“Going on furlough”: The original Tommy Fury

In February 1869 Maria Fitzsimmons, 34, a 'prostitute and petty criminal' of some reknown (the Shields Daily Gazette reported that she had been 'before the magistrates some 23 times' on various charges including drunkenness and robbery) was found murdered in her residence in Baines Lane, Sunderland. She had been seen earlier that day with a sailor in numerous public houses around Sunderland's salubrious East End.