A definition of witness.


They Heard Nothing

Francis Hewitt was the superintendent of George Yard Buildings, the tenement block on the first floor landing of which the body of Martha Tabram was found.

Despite the fact their bedroom was a mere 12 feet away from the murder spot (Mr, Hewitt had actually gone to the trouble of measuring the distance), the couple had heard nothing, although Mrs Hewitt did say that she had heard a cry of "Murder", but was certain it did not come from the spot where the body had been discovered.

Mrs. Hewitt also told the inquest into Martha's death that such cries were frequently heard in the district.

The East London Observer, published the following account of her inquest testimony in its edition of Saturday, 18th August, 1888:-

Mr. Francis Hewitt, the superintendent of the dwellings, who with his wife occupied a sleeping apartment at nearly right angles with the place where the dead body laid, procured a foot-rule and measured the distance of his sleeping apartment from the atone step in question; it was exactly 12ft. "And we never heard a cry," remarked Mr. Hewitt.

Mrs. Hewett remarked that early in the evening she did hear a single cry of Murder.

It echoed through the building but did not emanate from there.

"But," explained Mr. and Mrs. Hewitt in a breath, "the district round here is rather rough, and cries of 'Murder' are of frequent, if not nightly, occurrence in the district.""

Source: The East London Observer, Saturday, 18th August, 1888.