Sunday, June 04, 2006

On The Corner Of Wentworth Street

Taylor Brothers Mustard and Cocoa Mill stood on the corner where four streets met. Running South to North, Osborn Street became Brick Lane. Running West to East, Wentworth Street became Old Montague Street.

Passing along Wentworth Street from this corner, George Yard Buildings, where Martha Tabram would meet her end four months later, is almost exactly 100 yards distant. Virtually opposite the entrance to George Yard, running North, was another street, George Street. The name would change to Lolesworth Street within a few years. This street no longer exists, it has been swallowed up by the Flower & Dean Housing Project.

It was at 18 George Street that Emma Smith lodged, and it was there she was hurrying on the night she was attacked. She was so close to getting there, but on this street corner her time ran out.

The three men beat her and stole her money, and quite possibly one or more of them may have raped her. When they were finished, one of them concluded the attack by taking a hard blunt object, possibly a wooden stake or a metal railing post, and thrusting it deep into her vagina with great force, rupturing her peritoneum.

The total distance to her lodgings can have been no more than 300 yards at most. We don't know what exact condition Emma was in after the men left her, or how long she lay in that place, but we do know that eventually she picked herself up and staggered back those 300 yards. Every step must have been agony, she was bleeding internally and living on borrowed time. It was over two hours after the attack that she arrived.


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