A definition of witness.


She Hadn't Seen Her Mother For Two Years

Annie Phillips was the daughter of Catherine Eddowes and Thomas Conway, albeit her relationship with her mother does not to have been a particularly cordial one, and, as she stated at the inquest into Catherine Eddowes death, she hadn't seen her mother for more than two years.

John Kelly, when he gave evidence on the opening day of the inquest, sated that the last thing Catherine said to him when they parted company of the Saturday, the day before her death, was that she was "going over to Bermondsey to try and find her daughter, Annie."

Believing that Annie might be able to provide information on Catherine's movements in the hours leading up to her murder, the police set about tracing Annie, and she duly appeared as a witness at the resumed inquest on the morning of Thursday, 11th October, 1888.

Later that day, Globe published the details of her testimony:-

Annie Phillips, 12, Dilston-Grove, Southwark Park Road, married woman, aged 23, stated that she was the daughter of the deceased.

Her mother always told the witness that she was married to her father, Thomas Conway. She had not seen him since he was living with the witness and her husband 15, Anger-street, Southwark Park-road, about 15 months ago. He left her house suddenly without assigning any reason. They were not then the best of terms.

Her father was a teetotaller, and did not live on good terms with her mother because she used to drink. He was hawker.

The witness had not the slightest idea where was now, but was sure he bore the deceased no ill-feeling.

When she was alive, the witness's mother had told her that her father had been in the 18th Royal Irish, and was a pensioner for life. She could remember him receiving his allowance since she was eight years old.

He left the deceased between seven and eight years ago.

She was in the habit of seeing her mother after the two parted, and she frequently applied for money. The last time was two years and one month ago.

Witness did not see her mother on the Saturday previous to her death. She saw the deceased last at her house in King-street, Bermondsey, but the witness did not give her mother her address when she left.

The witness had two brothers, sons of Thomas Conway, living in London. Her mother did not know where they resided.

When her father was living with her and her husband, he knew that the deceased was living with Kelly.

By Mr. Crawford: Her father might have been a pensioner in the Connaught Rangers; she was not sure.

The witness last saw Kelly and the deceased about three years ago in the lodging house in Flower and Dean Street.

Her father was now living with her two brothers, but she did not know where. She had lost all trace of her father, mother, and brothers for 18 months, and she could not assist the police in the slightest."

Source: The Globe, Thursday, 11th October, 1888.


Annie also provided some extra information as to why she and her siblings had avoided making contact with their mother, and why they had kept their whereabouts a secret from her.

Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper published these extra details on Sunday, 14th October, 1888:-

Annie Phillips, daughter of the deceased, said:-

I live at 14, Dilston-grove, Southwark-park-road. My husband, Lewis Phillips, is a lamp blacker. I am 23.

My father's name was Thomas Conway. I have not seen him lately - not for the last 15 or 18 months. He was living for some time with me and my husband, at 15, Acre-street, Southwark-park-road. He was a hawker. I do not know what became of him. He left us suddenly without assigning any reason for it.

He was a sober man - a teetotaller. They lived only on bad terms when she used to drink. I have not the least idea where he is living now.

The Coroner:- "Was it entirely on the ground of your mother's drunken habits that he ceased to live with her?"


The Coroner:- "When was the last time you saw her?"

Two years and a month ago.

The Coroner:- "Did you see anything of her on Saturday, the day previous to her death?"

No. I lived at King-street, Bermondsey before, and when I left that I did not leave my address.

The Coroner:- "Were there any other family with your mother by Conway?"

Yes; two brothers. My mother did not know where to find either of them.

The Coroner:- "They purposely kept from her?"

Yes, for the purpose of preventing her from applying for money."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, Sunday, 14th October, 1888.