A definition of witness.


In A Relationship With Annie Chapman.

Edward Stanley, also known as the "pensioner", was in a long term relationship with Annie Chapman. The two of them, according to Timothy Donovan, the deputy lodging-house keeper at Crossingham's lodging house, 35 Dorset Street, used to often spend Saturday nights together at the lodging house.

At first, the police had no idea of Stanley's whereabouts. But, since he was said to have been a pensioner from the army, he was considered a person of interest on account of the fact that a portion of envelope with the crest of the Sussex Regiment on it was found near to Annie Chapman's body.

At first the police were unable to trace Stanley, but then, over the weekend of 15t to 16th September, he walked into Commercial Street Police Station and gave a full account of his movements and his relationship with the murdered woman.

The Western Daily Press reported on this development in its edition of Monday, 17th September, 1888:-

The police have been in communication with the pensioner, Edward Stanley, who is known to have been frequently in the company of the murdered woman, Chapman.

Stanley, who is a man of 47 years of age of age, attended the Commercial Street police station, and made a statement, which was taken down by Inspector Helson. His explanation of his proceedings are regarded as perfectly satisfactory, and as affording no possible ground for associating him in any way with the recent outrages.

In view of his relations with the deceased woman, Stanley felt diffidence in coming forward, but after the expressions of opinion by the coroner at the inquest on Thursday, he placed himself in direct communication with the police.

It was by arrangement that he subsequently proceeded to Commercial Street police station.

Stanley has given the police a full account of his whereabouts since he last saw the deceased woman, which was on the Sunday preceding the murder. Since then, he has been following his usual employment, and taken no steps to conceal his movements.

The man is described as superior to the ordinary run of those who frequent the lodging-houses of Spitalfields.

He states that he has known Chapman for about two years, and denies that she was of a quarrelsome disposition. As far as he was aware there was no man with whom she was on bad terms, or who would have any reason for seeking her life.

Stanley will attend the inquest when the proceedings are resumed, though his evidence is not expected to throw much light on the tragedy."

Source: The Western Daily Press Monday, 17th September, 1888.


He appeared as a witness at the resumed inquest into Annie Chapman's death on Wednesday, 19th September, 1888, and The Globe duly reported his testimony in its next day's edition:-

Edward Stanley, a tall, elderly looking man, said:-

I live at No. 1, Osborn-place, Osborn-street, Spitalfields. I am a bricklayer's labourer, and I am known by the name "the Pensioner."

I knew the deceased. I visited her at 35, Dorset-street, once or twice, and at other times elsewhere.

I last saw her alive on Sunday, the 2nd inst., between one and three o'clock. She was then wearing rings. I knew no one she was on bad terms with. I have never been with her week after week.

The Coroner:- "Are you a pensioner?"

The Witness:- "Cannot I refuse to answer that question?"

The Coroner:- "It is said at one time a man was just going to receive a pension.";

The Witness:- "Then it cannot be me."

The Coroner:- "Were you ever in the Royal Sussex Regiment?"

The witness:- "Never. It is possible I may get discharged from my employ for this when I go back again. I am a law-abiding man, who interferes with nobody that does not interfere with me.

Timothy Donovan, deputy lodging-house keeper, said the "Pensioner" and the deceased used come to his lodging house from Saturday till Monday. He thought the "Pensioner"; had been there or seven Saturdays, and was just there the Saturday before the woman died.

The Coroner:- "What do you say to that, Pensioner?"

Edward Stanley:- ";That is all wrong. I was at Gosport from the 6th of August to the 1st of September."

The Coroner:- "I should think the lodging-house keeper is mistaken."

Source: The Globe Thursday, 20th September, 1888.