William Marshall

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Witness at Elizabeth Stride's inquest.


Born William Henry Marshall c.1841 in Dagenham, Essex. Married to Mary Ann (b.1844, Shadwell) with four children - William (b.1865), Jemima (b.1867), Henry (b.1872) and Mary Ann (b.1876).[1]

A labourer living at 64 Berner Street who testified to seeing a woman he later recognised in the mortuary as Elizabeth Stride standing about three doors away from his house at about 11.45pm, 29th September 1888. She was apparently on the pavement opposite No.68, between Christian Street and Boyd Street and was with a man; the couple were talking quietly. Because there was no lamp nearby, Marshall could not see the man's face clearly, but was able to furnish the inquest with other particulars - he was middle-aged and stout, about 5ft 6in tall, respectably dressed in a small black cut-away coat and dark trousers. He was wearing a small peaked cap, "something like a sailor would wear". He had the appearance of a clerk. The woman was wearing a black jacket and skirt and a black crape bonnet, but did not see the flower that was pinned to the jacket.

Marshall had been standing at his door since 11.30pm, his attention first being drawn towards the couple because the man was kissing the woman, otherwise, he did not take too much notice of them. He heard the man say "you would say anything but your prayers" and then they walked leisurely down the street. Neither appeared to be intoxicated.

Marshall went inside at midnight and heard no more until a little after 1.00am when he heard the cry of "murder" being called in the street.[2]

The description of the man suggests that he may be the same person seen with Stride by J. Best and John Gardner in the doorway of the Bricklayer's Arms at 11.00pm.[3]

Marshall, his wife and youngest daughter moved from Berner Street to 185 Cable Street some time after 1891.[4]

References

  1. Census report 1881.
  2. Inquest report, The Times, 6th October 1888
  3. The Jack the Ripper A-Z, Begg, Fido, Skinner (Headline 1991)
  4. Census report 1901.