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Old April 24th, 2013, 06:12 PM   #1
Howard Brown
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Default A Mother's Complaint-- Mrs. Georgeianna Smith

Sheffield & Rotherham Independent
December 11, 1889
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #2
Tom_Wescott
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Hi Howard. This is a very strange and unfortunate tale. I would appreciate any insight as to why Dr. Phillips, of all people, would turn away a woman who might have been able to identify the body. His assertion that it was not her daughter makes me think it had already been identified. Had any young women associated with royalty gone missing in the time frame the victim was believed murdered? That's the only explanation I could see for identifying a body but wanting it kept secret, if that's what happened.

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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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Hi Howard. This impassioned letter was also published in the Pall Mall Gazette of December 10th, and the mother spelled her name 'Gorgeianna' (the reporter added this is indeed how she spelled her name).

If the following Rosina Smith is one and the same, then Phillips might have concluded the torso wasn't her daughter based on age. It's from the Times, November 24th, 1870:
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File Type: png Rosina Smith, The Times, Nov 24, 1870.PNG (61.9 KB, 21 views)
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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I found later examples of Rosina Smith as a lodging house keeper and proprietor (along with her husband) of a public house, although I have no idea if it's the same woman. Seems likely though.

I found a completely different Rosina Smith who committed suicide in 1892 by drowning herself in the river. If this was Gorgeianna's daughter, then how sad she had to go through thinking her daughter was a torso victim, only to get her back, and lose her again three years later.

Yours truly,

Tom Wescott
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #5
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Here's another possibility. This girl was obviously in desperate times a year before the torso murder. I believe the age reads 18 but looks like 13 because of the print. It's from the Bristol Mercury & Post of July 9th, 1888:
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:01 AM   #6
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Her age is above twenty-five,as shown by the union of the epiphyses.
The presence of a small extravasation of blood in the ovary showed that she had not passed the menopause,but we could not calculate her age more accurately than to say she was over twenty-five and under forty years old.


Perhaps Rosina was under 25?
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:05 AM   #7
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There's something a bit odd about he names involved in this case.In 1881 a George Smith and his wife Louisa and young children are living at 6 Jesmond St-they don't seem to have a child named Rosina but they do have one named Lydia aged 11 in 1891- Rosina's full name was supposedly Rosina Lydia, according to one press report. It would be odd to have a child named Rosina Lydia and one named just Rosina.
In 1881 George's parents appear to be living at the address too so it may involve the generation above, perhaps.-not really had enough time to look at it properly.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:17 AM   #8
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I wrote some notes on Gorgeianna Smith:

Soon after the Inquest had finished a woman appeared in the room where the Inquest was held, visibly upset she pointed to Inspectors Reid and Moore, “That’s my girl, let me see her at the mortuary,” she told them she was Gorgeianna Smith of 6 Jesmond Street, East Street, Old Kent Road. Holding a copy of the previous days ‘The Echo,’ newspaper, her daughter Rosina went missing from home the previous Wednesday. She said a farmer and cattle dealer living near Redhill met her daughter and son Ernest near the Monument, after giving them refreshment he took the son with him to a place near Tunbridge Wells on the offer of work. The son returned to London alleging he had been assaulted and the daughter had not been seen since. Describing her daughter, she said she had an old injury on the index finger of her right hand. Closely questioned by Inspector Reid and Moore it became clear the remains found were not those of the missing daughter. Rosina Smith was about 17 years of age where the remains were those of a woman about 35. There was no injury on the index finger of her right hand. There was a small circular mark on the right little finger of the body, not a corn but could have been made by writing.
This was not the first time Rosina and her brother Ernest had disappeared. Earlier in the year she had disappeared from home in West Croydon, they were tempted away by a woman who had previously decoyed others away. They were both found and returned home that time.
Despite being assured that that the remains were not those of her daughter, Mrs Smith seemed adamant that the remains were those of Rosina, on the 15 September she read a full description of the remains found in the newspapers and said it corresponded with her daughter, her relatives reading the same newspaper were also of the opinion that the remains were those of Rosina. On the 16 September they went to see Doctor Phillips with a view to seeing the body but he refused them admittance telling them the remains were not those of Rosina Smith. Towards the end of the month she wrote to Scotland Yard asking for permission to see the remains but was again refused saying the remains were buried the previous week. Mrs Smith however learned that the remains were buried on the 5 October. Mrs Smith and ten relatives wrote to Henry Matthews the Home Secretary in an attempt to review the remains but this also failed. In December Mrs Smith visited the offices of ‘The Pall Mall Gazette’ asking them to print a statement from her and asking the readers to sign a petition so that she could get the remains exhumed. This was also doomed to failure, however at some point Rosina turned up alive and was reunited with her mother for in the 1891 Census they were both living together at 50 Elsted Street, East Street, Old Kent Road. (Rosina Smith’s age varied newspaper accounts from 14 to 17 and she was listed as 16 in the 1891 Census. Lloyds Weekly News, Sunday 14 April 1889, The Echo, Wednesday 11 September 1889, Aberdeen Weekly News, Thursday 12 September 1889, Reynolds Newspaper, Sunday 24 November 1889, The Pall Mall Gazette, Tuesday 10 December 1889.)
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #9
Debra Arif
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Thanks Rob.
It was because of the age of Rosina versus the estimated age from post mortem indications then.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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Hi Debs,

Yeah, that's what I think. If I got the right one in 91 she was only 16.

Rob
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