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Syphilis, Burial of Unfortunates, Etc...

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  • Syphilis, Burial of Unfortunates, Etc...

    Here is a great video that actually pertains to around 1853 in London. If they did not mention a date, I think it could easily be 1888. It is about a young unfortunate, her terrible death and burial at Crossbones cemetery. Her coffin was toward the top. They were buried eight or nine deep, but in consecrated ground with religious ceremony. I think the area is Southwark.

    There may even be some implications here for those who think to recover MJK's remains for DNA testing.

    In some venues a viewer warning might be attached but I don't suppose that is necessary here.

    'History Cold Case, Crossbones Girl'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46V1LFBKUjl&t=1s

    (I promise to work on this link till it works.) Or not...I have tried everything and can't make it work. Youtube search is real simple so you can find it with the title above. Sorry.
    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

  • #2
    Hi Anna,

    Some years ago I worked in The Borough and often passed the Cross Bones burial ground (Union Street). I seem to recall that Southwark Council wanted to redevelop the site, but faced some strong opposition. The burial ground was always decorated with floral tributes.

    Incidentally, George Chapman once ran a pub in Union Street and was arrested at The Crown, Borough High Street. The whole area is steeped in history and is one of my favourite parts of London.

    My regards,

    Sean.

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    • #3
      I remember the program when it was first aired. IIRC the girl was only about 17 years of age, terribly young to die from such a terrible disease. Back then the age of consent was just 12 so its possible that she started prostituting as a child.

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      • #4
        Hi Phillip,

        Me too.

        Southwark was notorious for prostitution during its earliest periods. During the Middle Ages the Bishops of Winchester are thought to have had a significant hand in prostitution in the borough.

        Annie Chapman once lived in the borough, in a notorious area, not too far from the Elephant and Castle.

        My regards,

        Sean.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Phillip Walton View Post
          I remember the program when it was first aired. IIRC the girl was only about 17 years of age, terribly young to die from such a terrible disease. Back then the age of consent was just 12 so its possible that she started prostituting as a child.
          They figured she was probably 19 and probably named Elizabeth Mitchell. She had received mercury treatment but probably died of pneumonia in a hospital in a Magdalen ward. St. Saviour's was mentioned. The borough is the place but I didn't know if that was capitalized or not.

          The BIG question is that she probably had tertiary syphilis affecting her nose and bones and that takes a while to develop, up to ten years, so WHEN, how & why was she first infected? She did not have congenital syphilis.

          The good part of this is that people today have been holding candlelight vigils at the Cross Bones cemetery in memory of this girl and all the others. It is a really good video for anyone who has not seen it.
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sean Crundall View Post
            Hi Anna,

            Some years ago I worked in The Borough and often passed the Cross Bones burial ground (Union Street). I seem to recall that Southwark Council wanted to redevelop the site, but faced some strong opposition. The burial ground was always decorated with floral tributes.

            Incidentally, George Chapman once ran a pub in Union Street and was arrested at The Crown, Borough High Street. The whole area is steeped in history and is one of my favourite parts of London.

            My regards,

            Sean.
            Yes, Sean, I mentioned in my post above that modern people hold vigils there to remember the unfortunates of a bygone time.

            This girl was found because of development that cut into the graveyard. I think some of the graveyard yet exists.
            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
              Yes, Sean, I mentioned in my post above that modern people hold vigils there to remember the unfortunates of a bygone time.

              This girl was found because of development that cut into the graveyard. I think some of the graveyard yet exists.
              Hi Anna,

              I've not seen any vigils but the site is certainly adorned with tributes of one kind or another.

              A small portion of the graveyard still exists and, if I remember correctly, contains no headstones. Sadly, it resembles a disused parking lot!

              The documentary was very interesting and quite accurately painted the desperate plight of many women of the period.

              Best wishes,

              Sean.

              Comment

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