Henry Tomkins

From Jack the Ripper Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Witness at Mary Ann Nichols' inquest.

Horse slaughterer employed by Harrison, Barber & Co, Winthrop Street. Resident of 12 Coventry Street, Bethnal Green. Invariably described as 'rough looking'[1] and 'a roughly dressed young fellow of low stature'[2]

At about 12.20am, 31st August 1888, Tomkins and fellow employee Charles Bretton left the slaughterhouse for a stroll to Wood's Buildings and returned to work at 1.00am. The gates of the slaughterhouse were open and all was quiet. He did not recall hearing anything untoward and saw nobody about until PC John Thain came to collect his cape at 4.15am and told him of the murder.

Tomkins went to Buck's Row with James Mumford and Bretton to see the body. Apparently by that time there were three or four constables and a doctor present[3]. This testimony conflicts with that of PC Thain who claimed that the workmen were already there when he arrived with Dr Rees Ralph Llewellyn.[4]


  1. Illustrated Police News, 8th September 1888
  2. The Star, 3rd September 1888
  3. Inquest report, The Times, 4th September 1888
  4. The Jack the Ripper A-Z, Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner (Headline 1996)