Dorset Street was situated at the heart of the Spitalfields rookery in the East End of London, England. It should not be confused with the road of the same name in Marylebone, in London's West End. By repute it was "the worst street in London" and was the scene of the brutal murder of Mary Jane Kelly by Jack the Ripper on 9 November 1888. The murder was committed at Kelly's lodgings which were situated at No. 13, Miller's Court entered from a passageway between 26 and 27, Dorset Street.
Laid out in 1674 and originally known as 'Datchet Street' , it was given the name Dorset Street soon after. Locally, it was sometimes known as "Dosset Street" or "Dossen Street" either because of the large number of doss-houses it contained or because immigrants to the area found it hard to pronounce the original name. It was a short and narrow street, 400 feet long and 24 feet wide, running parallel with Brushfield Street, to the north, and White’s Row, to the south, and connecting Crispin Street, to the west, with Commercial Street to the east. An alley called Little Paternoster Row connected Dorset Street with Brushfield Street. In the mid nineteenth century a man called John Miller built some cottages in the back gardens of his properties at 26 and 27, on the north side of Dorset Street. This small area, entered by a passageway between 26 and 27, became known as Miller's Court. No 13 Miller's Court, where Mary Jane Kelly resided and was murdered, was originally the back part of 26 Dorset Street, renumbered and let as a separate residence by her landlord Jack McCarthy and now looking out onto the cottage buildings in the Court rather than the original garden.
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