Kate Eddowes and John Kelly, her live-in companion of seven years, decided to leave London to pick hops in September, 1888. ("Picking hops" - for making ale - was an annual event allowing workers a chance to earn extra money.) By the time the pair returned to London, on September 28th, they were out of cash again.
Later, as John Kelly told the story of his companion’s last days, the police learned the couple had been forced to sleep in different doss houses. Pawning a pair of John’s boots (under the name "Jane Kelly"), Kate bought breakfast but, by afternoon, they were out of cash again. She decided to pay a visit to her daughter - to "get a trifle." As John said at the inquest:
...if we had no money to pay for our lodgings we would have to walk about all night. I was without money to pay for our lodgings at the time.
Known at the time of her death as a woman who was neither a prostitute nor a frequent drinker, Kate got drunk on September 29th. (Her first marriage had apparently ended due to her excessive drinking according to the testimony of her daughter, Annie Phillips.)
Instead of visiting her daughter, Kate was taken into custody by a constable. Instead of spending the entire night in jail, however, she later insisted she was sober. The police released her around 1 a.m. She had given her name as "Mary Ann Kelly."
At 1:35 a.m. Catherine "Kate" Eddowes was last seen alive talking with a man described to the police as:
...30 years old, 5 foot 7 inches tall, fair complexion and mustache with a medium build. He is wearing a pepper and salt colored jacket which fits loosely, gray cloth cap with a peak of the same color. He has a reddish handkerchief knotted around his neck.