A definition of witness.


Lived Above Mary Kelly.

Elizabeth Prater occupied the room above that of Mary Kelly in Miller's Court. At around 4am on the morning of the 9th November 1888 she heard a faint cry of "oh murder". The Wigton Advertiser carried the following report on her inquest testimony:-

Elizabeth Prater, a married woman who had been deserted by her husband five years since, stated that she lived in No. 20 room, just above the gateway in Miller's Court. Mary Kelly lived below her.

The witness returned to her room close upon one a.m. on Friday. From the stairs on the way to her own room witness did not notice a light in Kelly's apartments, although through the beading of the wall she had often seen a glimmer.

The witness slept in her clothes all night, but previously barricaded her door. She slept very soundly the whole night.

At about four a.m. her kitten, which often got on to the bed when the room was cold, came and rubbed her face and woke her.

As the witness, who had been drinking, turned over to slap the cat, she heard a faint cry like someone waking out of a nightmare, saying, "oh, murder."

About 5.30 am. the witness got up and went to the public house to get some rum. Men were then harnessing horses in Dorset-street, which was the usual practice.

There was no singing in Kelly's room at 1.30 am."

Source: The Wigton Advertiser, Saturday, 17th November, 1888.


Elizabeth Prater said:- I live at No. 20 Miller' Court.

On Thursday I went out of the court about five, and I returned close upon one on Friday morning. I lay down on the bed at 1.30 in my clothes. I fell asleep directly, because I had been having something to drink and I slept soundly.

I had a little black kitten which used to come on to my neck. It woke me up from 3.30 to 4 by coming on to my face, and I gave it a blow and knocked it off. The lights were out in the lodging house. The cat went on to the floor, and at that moment I heard, "Oh! Murder." I was then turning round on my bed.

The voice was "a faintish one," as though someone had woke up with a nightmare.

Such a cry is not unusual, and I did not take any particular notice."

Source: The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, Tuesday, 13th November, 1888.