The Death Of Ann Wilson

Prior to her death, on the 31st of August, 1888, in Buck’s Row, Whitechapel, Mary Nichols had been residing at a common lodging house at 18, Thrawl Street in Spitalfields.

This lodging house was featured in a report in The London Evening Standard, that appeared on Saturday the 13th of October 1883:-


Sir John Humphreys, Coroner for East Middlesex, held an inquest yesterday, at the Weavers’ Arms Tavern, Bakers Row, Whitechapel, on the body of Ann Wilson, aged 30, a hawker.

Catharine M’Kue, the deputy of a common lodging house, at 18, Thrawl street, Spitalfields, stated that she had known the deceased for the last two years, and she gained her living by hawking.

She had been away for the last eight or nine months at Manchester, and only returned on Wednesday.


On Thursday, her attention was called to the deceased by another lodger.

Going to her she found that the deceased was very ill.

The witness at once went for a doctor, who came and saw her, but she never rallied, and she died the same day.

She was not of sober habits.


Sarah Smith, of Thrawl-street, stated that the deceased was out drinking on the previous evening.

The witness accompanied her to Dr. Swyer’s surgery, where she had some morphia injected into her arm.

She used to have morphia frequently injected, although she was suffering from no pain.

The deceased was not sober, and the witness undressed her and put her to bed.

The witness denied having put snuff in the drink of the deceased.

The deceased was known to almost every doctor in the East-end of London on account of visiting them to have morphia injected.


Mr. Septimus Swyer, surgeon, stated that, on Wednesday night, about eleven o’clock, the deceased came to his surgery, and the person who opened the door thought he recognised her, and asked her if her name was Morphia, as she was commonly called by that cognomen.

She replied, “No; I am Miss Morphia’s sister.”

On account of that the witness came down and saw her, but had he known it was the deceased he would not have done so, and he had to inject some morphia into her arm before she would go away.


He had since made a post- mortem examination of the body, and he had found that the cause of death was cancer of the gullet.

The arms and breast of the deceased were one mass of punctures, where morphia had been injected.

The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.