A definition of witness.


Resident Of 37, George Yard Buildings

Witness At Martha Tabram's Inquest

John Saunders Reeves, a waterside labourer, was setting off to work on the morning on the morning of 7th August, 1888, when he discovered the body of Martha Tabram on the first floor landing of George Yard Buildings.

The East London Observer, published the following synopsis of his inquest testimony on Saturday, 11th November, 1888:-

John Saunders Reeves - a short man, with a slight dark beard and moustache, a pale and a contracted face, dressed in corduroy trousers and a black overcoat, and wearing earrings - was next called.

He was, he said, a waterside labourer, living at George Yard Buildings.

In the course of his work he had to get out very early in the morning, and on Tuesday morning he proceeded to go out to work at a quarter to five in the morning.

On reaching the first-floor landing, he proceeded, I found a female there lying on her back, in a pool of blood.

I did not stop to examine her further, but gave information to a police-constable whom I met in the street.

I went up to my room on Monday night at six o'clock, and remained there all night till I went down at a quarter to five, and during that time I heard no unusual noises.

I made no examination whatever of the body when I first saw It, but I did notice that all the clothes were disarranged, being open in front.

I did not notice any foot-marks on the staircase, nor did I find a knife or any other instrument lying there.

The hands of the deceased were clenched, but contained no hair or anything else; nor was there any blood coming from the mouth.

By a juryman:- I believe it is quite possible for anybody coming up the stairs in the dark to have passed the body without noticing it."

Source: The East London Observer, Saturday, 11th August, 1888.