Edward Collard

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Inspector Edward Collard.

Witness at Catherine Eddowes' inquest.

Born in 1846, Bristol, Gloucestershire. Joined City of London Police in 1868.[1]

Married to Amelia Ann Sayer (b.1849, Haggerston), together they had seven children; Amelia (b.1874), Esther (b.1875), Ellen (b.1877), Emma (b.1881), William (b.1883), Alice (b.1885) and Albert (b.1887)[2].

Collard was station inspector on duty at Bishopsgate Police Station on the morning of 30th September 1888. At 1.55am, he received information that a woman had been murdered in Mitre Square - he telegraphed the information to Headquarters and sent a constable to Dr Gordon Brown. He then proceeded to Mitre Square, arriving at 2.03am.[3]

There he found Dr George Sequeira and several police officers with Eddowes' body in the south-west corner of the square. Collard's description of subsequent events follows as reported in the press:

The body was not touched until the arrival shortly afterwards of Dr. Brown. The medical gentlemen examined the body, and in my presence Sergeant Jones picked up from the foot way by the left side of the deceased three small black buttons, such as are generally used for boots, a small metal button, a common metal thimble, and a small penny mustard tin containing two pawn-tickets. They were handed to me. The doctors remained until the arrival of the ambulance, and saw the body placed in the conveyance. It was then taken to the mortuary, and stripped by Mr. Davis, the mortuary keeper, in presence of the two doctors and myself. I have a list of articles of clothing more or less stained with blood and cut.

[Coroner] Was there any money about her? - No; no money whatever was found. A piece of cloth was found in Goulston-street, corresponding with the apron worn by the deceased. When I got to the square I took immediate steps to have the neighbourhood searched for the person who committed the murder. Mr. M'Williams, chief of the Detective Department, on arriving shortly afterwards sent men to search in all directions in Spitalfields, both in streets and lodging-houses. Several men were stopped and searched in the streets, without any good result. I have had a house-to-house inquiry made in the vicinity of Mitre-square as to any noises or whether persons were seen in the place; but I have not been able to find any beyond the witnesses who saw a man and woman talking together.

Mr. Crawford: When you arrived was the deceased in a pool of blood? - The head, neck, and, I imagine, the shoulders were lying in a pool of blood when she was first found, but there was no blood in front. I did not touch the body myself, but the doctor said it was warm.

[Crawford ?] Was there any sign of a struggle having taken place? - None whatever. I made a careful inspection of the ground all round. There was no trace whatever of any struggle. There was nothing in the appearance of the woman, or of the clothes, to lead to the idea that there had been any struggle. From the fact that the blood was in a liquid state I conjectured that the murder had not been long previously committed. In my opinion the body had not been there more than a quarter of an hour. I endeavoured to trace footsteps, but could find no trace whatever. The backs of the empty houses adjoining were searched, but nothing was found.[4]

Collard later had a house-to-house enquiry made in the vicinity of Mitre Square, through which the witnesses Joseph Lawende, Joseph Hyam Levy and Harry Harris were discovered.[4]

Edward Collard was later promoted to Chief Inspector, Bishopsgate division, but died in June 1892 in London (City). His widow later settled in Stoke Newington, living with all seven children at 69 Brighton Road[5]. She died in 1912.


  1. The Jack the Ripper A-Z, Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner (Headline 1996)
  2. Census reports 1891
  3. Coroner's inquest (L), 1888, No.135, Catherine Eddowes Inquest, 1888 (Corporation of London Record Office)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Inquest report, Daily Telegraph, 5th October 1888
  5. Census reports 1901