A definition of witness.


A Resident Of Dorset Street

Elizabeth Foster is one of those people who makes a brief appearance in the newspapers - in her case in the wake of the murder of Mary Kelly - and then fades once more into obscurity.

Her involvement in the case was centred upon the fact that she would be able to account for part of Mary Kelly's final days.

However, in the immediate aftermath of the crime, it appeared that nobody was able to find her.

The Yorkshire Post made t he following brief mention of her on Monday, 12th November, 1888:-

A woman who, it is alleged, would be able to give evidence has not yet been found.

Her name is Elizabeth Foster, and it is said that she was seen drinking in company with the deceased on the night before the murder."

Source: The Yorkshire Post, Monday, 12th November, 1888.


However, on Tuesday, 13th November, 1888, Freeman's Journal was able to break the news that Elizabeth Foster had been traced by a Press Association reporter, and she had made a brief statement about what she knew of Mary Kelly's final days, which, so it transpired, was not a great deal:-

Elizabeth Foster, who lives in a lodging-house in Dorset-street, has made the following statement to a Press Association reporter:-

"I have known Mary Jane Kelly for the last eighteen months, and we were always good friends.

She used to tell me that she came from Limerick.

She was as nice a woman as one could find, and, although an unfortunate, I don't think she went on the streets whilst she lived with Barnett.

On Wednesday night, I was in her lodgings with her, and the next evening I met her in the Ten Bells public house, near Spitalfields Church. We were drinking together, and she went out about five minutes past seven o'clock.

I never saw her after that."

Source: Freeman's Journal, Tuesday, 13th November, 1888.