A Singular Death

At the junction of Fashion Street and Commercial Street you will find a former pub that featured in the stories of at least two of the Jack the Ripper atrocities.

The Queen’s Head was the pub in which Elizabeth Stride began drinking on what would be the  last evening of her life on Saturday the 29th of September 1888. It was also outside a lamp outside the pub that George Hutchinson watched Mary Kelly, the last victim, walk past him with a man in the early hours of Friday the 9th of November, 1888.

It was also the pub in which a woman named Lyons met a mysterious stranger in the days after Annie Chapman’s death.

A view of the sign of the Pub reading "The Queen's head."
The Sign For The Former Queen’s Head Pub


However, the pub also featured in a strange case of a death from a man who, it would seem, quite literally laughed himself to death.

The Nottingham Evening Post covered the story of exactly what happened in its edition of Saturday the 2nd of September 1893:-

Yesterday afternoon Dr. Macdonald held an inquiry in Shoreditch respecting the death of Abraham Mirando, aged 64 years, a pickle merchant, of 1, Palmer Street, Spitalfields.

Hiram Mirando, a son of the deceased, stated that his father always enjoyed good health, and was a strong and healthy man.


Marcus Blitz, a general dealer, of 13, Tenter Street, stated that, on Tuesday last, he was in the Queen’s Head public house on Commercial Street with Mr. Mirando and some others.

One of the party was telling a tale at which Mirando laughed heartily.

He was suddenly seized with a fit of coughing, and fell down, striking his head against the form.

He was perfectly sober at the time.


Dr. George Bagster Phillips, of 2, Spital Square, deposed to being called and finding Mr. Mirando sitting by the bedside at his home gasping for breath.

The tissues of the body were blown out and inflated with air.

The witness at once concluded what was the matter, and he found that all the ribs on the right side were broken, and one lung was wounded. Every breath he took was pumped into superficial tissues.

The air-pipes became black and swollen, and caused suffocation.


The jury commented on the extraordinary nature of the death, and returned a verdict that was in accordance with the medical evidence.