Mary Ann Nichols was the daughter of a locksmith. Very little of her life is known until 1864, when she married William Nichols. Together they had 5 children, the last of whom was born in 1879. The marriage dissolved sometime in 1880 or 1881. The cause is unknown, but attributed by the police to her alcoholism. Her husband supported her with legally mandated weekly payments until 1882, when he discovered that she was supplementing her income with prostitution. He claimed that he did not have to support her both because it was she who had left him, and also because of her prostitution.
After their separation Nichols spent several years in and out of various workhouses, occasionally interspersed with time spent with her father, who believed she was dissolute and destined for a bad end. Despite this, he still described her as a good woman with few enemies. Between 1883 and 1887 it is believed that she lived infrequently with a man named Thomas Dew. On May 12th, 1888 she obtained domestic employment, which she held for two months before leaving after stealing from her employers.
Major Story Arcs
Mary Ann Nichols was murdered on August 31st. At 11 p.m. the previous night she was seen walking on Whitechapel Road, probably soliciting. At 12:30 she was seen leaving a pub, probably having spent any money earned earlier in the night. Between 1:20 and 1:40 she was expelled from her lodging house because she had no doss money. She referenced a new bonnet that she had, and headed back out onto the street. At 2:30 she met a friend, Emily Holland, while walking the streets. She told Holland that she had already spent her doss money several times that night on alcohol, and Holland described her friend as appearing very drunk. At 3:15 police officers on their regular beat reported no unusual activity at Buck's Row. Sometime between 3:40 and 3:45 her body was found. She was pronounced dead by Dr. Rees Ralph Llewellyn, who believed that she was found only moments after she had died. Her throat had been cut, and her lower torso had been extensively mutilated with a knife. She was buried on September 6th, 1888.