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Pearly Poll in 1882

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  • Pearly Poll in 1882

    If this is the very same Mary Connolly from 1882 and 1888 - and I think it is - then we are looking at a very tough old bird indeed who was not unfamiliar with the use of a long bladed knife.

    198. MARY CONELLY (39) , Feloniously assaulting Auguste Carlson, with intent to rob him.
    MR. ROBERTSON Prosecuted; MR. ROMIEU Defended, at the request of the COURT.
    AUGUSTE CARLSON (Interpreted). I am a Norwegian, and do not understand English—I am a sailor—on 22nd December I left my ship about 6 p.m.—it was in the river—I went up Ratcliff Highway to find a boarding-house—I then went out with the chief mate for a walk about 7 o'clock—we went into a dancing-room—we went out shortly after, and went into another dancing-room—we had a glass of hot rum, or toddy, and a glass of ale in the first dancing-room, and two glasses of ale in the second—we were in the second about a quarter of an hour—we then went into a public-house—we had a glass of rum each—I felt rather giddy and overcome, and left the mate in the dance-house and walked along the street for fresh air—I rejoined the mate, and was with him after about an hour and a half—a young woman came up and spoke to me in the Ratcliff Highway, St. George's Street, about 9 p.m.—we went to a house in a dark street, not a public house—I saw the prisoner when
    See original
    we entered a second room—the other woman asked me for drink—I gave her half a crown—she gave it to the prisoner to go for drink—when she returned I asked the prisoner for the change—she said she had spent all the money in drink—she brought some rum in a bottle, I can't say how much—I was three parts drunk—all three drank together—the other woman asked for more money to go for more drink—I said, "You have got quite enough to-night, and I shan't give you any more"—we were drinking about three-quarters of an hour—the other woman put her hand into my right-hand trousers pocket, and tried to get some money—she was sitting the same side of me as the pocket—I caught hold of the pocket—the prisoner held me—she was on the other side of the table, about two steps off; but she ran round the table, flew at me, held me by the coat, and scratched my face—while she was struggling with me I received a cut on the back of my right hand with a knife—I was grasping the pocket at the same time—the other woman dragged the pocket out—I cannot say who inflicted the wound—I saw a long knife, I cannot say which woman had it—I lost no money—I had 7s. and some odd pence in my pocket—it remained in the pocket—I got frightened, halloed out, struck the prisoner with my fist in the eye, and ran out—I did use a knife—I made an attempt at the prisoner—when I got outside I halloed out for help—a man took hold of me, and I was taken by a policeman to the station—I was charged, I don't know what with—I was in jail till next morning—I was brought before the Magistrate—I gave evidence against the prisoner—I was discharged.
    Cross-examined. My hand is not quite healed. (It was unbound and shown to the Jury.)
    Re-examined. A doctor examined my hand, and has since attended me.
    WILLIAM TROUGHTON (Policeman H 353). The prisoner was charged on 23rd December—it was a countercharge by order of the Magistrate—I apprehended her; she said nothing—when the charge was read over to her she said" I never did it in my life"—I took Carlson into custody about 11.15 p.m. on 22nd December in High Street, Shadwell—I know Palmer's Place; it is a turning out of St. George's Street—Carlson was being held by a private individual, and I detained him while another constable found Conelly—she charged Carlson with stabbing her; she had a cut on her shoulder about the width of a finger nail—we found that at the station—the prosecutor was bleeding profusely from the hand in the street—he was drunk—we could not understand him, and had to call in a Norwegian, who explained what he was charged with—he had a cut across the knuckles of the right hand, and another on the side of his hand; his pocket was hanging out, and there was some money in the bottom of it, as it hung by the stuff of the trousers—the Norwegian said Carlson denied stabbing the woman—he also had a scratch on the side of his face—I was unable to find the other woman—the locality is very low and chiefly inhabited by prostitutes—I know the prisoner by sight.
    Cross-examined. The prosecutor identified this knife (produced) as his at the station—the other constable picked it up.
    JOHN MATHESON (Policeman H 298). On 22nd December I met the prisoner in Palmer's Place, at the bottom of St. George's Street—she appeared to have been drinking—she was bleeding from the shoulder; she took her shawl off, and I could see it—she said she had been stabbed by some man—I picked up this knife in St. George's Street, about 50
    See original
    yards from the house she complained of being assaulted in—the woman followed me out of the house, and we all four went to the station together—Carlson recognised his knife at the station the same evening—he said "That is my knife; I am sure of that"—I went to 5, Palmer's place, and was ordered out by a prostitute who presumes to be the landlady—the house is a brothel—the prisoner was apprehended the following morning at the police-court.
    Cross-examined. The prosecutor was drunk.
    The Prisoner's Statement before the Magistrate. " I did not rob him. I did not put my hand nigh him. The sergeant in the Court knows me as a hard-working woman. "
    NOT GUILTY .

  • #2
    A.P.

    According to the A to Z, Connally was born in 1838...making her 50 ( ballpark ) in 1888....and of course, 44 in 1882.

    Then again, ahem...women have been known to tell fibs about their age..

    Good find as always, Senor Lobo.
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    • #3
      Thanks How, what I found even more interesting was that a 'H' division police constable could be ordered out of a house by a prostitute, even when he was investigating a serious stabbing case.

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      • #4
        A.P.

        That went right over my head the first time I read it ( the landlady/"presumed" prostitute, jettisoning the constable while he's inquiring about the stabbing). That might be the only time I have ever seen an instance, either in print or real life,like that. Good eye and thanks for pointing that out.
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        • #5
          Hey AP,

          So you found this one too? But then you look like you're methodically going through all the Old Bailey records, so you'll no doubt find everything they have to offer at some point.

          This may or may not be Pearly Poll, but certainly there are some similarities there pointing to that direction. The age doesn't particularly bother me as ages in these records are always a bit variable from reality. On top of that I've never been able to determine what source the A-Z was using for Poll's birth date anyway, and there are others listed in there that are incorrect, so that may not be accurate.

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          • #6
            Spot on, Dan, I'm, trawling the trials month by month, starting from Jan 1880, and have worked my way up to March 1882 so far... that's reading every single trial in the court record.
            Fortunately my one good eye still has the capacity to speed read.
            It is a marvelous education that puts one right into the heart and matter of the LVP.
            Why did rapes increase in 1881 over 1880?
            Why were fraudulent crimes considered more serious than violent crimes?
            Why were more women murdered in 1880 than in 1881 and 1882?
            How could Thomas Cutbush write letters threatening to kill people - in the possession of the police and the Treasury - and not be prosecuted for this very, very serious offence which was often tried at the Old Bailey?
            So many questions, Dan.
            I hope to find an answer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by A.P. Wolf View Post
              Why did rapes increase in 1881 over 1880?
              A good question. The answer might be that they didn't, but they were more frequently reported. Perhaps due to enlightenment on the part of women?

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              • #8
                Kelly, good point, but I think the Old Bailey was the last place on earth where one might have found 'enlightenment on the part of women' in the LVP.
                They were bastards.

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                • #9
                  A 35-year-old¹ "Mary Ann Connelly" was admitted to Whitechapel Infirmary in April and June 1888. Her occupation is given as "hawker" then "char" (indeed!), and her ailments are listed first as laryngitis and then as bronchitis. Recall that Pearly Poll was reported as having a "husky voice".

                  Admitted once again to the Infirmary with myalgia on 20th July, she was discharged on 4th August, where her occupation was given unambiguously as "prostitute", having been admitted from George Street. Renamed Lolesworth St in 1893, George Street was almost literally round the corner from George Yard, and a short hop away from Brick Lane, where Pearly and Martha had caroused with the two soldiers.

                  By the time she appeared at Martha's inquest, Pearly Poll was living at Crossingham's in Dorset Street - but she'd only taken up residence there two days² previously, her appearance at the inquest being on the 23rd August.
                  ______

                  ¹ The East London Advertiser reported Pearly Poll had a cousin named "Shean" near Drury Lane. I've found a "Mary Ann Shean", single, working as a servant at Tenter Street, Spitalfields, in the 1871 Census. I can't find her thereafter, which may mean she married or changed her name. Her age is given as 19 in 1871, which would have made her around 35 or 36 in 1888. Whether she was one and the same as the Infirmary's Mary Ann Connelly, age 35, of George Street, we can only conjecture.

                  ² Note: the Times and East London Observer has Pearly saying she'd been resident in Crossingham's for "2 days", whereas I believe the Morning Advertiser reports 2 months.

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                  • #10
                    Try 'Shea' instead, Sam.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by A.P. Wolf View Post
                      Try 'Shea' instead, Sam.
                      It says "Shean" wherever I've read it, AP. Unless you know of a "Mary Ann Shea" with confirmed connections with Drury Lane, that is...

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                      • #12
                        I mention 'Shea', Sam, because if you go over to my 'Nice Day for a white wedding' thread, you will meet this young 'unfortunate' lady:

                        ' MARY ANN SHEA . I am the prosecutor's stepdaughter, and live at 5, Albert Square, Shad well—on the night of 11th November I was with him and Eliza Pattison in the Blue Anchor—there were two young men having a drink—the prisoner came in and called for a drink—two young women followed him in, and they asked him to treat them; I can't say what answer he made—he went towards the door, put his back against it, pulled a revolver out of his pocket, and fired it; he then put it in his coat pocket and said, "I have done it, but I did not mean it for him"—no one struck him.'

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                        • #13
                          Margaret?

                          Researching Pearly Poll a little last year, I started to wonder if Pearly Poll may have been called Margaret, maybe as another given forename,
                          'Margaret Mary Ann' was a not unpopular combination of forenames that crops up quite a lot of the census.

                          According to Lloyd's Weekly of August 12 1888 (same story printed in the Echo of 10th august 88)
                          Pearly Poll was also supposedly known in the district as "Mogg," which is a nickname for Margaret. The name Margaret also means 'Pearl'....maybe that's how the 'Pearly' bit fits in? I'm not sure what the general accepted explanation of the 'Pearly' nickname is.

                          Another interesting story that caught my eye (mainly because of my above thoughts I must admit) was in the The Galveston Daily News Sun May 26 1895, a report titled 'In Darkest Hell' by Edward Marshall.
                          I'm not saying this defintely has anything to do with Martha and Poll , if it's reliable at all, but the mention of Mag [another form of Margaret] and the first victim, which some view Martha as, caught my eye.

                          Marshall Describes a trip through Whitechapel with an ex detective. Among the inhabitants of Whitechapel that they meet is "murder Mag" so called because of an obsession she had with the ripper murders. Mag had devoted her life to studying the Whitechapel murders, she hung around the murder spots and whenever she had the money, stayed in the rooms they occured in, for at least a month at a time [rooms plural?]

                          Her strange behaviour was put down to the fact that the first woman killed was her mate.

                          Among Mag's other claims was the fact that a policeman was on duty in a dingy court the night of one indoor murder and witnessed the whole thing happening but was too afraid to do anything.


                          Debs

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                          • #14
                            Debs;
                            Do you or anyone else know where the idea that Pearly Poll was born in 1838 ( Page 105 of the A To Z, for a source ) came from ?
                            Thanks.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Howard Brown View Post
                              Debs;
                              Do you or anyone else know where the idea that Pearly Poll was born in 1838 ( Page 105 of the A To Z, for a source ) came from ?
                              Thanks.
                              I don't, How. I remember some discussion about this years back and Dan Norder asking me if the Mary Ann Connelly he had found a picture of in the 'Criminals of America' book might be Pearly Poll. I was able to rule that particular criminal as she died before 88. Apart from that I haven't found much on her...or really looked to be honest.

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