A definition of witness.


Resident Of 157 Bow Common Lane, Burdett Road, Bow

When Elizabeth Phoenix read the description of the Miller's Court victim in the newspapers, she was convinced that the the description was that of a woman by the name of Mary Jane kelly, who had resided at her brother-in-law's house in Breezer's Hill, East London, until 1886.

On the evening of Sunday 11th November, 1888, Mrs Phoenix duly turned up at Leman Street Police Station to voice her suspicions as to the identity of the murdered woman and to provide an account of the victim's antecedents.

The Shields Daily News Monday, featured an article about her in its edition of Monday, 12th November, 1888:-

Mrs Elizabeth Phoenix, residing 157 Bow Common Lane, Burdett Road, Bow, called at Leman Street Police Station tonight and made a statement as to the identity of the murdered woman.

She states that about three years ago a woman, apparently the deceased judging from the published description, resided in Mrs Phoenix's brother-in-law's house, at Breezer's Hill, Pennington Street, near the London Docks.

She described the deceased as a woman about 5ft 7in, rather stout, blue eyes, and hair reaching nearly to her waist.

At the time she gave her name as Mary Jane Kelly, and stated that she was about 23, so that at her death she would be about 25.

There was, however, some difficulty in establishing her nationality. In the first place she stated that she was Welsh, and that her parents, who had discarded her. still resided in Cardiff, from which place she came; but on other occasions she declared that she was Irish.

She is described as being very quarrelsome and abusive when intoxicated, but "one of the most decent and nice girls you could meet when sober."

About two years ago she left Breezer's Hill for Commercial Road, from which quarter she has been frequently reported to Mrs Phoenix as leading a gay life."

Source: Shields Daily News, Monday, 12th November, 1888.