Frederick Smith

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Witness at Frances Coles' inquest.

A waiter at Lockhart's, Tower Hill, residing at 23 Osborn Street, Whitechapel. Appearing on the fourth day of the Coles inquest, he stated that:

"On the early morning of the 13th inst. I was at work in the bar, between 1:30 and 2:30. As I was at work I remember hearing a man groaning, and this caused me to look through the shop window facing the Tower. I saw a man coming from the Mint-pavement about two or three yards from the shop window. I could see him pretty plainly. It was about five minutes to 2 as near as possible. The man complained to two constables who came up that he had been knocked about. He walked away towards the Minories. I cannot fix the time of his leaving, but I am certain he was not there more than five minutes. I heard him walk away. One of the constables was a sergeant. I do not know their names. Edwards and another constable came up at the same time. I did not see a third constable. When the man walked away the constables walked in the other direction towards Upper East Smithfield. Before this the two constables remained in the same spot all the time."

Smith was then questioned further:

Mr. Lawless. - Did they walk about 20 yards?

Witness. - Not that I know of.

Mr. Lawless. - Were they there ten minutes?

Witness. - I do not think it possible. I could not swear to five or ten minutes. I was not taking much notice.

By the jury. - I heard one constable say, "Let's feel."

Mr. Lawless. - Could you see them when they were talking to the man?

Witness. - No, but I could hear them talking. [1]


  1. Inquest report, The Times, 24th February 1891