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The Welsh Girl, The Box of Dresses, Knightsbridge & Bow: A Mary Kelly Equivalent

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  • The Welsh Girl, The Box of Dresses, Knightsbridge & Bow: A Mary Kelly Equivalent

    Found an interesting article from the London Evening Standard dated 26 January 1886 which deals with an unnamed "Welsh girl", described as around 19 years of age and of "respectable appearance", who came to London to go into service with an (also unnamed) female living on Sloane Street (Chelsea). Although the age is off for the presumed age of Mary Jane Kelly, of course, and the period doens't exactly feel right, I do find the apparant similarities with the Mrs. Buki-story to be of some interest, especially the close proximity of Sloane Street to Knightsbridge, the box of dresses, as well as the friend in Bow (remember Mrs. Phoenix who gave her adress as 157 Bow Common Lane, Burdett Road, Bow).
    Unfortunately all characters involved in this story remain unnamed.

    welshgirl1.png

    Chris Philips found another article adding that the Welsh girl had arrived in London from Breconshire.

    welshgirl2.jpg

    Again: I don't believe this girl to be our Mary Jane kelly, but it is an interesting analogue to the story as recounted by Elizabeth Felix (Morgenstern) and others, especially the box-retrieving bit involving Mrs. Buki.

    Curious as to what you may think.

  • #2
    This sounds like Mrs. Buki was an awful employer. Yikes! This sounds like that common ploy people would use to entrap young women in prostitution with a “debt.” Sounds like Mrs. Buki did this a lot.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Linotte View Post
      This sounds like Mrs. Buki was an awful employer. Yikes! This sounds like that common ploy people would use to entrap young women in prostitution with a “debt.” Sounds like Mrs. Buki did this a lot.
      The would-be employer mentioned in the articles is not likely to be Mrs. Buki, in any case.

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      • #4
        This is all very intriguing. Perhaps the Court decreed the Welsh servant had to refund the 18s before she could retrieve her box. She had no money and nowhere to live, just a contact in Bow. Perhaps the contact knew of someone who was prepared to loan her the money and take her to Sloane Street to collect the box - but there were strings attached.

        Mrs Buki had relatives in Bow and it was said to have been she who went with MJK to collect her box of dresses from the French lady in Knightsbridge.

        The date, - Jan, 1886 - seems a bit late and the estimate of the servant’s age a bit young, but I personally don’t see Joe Barnett as a infallible witness when it comes to remembering the details of what Kelly told him about her past.

        This incident is worth plugging away at, it may yield something significant.



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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jurriaan Maessen View Post

          The would-be employer mentioned in the articles is not likely to be Mrs. Buki, in any case.
          The woman in Knightsbridge, I mean.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jurriaan Maessen View Post
            e
            Again: I don't believe this girl to be our Mary Jane kelly, but it is an interesting analogue to the story as recounted by Elizabeth Felix (Morgenstern) and others, especially the box-retrieving bit involving Mrs. Buki.

            Curious as to what you may think.
            Hi Juriaan.
            It's interesting what Elizabeth Phoenix said but also maybe it was commonplace for women in service to have a box of clothing in their possession and this particular Welsh girl was in service. She apparently wasn't expecting to be ousted from her position, bearing in mind she stayed out all night because of the snow. Lily Vass, mentioned by some as being the victim of the Whitehall vault dismemberment murder (she wasn't) was probably wiser on this point. She left her box with someone other than her employer when she went AWOL from her position.

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            • #7
              Isn't this a rather fashionable address? Sloane Street, Chelsea, is where Sir Charles Dilke lived.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post
                Isn't this a rather fashionable address? Sloane Street, Chelsea, is where Sir Charles Dilke lived.
                It is, and it is adjacent to Knightsbridge (running between Knightsbridge and Sloane Square, to be exact).

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                • #9
                  It appears Sloane Street- for all its fashionableness, did have its share of unfortunates.
                  You do not have permission to view this gallery.
                  This gallery has 1 photos.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jurriaan Maessen View Post
                    It appears Sloane Street- for all its fashionableness, did have its share of unfortunates.
                    Great Peter Street was Westminster’s version of Flower and Dean Street.

                    There was a thread about a ‘riot’ that occurred there, but it seems to have disappeared.

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                    • #11
                      In 1881 Catherine Eddowes and family lived in Lower George Street, which is in the neighborhood of Sloane Street. Turks Row (Elizabeth Jackson) was also in the vicinity.

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