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11 May 2011

Edward Hamblar (1828–?) ships joiner.

Hamblar, a ship’s joiner, was outed as a transvestite in October 1889 when two men detained him in Bromley Street, Whitechapel (map) on suspicion of being Jack the Ripper. Hamblar was in a black jacket and print dress with a bustle, and a hat and veil.

A crowd estimated at some 600 quickly gathered, and the police had to rescue him.

In the subsequent court appearance, he was told that he did not make an attractive woman, was bound over to the sum of £10 and told to keep the peace for six months.

He probably earned little more than £1 a week at that time and so £10 was a considerable fine.

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