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Unsolved Murders

Jane Holmes

Age: unknown

Sex: female

Date: 13 Jan 1911

Place: 74 Ridgway Street, Moss Side, Manchester

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Jane Holmes died from peritonitis following an illegal operation.

A woman was tried for her murder but acquitted.

Jane Holmes said that she had gone to see the woman with her mother-in-law at the woman's house on Park Avenue, Longsight, Manchester on 19 December 1910 to ask for some pills but said that she was not in and so they made an appointment to see her the next day. When the woman and her mother-in-law returned the next day Jane Holmes said that she asked the woman for some pills saying that she had heard they are very good. Jane Holmes said that she had missed twice.

Jane Holmes then said that the woman then said, 'Why not go in for the other treatment? It will come off alright. Don't be silly and come'. Jane Holmes said that she hesitated and then went with the woman upstairs leaving her mother-in-law downstairs in the sitting room.

When they were in the bedroom Jane Holmes said that the woman said, 'Take your corsets off', which she did saying that she took off all her clothes except for her manvers and chemise and laid on the bed. She said that the woman then put two plugs into her insides, one was cotton wool and the other was like a sponge. Jane Holmes said that she then came away and arranged for the woman to visit her at her home on the Friday following but said that the woman visited her on the Thursday.

Jane Holmes said she said to the woman, 'I did not expect you today' and invited her in. She said that they then went upstairs and said that the woman put a tube inside her that hurt her very much and then she put two plugs in saying that the plugs also hurt her. She said that the woman then told her that it would 'come off alright' and told her that her fee was a guinea. Jane Holmes said that she gave the woman five shillings and said that the woman left but came back at 5pm when she gave her the remaining 16 shillings.

She said that the woman came again on the Friday to see how she was going on and told her to use hot water and olive oil and that the woman then gave Jane Holmes an injection into her private parts with an enema. However, Jane Holmes became very ill and the woman was sent for and she sat with Jane Holmes all night until the doctor came. When the doctor came and examined Jane Holmes he said that she should go to the infirmary. She said that the woman said 'I shall get into trouble over it'

When she was at hospital, Jane Holmes said, 'I don’t think I shall get better'.

The woman was acquitted at the Manchester Assizes on 4 March 1911 but pleaded guilty to using an illegal instrument.


see National Archives - ASSI 52/174

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Friday 13 January 1911

see Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 14 January 1911

see West Somerset Free Press - Saturday 04 March 1911