Kate Webster – murderous maid feeds fat from body of employer to her children (1879)
// September 8th, 2015 // Strange
Julia Martha Thomas hires Kate Webster as a maid
Dubbed the “Barnes Mystery” or the “Richmond Murder”, the case became one of the most notorious crimes in the late 19th-century Britain. Julia Martha Thomas, a widow in her 50s who lived in Richmond in southwest London, was murdered on March 2, 1879 by her maid, Kate Webster, a 30-year-old Irishwoman with a long history of criminal activities. Webster disposed of the body by dismembering it, boiling the flesh off the bones, and throwing most of the remains into the River Thames. The boiled fat from the body however, she retained for her own devious use.
In 1879, Julia Martha Thomas lived alone in a small cottage at 2 Mayfield Cottages on Park Road in Richmond, just outside London. Thomas was an eccentric widow, a former schoolteacher who had been twice widowed, and traveled frequently, attempting to impress others by dressing well above her status as a lower middle-class commoner. Thomas was known to have an “excitable temperament” and thus, couldn’t keep a servant employed for long. When a friend told her about an Irish woman who was looking for a job, Julia hired Kate Webster without looking into her background – a fatal mistake.
Kate’s unknown criminal background
What Thomas did not know about Kate was that in Ireland, she had made a living as a pickpocket. Born Kate Lawler in Killanne, County Wexford in 1949, she was described as “a tall, strongly – made woman of about 5 feet 5 inches in height with sallow and much freckled complexion and large and prominent teeth.” Kate had been in and out of prison since she was 15 years old. She arrived in England in 1867, only a few years after her first arrest, and eventually fell in love with another thief, Mr. Strong.
According to Strong, Kate claimed to have been married to a sea captain called Webster by whom she had four children. According to her account, all of the children died, as did her husband, within a short time of each other.
When Kate became pregnant, Mr. Strong left her, forcing Kate to take jobs as a house cleaner in order to make ends meet. During her time as a maid, she would steal items from her employers and sell them off, then move on to the next home before her crimes could be detected. Apart from stealing, Kate had two other hobbies: drinking and fighting.
Thomas fires Kate – Kate reacts
The two women’s’ personalities clashed often. According to Kate:
“At first I thought her a nice old lady … but I found her very trying, and she used to do many things to annoy me during my work. When I had finished my work in my rooms, she used to go over it again after me, and point out places where she said I did not clean, showing evidence of a nasty spirit towards me.”
After months of constant quarreling, Julia finally had enough and fired Kate. Kate begged to stay on for a few more days and Julia agreed to pay her through the weekend. At church that Sunday, Julia told her friends she was scared of being alone with Kate, and she was going to end their professional relationship once she got home. Julia recorded her decision in what was to be her last diary entry: “Gave Katherine warning to leave.”
To say the exit interview did not go well would be an understatement. Kate threw Julia down the stairs, and before Julia could scream for help, Kate jumped on top of her and strangled her to death. The neighbors, a woman named Ives (who was Thomas’ landlady) and her mother, heard a single thump “like that of a chair falling over” but paid no heed to it at the time. Once Kate had choked the life out of Julia, she grabbed a razor and a handsaw, dismembered Julia’s body, boiled it, and stuffed it into a wooden box – everything fit except the head and one foot.
It took Kate several days to clean up the mess in the small cottage. Behind the scenes she was packing Thomas’ dismembered remains into a black Gladstone bag and a corded wooden bonnet-box. Once she was finished, she changed into one of Julia’s dresses, put the head in a black bag, and took the morbid fashion accessory to a local pub for drinks with friends.
How to dispose of a dead body
Kate still had to dispose of the body so she convinced a neighbor to help her carry the heavy sealed wooden box to a bridge over the River Thames where she told the neighbor she was going to meet a friend. The man heard a splash shortly after he left but said he thought nothing of it.
The box containing parts of Julia’s body was discovered the next morning. Inside the box, police found a human trunk (minus its entrails) and two legs – minus one foot. But without the head, police couldn’t identify the victim.
Kate lives her life as “Julia”
For the next few weeks, Kate continued to live as Julia, sleeping in her bed, wearing her clothes and jewelry–and selling her worldly possessions. She sold it all: the furniture, the house, and the gold fillings from Julia’s teeth. She even tried to sell the fat, rendered from boiling Julia’s body, to a restaurant in town. When that didn’t work, “she fed it to some young boys, who ate two bowls full”.
Finally, a neighbor put two and two together, and reported her suspicions to the authorities. Kate fled to Ireland, staying at her uncle’s home in County Wexford, to escape the police. The police searched 2 Mayfield Cottages and discovered blood stains, burned finger-bones in the hearth and fatty deposits behind the copper, as well as a letter left by Webster giving her home address in Ireland. They immediately put out a “wanted” notice throughout Ireland, providing a detailed description of Webster and her son. Kate was quickly caught and on March 29, 1879, was sent back to England where a jury convicted her of murder in less than an hour.
Kate was hanged the following day at Wandsworth Prison at 9 am, where the hangman, William Marwood, used his newly developed “long drop” technique to cause instantaneous death. After her death was certified, she was buried in an unmarked grave in one of the prison’s exercise yards. The crowd waiting outside cheered as a black flag was raised over the prison walls, signifying that the death sentence had been carried out. Before she was hung, Kate confessed everything to a priest – everything except where she hid the head.
The final piece of the puzzle is found – over 70 years later
In 1952, the BBC naturalist David Attenborough and his wife Jane bought a house situated between the former Mayfield Cottages (which still stand today) and the Hole in the Wall pub which stood next to Julia’s home. The pub closed in 2007 and fell into dereliction but was bought by Attenborough in 2009 to be redeveloped. On October 22, 2010, workmen carrying out excavation work at the rear of the old pub uncovered a “dark circular object”, which turned out to be a woman’s skull. It had been buried underneath foundations that had been in place for at least 40 years, on the site of the pub’s stables, next to the home of Julia Martha Thomas. After reviewing police records, census reports, and carbon dating, a London coroner identified it as the missing head of Julia Martha Thomas. It had been buried in the same spot next to her little cottage for more than 70 years.
Kate Webster – murder to Julia Martha Thomas pictorial
Below are a collection of historical photos and documents from the Kate Webster trial.
Transcript from the Catherine Webster murder trial – June 30, 1879
Below is a transcript from the original trial records of the Catherine Webster murder trial.
653. CATHERINE WEBSTER (29) was indicted for the wilful murder of Julia Martha Thomas.
The SOLICITOR – GENERAL, with MR. POLAND and MR. A. L. SMITH, Prosecuted;
MR. WARNER SLEIGH , with MR. KEITH FRITH, Defended.
CRESWELL WELLS (Police Inspector). I have studied surveying, and understand the making of plans—this photograph (produced) represents Nos. 1 and 2, Vine Cottages, or Mayfield, Richmond—they are detached cottages, and alike—Mrs. Thomas lived in No. 2, and Miss Ives in No. 1—this plan (marked “A”) shows the basement of Nos. 1 and 2 side by side—this other plan (No. 2) shows the ground – floor, with the gardens front and back, and the side door—an iron fence divides the gardens in front, and a park paling at the back—the side door leads along a passage to steps which go down into the scullery by a back door, and if you do not go down the steps, into the dining – room—I have also made this plan (“C”) showing the position of the two houses with reference to the neighbourhood and Richmond Bridge—this plan (“D”) is a plan of the neighbourhood where the witnesses Church and Porter lived at Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—the distance from Rose Gardens to the beginning of Hammersmith Bridge is 1,825 yards, rather more than a mile—the Oxford and Cambridge public – house is 157 yards from Hammersmith Bridge—the toll – gate is on the Middlesex side—the length of the bridge is 277 yards—the other side of the bridge is in Barnes parish.
JULIA NICHOLLS . I live at 10, Whitchurch Villas, Richmond, and am general servant to Miss Roberts—I knew Mrs. Thomas for about eight months before she went to live at Vine Cottages—she used frequently to visit my mistress, and I knew that she was in the habit of attending the Presbyterian services at the Lecture Hall; I saw her there on the morning of the 2nd March; she took the sacrament in the morning—I saw her again in the evening at the same place, about 6.45—she used to generally occupy a particular seat—I spoke to her in the lobby, and I noticed that she appeared very excited—the service had commenced when she came in, and she sat down in a seat behind the door; that was not the seat usually occupied by her—when the service was over I noticed that Mrs. Thomas was not there, and I never saw her again alive—Vine Cottages are about a quarter of an hour’s walk from the Lecture Hall—the bonnet now produced I have no doubt is the one that was worn by Mrs. Thomas; I had seen her wearing it on previous occasions.
Cross – examined. Mrs. Thomas was generally at chapel in good time—I noticed that her bonnet appeared to have slipped off her head, and this more particularly directed my attention to her—on this Sunday evening I was conversing with her for about a quarter of an hour, and I observed that her face was flushed, and that her voice was shaking; she appeared to be in a state of very great excitement.
Re – examined. She gave me a reason for being in such a state of excitement—she was certainly not at all the worse for liquor—she seemed vexed at something—she left about ten minutes before the end of the service.
JANE IVES . I live with my daughter, at No. 1, Mayfield, it used to be called Vine Cottages—I remember Mrs. Thomas coming to live next door to me, she came before we came; we came in November and she came in September—my daughter is the landlady—I did not know Mrs. Thomas personally; I knew there was a lady of that name living next door—I was at home on Sunday evening 2nd March—my daughter went to church that evening—she came home a little after 9—since I gave my evidence, I have remembered hearing a noise in the next house, between 8 and 9 o’clock; it was like the fall of a heavy chair—it seemed to be on the same floor as I was sitting on, the drawing – room floor; it did not seem to be exactly in the room, it was more at the far end of the room—I should say more towards the hall—I did not state this at Richmond, I forgot it; I was very ill when I was examined—next morning, 3rd March, I was down at a quarter to six, I went to turn the water on at the area steps at the back, it was then 6 o’clock, the Union clock was striking at the time—I observed a light in one of the back bedrooms; it was dark in the passage, I had a candle—there are three back bedrooms, I could not say in which I saw the light—about 7 o’clock that morning I heard the usual process of washing in the next house; there was the noise as of a brush or something—it was the same noise as I had generally heard since Mrs. Thomas kept a servant; it came from the scullery—I heard a poking of the copper fire, the copper is at the back of our kitchen range—about 11 that morning I saw some clothes hanging out in the back garden, and they remained till the Wednesday; they were underclothing and towels, sheets and other things; my hearing is not very good.
Cross – examined. I have not seen any gentleman from the Treasury since I gave my evidence at the police – court—I was asked at the police – court if I heard anything on the Sunday night, and I at first answered, “Nothing”—I don’t remember whether I was asked a second time, I was ill at the time; I could not remember anything about it a week ago, it came into my memory since—I never saw the papers since this happened, they kept them from me – I know this was on Sunday the 2nd March, because I remember on the Tuesday my daughter’s apprentice, Miss Roberts, going in to Mrs. Thomas’s—we have not talked the matter over together since.
WILLIAM THOMAS DEAN . I live at No. 1, St. Albans Villas, Rosemount Road, Richmond, and am a coal agent—I knew Mrs. Thomas since Christmas last—I saw her on Sunday, 2nd March, in Hill Street, coming in a direction from the Lecture Hall towards her home; it was about I or a little after—I spoke to her and shook hands with her—on Monday, 3rd March, about half past 12, I called at the house 2, Mayfield—I knocked at the door, the prisoner opened it about 18 or 20 inches—I knew she—was the servant there—I asked if Mrs. Thomas was in; she said, “No”—I asked when she was likely to be in; she said, “I don’t know”—I said, “Will you give my compliments to Mrs. Thomas when she arrives home, and say that Mr. Dean called?”—she made no answer, the door was slammed close to—the prisoner seemed excited and answered me very abruptly I thought—I called for an account—I did not tell the prisoner that—I called again eight or ten days afterwards—the blinds were then down, I knocked and got no answer—I never saw Mrs. Thomas alive after the Sunday I have spoken of.
Cross – examined. The account had been owing from about September I think—I had not called for it before—I cannot tell the date of my examination at Richmond; it must have been about the 17th of April—I cannot give you the date when I first gave information about this; it might have been in April, I did not make a minute of it—I generally met Mrs. Thomas on a Sunday morning as she returned from chapel—I read the reports of this case in the papers—I read the statements made by Church and Porter.
Re – examined. I have not the slightest doubt now of the date when I last saw Mrs. Thomas coming from chapel—I have refreshed my memory by something I wrote on the Monday morning (producing a book)—it is no entry relating to Mrs. Thomas, they are accounts that I called for on that day.
By the COURT. I recollect that it was Monday, the 3rd March, that I called at Mrs. Thomas’s, because the manager wished me to call for the back account due in September—there were two accounts, one for coals delivered in February, which would be due in March—I know it was Sunday, 2nd March, that I met Mrs. Thomas—it was the first Sunday in the month, and she told me she had been receiving the sacrament, and I am certain that the call I made was the next day.
By MR. SLEIGH. This is a memorandum – book in which I enter my daily callings—I do not enter every person I call on; when I call on a family and they give me an order I enter it; when they give me no order I do not—I made this entry of March 3rd on the Monday morning; “March 3rd” has been written over again, I did that the same day—there is the name of “Wilkinson, he is the manager that I pay the money to—I called on him the next day; that would be the 4th—I generally go to him the next morning.
EMMA ROBERTS . I live at 10, Whitchurch Villas, Richmond—Julia Nicholls was my servant—I had known the deceased for 10 or 11 months—I remember calling at her house on Monday, 3rd March, about 6 p.m.; I knocked twice at the door, but no one came, and I stayed for at least half an hour—I noticed a strong light in the hall and in the basement and the drawing – room, but I did not hear any noise—I never saw Mrs. Thomas alive after that—she and I used to attend the same place of worship, the Lecture Hall—I had not seen her there the previous day, Sunday, 2nd March—I have seen the prisoner at the house when I called.
Cross – examined. I do not know in which month I was first examined at the police – court, or when I was first spoken to about giving my evidence—Inspector Pearman called my attention to the subject after the prisoner was taken, but I do not know the date—I will undertake to say that I called at Mrs. Thomas’s within a month of March 2nd, and went in and stayed with her two or three hours in the back sitting – room called the dining – room—she was a pleasant, lively lady—I have known her about 11 months, but never bad a meal at her house, or she at mine—we exchanged visits pretty nearly every week—when she was missing everybody was talking about it, and I saw it in the papers.
Re – examined. I stayed to the late service on Sunday evening, 2nd March, which was over at 9 o’clock—we continued on from one service to the other—I sat rather far in the body of the hall near the reading – desk.
By the COURT. That was the Sacrament day—the last Sacrament day before that was about two months before; I had been so regularly that I am quite prepared to say that—I had some talk with my servant Julia Nicholls about Mrs. Thomas on that Sunday; she mentioned her name—I did not volunteer to give evidence; the policeman came to me first—I went to the police – office on the same day as Julia Nicholls—I was only examined once, but she went a second time to sign her depositions.
MARY ROBERTS . I live at Richmond, and am apprenticed to Miss Ives, at 1, May field—I am not related to the last witness—I generally went to Miss Ives’s at 8 in the morning and left between 8 and 9 at night; I did not sleep there—I knew Mrs. Thomas, who lived next door—I saw her the last time alive at Miss Ives’s house on 27th February, and she gave me a message to deliver to Miss Ives—on Monday, 4th March, I went to Mrs. Thomas’s house, and the prisoner answered from the window over the door—I told her that Miss Ives intended to send some men to see to the roof as soon as possible—she said “I was coming round to Miss Ives to tell her there is no need to send the men round, as the water has disappeared from the roof”—she also said she knew it was only the snow which had penetrated the roof, and then she said “We are just cleaning up, as we are expecting people in to – night”—she had her sleeves tucked up—on the previous day I had noticed a card in the window with “Apartments to let” on it—I did not see that on Tuesday—I returned to Miss Ives and told her what the prisoner had said, and the same evening about 8 o’clock I heard a noise in the adjoining house, No. 2, of people coming into the house, and I heard the fire being poked, and some one trying the piano like thumping on it, not like ordinary playing—Mrs. Thomas used to play pretty well—I did not hear any voices—on Thursday night about 8.30 I noticed a light in Mrs. Thomas’s drawing – room; the blinds were drawn down—I saw nothing of the prisoner that week after the Tuesday, but’ in the next week, on the Thursday or Friday night about 8.30, I saw her arm – in – arm with a man at the top of the road walking towards the house—I did not see his face; he was wearing an Ulster coat.
Cross – examined. If anything the man was shorter than the prisoner—I passed them—I think he was a little taller than Church, but not very much—I think I can say that he was taller—the poking the fire on 4th March was a few minutes before the playing on the piano, not at the same time—it sounded like the kitchen fire—I heard some people coming in, but heard no noise in the day after 11 a.m.—I did not hear the door of No. 2 open at 8 p.m., but I heard somebody going down into the kitchen—the piano is on the ground floor—I heard no voice, and whether it was a man or a woman I do not know—I said “people,” but I have no reason to suppose there wag more than one—I did not hear anybody go in, but I heard somebody go downstairs, and by the sound there were more than two.
Re – examined. I could see that the man I met with the prisoner was dark—I was going the opposite way and passed them—we could hear some one in the house before 11 am.; we heard footsteps—we heard the piano shortly after hearing the persons go downstairs.
By the COURT. I remember that I last saw Mrs. Thomas alive on Thursday, February 27th, because she came to the house, and afterwards we did not see anybody about the house—I know it was Thursday, 27th—I went to the house on 2nd March, after the 27th—I am sure it was on the Thursday before the Tuesday that I went to the house—I remember positively that it was Tuesday, the 4th, because some people came to our house to know if it was let or not, and the woman said she thought the house must be let—I think that was on the Wednesday, and that is why I say that what I have told you took place on the Tuesday.
ELIZABETH IVES . I live at 1, Mayfield, and am the leaseholder of the next house, No. 2, which I let to Mrs. Thomas from Michaelmas last—a little girl, named Edith Menhennick, lived with Mrs. Thomas from September till nearly the end of January, and the prisoner came quite at the end of January or the beginning of February—Mrs. Thomas came to me on the last Thursday in February, I think it was the 27th; I did not speak to her but received a message from her—on Saturday, 1st March, between 3 and 4 o’clock, I saw her planting a flower in the garden, and I never saw her again—on Monday, 3rd March, I heard a noise in No. 2, as though washing was going on, and some clothes were hung out in the garden before 8 o’clock; all that morning there was a very strange smell, and I mentioned it to one of my apprentices—I saw in the garden a white flannel vest, two pairs of flannel drawers, one or two sheets, and a white cotton or calico petticoat—they were not there on the Sunday; they remained till Wednesday—on the Monday and Tuesday night I heard noises in the house, a deal of moving, but no voices, and we heard them light the fire and a sound of chopping wood on the hearth and poking the fire up to about 9 o’clock—about 1.30 on the afternoon of 3rd March I noticed the breakfast things on the table in the dining room, and they were there the next day at the same time—I cannot say whether they had been removed and replaced in the interval—I noticed at dusk on the Tuesday evening that they had been removed—I sent Mary Roberts to the house with a message on the Tuesday morning, and she came back with a message to me—Mrs. Thomas’s bedroom was what was called the long room over the hall and over the side entrance, it goes right through—I do not mean the drawing – room—on the Tuesday evening we heard the noise of people coming into the house—we heard their footsteps, and male and female voices, but could not hear the words—we also heard some one touching the keys of the piano to make a sound—I have heard Mrs. Thomas play well—I saw Mrs. Keighley on the Wednesday afternoon; I think it was about 4 o’clock, and in the evening I heard sounds like the filing of iron in Mrs. Thomas’s front kitchen—I recognised a man and a child in the house—I saw a cabdriver go to the house on 11th or 12th, and on Saturday 15th I saw the prisoner in the dining – room with the window open—I suppose there was some one with her, for she said, “Lizzie, I think you want a pin or two”—about the end of that week I was in the garden; the fence is low, and I saw a man in the back dining – room writing in a small note book; his hair was like Church’s, but the window sash came across his head so that I could not see him—on Tuesday, the 18th, about 11.40, I saw the prisoner in the front garden going into the next house; she looked at me and went on, and I went in—about the 7th two furniture vans came, a large one and a small one—I saw Weston there; he was a stranger to me, but I had some conversation with him outside—the prisoner was coming down the stairs of Mrs. Thomas’s house, and the door was wide open—shortly afterwards the prisoner came to me and said, “Is it Miss Ives who wishes to know where the furniture is going to?”—I said “Well, I should like to know”—she said “Mrs. Thomas has sold her furniture; a man here can show the receipts; Mr. Weston is going to take it to Hammersmith”—I said “Where is Mrs. Thomas?”—she said “Don’t know,” and turned herself away—she was very much agitated, her face was quite convulsed, and she could hardly speak to me—I said “Can’t you give me her address?”—she said “No”—I said “You must excuse me, I will attend to it,” and shut the door—she came forward to come up the steps to speak to me, which made me say that, because she looked so frightful—I then went to my agent, and was away nearly half an hour—when I got back one of the vans was just moving; that was about a quarter or 20 minutes to eight, and it was quite dark; but I saw the prisoner and six or seven men standing outside the gate; it was hardly light enough to recognise who they were, except Weston—as I went up the path one of them, I think it was Weston, looked over the gate—next day, two men, strangers to me, came to my house and asked me some questions, and I gave them some answers—I thought the first was Mr. Porter—in the evening Church and Porter came to inquire after Mrs. Thomas—on 22nd March, Mr. Hughes, Mrs. Thomas’s solicitor, came, and Porter and a police inspector.
Cross – examined. There was nothing unusual in washing taking place in Mrs. Thomas’s house, and then they would use the copper to the best of my knowledge, but the clothes were out unusually early, 8 o’clock; it was never so early before, but I will not undertake to say that they were not washed the night before—on the Sunday night, about 8 o’clock, before my apprentice left, I am sure I heard the voices of men and women—I said at the police – court that I heard several voices, and that they appeared to be the voices of men and women—that was while my apprentice was there—I was in the workroom with her before she went—she could hear them too if she was listening—they were such as to attract my attention, and she was sitting at the same table with me—I was the nearest to the next house—I heard the sound up to nearly 10 o’clock, but did not hear any one go out of the house—Mrs. Thomas’s side – door is away from my house, and I should not hear anybody go in that way—I heard no one go up on the Tuesday night from the drawing – room to the bedroom; we could not hear that usually—the gas was alight; I cannot tell if the gas was put out that night, but Mrs. Thomas’s hack bedroom window was left open for a day or two; it was open early on Wednesday morning, and it was in the same position the day before—on the Wednesday, about 6 p.m., I heard sounds of a man and a child; the man was singing in the kitchen, but only at intervals, and this filing was going on, but he was not singing so as to deaden the noise of the filing; he only gang a note or two; it was discordant, and then he stopped—the filing went on all the evening, but it ceased now and again—I said nothing at the police – court about singing and filing, but I said that I heard a man’s voice—I said it first at the Treasury—it was on the 11th or 12th that I saw a cab drive up about 11 o’clock at night, and two women, and two or three men, and a little child got into it—one of the women was shorter than the prisoner, and one about the same height—the prisoner was one of them; I am sure of that—I said at the police – court “One woman resembled the prisoner,” but I am sure it was her, because she had on the large waterproof cloak and the black hat which she usually wore—during 10 days or a fortnight people were continually coming to the house at all sorts of odd hours, and taking away things in cabs, and we thought it strange—when they came that night the woman had a large white parcel—I only saw cabs come there on two nights; one came on Saturday—I only saw a parcel taken away on one night—the prisoner did not ask me before I shut the door whether I wanted my rent; she did not say a word—I did not see her when I came out again to go to the agent; as far as I know she had gone into the house—I was away half an hour, and when I came back I saw her in the road—I have not the slightest doubt about that; she was the nearest to the gate—the men went away with the last van; they all moved together, but the prisoner was first—she did not look to be separate from them as if she had left them—I said at the police – court that I thought it was Henry Porter who came in the middle of the day; I thought he came twice, in the evening and in the middle of the day—what I said was that Church came in the day, and came with another man in the evening; he was a much younger man than Church.
Re – examined. I only saw things taken away once—I saw a cab twice—I did not recognise anybody with the van but Weston—I only waited at the door while they were letting me in—the first van was just passing the gate and the second had not moved.
By the COURT. I imagined they were empty—I did not see any dresses flung in or anything of that sort—the people were standing still—the first van had got half a dozen yards from the house, not more, when I shut the door; the last van was then just passing our gate; they were both moving—Mr. Long is my agent—he did not come with me—on the Monday morning between 9 and 10 I first smelt a strange smell, and mentioned it to all the assistants—I did not mention that to the Magistrate because I did not think of it—we thought it was an escape of gas in our place, but we examined and found it was not; it was worse than that—I had two or three other assistants besides Roberts, but none of them are here.
ROBERT PORTER . I shall be 16 next birthday—I have lived at 10, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith, with my father and mother nearly nine years—I was employed at Mr. Young’s, the painter’s, early in March; but I left there—I saw the prisoner at my father’s gate on 4th March, at 5.30 or 6 o’clock—I know the date because it was my birthday—she said “How are you; Bob?”—I did not know her; I said, “Quite well, thank you”—she came into the house and waited till my father came in—she had no bonnet—my mother was there—I recognised the prisoner as having lived next door to us 5 or 6 years—I knew her as Kate, but not by another name—she had a black cloth bag, glazed, under the table; about so long and so deep, with handles which were loose, there was no string to attach them—the bag was open, and I saw a brown paper parcel in it—my father returned after 6—it was half an hour since I first saw her—my father’s name is Henry—she said “Halloa, Harry I how are you?”—he said “Quite well, thank you”—we then had our tea, during which she said that she had a nice house at Richmond—after tea my father and Kate went out, and she said she wanted me to go with her to carry the bag as far as Hammersmith Bridge, as she was going to meet a friend; I said “All right,” and my father said he would go a little way with us—we three left the house at 7; my mother went to bed before we started, as she was not well—I carried the bag as far as the Angel, and then my father carried it, it was heavy—I saw my brother at the Angel—we started from Rose Gardens, through Boston Terrace, through Baynham Street and Cambridge Street, through the town towards Bridge Road, and then we turned to the right to the Oxford and Cambridge—we only went through part of Glenthorne Road—before we started Thurlow came to our house—we went past the Angel to the Broadway, and then to the bridge—my brother is employed at Chipmell’s, the baker’s; my father and Kate spoke to him; I did not hear what they said, but he carried the bag from the Angel to the Oxford and Cambridge, which is close to the bridge—my father, Kate, and I, went in there and had something to drink, and the prisoner said she was going to take the bag to a friend over the bridge—my father said “How long will you be?—she said “Not long”—I said “I will help carry it if she wants me”—she said “No, I can carry it myself,” and left the house with it—I did not hear my father say anything—I went outside and saw her go to the bridge; it was dark, and I missed her going past the only shop that is in the road—I then went in again—it was 9 o’clock when she left—it took us over an hour to walk from Rose Gardens to the Oxford and Cambridge—we did not go fast—we stopped at the Angel, and I went to a water – closet at the Royal Oak for five minutes; they were going on, and my father halloaed back for me—we were at the Oxford and Cambridge half an hour before the prisoner left with the bag; she came back without it in twenty minutes; I don’t remember her saying anything as to—where she had been—she showed us three or four rings in a box like a cigar – case; I had it in my hand; she said they were her sister’s, who had died, and had sent them to her; my father saw them; I cannot say whether the landlady was there—the prisoner also produced some photographs; one was as big as a shilling; she said it was her portrait, and said “It ain’t like me”—it was not like her; the other was a young woman, who she said was her sister who was dead—she gave me the rings in the cigar – case, and said “Mind these till we get home”—I said I had no good pockets, and gave the case back; she put it in her pocket, and gave me two keys, and said “Mind these; they unlock the door”—she asked if I might go to Richmond with her; he consented; it was understood I was to return the same night—I held the keys in my hand—my father went with us as far as the District Railway, Hammersmith; that is the new station to Richmond—Kate took the tickets—I heard her say that she was Mrs. Thomas—we went to the new station at Richmond, and then walked to Vine Cottage—I still had the keys—we did not stop anywhere after we got out of the train, and I do not think she said anything, but when we got to Vine Cottage she said “Give me the keys”—I did so, and she opened the side door and we went in—she said that the front door lock was broken—we went into the sitting – room, where the glass doors are, and she found some matches on the table and got a light and we went into the front room—she gave me some rum, and said “I want you to help me carry a box to Richmond Bridge, because I have to meet a friend there”—she showed me two 51. notes, which she took from her pocket in a Monarch Building Society’s book which I should know again—this is it (produced), and there was a post – office savings bank book—she said that they were her aunt’s, who was dead and left them to her—she asked me to cast them up—I did not understand it, but I reckoned up for her the shillings and pence—I do not know what it amounted to, but I know I reckoned some of it up—I do not know whether she pulled the books out of her pocket—I got them out of the cupboard—she left the room; I don’t know whether she went upstairs, but she came into the roam again in about ten minutes, or it might be more, with this box (produced) corded up, and said “This is the box I want you to carry”—I afterwards saw it at Barnes Railway Station—I laid hold of one side of the cord and Kate laid hold of the other—the end was tied twice round; I did not notice whether there was a handle to it—it was not broken then, it was complete—I noticed that the box had also these two hinges—I did not know Richmond before, and I went the way she took me—we carried it together on to Richmond Bridge—it was near on 11 p.m. when we left the house with the box—I had no watch—I was in the house about three quarters of an hour or an hour before we left with the box—I saw a piano in the house, and Kate ran her fingers over it and said it was a nice one—I saw no one in the house but the prisoner—I did not hear any noise before she brought the box into the room—I think I pointed out the way we went to one of the policemen—I do not remember his name—we carried the box to the last recess, I think they call it, on the bridge—the prisoner then said “Put it down and you go on; my friend will be here directly,” and I put it down in the recess on the ground—I don’t think there is a seat there—I walked away on the other side the same way I had come—when I got to the first recess on the other side I heard a slight splash—I did not know whether it was the box or a barge coming under the bridge—I did not see a barge—I then saw a tall dark man on the same side as I was, walking towards Richmond, about half a dozen yards in front of me, at least two or three yards away—when I heard the splash he stopped and looked round and walked on—I was walking on slowly—the prisoner caught up with me when I had got nearly to the end of the bridge—she had no box with her then, and said “Bob, I have seen my friend; now get towards the station and get home,” and I says “All right”—there was’ also a carpet bag which I had carried from the house which I saw contained eatables, tea and sugar—she said, “Take those home to your mother, I shall be down with you for some tea”—I found that the last train had gone, and the prisoner said “Oh, I ain’t got enough money to pay for a cab,” and I went back with her and carried the bag—she opened the door of the house with the key, and I slept in the same room that the prisoner did, over the side door—there was a window back and front—I had my breakfast in the morning, and caught the 7.5 train—I took the bag—the prisoner said she would be down for some tea—I went home to Rose Gardens, and left the bag there and went to my work – I think I noticed on the Tuesday that the prisoner was wearing a gold watch and chain—I went to Richmond on the following Saturday—I don’t know whether I had seen her at my father’s in the meantime—I don’t think I went to Richmond the next week—I might or might not have seen her at my father’s house that week—I went there on another Saturday—I remember some old chairs and flowers being brought to my father’s from Vine Cottage by Ricketts, and an india – rubber plant—the prisoner said the india – rubber plant was worth two guineas—I was at home on the evening of Tuesday, 18th March, when the prisoner’s little boy was staying at my father’s—he had been there perhaps five or six days, and was five or six years old—he was in bed when the prisoner came for him about 8 o’clock—my father and mother were not in, and the prisoner said “Go upstairs and fetch him”—she said she was going to take him to her father’s—I went upstairs and dressed him, and then the prisoner went in the front room and brought out a bonnet box, and she asked me to carry the little boy to the top of the street, which I did—there was a cab waiting; there was nobody in it; the little boy got in, and the prisoner whispered to the cabman and got in—I did not notice whether there was anything in the cab—I asked her if she was coming back, and she said “Yes”—I said “Good night” to the little boy, and they drove away round Albion Road—in March my brother slept at home, and a little girl and the lodgers—the box I carried was not so very heavy—we rested now and then.
Thursday, July 3rd.
ROBERT PORTER (Recalled and further Cross – examined). I first knew the prisoner between five and six years ago—she lived next door to us—she was very kind to a sister of mine, who has since died; she was between three and four years old at that time—the prisoner used to talk and play with her over the wall—I did not see her take her on her knee—she did not come in and out of our house very often—she did come in and out, and took notice of my little sister—I never saw her take the child on her knee, she used to play about with her—I knew her by the name of Kate—when I heard the splash in the water I wondered whether it was the box that went into the water or whether it was the splash of a barge—that was on 4th March—I heard of a box being found in the river on the day but one afterwards—I only heard different people talk about it—I heard that it had been found at Barnes, near Richmond—I did not know that it was the same box—I did not think it was the same—I only heard that it was a box, and that there was a woman’s body found in it—when I went home on the Wednesday morning I don’t think I told my father what had taken place about the box the night before—I saw my father in the evening—I don’t know whether I told him or my mother that I went on to Richmond Bridge with the prisoner—I was to have come home that night—I don’t know whether they asked me why I did not come home—I don’t recollect telling my father at any time about being on the bridge with the prisoner and the box—I spoke first about it—I told Inspector Jones on the Sunday following from the 18th March (the 23rd)—from that night to the 23rd I never mentioned a word about the box to anybody, not to my recollection—I cannot say that I did not tell my father about it the very next day when I went home, I might have told him, and I might not—I did not tell my father that Kate had got a friend to meet over Richmond Bridge—I don’t know whether I told him or not—I have got a bad recollection—it did not strike me as very curious that she should take a box and go and meet somebody without letting me go on over the bridge—I think it was a thing she she was likely to do—I think I gave my evidence three times at the police – court—I don’t know how far it is from Rose Gardens to the Oxford and Cambridge; it might take me more than half an hour to walk it, it all depends on how you walk, whether slow or fast—I did not stop at the place of convenience a quarter of an hour; it is at the Angel—I don’t exactly know whether I said at either of my examinations at the police – court that my father, the prisoner, and I, all three went inside the Angel; what I said was “I carried the bag as far as the Angel, my father took it and carried it to the Oxford and Cambridge”—I did not say anything about going inside the Angel or about going to the water – closet—the prisoner gave me the keys in the Oxford and Cambridge—I might have stated that before the last examination, or I might not; I might have said so in the first place—I don’t know whether I said anything about it until the 10th May—she went in at the side door—she gave as a reason for that that the lock of the front door was broken—I only thought of that yesterday—I went out at the front door sometimes—on that night I went out at the side door—there are some steps to the front door—she and I did not carry the box and bag down the stops of the front door that night; I think it was at the side door—when the prisoner first came to our house on the Tuesday, my mother was at tea with us; I can’t swear it, I can’t be sure she was at tea with us—she was not lying on the bed at the time we were having tea; I will swear that—I did not hear my father give evidence at the police – court—I had no conversation last night about saying my mother was at tea; nor this morning, with my father and mother—I shall not say whether she was or was not at tea with us—the prisoner might have asked my father and me to see her off to the railway station, and she might not—she wanted me to carry the bag; we walked along as far as the Angel, and my father then took the bag; he might have taken it a little before we got to the Angel—I saw my brother William at the Angel; father spoke to him and then carried the bag to the Oxford and Cambridge—I don’t know whether I said anything at the police – court about meeting my brother William and going into the Angel and having some beer—I don’t think I said so up at Richmond—I think it was at the Oxford and Cambridge that she asked my father to let me go home with her; that was near 8 o’clock—we started from the station for Richmond about 9 o’clock or a little after—I don’t know how long it took us to get from the station to Richmond; it might take more than a quarter of an hour—I don’t know what reason she gave my father for asking me to go with her to Richmond at that time of night; that is best known to himself—I did not hear her give him any reason—when we got out at the Richmond station we turned to the left, up part of the town, and then through an alley—I saw a public – house, the first public – house out of the railway station—I don’t know whose house it was; the prisoner did not leave me and go in there and have a glass of ale, I am quite sure of that—when we got to the house we both had some rum—she asked me to count up the figures in the bank books and building books—I might or I might not have said that before; I don’t recollect—I counted up some of them—I did not trouble how I counted—I did not count all of it up—I did not tell her any amount; I don’t recollect, I won’t be sure—I don’t know what amount I told her—I might have told her an amount, or I might not—I have said things to – day that I did not say at Richmond—my father did not tell me that he had sworn at the police – court that one of the photographs was a photograph of the prisoner’s sister—I have not heard it from anybody, only from Kate—I said she showed me three photographs, and I believed they were three females—I don’t recollect that she came to tea at our house on the Wednesday after the Tuesday—I was at work that day up to half – past five—I was not at Richmond that day, only in the morning part—I did not go back to Richmond that day—I said nothing at the police – court about the rings or the sister—I might or might not have seen the prisoner at our house between that Tuesday and the 18th—I slept at my father’s house every night except the Tuesday—she might and she might not have been at my father’s house half a dozen times between the 4th and the 18th—I can’t say whether I saw her or not between those times; I might or I might not—I might have seen her twice between those dates; I think I did—I was asked yesterday whether we went from the Hammersmith station or the Shaftesbury Road station—We did not go from the Shaftesbury Road station—when we left the Oxford and Cambridge we walked up the Bridge Road to the Broadway—we did not then go along King Street to the Angel, where my father asked the prisoner to go in and have some ale; nor did she say “No, I shall be late for the train”—we were too early for the train—when we got to the Broadway we had to wait on the platform—she and my father might have agreed to walk on to the Shaftesbury Road station and meet the train there—I did not hear them—they did not walk a little way in front of me along King Street—I am sure they did not—I did not hear my father ask her to go in anywhere and have some beer—I was only about two yards behind them—I did not hear what they were talking about—the Shaftesbury Road station is about a quarter of an hour’s walk from the Hammersmith station—we waited about ten minutes at the Hammersmith station—I will undertake to swear that we did not go on to the Shaftesbury Road station—I had spoken to my father and Church about what took place on 4th March, before I gave evidence at the police – court—when it came to my knowledge on the Sunday morning, the same Sunday that I went to Barnes to identify the box, I spoke to both of them and the inspector and all; that was on the 23rd—I had not been up to the Court then; it was the day before I went before the Magistrate—I do not recollect my father hurrying me on as we were going to the railway station and saying that Kate would catch me up in a minute.
Re – examined. What I said before the Magistrate was taken down in writing and read over to me afterwards—it was then I mentioned about the keys, when the clerk was reading over what I had said.
HENRY PORTER . I have lived at 10, Brightwell Cottages, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith, nearly nine years—I am a painter, and have been in the employ of Mr. Bird 23 years—my son William slept at the house, as well as the last witness—I first knew Webster six years ago by living next door—I knew her as Kate, without knowing her surname—she was a servant out of place—I knew her for five or six weeks—I had a little daughter, who is since dead, of whom the prisoner took very much notice—she went away from next door, and said she was going to Norland Crescent, Notting Hill, into a situation—I saw her about a week afterwards; she came to my house on a visit, a call—she cams afterwards on several occasions in the same way, not to stay, seven or eight times within a few months, and the last time I saw her, till last March, was nearly six years ago—I had not heard from her in the interval; I had lost sight of her altogether—on the 4th of last March, Tuesday, at 6 o’clock in the evening, I found her at my house when I came home—I did not recognise her at once; she seemed a great deal more respectably dressed—she said, “Hullo, father, here you are!”—I replied, “Kate, I should never have known you if you had not spoken first”—when I had known her before she had been in the habit of calling me Harry—we had tea together—at tea she said an aunt had died and left her a very comfortable home at Richmond, that she had been very unfortunate in letting her apartments, and she wanted to dispose of her home, as her father wrote from Ireland wishing her to sell off and come home and see after him, as he was very feeble and on his last legs—she asked me if I would go and see her off to the District Railway—I did so, with my son Robert—I had not noticed anything with her, only a black bag—it was a common bag, about 18 inches or 20 inches long, and nearly 12 inches in depth—we were about 20 minutes in the house—Kate, my son, and myself were at tea; no one else—my wife was upstairs in bed; she was not very well—before we started Thurlow came in; he is a neighbour, living nearly opposite, a painter and decorator—he stayed about 10 minutes; he had no tea—it was 7.20 or 7.30 when we started to the railway—Thurlow had left at that time—my son, Kate, and myself started—my son carried the bag—I had first seen the bag under our tea – table—I had not noticed whether it was open or closed—Kate and I walked together, and the boy behind—I had some conversation with her about her home at Richmond, which she wanted to dispose of—she asked me if I could find a respectable broker—I said I could, but I said, “Can’t you find one at Richmond, as it would be much handier?”—she said she was not acquainted with the Richmond people much, and would prefer leaving it to me—that was the only conversation between the two of us before we went into the Oxford and Cambridge—about half the distance, opposite or near the Angel, I took the bag from the boy—it appeared to weigh about 20lb. or 25lb.—the boy lagged behind, and I thought he was looking in the shop – windows, and Kate and I waited, and when he came up I said, “What are you looking about for?” and he said, “Take the bag, father; it is rather heavy”—that was opposite the Angel—the three of us continued together till we got to the Oxford and Cambridge—we did not go near a baker’s shop—I met my eldest son, William, at the Angel; his business is close by there; he was outside—we went into the Angel, Kate, myself, Robert, and William—Kate and William shook hands outside the Angel, and they asked after each other’s health; the conversation lasted about 10 minutes—we had a glass of ale at the Angel, William, Kate, and myself—the Oxford and Cambridge is not on the way to the station—after leaving the Angel, Kate said she had a friend over at Barnes, and she wanted to go and see him, but she must not stay long—at the Oxford and Cambridge she proposed to have a glass of ale—Kate, I, and the boy went in; I called for a pint of ale; I paid for it, and asked her to drink; she did so—she said “I want to get over to see my friend at Barnes; I don’t want to make it too late before I get home; I want to get back to Richmond”—she asked for the bag, and I proposed for the boy to carry it—”Oh, no,” says she, “I can manage that myself; I shan’t be long gone”—we stayed there till she came back—she was gone nearly half an hour, from 20 minutes to half an hoar—when she came back she had not got the bag with her—she said she had seen her friend—we had a second pint of ale—she showed me some photos; she represented one of them to be her father’s portrait, and another her deceased sister’s—one was the photograph of a man with a long beard, to the best of my recollection; one of them was very small, about the size of a shilling; the man’s was ordinary size; the very small one was her sister’s, she said—she produced five gold rings in a small box in wadding, I believe; they were rather small plain rings, one more remarkable than the others; it had a stone in it, I think, and was different from the others—the others were plain—I had them all in my hand—I do not recollect any writing on them—she said they belonged to her deceased sister, and had been sent over as a keepsake—I did not know Mrs. Cox, the landlady of the Oxford and Cambridge before—I had been there but very seldom—Mrs. Cox was present at the conversation and took the small—photo, in her hand—there was another person, a young person, behind the bar—there was no one in front of the bar but ourselves; the bar reaches as high as the ledge of the witness – box—the conversation about the photos, was after Kate had come back again—she told me her name was Mrs. Thomas; she said that several times that evening—I believe she mentioned it at home in my own house; she said she had had a husband, but he was dead—after she came back we stayed about a quarter of an hour at the Oxford and Cambridge; we then went to the District Railway, in the Broadway; it was 9 o’clock when we got there—she pressed me very much on the way to find her a respectable broker—I said I would do so—I mentioned Mr. Brooks—at the station she asked me if I would allow my son Robert to go home with her—I said I would, on condition she would send him back the same evening, as he was due at his work in the morning at 5.30—she said she would—I saw them off—my boy did not come back that night—I next saw the prisoner on Thursday, the 6th, about 6 p.m.—she had, as on the first night, the gold watch and chain—she said she hoped I had found a respectable broker, as I had promised, and about 9 o’clock or past we went to Mr. Brooks’s—his shop was closed—we came back home, and I believe she stayed at my house the whole of the night—I went to Mr. Niblett’s, the jeweller, on the 10th or 11th of March—I am not certain about the date—I believe she brought the gold with the teeth on that day—on the 6th, when she slept at my house she slept downstairs in the front parlour—on the Monday after the 8th, either on the 10th or the 11th, I first took her to Church’s—she and I went in to have a glass of ale—I had been to Richmond on Saturday, the 8th—on the 6th she asked me to coma down to Richmond to see her comfortable home that she wanted to dispose of—I promised to go on the 8th, because it was a half holiday—I went at 2.30 p.m. by myself—I found out the place by inquiring—she had given me the address—the prisoner let me in—I looked over the house—she asked me what I thought about the. house—I said, “It is a very comfortable one, very respectable”—she said she would like to have a broker, and that they would not allow her to have an auction sale on the premises—she said she was going to keep for her own use the best bed and bedding—I was there three hours—we came home together—she stayed at my house and went away on the Monday morning—I am away early in the morning—I know she slept there on Sunday night—I saw her last at 9 o’clock on Sunday evening and next on Monday evening, about 6 p.m.—she was then pressing me about finding a broker for the furniture—she thought I was neglecting it—J could not say whether it was on the Monday evening or the Tuesday that I introduced her to Church; I should think it was on the Tuesday—the prisoner and I went to Church’s—it is ten houses from mine—we had a glass of ale—Church came in—I spoke to him in her presence respecting the furniture—I said, “Mr. Church, here is a friend of mine has a respectable home to dispose of”—he said, “Has she? I want a few things; perhaps they will suit me”—we were in front of the bar—he said if the things would suit him he would buy them; and if there were more than he wanted, he would put them in an auction sale—we were there a quarter or half an hour—I rather think we went into the bar parlour to arrange matters—Kate and I then went home to my place—I did not notice any conversation between Church and the prisoner while we were in Church’s place—they spoke together; the prisoner said, “Church, don’t you know me”—he said, “No, I don’t”—she said, “I’m an old neighbour of Porter’s”—she slept at my place that night—I saw her nearly every day up to the 18th—I heard from heron the next day or the day following, that Church had been down—on the 13th, 14th, and 15th (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), I was at the house with the prisoner and Church, looking over the furniture—I went with the other two on all three days—we were looking the furniture over to get a proper understanding to buy it—previously to our going down he had offered 50l.—I did not think it was sufficient—the prisoner and I went into each room separately—I left her to value it, knowing better what the things were worth—I put down the figures she gave me, and it made 68l., and in my and her presence Church agreed to give that—the valuing was done on the 13th, and the extra 18l. was agreed to on that day, on the Friday, and he gave her a cheque; I believe it was a note—she preferred having gold instead of a note—he said, “It don’t matter to me, at the corner of the Grove is my banking account You can go there in the morning and draw the gold”—the bank is in the Broadway, Hammersmith—we all three came away together—grocery was sent or brought by the prisoner to my house; she said some of it was for her own consumption and her little boy’s—she was a good deal at my house from the 4th to the 18th—linen was also sent there—I brought it away from Vine Cottages on the Saturday, the 15th—the prisoner packed it up and put it in a cab—I left in the cab, leaving her there—I remember some plate being packed up by the prisoner—it was cleaned in my presence by the prisoner—that went to Church’s—she said she had got the silver ready to take with her to Ireland at the same time she took the linen—the prisoner took it to Church’s; she said she thought it would be safe there—on Tuesday, the 18th, in the evening, about 6, I went to the house and found there the prisoner, Church, and another man named Mary on—about 7 came the vans with the proprietor and two or three men—a chest of drawers and two or three other things were taken out of the house to the vans—Miss Ives next door spoke to Mr. “Weston—the prisoner said “Who is it inquiring after me?”—I said “The lady next door, that you say is your landlady”—she went to Miss Ives next door, and returned in a few minutes; she certainly seemed a little agitated—she said “Harry, come upstairs and take down a dress or two off the pegs; I want to send them to Hammersmith”—I went up with her and took down the dresses and a fur jacket—we came downstairs together and she went out at the front door I called Church’s attention—she went out at the front door, and I saw no more of her till I saw her at Richmond—I don’t know what she did with the dresses—I helped to put hack into the house the things that had been taken out—in a quarter of an hour from the time we missed the prisoner the vans left the house—I and Church went home by train—I had had the prisoner’s little boy at our house seven or eight days—when I got back home he was gone—next day we went to Richmond, to Miss Ives’s, about 6 or seven in the evening—Church went to Miss Ives’s door and knocked; I believe the servant answered the door, and Miss Ives came forward—the prisoner showed me some artificial teeth at my house, I believe on the 10th or 11th; she said they had belonged to her deceased aunt; she wanted to dispose of them, would I go to Hammersmith and take them to a jeweller’s shop?—I took them to Mr. Niblett’s, a jeweller’s, and the prisoner stood outside looking through the window—I sold them for 6s., and gave it to the prisoner, who gave me 1s. for my trouble—on Sunday night, 2nd March, I was at home a portion of the time; I was not at Richmond—I was at Church’s house from 9 o’clock up to about half – past 11—Church was there all that time, in and out—on the Monday evening, the next night, I was at home at my own place—I was not at Richmond—I was at Church’s that night—I did not see much of him that night, because he was upstairs, engaged with his club—I believe I saw him—I might have been there near three or four hours—I would not go in till half – past 7.
Cross – examined. About five or six years ago I knew the prisoner, I should think, for nearly five or six weeks; it was not six months, she was not next door six months, nothing near it—she used to take notice of my child over the wall—she came into our house once or twice, and played with the child—she seemed fond of it—she was not frequently there, she did not ask one of my daughters to go over and see her at Norland Crescent where she was in service; it is an untruth—during the two months following her leaving she came over and visited us half a dozen times—she was on friendly terms—she did not bring eatables or anything with her—she did not have tea there in my presence—I don’t remember her being there one Sunday and having tea with me and my wife; it is so long ago I don’t recollect; she might have done—I gave evidence about the photographs before the Magistrates at Richmond—I believe I said one was the photograph of a man with a long beard—I cannot swear I did—I cannot say whether this is the first time I have mentioned in a Court of Justice the photograph of” a man with a long beard—I might have sworn before the Magistrates that the photographs were those of three females—I might have made that mistake—I did not at Richmond say a word about meeting my son William at the Angel—my son William was not called at the police – court till the 8th of May, when I had given my evidence on both occasions—when I was seeing after the disposal of her furniture I expected to be paid for my loss of time—I thought she was in good circumstances—I did not go to Mr. Brooks myself, nor did I speak to any broker—I had promised to find a broker—she was providing meat and groceries the whole fortnight, a portion for herself and child—I had my share—I did not find a broker, because I was otherwise engaged—I did not have short time that first week, it was the second—my hours are from 6 to 5.30—on Sunday night, the 2nd, I was at Church’s from 7.30 to closing time—I did not go out till then—I don’t know how long it takes to drive from Richmond to Rose Gardens in a cab; it would not take less than 35 minutes—I might have said at first that it was on Monday, the 10th, that I introduced the prisoner to Church—I could not say whether it was the 10th or 11th—I might have said that on Tuesday, the 11th, she told me she had been down to Richmond with Church—I will swear it was not on Monday, the 3rd of March—Tuesday, the 4th, may have been the day Church ought to have been to Kensington for his bagatelle licensee—I left the house on Tuesday evening at 12.30 as the house closed—I went there after leaving Kate “Webster at the station—I saw the prisoner take the tickets at the District Railway Station, Hammersmith; 1 mean the station on the opposite side of the Broadway, not the one next to Mr. Ayre’s public – house; it is the same side as the Clarendon public – house, which Mr. Ayre’s brother used to keep; the District Railway used to stop at Hammersmith before it went to Richmond, and the old station is still there; that is the place where she took the tickets; you do not go under any road, but the trains run under the Broadway; the station is down under the Broadway level; the first thing you would have to do would be to go under the road right through the Broadway—the train started soon after we got there, but I could not see because I left them on the top when they took the tickets; I did not go down on to the platform to see them away—I do not remember asking Kate if she would have another glass of ale before she went, or her saying “No, I shall lose the train;” she made no remark about losing the train; she said she wanted to get home as early as she could—when I got back to the Rising Sun at 10 o’clock I saw Church there serving customers—he or his wife are generally there—it was at the station that Kate asked me to let little Bob go down to Richmond; I don’t know what that was for; she said “Robert, you might have a ride down to Richmond with me,” and she said “I will send him home to – night”—I said “He has got a very nice place of employment, and I do not want him to lose that”—he was not to come back by the next train; she gave no reason for taking him down; I did not think it strange, or I should not have let him go—I know a house called Hartley’s at Richmond—she did not say in my presence, “Church is to meet me at Hartley’s”—I have met Church at Hartley’s on several occasions since this case has been on—I never met him there in the first or second week in March—on the 18th I met them at home; he might have called in at Hartley’s on the 18th—I never knew Hartley’s until 8th March, Saturday—he keeps the Bell and Anchor—I went down on that Saturday by the prisoner’s permission to see the furniture—I was not at Hartley’s on Tuesday night, 4th March—I did not know where it was—I did not say to Kate in my house, “Is not the boy going down with you, Kate?”—nothing of the kind, that I swear—we had some conversation at tea; she had not proposed at tea – time that he should go down—I did not see my son William at tea – time; I very seldom see him at all; his business keeps him away—I saw my son Robert on Monday night, 3rd March, at home; he never goes away from home after he has done his day’s work, but he may run about the streets—I was at home that night but not all the evening, because after I have had my tea and had a wash I generally spend an hour or two at Church’s—I was there that night, I cannot say how long to an hour or two, but I never go farther—I was never out of Hammersmith I am certain—the prisoner did not say to me on the road to the station “Are you coming down to – night?” Nothing of the kind—I lost two and a half days’ work between the 4th and the 18th, because Saturday was a half – holiday—I cannot say whether the prisoner was at my house when I got home on Tuesday, 11th; it’s possible she may have come in afterwards, for she spent most of her time at my place—she put down the amounts and I cast them up to 68l.—J don’t believe Church knew the value of the goods any more than I did—she wanted to wait till Mrs. Porter came down—I did not say that I thought 50l. was a very fair price for the things—after Miss Ives came out and the prisoner came out and spoke to her, the prisoner went into 2, Vine Cottages, I cannot say whether into the front room—I don’t know whether Church was in the front room or not, but I know that he was somewhere about the house preparing to move—she did not remain five minutes after Miss Ives had spoken to her—I did sot see Miss Ives go out with her hat and cloak on—the prisoner was standing in the hall when she asked me to take down the dresses, but I did not bring them down, she brought them down and took them to the van, and never came back—I don’t know that she and Church were in the front room talking—after that the vans both went away at the same time, and we went away with them; the large one was first, the one we had put the dresses into; we followed the vans and then went into a public – house—the prisoner did not say in the presence of Church and myself “It is all very well, but who is to pay me”—Church paid her half a sovereign deposit, but what he paid her afterwards I don’t know—he did not pay her 2l. at Vine Cottages, but I believe they settled it afterwards—Weston did not refuse to take the things out of the van unless he was paid 3l., nor was the matter compromised by his getting 2l.—I heard of the Barnes mystery—I saw Kate at Richmond the night before, and I expected my son home, but he did not come—I did not see him next morning before I went away; I saw him in the” evening—I did not ask him why he did not come home the night before—I allowed my son to stop out all night without questioning him—he had my permission to go, but not to stay out all night—he did not tell me what took place at the prisoner’s at Richmond; I do not remember his saying a word—I did ask him what he thought of the home—he said it was a very nice home, nothing else—he did not tell me till afterwards that she had given him some rum, not till his mother was reading Lloyd’s Newspaper about the Barnes mystery—I cannot say the date, but I suppose that would be the 9th—the box was dropped in the river on the 4th, and on the 9th I heard of the Barnes mystery—my son Robert then began to tell me more of what took place on the night that he went to the prisoner’s—he told me that he had been on the bridge at Richmond with the box on the Tuesday night with the prisoner, and that he heard a splash—I am quite sure he told me all this on Sunday, the 9th; he described the size of the box with his hands, it answered the description in Lloyd’s Newspaper of the box found in the river—I understood from him that he thought the box might have been the one found in the river—I heard previous to March 18th that an inquest had been held on the contents of the box—I may have read a report of the inquest in the paper at which Dr. Adams gave evidence, but I don’t know—I take in Lloyd’s, the Graphic, and the Illustrated London News—I do not know that I read the report of the inquest on the 18th; my attention was called more to the Graphic than to any other paper—I read the one before the 9th—sometimes I do not take up Lloyd’s, on a Sunday, but I happened to do so on Sunday, the 9th—the inquest was held on the 18th—we did not give any information – we saw Miss Ives; I had the door closed in my face—I cannot tell you the date when I gave any information—the first person I informed was Mr. Menhenick, of Finsbury Park; Church and I went to him together—I don’t know whether Church came to me or sent for me; he did not come and have a conversation with me in my front parlour; the conversation which resulted in our going to Menhenick was either in the public – house or my back room, but he wanted to know what had become of his 18l.—I cannot tell you whether he spoke to me in my back room or not, he had very seldom been in my house before the 18th—I don’t think he ever had, only calling for cans; he never was in my house but once to my knowledge, and that was when we went boating on the river—I do not think he came on the 20th, the day before we went to Menhenick’s, or that he and I went into my back room together, but I cannot swear it—I believe I had the conversation with him the same day that we went to Menhenick’s, it was the evening part because we got to Menhenick’s about 7 o’clock—I don’t remember his mentioning anything about an inquest upon the contents of the box—I won’t swear that he did not tell me that Dr. Adams had given some evidence about the bones in the box—I don’t believe he ever mentioned there was likely to be a police inquiry, but I cannot swear it—he told me he had got a letter which was written by a friend of Mrs. Thomas—we were not nearly an hour talking together, nor yet a quarter of an hour—I do not know whether anybody else was present; we went away together—I did not think it was a very serious matter after hearing that there was an inquest—I did not think I need trouble myself at all; that being so we went away to Mr. Menhenick’s; Church was the principal spokesman—I did not go to the police and give information when the box was found in the river, although my son had spoken about a box, because I had no suspicion, or else I should have been the first to make a complaint and to lay information—I had a suspicion after my son told me that it was like the box, but I did not give information, because I did not suspect the prisoner in the least—Church never paid the prisoner 20l. in my presence—I did not swear at the police – court that I saw two 5l. notes paid on one day, and 10l. in gold on another day, they might have been two 20l. notes; they were bank notes—I have said on two different occasions I saw 18l. paid—I told the Justices at Richmond that I did not have any of the 20l. nor had I—I did not suggest to Church that he should send the police and try to get his 20l. back from the woman, until 21st March—Church did not pay a bill in my presence while the vans were waiting—Church did not speak to me between the 18th and 21st, only respecting his 18l. which he thought was lost, he used every energy to get it back, and so did I; I did not go to the police about it, it would have been very wise if I had—when we went to Mr. Menhenick’s, Church told the whole story as far as he was concerned and I said a few words—I did not tell Menhenick that I had had various presents from the prisoner; I may have told him that while she was professing to have a comfortable home at Richmond, she was sleeping in my cottage at Hammersmith—most likely I told him that I was having grocery and meat and all sorts of things from Richmond at her expense—I know a person named Ricketts, he keeps a van, which I hired on Saturday, 15th March, to go to Vine Cottage and to bring the prisoner’s boxes, or a portion of her things, but he came back without them; he only brought four chairs, an India – rubber plant, and five or six common flower pots; I paid him for that—I burnt those chairs before 18th March on a Sunday morning—I believe I had nothing else from Vine Cottage on the 15th; I did not come away with the prisoner, I came home with the laundry work when the chairs were brought to my house—I did not know that 12 lb. of beef was also brought away and that it went to Church’s; we had a leg of mutton raw on the 15th from Vine Cottage, and it was cooked at a bake house next door to Church’s—I was at Vine Cottage when the plate was taken away; that could not be on the 15th because we came home in a cab; it was in a small square basket, it could not have been brought away on the same Saturday before the furniture, because I came home with the prisoner and Church by the railway, and she had the basket with the silver in it then—she was at my house that night and slept there; I was at Church’s that Saturday night, we all went in together, three or four of us; Church, Webster and I, all went from Richmond to Hammersmith in a cab together, and the plate was in a basket; that was on the Saturday—I made a mistake before when I said it was not the 15th—on the day I went down to value the furniture there was no one there but Webster, Church, and myself when the furniture was valued at 50l., nor was there the next day; we went down together the next day—before the 15th, when the plate and the chaise and the other things were removed, no other man but Church and myself was with Webster at Vine Cottage in my presence; I saw Church draw a receipt; I did not hear the prisoner ask him what he drew it for when the thing was between themselves—I did not hear her say anything about a receipt; it was drawn up before we got there—after I got down in the evening, Church asked me to get a receipt stamp, and I got two, one was for her to give a receipt to him on the bill; she did not in my presence, instead of signing the receipt for the money, say “What do you want a receipt for when the matter is between ourselves V nor did she say “To make it all square”—I fetched two stamps, because I did not think a penny stamp would receipt a 68l. bill—they had a bottle of brandy that day, and the prisoner could not find the corkscrew—I have no recollection of Church saying “I believe you have got it, Harry”—I had not got it—I did not leave, and say “I expect some of the property as well as you,” Nothing of the kind—I went down more on her part to see that he paid a fair price for the furniture, and gave her the fair value—he knew no more than I did about it, and I only jumped at it—I went that she should have justice—I was never there till after the 8th; I was not there on the 6th, or the Wednesday or Thursday after the Tuesday—I was there on one or two occasions after the 8th, and I may have been there once for four or five hours—I never came home from Richmond but twice in a cab; we did come home late one night, about 10 o’clock; that would be from the 10th to the 16th; I cannot say the night—I went down about 6.30—I was all that time arranging about the furniture, and how it was going to be removed; Church, me, and the prisoner had something to drink, but very little—I cannot say whether that was Wednesday, 12th—the furniture had not been attempted to be packed—that was long before the plate was taken away—when I got down at 6.30 the prisoner did not appear the worse for drink—that was not Tuesday the 4th—I slid not leave Vine Cottage three times in the week which began on the 3rd and ended on the 8th—I never was there; I swear that.
Re – examined. The whole four chairs were only worth 2s.—I destroyed them because the prisoner left me to pay 4s. for the carriage—I did not get off that by destroying them, but I was annoyed at having to pay the 4s.—I kept the India – rubber plant; I have no idea of the value of it—with the exception of the chairs, the India – rubber plant, the grocery, and the meat I had nothing that came out of Vine Cottage—I got 1s. from the prisoner for selling the teeth; she paid me nothing for taking care of her child, only the provisions—the linen left at my house was to be washed; it was left behind when the prisoner went away, and the police fetched it after the Friday after the house had been searched—I went to Menhenick on the 21st—Church asked me to go there, and we went, and saw him—I did not mention to him about the box my son had carried—Church gave his information—we may have been there about three – quarters of an hour—I believe I made some remarks about the disappearance of Mrs. Thomas—Church gave him a description of her, and he said he could not form any idea whether that was Mrs. Thomas—I believe that Church gave him hit name and address, and he said he would make inquiries and see Mr. Hughes, the lady’s solicitor—on the next day Mr. Hughes came to my place, and I went with him and Church to Richmond—we went to the police – station on Saturday, 22nd, and saw Inspector Pear man; I think Church made a statement to him, and we went at once with the inspector to Vine Cottages, and I saw that by going through Miss Ives’s house the inspector made an entry into No. 2, Vine Cottages, Mrs. Thomas’s—I went in after about half an hour, and saw the inspector look round the place—it was dark, but we had a light—Church took a gold watch and chain out of a cupboard, and I recognised the chain as that the prisoner wore at my place—I also recognised a photograph there, which’ I think she said was her father.
ANN PORTER . I am the wife of the last witness—I first knew the prisoner six or seven years ago—she was living next door—I knew her only as Kate—she was a servant out of a situation—she went away to a situation in Norland Crescent, and about nine months afterwards came and visited me very frequently for several weeks, not months—some time after she bad a little boy, and when he was three months old he came’ to see me—I did not see her again till Tuesday, March 4th, in my house between four and five p.m.—I knew her—I was not very well—my lodger opened the door—she said “How are you, mother?”—I said, “Kate, how are you I”—she came indoors—she had a black bag with her—she gave me some whisky out of a bottle in her pocket, and then sent the little girl who lived in my house for half a pint of gin and gave me two glasses of it—she said her name was Mrs. Thomas—my husband came home—her bonnet was on all this time—they had tea and I went up to bed—she had a black dress on—I heard her say that she wanted my boy to go to Richmond and my husband—I did not see them start—I saw Thurlow come in before I went up—he is a neighbour—I was awake when my husband came home—I remember Robert, my son, coming home next morning between eight and nine with some groceries—I knew he had been away all night—he went to his work—on the same morning the prisoner came to my house and stayed the night—she said her name was Mrs. Thomas; her aunt had left her the home at Richmond, and she had a nice home; and she said, “Mother, you had better come and see me at Richmond”—I did not ask her if her husband was alive or not—she slept at my house on Thursday, and on Friday I went down to Richmond—before I left I saw a purse on my table—I opened it—it contained three rings, a postage – stamp, and the keys of 2, Vine Cottages—they were small rings—I took those things down to Richmond and went to 2, Vine Cottages—Kate had given me the address—I knocked at the door—after waiting a little she came up the front garden from the road, and said, “Oh, mother, I’ve been to Hammersmith looking after you and I saw your bonnet and shawl gone”—I gave her her purse and we went in—it was eight or nine in the morning and I had breakfast with her—nobody else was in the house—I went upstairs—she said her aunt died and left that home and she wanted to dispose of it, and hoped father would get some one to make a bargain for it; all that was in the kitchen she would give to me; the other things she wanted to dispose of, but the best things she would take to Ireland—she said she did not want an auction sale, she wanted them sold privately—I saw a photograph there which she said was her father—I stayed with her about two hours chatting, and when I left she returned with me to Hammersmith and brought some groceries with her—she paid the fare for both of us and stopped all night Friday—I expect she came again next day, Saturday, the 8th, but I can hardly remember—on the Friday or Saturday in the next week my husband brought some chemises, drawers, night – dresses, table – covers, antimacassars, and petticoats to be washed and got up for her by the following Saturday, when she was going to call for them—I washed them, but did not get them up; they were left with me when she went away—I remember four old chairs coming and an India – rubber plant and the flower pots—my husband burnt the chairs—I had charge of the prisoner’s little boy; he will be six years old next August—she brought him on the Thursday in the following week and asked me to take charge of him, and I had him in my house about a week—I was not paid for it, but—she brought grocery and so on—what she brought would keep her and her boy—I was not at home when he was taken away—I always knew the prisoner as Mrs. Thomas from the 4th—I went to Richmond twice; I took the boy down once.
Cross – examined. When I lived next door to the prisoner five or six years ago I had a child, who is dead, and the prisoner took notice of him and played with him; she seemed to be a kind, good – natured girl—she lived next door to me about six months—I knew on the 4th that my husband and the boy were going with her to Hammersmith Station—Shaftesbury Road is nearer to my house than Hammersmith Broadway Station—I was never at Richmond in the evening; I came home with Johnny, the little boy, in a cab, but cannot tell whether it was at 11 o’clock or 12 o’clock at night—some grocery and meat came in the cab—that was not in the same week that she came with the little boy; it Was the Thursday in the following week—I do not know whether Church was there when I got to Richmond—I got there late in the afternoon and came home late at night, but I had no refreshment—I was not there five or six hours’, only about two hours—I was at home on Saturday, the 15th, when Ricketts’s van brought the chairs; they were not up to much; they were old and wanted bottoming; they were cane – bottomed chairs with no bottoms in them—I had not seen them when at Vine Cottages, though I had been into every room in the house—I saw them delivered on the Saturday, but my husband was not there, nor was the boy—I did not see him in the van—I did not see him get out and help to bring in the India – rubler plant and the chairs—I was not standing at the door—I saw the chairs when they were delivered, but I was not at home at the time—my house is open when I go out; anybody can walk in—Church is not an old friend of mine; I have known him about 10 years—I recollect my son Robert stopping out all night on the Tuesday, when he went with the prisoner to Richmond, and coming back, in the morning of the 5th with a bag full of grocery, but no books—I said “Why did you not come back, Bob?”He said “The train was late, and I could not get a cab, I had no money”—he said that he had helped Kate to carry a box to the bridge, and there was a man on the bridge with a tall hat on who passed him, and he went home to Vine Cottages and she gave him some rum and made him tight, and he laid on the floor all night and she laid on the best bed—my husband was not at home—he did not tell me that on the 5th, he only said that Kate detained him all night; he did not tell me till the following Sunday, when he was reading the newspaper to the family; he read that a box was found floating about on the Thames near Barnes with human remains in it, and then he said, “Why, I carried a box for Kate;” He told me then that he had heard a splash after he left Kate, and that the box he carried was like that described in the newspaper—my husband was not there; he was at Church’s—it was between 12 and 1 when my son read the paper to me and Mrs. Clark, and he said, “That is the box I carried over the bridge”—it was past 1, because my husband was at Church’s; when I said between 12 and 1,1 made a mistake; we do not dine before 3 on Sundays, after the public – houses are closed; I dare say my husband was at Church’s from 1 to 3—I did not tell him that Bob said that the box was like the box found in the river—Bob told his father, but his father did not speak to me about it—I did not read an account of the inquest on the bones, in the newspaper, but I have heard of it—I did not make any communication to anybody, although my son told me that the box was like the box with the bones in it; I kept it entirely to myself.
By the COURT. I can give no reason for keeping it to myself; I did not think it would get my son into trouble, but it has brought us into a good deal of trouble; I did not keep it secret, because my son went and told Mr. Church—I said at the police – court that it was the unluckiest week I ever had, not the luckiest.
JAMES THOMAS THURLOW . I am a painter and decorator, of 42, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—I have lived in Rose Gardens nine years, opposite Porter’s, and have worked 14 or 15 years in the same employ as Porter—I was at Porter’s on 4th March, and saw the prisoner there—I heard her name was Mrs. Thomas—she was in the back room sitting at the tea – table—there was a bag under the tea – table of black American leather—I was in the loom from 10 minutes to a quarter of an hour—the prisoner told Porter she was going to sell her furniture, except the best bed and bedding; those she should keep for herself—the things in the kitchen he was to have, excepting the services—she called him “Father”—she said, “Perhaps you will be able to find me a respectable broker”—Porter said he would see what he could do—I remained standing—I went back to my own house, and stood at the front door smoking—the factory clock struck 7 just before they came out—Porter’s boy came out with a black bag, followed by the prisoner, and Porter was walking behind—I saw them for about a hundred yards—they did not change their positions—they went down Rose Gardens towards the bridge, and I lost sight of them by the second lamp – post—I do not know what became of them afterwards—they stayed at Church’s till 11.45—Porter was there from the time he came in up to 11.45, and Church was serving in the bar all the evening—that was Tuesday, the 4th—I had been at the Rising Sun on the Monday evening; I went at 7.30 and stopped till 12—I do not belong to the Slate Club, but I knew it was held there—Porter and Church were there on the Monday night—I saw Church there till 12 o’clock, when Porter and I came away together—on Sunday night, the 2nd, I went into Church’s with Porter at a few minutes before 8, and remained till 10—Church was there—Goodrich was with us—I saw the prisoner at Porter’s door on Sunday, 9th March, and also at Church’s door between 1 and 2 o’clock with Porter and his son, and I think Mrs. Porter, but I won’t be sure—on the 16th I saw her about 10.30 a.m. with Mrs. Porter—Porter called me over to look at the India – rubber plant which he had, and while he was showing it to me the prisoner stood at the front door and said to Mrs. Porter, “It is a very fine one, is it not, mother?”—Mrs. Porter said, “Yes, as fine a one as I have ever seen,” the prisoner said “It is not as fine ft one as I ever saw, for I have seen one quite as tall; I brought it out of the drawing – room into the kitchen, as I had a grand ball at my house about a month ago.”
Cross – examined. Porter told me that the prisoner was a friend of his, and that she had fallen into some property by an aunt of here—I was very often at Church’s—I was there on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th March—there was nothing particular in seeing him serving behind the bar, to fix it on my memory as any particular day—Porter works for the same firm as I do, and sometimes with me—he is not at work with me now, he was when I was at the police – court—he was under me—I live immediately opposite him—I thought nothing of seeing the prisoner with a black bag at tea time—I did not ponder the matter over in my mind as early as March 8, and I do not think I said so at the police – court—I went to the house to borrow a spade, but Mr. Porter had not got one, he had lent it—Mrs. Porter was not there when the prisoner promised Porter the things in the kitchen except the services—he said that he would see what he could do to find her a broker—that was in Church’s house—I do not know whether it is a furnished house—I have only been in one room upstairs, the bagatelle room—it is two cottages turned into a beer shop—it had not the appearance of re joining any furniture—I went to the station and gave information on 7th April, and the police referred me to the Treasury—I had read articles about it; I had not seen Mrs. Porter’s statement then, but I have since—the day is fixed in my mind by its being Sandown Park races on the Tuesday—I was not there—there are a good many races in the year, and I go to them; I have betted at them, but not now—I was not at Church’s on Tuesday, the 6th, before I went into Porter’s—I leave off work at 6.30 now—I can always hear the factory clock strike when I am at home—I left the Rising Sun at 10 o’clock—Church attends races sometimes, but I have not been with him—I am at Church’s every evening—I am sure I went to Porter’s on Sunday, March 16, about 10.30 a. m.; I saw the prisoner there—she had no dress on, only a little bit of a cape thrown over her shoulders and a petticoat—I did not see her at Porter’s on Sunday evening, the 9th, but I saw her at Church’s at dinner – time with Porter and his son William, and I think Mrs. Porter, but I will not be certain—Church was in the bar—I was there again on Monday night, the 10th, and saw Church there—I was not there on Tuesday, the 11th; I believe I was at home all the evening—I have not heard that he was away from his house that evening and at Richmond with the prisoner, and came home late—I was not at the police – court on the 13th, 14th, and 15th; I was ill in bed—I was not at work on the Friday and Saturday—I went to the Treasury on 8th April—I was not at the police – court on 31st March—I heard from my wife on Sunday, the 30th, that Church was arrested—I did not hear it from Porter; I did not see him that Sunday—I was not in at Church’s at all; I was at home—I was not ill then, but I did not want to go there—Church was not a very particular friend of mine; we have not been out together; I have used his house frequently during the last nine years, almost every evening—I was there on 23rd March, the Sunday before, and on 16th March, the Sunday before that—I do not know on what Sunday in February I was there.
Re – examined. Porter did not use the name Kate Webster, he said “Mrs. Thomas”—my wife told me about 2 o’clock on the Sunday that Church was taken in custody.
By the COURT. I first began to have a notion on 24th March that I could give important evidence; that was through Porter’s boy coming to Church’s at the dinner hour one Sunday and talking about the matter—the first thing I did was to speak to Porter about it, he was present at Church’s at the time the boy spoke—that was on the 24th, and I took steps on 7th April—I went to the police, and they referred me to the Treasury solicitor.
WILLIAM PORTER . I am the son of Henry Porter—on 4th March I was living with my father and mother, and was in Mr. Chapmill’s employ, a baker, of King Street, Hammersmith, where I have been seven years—on that day I saw my father and brother at about 7 p.m. with the prisoner; I was then coming out of the shop where I work—I fix the day because it was my birthday—the prisoner spoke to me first—she asked me how I was getting on, and shook hands with me—I said “I do not know you”—she said “I am Kate, who used to live next door to you”—I said “Well, I have some slight recollection”—it was six or seven years since I had seen her—she told me that she was living at Richmond and had a home of her own, and asked me if I would go down and see it—I said that I might run down one evening when I had time, but I could not fix any time, and they passed on—my father was carrying a bag—I think it was black—I did not know the prisoner’s name then—I saw her again on Thursday, the 6th March, at my father’s house—she told me she was living at Richmond and had a house and furniture, and asked me to come down and see her home—I said that I would go that evening if I could get away, and I went that evening between six and seven o’clock with her—we went to Vine Cottages—she had left the keys behind, and by means of a ladder I got through one of the windows and opened the door; we both went in—I was there about two hours, during which time she showed me some photographs and a likeness of her father, who she said was living in Ireland, and she was going to sell her home and go and live with him—I had some spirits of some sort and left her there and returned home alone—I saw her three or four times—I went again on Saturday, the 15th, with Harry Bass—Church and the prisoner were there when I got there, and I remained about two hours and had some spirits—the prisoner went to my father’s house and stayed that night—next day, Sunday, we went on the water, the prisoner, Church, Mrs. Church, their child, my friend and myself—that was merely a pleasure party—that was the last time I saw her—I always knew her as Mrs. Thomas.
Cross – examined. I was 22 years old last birthday—I was about 16 when the prisoner was staying opposite us—to the best of my recollection I was first examined at the police – court about the beginning of May—I do not know the date, I have a very bad memory—I know I was at Vine Cottages on 6th March because it was two days after my birthday—I do not know what fixes the 16th of March on my recollection—I am sure it was not the 9th when we went on the water—I am sure my friend Bass went down the day before the water party—I am sure my father was not there—I did not hear my father or Church or Bass call her Mrs. Thomas, but she told me herself that that was her name—I went home by train on the 16th, not in a cab—I went back to my situation nail shut the shop up—I got home about twelve o’clock—I left Richmond about eleven, and it took me about twenty minutes to get home—I did not see anything of my father that day—I did not see a basket of plate—I got to Richmond about nine—Church was there—it is not true that Church, Webster, and my father all went home in a cab with the basket of plate—on the 6th I put the ladder against a window at the side of the house over the hall and got in there—she had left the key at my father’s house and my mother found it—I will not swear that, but she found the puree—I won’t swear that somebody else may not have picked them up and handed them to her—I was at home on Sunday, March 2nd, but not in the evening—I never stay at home on Sunday evenings—I went out for a walk and came home again; I can’t say where or whether with a friend or a young woman.
HARRIET COX . I keep the Oxford and Cambridge beerhouse, King’s Road, Hammersmith—I remember in the early part of March, between 8 and 9 p.m., seeing a man, a woman, and a boy looking at some photographs in the bar—I could not be certain who the woman was—I saw the woman showing a photograph to the man—I asked her to allow me to see it; she showed it to me; I asked if it was meant for herself; she said “Yes”—I said “It is not like you”—it was the size of a shilling or a little larger—they were there about 20 minutes, but I was not there when they came in—I was eating my supper; I was not serving—my niece, Millicent Street, was there—I cannot say whether the woman left before the other two.
Cross – examined. As far as I know she remained the whole time—she never left while I was there.
MILLICENT STREET . I assist my aunt in her business—I saw a person give a photograph to my aunt in the bar—I cannot recognise the prisoner—there were two or three persons in the bar—the female had been there then about a quarter of an hour—I did not see what sort of photograph it was—I saw her come in with a man and a boy, and I served her—she went out—I did not see her go out—she was away 20 minutes and then came back—the man and the boy remained there.
Cross – examined. I was first asked to give evidence in March, I think, hut I won’t be positive whether it was March or April—I cannot say that it was not in May—I did not see the woman go out, but I know she was out 20 minutes because I was having my supper 20 minutes—I looked at the time when I went to my supper—a gentleman took my evidence down—he did not tell me that the woman who showed my aunt the photograph was Kate Webster—about three people were in the bar—it is a beer and wine house—I was not called at the police – court—I read statements and histories of this case in the papers, giving the details, besides the police reports—I heard it said by people in front of our bar that Kate Webster had been there—it was common talk—I did not hear that she had left the bar and gone on to Hammersmith Broadway—I was as deaf then as I am now, and I could not hear their conversation.
By the COURT. I saw her come in twice; the first time with a man and a boy about 16’—I then went to supper; she had gone out then, and I saw her back just as I came in—I did not see the photograph, but my aunt told me at the time that it was a photograph—there was only one, but I could not see the face of it—I saw no black bag—60 or 70 people come in there in a day.
Friday, July 4th, 1879.
JOHN CHURCH . I live at the Rising Sun, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—I have lived there nine years; it is a wine and beer house—I am married and live there with my wife and one child, between six and seven years old—I have a potboy—the one I then had did not sleep in the house, the one have now does—in the beginning of March I had no servant sleeping in the house—before I took this house I had been a gentleman’s servant, and before that I had been in the army—I left the army in 1866—I purchased my discharge—I enlisted in 1857 in the 11th Hussars and stopped there till 1866—on Sunday, 2nd March, I was at my house, the Rising Sun—it opens at 1 o’clock on Sundays and remains open till 3 o’clock—it opens again at 6 o’clock and remains open until 11 o’clock—I was at home during that day; I did not leave Hammersmith at all that day between 6 and 11 o’clock in the evening—I was serving behind the bar—my wife was at home—I saw Henry Porter there between 1 and 3 o’clock, and in the evening from 8 till 10 o’clock—Thurlow was there till nearly closing time—Mr. and Mrs. Munt were both there—I slept at home on Sunday night—I did not go out after 11 o’clock—on the following morning I got up about 10 o’clock—I attended to work in the house and remained at home till midday—I did not leave Hammersmith at all that day—in the evening a Mr. Camera Kiss, a jeweller, of Oxford Street, called between 6 and 7 o’clock, and I had a glass of wine with him—it was a usual thing for him to call every Monday evening—on that Monday, 3rd March, there was a meeting of the Oak Slate Club, that is a benefit society held at my house, a sick and burial club—this (produced) is a book of the society’s rides—they meet the first Monday in the month at my house, and that was the night of meeting; 7 o’clock is the usual time, but 7.30 is the time allowed for them to meet, and 10 o’clock is the ordinary time of closing—on that night the meeting took place as usual—I was the treasurer, George Woodbridge was the secretary—there are three keys to the box, I had one, and Harris and Taylor, the stewards, the others—the box cannot be opened unless the three are present with the keys—on that night the stewards and treasurer were present with the keys and the box was opened—the secretary was there with the book; he enters the amount paid by each member—a number of members of the club attended to pay their subscriptions—I saw Porter and Thurlow that night in front of the bar—I was down several times in the evening, in the course of the club meeting, which is held upstairs—my wife attended downstairs—I saw Porter and Thurlow there till 10 or 11 o’clock—I remained at the house till closing time, 12.30, and then retired to bed—the following day, Tuesday, the 4th, was the licensing day at Kensington —I have a billiard and bagatelle licensee—I applied for a billiard licensee on that day at the Vestry Hall, Kensington—I went there about 10 o’clock in the morning—I remained there till between 1 and 2 o’clock—I did not get the renewal of my licensee; I was out when my name was called—I then went to Sandown Park races, I got there between 2 and 3 o’clock—after leaving there I came home to Hammersmith—I went to Sandown Park from the Addison Road Station—I got back to Hammersmith between 6 and 7 o’clock—I called on Mr. Evans, a fishmonger, in King Street, on my way home, and bought a pair of soles and took them home with me—I then had tea and remained at home till the closing hour and then went to bed—my wife was at home—I was playing a game of dominoes in the evening with a man named Allen, and Johnson was scoring for us—I did not go to Richmond at all that day, I was at home on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in that week, attending to my business in the ordinary way—I knew the prisoner as Mrs. Thomas—I first saw her on Sunday, 9th March, at my house between 1 and 3, in front of the bar—Porter, Mrs. Porter, William Porter, and Mr. Thurlow were with her—I did not know her—Porter said, “This is Mrs. Thomas”—I said, “I don’t know her n—she said, ‘Don’t you know me?”—I said, “I do not”—she said, “I was an old neighbour of Porter’s some years ago”—I said I had no recollection of her, nor had I even then—they had their ale and left, and went towards Porter’s house—my wife was not present; she was in the house, not at the bar—I next saw the prisoner the next morning, Monday, the 10th, between 1 and 3—Mrs. Porter was with her—I was going out—I think there was a boat race on that day—I saw Mrs. Porter, who asked if I was going to stand anything, and I did pay for something at the Anglesey—I asked Mrs. Porter where the prisoner lived, and she said No. 2, Mayfield or Vine Cottages, Richmond—I then left them—that was the first time I heard the address—I saw the prisoner next day, Tuesday, the 11th—I went first to a licensing meeting at Kensington for my beer and wine licence—I got it and the billiard licence renewed—in the evening, some time between 5 and 7, I went to Richmond, in consequence of what Porter had said to me about this lady having some furniture to dispose of—I had not been to Richmond since the Shah was there, some considerable time before—the prisoner let me in to 2, Vine Cottages—I went into the front sitting – room and the parlour—her little boy was there—I said I had come to look at the furniture she had to dispose of—I don’t recollect what she replied—I stayed to between 9 and 10—I did not examine the things—I talked with the prisoner—she said her aunt had died and left her all this furniture, and she was going over to live with her father in Scotland, who was a solicitor—she showed me a photograph on the chimney – piece, and said it was her father; it was in a frame—she said she was going over to Scotland to keep his house, as he was in bad health—I came to no arrangement with her on that occasion—I took no refreshment, no food—I saw cups and saucers and breakfast things in the back parlour—I said, “I see you have had company”—she said, “Yes, I have”—when I left that night the prisoner went with me to the station—she left the little boy in the house—we went into the Railway Tavern, Hartley’s, where we had some drink—I returned alone by train to Hammer smith—next day, Wednesday, the 12th, I went to Richmond again in the evening about 6 or 7, with Henry Porter—we went to No. 2, “Vine Cottages, and the prisoner opened the door—there was no one else in the house to my recollection—Porter said he had brought me to purchase the furniture and look over it—we went upstairs and looked over the house—nothing passed between me and the prisoner as to the purchase on that occasion—I stayed till between 9 and 10—the three of us left together and went to the railway station and to Hammersmith—next day, Thursday, the 13th, the prisoner, Porter, and I went by rail from Hammersmith to Richmond between 11 and 12 in the morning—before that I had seen Mr. Weston, a greengrocer, who removes furniture—the prisoner, Porter, and I went to him together—I asked if he could move some furniture—he said, “Yes” and that he would go and see it—he arranged to meet us at Richmond at 3—on that day at Richmond the prisoner opened the side door with a key—Weston came to see what there was to bring and what he could take them for—I made a list of the furniture (pencil list produced)—I offered her 50l. for the furniture—she had pointed out what she wanted to sell—she said she did not think it enough—I just ran over the list I had taken and offered her 68l.—Porter went over the furniture with the prisoner after I had offered the 50l., and when she came in with Porter again she said the 50l. was not enough—she agreed to take 68l.—I paid a deposit of 18l.—she said she wanted to pay some little bills; would I advance some of the money—a tradesman did call—I gave her two 5l. notes and 8l. in gold—she said she would sooner have gold than notes or cheques—I said she could get them changed where I had a banking account, at the London and County Bank, Hammersmith—the plate was not included in the list, that was to be left at my place for safety till she called for it—she said, “Take this, when the men are moving the goods some of it may be lost”—Weston came down that day—I and the prisoner saw him—he looked round the house to see what he should require to remove the things—he returned by himself—I left at 9 or 10—the notes I gave her I had taken in my business, not from the bank—I took no receipt for them—we returned, Porter, the prisoner, and I, together by rail, she taking with her the plate in a square basket—it was left at my place—some candlesticks, besides the plate in the basket, were taken—they were put in the club – room—she left my house with Porter—I got home between 10 and 11—next day, Friday, the 14th, I went to Richmond with Porter and the prisoner by train—I went to see about the furniture, how we should pack it—there was no one in the house then—afterwards, in the evening, Mrs. Porter came down, and Robert Porter came in—we returned in a cab between 10 and 11, the prisoner with us—I believe a pair of curtains and some other things were taken by the prisoner and were put in the club – room of my house with the other things—on Saturday, the 15th, land Mr. Henderson, a grocer, went to Richmond in a cab between 4 and 5 p.m.—Mr. Henderson went to look at the furniture—the prisoner did not go with us—she let us in—we stayed to between 9 and 10—Henry Porter came in in the evening—Henderson and Henry Porter went home in the hansom cab which brought Henderson and me, between 7 and 8—they took some linen in a parcel which the prisoner put in the cab—she said to Henry Porter, “Take these up to be washed”—after they left we (the prisoner and I) came up by train—no one was in the house except me and the prisoner after they had left—I had no drink on that occasion—we left the house between 9 and 10; I went home; the prisoner went to Porter’s—on Sunday, the 16th, I went boating with the prisoner, William Porter, a friend of his, my wife and child, in the afternoon—on Monday, the 17th, in the afternoon, between 3 and 4, I went to Richmond by myself; the prisoner was at home and let me in; no one else was in the house; I stayed till between 9 and 10—I made a mistake; I went with the prisoner to Richmond that day—at the station at Richmond we took a cab—the cabman was examined at the inquiry at Richmond—we called in the cab at Mr. Wood’s, jeweller, in Richmond—the prisoner asked if Mrs. Thomas’s watch was done—the boy said it had better be left for another time—the prisoner said “Very well; I want a pair of earring”,” and bought a pair for 1l., and I paid for them; she said she would pay me again when I paid her for the furniture—she said she would like a pair like my wife’s earrings—she took the earrings away with her—I went away with her in the cab to Vine Cottages—the prisoner opened the. door; there was no one else in the house—it was between 3 and 4 p.m.—I stayed till 8, 9, or 10, and left alone—I fetched a bottle of brandy; we both drank some of it; no one, else came in that evening—on Tuesday, the 18th, at 10 a.m., I saw the prisoner sitting in my bar parlour with my little girl; my little girl was showing her some photographs of my wife and child—in that place I have address cards with my name and that of the house—they are kept in sight of any one who sits on the sofa in the bar parlour, as the prisoner did—there were photographs of myself—the police showed me at Richmond a card and a photograph of mine—the prisoner remained with my little girl while I was out—I left to see a man named Mary on, who was to come down and assist in moving the furniture—when I came back the prisoner was still there, and I told her they were ready to start for Richmond—it was between 11 and 12—Maryon and I went into my house; the prisoner was still there—we three left together between 11 and 12—we went to Weston’s and to the bank where I keep an account, and I went in and drew a cheque for 50l. payable to J. Church or bearer, cashed it over the counter, and got ten 5l. notes—I came out with the notes, joined the prisoner and Mary on, and took the notes down to Richmond—we went by rail to Richmond—the cheque is that I hold in my hand—it is dated the 18th, and has the perforation and stamp of the bank on it—I had to my credit at that time over 200l.—on March 3rd I had 245l. to my credit; I had banked there from August, 1876—I got to Richmond between 12 and 1 o’clock—the men assisted in tying up the prisoner’s boxes and preparing the furniture for removal—Porter came before the vans in the evening—the vans arrived between 6 and 7 p.m.—the prisoner, Mary on, and I had three glasses of brandy each, which finished the brandy—when Porter came in I sent him for a receipt stamp—he brought two—I drew this receipt (produced), and I stuck on to it one of the receipt stamps which Porter had brought—I put it on the mantelpiece in the front room, the drawing room—Mary on, Porter, Weston, and a man named Smith (I think Mr. Weston brought three men) were there when the vans were there, and while they were there a man called for Mr. Wheeler’s account; the prisoner came and asked me for two sixpences to pay the bill, and I gave her two in change for a shilling; the prisoner went to the door to pay the man the bill—three or four articles of furniture were brought out of the house and put in the van—I was in the front room, when I heard some one come and inquire who was removing the furniture—the prisoner was in the house, and asked who it was inquiring—I said “The lady next door, “Whom the prisoner said was her landlady—the prisoner walked out down the garden, and said “Who wants me I”—I came, out and saw her go to the next house—she was a few minutes away, and returned greatly agitated and excited; she went inside No. 2—I did not see Miss Ives that evening—I ordered the things to be removed back into the house, as I would have nothing to do with them—only one van had things in it at that time—I had, before the things were taken out, to agree with Weston as to paying him for his trouble—I paid him 2l. down, and agreed to pay him 1l. more—I saw the prisoner with some dresses on her arm, which she threw into the van—Mr. Weston said “I’ll take charge of them”—she also had a bonnet – box (produced)—the van was a large furniture – removal van with Weston’s name on it—she threw the dresses into the van and went away—that was the last I saw of her until she was in custody—she had her bonnet on; she was dressed; she had not a bonnet on, to my recollection, when she went next door—Mary on shut up the house; he closed the door when we left—we went to the public – house round the corner; all of us went in—before we got to the public – house Mary on went back for my coat—I stayed about 20 minutes at the public – house; I returned by rail with Mary on and Porter; the journey from Rose Gardens to Vine Cottage is about six miles; it is half an hour’s drive by cab—we got home between 9 and 10 o’clock—Weston and a man brought the dresses and box to my house that night—at first I did not consent to take the things in; my wife took them in—the prisoner had borrowed a sovereign of her—they were taken upstairs into the club – room—I did not know what had become of the prisoner—I knew her by no other name than as Mrs. Thomas—the next evening I went to Richmond, and went to Miss Ives’s house—on Tuesday evening the 21st my wife showed me a letter—this (produced) is it—it is addressed to Mrs. Thomas and signed “Menhennick, 45, Ambler Road, Finsbury Park”—she also showed me this purse and five rings, and told me where she got them from; I went to Porter and told him the circumstance, and he and I went that same evening to 45, Ambler Road, and saw Mr. Menhennick, and in Porter’s presence I made a communication to him—I think we got there about 8 or 9 o’clock—we were with him perhaps an hour—on Saturday, 22nd, I received a letter from him, and Mr. Hughes, the solicitor of Mrs. Thomas, came to my place that day, and he and I and Porter went together from Hammersmith to Richmond—we went to the police – station there—we went with Inspector Pearman to Vine Cottages; we went to Miss Ives first, and through her house into No. 2, And in the cupboard there I found the—gold watch and chain I had seen at the jeweller’s—I also saw the photograph of myself, and the photograph which the prisoner had shown me as that of her father—some time after that I gave up to the police all the things that had been left at my house by the prisoner—up to Saturday the 22nd I had not made any communication to the police—after that Saturday I saw the police officers from time to time—on Sunday, the 30th, I went to the police – station at Richmond, between 9 and 10 a. m., and saw the prisoner there in custody—her statement was read over to me in her presence—I also made a statement—I said that I was not at Richmond at the time, I believe, or something to that effect—I did not notice what the prisoner said—I was then taken into custody and charged with the murder of Mrs. Thomas, and with being in possession of the property stolen from her—I was taken before the Magistrate next day and remanded, and on 17th April, at the request of the counsel for the Crown, discharged—on the following day I went with my wife to the Treasury and made a statement—I never gave my card and photograph to the prisoner—during the time she was away, from Tuesday, 18th, till she was in custody, I never received any letter from her from Ireland—I knew no other person as Mrs. Thomas except the prisoner.
Cross – examined. I do not know my native place—I think I was between 19 and 20 when I went into the army—I had not to go before a Magistrate and describe myself; to the best of my recollection I did not; I had to go before a Magistrate to be sworn in as a soldier—I don’t believe the description was given at the time—I might have described myself as a clerk; I cannot say—I said at the police – court that it was not correctly stated—I might have said I described myself wrongly—I don’t know what I did for my living before I went into the army—I expect I worked for my living; I don’t recollect what I did; I don’t recollect whether I was a barman—I did not know the prisoner about six years ago—I was in the habit of supplying beer to the houses in Erse Gardens, to the house where the Porters lived, and to the houses on either side—I don’t recollect ever seeing the prisoner before the 9th—I was never in her company about six years ago to my recollection; I swear it—I have applied for my billiard and bagatelle licence four or five years to the best of my recollection—I have had my name missed several times before; if it has not been for the billiards it has been for my beer and wine licence; I have been late, and a great many more publicans likewise—I left the vestry hall on the 4th after I found that my name was called; I did not apply again; I did not go into the vestry hall again; I left before the licensing meeting was concluded; I left between 1 and 2 with some friends—as near as I recollect it was between 3 and 4 on Tuesday the 11th that I went to Richmond; I might be a little mistaken as regards the time—I was never there before—I might have told the Magistrate that I was not there for a long time—I said I stopped there from 4 till 9 or 10—I went into the front and back rooms; I did not go into any other room to my knowledge—I went there to look at the furniture—I was sitting down; I had a cigar; I might have had something to drink, but I don’t recollect what it was—I don’t recollect what I had to eat or drink—I don’t recollect saying at the police – court that I had nothing to eat or drink in the house that day—Sunday, the 9th, was the first time I saw the prisoner—Porter introduced her as Mrs. Thomas, who had the furniture to sell—I said if any of it suited me I would buy it—my house was not so very well furnished, I could have done with more—Porter had told me in the week before that Mrs. Thomas had furniture to sell—I did not make an appointment on the 10th to meet Porter at Hartley’s, the Station Hotel; it was one day in the week when Porter told me of it; I made one engagement to meet him at Hartley’s in the week ending Saturday, the 8th—I can’t tell what day it was—it was not Monday, the 3rd, I am quite sure of that; it was more at the end of the week—I did not say at the police – court that I made an appointment to meet him on the Monday; I might have made an appointment on Monday to meet him at Hartley’s on Tuesday—it was on Tuesday, the 11th, that I was at Hartley’s with the prisoner, between 9 and 10, to the best of my recollection—it did not strike me as strange that I should be treating her the very next day after I knew her; it was Mrs. Porter, who I had known for years, that I went to treat; of course the prisoner had part of the liquor—it does not strike me as strange that I should have stopped with the prisoner, a stranger, alone in the house from 4 till 9 or 10—I said at first that the prisoner and I went to the Thatched House; that was a mistake—she left me on Tuesday night between nine and ten, I don’t know where she went to—I went down again on Wednesday, the 12th; I got there to the best of my recollection between six and seven—I don’t recollect whether there was a child there or not—I saw a child the day before—I don’t recollect seeing the boy on the Wednesday—I was not singing—Porter went with me, I am quite sure of that—he did not get down after me—he went down for me and him to look at the furniture—on one occasion he came down afterwards; he may have done so on one or two occasions, not three or four—I was there on the Wednesday between six and seven; I came home between nine and ten; I and Porter and the prisoner all went home together by train—I believe we went to the Thatched House and had something to drink—Porter is not a particular friend of mine, he is a customer—we did not go into my house simply because I don’t drink beer, I don’t keep brandy, and I was bilious and wanted a drop of brandy—I then went into my house and she and Porter passed on—she did not go into my house that night—the prisoner and I went down to Richmond together on the following morning after I had seen Weston—we promised to meet Weston there at three—we got there between three and four; Weston got there before we did—we went over the furniture and I paid 18l. upon it—I left Richmond that Thursday night with the prisoner and Porter between nine and ten—between three and four and nine and ten we went and looked over the furniture to see what I would give for it, and I and the prisoner went over it afterwards—of course it did not take all that time; I was sitting down and it may be smoking—when we got back to Hammersmith we went again to the Thatched House—on Friday, the 14th, I went again to Richmond with the prisoner and Porter—I suppose we were going to do the same as we did the other day, sitting down and seeing the furniture, and having another look over it to see if I had got a bargain—I won’t be sure what time we got there on the Friday; it may have been about three or four—I stopped till about ten or half – past—I am not used to brokerage; I went to look over it again to see if they were worth what I was going to give for them—it did not take me all that time—I was sitting down and smoking—my wife was at home looking after the business—on the Friday we went to the Thatched House again—on Saturday I went down again in a hansom, between five and six—I did not come back in the hansom, I came back by train—I can’t say how long I kept the hansom waiting—I believe I went home by rail with the prisoner—I won’t swear to our being alone; I think William Porter was down there that night—I don’t recollect whether I went back alone with the prisoner—we did not call at Hartley’s, I don’t know whether we did at the Thatched House—we went on the water on Sunday; it was not my proposition the prisoner’s going on—she was no more friendly with me than any customer or any one else that I had transactions with; that I swear—I won’t swear whether she took the watch from Wood’s on Monday, the 17th, or not—I think I have said that she did—she took a fancy to my wife’s earrings, and I was to pay for a pair and deduct the money—I swear that I did not make her a present of the earrings—I had given her 18l. before I bought the earrings—it is best known to herself why she did not pay for them; she said she had some bills to pay—I did not suggest to her that she had plenty of money to pay for the earrings; I bought them and paid for them—I had not the chance of asking her for the money back—I don’t remember whether the 18th of March was a cold day—I can’t say whether I wore an Ulster that day; I have an Ulster; I will not say whether I had it on that day—I might have walked with the prisoner with an Ulster on—I did not walk arm in arm with her—I won’t swear whether I did or not—I heard from Mr. Weston that Miss Ives was making a difficulty about the removal of the furniture—I was not on more friendly terms with the prisoner than business transactions—I was not on affectionate terms with her—I might have called her Kate; I won’t say I did not, because I have heard Porter call her Kate—I won’t swear whether she did or did not call me Jack—I won’t swear either way—I don’t recollect telling the Magistrates that I did not call her Kate, and she did not call me Jack—Porter may have called me Jack—I believe I said something about her having deceived me when the furniture was being stopped—after she spoke to Miss Ives she came back into No. 2—I don’t believe that she had her bonnet on then—she had got my 18l. and the 1l. for the earrings and numerous cab fares and brandies and liquors, altogether I was out of pocket something like 25l.—I had not the chance to stop her and give her into custody, I did not think she was going away—she went into the house; I can’t say whether she went upstairs, I went into the front room; I don’t know which room she went into exactly—she did not, to my recollection, come into the front room where I was and stay there a quarter of an hour—I won’t swear she did not—she was not on the premises half an hour after she had spoken to Miss Ives; I swear that—I don’t know what time it was, she was there a very short time; I thought she would come back to my place and fetch the property and likewise the linen she had left at Porter’s to be washed—when I heard that somebody had asked for Mrs. Thomas, I thought it might be a matter of rent—I thought I was speaking to Mrs. Thomas when I first saw the prisoner—Weston told me that Miss Ives was asking where Mrs. Thomas was; I did not then find that the prisoner was not Mrs. Thomas; I had no idea of it—I did not think it necessary to go and speak to her about it—I allowed her to go without making any attempt to stop her—she did not have some conversation with me after she had spoken to Miss Ives, I swear that, not to my recollection—I won’t swear whether she came into the sitting – room or not, she might, I don’t keep a diary of all these things, it is not likely that I keep them all in my head—she did not speak to me there about going to Ireland; Weston, Maryou, and Porter, were passing in and out—I swear that she was not engaged in conversation with me in the sitting – room for a quarter of an hour after Miss Ives had made the difficulty—I did not say that she had better go to her people and I would stop and brazen it out—I don’t know on what day it was that I first heard of “The Barnes Mystery,” I might have read it in the papers, I don’t know when, I can’t swear to any date—sometimes I don’t read the papers every day—I might have heard of it; I might or I might not—I did hear of it; I can’t say on what day—I had not heard of it before I went to Mr. Menhennick, not to my recollection—I heard something about a box being found with some remains in it; I think that was before I went to Mr. Menhennick—Eobert Porter came into my place on Sunday, the 23rd—he did not tell Porter and me about the box; I swear that—for a whole fortnight after the 9th I never heard from the boy Porter about his being on Richmond Bridge; he said nothing about the box till Sunday, the 23rd—I remember that date because three inspectors came to me on that day—Pearman came that day—he had not been before—he saw me at the police – court on Saturday, the 22nd, and spoke to me—I had not seen him on the 16th; I swear that—I did not hear that he had been to my house on the 16th, or before the 23rd—I first saw him then, at my house—I first saw him on Saturday, the 22nd, at the police – office—I had never seen him before to my recollection—I don’t recollect the date on which I heard a box was found at Barnes—I don’t recollect hearing that on Tuesday, the 18th, an inquest was held on the contents of the box, which Dr. Adams said were human remains—I had heard about the Barnes mystery, but nothing more but what was in the papers—I heard there had been an inquest; I could not say about the date when I heard it—I might have heard that the bones were pronounced to be human bones, but I don’t recollect it—I did hear about it; I don’t know at what date; it might have been before or after the 19th—I must have had conversation with Porter before going to Mr. Menhennick—I saw Porter this morning—I don’t think he was at my house last night after wo left the Court—I was not in his company yesterday evening after I left the Court, not for a single moment—I went to Porter’s house before going to Mr. Menhennick—I had some conversation with him in his back room—I did not go to the police at once—I naturally thought the woman was coming back to fetch the things that were left at my place, and that I should have got my money back—Mr. Menhennick’s was the only address I had to go to—I had not then heard of the missing Mrs. Thomas; not on the 21st—I did not hear of the missing Mrs. Thomas till afterwards, not till after I went to Mr. Menhennick; that I swear—I don’t know why I did not go to Mr. Menhennick by myself; I suppose I had somebody for company—I had no secret conversation with Porter in his back room; the door was open, and the front door also; there was no secrecy—I don’t know whether anybody else was there; I did not notice—I went to him simply because he was assisting removing the furniture, and he was the person who introduced me to Mrs. Thomas, and he could explain the circumstances—I said I should go to Mr. Menhennick, and would he come with me—I had no other reason for going to him—on Sunday, 2nd March, Porter was not at my house at half – past 11; I am quite sure of that—he was in my house that evening—I can’t say whether he was away from 9 to half – past 11; I don’t watch every customer that comes in—I am at home every Sunday evening; I never leave my wife to manage the business on Sunday evenings—I do sometimes on week – days; we will say often on week – days—I went to Sandown races on the 4th—I missed my name at the licensing—I was with a few friends at Kensington—I believe there is a printed list of the applications—I had not one handed to me; I might have seen one; the clerk would have it or the inspector—I had not seen one that day—the licensing begins at 10—it was between 12 and 1 when I found that my name had been called—I did not give the prisoner an open cheque for the furniture because she said she did not like paper money—I gave her notes; she could have got them changed at my bank next morning—perhaps she had an object for it.
Re – examined. A very large number of publicans attend the licensing meeting to have their licences renewed—it is the practice to call over the names in some order; if a man’s name is missed he is put back to the next meeting; I found that my name was missed, and I knew I should have to attend at the next meeting, and finding that I went to Sandown—no one went with me to Sandown; I saw one or two down there—ex – Inspector Gill, of Hammersmith, went with me to the licensing; I met him in Broadway, and we rode up on a bus to the vestry hall—when I went to Porter’s on the Friday he just washed himself, and we went directly to Mr. Menhennick’s—I first saw Inspector Pearman on Saturday, the 22nd; that was when I went down to Richmond with Mr. Hughes and Porter—the police had not been to my house before that to my recollection—on the following Monday, the 23rd, Inspectors Pearman, Shaw, and Jones came, and I gave them information—the earrings I bought were shown to me before the Magistrate in a box with the name of Wood on it—when I saw the prisoner after she had been to Miss Ives I did not make any arrangement with her about her leaving—it is false that I agreed to remain behind and brazen it out—I did not know up to the 21st where she had gone—up to the time when I went to Mr. Menhennick I was not in the least aware that anything wrong had taken place at No. 2, Vine Cottages, or that there was any other Mrs. Thomas but the prisoner—after going to Mr. Menhennick I gave every information in my power—I was examined by Mr. Valentine Brown at the police – court from half – past 10 in the morning till a quarter to 5, the whole day—I can read and write—I was put down as a clerk when I entered the army—when I left the army I got my certificates—I left with a good character, and have my certificates on both occasions—I went into two or three gentlemen’s services afterwards, and left with a good character—before you can get a beer licence inquiries are made by the police—I have had my licence renewed every time—no complaints have been made against me during the nine years I have been in the house.
By the COURT. I do not recollect whether I was ever a barman; I might have been and forgotten it—I have not a very good memory—I have never been in confinement or anything of that sort—I was not particularly wild before I enlisted; like the rest of young men I went into the army I suppose—I was some time knocking about; I had not got into any scrape—I lived at different places before I went into the army—I enlisted in Soho Square in a regiment belonging to the old East India Company, in 1857—it was amalgamated with the regular army in 1858—my regiment was the 4th Bengal Cavalry—I changed from that to the 11th at the time they were amalgamated—a great number took their discharge and came over to England—I came back to England—I did not get any sunstroke in India—I then went into the 11th Hussars—Colonel Fraser, then captain, was the commander of the regiment—Captain Aberfield Garnet was my captain—I don’t recollect whether I was ever a barman, I might have been—I was described as a clerk—they don’t always give a right description of what you are, they put down nearly what, they like when you enlist—I did not tell them I had been a clerk; I told them I had come from Watford—I had lived there for a short time—I don’t remember my father—my mother is living—the prisoner never told me that she was going to Ireland. I am quite sure of that, she always said Scotland—I won’t say she said it more than once, she may have told me twice—I had not to my recollection anything to do with a public – house before I had this one, in any capacity, barman, potboy, or anything else—I don’t know the school that I went to; I have been to school—we had a school in the army—I was at school a little before I went into the army.
By the JURY. I was between 19 and 20 when I enlisted—as far as I know I gave my true age when I enlisted.
MARIA CHURCH . I am the wife of the last witness—we have been married eleven years, and have kept the Rising Sun nine years—on Sunday, 2nd March, my husband was at home all day; he opened the house at 6.5—he remained in the bar nearly all the evening—he was at home on the Monday all day—on Tuesday, the 4th, he came home at about 7 o’clock and brought some soles for tea—the first time I saw the prisoner was Sunday evening, 9th March, when she came with Porter about 8.30, who said “This is Mrs. Thomas”—I saw her again on the Monday morning, but had no conversation with her that day—she came to our place on Thursday, the 13th, and brought some of the plate in a basket; I put it upstairs in my bedroom—next day, Friday, the 14th, she brought some table – cloths, curtains, some chandeliers, and some mats, and said that they were to be left; she did not say till when—next day, Saturday, the 15th, she brought two glass vases and a carving – knife and fork, and said “These are for you”—on Sunday afternoon, the 16th, I went on the water with her in a boat, and my husband, my little girl, another little girl, and Mr. Porter, for about an hour—when we landed she came and had tea with me and then went away—on Monday, the 17th, she came about 11 a. m. and brought two pair of boots, and said that they hurt her feet, and if I could wear them I could have them—she stayed till about 12, till Church was ready—on Tuesday, the 18th, she came about 10 a.m., and waited till Church was ready to go to Richmond—a man named Merryman came about 11.30 to go with them—I saw her again that evening about 8.30; she came in through the bar and said “Will you lend me a sovereign?”—I took a half – sovereign out of my pocket and the rest I got from the till—she did not say what she wanted it for—I said “Is the van there?” she said “Yes, two”—there was a bonnet – box in the room; she picked it up and said “I shall take this with me, I am going to pack up all to – night;” she then left—she had no child with her—I think I should know the bonnet – box again—my husband came in alone about 9.30, and not long afterwards Weston brought some dresses in a bonnet – box or bandbox; this is it—I took the dresses up – stairs and put them on the club – room table, but did not examine them then; but on Friday, the 21st, I turned them over and felt in the apron pocket of the blue dress, and found this purse with a sort of diary inside, two pocket – handkerchiefs with J. Thomas on them, a pair of gloves, and this letter from Hamburgh Road, Finsbury Park, signed “E. Menhennick”—the purse contained these five rings, some stamps, a pencil, and a small comb—I took them all down to my husband and subsequently gave them to the police—I never was at the house at Richmond,—I only knew the prisoner as Mrs. Thomas.
Cross – examined. My husband sometimes goes out for a walk in the afternoon if we are slack—we work the business between us; if he is not there I am—he is never away three or four days at a time—he does not often go away from 2 or 3 p.m. till 11.30—I remember 9th March, because that was the first Sunday he went out, and also me—he was out from 3.30 to 6.30 p.m.; he told me he should go down to the water; he went to a boating party, but I did not go with him; I went out in the afternoon, and after I came home Porter brought the prisoner in, and I am sure that March 9th was the first time I saw her—it was not March 8th, because I know better; I went out on 9th March, but not on March 2nd—my husband was not at home on Thursday, 13th March; he went to Richmond that day; he started about 12 o’clock, and got home a little after 10 o’clock—he also went to Richmond on the Wednesday with Porter, and got back between 10 and 11 o’clock—they told me they were going to buy some furniture—I did not hear him say that he came up from Richmond with the prisoner to the Thatched House, and left her there—he did not tell me when he came up whether he had been with Mrs. Thomas or not—on Tuesday the 11th he came home about 11.20, and told me he had been to Richmond with Mrs. Thomas—he did not tell me how long he had been there—on the Friday he went to Richmond again, and got back from 10 to 11 o’clock; it was not so late as 12 o’clock, but it was past 10 o’clock—I was not with him to see whether he was four or five hours with Mrs. Thomas—he did not tell me he had gone to a jeweller’s at Richmond named Wood, and bought a pin or a ring, and she was to pay him back—I know nothing of that—he did not tell me that he drank brandy and smoked cigars with heron Friday, the 14th, she brought a great many articles for safe keeping, and for me—I believed her to be Mrs. Thomas; I knew no better—the basket of plate was brought down on Thursday—I remember my husband coming home from Richmond on Saturday night the 15th; he did not come in a cab to my knowledge—on that night a carving knife and fork and two glass vases were brought—I did not see Porter that night to my knowledge—when I asked the prisoner to tea I was not on more friendly terms with her than anybody else; I had been on the water with her—I had no meat sent by the prisoner from Richmond—I did not have a large piece of beef to my knowledge on Sunday the 16th for dinner—I do not know what I had—I never had any meat from Mrs. Thomas; she brought the boots and laid them on the sofa, and said “If you can wear these you can have them,” and I took them—my husband said “I won’t have the dresses,” but I said “I will, she has had a sovereign from me”—I do not know his reason for refusing them—he had not told me what had passed at Richmond, but I knew there was something—he got home about 9.30, and Weston brought in the dresses soon afterwards, and placed them on the bar—it did not seem so long as two or two and a half hours afterwards—my husband had not told me that the furniture had been stopped, or that Mrs. Thomas had run away, but when he came home he seemed upset.
Re – examined. After Weston came I heard him and my husband talking about what had happened at Richmond, and I heard in between like—I learned the same night—the chandeliers were to the best of my knowledge blue, with a place for a chimneypiece, and a place for candles—my husband went to Richmond on 12th, 13th, and 14th, and he told me that he was going to Mrs. Thomas’s to look at the furniture, as he thought he might buy it—when he came back I understood that he had been to Mrs. Thomas’s—when I took in the dresses I was not aware that there was anything in the pockets.
HENRY WESTON . I live at 31, Lenthorn Road, Hammersmith, and am a greengrocer, and move furniture; I have known Church between 8 and 9 years—on Friday, 14th March, he came to my shop with the prisoner and Porter, and I arranged with them to go to Richmond and see some furniture and see how many vans it would require—Church called the prisoner Kate—I agreed to meet him at Richmond Station that afternoon, when I got there had to wait nearly an hour—Porter, Church, and the prisoner then came, and we took a cab and went to Vine Cottages—I looked at the furniture and agreed to remove it for 4l.—I left Church and the pi soner, and Porter went with me to have a glass of ale—next day, Tuesday the 18th, I went down with two vans and got there before 7 o’clock; Maryon was there, but he had nothing to do with me—some things were brought out of the house and put into one of the vans—Miss Ives spoke to me in the garden at the front door of No. 2, and wanted to know where the furniture was going to be taken to—I told her I did not know exactly, and said, “There is the lady at the door,” pointing to the prisoner and Church—the prisoner went on and spoke to Miss Ives, who went back into the room—Church then said, “There is something wrong, we had better fetch the goods back out of the van,” and that she had led him astray, or something to that effect, and he would not have anything to do with it—I had been paid 10s. as a deposit on the 14th, and Church made it up 2l.—the things were taken back into the house, and the prisoner brought some dresses out on her arm and threw them into the van and said, “Take them home, I am off to the station”—that was ten minutes or a quarter of a hour after she came from Miss Ives—I think she also brought out a bandbox, similar to this, but I won’t be sure—she said, “Give me that black dress back,” it was taken out of the van and she took it away with her and went towards the station—that was the last I saw of her—she was alone—I did not notice whether she had a bonnet on—I was in a covered van and could not see where Church was—the goods were put back, the house was shut up, and we moved off with the vans—there were three men who I took with me, and Marion, Porter, and Church—we all went away together, ten minutes or a quarter of an hour after the prisoner left; and went to a public – house round the corner and had some drink—I heard that Church, Porter, and Marion, went back by train and we went by van—when we got home I took the dresses and the band – box out of the van at Church’s and put them on a form, and Church told me to take them to No. 10—that is Porter’s, but I left them at Church’s.
Cross – examined. They came to me on the 14th, between 12 and 1 o’clock; they seemed on very friendly terms—he said “What shall be done, Kate?” and she said “Whatever you like, Jack”—Porter was with them, and said that he had bought the furniture, but he did not say he had bought it of the prisoner—I never heard her referred to as Mrs. Thomas or as the lady of the house—I knew Church, and knew that she was not his wife—while the things were being put into the van on the 18th Porter helped the men, and Church and the prisoner were sitting in the front room talking—Church said that part of the things were going to his house, he did not tell me where the other part was going—when I had got them in the van I was going to wait for directions—I do not know whether Church or Kate spoke to Miss Ives first, but Kate came back into the house and was there 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour before she came out with the dresses—Church had gone into the front sitting – room, and if he had wanted to stop her going away he had plenty of time—she would have to pass the door of the room where he was sitting—I will not swear whether Church was in the front sitting – room or in the street when she gave me the dresses, because I was in the shut – up van and could not look through it—I said at the police – court that Church was in the front sitting – room to the best of my belief.
Re – examined. The dresses were put into the van while I was actually standing in it; I do not recollect whether the furniture had been taken out—one dress was given back to her and the others were left—I understood Church that he was buying the furniture, and part of it was to go to his house—I did not know whether the prisoner was the lady of the house, but I heard her say that it was her furniture when I went to see how much there was to remove—she was the only person there besides Porter and Church.
JOHN MARION . I am a wheelwright, of 39, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—on Tuesday morning, 18th March, Church came to me, and I went over to his house, and saw Mrs. Church and the prisoner—I went to Richmond that morning with Church and the prisoner—we went to 2, Vine Cottages, about 11 o’clock, and I was set to work taking down the bedsteads and packing up sundry things which Church had bought, till dinner – time—after dinner Henry Porter came down—I continued my work till Weston’s two vans came, but did not see what took place at the vans, as I was in the kitchen packing up the crockery—I did not see the prisoner go; the last time I saw her she was at the gate, before the things were brought back into the house—she had something on her head; I do not know whether to call it a bonnet or a hat—after the things were brought back I left the house with Weston and his three men and Church and Porter—the prisoner was not there then—we went to a public – house and had some five – half—I did not hear any one inquire where the prisoner was.
JOSEPH SMITH . I live at King Street, Hammersmith—on 18th March I went to Richmond with Weston in the vans—I saw the prisoner there, and she asked Church for a shilling or two to pay a bill, and I saw a tradesman waiting—Church gave her some money; she paid the tradesman, and he left—I saw Miss Ives—the furniture was not taken back into the house before the dresses were put into the van—the prisoner brought them out of the house, put them into the van, and then took some back, and said to herself or to some of us that she was off to the railway—I saw no more of her—I was in the van—I saw a bonnet – box in the van, but did not see who brought it out—after the furniture had been put back into the house, Weston and I went with the vans to a public – house close by—we left not more than a quarter of an hour after her, and a man was sent back for Church’s coat, but the house was shut up—I went with the vans to Hammersmith.
Cross – examined. I did not see what money Church gave the prisoner to pay the bill—Church, Webster, and I were all in the front sitting – room together.
FREDERICK BOLTON . I am a cabdriver, of Linie Cottage, Richmond Road—I know Church by sight—on Thursday, 13th March, I took him up in the station yard with the prisoner and Weston, and drove them first to a house in Duke Street, and then on to Mayfield Cottages—on 15th March I drove Church, Porter and his wife, the boy Porter, and an infant—Thursday and Friday were the two days—I am sure it was two following days—I did not drive him on Saturday or Sunday—on Monday, the 17th, I took the prisoner and Church up at the station, drove them to the Grapes in Duke Street, and then to Mayfield—we went to a jeweller’s on the way—on Tuesday, the 18th, I was in the station – yard between 8 and 9 p.m.; the prisoner came to me; I think she had a kind of bundle or parcel in her hand—she said “I think you have driven me before; will you drive me to Hammersmith?”—I said “Yes”—she said she would tell me whereabouts; it was called Rose Gardens, but I did not know it—at a little after 9 o’clock she pulled me up at the corner of Rose Gardens, and said she would not be many minutes gone—she was away ten minutes or a quarter of an hour—she came back with another small bandbox and another bundle, and a child carried by the boy Porter—she got in and told me to drive to the station—when I got there she said “This is not the right one; go to the other one; it leads up some steps”—I did so—she asked me to follow her with the bandbox and bundle, which I did—she carried the child—she got into a King’s Cross train, as I saw on it—she paid me on the platform, and that was the last I saw of her.
Cross – examined. The name of Bonny is up at the Grapes; that is not Hartley’s—I have not been to Hartley’s with them—you do not pass the Grapes to go to Vine Cottages, but you pass the street it is in; you can pass Hartley’s on the way; there are two ways—Hartley’s is on the Kew Road facing the old station, about a quarter of a mile from Richmond Bridge—Weston was with the prisoner and Church on the 13th; they were not alone—four grown – up persons were conveyed on the Thursday, and Robert Porter and a child about 5 years old—I drove the whole party to Hammersmith on the 14th, to the Thatched House; I believe Church paid—there were two women—I do not know whether Mrs. Church was one, as it was dark—I never saw her till the trial—on Monday, 17th, they were alone; they seemed friendly together—I did not know who Church was—the 13th was the first time I saw him—it did not strike me that they were man and wife—Church did not pay each time except the 18th—I did not see them go into Vine Cottages on the 17th—I put them down at the corner of Park Road, and they walked 20 yards; they did not drive up to the door, but within a few yards—I heard a voice inside say “Stop here,” but I do not remember who.
GEORGE BRODIE WHEELER . I am a grocer at Richmond—on 7th March, in consequence of orders given, I sent some goods to 2, Mayfield—in consequence of something I heard I went there on 18th March—I saw two of Mr. Weston’s vans at the door—I saw the prisoner and said “My name is Wheeler, ma’am; I have called for my account”—she said “Come in; I’ll pay you”—when I got inside she asked me if I had a stamp—I said “No, I can soon procure one”—I left and came back with one—I receipted and stamped the bill and she gave me 2l. 2s. from a purse in her pocket—the amount being 2l. 2s. 6d.; I said “It is sixpence more, ma’am”—she went into the front room and came back and gave me sixpence—I did not see where she got it from—her manner seemed rather flurried.
Cross – examined. That was the first time I had seen her—I was standing in the hall when she took out the amount, sixpence short—she went into the front sitting room and came out with the requisite change—I do not know whether Church was tehre.
LUCY MARIA LODER . I live at No. 2, The Crescent, Richmond—my father is a builder—I have known a Mrs. Crease there four years—I know the prisoner by sight—I knew her first in January when she lived at Mrs. Crease’s out of a situation and did charing—I had known Mrs. Thomas since October, and that she wanted a servant, and spoke to her in January about the prisoner, who went into her service on a Wednesday, about the end of January—on March 8th, a Saturday, I called at Mrs. Thomas’s between 4 and 5 o’clock—the prisoner opened the door—I asked “Is Mrs. Thomas at home?”—she said “Mrs. Thomas has gone out”—she asked me to walk in—I declined—she said Mrs. Thomas would not be gone long; she would only be gone for a few minutes—she said “I am going to leave, and mistress knows I am going; she has gone now to look for some one in my place—she said “I’m going to my aunt in Glasgow, an aunt very well to do, and I am going to live with her in Glasgow”—I said I thought it was the best thing she could do—I knew she had a little boy; she said she was going to take him with her—I said I knew Mrs. Crease could not afford to keep him—I told her to be sure and tell Mrs. Thomas I had called—she said she would do so—I then left.
Cross – examined. She was a very obliging girl and did her work well—I only called twice at Mrs. Thomas’s while she was there—she said that Mrs. Thomas was a very good living woman—as far as I saw there was no animosity between her and Mrs. Thomas.
SARAH CREASE . I am the wife of Charles Crease, of 3, Mitchell Road, Richmond—I have known the prisoner three and a half years—she came to stay with me on January 13th with a little boy—she continued to live with me till January 29th, when she went to Mrs. Thomas, and I took care of her boy—on Saturday, March 8th, the prisoner came to me to pay me 3s. for minding the little boy—she went away and came back between 3 and 4 o’clock in the afternoon with the boy, and said she was going back to her place; she was going to Glostow in the evening—on March 8th her boxes went away from my house in the evening—she said she was going to take the little boy away from me on 12th March—she said the boxes were going to her place—they were taken away on a barrow by a boy named Gregory—my house is about a mile and a half from Vine Cottages—on Wednesday, March 12th, between 1 and 2 o’clock, I saw the prisoner; she said she was going to take the child away to be taken to Glostow by a cousin of hers who was going to Glostow—she took the little boy away between 1 and 2 o’clock and called with him where I work about 4 o’clock, for me to wish him good – bye—I asked what time she was going off—she said by the 11 o’clock train from King’s Cross—I kissed the boy and told her to take care of him and did not see her again.
Cross – examined. She has always been a kind – hearted, good sort of girl, as far as I know, and affectionate and grateful for kindnesses done to her—my husband had an illness for four months, during which she nursed him and waited on him all day, and did all she could for him—she was then in a situation at Mr. Mitchell’s, and came backwards and forwards simply for the purpose of being kind to my husband and bringing him things—she was fond of me and very fond of the child—I never heard her say or do anything unkind to anybody—she came to my house every Sunday night but one to see her child—I cannot recollect what Sunday that was—it was on Saturday, 8th March, that she came and said she was going to take the child away on the 12th, and I noticed that she did not come to see her child next day, Sunday, the 9th—I cannot recollect that she stayed away any other Sunday—she stayed away one very wet Sunday—I cannot remember whether she came on the Sunday before the 9th—she was never away two Sundays running—she told me that Mrs. Thomas was a very nice lady, very kind and good – hearted—she appeared very fond of her as a mistress.
Re – examined. She had to get back to her place on Sundays sometimes at at 6.30, sometimes at 7, for the lady to go to church or chapel—she had not told me before 8th March that she was going to leave Mrs. Thomas.
HARRY GEORGE PENNY . I am manager to Mr. Niblett, of Hammersmith—on Friday, 7th March, a man brought a gold plate, with two teeth on each side of it, for sale—I gave him 6s. for it.
Cross – examined. I imagine it had been worn, but I am not a dentist.
GEORGE HENRY RUDD . I am a surgeon – dentist, of Richmond—Mrs. Thomas, of Vine Cottages, came to me on 22nd February—I knew her before—I made a cast of her mouth—this plate would fit her lower jaw—she was not wearing it when she came to me—she complained that it hurt her, and I made another cast—I saw her again on Saturday, 26th, and on March 1, but not afterwards—I wrote to her, and the letter was returned through the Dead Letter Office.
HENRY WIGLEY . I live at the Old George, Mortlake—I saw a box in the Thames about 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 5, on the lower side of Barnes Railway Bridge—the tide was just ebbing from the top of it—it was half afloat—it had a cord twice round it, across—I kicked it, and broke it to pieces—the handle was off, I believe—I went to the station and fetched somebody, leaving a man named Kennison in charge of it, but while I was away they called a policeman, to whom they gave it—before I went I saw a lot of what looked like cooked meat in it—it was quite full.
Saturday, July 5th.
THOMAS CHILDS (Police Sergeant V 5). On Wednesday, 5th March, about 6.45 in the morning, I was at Barnes; I saw the witness Wheatley by the riverside, and saw a box on the shore—this (produced) is the box—there was no cord on it at that time; I saw the cord—the box was broken; it appeared to contain human remains—I called Dr. Adams, who looked at it, and I then conveyed it to the mortuary at Barnes—I acted as Coroner’s officer, and communicated with the Coroner—Mr. Bond, the surgeon, afterwards came to the mortuary, and there saw the box and the remains—the mortuary is kept locked, and the key is kept at the police – station—the inquest was first held on 10th March, and the witness Wheatley and Dr. Adams were examined; it was then adjourned to the 18th—Mr. Bond was then examined—I saw a foot at the mortuary; I did not see who brought it—I saw it there a few days after the first inquest—Mr. Bond examined it there.
GEORGE WILLIAM COURT . I am servant to Mr. Alfred Clark, of Church Street, Twickenham—on the morning of the 10th of March I was on the allotment ground at Copthall, rented by my master—it is bounded by two roads, and a pathway leads through it; a heap of dung was there for some time—I was wheeling dung from the heap—I dug a foot and ankle out of the dung—it had been sawn off recently—the heap was some 10 yards from one footpath, and about two from another; I covered it over again—ultimately I took it to Dr. Clark’s surgery and showed it to Mr. Cameron, who showed it to Dr. Clark, and then I took it to the police – station, and gave it to the sergeant on duty—this was on Tuesday, the 11th, and on the same day I took it to the mortuary at Twickenham and left it there.
EDWARD SHAW (Police Inspector V). I went on March 12th to the mortuary at Twickenham and saw a human foot, which I placed with the other human remains—on March 26th I received from Inspector Pearman a carpet – bag, which contained a chopper, flannel petticoat, chemise, part of a night – dress, a linen cuff, two pieces of flannel, a small lantern, a razor, some buttons, and some burnt bones, which were in a tin box—I took the bag to 17, Delahay Street, Westminster, the house of Mr. Bond.
EDITH MENHENNICK . I am 13 years old; I live at 45, Ambler Road, Finsbury Park, with my parents—I knew Mrs. Thomas as a friend, and have stayed with her—I went at the end of September, and stayed there about four months—she had no servant—I saw a box at Mrs. Thomas’s—the box produced is that which I saw; it was kept in the room at the top of the stairs, the room I slept in—I saw it daily—two bonnets were kept in it—Mrs. Thomas’s best bonnet and another bonnet—the bonnet now produced is Mrs. Thomas’s best bonnet—I opened the door for the prisoner once when I was with Mrs. Thomas—the prisoner came to live with Mrs. Thomas the same day I left—she was to come at 5 o’clock; she had not come when I left.
CHARLES EDWARD MENHENNICK . I live at 45, Ambler Street, Finsbury Park—I had known Mrs. Thomas 10 years as a friend—on January 11 I last saw her at 2, Vine Cottages—on Friday, March 21,1 remember the witnesses John Church and Henry Porter coming to my house in the evening—Church showed me a letter, in my wife’s writing, to Mrs. Thomas—Church made a communication to me—they were with me more than an hour—Church left his name and address—I communicated next morning with Mr. Hughes, Mrs. Thomas’s solicitor—the photograph produced is that of Mrs. Thomas—she was about 5ft 3in. in height.
Cross – examined. In the course of conversation Church said he had paid the woman 18l. against some plate and other things which she had given him and which were then at his own house—Church said he had been at the house two or three times, not that he had sat smoking and drinking there day after day—he told me that this woman was missing—he did not mention a box being found with bones in it in the river—Mrs. Thomas was an amiable, good – natured sort of lady—she was about 55 or 56 years of age—she was not stout; she was animated in her manner, and appeared reasonably strong—she was not an invalid; she was an ordinary person.
Re – examined. She played the piano very well—after Church had told me why he came I put two or three questions to him, which he answered—I made no note of the conversation—he mentioned the rings, and how the letter was found—they came between 8 and 9—Church asked my wife, who went to them, if she knew Mrs. Thomas at Richmond—I went out and told her to find out first why he asked—he said it was something very important—I told him to come in—he said his wife had found a letter in the pocket of a dress in his house; that a week before that Porter had introduced a woman, who said she was Mrs. Thomas, living at Richmond—she said she had some furniture to sell, and asked if he would buy it—he had gone down to see it, and she had told him that her father, a solicitor in Scotland, had told her to sell the things and come to him, she showed him her father’s photograph, it was agreed he should go in the evening of the 18th, about 6, to take the furniture away, while removing it a lady came out and spoke to the supposed Mrs. Thomas, Church said he did not hear what passed, after this the woman threw two dresses in the van and went away, he said “Take those dresses back; there is something wrong; I’ll have nothing to do with them”—Porter and I went back to Hammersmith by rail; this woman had been there and borrowed a sovereign of my wife and gone away; since then I have not seen her; I paid 18l. on account, and she gave me some plate and other articles as security; in a purse in a pocket of the dress were five rings”—I asked what sort of a woman this Mrs. Thomas was—he said she was a big, tall woman, and spoke with a strong Irish accent—I said that was not like Mrs. Thomas—I asked why he did not give the property to the police—he said he thought the Woman would be back, and if the plate got into the hands of the police there might be a difficulty in recovering it—he said she showed him a bank – book and a building society book—I told him I should go next morning to Mr. Hughes and another friend, Mr. Phillips, of the Permanent Building Society—I had thought up to then that Mrs. Thomas was living at Richmond.
By the COURT. I was cross – examined by Counsel for Church when before the Magistrates—I said I was not sure, nor am I now sure, of the words he used about the plate and other things, only the substance—he was to buy the furniture; the 18l. was paid in respect of the whole transaction, but as he had not got the furniture, she, by way of security, gave him the plate—he said the woman had sent some linen to Mrs. Porter’s house to wash.
WILLIAM HENRY HUGHES . I live at 12, Chapel Street, Bedford Row, and am a solicitor—my brother is executor of Julia Martha Thomas—I have known her over 30 years—she first married a Mr. James Murray—Mr. Thomas died in 1873—on Saturday, March 22nd, my brother was ill, and I, at his request, went to Hammersmith between 3 and 4 p.m.—I saw Church—he showed me a purse—it contained five rings wrapped up in wool, two wedding – rings, a keeper, a mourning ring, and a dress ring of some sort with name and date engraved on it—these are the rings—I asked Church a number of questions with reference to Mrs. Thomas, and he gave me information—I expressed a wish to see Porter, and Church sent for him—I asked him questions and got information from him, and the three of us went to Richmond Police – station, and then to 2, May field—it was 5 o’clock when we got to the house—we got through Miss Ives’s house and made an entry—I saw Church find in the closet in the front room a gold watch and chain, at least he said he found it, he produced it; he had his back to me—he made some remark about a large photograph, which I recognised as a photograph of my father—it was not in an album—I believe Miss Ives came in—Church and Porter gave their answers to me very frankly.
Cross – examined. Porter told me that Mrs. Thomas had said to him her father was a solicitor in Scotland—according to Porter’s account, she was going to Scotland—I am certain Porter said Scotland, not Ireland—he said at first that she went away in a cab; but when I questioned him he said he did not see her go—when we got into the front room, Church went straight to the cupboard and immediately turned round and said, “Here’s her gold watch and chain”—the first thing he did was to go to the cupboard—when I was talking to Church in his own house he told me the portrait of the father, was in the hall—I did not see it in the hall—I said to him, “There is the photograph”—he went and moved the palliasse away and stood in front of the cupboard, blocking up the view, and said, “Here’s her watch and chain”—I was not in a position to see whether he took the watch and chain out of the cupboard or out of his pocket—the police inspector and I had only casually looked at the cupboard—the palliasse did not hide the cupboard entirely—Porter said the woman stayed a long while, several hours, at his house when she first came.
JOHN DOWDELL . I am a police inspector, attached to Scotland Yard—in consequence of information I went to Ireland, leaving London on the 26 th—on the 28th I got to Dublin—I met Inspector. Jones there and went with him to Wexford and then back to Enniscorthy, which we reached on the night of the 29th—we there saw the prisoner—she was in custody there—I told her we were two police officers from London; that she would be charged with murdering Mrs. Julia Martha Thomas, her late mistress, at 2, Vine Cottages, Richmond; she would be further charged with stealing furniture and other property; and she would be taken back to London—she made no reply—she was taken before a Magistrate the same evening, and remanded back to this country—we stalled to return the following morning—on the journey from Enniscorthy to Dublin, shortly after leaving Enniscorthy, the prisoner said, “Is there any person in custody for the murder?”—I said “It depends whether I can answer that question or not,” or words to that effect—she said, “If there’s not there ought to be. It is very hard the innocent should suffer for the guilty”—I had previously cautioned her not to make any statement without considering the whole thing; and I also said, “I hope you will not say a word against an innocent person”—I said that before she said a word about any other person—the night before I said that she said she intended to tell the truth and the truth only—on the steamboat between Dublin and Holyhead she made a very long statement—it was a continuous statement—she stopped sometimes because she was not very well, she was inclined to be sea sick—it was all one statement—I did not take it down as she said it—it was very rough on board—at the police station at Richmond, on 30th March, I repeated her statement verbally in her presence to Inspectors Jones and Pearman, and it was then taken down by Jones as I repeated it—then Church was called in—he was not then in custody—the statement was read over to him and the prisoner—she said it was true—during the writing down the prisoner said she wished to make some addition, which was not then taken down, but afterwards it was—at the end of the reading Webster said, “That is quite true”—Church seemed to be laughing at it—I told him to be careful, I thought it was a serious case—he said, “The lying woman, how can she say that about me? I know nothing of her”—when Church was brought in first he was introduced to identify the prisoner—he said, “I think that’s Mrs. Thomas”—Church at the end of the interview was given into custody—in consequence of a letter I received I went on the 15th of April with Inspector Jones to the House of Detention—Mr. O’Brien, the prisoner’s solicitor, was there with the prisoner—she made a long statement, after being cautioned, which was taken down by Inspector Jones from her lips, word for word.
Cross – examined. She was given into my custody by a member of the I rish constabulary named Roach—she had not been charged as far as I know—I repeated the charge to her—she was very calm; she was also very calm on the voyage except when she was sick—she was never out of my sight—she made a very good supper on the steamboat—she appeared an amiable, pleasant sort of woman as far as I could judge—she gave no trouble, and came back quite quietly and calmly—I have made inquiries about the dates and facts contained in her statements, apart from the night of 2nd March—I went to Hartley’s with Mr. Pear—man, and he made inquiries there.
JOHN PEARMAN (Police Inspector V). I am stationed at Richmond—I was at the station there on Sunday, 30th March, when the statement taken by Inspector Jones was read over to the prisoner—I was there when Church came in and when the second statement was made—she said both statements were quite true—when I made the charge against Church he made a statement in the prisoner’s presence—he said “I was not in Richmond at the time; Porter and his son can prove I was not there; so can the baker next door; Porter will tell you what day he took me down there”—on Saturday, March 22, I went with Mr. Hughes, Porter, and Church to search the house at Richmond—Mr. Hughes when I saw him referred me to Church for information, and I received a statement from him—at the station Church produced the puree and rings, and made a statement as to his possession of them—at 2, Mayfield, the place was in great confusion, the beds moved out, and the carpets taken up—I found three large boxes full of bed linen ready to be taken away—this was about 6 o’clock; it was getting dark—I saw the gold watch and chain after we had been there some time—in consequence of something said by Mr. Hughes to Church, Church went to the cupboard, and then, having opened the door, said, “Oh, here’s Mrs. Thomas’s watch left behind”—we did not make a complete search then; we were there about an hour—next day I saw Church at his own house; Porter’s boy was sent for, and Church showed me the property he had, including the rings and puree already produced—I made a list—there was an address card of Mrs. Thomas in the puree—on Monday, April 24, I went to 2, Mayfield Cottages, again—I searched the ashes under the kitchen grate and found a quantity of charred bones, dress buttons, and two pieces of house flannel—on the dresser I found a hand lantern—in the back room was a carpet – bag and some underlinen—in the coal cellar on the basement I found a chopper—in the room next to the scullery I found a razor—in the area I found a night – dress which appeared to be torn—I put these things into a carpet – bag and took them to the station, and on the 26th of April I gave them to Inspector Shaw—on the 27th I went again and found a quantity of charred bones under the copper grate—the outside of the copper, the brickwork, was well whitened over and clean; the whitening was in a dish on the dresser—I took out the copper from the brickwork, and about halfway down I found a fatty substance, which I scraped off and placed in a small earthen pot—the copper is 14 inches in diameter, 13 inches deep—there was a short copper – stick found outside in the area—I found a table – knife on the table in the kitchen—the next day I took these things and gave them to Mr. Bond myself—I found no black bag or saw—I examined the wainscot of the back bedroom, and found a smear of blood about 4 feet from the back window—I chipped the wood off on which the blood was and gave it to Mr. Bond—on the paper of the wall on the staircase leading from the hall to the kitchen I found what appeared to be a splash of blood—that was opposite the second stair, about 12in. above it—I cut out the paper with the stain, and gave it with the other to Mr. Bond—in the pantry under the hall I found some stains of blood on the wall—the jamb of the door of the pantry appeared to be stained with blood, but had apparently been rubbed over with something—in the dining – room I found a small diary—I found under the sink in the scullery the handle of a box, which I produce; it fits the bonnet – box found in the Thames—I found some cord there too—it is of the same kind as that with which the box was tied—I found a piece of brown paper on the landing, which I produce; it has a stain on it—I received the bonnet produced from Church on the 25th of March—I had seen it on the 23rd—I took it to the station, and afterwards to Mr. Bond.
Cross – examined. On my second visit, after receiving the key of the front door, I put it in the lock inside, and it worked properly for aught I could see; I saw nothing amiss with it—I have passed in and out of the front door, but not to leave that way; I invariably went out by the back door—I tried the lock of the front door several times, and apparently it worked well inside—the latch – key was hanging up inside.
HENRY JONES . I am inspector of Metropolitan Police—I went over to Ireland to bring back the prisoner—a box was handed over to me by one of the Irish constables; it was locked, and the key was given to me—I noticed the prisoner was wearing three rings—I took a wedding – ring off her finger—I saw her wearing a coloured skirt, which was afterwards shown to Mrs. Kent—I went to Church’s on the 30th, and found a rough list and a receipt referred to by him in his evidence—Mrs. Church gave me two vases, a knife and fork, two pairs of women’s boots, and some lustres—I took down the prisoner’s statement in her presence, from Dowdell’s dictation—on the 16th of April she made a statement in the presence of her solicitor, which I took down—when it was finished she said it was quite correct, and that she did not like to say anything about or against Porter before.
Cross – examined. Mr. O’Brien, the prisoner’s solicitor, said, “It is a very serious matter; you must tell the whole truth, as I believe you have told me; it may have the effect of bringing Porter to justice”—I then cautioned her, and Mr. O’Brien left—she gave the statement without any hints or assistance from him.
Re – examined. Henry Porter on the 16th of April had not been examined, nor his wife—the boy Porter had been.
MARY ANN KENT . I am a widow, residing at St. Mary’s Villas, Richmond—I had known Mrs. Thomas thirty years, and was related to her by marriage—between March, 1877, and April, 1873, she lodged with me—I saw her again in the month of September, 1878—she used to wear a wedding ring and two keepers—I know the deal box produced—I feel certain it was Mrs. Thomas’s—she had it while she lodged with me—she used to keep her bonnets and hats in it—I tried to pack her family Bible in it when going to Devonshire, and the handle would always slip out—the bonnet produced is Mrs. Thomas’s bonnet; I remember her purchasing it, and she and I had part of the same ribbon—I have altered it myself for her—I recognise all the articles shown me by Pearman and Jones as Mrs. Thomas’s—she was about 54 years of age.
Cross – examined. She told me when she was going to leave me; I was at home when she left—I know this box well, it is like an old friend.
EMILY HOARE . I am the wife of Frederick Hoare, of 3, Charlotte Cottages, Richmond—I used to do needlework for Mrs. Thomas—I identify this skirt which I made for her some time last year.
HENRY JONES (Recalled). The prisoner was wearing this when apprehended.
EMMA CLARK . I lodge with Mrs. Porter—I know the prisoner by sight—I first saw her on Tuesday, the 4th of March, when I opened the door to her—she asked for Mrs. Porter—Mrs. Porter asked me to deny her—the prisoner then went next door—Mrs. Porter, however, sent for her—the prisoner hugged Mrs. Porter round the neck, and said “It is me, don’t you know me, mother?”—I then left—I saw them again—my little girl was sent for half a pint of gin—I remember Mrs. Porter telling the prisoner it was her son William’s birthday.
Cross – examined. The night before last I got notice to come and give evidence here—I have not spoken to Mrs. Porter—I recollect the prisoner slept at the Porters’ very often between the 4th and the 18th March—I had some of the gin—Mrs. Porter did not behave as though Kate was a stranger—Mrs. Porter was jolly enough; I don’t know if she was glad—they met like old friends, as if they had known each other for some time—I don’t remember seeing the prisoner before this.
BENJAMIN WOODS . I am a valuer—I went to look at 2, Mayfield, and valued the furniture there; it was worth 93l.—the silver things at the police – station were worth about 5l., the plated about 3l. or 4l., the rings about 2l.
THOMAS GOODRIDGE . I live at 13, Embury Road, Shepherd’s Bush, and am a house decorator—Henry Porter worked for me—on the 2nd of March, 1879, I paid him 10s.—I met him outside the Rising Sun about 10 o’clock in the evening—I first saw him that evening about 9 o’clock—I went with him to the Rising Sun, and remained there till about 10 o’clock—Mr. Church was there and Mr. Thurlow—Church was there when I left with Henry Porter and Thurlow—after we left the Rising Sun at 10 o’clock, Porter and I went to the Swakeley public – house, in Gold Hawk Road, and stayed till 12 o’clock that night—we left Thurlow outside the Swakeley, and he went towards home.
Cross – examined. I am not a member of the Slate Club—I was not called at the police – court—I was first asked to give evidence on Thursday evening—I very seldom use Church’s house—I have not spoken to Porter on several occasions since the 2nd March, I have not seen him for the last six weeks till yesterday morning—I may have seen him three or four times before that, when he has come to work for me—he works for me overtime of an evening and on Saturday afternoons—he has done several jobs for me—he may have worked overtime for me in the week beginning on 3rd March; I cannot recollect—I know one evening he put a stove in for me, that was between the 2nd and 12th March, I don’t recollect the day—I gave him the order cm the 2nd—I can swear it was not in February, because the roof was not finished till the end of February, and the stove was put in after the roof was done—I paid him the 10s. on 2nd March, and the stove was not put in till afterwards; he was to do it at his discretion—I am quite sure it was not on Sunday, the 9th, that I paid him the 10s.—I know it was the 2nd, because I was out a good bit later that evening than usual.
Re – examined. I have a book here by which I can refresh my memory as to the date—I have put down here “Paid Porter 15 hours, 8d. an hour, 10s.,” and on the 16th, “Porter 3 hours, settled”—that was for the stove—I settled with Porter for that on 16th March.
ELIZA JANE MUNT . I live with my husband at 16, Rose Gardens, and have a sister named Elizabeth Dupuis; she and her husband came to take tea with me on the Sunday before the club night, that was the 2nd of March—my husband and Mr. Dupuis went out after tea, and after about half an hour my sister and I wont out; we went into the Rising Sun—my husband and Mr. Dupuis were there talking to Mr. Church, who was behind the bar—we remained there till about 9 o’clock—Mr. Church was there all the time—on Monday, 3rd March, my sister came to me about 8.30 p.m.—we went to Church’s to pay the club money for our husbands; we got there about 8.45—we paid Mrs. Church—we didn’t see Mr. Church.
Cross – examined. My husband came home from work about 7.30 p.m. on, the 3rd of March the worse for liquor, and he went to bed—it might have been 7 o’clock—my husband was not the worse for liquor on the Sunday night—we had tea about 5 o’clock; our tea was over in about half to three – quarters of an hour—my husband left the Rising Sun about 9 o’clock—we went up to the station to see Mr. Dupuis off—my husband went back to Church’s, and stayed till 11 o’clock—I came home—my husband goes in there as a rule on Sunday evenings.
THOMAS MUNT . I am a brickmaker, and live at 16, Rose Gardens—I am a member of the Oak Slate Club; I remember the club night in March; I did not go to the club that night—I went to the house, but I did not go up into the club room—I could not say exactly what time I went to the house—we have not to pay our club money every club night, only once a quarter—a quarter’s money was due from me that night—my missis paid it—I did not see her pay it; she told me—we have a card—I came home from work that night, and went to bed—I can’t say why I went to bed; I know my missis went and paid the club; that is all I know—I had been to the Rising Sun before I went home; I could not say what time I went there, or how long I stayed; I know it was about” 8.30 when I left there—I saw Church there—on the Sunday night before club night I was at the Rising Sun; I got there at 6.5, and remained there till 8 o’clock—I then went up to the Railway Tavern, Shepherd’s Bush—I went along with my friend Mr. Dupuis, Mrs. Dupuis, and my wife; we went along with them about an hour, or it might be an hour and a quarter, and then I came back again to Church’s—he was there when I went in, and when I left—I might have stayed there half an hour, or a little more.
Cross – examined. On the Monday night I was not so bad from having too much to drink that I was obliged to go to bed; I never drank anything to make me bad.
JEAN BAPTISTS DUPUIS . I am a cabinet maker of 35, Manchester Street, Latimer Road, Notting Hill—Thomas Munt married my sister—on 2nd March I went to the Rising Sun with him; before that I went and had a cup of tea with him—it was about ten minutes past six when we got to the Rising Sun; I saw Porter and a female—Mrs. Porter and two ladies came in afterwards—I don’t know their names—Church was there opening the door as we went in—I stopped there about two and a half hours—I then left—Church was there the whole time and when I left; I know that because I spoke to him and he to me.
Cross – examined. Only my wife, her sister, and her husband, and myself were at tea—Mr. Webb met us at the beershop—we went home from Shepherd’s Bush Station at half – past nine—I was first spoken to about this about three weeks afterwards—Mrs. Church’s brother asked my brother if he recollected being at Church’s on Sunday, 2nd March, and he said yes; and he asked where I lived and they came to me together to talk the matter over—he asked me if I recollected being at tea at Hunt’s and being at the Rising Sun, and seeing Church there—he did not ask me the time I left—I knew at that time that Church was in custody—Mrs. Munt did not say anything to me about it—I have heard and read about the Richmond murder—I don’t remember Mrs. Munt speaking about it.
Re – examined. I believe it was between four and five on 30th March that Mr. Church’s brother and Munt came to me—I then remembered very well that it was on 2nd March that I had been to the Rising Sun.
DAVID KUSS . I am a member of the firm of Camerer, Kuss, and Co., watch and clock makers, 522, Oxford Street—I know John Church—I was at the Rising Sun on Monday, 3rd March—I fix the date because on Monday, 24th February, he gave me an order for a ring and I had not got it in stock—I have an entry in my book in my own writing of that order——on the following Monday, about seven p.m., I went down to Church again, and saw him in his house serving customers—I remained with him about five minutes and had some conversation with him about it—I had a glass of wine and I sent a glass of beer to my boy outside.
Cross – examined. This is my book—here is “Church, Rose Gardens”—there is no date in the book after Thursday, February 25—I got the order for the ring on the 24th—a new book commenced on March 1st—this fixes. My memory because I was certain to go on the Monday following—I have no book for the entry of the delivery of the order I received—this is the book in which I enter the days on which I call on people about orders—I have not looked at the other book, it is at home. (The witness was directed to bring it on Monday.) There is no entry of Church’s name in it—I take orders for goods and take weekly payments—I make an entry of those weekly payments—that is the tally system.
Re – examined. The ring was delivered a fortnight afterwards—the entry of the 24th is the order, and the next week I went down to the same place—that is my district on Mondays.
GEORGE HARRIS . I am a labourer of 27, Buchanan Cottages, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—in March this year I had been three months steward of the Oak Slate Club, which met once a month, on the first Monday in the month—there is a box belonging to the club which is kept locked, and there are three keys; it cannot be opened without the three keys being there at the same time unless it is broken open—I kept one key, Mr. Taylor kept the other, and John Church, the treasurer, the other—I attended three meetings as steward, the last was on 3rd March; it began at 7 p.m.—the box was not opened till a few minutes afterwards—Mr. Wood bridge and I were then present and several others—Mr. Taylor and Mr. Church opened it, and Mr. Woodbridge, the secretary—it remained open till 10.30; during that period I kept, the money and gave it to Mr. Church, who put it in a box—at 10.30 there was a little bit of a dispute about paying some of the club members, and they kept the box open, or otherwise it would have been closed at 9 o’clock—the box was locked up and Church took it away at very nearly 11 o’clock—Mr. Rickworth and Charles Alexander and John Church locked its up with three keys—from the beginning of that meeting down to the very end, 11 o’clock, John Church was there—I left the Rising Sun about 11.4 as nearly as I can tell you, and Church was then behind the bar.
Cross – examined. I have been a member of the Slate Club three years—I have not been there at other meetings—I am not steward now—I don’t know whether this matter was much spoken about afterwards—I use Church’s house sometimes; I live about a quarter of a mile off—Church’s being given into custody for the Richmond murder was a good deal spoken of in his house—I knew his brother by sight, or her brother, I do not know which he is—I have bade him good morning—he has never spoken to me—I have been to the Slate Club one night since 3rd March—I was there at the next meeting, 3rd April, but did not stop; I came away directly; I was not steward then, Rickworth had succeeded me, that was the reason he had the key—I only stopped five minutes or a very little more—I will swear I did not stop an hour—I believe Church’s being given in custody was spoken of at the Slate Club while I was there, but I do not know—Church was at the club on 3rd March, but not at the April meeting—yes, it was spoken of, but I cannot tell you by who—the conversation about it was not general while I was there, but I heard it spoken of; if I heard Alexander say anything I have forgotten it—I did not hear Rickworth say anything—the box was opened that night, the first Monday in April—Mrs. Church brought the key when he did not happen to be in the house, he left the key with her, and the two others opened the box with his key; that was so on other occasions and the key was always left with Mrs. Church—Church was not there in April, but I can swear that he was never absent from the club – room on any night before April this year, that is for the first three months; the keys were not left downstairs at Church’s, I always took mine home; if I were not going I should send the key by my wife, but I never did—I can tell you when I was first asked to give evidence in this case, but my head is not so good as it used to be—I am looking at a book, it was on April 27th; my eyes are so bad, I cannot see without my glasses; these numbers in the book are the days I have been up and have had to attend here and at Richmond, and my railway fare, these other figures relate to my work; 40 means 40 tons of chalk washing, and 303 means 303 tons; here is “Railway fare; Richmond, 8—8—8; Old Bailey, 8—8—8,” that was going to Richmond on 26th, 27th and 28th, and coming up here before the Grand Jury; this 8—8—8 means three eightpences—I don’t know whether anybody was going to pay me that—I could not see the book very well without my glasses, but I could see that that gentleman Had got it wrong—I was first asked to give evidence on the Saturday before April 27th—I was not at Church’s, to my knowledge, on Sunday, April 27th—I must have made a mistake if I have put down April 27th here, I took that to be the day of the month; I must have mistaken it, I cannot tell you where I was on the last Sunday in April—I have been to the Slate Club on another occasion when it was going on, but not for 12 months—I think I was in the Slate Club room on Sunday night when Church was in custody—I don’t know what the date was, the room was full; I cannot say who was there; Thurlow may have been there; I did not see him—I was not talking to him—Mrs. Church’s brother was not in the room with us at the time I was there—the murder case was not being talked about that I recollect—Church being in prison was talked about, but not by me; there was drink in the room and I think I paid for a pint; I did not see any given away, plenty of others paid for it—I can’t say who, there were so many strangers in the room; I mean to say that I did not know every man in the room—Church first spoke to me about giving evidence after he got out of prison, he said that I should be wanted—I told him I knew nothing about the case, I did not want to have anything to do with it—I knew that I was wanted to say that he was at the Slate Club on 3rd March, he told me so himself—he did not say, “You recollect I was at the Slate Club on 3rd March;” nothing of the kind, he only said that I should be wanted; he did say that he wanted me to say that he had been at the Slate Club—I knew that I should be wanted, and that the evidence I was to give was about his being at the Slate Club on March 3rd—I knew that from Church, but he never said anything about March 3rd; he did not say anything to me about the Slate Club on 3rd March, but I knew it because I read in the paper that he said he had been at the Slate Club on 3rd March, and therefore that is what I thought I should be wanted for; plenty of the members of the club had spoken to me about Church having been there on 3rd March; they did not speak about it. that I know of, at the bar of the Rising Sun; it was publicly talked about.
Re – examined. It was the common talk of the neighbourhood that Church was at the Slate Club on 3rd March, and he was there—he was there at each of the three meetings on which I acted as steward.
By the COURT. This is my writing; it is “April 27, 30; May 3, 26, 27, 28; June 2″—the next, in smaller writing, is “Railway fare, Richmond, three times, three eightpences; Old Bailey, five eightpences”—Thurlow was not a member of the Slate Club.
Monday, July 7th.
DAVID KUSS (Re – examined). I have brought the book—it commences with an entry of 1st March, 1879, but there is no entry in it relating to the ring which Church ordered—the next entry is 31st March—I received the order from Church on 24th February, and am certain that it was on the Monday following the 24th that I called on Church, as I have stated—I delivered the ring myself on the 10th—I am quite certain of that—here is the sold book, in which it is entered, but not in my writing—it is kept by Mr. Myers, who is here—it is entered on 11th March, 40s. and 11s.; 2l. 11s. altogether—the 40s. was for the ring—all the goods are charged against me—I delivered the ring to Church personally the day before, Monday, the 10th.
GEORGE WOODBRIDGE . I am a carpenter, of 2, York Road, Hammersmith—in March last I was secretary of the Oak Slate Club, which meets at Church’s house on the first Monday of the month—I attended the meeting of 3rd March—I got there about 7.25, at the opening of the meeting, and left about 10.40—it was my duty to keep this book (produced)—the box is opened with three keys—Church had one, Taylor one, and Harris one—they were all there each with his key—I was present when the box was opened—March 3rd is entered here in my writing on the same day, and there I have entered the moneys received that day—it does not follow that the persons entered here were actually present—I should enter the name if money was sent for a member—Munt and Dupuis were members—I have their names entered here—I enter them as they pay—the stewards take the money; I have nothing to do with it; they pay it over to Church, the treasurer; he puts it into the box generally, but on this night he put it into his pocket—. there was a dispute on that night as some members Who were on the club were caught in a public – house—Church was not there the whole time up to the time I left, but he was backwards and forwards—I left him in the house.
Cross – examined. It does not follow that because the name of the person who pays is in the book he was at the meeting—I have not the slightest doubt that Church was there that evening—I was then working for Newton and Trigg, of Wandsworth—I have never been in a Court of Justice before.
(MR. SLEIGH here stated that he did not feel justified in any further cross – examination of these witnesses.)
CHARLES ALEXANDER . I live at 22, Rainham Road, Hammersmith—I became steward of the Slate Club on 3rd March, after Harris—I was at the Rising Sun that night from 7 to 12.20—John Church was there all that time.
JOHN GILL . I live at 11, Purfield Street, Hammersmith—I was a metropolitan police inspector, but have retired on a pension—on March 4, at 9.45 a.m., I saw Church for the first time; he was in Glenthorne Road, Hammersmith—I had a conversation with him, and we went in an omnibus to Kensington Vestry Hall—we got there at 10.45—it was the day for the Licensed Victuallers’ renewal meeting before the Justices—I got off the omnibus, and have no recollection of seeing Church after, but I think I saw him at 12 o’clock.
Cross – examined. There is a printed list of the order in which the cases are taken, but I think it is only given to officials—I have had difficulty in getting one—I left at 2 o’clock—I don’t think I saw Church after 12 o’clock.
WILLIAM ALLEN . I am a labourer, of 55, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—early in March, at 6 or 7 p.m., I went to the Rising Sun, and stayed there till 12.30 playing at dominoes with John Church; not quite all the time—we had several games, but I can’t say how many—a man named Johnson was scoring—I know it was 4th March, because the 3rd was my son’s birthday, and it was the night after.
Cross – examined. I can’t tell you what year my son was born in, but he is three years old—he was christened at Usey, in Wiltshire—when he was born my missus went to the registrar’s office, but I did not—I believe there is a certificate, but I can’t read—I have not seen it for a good bit—I can’t say whether I said before the Magistrate that it was a month before or not—I kept no account of when I was examined—when Church was in custody Mrs. Church asked me whether I remembered playing at dominoes with him on 4th March—I used to play with him often before this case.
WILLIAM JOHNSON . I am a labourer, of 8, Rose Gardens, Hammersmith—I was at the Rising Sun on a Tuesday in March, I believe it was the 4th, and saw Allen there—two more men were playing, and Church came in between 6 and 7 and sat down to play with Allen, and I took the score—I remained till closing – time, which is 12.30 on week – days—he was in and out during the night.
Cross – examined. I was not examined at Richmond before the Justices; I was only in the waiting – room—that was on a Thursday and Friday in March or April, and I was at the Hammersmith Police – station on Monday—Allen spoke to me about it first—I did not see Church on the night he was discharged; I saw him afterwards—I did not see him carried about the neighbourhood.
MARY DURDEN . I live at London Street, Kingston—I am a straw – bonnet and hat maker—I have known the prisoner about four years—I saw her on Shrove Tuesday, 25th February, at my house—at that time I was very ill—8he told me she was going to Birmingham to see about some property which her aunt had left her; that—she had had a letter from her aunt, telling her where to find her gold watch and chain and her jewels, and everything her aunt had was to come to her—she said she was going direct to Birmingham that afternoon, and she then left my house—she told me she was going to sell the property, the furniture, and that her aunt’s will and jewels were in a certain drawer—she said she was staying at Richmond—the interview lasted about an hour—she laughed and talked about the property, of which she said she was going to sell the principal part, and she also spoke about her little boy—she said Mr. Strong had sent him to school.
Cross – examined. I knew her before she went to Mr. Mitchell’s service—I never had any angry words with her on any occasion—I know a Mr. Parker; he keeps the Three Tuns public – house—I never had a quarrel with her there—my husband is not in the habit of using the Three Tuns; he uses the house very seldom—I have gone into the Three Tuns to find him; I might have gone there twice—I have never been angry with my husband there—I never found him there drinking with Kate Webster, or in any public – house—I never saw him in her company—she came to our house for work for her mistress, Mrs. Mitchell—it was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Shrove Tuesday when she came to me—she did not go into my private sitting – room, nor did she sit; she stood the whole hour—she never talked to me on anything but business before, only about her little boy, who she said was in the Union—I was first spoken to about giving evidence on 5th May, I think—Inspectors Dodwoll and Pearman spoke to me; I had made no communication to them.
Re – examined. They came to me; I did not go to them—I was subpœnaed to Richmond and examined—I had not talked to anybody about it before that, only to my family when reading the paper—my son is 21, my daughter 24, the others are 18 and 9—I had not spoken of it to my husband—when the prisoner came to me on Shrove Tuesday she was in a very excited state of mind; I could not find out what was the matter with her; she was laughing and talking, that is the best description I can give—she told me she was going to Birmingham to see about the property—that was where her aunt lived.
THOMAS BOND , F.R.C.S. I am assistant surgeon at the Westminster Hospital, and lecturer on forensic medicine there—I live at 17, Delahay Street—on the 12th March last I went to the mortuary at Barnes, and saw. some portions of a human body, but they were not then in the box, and also some portions in another box—there were the upper part of the chest, with the upper ribs, the heart and part of the right lung attached, the right shoulder and part of the right upper arm, the whole of the left upper arm, the right thigh, cut off below the joint, the right leg divided from the thigh at the knee joint, and cut off from the foot above the ankle, also a part of the pelvis, with the uterus attached, and the left foot cut off above the ankle joint—I did not notice the ovaries; they were shrivelled and dried; the soft parts appeared to have been hacked—he bones had been sawn roughly, and the division had been made without any relation to anatomical structure—the divisions of the bones might have been produced by an ordinary meat saw; with the exception of one thigh the remains were very dry, shrivelled, shrunken, and very brown, and the soft parts easily tore, the cartilage easily peeled off, and the tendons were very soft; I had no doubt that the parts had been boiled—the thigh was in a natural state; it contained fluid blood; the muscles were red, and not retracted; it appeared to have been dead a week or a fortnight, but no decomposition had taken place—that would be to some extent dependent on the weather, which was very cold at the time—I examined very carefully the articular surface of the natural thigh bone and the articular surface of the boiled lag, and found that they matched, and I also found that a bit of cartilage which had been cut off from the leg bone was adherent to the thigh bone—the pieces matched, and I formed a positive opinion that the thigh and the leg belonged to the same body—the foot had been boiled—I found no evidence of disease about it; it had been separated in the same unskilful manner as the other limbs—it was a smallish foot and matched in general size the other remains—I am sure the person to whom the remains belonged was a short person—only one long bone was entire; I measured that, it was 11 1/2in., and if we take the average of an arm bone 11 1/2in., that gives a height of a little over 5ft.—the remains were those of a woman—I found some dark – brown hair under the arm – pits, not grey—on 26th March a carpet – bag was brought to my house, tied up, containing human remains, and a little box with some burnt bones, and on the 28th I received some more bones—I have examined them, and I have recognised pieces of the left thigh bone, the small bone of the left leg, the small bone of the right arm, the hand bones of the right hand, some pieces of the haunch bone or pelvis, and some fragments of the spinal column—I found a piece of the large bone of the leg and a part of the large bone of the arm—I cannot say to which side they belonged—they had all been burnt to a cinder—there were no duplicates of those I had already found in the box—I prepared a diagram of a human skeleton, show—the burnt parts red and the missing portions differently coloured—there was no fragment of any skull—the specific gravity of the human body is such that it may float in water after death—the head will not float by itself—the body floating or not depends on the state of decomposition, and whether it is fat or not—a solid limb thrown into the water would sink, unless very much decomposed—a fat body would float while a lean one would sink—the head. would always sink—if in a box with air between the specific gravity of the wood would help it to float—I examined some black grease which the inspector produced to me in a pot, but I can only say it was black grease; it was such as would be produced by boiling any flesh, and it had been in contact with metal—that is all the remains that I had—I examined a linen cuff in the bag that came on the 26th both chemically and microscopically, and found a spot of blood on it—I found smears of blood on a house – cloth, as if it had wiped something, and a stain of blood on a flannel petticoat, as if it had soaked through something; it was a pale stain—I examined the bonnet produced, and found a thick clot of blood on the velvet, a clot of blood on the rim, a clot of blood on one of the leaves, stains of blood on one of the strings, and a stain of blood on the end of one of the strings—the stains here were very thick, and looked as if the bonnet had fallen into blood—there must have been a considerable quantity of blood—I call it a clot in contradistinction to a stain—I examined a piece of wall paper that had been cut out and brought to me—that contained a splash of blood about three, or four inches long—it was clotted on; it must have been a big splash—I had to take part of it to examine it, and gave the rest to Inspector Pearman—the quantity of blood would be as much as from 10 to 15 drops; it had apparently struck against the wall and then run down—I also examined a little chip of wood; that also had a stain of blood on it; there was no clot there; it was as if something bloody had just touched the wood—I know it was the blood of a mammal, that is all, not that of a fish or bird; with that qualification I have no doubt whatever that it was blood.
Cross – examined. I did not hear Dr. Adams give his evidence at the inquest—I do not agree with him if he says that he should think that the remains were those of a woman between 18 and 30 years of age—I am sure that is wrong—I am sure it an was older woman—I put It as a woman over 50—I am quite sure she was more than 4 feet unless she was deformed—I approximate it to 5 feet 2 inches—there was not the slightest means of finding out whether she came by her death naturally or by violence—a woman may die from heart disease, or apoplexy, or she may burst a blood vessel and die from vomiting or from hemorrhage—if a woman were excited and burst a blood vessel she would drop down, and there would be a copious flow of blood from the mouth—it is not possible in my point of view that they were the bones of a woman under 50—half of the pelvis has never been recovered, and a portion of the ribs and the lower portion of the body are both missing—it was never suggested to me that they were anybody’s bones—I heard of a young woman being missing at East Sheen, near Richmond, but no one spoke to me about it afterwards—I had no means of judging the height by actual measurement—parts of the body had been boiled, by which I was puzzled at first—I do not agree with the theory that the remains had been in the water some days—assuming that the woman had fallen down, breaking a blood vessel, the bonnet might have fallen off and dropped into the blood – intense nervous excitement, a tremulousness of the voice, and flushing of the face, are symptoms which would naturally precede a person being attacked with a fit; if I had heard of a woman being intensely excited, so that her bonnet fell off, and her hands trembled, and her face flushed, I should consider those premonitory symptoms.
Re – examined. Although I was puzzled in the first instance by the boiling I have come to the conclusion that the flesh had been boiled.
JAMES ADAMS , M.D. I am a surgeon and I practise at Barnes—on 5th March I was called to the side of the river by Barnes Terrace a little before seven, where I saw a box and some human remains on the river bank—I examined them again at the mortuary—the right thigh was in a fresh condition, with fresh blood; the other portion was much shrivelled, as though it had been saturated in water or chemicals—I mentioned at the inquest that the person was probably not over 30—I thought that because of the hair of the armpit and the portion of the thigh which was unboiled—I have not made any further examination, but I have heard Mr. Bond’s evidence—my opinion is the woman was over 50 years of age, and probably 5ft. 3in. or 4in. high—I cannot possibly tell within three or four inches—the body had been separated without regard to anatomical structure.
Cross – examined. I did not hear the Coroner state at the inquest that a young German girl had left her situation about a week before with a similar box; I heard the rumour—when I gave my evidence before the Coroner I said probably the remains were those of a woman between 18 and 30—I have not made any further examination—when I qualify my opinion I qualify it upon the opinion of another medical man—there was only one perfect bone among the whole of the remains, the left arm bone, which I measured, but it was possible to make an accurate measurement within a few inches—my evidence before the Coroner was founded on the measurement of that entire bone—my limits are not narrower to – day—I did not tell the Coroner that the height was between 4ft. and 5ft. 3in.; nothing so ridiculous—if you have the Coroner’s note you will see—I think I said 5ft. 4in.
CRESWELL WELLS (Re – examined). I have measured certain distances—from the Rising Sun to Mayfield, over Hammersmith Bridge, is 5 miles 153 yards, and over Kew Bridge 7 miles 725 yards—from Mayfield to Richmond railway – station, by way of Church Road, is 1,390 yards—I only tried that way.
JOHN CHURCH (Re – examined by MR. SLEIGH). My name was Church before I enlisted—I believe my father’s name was Church; it was as far as I know—my mother’s maiden name was Body—I might have been in a situation in a public – house before I entered the Army—I might have been in a situation as barman—when I come to think may have been; I cannot say where exactly; it was in London—I was in London when I enlisted—I might have been in a situation as barman; I cannot recollect now—Q Do you mean, upon your oath, to say before the gentlemen of the Jury that you do not recollect?—A. I might have been—I might have been in a public – house before I was in the service, but cannot say where—I was in the House of Detention on this case, but not in prison before to my knowledge—I have not been in prison – before I was arrested on this charge; that I swear—when I said “not to my knowledge” I suppose I spoke too rapidly—I went home the other day after my examination at this Court—I did not say to anybody that I could have opened my mouth a good deal more, but I was not going to do it to fill everybody’s—I might have had a copy of the Echo in my house that evening containing a report of my cross – examination; I will not swear—I will not swear I did not show it to a gentleman over the bar—I will not swear I did not show it to two gentlemen who went into the bar of the Rising Sun after I came home—there are so many go in and out I will not swear that I did or didn’t have a conversation with two gentlemen about my evidence—I do not know Mr. Boyd, the auctioneer, of Hammersmith.
By the SOLICITOR – GENERAL. I enlisted in 1857—I went into the 11th Hussars in 1860, and purchased my discharge in 1866; I went into service in 1866 with Mr. Allen, of Pall Mall, and I was afterwards with Mr. Fish, of Charlwood, Surrey; that brings me down to 1871, when I took the Rising Sun, where I have been ever since.
The following Statements by the Prisoner, alluded to in the evidence of the officers, were read as follows:—No. 1. “I have known John Church for nearly seven years: I first got acquainted when I was living two or three doors from Church’s at Porter’s. He used to take me out to London and to various public – houses. I met him again some months ago, and he came to my mistress’s house one night worse for drink. After remaining there for some time I told him he would have to go, as I expected my mistress home from church. My mistress came home and knocked at the door, and I let her in. Church was in the back at this time. My mistress went into the front room, and she said,’ Kate, don’t you think I am very lute?’ I said, ‘No, as I have company.’ He (Church) had previously told me to say that he was my brother. Mrs. Thomas said,’ Who have you got here?’ and I said,’ My brother, who has come, to see ma’ At this time he was getting sober, Mrs. Thomas went into the back room and spoke to him, and asked him to come into the front room by the fire, and she asked me if he would wish to remain all night, and he said, ‘No, I must not stay all night,’ and turning round to me he said, ‘You know I must not stay out all night,’ and I said, ‘No.’ Shortly after that he left. A few days after he came again into the house, and during conversation I had told him the mistress had no money in the house; he said, ‘Couldn’t we put the old woman out of the way?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said,’ Oh, poison her!’ I said, ‘You must do that yourself; I’ll have nothing to do with that.’ Church said,’ We would have her things and go off to America together and enjoy it, as I am getting tired of my old woman.’ He left late in the evening. He came again on the Monday night, the 3rd of March, and bad tea with Mrs. Thomas. I waited upon them. After tea I asked Mrs. Thomas to go out to see my little boy; she said, ‘Yes, Kate, and you need not hurry back.’ When I returned late in the evening I noticed the light was turned down. I knocked three times at the door; the third knock Church opened the front door, when I saw Mrs. Thomas lying on the mats in the passage struggling and groaning, and he said,’ Come in.’ I drew back on to the step frightened to go in. At this time there was a policeman standing on the opposite side of the road, a tall dark man. Church catched me by the arm, pulled me in, and closed the door. I said, ‘Whatever have you done?’ He said, ‘Never you mind, I have done it for her, and if you say a word about it I’ll put this knife into you up to the bundle.’ That was a carving knife belonging to Mrs. Thomas. I felt very faint, and when he said he would put the knife into me, I said, ‘No, John, don’t; I won’t tell I’ He offered me what I thought was a glass of water. I said, ‘No, I am better now,’ thinking it was poison, and that he was going to serve me the same as Mrs. Thomas. Shortly after we left the house together, leaving Mrs. Thomas there, and took a cab. I had told him I would not stay in the house by myself. We drove to near Church’s house. Church saw me into Mrs. Porter’s, and I remained there for the night. I got up early the next morning and went into Church’s house. Mrs. Church remarked that I was out early. Church was there, and beckoned me to go up the street. I went up, and he joined me shortly afterwards, and he said, ‘I can’t get over to your house before one o’clock, as I got into a row with my old woman last night for being out so late again, and I must stay at home this morning to make it up with her.’ I said I should not go back to the house by myself. He had the keys of the front and side door, and said be should be down by two. He asked me what time I would be down; I told him I would not be down there before night. He told me where to meet him, at the Richmond Hotel, over the bridge. I took the boy Porter with me, and as I passed the hotel I saw Church inside. I asked the boy to go on a short distance and wait. I went to the house (hotel), and spoke to Church, and he asked me what I would have to drink. I had some whisky. He then gave me the keys of the house, and said I was to go to the house, take the boy with me, and I should find a box in the back room which he had packed up tied with cord. The boy was to assist me to bring it away, not to take a cab from the house, but if we passed One on the way to the bridge we Were to take it; but we didn’t, so we carried it to the bridge. Church told me to let the boy Porter keep back and not see him when I went with the box, but he would be there to see me. I took the box on to the bridge, and placed it up on the bridge; the boy went away and Church appeared. I said, ‘What are you going to do with the box?’ Church said, ‘That is my business.’ There was a tall gentleman near on the opposite side of the bridge. I left him, and he said,’ Follow the boy.’ I left and heard a splash in the water. I joined the boy Porter at the foot of the bridge carrying a carpet bag, which we had also brought from the house, containing books and meat. We went to the railway station and found that the last train had gone. The boy asked a cabman what he would take him home for, and he said three shillings. The boy having only two shillings, and I no change, I said,’ You shall come home and sleep with me.’ We both slept in one room. On going downstairs in the kitchen I found the carpeting rolled up, and the table with a leaf let down put up against the cupboard, and the boards wet, as if they had been washed, and a large fire in the kitchen, and a large saucepan on the fire full of water, but I saw no blood. About two days after, when I was cleaning up the scullery, I saw some blood on the carving knife. There was a meat saw hanging up by the fireside, but on that day I found it on a box ill the scullery quite clean. Since Mrs. Thomas disappeared, Church, Porter, and his boy has been frequently at the house, Church directing me to order meat as if it Was fur Mrs. Thomas. It has been taken to his house, cooked, and eaten there, likewise to Porter’s. He called Porter in to value the goods and furniture in the house, and said to me, ‘Don’t you pay him for the valuation, I’ll pay him.’ I paid several bills; he said, ‘Never mind paying them, pay Miss Ives, the landlady, to keep her quiet.’ I went to pay her when they were removing the goods. I went to pay her, and she said, ‘No.’ She refused to take the money, and thought there was something wrong. I went back into the house and told Church, and said there was some noise being made. He said, ‘I’ll go out to Porter, and say I think there is something wrong about this; don’t move the things.’ He came back and said, You will have to clear out and go to your friends,’ and I left soon after. He knew where I was going; he gave me a card with his address, and said I was to write to him, and ‘I’ll—stop at home and braze it out,’ This was on Tuesday, the 19th, and I reached my uncle’s house at Greenanne on the following Friday night. I wrote to Church to his address in Hammersmith, telling him I had arrived home safely. Before leaving it was partly arranged that I should remain at home for about three weeks, that be would send me money to come back with, and then we were to go to America. I never laid a band on Mrs. Thomas, and nothing to do with murdering her, but I knew Church had done it. All the money left in the house belonging to Mrs. Thomas was a 5l. note and thirty shillings. This note I changed at a fishmonger’s in Richmond. Church and Porter were with me at the time. I intend to tell the whole truth, as I don’t see why I should be blamed for what Church has done. I wouldn’t accuse my greatest enemy of anything wrung, let alone a friend, which Church has been to me up till now.”
No. 2. “Mr. Church wanted to know how to get the furniture away. I told him he could manage that as well as the other business. He then asked my consent to let Porter value the furniture, so as to have a witness; he (Porter) did value the furniture at 50l., and Mr. Church drew the receipt himself, but he has not paid the money. On the next evening we were sitting on the sofa in the front room. Porter was there, and another man, I don’t know his name. Church told me to look after the furniture till he removed it. He suspected Porter of moving anything. He then gave me 10l. in gold, and called Porter’s attention to it. I asked him why be wanted Porter to be acquainted with our conversation on the subject. He said,’ To keep things on my side square.’ Porter and the other man went on to Hammersmith. At the same time Church and I remained till the last train; that was on the Saturday night, 15th. On Sunday we went on the water. On Monday, I think about 11 or 12 o’clock, we reached down here (Richmond), and went home about half – past ten on Monday night On Tuesday morning we left home about 8 o’clock. He brought a roan with him to collect the furniture and get it ready for the vans. I asked him what he wanted to draw the receipt for, as it was between ourselves. He said, ‘If I should be stopped by the landlady I shall have the receipt to produce.’ The vans came at half – past 6.
As soon as Miss Ives saw the furniture going out, she came in and asked the carman where the furniture was going to be taken, and he declined to answer her. I was in the front room at the time with Mr. Church. He asked me who she was, and I told him the landlady; he told me not to show myself, and he would go out and tell the men to stop bringing out the furniture, and then it would not be noticed. He then returned into the house and came into the front room and asked me to go and see the landlady, and if she wanted the money for the rent he would give it to me to pay her. I asked him what I should say to the landlady. He replied, ‘If she asks to see Mrs. Thomas, say she will be here in a few days’ I then saw the landlady, and asked her if she wished to speak to me. She said, ‘No, I want to see Mrs. Thomas.’ I told her she was not at home. I asked her if she wanted her rent; she said, ‘No, I want to know where the furniture is going to.’ I told her it was going to Hammersmith. She then said, ‘I will see about that.’ I then went back and told Mr. Church what she said, and he said, ‘I thought she was going to inform the police;’ he then said, ‘I have the agreement to produce, and I am not frightened, you get out of the way.’ He then told me to write to him, and in case I should forget his address, he gave me his card and also his own portrait. I then left and went to Rose Gardens, and took my child away. I thought I had not enough money to travel with, and I went on to Mrs. Church’s, the Rising Sun, and asked her to lend me a pound. She gave me a half – sovereign and ten shillings in silver, and I left the house. Church took the plate away on the Saturday before the Tuesday the furniture was to be removed. He was accompanied by me and Porter. We had 121b. of beef and a leg of mutton, 8lb. of cheese, 1lb. butter, 4lb. sugar, 1lb. tea, I quartern of flour, 1lb. suet, 1lb. wax candles, and 1 cake; these were taken to Church’s and divided. Church taking the beef and candles and Porter the leg of mutton, cheese, butter, sugar, tea, flour, suet, and cake. All I have now told you is quite true.”
No. 3. ‘On the 2nd of March, when Church pulled me into the house, I heard a cough in the back room, and I fell inside the front room door against the chiffonier, and upon recovering myself I saw Henry Porter standing on the mat at the front room door. He said to Church,’ What is the matter with her?’ Church said, ‘Oh, she’ll be all right in a minute,’ Porter said, ‘Didn’t you see me coming in after you?’ I said ‘No.’ He said, ‘I was coming behind you for a long way.’ I suspected he had not followed me, and I asked him,’ What way did I come?’ He said, “Straight up the hill by the church.’ I said, ‘No, I came the Cemetery way.’ He then said, ‘There was someone very much like you on ahead of me.’ Church said, ‘Don’t hesitate, you both got here somehow.’ Porter said, ‘That’s quite right, but I never saw anyone so much like her in my life.’ Church and Porter then went into the back room. Alter about twenty minutes Porter came out; he turned to Church and said, ‘Jack, I’ll go on a little before you.’ Church said, ‘We are all going now in a minute.’ Porter said, ‘There’ll be too much notice taken of us all going together.’ Porter then took his hat from off the front room table, and said to Church, ‘I suppose I’ll see you at home to – night, and then we can talk about matters.’ Porter left, and afterwards Church and me followed. We went from Richmond to Shaftesbury Road Station, and when we got to the Rising Sun, Rose Gardens, Church said, ‘They are shut up; but there, come in.’ I said, ‘No, I won’t, it is too late.’ Mrs. Church then opened the door; she said to Church, ‘Porter is here waiting for you;’ she also said, ‘Isn’t Kate coming in?’ Church answered, ‘No, she wants to get home.’ Church insisted that I should go in, but I would not; he said, ‘Perhaps Porter wants to see you.’ I said, ‘He must see me when he comes home.’ I then left Church, I did not see Porter that night. I went to Porter’s house, the door was opened by me, and I went into the front parlour and went to bed on the sofa. I heard Porter come in about half an hour after; he fastened the door and went into the back room, which is called the kitchen. I have often slept at the same place, and have lodged at Porter’s house for six months in 1873. Shortly afterwards I heard the handle of the door of the room where I was sleeping turn, but I had it locked on the inside. I asked who was there, and Air. Porter spoke and said, It is me, Kate; I want to see you.’ I told him I was undressed, and he should see me in the morning. He then said, ‘Good night; I’ll be going out at 5, and I’ll call you.’ I saw Porter at 10 minutes past 5 in the morning; he said,’ I must go to work today to keep things straight; will you go home to Richmond before I come home to – night? I’ll be home at 5,’ I said, ‘It all depends, perhaps I won’t go then.’ Porter said,’ Church is going down, but he won’t go till after dinner.’ I says, ‘Where did you see Church so early?’ He said, ‘I was there last night when you came home, didn’t you know that?’ I said, ‘Yes; Mrs. Church said so,’ He said, ‘Church and me has arranged matters,’ and that ‘I must see him to – night if I can get off. I’ll get off, for I’ll not do overtime.’ He then went away to his work. I stopped there till 5 o’clock that day, Monday, 3rd March, when Porter came home. I got the tea ready, as Mrs. Porter was the worse for drink. After having tea Porter said, ‘Are you going down?’ I said, ‘Yes; I think I’ll go.’ He said, ‘Church is to meet me as ‘Hartley’s. Isn’t the boy going down with you, Kate?’ (meaning his son Robert). I said, Yes.’ The boy went to wash himself, and Porter said, ‘Don’t let that boy know anything only as little as you can. Porter, me, and the boy then went down Hammersmith. We went into a public – house near the old railway station and had something to drink. This was about 7 o’clock, and I said, ‘Now we must get on if we are going to Richmond to – night.’ We went to the new station, and finding we had some time to wait Porter said we might walk to the Shaftesbury Road. We ‘done’ so, and when we got to the top of the Shaftesbury Road the boy said, ‘Ain’t you going home now, father?’ He (Porter) said yes, he would go and have another pint to himself, and then be would go. Porter asked me to come into a public – house with him, but I said, ‘No, I’ll lose the train if I do.’ The boy was waiting for me, and he hurried him on, and said, ‘Kate will catch you in a minute.’ Porter arranged that he would come on to Richmond by the next train. I said, ‘Can’t you come by this train?’ he said, ‘No, I don’t want the boy to know it. I don’t suppose I shall see you any more to – night.’ We then parted, and I went to Richmond with the boy. I saw Church at Hartley’s, the Richmond Hotel. I told the boy to go on in front of me. I went in and saw Church there, and spoke to him. I told him Porter was coming by the next train; he asked me to have something to drink, and I had some whisky and water; he then gave me two keys, one of the side door, and one of the glass door at the back of the house, and said, ‘You’ll find a small box in the back room on the ground floor between the sofa and bookcase, it ain’t very heavy. I think the boy and you can manage it; don’t take a cab from the house, if you think you can’t carry it; if you meet a cab you can bring it with you to Richmond Bridge; I’ll be there some time before you; I’ll wait here until Porter comes. Does the boy know his father is coming down?’ I said, ‘No, the boy suspects something, for he asked me in the train, “What is there, Kate, between father, you, and Church?” I left Church in the public – house, and joined the boy up the street, and went to the house with him. We then went in through the side entrance round to the glass door and into the back room. I he the lights, and after stopping in the house a short time we left by way of the front door, carrying between us the box mentioned by Church, and a large carpet – bag. I did not know what was in the box, but the bag contained a large family Bible and seven other books, some meat, and a number of things. We carried the box on all the way, we met no cab. Getting on the middle of the bridge we put the box down. I said to the boy, ‘Now, you go on to the station and I’ll catch you;’ he said, ‘Very well, Kate,’ and went. Then Church came up to me, and I said to him, ‘How long have you been here?’ he said, ‘Not very long;’ I said,’ Where is Porter, did you see him?’ he said,’ Yes, I waited for him; don’t let the boy know we are here, go on after him as quick as you can;’ I said, “Where is the cab for this box? you can’t carry it;’ he said, Never mind that, I’ll see about it’ I then left Church and, following the boy, I got a short distance away, when I heard a splash in the water. Turning round, I saw a tall dark man standing on the bridge, it was too dark to recognise him. I caught up to the boy and said, ‘Did you hear anything like falling into the water?’ he said, ‘Yes, Kate, I thought I heard a splash of something.’ We then went to the station carrying the bag between us. Finding the last train was gone for Hammersmith, the boy insisted on going home; he had two shillings, and I having no change, I said, ‘You can’t get a cab for two shillings to take you.’ A cabman said he would take him for three. I said, ‘You had better come up and stay all night, and we’ll go home in the morning early enough.’ We went, and going in the same way to the house, I told him to go into the front room; I then went upstairs and took my bonnet off, coming downstairs and into the kitchen. I found a large fire there, a large iron saucepan full of water; the table with one leaf let down was removed to one side of the kitchen against the cupboard, the carpet pushed back right off the floor; the floor was all wet as if washed or scrubbed. I missed the meat saw which always hung against the fireplace, but two days afterwards, when I went into the washhouse, I found the saw standing on a large box which always stood there, and on that day I also saw a carving knife lying on the scullery floor, partly behind the box. I picked it up and found it rusty, and marks (streaky) of blood on it. I also found at that time brown paper under the sink, with dirty – looking marks upon it. The boy Porter stopped at the house all night, and slept in the same room with me. I made him a bed. I saw Church and Porter on the next evening, Tuesday, 4th of March; the two came down together about half – past 7; I had been to Hammersmith all day. Church wasn’t at home, and I was home at Richmond some time before them. Church brought a bottle of brandy in his pocket; he asked me for the corkscrew, I told him I couldn’t find it. I thought him or Porter had taken it. He said he didn’t take it, and Porter commenced laughing. I said to Porter, You have it, then?’ He said, ‘Yes, of course I claim some of the things as well as other people.’ Porter and Church then began talking how they would dispose of the things. I went into the back room, leaving them in the front room, and stopped there some time, then returned into the front room, and found Church and Porter in deep conversation. Porter said,’ Do you know how to act, Kate?’ I said, ‘Yes, I know when you tell me.’ Church said, ‘It’s easy for her to act if she’ll only listen to what we tell her.’ I then took a chair and sat down; I said to Church, ‘Now let me hear what you have got to tell me.’ Porter then said, ‘If any one comes and asks for Mrs. Thomas say she is gone to the country for a few days.’ He then said to Church, ‘Ain’t that the best thing to say?’ Church said, ‘Yes; and another thing you had better to do, when you want anything order it in Mrs. Thomas’s name as you have always done since you have been here.’ Porter then said, ‘The tradespeople will think by doing that that Mrs. Thomas is here.’ But I. said, ‘When the bills want to be paid, she pays every week, they’ll know she is not here.’ Church said, ‘Oh, damn the bills; we’ll be moved before the bills come in. Let us get all we can while we are about it; it is no good in being too honest in this world, is there, Harry?’ Porter said, ‘No; if you can do it on the quiet; the thing is in not being found out’ Church said, ‘There is only our three selves that know it. I want a piece of the sirloin of beef for Sunday; and what do you want?’ Porter said he would like a leg of mutton. Church told me when the butcher come to order it in Mrs. Thomas’s name. Mrs. Thomas had two butchers, one beyond the railway station and one at the top of Richmond Hill, where the beef and mutton was got from. We bad sapper, and came off to Hammersmith. The above statement has been read over to me by Inspector Jones, in the presence of Inspector Dowdell, and is correct.”
ELIZABETH IVES (Re – examined). It is not true that the prisoner came and offered to pay me the rent, or that I refused to take the money—she did not ask me if I wanted my rent; none was due.
Cross – examined. She was coming up the steps to speak to me, and I said you would attend to it, and shut the door—her lips moved, and I could have heard her if she said anything, but no sound came—she was not the right lady for me to speak to—I was near enough to hear if she had used any words; there are only three steps to the front door, and no noise was going on to prevent my hearing; I am not at all deaf.
MARIA CHURCH (Re – examined). When my husband came home on Sunday, 2nd March, with the prisoner, I did not open the door and say to him “Porter is here waiting for you;” nor did I say “Is not Kate coming in?”—nor did he say “No, she wants to go home”—nothing of that kind happened—it is not true that on Tuesday morning, March 4th, the prisoner came into my house, nor did I say to her “You are up early this morning”—she was not at our house on the morning of 4th March—I can swear that—the first time I saw her was March 9th.
MR. MENHENNICK (Re – examined). Mrs. Thomas’s hair was dark—I cannot say whether there was any grey in it, but it did not show sufficiently for anybody to notice it—I never noticed it. (Receipt read: “March 18th, 1879. Received of John Church the sum of 68l. for furniture, part and effects of 2, Mayfield Cottages.” Not signed.)
The Prisoner, on being called up for judgment, pleaded pregnancy in stay of execution, whereupon a Jury of Matrons was impanneled to ascertain whether or no the prisoner was with child and quick with child, and upon the evidence of Thyrza Belsham , one of the warders of Newgate, and Mr. Bond, the surgeon (who examined the prisoner), the Jury found that the prisoner was not quick with child. Sentence of DEATH was then passed.
Before Mr. Justice Hawkins.
Sources: Crime Magazine, Daily Mail, True Crime
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