Charles Bretton

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Witness (though not called to Mary Ann Nichols' inquest).

Also known as Britten[1] and Brittain[2].

Born 1859, Bolinger, Essex. In 1881 he was listed as a horse-keeper living at 25 Buck's Row, Whitechapel. Married to Susannah (b.1863, Stepney)[3].

Employee at Harrison Barber & Co, Horse slaughterers, Winthrop Street. At about 12.20am, 31st August 1888, Bretton and fellow worker Henry Tomkins left the slaughterhouse for a stroll to Wood's Buildings and returned to work at 1.00am. Bretton later accompanied Tomkins and James Mumford to see the body of Mary Ann Nichols in Buck's Row[4].

In 1891, Charles (described as a horse-slaughterer) and Susannah were living at 42 Winthrop Street, almost opposite the slaughterhouse[5]. By 1901 his wife Susannah is listed as single, working as a beer seller and living at 74 High Street, Bromley - it appears that Charles died in December 1899 in West Ham[6]. There are no records of the couple ever having children.[7]


  1. The Star, 3rd September 1888
  2. The Jack the Ripper A-Z, Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner (Headline 1996)
  3. Census reports 1881
  4. The Star, 3rd September 1888
  5. Census reports 1891
  6. BMD records 1899, Vol.4a, p.2
  7. Census reports 1901