A definition of witness.


Manager Of Essex Wharf, Buck's Row

Walter Purkiss, occupied the second floor front bedroom of Essex Wharf, which stood directly opposite the spot in Buck's Row where the body of Mary Nichols was found on August 31st, 1888.

He had been awake at various times during the night, but he had heard nothing out of the ordinary. Indeed, the first he was aware that the murder had been committed was when Constable Neil knocked on his door to alert him to the fact and to ask if he had heard anything.

He was called as a witness at the inquest into Mary Nichols death, and The People published the following brief mention of his testimony in its edition of Sunday, 23rd September, 1888.

Walter Purkiss said he lived at Essex Wharf, Buck's-row, where he was manager.

The wharf was nearly opposite the spot where the deceased was found.

Only he and his wife slept in the front of the building, his children and the servant sleeping at the back.

He went to bed on the night of the occurrence at about a quarter past eleven, his wife having retired previously.

He was awake at various times during the night, but de did not think he was awake between two and four.

At the latter hour, he was called up by the police. His wife was awake when the police arrived, and she had been awake for about an hour previously.

Neither he nor his wife heard any sounds during the night. He would certainly have heard a disturbance had any taken place."

Source: The People, Sunday, 23rd September, 1888.