William Dukes

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Dr William Profit Dukes

Born in 1839 in Hackney. Married to Selina but widowed by 1871. Assistant to Dr. James Edmonds at 2 Spital Square[1] before settling at 182 (later No.75) Brick Lane. Remarried to Ann with one daughter, Amy (b.1877)[2].

Police surgeon of H-Division, Whitechapel. He was the first doctor called to the scene of Mary Jane Kelly's murder, attending briefly until the arrival of Dr George Bagster Phillips, who then took over[3]. Dukes was therefore not required to attend the inquest.

From 7.30pm on 10th November 1888, Dr Dukes was involved in the lengthy autopsy on Kelly's body, accompanied by Dr Phillips (plus his assistant), Dr Thomas Bond and Dr Frederick Gordon Brown. Apparently, the examination lasted two and-a-half hours[4] or six and-a-half hours[5], depending on the source.

Dr. Dukes was also called following the death of Charles Guiver (witness at Frances Coles' inquest) on 25th February 1891.[6]

He died in Hackney in 1895[7]


  1. Census reports 1871
  2. Census reports 1891
  3. Jack the Ripper: An Encyclopaedia, John J Eddleston (Metro 2002)
  4. The Times, 12th November 1888
  5. The Times, 13th November 1888
  6. East London Advertiser, 28th February 1891
  7. BMD records, Hackney 1895, vol.1b p.309