Primitive Methodist Sunday School Band of Hope Poplar membership card belonging to Florence Chapman and dating to the summer and autumn of 1888. It is not clear whether Florence was an early member of the PMSS Band of Hope in Poplar ("No.5"), or whether "5" may refer to the fifth card, possibly that year, recording her attendance dates in the latter half of 1888.
The card is perhaps most interesting for its date and attendance record. Commencing on 31st August 1888, a series of brutal, and soon-to-become notorious, murders swept Whitechapel in the East End of London. The perpetrator became known as 'Jack the Ripper', and the last of at least five linked murders in the East End occurred on 9th November, 1888. Whitechapel was literally only a mile down the road from Poplar where Florence attended school, and the area was gripped by panic that autumn.
It would seem that Florence attended the PMSS Band of Hope meetings, scheduled for Wednesday evenings between 7pm and 9pm, less regularly that autumn than earlier in the year. Is this a coincidence or could this be linked to the events in the area?