The History Girls: Worldly Goods, by Laurie Graham

Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols

So what’s in your coat pocket? And are you, like me, also hauling around a shoulder bag that feels like it’s full of rocks? When a person is found murdered there can be few things more eloquent than the possessions found on them. This was especially true of the women killed by Saucy Jack in Whitechapel in 1888. They all lodged in doss houses and whatever they possessed in the world they either pawned for a bit of cash to tide them over or carried with them at all times.

I’ll begin with Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols, officially the first of the Ripper’s victims. I believe there’s a strong case for making Martha Tabram his first victim but as I’ve been unable to find a police record of her possessions I’ll say no more about her in this post.  It was a late August night when Polly Nichols was killed, thundery and not particularly cool. Nevertheless she was wearing an…

Source: The History Girls: Worldly Goods, by Laurie Graham