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Oh Mann! Here We Go Again!

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Oh Mann! Here We Go Again!

Post by Karen on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 18:54

Oh Mann! Here We Go Again!
Recently, an author named M.J. Trow has put forward a theory that "Jack the Ripper" was a Whitechapel Infirmary inmate named Robert Mann. I will now show how this particular theory is impossible due to the fact that the Whitechapel Infirmary had two gate porters. A gate porter is defined as a person who has charge of a door or gate; doorkeeper, gatekeeper. Here is the 1881 Census data for Robert Mann:

1881 census - household transcription

Person: MANN, Robert
Address: "infirmary Of The Whitechapel Union" Bakers Row, Mile End New Town

Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth
Year Occupation
Disability Where Born Original


HOLT, James John Medical Officer Single M 49 1832 Surgeon
CASE, Perkins Willm Medical Officer Single M 27 1854 Surgeon
Wiltshire VIEW
GRAHAM, Emily Rosetta Officer Single F 29 1852 Storekeeper ?ust
London City Of, London
Middlesex VIEW
ALLEN, Edward Officer Married M 48 1833 Gate Porter
Hertfordshire VIEW
ALLEN, Elizabeth Officer Married F 50 1831 Gate Porters Wife
Dorset VIEW
KEEP, William Officer Married M 52 1829 Gate Porter
Surrey VIEW

MANN, Robert Pauper Single M 46 1835 Dock Labourer
Mile End New Town
Middlesex VIEW

HATFIELD, James Pauper Single M 57 1824 Dock Labourer
Middlesex VIEW

As you can see from the census data above, there are two gate porters/guards, named Edward Allen and William Keep. Having guards at the door renders it practically impossible for Robert Mann to duck out at all hours of the night to murder prostitutes and then return to the infirmary in the early morning hours completely undetected. Trow has also put forward the claim that Ripper victim Martha Tabram was also staying at the Whitechapel Infirmary in Baker's Row and that is incorrect. Tabram was staying at the Whitechapel Workhouse at 35 Thomas Street. Here is her census data:

1881 census - household transcription

Person: TABRAN, Martha
Address: 35, Workhouse, Thomas St, Whitechapel

Name Relation Condition Sex Age Birth
Year Occupation
Disability Where Born Original


EDMONDS, Alfred Head Married M 45 1836 Superintendant Casual (Instn Sc Ward)
Devon VIEW
EDMONDS, Sarah Wife Married F 39 1842 Superintendant Casual (Munic)
MILTON, James Wdaughter Widower M 34 1847 Porter Casual
Bethnal Green
Middlesex VIEW

TABRAN, Martha Inmate Widow F 30 1851 Flower Hawker
Born ?
Surrey VIEW
TABRAN, Frederick Inmate Single M 8 1873
Born ?
Surrey VIEW
TABRAN, Charles Inmate Single M 7 1874
Born ?
Surrey VIEW

As you can see from this census data, the Whitechapel Workhouse, besides being in a completely different location than the Whitechapel Infirmary, there are no gate porters; just 2 superintendents and a casual porter. Find below a map of Mile End New Town and I have marked the 2 locations on the map:


Blue square - Whitechapel Union Infirmary in Baker's Row, home to Robert Mann.

Pink square - Whitechapel Workhouse at 35 Thomas Street, home to Martha Tabram and her two sons.

Here is an interesting fact pertaining to the Whitechapel Infirmary that I have found quite recently. This statement proves that inmates' whereabouts were clocked upon entry and departure. This is from the inquest respecting the death of Owen Williams, aged 43, of Brick Lane, Spitalfields.

"On Monday witness gave the deceased an order for the infirmary, and the deceased left to go there at 10:30 a.m. - The Coroner: Did he drink as well as eat? Witness: He never came home sober. - Walter Williams, porter at the Whitechapel Infirmary, deposed that the deceased walked into the infirmary at 1:40 p.m. At midnight he was sent to the hospital."

Source: "A Human Ostrich's Death", Fielding Star, Volume XV, Issue 341, 16 June 1894, Page 4

Another great source for information on the differences between the Workhouse and the Infirmary can be found at this site:

Click on "Workhouse Locations", then click on "English Poor Law Unions", then click on "London: Middlesex", then click on "Whitechapel." Most interesting statement found on the site is:

A result of the outcry over the poor conditions in London workhouses was the passing in 1867 of the Metropolitan Poor Act. Amongst other things, the Act resulted in a requirement that unions place workhouse infirmaries on separate sites to the main workhouse. In 1872, Whitechapel erected a new workhouse at South Grove, after which the Charles Street site took on the role of union infirmary. In the late 1880s, a number of additions and improvements were made. The imbecile wards were rebuilt. A new dispensary was erected adjacent to the union's relieving offices.

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