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The Claude Mellor suspect: In search of the "real" John Cleary

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

    I think Arthur’s POB was Store Street (WC).

    Thanks, Gary!

    Matthew Cleary seems to have moved around about the Charlotte Street, Poland Street, Bedford Square area by the looks of the births of his children. His wife was born in the Seven Dials area on Neal (formerly King Street)/ Queen Street location. He seems to have separated from her or lived part time at Savoy Buildings starting around April(ish) 1887.

    Regarding the torsos.

    Matthew Cleary would most likely have been in the Tottenham Court Road/ Bedford Square area most of his life. His children were born just east of there and his last census puts him right there at Coptic Street. As we know, the 1884 torso was strewn up that road from Bedford Square to Fitzroy Square.

    In 1887, after moving to Savoy Buildings (which was a hop skip and jump to the Victoria embankment and Waterloo Pier) body parts of the Rainham torso began showing up in the Thames in May. One thigh was found at Temple Pier in June of 1887 which was close to his address.

    In 1888 we know the trunk and leg of the Whitehall torso were discovered in the vault of the new police offices at Scotland yard. Again, Savoy Buildings was a short walk along the embankment to this location. Due to the reports of the woman being from a different class and the dress improver found wrapped in the parcel, I had a feeling the woman was a "theatre-goer". Cleary lived steps away from Terry's Theatre in Savoy Buildings.

    In 1889, Claude Mellor has suspicions about "John" Cleary that was living at #2 Savoy Buildings.

    From the The Ultimate Ripper Sourcebook (Evans and Skinner)

    Also, from The Complete Jack The Ripper A-Z - The Ultimate Guide to The Ripper Mystery (Begg, Fido, Skinner), they include this listing:

    ARNOLD, John aka. John or Stephen Cleary, Denis Lynch

    Why was Mellor so alerted to this Cleary and Backchurch Lane? Stephen Cleary was one of Mathhew Cleary's sons name.

    In 1890, a leg was found in Bloomsbury at the corner of Endell and Broad Street. This was, again, right in his wheelhouse. His wife was born basically in that exact location and his last census at Coptic Street was right there.


    • #17
      Thanks for the summary, Jerry - itís very useful.

      I know these locations quite well, having worked near Cavendish Square for 20-odd years and before that on the Embankment near Blackfriars Bridge.


      • #18
        Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
        Thanks for the summary, Jerry - it’s very useful.

        I know these locations quite well, having worked near Cavendish Square for 20-odd years and before that on the Embankment near Blackfriars Bridge.

        I think I remember you saying something like that when we were talking about Billiter Street. Thanks for your input.

        The Model Buildings in the 1901 census (#25) I found out were called the Streatham Street Model Family Homes. The Electoral registers show Matthew Cleary at #4 from 1896-1900. Then he moved into #25. By 1911 he moved to nearby St. Georges House on Coptic and George Street. There are a few pictures of the dwelling in this link.

        Here is a map I had from the 1890 leg found in Bloomsbury at the corner of Endell and Broad Street. What I thought was Brown Cow Street (lol) in the 1871 census was probably Brownlow Street which is seen on this map. Coptic Street, George Street, Streatham, Neal Street all fall close to or within the red mark I have put on the map.


        • #19
          Originally posted by Jerry Dunlop View Post
          Reuters Telegram Company

          SPRING 1871

          Reuters’ headquarters moves to 24 Old Jewry in the City.

          1871 England Wales Census:

          24 Old Jewry

          John Cleary
          relation to head of family: serv
          b. Limerick, Ashford
          Editorial Clerk

          Not sure if this is our guy or not. If it is he may have been working for Reuters in 1871?

          There is a John Cleary married to a Mary Kelly that was from near the same area in Limerick. Kilmallock. They had a child born in 1874 so that one is probably not a fit. Was an eye popper, though.
          I don't know if you've noticed this, but this John Cleary (John Clarke Cleary) ended up being a bookseller in Camberwell.

          In 1891 he is at No. 53 Albany Road, Camberwell, married to a woman named Frances. She dies around 1896 and he remarries and is living in Waterloo Square Camberwell in 1901.

          There's no doubt it's the same John Cleary as the 1911 census gives his birthplace as Ashford, Limerick, Ire., and he's the same age.

          His wife Louisa is listed as a "book folder," so maybe he printed books as well as sold them, which might somewhat align with his early occupation as an "editorial clerk."

          Perhaps Matthew and John Cleary were brothers. I knew a religious woman who named her sons Matthew, Luke, John, and Mark. Matthew's job as a printer/compositor potentially links him to John, the book seller, that is, if he's also printing/binding book. Then again, Glin isn't all that close to Ashford--about 36 miles.

          A lot of maybes and perhaps, but unfortunately none of this proves it is the same John Cleary.


          R P

          John Clearly 1911 A.JPG

          John Cleary 1911 B.JPG

          The above is the infirmary where he is suffering from consumption. Here's the entry for his wife and kids:

          John Cleary 1911 C.JPG


          • #20
            Thanks for the follow up R.J.

            I did not look much further into the "Reuters" John Cleary. I think I felt fairly convinced that Matthew Cleary was the man Claude Mellor was referring to. I will have to have another look at this, though.