In 1878, Charlotte Lodge, a woman working in what was then Dublin’s most notorious red light district, Bull Lane, just behind the Four Courts, died in the Richmond Hospital following a vicious attack and gang-rape by local pimps.
Charlotte’s attackers were subsequently acquitted of her murder after an extremely favourable summing up by newly appointed Lord Chief Justice of Ireland George Augustus Chichester May. A woman witness to the attack also died the same day on which she was due to give evidence.
Charlotte’s story, as outlined in the below video (9 mins) not only gives us an insight into the terrible lives of women working in Dublin’s red light districts in the 19th century, but also leaves us with much to ponder.
Not long before the fatal attack, Charlotte had been the subject of an earlier attempt to drown her. What was the real motive for the attack on her? Why did the judge presiding over the case behave so strangely at trial? And why were the authorities so quick to clear out the Lane afterwards?