[Below is the statement that William Bury’s former employer, James Martin, provided to Inspector Frederick Abberline four days after Bury’s arrest for his wife’s murder. At Bury’s trial, Martin would describe finding Bury drunk in Whitechapel on two separate occasions, but there is no reference to Whitechapel in Martin’s statement. This could indicate that Scotland Yard was not actively investigating Bury for the Ripper murders in the week following his arrest. The document includes marginalia, and I have reproduced this text through the use of italics. —Steve Earp]
Statement of James Martin “General Dealer,” 80 Quickett Street, Bromley-by-Bow:—
“In October 1887 William Hy Bury entered my service as a hawker of sawdust and remained with me until the latter end of March last, he appropriated some of my money, and I discharged him [In Oct. 87 P. entered my service as a hawker of sawdust + I discharged him for dishonesty in March last.]. Whilst in my employ he made the acquaintance of Ellen Elliott, who was my servant at 80 Quickett Street, Arnold Rd. Bromley [Deceased was my servant. She left me last April + I then heard she was married to P.]. She left my service the beginning of April last, and a few weeks afterwards I heard that she was married to Bury. She was with me about 18 months. On one occasion before they were married he assaulted her at my house, and I have seen him assault her on two or three occasions since their marriage [Have seen him assault her in my house before they were married + since.]. Bury told me he had the venereal disease very bad in May last, and that he had given it to his wife. She also told my wife in my presence—about this time—that she had the bad disorder. Bury was drunk three or four times a week whilst he was in my employ [P. was addicted to drink.], and since he obtained the money from his wife he has seldom been sober—that is since he married her. Elliott told me on one occasion that she had given birth to a child in some workhouse and I know that she was no better than a prostitute, and she occasionally fetched men home and they slept with her at my house. Bury was aware of the fact that she used to bring men home to sleep with her because the latter part of the time he was in my employ he slept in the same house. On two occasions since their marriage I met her in the street with her face disfigured, and she told me her husband had assaulted her [Have met her twice since married with bruises on her face wh. she sd her husband had made.]. On one of the occasions she said it was because she threatened to lock him up for spending all her money [He has simply drunk with her money, since his marriage + done nothing else.]. I know that since he married her he has done nothing but frequent public-houses spending her money.”
The above statement was taken by me 14.2.89
F. Abberline Inspr.