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Mrs Rees 1888

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  • Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
    R.J.

    Nina asked me to post this :

    This Barbara Louisa Hopkin married a man named Andrew Burch Waton, June 2nd, 1882 in Tower Hamlets, Bromley. Her father is listed as Dr. John Morgan Hopkins.

    (From Ancestry )
    That's really interesting Nina and How. Good find!
    I re-read Paul William's article recently and was intrigued about the two daughters named Mary Jane, as R.J.Palmer has picked up on too.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
      Hi Howard

      Interestingly I found an entry for Barbara Louisa Hopkins with another marriage in 1879 in Swansea

      It seems to be a different woman; she married a Frederick Trick and is still in Swansea in 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911.


      The other Barbara L. Hopkins is a tough nut to crack. There's a Barbara Hopkins living in a board school in Stoke Newington in 1871; she may have been born Swansea.


      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.

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      • Thanks to R.J for pointing out the Margaret Rees, servant to the Hopkins in 1861. Perhaps there is a connection with John Rees.

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        • This is from the "South Wales Echo", November 1885. I assume it has nothing to do with the Mrs. Rees discussed here and I will cheerfully delete if so. Still, it has to do with a Mrs. (Priscilla) Rees owning or running a place of ill-repute in Merthyr.
          Attached Files
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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          • There was also a Mary Jane Rees arrested for prostitution in June 1884 in Pontnewydd (along with a Mary Jane Day), but it can't be the same woman unless she was using an alias, as Mary Jane Hopkins didn't marry John Rees the quack abortionist until the first quarter of 1885. On another thread someone suggests Mary Kelly may have been a "Mary Jane Day" based on the rather weak or at least incomplete evidence that she married a man named Davies who died in a gas explosion. But again, this appears to be a name coincidence, as there were two women with these names (both servants) living in Cwmbran (the city just south of Pontnewydd) in 1881. I haven't really looked into it all that deeply.

            On another note....

            One would suspect that, in the general scheme of things, if man sired an illegitimate child in this era, he may well have "knocked up" one of his servants, so I wonder about the Margaret Rees living with Dr. Hopkins in 1861; by 1871 he is out of the house, and presumably has a daughter about 10 years of age. That said, the timing doesn't quite fit; it seems doubtful that Margaret would still be living in the Hopkins house in April 1861 had she been bursting at the seems, nine months pregnant. Further, it would make this whole saga even more sordid than it currently is, as one would then have to wonder even more about the strange marriage between Mary Hopkins and John Rees. The whole thing may or may not be related to Mary Kelly, but it is still a strange tale, worthy of a Russian novelist. The connection between John Rees and Dr. Hopkins appears to be a mighty odd one. Here's an account of the arrest for prostitution. Cardiff Times, 8 June, 1884:
            Attached Files

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            • Hi, R.J.: I long ago got lost in the Dr. Rees saga because I concentrated on one little part of the story and expanded that into some of my creative ponderings.

              Mary Jane Rees. John Rees. MJK's dad was John. As I recall the Mrs. Rees/MJK story has someone saying they knew MJK's father well, he was very intelligent and a marine store dealer.

              And that is where I went my own way pondering if this story could be tied to the Halket Street Kellies, some of which were marine store dealers or general dealers, including some women. Think about MJK having a sister who travelled about selling things, travelling with an aunt....

              Anyway, back to this thread, Mary Jane Rees sounds interesting. I have been thinking lately about those who really think MJK was a made-up name. I have been pondering, what if she was born in a brothel or some other loose arrangement where her surname might have been poorly defined? (Kind of like the article starting the thread about "Mary Jane McCarthy." You can follow through various names or lack thereof in the reportage though I doubt there was a deliberate effort to confuse. I suppose Mary Jane of 'Carthy's rents from Cartin's Court may as well be called Mary Jane McCarthy.)
              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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              • Hi Anna,

                John Rees described Dennis Kelly as a very intelligent man who conversed with Doctor Hopkins. I found that odd because of their different social status.

                If Hopkins impregnanted a servant he may have found it easier to arrange an abortion than to later accept the child as his own. Early in his career he was ordered to pay for one illegitimate child by a court. However an affair that produced a child might explain why he became estranged from his family in the 1860s. Caroline Davies, a former housekeeper, tried to sue him in 1869.

                The marriage between John Rees and Mary Jane Hopkins occured within a few months of Dr. Hopkin's death.

                As John claimed that the old man told him how to do abortions I suspect the relationship began sometime before and they could have been living in Swansea earlier than 1885.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
                  Hi Anna,

                  John Rees described Dennis Kelly as a very intelligent man who conversed with Doctor Hopkins. I found that odd because of their different social status.

                  If Hopkins impregnanted a servant he may have found it easier to arrange an abortion than to later accept the child as his own. Early in his career he was ordered to pay for one illegitimate child by a court. However an affair that produced a child might explain why he became estranged from his family in the 1860s. Caroline Davies, a former housekeeper, tried to sue him in 1869.

                  The marriage between John Rees and Mary Jane Hopkins occured within a few months of Dr. Hopkin's death.

                  As John claimed that the old man told him how to do abortions I suspect the relationship began sometime before and they could have been living in Swansea earlier than 1885.
                  It is possible the doctor performed abortions for humanitarian reasons but did not approve of the practice for his own activities. We still have the arguments made for abortion that it helps very poor women with too many children, etc. It would be possible a doctor who thus aided poor women, would not terminate pregnancies where the expected child would not be born into poverty, neglect and suffering.
                  The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                  Comment


                  • The abortion trade carried out by Doctor Hopkins and Mary Rees was commercial. It was also illegal so he would have to weigh up the risk of operating on someone that he had impregnated.

                    I am leaning towards the idea that he had a mistress who bore him Barbara and Mary and that the discovery of his arrangment was responsible for the seperation from his wife and other children.

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                    • Hi Howard. I noticed something tonight that will send shivers down your spine.

                      Check this out. It has to be one of the strangest moments in "Ripperology."

                      As, you know, I've taken an interest in John Rees, this abortionist that supposedly knew (and once employed) Mary Kelly.

                      I started looking into him, not realizing that Paul Williams, Neal Sheldon, and others have already been down this path.

                      Earlier today, I found an old post by Chris Scott from 2004. He decided he was going to try and trace Mary Kelly using pure logic and with only FOUR assumptions.

                      At the time of her death, she really was about 25 years old, +/- 1 year.

                      She really did live in Carmarthenshire.

                      She really did get married when she was about 16 or 17.

                      Her last name really was "Kelly."

                      That's it. Taking those four assumptions, Chris started checking out census reports, records of marriage, etc.

                      He came up with only one name. Margaret Kelly of LLanelli, Carmarthenshire. She is the only woman that met all four of the criteria.


                      Margaret Kelly.

                      I will post the link below so you can see for yourself.

                      He's the punch-line and the spooky part.

                      Chris Scott evidently didn't know when he traced this woman that this Margaret Kelly that he identified as Mary Kelly was the sister of Abigail Kelly, the woman that John Rees identified as the Whitechapel Murder victim back in 1888. He came up with her through an entirely different route.

                      This family can be found in 1881, still living back in the village. The father, the Marine Store man, is dead, and the mother is raising three daughters on her own: Abigail, Margaret, and Julia. What is somewhat strange is that Margaret married this Brewer chap only a few months earlier, but is living apart from him and is back in the family home.

                      Check it out:

                      https://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4921/11950.html

                      Later in the thread Richard Nunweek and Neal Sheldon jump in, but I don't think any of them realize that Chris Scott has found this woman without knowing about the John Rees story/connection.


                      So here's the even stranger part. Abigail Kelly was dismissed as the Ripper victim because she emigrated to the U.S. before 1888. She married a guy named William Muir and can be found in Pennsylvania in 1900. The ages of her children are such that she was probably pregnant in the autumn of 1888 and there is no reason to believe she returned to the UK at that time. (This is relevant because John Reese claimed he saw the Llanelli "Mary Kelly" in London in the spring of 1888).

                      The younger sister Julia can also be eliminated. She married a guy named Robert Cox and she can be found in 1891, 1901, etc. Alive and well.


                      The only sister of the three that cannot be traced after 1881 is Margaret Kelly (Brewer). The woman named by Chris Scott.

                      I'm having no luck tracing Alexander Brewer, her husband, on either side of the pond.

                      Until he and Margaret are found alive and well, I say she has to be in the mix as a possible "Mary Kelly." RP

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                      • Hi all,

                        I did trace Margaret Brewer, and mentioned this in an article in Ripperologist 149. She had two children in Dafen, both of whom died young. The crucial record was a burial register showing that she was there on 28 February 1888.

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                        • Hi Paul. Well done. I had forgotten that bit, but rather suspected someone must have chased the family down to the bitter end. The ‘Rees’ angle seems promising, but ultimately dissolves into so much smoke.

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                          • This is all very peculiar and for the most part I am staying out of it because I get lost half way through when we get to "marine store dealer."

                            However, research keeps leading back this direction as it did in 1888. Can this family be tied to any other Kellies, say in Cardiff or Liverpool?

                            In a census you can find a female marine store dealer, maybe the name is Julia but I don't remember right now. I always thought she was part of the Halket Street Kellies, some of whom were also involved in general dealing or marine store dealing. I always wondered if the female dealer could have been MJK's sister who travelled around with an aunt, selling things. In the Halket Street Kellies, in an industrial school register, there is a stray Mary Kelly, listed just under the others, said to have been born in Liverpool. I don't think we know any more about her. Also, there was an Ellen Kelly in trouble for having a house of ill fame in Cardiff. I have no way to say she was for sure from the Halket Street tribe but there was an Ellen Kelly in that group and I think I figured the age was OK for the brothel owner to possibly be a Halket Street Kelly.

                            Concerning the Halket Street Kellies it appeared there was an extended family so IMO a large amount of "brothers" could possibly include cousins. Denis Kelly was in the military. (I used to have a marvelous way of continually asking questions online till I got the answers I wanted. I once found Denis in the Scots Guards and thought I had solved it. It was some other Denis Kelly maybe even from the wrong time. I have corrected my methods.)

                            So what I am wondering is if Mary Jane Kelly's background was similar enough to Margaret's that it was easy to stray, even in 1888, in tracking the story? Or if a branch of the right family was found but it was the wrong branch?
                            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                            Comment


                            • If John Rees did know the family of Dennis Kelly, as claimed, then it is entirely plausible that he employed someone related to them. A cousin perhaps, newly arrived from Ireland or Cardiff? So far I have not been able to trace the background of Dennis or his wife Julia (nee Foley).

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Paul Williams View Post
                                If John Rees did know the family of Dennis Kelly, as claimed, then it is entirely plausible that he employed someone related to them. A cousin perhaps, newly arrived from Ireland or Cardiff? So far I have not been able to trace the background of Dennis or his wife Julia (nee Foley).
                                Hi Paul, you have probably seen the Denis Kelly and Kate Foley marriage Jan 1846 -Ovens & Aglis, Cork and Ross- I wondered if that could be their marriage with Julia maybe having two forenames but haven't been able to prove it either way.

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