A definition of the word witness.


Resident Of Buck's Row

Mrs Harriet Lilley lived in one of the cottages that lined the south side of Buck's Row, which was situated two doors away from where the body of Mary Nichols was found.

On the night of the murder, she was very restless and found herself unable to sleep.

As she lay awake, she heard something that might have been extremely pertinent to the exact time at which the murder took place.

The People, published her experience in its edition of Sunday, 9th September, 1888.


A statement that may throw some light on a point hitherto surrounded with some uncertainty - the time the crime was committed in Buck's-row, or the body deposited there - was made on Thursday afternoon by Mrs. Harriet Lilley, who lives two doors from the spot where the deceased was discovered.

Mrs. Lilley Said: "I slept in the front of the house, and could hear everything that occurred in the street.

On that Thursday night I was somehow very restless.

Well, I heard something I mentioned to my husband in the morning.

It was a painful moan - two or three faint gasps - and then it passed away.

It was quite dark at the time, but a luggage train went by as I heard the sounds.

There wee, too, a sound as of whispers underneath the window.

I distinctly heard voices, but cannot say what was said - it was too faint.

I then woke my husband, and said to him, "I don't know what possesses me, but I cannot sleep tonight."

Mrs Lilley added that, as soon as she heard of the murder, she came to the conclusion that the voices she heard were in some way connected to it.

The cries were very different from those of an ordinary street brawl.

It has been ascertained that on the morning of the date of the murder, a goods train passed on the East London Railway at about half-past three - the 3.7 out from New Cross - which was probably the time when Mary Ann Nichols was either killed or placed in Buck's Row."

Source: The People, Sunday, 9th September, 1888.