CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY – GRAVES OF MARY NICHOLS & CATHERINE EDDOWES
Mary Nichols and Catherine Eddowes, the first and fourth victims of Jack the Ripper respectively, were both buried in the City of London Cemetery in Manor Park. Although the sites of their graves have long since been re-used, there are memorial plaques to the two women in the cemetery itself.
How is the City of London Cemetery connected to the Jack the Ripper crimes?
Mary Nichols was murdered in Buck’s Row, Whitechapel, on 31 August 1888, becoming the first known victim of Jack the Ripper. Her funeral took place a week later on 6 September 1888. The time of the funeral was kept a secret so the body could be collected from the mortuary, where it had been kept since the day of the murder.
The plan worked. When the coffin was collected from the mortuary there was no one present other than the Undertaker and his men. The hearse was then driven off to Hanbury Street to await the mourners. The procession then proceeded along Baker’s Row, past the corner of Buck’s Row, which is where the attack took place, and on towards the City of London Cemetery on the outskirts of the city.
The funeral of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth Ripper victim, took place on 8 October 1888. Her corpse was removed from the Golden-Lane Mortuary and driven towards the cemetery in an open hearse. Thousands of people lined the streets surrounding the cemetery and much sympathy was shown. In fact, the crowds were so dense that police had no choice but to redirect the traffic.
Where is the City of London Cemetery?
The City of London Cemetery is a 200-acre, grade I listed cemetery in Manor Park in the north-east of London. The best way to reach the cemetery is to take an overground train from Liverpool Street Station to Manor Park Station.
On exiting the station, turn right and walk to the end of Whitta road, then take a left along Forest Drive. Continue along the road until you reach a roundabout. There you will see the stone gateway of the cemetery on the opposite side of the roundabout.
As well as guided tours of the cemetery itself, there are also a number of attractions including Wanstead Park and Valentines Park, both of which are just a short walk away.
Facts and Information About the City of London Cemetery
The City of London Cemetery was opened in 1856 to replace the churchyards in the centre of London which were literally crammed with dead bodies. Many bodies were moved from the City churches to the new cemetery.
The grandest monument in the church commemorates a sailor who died of fever in Mombasa in 1946, aged 20. 25-tonnes of Italian marble have been carved into a replica of Ruben’s masterpiece of Christ being lowered from the cross to mark his burial site.
The Cemetery has more than 500,000 occupants, making it the largest municipal graveyard in Europe. As well as two of the Ripper’s victims, some of the other famous occupants of the 80-hectare site include Bobby Moore, England’s World Cup-winning captain, Winston Churchill’s nanny, the actress Dame Anna Neagle and the inventor of modern billiards. Despite 150 years of use, the cemetery is still far from full.