I wasn't sure about the Cork marriage either.

    Am wondering if there was a marriage.

    Also looking at a possible connection with an older Julie Foley who was a rag and bone collector in Merthyr during the 1870s.

    Comment


    • Out of curiosity, I poked around a bit, looking into Louisa Elizabeth Wilson, the woman that was Mary Jane Reese's partner in crime in the abortion clinic. This was a rather far flung affair; the advertisements for their services can be found as far away as Leeds.

      Anyway, Wilson appears to be an example of a young woman in her early twenties who called herself a widow, even though she wasn't. In 1891 she is in Woking Prison; her name is right next to Mary Jane Reese's, so they may have been cell mates. Mrs. Maybrick is down the hall.

      In 1881 Wilson is in Worcester, calling herself a widow, raising a 2 year old daughter. But she isn't a widow. In 1880 she married a sailor named Gideon George White and he is still very much alive all the way into the 20th Century. His records constantly refer to him as married, but he is always living apart from his wife.

      I supposed calling oneself a widow kept a lot of unpleasant and unwanted questions from being asked; something, perhaps, to consider in regards to Mary Kelly.

      Comment


      • Claiming to be a widow could cover a number of things such as out of wedlock children.

        I have always had a problem trying to sort out MJK's story, whether she was married or not. If she pretended to be a widow and Kelly was her maiden name as Joe B. said, she should have been Mrs. Kelly. If she married Davies she should have been Mrs. Davies. Being a widow would give some respectability to being an unfortunate but Mary was young and perhaps the persona of maiden had more value. Part of prostitution is fantasy.

        If Joe B. had not told us the particulars we would have little idea that Mary may have ever, possibly, maybe have been married. Or not. Mary may have claimed to have had a child (Mrs. P. information) and that might point to a fake claim of marriage.

        Now here is a thought wholly pertinent to this thread=> Joe said Mary was in an infirmary...etc. Mrs. P. said Mary claimed to have had a child. Research from 1888 to today keeps getting Mary tangled up with the Rees family abortion business. What if Mary was a client and she was ill for quite some time after a difficult abortion?

        Some women who lose children or have an abortion and regret it, speak of the lost children in present terms, like the child would be two years old, etc. Mrs. P. ascribed something like that to Mary and added she herself had never seen the child. Maybe later tales of Mary having a small boy living with her are all based on Mrs. Harvey's boy but maybe Mary told tales of having a child of her own. I also found it peculiar that Joe B. said Mary was in an infirmary for a long time, perhaps even a year, but he never said why. Even in the 1880s, up to a year in an infirmary was notable.
        The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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        • Hi Anna. Thanks for you thoughts. I should have mentioned that, in the case of Louisa Wilson, though she is listed as a widow in 1881 (even though she's married) she also reverted back to using her maiden name, and does so in 1891, 1901, as well. It sounds like she didn't get along with her husband and didn't want to use his name, which is certainly understandable. Of course, this isn't proof of anything in regards to "Mary Kelly" or whoever she may have been. Cheers.

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          • Hi, R.J. A lot of young women today retake or simply use maiden names if they have come out of miserable marriages. I wonder how prevalent that was in the 1880s? Especially if property or wealth was not an issue and there were no children?
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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            • Mary Jane Florence Rees
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                I'm a good 2-3 years behind in my reading, but I read Paul Williams' excellent article this morning. "The Welshman Who Knew Mary Kelly," Ripperologist 160, if anyone here hasn't seen it. It would be easy to dismiss the story as a case of mistaken identity, but so much depends on whether Jane Williams and John Rees are describing the same woman. There's a lot of strange angles.
                Hi RJ,

                I've read this excellent article over about half a dozen times now. Of all the leads to MJK's past, this Rees/Hopkins association seems to be the strongest. I went back to read up on this long thread as well. I'm looking forward to any additional follow-up.

                Comment


                • One aspect I am trying to follow up is the true identity of Mary Jane Hopkins. I've speculated on another thread that she, and maybe Mary Kelly, were abortion patients who stayed in service but she directly referred to herself as Doctor Hopkin's daughter on several documented occasions. I'm wondering if Hopkins kept a mistress in a second house, which would explain his marriage break-down, and then took in the children when their mother died or his relationship with her ended.

                  Alternatively the 1861 census lists a foster child called Mary J Hopkins born Llangench, Carmarthenshire.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
                    One aspect I am trying to follow up is the true identity of Mary Jane Hopkins. I've speculated on another thread that she, and maybe Mary Kelly, were abortion patients who stayed in service but she directly referred to herself as Doctor Hopkin's daughter on several documented occasions. I'm wondering if Hopkins kept a mistress in a second house, which would explain his marriage break-down, and then took in the children when their mother died or his relationship with her ended.

                    Alternatively the 1861 census lists a foster child called Mary J Hopkins born Llangench, Carmarthenshire.
                    That could go a long way to understanding MJK. If she was adopted she might have made up the family she wished she had or related factoids told to her by others, like the father John, the gaffer in wherever. Maybe she was unsure where he was supposed to have worked.
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                    Comment


                    • It looks like Barbara Hopkins, the other daughter living with John Morgan Hopkins in 1881 and not found in birth records yet, married in the East End the following year.
                      Attached Files

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                      • There was a Barbara Louisa Hopkins registered in Swansea in 1857, mother's maiden name Jones and she also had a sister named Mary Jones Hopkins b 1860.

                        Both these girls appear on the 1861 census (with middle names)with parents David and Elizabeth. David Hopkins is a either a boot or book seller and the family live in Swansea.

                        Maybe it's just a coincidence of names, or could David be a relation of Dr Hopkins?
                        Are these the same girls does anyone think?

                        Name: Mother's Maiden Surname:
                        HOPKINS, BARBARA LOUISA JONES
                        GRO Reference: 1857 D Quarter in SWANSEA Volume 11A Page 489

                        HOPKINS, MARY JONES JONES
                        GRO Reference: 1860 S Quarter in SWANSEA Volume 11A Page 500

                        Comment


                        • I think it's a coincidence of names, but I could never work out who Barbara was. I suspect she is an "illegitimate" daughter or maybe just a stray that Dr. H 'adopted.' The whole thing is shrouded in mystery. Dr. Hopkins is missing from the family home in 1871 and he may be a bigamist.

                          I have Mary Jane Hopkins born in Llannon Carmarthenshire in 1847. You can see her in the 1851 and 1861 and 1871 census, always in Llannon, her feather listed as John Morgan Hopkins, Doctor of Medicine. There are other daughters, Agnes and Helen and Octavia, but no Barbara anywhere in sight. If she's his daughter, she's a 'natural.' But the 1881 has the appearance of a 'waiting in' hospital or abortion clinic if you ask me.

                          The Barbara Louisa you found is certainly interesting. I wonder what the heck the name of the witness is. Maybe it can afford a clue. Altaquesque? Is that even a name?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                            I think it's a coincidence of names, but I could never work out who Barbara was. I suspect she is an "illegitimate" daughter or maybe just a stray that Dr. H 'adopted.' The whole thing is shrouded in mystery. Dr. Hopkins is missing from the family home in 1871 and he may be a bigamist.

                            I have Mary Jane Hopkins born in Llannon Carmarthenshire in 1847. You can see her in the 1851 and 1861 and 1871 census, always in Llannon, her feather listed as John Morgan Hopkins, Doctor of Medicine. There are other daughters, Agnes and Helen and Octavia, but no Barbara anywhere in sight. If she's his daughter, she's a 'natural.' But the 1881 has the appearance of a 'waiting in' hospital or abortion clinic if you ask me.
                            Thanks.
                            What year was Barbara born?

                            I'd check back but I keep getting logged out of threads again.

                            Comment


                            • Barbara L. is supposedly born in Swansea in 1861. Her middle name isn't actually given as Louisa in 1881. This based on the 1881 census return for Dr. H.

                              Just a reminder for those peeking in... Dr. Hopkins supposedly has TWO daughters, both named Mary Jane. One is in Llannon, t'other in Swansea in 1881. Four daughters in one household, three in the other.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                                Barbara L. is supposedly born in Swansea in 1861. Her middle name isn't actually given as Louisa in 1881. This based on the 1881 census return for Dr. H.

                                Just a reminder for those peeking in... Dr. Hopkins supposedly has TWO daughters, both named Mary Jane. One is in Llannon, t'other in Swansea in 1881. Four daughters in one household, three in the other.
                                Thanks. Her middle name definitely was Louisa though, going by the marriage certificate Nina mentioned and Paul posted?

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