The Mary Nichols Murder

Mary “Polly” Nichols, who is considered by many to have been the first of Jack the Ripper’s victim, was murdered in Buck’s Row, Whitechapel on 31st August 1888.

The area has changed a great deal since that long ago morning when here body was found at 3.40am by Carter Charles Cross as he made his way to work. But some of the location that featured in her final hours have made a valiant stand against the march of time and progress and help us see the area as it was on the occasion when an unknown miscreant, who would become known as “Jack the Ripper” began his reign of terror. For those who that haven’t survived we have some photos that show them as they were.

Our first location, featured below, shows Thrawl Street where Mary was lodging at the time of her murder. She lacked the fourpence to pay for her bed and was, therefore, asked to leave the lodging house.


On the corner of Thrawl Street stood the Frying Pan Pub. Although the pub closed down some 20 years ago the building still stands and, on its upper storey, you can still see the two crossed Frying Pans remembering its 19th century name. Mary evidently made some money that night, but she drank in away in the Frying Pan.


One of the last sighting of Mary was when a friend of her’s, Emily Holland met her, here at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Osborn Street. Mary boasted to Emily that she had made her “doss money” – the money for her bed in the lodging house – several times over but had drunk it away. She was no going to try and make it again. Sadly, in so doing she walked into the clutches of Jack the Ripper.

The junction of Osborne Street and Whitechapel Road.
The corner of Osborne Street.

At 3.40am, George Cross found her body as he made his way to work along Buck’s Row, a dark backstreet situated less than a mile away from the site where Emily Holland had met her.


This next photograph shows the murder site looking along Buck’s Row. Note the large bulk of the Board School building that is visible in the background.


Our final photo on our visit to Jack the Ripper’s London shows the same view as it appears today. As you can see, the Board School still dominates its surroundings, just as it did back in 1888.

Durward Street where the first Jack the Ripper Murder, that of Mary Nichols, took place on 31st August 1888.
Durward Street and the Old Board School.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little photo tour of the Jack the Ripper murder sites. Come and visit again and visit the other sites as they were then and as they are now.