Edward Stanley was a bricklayer who lived at 1 Osborne Place, Brick Lane in London. It was rumored that he was an ex-soldier, and that he drew a pension from the Essex Regiment, hence his nickname, "The Pensioner." This was later proven to be false by his own testimony.
He had known Annie Chapman for about two years before her death, and occasionally paid for her bed at Crossingham's Lodging House, as well as for the bed of Eliza Cooper, an acquaintance of Chapman. It was suggested that he was involved in affairs with both women and that he was the cause of their altercation, though there is no substantiation for this. Just before Chapman's murder on the 8th of September, Stanley volunteered at Fort Elson, Gosport. He last saw Chapman the day after his voluntary service ended, on September 2nd. He estimated the time of their encounter as being between 1 and 3 p.m. He testified that she was wearing two rings and had a fading black eye, the remnant of a fight with Cooper. On the day of the murder he went to Chapman's boarding house to determine the veracity of rumours that she had been murdered. After Chapman's murder he tried to have as little to do with her as possible.
He was asked to testify at Chapman's inquest in the hopes that he might shed some light on the envelope found near her body which bore the mark of the Sussex Regiment. He was unable to do so, and the envelope was later found to be incidental to the murder. No other documentation exists about his life.