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More on Charles Cross:

The theory that Charles Cross aka Charles Allen Lechmere, who was also mistakenly called “George” in the earlier press reports, and Ripper books, is gathering pace, with more publications featuring the story. 

Charles Cross was born Charles Allen Lechmere in the year 1849.  His birth was registered in St. Anne’s Soho, and he was the son of John Allen Lechmere and Maria Louisa Lechmere, nee Rouson.   

In 1858, Charles’ mother, Maria Louisa remarried, to Thomas Cross, who was a police constable.  Charles took his surname on occasion.

In the 1861 Census, they can be seen residing together, [RG9, P276, F29, P5, GSU542605]

Thomas Cross       36           Head      Police Constable

Maria Louisa Cross            34           Wife

Emily Cross                          14           Dau        Scholar

Charles Cross                      11           Son

 In 1871, at the age of 20, he married Elizabeth Bostock, who was at the time aged 21.  The marriage took place on July 3rd 1870, in the Parish of Christ Church, Watney-street, in the Borough of Tower Hamlets.  Charles’ father was named as John Allen Lechmere, and Elizabeth’s father was listed as Thomas Bay Bostock.  Charles’s occupation is listed as Carman, and the marriage took place at the Christ Church.  [P93/CTC2, Item 026]

 The 1871 Census lists, [Class RG10, P530, F45, P28, GSU8213387]

In the Civil Parish of St George in the East,

Charles A Lechmere            21           Head      Carman

Elizabeth Lechmere            21

 The London Echo, dated September 3rd 1888, featured the following,

 Charles A. Cross, a carman, in the employ of Messrs. Pickford and Co., said that on Friday morning he left his home about half-past three. He reached Messrs. Pickford’s yard at Broad-street, City, at four o’clock. He crossed Brady-street into Buck’s-row. Was there any one with you? - No, I was by myself. As I got to Buck’s-row, by the gateway of the wool warehouse, I saw someone lying at the entrance to the gateway. It looked like a dark figure. I walked into the centre of the road, and saw that it was a woman. At the same time I heard a man come up behind, in the same direction as I was going. He was about thirty or forty yards behind then. I stepped back to await his arrival. When he came, I said to him, “Come and look over here. There’s a woman.” We then both went over to the body. He stooped one side of her, and I stooped the other, and took hold of her hand, which was cold. Her face was warm. I said to the man, “I believe the woman is dead.” The other man at the same time, put his hand on her breast over her heart and remarked, “I think she is breathing, but very little, if she is.” He then said, “Sit her up,” I replied, “I’m not going to touch her. You had better go on, and if you see a policeman tell him.” When I found her, her clothes were above her knees. There did not seem to be much clothing. The other man pulled her clothes down before he left.

Did you touch the clothes? - No, Sir.

Did you notice any blood? - No, it was too dark. I did not notice that her throat was cut. I then left her, went up Baker’s-row, turned to the right, and saw a constable. I said to a constable - the last witness - “There’s a woman lying in Buck’s-row. She looks to me as though she was dead, or drunk.” The other man then said, “I believe she is dead.” I don’t know who this man was; he was a stranger, but appeared to me to be a carman. From the time I left my home I did not see anyone until I saw the man who overtook me in Buck’s-row.

The Coroner - Did you see anything of a struggle.

Witness - She seemed to me as if she had been outraged.

You did not think so at the time? - Yes, I did; but I did not think she had been injured.

You had no idea that she had been injured at all? - No.

 The Star, another London based newspaper, also published September 3rd 1888, featured the following, which gave the address for Charles Cross,

 CARMAN CROSS was the the next witness. He lived at 22 Doveton street, Cambridge-road. He was employed by Pickfords. He left home on Friday at twenty minutes past three, and got to Pickford’s yard at Broad-street at four o’clock. He crossed Bradley-street into Buck’s-row. He was alone. He saw something lying in front of the gateway - it looked in the distance like tarpaulin. When he got nearer he found it was a woman. At that time he heard a man coming up the street behind him; he was about 40 yards behind. Witness waited until he came up. He started as though he thought witness was going to knock him down. Witness said to him, “There’s a woman.” They both went to the body and stooped beside it. Witness took the woman’s hand, and finding it cold said, “I believe she’s dead.” The other man put his hand on the breast outside the clothes - over her heart - and said, “I think she’s breathing, but very little.” He suggested they should shift her - set her up against the wall - but witness said, “I’m not going to touch her. Let’s go on till we see a policeman and tell him.” Before they left the body the other man tried to pull the clothes over the woman’s knees, but they did not seem as though they would come down. Witness noticed no blood; but it was very dark. He did not see that her throat was cut. They went up Baker’s-row, and saw the last witness. Witness said to him, “There’s a woman lying down in Buck’s-row on the broad of her back. I think she’s dead or drunk.” The other man said, “I believe she’s dead.” The policeman said, “All right.”

The following day, The Times, dated September 4th 1888 featured the following testimony:

 George Cross, a carman, stated that he left home on Friday morning at 20 minutes past 3, and he arrived at his work, at Broad-street, at 4 o’clock. Witness walked along Buck’s-row, and saw something lying in front of the gateway like a tarpaulin. He then saw it was a woman. A man came along and witness spoke to him. They went and looked at the body. Witness, having felt one of the deceased woman’s hands and finding it cold, said “I believe she is dead.” The other man, having put his hand over her heart, said “I think she is breathing.” He wanted witness to assist in shifting her, but he would not do so. He did not notice any blood, as it was very dark. They went to Baker’s-row, saw the last witness, and told him there was a woman lying down in Buck’s-row on the broad of her back. Witness also said he believed she was dead or drunk, while the other man stated he believed her to be dead. The constable replied “All right.” The other man left witness at the corner of Hanbury-street and turned into Corbett’s court. He appeared to be a carman, and was a stranger to the witness. At the time he did not think the woman had been murdered. Witness did not hear any sounds of a vehicle, and believed that had any one left the body after he got into Buck’s-row he must have heard him.

Charles Cross died in 1920 and was survived by his wife, Elizabeth, who eventually passed away on 12 September 1940.  Her death was registered:

Name: Elizabeth Lechmere, Birth date: Abt 1849, Date of Registration: Jul- Aug- Sep 1940, Age at Death: 91, Registration District: Essex South Western, Inferred County: Essex, Vol: 4A, Page: 418.

Charles Allen Lechmere’s last will and testament reads:

Charles Allen Lechmere, of 2 Rounton-road, Campbell-road, Bow, Middlesex, died 23rd December 1920.  Probate London, 2 June to Elizabeth Lechmere, Widow, Effects £262

Today, The Docklands and East London Advertiser, featured a follow up report on Charles Cross as a suspect in the Ripper Murders.  The article can be read here,

 The story of Charles Cross as Jack the Ripper was also published in the past 24 hours in Pakistan!!!  The story, available online at Pakistan Today, can be viewed here:

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