A definition of the word witness.


Resident of New Cottage, Buck's Row

Mrs. Emma Green's house in Buck's Row, overlooked the spot where the body of Mary Nichols was found at 3.40am on the morning of August 31st, 1888.

her house was the last one in the line of houses on the south side of Buck's Row, and it adjoined Brown's stable yard, in the gate of which the body of Mary Nichols was found.

Mrs Green, who was a light sleeper, had heard nothing, despite the fact that her bedroom, which she shared with her daughter, almost overlooked the murder site.

Indeed, the first she knew of the murder was when Constable Neil knocked on her door to ask if the family had seen or heard anything.

On Sunday, 2nd September, 1888, Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper published the following article about her experience that morning:-

Buck's-row is a short street occupied half by factories and half by dwellings.

Half-way down the street is the house of Mrs. Green. Next to it is a large stable-yard, whose wide closed gateway is next to the house. In front of this gateway the woman was found.

Constable Neill, who was the first policeman to see the body, immediately after woke the Green family, and asked them if they had heard any unusual noise.

Neither Mrs. Green, her son, or her daughter, all of whom were sleeping within a few feet of where the body lay, had heard any outcry.

All agreed that the night was unusually quiet.

"I should have heard it had there been any I think", said Mrs. Green, when interviewed, "for I have trouble with my heart and am a very light sleeper.

My son went down as soon as the body was taken away and washed away the bloodstains on the pavement. There was quite a little pool, though I understand most of it soaked into the woman's dress.

I looked out and saw the body as it lay there. It was lying straight across the gateway, its head towards me. It was not lying in a heap as if it had fallen, but on its back and straight as if it had been laid there.

I could not tell at first whether it was a man or a woman; but James, my son, who went downstairs, returned and told me it was a woman. This was four o'clock on Friday morning."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, Sunday, 2nd September, 1888.