Annie Phillips Witness at Catherine Eddowes Inquest
Eldest daughter of Catherine and Thomas Conway.
Born Catherine Ann Conway on 18th April 1863 at Yarmouth Workhouse in Norfolk. Had two illegitimate children by Louis Phillips; Louis, who was born c.1882 and Catherine, born 22nd September 1884 whilst the family were living at 317 Weston Street, Southwark. The couple eventually married on 3rd August 1885 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Southwark.
By this time, Catherine Ann was calling herself ‘Annie’, living with Louis and the children at 14 Townsend Street, Old Kent Road and later 22 King Street, Bermondsey. On 10th August 1886 a third child, William, was born and Catherine Eddowes helped her daughter through her confinement.
By 1887, Annie and the family had moved house again, to 15 Anchor Street, Southwark Park Road and whilst here, her father Thomas Conway (accompanied by one of his sons) stayed there for a time, although he left on bad terms. Annie then moved again to 12 Dilston Grove, Southwark and was living there at the time of her mother’s death.
Annie came forward and gave evidence at her mother’s inquest. She stated that she had been living at the above address with her father, but had never seen any evidence that her parents were married, despite Catherine’s assurances. She had not seen her father since he departed from the Anchor Street home “without assigning any reason”. She stated that Conway was a teetotaller and that he and Catherine were often on bad terms owing to her drinking habits, which she also gave as the reason for their breakup.
Annie had seen her mother occasionally since the breakup with Conway, but hadn’t seen her since August 1886 and stated that Catherine often asked for money. As a result, she kept her address from her mother. She was aware of Catherine’s relationship with John Kelly and said that Thomas Conway also knew about it.
A fourth child was born to Annie and Louis on 20th February 1889 at the Grange in Bermondsey. A fifth child, Thomas, was born on 19th May 1890. They also moved a number of times, to 1 Paulin Street, Bermondsey and then 13 Dix’s Place by 1891.
She died of senile myocardial degeneration on 15th July 1943 at Lambeth Hospital.