Charles Cross

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Witness at Mary Ann Nichols' inquest.

(First name erroneously given as 'George' in newspaper reports and by several authors).

Born Charles Allen Lechmere in 1849, St Anne's, Soho, son of John Allen Lechmere and Maria Louisa (nee Roulson). In 1858, Charles' mother remarried, to Thomas Cross, a policeman and Charles took his surname.

Married Elizabeth Bostock in 1871, and worked as a carman for Pickford's in Broad Street, living at 22 Doveton Street, Cambridge Road, Bethnal Green in 1888.

Cross left home for work at 3.20am on the morning of 31st August 1888; by about 3.40am he was passing along Buck's Row when he saw what he originally believed to be a tarpaulin lying on the ground in front of the gates to a stable yard. On closer inspection, he found that it was the body of a woman and at that moment he called to Robert Paul who was also walking down the street. Cross felt one of the deceased's hands and finding it cold, said "I think she is dead". Paul asked Cross to help move the woman, but Cross refused.

Not wanting to be late for work, the two men walked on and meeting PC Jonas Mizen at the junction of Hanbury Street and Baker's Row, informed him of their find. Cross said that the woman was either dead or drunk, though at the time, he did not think the woman had been murdered.[1]

He died in 1920 and was survived by his wife who eventually passed away on 12 September 1940 in Stratford.

Charles Cross has been mooted as a potential suspect for the murder of Mary Ann Nichols.[2]


  1. Inquest report, The Times, 4th September 1888
  2. 'Did the Ripper Work for Pickfords?', Michael Connor - Ripperologist #72 (October 2006)Available on Casebook