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Biddy the Chiver’s Khazi

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    1911

    Biddy, her mother Bridget, her sister Julia (using the surname Butcher) and three of Julia’s children were recorded at 6, Moore’s Buildings, Shoreditch on the 1911 census. Someone had initially included Thomas O’Rourke as the head of the household and then crossed his name out.

    Thomas had been sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment on 1st Feb, 1911 for assaulting a female, so he would still have been in prison when the census was taken on 2nd April. He was due to be released on 1st August but may in fact have been freed slightly earlier. On 26th July, Biddy was admitted to the Whitechapel Infirmary suffering from fractured ribs. She was admitted from 3, Flower and Dean Street rather than Moore’s Buildings.

    Who was the female O’Rourke assaulted? Was it Biddy herself, some other woman he was entangled with, or just a random victim he encountered?

    If Biddy had dobbed her old man in in some way, he may have come out of prison looking for revenge and found her hiding in F&D. Perhaps it was he who fractured her ribs.

    That’s all very conjectural, I know, but it ties into the known facts, as does Arthur Harding’s version of events, aside from its dramatic finale.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Poor old Biddy, her heart finally gave out. 204, Hoxton Street was the Shoreditch Infirmary.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Death Cert

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Birth Cert

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
    Very interesting thread, Gary. Thanks for posting all this follow up.
    Thanks, Debs.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for old Biddy and I thought she deserved a thread of her own. I should have her death cert today (pdf) and I’ve got some other irons in the fire.

    The echoes of the MJK story are interesting don’t you think? There was apparently a lot of animosity towards the Irish who emigrated to South Wales as a result of the famine. I wonder if that’s why the Enrights moved away from Tredegar and wound up in Essex/London. They don’t seem to have been too welcome there either - at least not in West Ham.

    There’s a Bridget Enright of about the same age as Biddy’s mother who spent much of her later life in and out of the Poplar workhouse. I think she may have died in a fire in Poplar in March Q 1922. A Julia Enright of the same age as Biddy’s older sister also died in Poplar in the same quarter.

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  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Very interesting thread, Gary. Thanks for posting all this follow up.

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  • Howard Brown
    replied

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
    Considering the parish system and seeing the post below where a parish in Ireland is mentioned, I wonder if MJK could be back tracked from London by parish register? If she ever applied for charity she must have been asked to name her home parish. Whether Wales or Ireland, maybe there is a Mary Jane ________ in some of these relevant records that would look interesting?
    Ballylongford isn’t far from Limerick.

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Considering the parish system and seeing the post below where a parish in Ireland is mentioned, I wonder if MJK could be back tracked from London by parish register? If she ever applied for charity she must have been asked to name her home parish. Whether Wales or Ireland, maybe there is a Mary Jane ________ in some of these relevant records that would look interesting?

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    I think these Poplar settlement examination notes refer to Biddy’s family.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Gary, yes he's in CBY in 1935 electorals.
    Ah, thanks.

    I’m still waiting for Biddy’s marriage and death certs, so I’ll hold off for the time being with anything more from 1907+.

    The moths have been put on notice that I intend to get a copy of Patrick and Bridget’s marriage cert, copies of Biddy’s various siblings’ birth certs and the Catherine death cert to provide some more detail of the Enrights’ time in Wales.

    In the meantime there is one incident worth mentioning that almost matches one of Arthur’s jackanories (brought over from the “My Apprenticeship to Crime: Arthur Harding” thread):


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    The fact that Biddy wasn’t charged with bottling Minnie Cross is reminiscent of the incident Arthur relates of her being acquitted of glassing a woman. His comment about people wanting to buy him a drink after the acquittal implies he had something to do with the victim’s unwillingness to prosecute, but he would only have been 15 at the time of this incident.

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Gary, yes he's in CBY in 1935 electorals.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    She doesn't seem to have murdered her husband, anyway.
    Have you found him after 1934, Rob?

    He was clearly a violent individual and there is some evidence to suggest he may have been so towards his wife (do you recall the fractured ribs?) More about that later.

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    She doesn't seem to have murdered her husband, anyway.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    There are inaccuracies in a number of Arthur Harding’s anecdotes. Those concerning “Scabby”, “China Bob” and “Spud” Murphy, for example, have been discussed on another thread. And the fact that other than when he gets him muddled up with “Scabby” Harding is entirely silent about Billy Maher - in his day surely the most man in Spitalfields - makes me wonder how much personal experience he actually had of the “Terrors” he mentions.

    As we progress through the Biddy story, we’ll find sufficient correlation between the facts and Harding’s anecdotes to id our Bridget as his Biddy, but the dramatic conclusion to his version seems to have no basis in fact. Did he ever meet her? Did their eyes really meet across a crowded room? Did he lean on one of Biddy’s victims to ensure she didn’t prosecute her?

    I personally hae ma doots, and I think we can even have a stab (or should that be a chiv?) at guessing where Arthur obtained his info about Biddy.

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