My Left Behind Foot



From top: Marrowbow Lane, Dublin in the 1890s by Joseph Kavanagh; A foot similar to the one found by street cleaners.

A story lost in time’s garbage truck.

Cinderella gone horribly wrong.

Sibling of Daedalus writes:

Marrowbone Lane off Cork Street is one of Dublin’s oldest streets and, like Marylebone in London, derives its name from a convent of the order of St Mary le Bone originally located there.

In January 1894 the street was in the news for a different reason when Dublin Corporation workers unloading the contents of a cart used in the cleaning of the lane found among its contents a small stockinged and booted female foot, not cleanly amputated but terribly broken and lacerated, as if gnawed by a wild animal.

Such a discovery, coming not long after the Jack the Ripper murders, occasioned great excitement until it was discovered that the foot belonged to Mary Austin, who had been knocked down and injured by a tramcar at Camden Street the previous week.

Ms Austin was subsequently taken to the Meath hospital, where she died from shock. Her daughter Mary Anne Connolly identified the foot as that of her mother.

Dublin tramcars of the time were notorious for accidents, with much rivalry between the various companies as to who could get from A to B fastest. The driver in this case, Francis Fox, who had not seen Mrs Austin, was subsequently prosecuted for careless driving, but acquitted.

There was no explanation as to why the foot had not been found earlier. As to how it had travelled from Camden Street to Marrowbone Lane we may never know, although hop springs eternal…

Tales of Old Dublin

Pics: Adams/ Victoriana

24 thoughts on “My Left Behind Foot

  1. Brother Barnabas

    Fascinating. As always.

    Any chance we’ll get the site back, Sibling? It was pure brilliance.

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