A definition of witness.


Not On Speaking Terms

Emma Jones was an estranged sister of Catherine Eddowes.

Although she had not seen Catherine for eleven years, she had, evidently, been kept informed of her doings by their other sister Eliza Gold.

On Friday, 5th October, 1888, The London Evening Standard published the following statement from Emma, in which she didn't hold back on making clear her disapproval of her deceased sister's lifestyle:-

The following narrative has been given by a sister of Kate Conway.

My name is Emma Jones, and I live with my husband and family at 20, Bridgewater Place Aldersgate Street. My husband is a warehouseman packer, but at present he is out of employment.

I have not seen the body of my sister Kate, but from the news I received from my sister Eliza, I am fully convinced of the identification.

I have not seen Kate for fully eleven years, and the cause of our unfriendliness was the mode of life she was living. We were not on speaking terms.

In reply to questions as to the past life of the victim, Mrs. Jones went on to observe - My parents formerly resided in Wolverhampton, and many years ago they made up their mind to come to London. I remember the occasion when we reached the Metropolis in a barge; there were father, mother, one brother and four sisters, two other boys and two girls being afterwards born inn London.

My sister, who is now lying at the mortuary, was at this time about twelve months old.

Our family name is Eddowes, and Kate (the victim) was known as "Chic". She was a lively little thing, warm-hearted and entertaining.

Kate would now be about forty-six years, she was the last of the family that was born in Wolverhampton.

When my father, who was a tinplate worker, arrived here he obtained employment at the firm of Perkins in Bell Court, Cannon Street, but their men went on strike.

My mother died of consumption when she was forty-two years of age. Father died about two years afterwards, leaving nine children behind.

The family consisted at this time of seven girls and two boys, and we were generally known as the seven sisters.

My eldest sister, whose name was Harriett Garrett, was shortly afterwards left a widow, while I, being the second, assisted in looking after the household affairs.

The career of my sister Kate was, I am sorry to say, a bad one. When I went to service, my elder sister wrote to an aunt in the country to see if she could get Kate a situation away from London. We wished especially to get her away as we had other anxieties, my brother Alfred, who was weak in the head and subject to fits, being a source of constant trouble.

My aunt undertook to look after Kate. At this time I was in service at Lower Craven Place, Kentish Town, and my mistress, on learning our unfortunate position, paid Kate's fare to Wolverhampton.

She had not been there long, however, before we received sad news. My aunt got her situation in the firm where her husband was employed, and was repaid for her kindness by my sister robbing her master.

On being found out, she ran away to Bagot Street, Birmingham, where I had another uncle living. he was a shoemaker by trade, but followed the profession of a pugilist.

After remaining in the town for a few years, she picked up with a man named Thomas Conway, an Irishman, who, i believe, was a pensioner in the Army.

Kate was never married. By Conway she had four children, two of whom are now living, the eldest being a son Thomas, who is about twenty-one years of age, and the other a daughter Annie, about 19, who, I am informed, is married, and has one child.

Kate's other two children by Conway were girls, but both died very young.

In addition to this, she had two or three other children.

After living in Birmingham for a number of years, Conway brought her and the children to London, and took lodgings in Westminster. At this time I frequently saw my sister, who was much given to drink.

The last time I saw her was Christmas Day about eleven years ago.

The man Conway appeared to be attached to her, but from the dreadful face she exhibited it was evident that she had suffered from his brutality. Both her eyes had been blackened.

On several occasions I have heard him say, "Kate, I shall be hung for you one of these days."

I do not believe she had seen him for some six or seven years. After he left her, she appeared to go from bad to worse.

While she was living with Conway her home was clean and comfortable, but as to the other man I can say nothing."

Source: The London Evening Standard, Thursday, 4th October, 1888.