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Random Fact Of The Week

Aberystwyth Facts Did you know…..

Dr John Williams, a suspect in the Jack The Ripper murders at one time lived in Aberystwyth.

Dr Williams was a seafront resident in the town, at what is now the Glengower Hotel near Constitution Hill.

The case against Dr Williams was only put forward in 2005, when descendant Tony Williams wrote about his victorian relative in his book ‘Uncle Jack’.

Sir John, who was also the first Baronet of London, was accused of killing and mutilating the victims in an attempt to research the causes of infertility in women.

Claims were made that the doctor knew all of the victims personally, and that the badly blunted knife used as the murder weapon would have been that of Dr Williams, who was a personal surgeon to Queen Victoria.

His diary of 1885 also shows that he performed an abortion on a Mary Ann Nichols in the Whitechapel area of London, which was also the infamous hunting ground of the Ripper.

However, several ‘Ripperologists’ have since pointed out several tenuous links in the connection between Dr Williams and the Ripper murders, including the discovery of another more plausible blunt knife which may have been used as the murder weapon, and the existance of a total of 80 Mary Ann Nichols in London in 1885, whom were around the age where an abortion may have been required.

In 1907 Dr Williams was appointed head of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, to whom he donated his personal libraries which are still held there today. He then moved to Aberystwyth in 1909 and was appointed President of the University of Aberystwyth in 1913.

Along with the large numbers of books he bequeathed to the National Library in his will, he also left a large sum of money to be used in the advancement of the library.

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