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The Trial of Florence Maybrick

July 31st, 1889

Mr. John Addison Q.C., M.P.

May it please your lordship -- Gentlemen of the jury, it is my duty, in conjunction with my learned friends, to lay before you evidence in support of the indictment you have just heard read, and to make a statement to you from that evidence in regard to the facts upon which they rely on behalf of the prosecution. Each and every one of you know that the charge against the prisoner at the bar is that she murdered her husband by administering to him doses of arsenic, and it would be idle in me to suppose that each and every one of you do not know some of the circumstances of the case either by means of the Press or in other ways, and that probably you have discussed the matter, but I know equally well that now ---

Sir Charles Russell leans across and whispers to Mr. Addison, who nods his head in agreement. It has been suggested to me, and probably it is right, that, except the scientific witnesses, all the witnesses be requested to leave the Court.

Justice Stephen: I understand that all arrangements have been made for their comfort.

All witnesses save Mr. Michael Maybrick are lead out of the courtroom

I was saying, when I corrected myself, as it were, that it would be idle in me to suppose that each and every one of you were not acquainted to a very considerable degree with the facts of the case, either from seeing the case, or hearing it, or reading of it in the public prints; but I know perfectly well that now you have ceased to be irresponsible members of the community, and are a jury who are sworn to decide the case according to the law between the prisoner and the Crown, you will have no difficulty whatever in dismissing from your minds all that you have so heard and seen. Even the statement I am about to make to you is only intended to enable you -- and I hope it may enable you -- the more readily to know the evidence we are going to call, and to follow it when we call it. There is no other fact whatsoever. It is upon the evidence, and upon the evidence alone, and upon the impression that it makes upon your minds, who are the true judges of this case, that the issue must depend. The prosecution have a simple duty to perform. We have by means of that evidence to produce in your minds a firm and clear conviction that this woman is guilty. If when you have heard the evidence, when you have heard it sifted and criticized and analyzed by my friend Sir Charles Russell; when you have heard other evidence called by him to vary and contradict it; if at the end of the patient attention you give to this evidence you find your minds in doubt and hesitation, or even discussion amongst yourselves that you are not able to remove, then we shall have failed in the duty incumbent upon us, and in what we are bound to do before we can ask your verdict for the Crown. We shall have failed in that, and it will be undoubtedly your duty to give the benefit of this strong hesitation and doubt to the prisoner at the bar.

With these hardly necessary words of introduction, let me tell you what the facts are, as upon my present information I understand them. James Maybrick, the husband of this woman, whose death she is charged with causing, belonged to a Liverpool family and was a native of Liverpool. He was in the cotton business either as a broker or as a merchant, and in the earlier part of his career seems to have been called a good deal to America, his business connection being between America and Liverpool, and it was in this way, in 1881, and either in America or coming home from America, he made the acquaintance of the prisoner at bar, who is of American family and by birth an American, and they were married in London in July, 1881. For some time after their marriage he still was taken a good deal away to America; but, about four or five years ago, he settled, so to speak, permanently in Liverpool, carrying on his business entirely here, and having an office in the Knowsley Buildings, which is somewhere off Tithebarn Street. Of the marriage there were two children; there is a boy of seven years of age and there is a girl of three years of age. After settling permanently in Liverpool he lived somewhere in the neighborhood, but about some two or three years ago he went to live with his wife and family at a place called Battlecrease House, which is a place at Aigburth or Garston, or in the neighborhood of Aigburth. From and at the beginning of this year and during the last year he lived there with his wife and two children, and the remainder of his household, consisting of four of a family and servants. There was a nurse who had lived longer with, and was more connected with, the master and mistress than any of the other servants, by name Alice Yapp. There was a housemaid of the name of Brierly, a cook of the name of Humphreys, and a housemaid waitress of the name of Cadwallader. These four servants, with the master and mistress and two children, constituted the inmates of Battlecrease House. At the time of his death Mr. Maybrick was a man of about forty-nine or fifty years of age. His wife was younger, being somewhere between twenty-seven and thirty years of age. I do not accurately know what her age was, but she was about that. I do not think I need call your attention to anything particular in their mode of living up to this time.

Mr. Maybrick was a man who, so far as his friends and relations knew, was a strong and healthy man, going regularly to his office every day, as a cotton broker in Liverpool. There was no doubt that though he was a man generally spoken of as a healthy man, he was a man who complained very much about his liver and nerves. He used often to complain of being out of sorts; and, from 1881, Dr. Hopper, of Rodney Street, who was the medical attendant of the family, prescribed for him from time to time. Mr. Maybrick complained of pains in the head and of numbness in his limbs. This numbness he seems to have complained of more than once, and he seemed to have a sort of dread that it would lead to paralysis. Dr. Hopper seems to have treated him as a little short-hipped, as it was called in these matters, and gave him occasionally medicines, such as were given to people of sedentary habits, and out of sorts. Mr. Maybrick had three brothers -- Mr. Michael Maybrick, who, I believe, was and is a distinguished musician in London; there is a brother Thomas, a shipping agent, carrying on his business in Manchester; and Edwin, who is a cotton merchant in Liverpool, living in Rodney Street, but who passes half his time in America -- dividing his time between Liverpool and America. Dr. Hopper will tell you how from time to time he used to give Mr. Maybrick nerve tonics, having the usual ingredients of such tonics, and including nux vomica and homeopathic doses of strychnine and medicine of that kind, and will further tell you that, with the exception of that, he never knew Mr. Maybrick to be ill during the eight years since the marriage. His brothers, all three, speak of him as a healthy and strong man; and in addition to them you will have before you the two clerks in the office. One (Smith, the bookkeeper) had been with him about four years, and he will tell you that he occasionally complained of his liver, and discusses homeopathy. Lowry, the other man in the office, will speak to the same effect; and you will find that he was undoubtedly one of those men who, as people suffering in this way often are, was fond of discussing his ailments very freely, and listening to other people as to what they did with their ailments in adopting pills and doses, and often attended very much to the recommendations they would make. I have tried to tell you all that he ever suffered from, as far as we know, apart from that which we are going to investigate. With regard to the servants who lived in the house, including the nurse, they knew nothing about these matters. They considered their master a healthy and strong man, going regularly to his office -- a regular condition of things up to the end of last year and the beginning of this, to which I need not now go back.

The first date in connection with this case to which we may have to draw your attention is the 16th March in this year, and all through this case, when you are watching the evidence, I should ask you, as a very convenient note to yourselves, to follow closely, as it were, the different occurrences that occurred from time to time. Upon the 16th March, Mrs. Maybrick had to telegraph to London to a hotel in Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, for a sitting-room and bedroom. You will have before you the letters which she wrote, and which will be put in evidence. The effect of them is this -- On the 16th March she telegraphed for a sitting-room and bedroom at this private hotel. Having received no answer, she wrote again to the landlord, and told him that the rooms were engaged for Mrs. Maybrick, of Manchester, and she wrote again as to details as to the sort of dinner which "Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick" would like to have, saying that her "sister-in-law" was inexperienced in such matters. On the 18th March (Monday) she wrote again to this hotel, saying that Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick would arrive on the 21st (Thursday), that her sister-in-law would stay there a week -- from the 21st to the 28th -- and that "she was not particular as to price." You have her then writing these letters from the 16th to the 18th March, engaging this sitting-room and bedroom for her "sister-in-law." On the 21st March (Thursday) she left Battlecrease House to go to London. You will find that in the evidence which occurs later on, and the reason she gave her husband for going to London was that she had an aunt who was going to undergo an operation under the care of Sir James Paget, and the aunt wanted her niece -- that was herself -- to be present, and she was going to London for a week for this purpose. This she told the nurse Yapp, and her letters were to be directed to the Grand Hotel, London. Having done that, she went straight to London to this place. She arrived there on Thursday, the 21st of last March, at about one o'clock; and at about half-past six a gentleman, whose name we do not know, but who never appears again as far as we know anything about him in this case, came and fetched her. And they went away together in a cab, and at eleven at night, when the waiter went to bed, he saw they had not returned. That was on the 21st. But, however that may be, the next morning she was undoubtedly at breakfast with a Liverpool gentleman, a cotton broker, living in Huskisson Street here, whose name cannot possibly be kept out of the case, a gentleman named Brierly. She was found with him on Friday, the 22nd, and on Saturday, the 23rd. They lived there together as man and wife, slept together, and went out together; and on the Sunday -- you will remember she took rooms for a week -- about one o'clock they unexpectedly left together, he paying the bill. Gentlemen, what she did for the rest of the week until Thursday, the 28th, when she was timed to come home, I do not know. But on the 28th of March (Thursday), exactly a week after she had gone away to London, she returned to Battlecrease House.

The next day, the 29th of March, the Grand National was run near Liverpool, and both she and her husband went there. He came back at seven o'clock at night, and it was evident to his servants that there had been a quarrel between them. She followed ten minutes after him. He began nursing the youngest child, without speaking to her or she to him. Presently a cab was sent for, as if she was going away; and then the servants heard him say, "Such a scandal as this will be all over Liverpool to-morrow." She went down to the hall with her hat on, apparently waiting for the cab; and then he was heard to say, "If you once leave this house, you will never enter it again." A sort of quarrel was going on, but the nurse but her arm around the prisoner's waist and coaxed her upstairs; and, as the prisoner and her husband were evidently not on speaking terms, she made up a bed for her in the dressing-room, which adjoins the bedroom, where she slept that night.

On Saturday, the 30th March, early in the morning, Mrs. Maybrick went to see and old friend of the family, Mrs. Briggs, who had known them both since they were married. Mrs. Maybrick went undoubtedly with the intention of getting a separation from her husband. She complained to Mrs. Briggs, and said that her husband had complained of her because at the Grand National Meeting, in spite of his orders, she had left the carriage to go with Mr. Brierly. She said, further, that she had quarrelled with her husband, and that he had hit her on the eye and had given her a black eye. Mrs. Briggs did what she could to settle matters. The two went to Dr. Hopper, and the prisoner there repeated what she had told Mrs. Briggs. He persuaded her not to try a separation, but she said she could not bear her husband to come near her. They afterwards went to Mrs. Briggs' solicitor, and then there was a similar conversation, after which the prisoner and Mrs. Briggs went to the post office, and there the former desired to have a separate letter box. She afterwards returned home, and Dr. Hopper a short time afterwards, acting both in his capacity of medical adviser and as a friend of the family, came up to try to make peace. He heard from Mr. Maybrick what his complaints were, and then he went to Mrs. Maybrick, and they discussed the case together, the husband at the time making a complaint of her going off with Brierly at the Grand National against his wishes. That was all the husband knew about the matter. At that time the prisoner owed 1200 pounds, and Dr. Hopper, acting as the peacemaker, succeeded, so far as he could judge, in making matters up between them, Mr. Maybrick undertaking to pay off those debts; and from what passed on the 1st of April between Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick and the doctor, the latter was left to infer that the quarrel had been made up.

Now, gentlemen, that brings us to the end of March; and the next date to which I am desired to direct your attention is about a fortnight after the Grand National -- that is, on Saturday, the 13th April. On this Saturday Mr. Maybrick went up to London to consult with his brother (Mr. Michael Maybrick). His chief object in going up apparently was to make arrangements in connection with money matters. He had promised, as I told you, a fortnight previously that he would pay the debts his wife had contacted with certain moneylenders, and one of them was in London. This was his principal object apparently in going up to consult his brother. But in addition to this, he made certain complaints to his brother about not feeling well, which made his brother suggest, on Sunday, the 14th of April, that he should consult Dr. Fuller, who was Mr. Michael Maybrick's doctor. Accordingly, on Sunday, the 14th, he went and consulted Dr. Fuller. To Dr. Fuller he complained of pains in the head and numbness, matters which undoubtedly at that time, rightly or wrongly, probably rightly, Dr. Fuller attributed to dyspepsia. He was a man with whom there was nothing wrong organically of any kind, and Dr. Fuller seems to have made him a great deal more cheerful by telling him so. According to the doctor's opinion, and from what he had seen and heard, he was a man apt to make a great deal out of trifling matters. The doctor gave him a prescription, which, in the course of this case, will be laid before you, which was in the nature of a tonic, and in which there was no arsenic of any kind. Dr. Fuller will tell you that at that time Mr. James Maybrick was a healthy and a strong man, and when he gave him the prescription he told him to come again on the next Sunday, the 21st, to see him. Undoubtedly the numbness and the pains in the head would not be accounted for in the way in which Dr. Fuller described the case. Although numbness is one of the symptoms which occur in cases of poisoning by arsenic, it is also common in other cases where weakening of the nerves produces numbness, and the doctor merely supposed he was dyspeptic, and treated him in this way. This was on the 14th, remember, of April, and on the 15th, having only gone away for the week-end, Mr. Maybrick returned, apparently better.

And it is at this stage that I must call attention to this fact. On that very 14th, when he was consulting Dr. Fuller and his brother in the way I have told you, Mrs. Maybrick received a letter from a friend in London. Whatever the facts which are stated in that letter, they would be no evidence at all against the prisoner at the bar, and it is not for that purpose that we put it in, or intend to put it in. It is rather that you may know what was being said of her and what was upon her mind upon that 14th of April (Sunday) when her husband was in London. Probably on that date she received the letter, because it is dated the 13th of April, from Kensington Palace Gardens Terrace. This is the very date upon which Mr. James Maybrick went to London, and the letter would be received in the ordinary course on Sunday. This letter reads:

My Dear Florie,

In the first place, I should wish to say that when I received your mother's letter last Monday I was quite satisfied with the explanation she gave, and the reasons of your letters being returned here, and to your friend's name not being on the books of the Grand Hotel. You can't understand the state of anxiety we were in about you in this day fortnight.

That day fortnight, if it was exactly that day fortnight, would be Saturday, the 29th March, the very day after she returned.

You left us for home on Thursday, and the inference would be that when you left you warned your servants of your coming, and that they would not forward any more letters. Those that arrived on Thursday might be accounted for, but they came on Friday and Saturday morning, and letters written to you were returned here. What could we think but that you were not at home? Kate was going away, and we had no way of relieving our anxiety. I suggested that you might have returned to your hotel, and Harriet went there, and asked if you were there. She found that you had not been staying there. This added more perplexity to our feelings, and there was nothing I could think of but to write to your mother. Happily she was able to say that she had heard of you twice since your return here, and therefore had no anxiety. It was only at her special request that I told her afterwards the cause of our alarm. This you see was caused by the serious misunderstanding. The forwarding of the letters was quite an innocent thing. When you were with your friend it did not matter where you were living, but you expressly stated that it was at the Grand Hotel, and this want of accuracy, you see, misled us. We are plain people, and accustomed to believe what is told us. I had no unkindly feeling in writing to your mother. I am sorry if it has in any way vexed you. I am sorry about your little girl.

I am, dear Florie, your truly,
Margaret Baillie

I make no comment on that letter, because the facts to which it refers are not in the least evidence. The only importance as regards a letter of that kind is to show what was going on at the time, and what effect it might have upon the state of mind of the prisoner on the date of the 14th.

The next date I will call your attention to is one which is apparently not accurately fixed, but it is a period which began on the 15th and ended on the 20th; it may be open to be varied or altered when you hear the story detailed, or in cross-examination -- as I understand from the 15th to the 20th April, and particularly, for reasons which I will give you presently, and somewhere before the 20th, or somewhere about that day, in that week, about the time, no doubt, Mrs. Maybrick went to a chemist, and a chemist who lived in her own neighbourhood, and who keeps the post office at Aigburth or Garston, and she then asked him for one dozen of fly-papers, giving as a reason for wanting them that the flies had begun to be troublesome in the kitchen. Generally these fly-papers contained each of them from 2 to 2.5 or 3 grains of arsenic. She got them on a date which is described by the servants as being somewhere about three weeks after the day of the Grand National, and some time before the master was taken ill, which would be somewhere about the 20th April. After getting these fly-papers, the housemaid, Brierly, was doing Mrs. Maybrick's bedroom, and was attracted by the appearance of the basin, which had a towel over it. She removed this, and found another basin, also covered with a towel, and in it were some fly-papers, which were soaking in water. She was so struck by this that she called the attention of Nurse Yapp to it. Next day pieces of fly-papers were noticed by Brierly upon the top of the slop basin. But with that exception they were never seen in the house or heard of again. So far as the servants knew there were no flies in the kitchen, and to their knowledge no fly-papers were brought into the house at all. If you find there is no trace of these, it is for you to say for what purpose these fly-papers were bought.

It was just about that date -- the 20th April -- that MR. Maybrick went again to London, as he told Dr. Fuller the week before he would do. He went to London and saw Dr. Fuller, who varied his prescriptions to a small extent, and on the 22nd Mr. Maybrick came back again. Having done so, he went with Dr. Fuller's prescriptions to Messrs. Clay and Abraham, who are chemists in Castle Street, and they made up two prescriptions. You will hear what these prescriptions were, and this, at least, will be a matter requiring your attention -- that whereas one prescription made up in this manner contained no arsenic, that (one of these bottles was kept in the office, and afterwards, when an investigation was made, it was found in the condition in which it was made up) the second bottle, which he got from the same firm, was afterwards found to contain arsenic. That brings us up to the 24th of April, and I will call your attention in the order in which they occur to these different events which took place between the 27th April and the 11th May -- because it is between these dates that occurred the serious illness that ended in the death of Mr. Maybrick on the 11th May. Before I put these events to you, let me make a few remarks upon the general nature of arsenic and its effects. They will be spoken to by a very eminent Liverpool chemist, Mr. Davies, and by Dr. Stevenson, who is the physician to Guy's Hospital, and an eminent chemist in London, of whom, no doubt, some of you have heard. All I need tell you about arsenic just now is this. IT is, as you all know, a mineral poison. It is taken sometimes as a solid powder and sometimes in solution. A single deadly dose -- that is to say, a dose of arsenic which is capable of killing a man by one administration would be a dose of at least 2 grains and upwards. That would take away life in the course of about twelve hours. If it were dissolved, and it would take a wine-glassful of water to dissolve it, half an hour would elapse before any effect would be produced. The symptoms that usually accompany a dose of that kind are nausea, a sinking, and, in addition to that, there usually is purging and comitting to a very excessive degree. But the vomiting, unlike all other vomiting, is accompanied by no sort of relief whatever. There are burning pains in the throat and in the stomach, and great irritation of the stomach is apt usually to produce a tenderness, which is discovered outside on pressure. There is also cramp of the thighs and of the stomach. There is a furred tongue, intense thirst, and from the condition of the intestines there is tenesmus -- that is to say, a great straining in those parts, and a desire to evacuate, without any relief whatever being the result. Any one of these symptoms taken by itself might be produced from other causes; but taken together they would indicate an irritant poison, such as arsenic. The same symptoms are produced by what may be called small doses. If you administer a dose of arsenic less than a fatal dose, one of three-quarters of a grain, or half a grain, twice a day, the same symptoms will be produced. But in the course of twelve hours or a couple of days the patient will get better. But if before he gets better he goes on repeating the dose before there is a complete recovery, then in the course of time he will die. Another word on this subject. It is not a cumulative poison when taken in these small doses. It does not collect in the system in the same way, for instance, that lead does; on the contrary, it rapidly passes away, and it is the arsenic which passes away which kills, and not that which remains, and this makes it one of the most dangerous of poisons, inasmuch as in small doses it produces symptoms which, unless they are taken together, may not be recognized as being peculiar to arsenic, and producing these effects death results. It is especially the case when taken in the liquid form in small doses that after a dose has been administered for a day or two, excepting in the liver, you do not find extensive traces of arsenic. That may be taken shortly as a popular knowledge of the subject, and it is necessary that I should explain it.

I come now to the 24th of April, when deceased went to Clay & Abraham to get his medicine made up. It was on the 27th of April that the first illness occurred, which we say was caused by arsenic. On the 27th April the Wirral races were run, and on that morning, as Mr. Maybrick went downstairs, he seems to have complained of numbness in his limbs, and Humphreys, the cook, to whom he spoke, said he was sick before he went to business that morning. On that morning, between ten and eleven o'clock, Mrs. Maybrick said to the nurse Yapp that the deceased had taken an overdose of the medicine which was prescribed by the doctor in London, that he had been sick, and was in great pain. As a matter of fact, we know from what he said afterwards that he was in great pain, and when he was dining afterwards his condition was such as to lead to the supposition that he had been drinking. The illness he had that day was attributed to an overdose of medicine, but the doctor will tell you there was nothing put in the medicine to make him ill at all, but arsenic was afterwards found in the medicine. The next day was Sunday, 28th April; at that time undoubtedly he was very ill, and the consequence was that Dr. Humphreys, a local doctor who had attended some of the children, was seen, and he will tell you that Mrs. Maybrick told him she attributed the illness to some bad brandy which her husband had at the races, and for which she gave him an emetic. The cook, Humphreys, heard the deceased vomiting very badly, and the same night, between nine and ten o'clock, Dr. Humphreys was sent for again in a hurry. The master was ill again, and ill with symptoms which Dr. Humphreys attributed to dyspepsia. On the Monday he was still in bed, but he seemed at that time a great deal better, the sickness seemed to have gone, and the pains seemed to have disappeared, and what he seemed to have had worse on Monday was a furred tongue. He seemed so much better that the doctor prescribed a diet for him. Now, if the illness was attributed to arsenic, it might have been caused by a small dose or by several small doses. On the Monday, when he was still in bed under the doctor, Mrs. Maybrick went to another chemist in Cressington, and she got from this chemist two dozen fly-papers, with the same compound of arsenic, containing 1.5 grains in each fly-paper. These fly-papers were never seen by any one in the house; no use was ever made of the, as you will be told by all the surviving inmates. One cannot help making the baldest statement of fact, that it is an extraordinary thing that on the Monday, when her husband was just recovering, she should have bought these fly-papers. One asks what she wanted them for, and what became of them? On the 30th April the deceased was so much better that he was able to go down to business at his office; and on the 1st May he took some prepared food which was brought to the office in a brown jug by his brother, Mr. Edwin Maybrick, who received it from Mrs. Maybrick, who prepared it. On the Wednesday Dr. Humphreys came again, and saw the deceased after business hours, and, as I understand, a great improvement had taken place. That was on the Wednesday night. On the Thursday, 2nd May, lunch -- I think beef tea -- he took down himself. It was prepared in the house, and given to him by his wife. On both days he took lunch. On the 1st you will hear what it was. I did not notice on the 1st, as far as I have been able equitably to make out form the different statements, that he was anything but well, and certainly in the evening he was a great deal better. On the 2nd he felt very ill after his lunch.

Justice Stephen: Did they say what he had for lunch?

My lord, I think it was beef tea, but I may be wrong. He complained next day. However, it was something prepared in the house, and given to him by his wife, which he took down with him. That is on the Thursday, the 2nd May. After lunch he was undoubtedly taken ill. He came back, and he complained of being ill, and on the Friday morning the charwoman did with the jug what she had done on Thursday morning. He had some lunch on the Wednesday, and the jug was cleaned on Friday. Only the charwoman cleaned the jug in which he had had his lunch on the Thursday, the 2nd. In cleaning the jug she was not very careful in going into all the nooks and corners. She cleaned the jug, but did not manage so as to scrape the inside matter in the jug. In that corner, when afterwards examined by Mr. Davies, the chemist, you will find that arsenic had undoubtedly been. Having been taken ill on the Thursday after lunch, as he explained to Dr. Humphreys the next morning, Dr. Humphreys was sent for at ten o'clock, and the symptoms explained to him. He stated that he had not been well since the day before. At that time he was actually ill in bed. He was lying on his bed, and said, "I have been sick again." The nurse remarked to Dr. Humphreys that it was very curious that he should be sick again, and suggested that a second doctor had better be sent for. Mrs. Maybrick, however, said that he had no necessity for it. He had had a good nursing, and doctors were all fools, or something to that effect, which does not matter much to this case. At the time she said there was no necessity for a second opinion. He himself said he would like to have a Turkish bath, and he went on the Friday night, and undoubtedly had a Turkish bath. At twelve o'clock at night -- midnight -- Dr. Humphreys was called.

Justice Stephen: Friday, the 3rd May?

Yes; I thank his lordship for the remark. I have myself been careful in laying this case before you to draw your attention to the dates, and to occurrences which took place on each one of those dates, because I think that it is very important that you should do it to rightly understand the case. Friday was the 3rd of May, and on Friday, when they sent for Dr. Humphreys at ten o'clock in the morning, he complained that he had not been well since his lunch on the Thursday before. After the Turkish bath, Dr. Humphreys was summoned at midnight, and then Mr. Maybrick complained for the first time of deep-seated pains. He complained very much, and Dr. Hopper thought it was something consistent with sciatica, pains in the thighs and hips, which will be described by the doctor. He complained to the doctor that he had been sick twice, and he attributed it to some inferior sherry he had taken. At that time there were indications of straining of the rectum, and an application of morphia for those parts was given to him to allay that straining and the great pain he was suffering from. That was on the night of Friday, the 3rd of May, and the next, Saturday, Mr. Maybrick was still in bed; on Saturday, in fact, he was a great deal worse. He was so sick he could retain nothing at all; he could eat nothing, and Mrs. Maybrick, who was attending on him at that time, was directed to apply some particles of ice to his mouth. Some stock soup was also made in the kitchen, strengthened with some beef essence and some ingredients of that kind. She was told that day to apply -- and to this I will have particularly to draw your attention -- to apply moistened handkerchiefs to his mouth, and Mrs. Maybrick gave directions that no medicine was to be given to her husband unless she had seen it. That was on the 4th May, and undoubtedly on that date Mr. Maybrick was very ill indeed. The next day was Sunday, the 5th May, and on that day Mr. Maybrick was in bed all day. He was vomiting, and complained very much of pains in the throat, and Mr. Edwin Maybrick and the doctor stayed in the house. Mr. Maybrick was given some soda and milk, but this he vomited back, after, as Mr. Edwin Maybrick would say, some medicine had been given to him by Mrs. Maybrick. The doctor then recommended that some beef essence, which is highly recommended, should be given to him. This was Valentine's beef essence or juice. She said that he was very ill, that he had taken another dose of that horrid medicine from London, that it had made him very ill, and if he had taken much more of it he would have been a dead man. That is very remarkable in view of what had been put into the medicine on that very day. Well, gentlemen, on Monday, the 6th of May, he was still in bed. He complained that his mouth was very offensive, though nothing was perceived of it in his breath by the doctor. His throat distressed him very much -- a feeling as of hairs in it. He complained that the beef extract ordered him always made him sick. So strongly did he complain of this that the doctor recommended that Brand's beef tea should be given him instead. There was a great straining about the rectum, for which on Monday, the 6th May, the doctor advised a blister. In addiction to that he ordered a drug containing a small portion of arsenical liquor. I think there were five draughts in it, each containing a tablespoonful, but that did him no good, and the remainder was thrown away. I will now call your attention, gentlemen, to this fact, that Valentine's meat juice, of which, after taking it, he always complained about being sick -- undoubtedly in that meat juice arsenic was found.

Sir Charles Russell: No, no.

I am sorry to see that my friend, who is anxiously watching this case, says that what I state is not absolutely correct. But I am told that a bottle was analyzed, and that in it arsenic was found. That, of course, is a matter of evidence which I can only state if I have gathered it correctly. This is the state of things upon the Monday. We now come to Tuesday, the 7th of May. On Tuesday again he seemed a little better of his sickness. These fluctuations are important matters for you to consider in connection with the way we suggest arsenic was administered. He was better of his sickness, but complained of his throat to his brother Edwin, who did not like his looks, and did not think he was better. The effect of this was that on Tuesday, 7th May, for the first time Mr. Edwin Maybrick suggested that Dr. Carter, of Rodney Street, should be called in, and at half-past five the same day Dr. Carter came to consult with the local practitioner, Dr. Humphreys. Now, when Dr. Carter came deceased complained to the doctor that he had had vomiting and diarrhea for some days. He said there was a pain in his throat as if a hair was there. He complained also of intense thirst, and when the doctor looked at his throat it was red, dry, and glazed, and although he was in a weak condition he seemed to be very restless under the bedclothes. Dr. Carter looked at these symptoms together, and attributed them to acute dyspepsia and acute inflammation of the stomach. Mrs. Maybrick asked whether the restlessness was due to his eating and drinking during his bachelorhood, but Dr. Carter said this would not account for it at all. On the Tuesday Nurse Yapp noticed Mrs. Maybrick pouring from one bottle into another, but although she had an opportunity to manipulate the medicines I do not say that anything follows from it. The pouring from one bottle to another may have been a perfectly innocent act. I do not attach any importance to it. I only suggest it to you as showing that she was, so to speak, regulating his medicines up to the 7th of May, when Dr. Carter was called in. That brings us to the 8th of May. I remember that Dr. Carter was not coming back until the Thursday. It will be for you to bear in mind that according to both doctors the deceased was suffering from acute dyspepsia on the 7th of May, that being the result of their consultation. On the 8th Dr. Humphreys came, and it appeared that the patient had passed a very poor night. At the same time he said there was no sickness, which seemed to have passed away, and he thought the medicine he had taken had relieved his throat a little. But when Mrs. Briggs entered, and saw him suffering from these recurring symptoms, she thought it right to send for a sick nurse, and at the same time she dispatched a telegram to London for Mr. Michael Maybrick, asking him to come at once to Liverpool. A nursed named Gore arrived about a quarter past two on the Wednesday afternoon, and a quarter of an hour after she gave him some medicine Mrs. Maybrick handed her to give to her husband. At that time Mrs. Briggs fully believed that he would get better, although he was in a condition on the 8th in which he could not get in or out of bed without assistance. That was the state of things at three in the afternoon, which it will be important for you to bear in mind, in conjunction with his wife's acts. About three o'clock Mrs. Maybrick gave Nurse Yapp a letter, telling her that she wanted it posted by the 3:45 post. The nurse took the letter, and will give you a reason why she opened it. But whether that be the true and just reason -- vis., that she let it fall in the mud and opened it, or whether she was animated by curiosity or suspicion, or whatever other motive, it will not be very important to inquire. As a matter of fact, she not only opened the letter, but it is produced before you to-day, because later on in the day, at 5:30, she gave it to Edwin Maybrick. That letter will be for you to consider. But she received on the Monday before, the 6th of May, a letter from Brierly, and now, that you may understand what was going on between them and what was in her mind, I will read you the letter of the 6th of May, which Brierly had written to her. There is no date, but clearly it was written on that date. It is as follows:

My Dear Florie

I suppose now you have gone I am safe in writing to you. I don't quite understand what you mean in your last about explaining my line of action. You know I could not write, and was willing to meet you, although it would have been very dangerous. Most certainly your telegram yesterday was a staggerer, and it looks as if the result was certain, but as yet I cannot find an advertisement in any London paper.

Now it is quite certain that this refers to certain investigations which might lead to the discovery of what had passed between them in London.

I should like to see you, but at present dare not move, and we had better perhaps not meet until late in the autumn. I am going to try and get away in about a fortnight. I think I shall take a round trip to the Mediterranean, which will take six or seven weeks, unless you wish me to stay in England. Supposing the rooms are found, I think both you and I would be better away, as the man's memory would be doubted after three months. I will write and tell you when I go. I cannot trust myself at present to write about my feelings on this unhappy business, but I do hope that some time hence I shall be able to show you that I do not quite deserve the strictures contained in your last two letters. I went to the D. And D., and, of course, heard some tales, but myself knew nothing about anything. And now, dear, "Good-bye," hoping we shall meet in the autumn. I will write to you about sending letters just before I go.


To that she wrote a letter which was intercepted by Nurse Yapp. It was as follows:



Your letter under cover to John K. came to hand just after I had written to you on Monday. I did not expect to hear from you so soon, and had delayed in giving him the necessary instructions. Since my return I have been nursing M. day and night. He is sick unto death. The doctors held a consultation yesterday, and now all depends upon how long his strength will hold out. Both my brothers-in-law are here, and we are terribly anxious. I cannot answer your letter fully to-day, my darling, but relieve your mind of all dear of discovery now and in the future. M. has been delirious since Sunday, and I know now that he is perfectly ignorant of everything, even of the name of the street, and also that he has not been making any inquiries whatever. The tale he told me was a pure fabrication, and only intended to frighten the truth out of me. In fact he believes my statement, although he will not admit it. You need not therefore go abroad on that account, dearest; but, in any case, please don't leave England until I have seen you once again. You must feel that those two letters of mine were written under circumstances which must even excuse their injustice in your eyes. Do you suppose that I could act as I am doing if I really felt and meant what I inferred then? If you wish to write to me about anything do so now, as all the letters pass through my hands at present. Excuse this scrawl, my own darling, but I dare not leave the room for a moment, and I do not know when I shall be able to write to you again.

In haste, yours ever,

At 6:30 the same day Nurse Gore noticed that a tumbler, a medicine glass, was gone, and Mrs. Maybrick put some medicine into it, and said it must be put in a tumbler of cold water -- it must have so much water or it would burn his throat. Nurse Gore did not administer that medicine at all. She said she wanted the glass for some other purpose, and for that reason, and that, I take it, only, she threw the medicine into a sink in the housemaid's closet. Whether from that cause or some other -- it is not fair to trace it to any particular cause -- but undoubtedly in the sink of the housemaid's closet there were traces of arsenic found. The 9th of May was Thursday. Nurse Gore had been on duty a long time on Thursday, and at eleven o'clock the institution sent another nurse, named Callery, who relieved Nurse Gore. Dr. Carter, head physician, came on the afternoon of the 9th, when Nurse Callery was there. On Tuesday both doctors could only attribute the symptoms of Mr. Maybrick to acute dyspepsia, but on Thursday there came on with increased violence during the night a symptom which at once attracted the marked attention of Dr. Carter. He found this tenesmus, this straining and retching, was very painful and persistent, and he then for the first time seems to have come to the conclusion that they showed a symptom which an acute dyspepsia would not account for, and there was then a strong presumption that the symptoms were those, and those only, of an irritant poison.

That went on during the day on Thursday, and at eleven o'clock at night Nurse Gore returned. She had been away for twelve hours, from eleven o'clock in the day. A circumstance occurred then to which I am compelled to ask your careful attention, being one of the serious features in the case. When Nurse Gore returned she opened a bottle of Valentine's juice essence. The other bottle had been discontinued since the Monday before, and this was substituted. On Thursday Nurse Gore opened a fresh bottle, which she had previously got from Mr. Edwin Maybrick. Mrs. Maybrick, after it had been opened, said he had had that before, and somehow it had always made him ill. That was true, and for that reason the medicine had been discontinued on the Monday. However, the nurse opened it, and having done so, she saw Mrs. Maybrick take that bottle into the dressing room, which leads out of the bedroom, and she was away for about two minutes. After she came back Mrs. Maybrick addressed herself to Nurse Gore, and told her to leave the room for some ice. She would not go, and did not leave the room. Thereupon the nurse will tell you she saw Mrs. Maybrick in a sort of concealed manner, as if she were desirous not to be seen, take the bottle she had taken into the dressing room and put it on the table, and afterwards, when the patient awakened, she saw her move it from the table and put it on the washstand. On the next day, Friday, the 10th May, Nurse Gore was relieved by another nurse, Callery, to whom she pointed out this bottle, on which she had kept her eye the whole time, and gave her certain instructions upon it, and Nurse Callery ultimately gave it up to Michael Maybrick. On the Friday Mr. Maybrick thought he was himself a little better, but it was evidence that he was a great deal worse. He had pains in his throat and in his abdomen, and he said to his wife, in the presence of Nurse Callery, "Don't give me the wrong medicine again," to which Mrs. Maybrick answered, "What are you talking about? You never had the wrong medicine." About two or three o'clock Mrs. Maybrick was noticed apparently changing the medicine from one bottle to another. This was a most serious department of the case, as it was suggested that she might, if she like, alter the medicine. At half-past four Dr. Carter came, and at a quarter to five Nurse Wilson came to relieve Nurse Callery. Wilson heard Mr. Maybrick say, "Oh Bunny, Bunny, how could you do it? I did not think it of you." That was a somewhat ambiguous expression, and the prosecution would not attach more importance to it than it was worth. But now Dr. Carter, who had been there that afternoon, had received from Michael Maybrick a bottle of Valentine's juice, which he took home. That night and next morning he examined it, and both examinations showed that arsenic had been put into it. The accurate examination afterwards by Mr. Davies showed that in that bottle there was half a grain of arsenic. If that was so, it is very serious from both points of view, because it leads to a very strong conclusion that she had put arsenic into his medicine. And it does more; because if half a grain of arsenic was put into it, and no more, it showed that he was being poisoned by doses repeatedly administered. Half a grain of arsenic administered about twice a day would produce these illnesses, with all their variations, of which you have heard. So serious was the patient's condition, that Dr. Carter came about half-past twelve next day, which was Saturday, the 11th of May. On that morning it was clear to everybody that Mr. Maybrick was dying, and his children were brought to him. He could take nothing in the way of nourishment. The doctors were with him when he died, about half-past eight in the evening. Now, gentlemen, you must watch the evidence carefully. On Friday he had had meat juice, part of which he did not take. Arsenic was found in the jug containing it, as also in the closet, or rather the mere trace of arsenic. Now, directly he was dead (on Saturday, the 11th of May), Michael Maybrick directed the nurse and the housemaid to look and see what they could find. In a closet they found a box containing children's clothes; they found a chocolate box, in which there was a parcel labelled "Arsenic -- Poison," and written after it the words "for cats." There was also a handkerchief found, a matter to which I must direct your special attention, for in it arsenic was found. On the next day Mr. Edwin Maybrick, Mr. Michael Maybrick, and the two Briggses, who, as I have said, were old friends of the family, made a further search, and they then found in the dressing-room two hat boxes containing hats belonging to Mrs. Maybrick.

Sir Charles Russell leans over to Mr. Addison and corrects him in regards to this matter.

I understand it is not as I had said -- they contained men's hats; but at the top of one of these boxes was found a bottle of Valentine's meat essence containing arsenic.

Mr. McConnell whispers a correction to Mr. Addison.

It may be as my learned friend says; there was one bottle not sufficiently identified, but the bottle found at the top of the box with Valentine's meat essence did not contain arsenic. Anything I have said contrary to that will rather clear up the matter which wanted clearing up, that when Mr. Maybrick complained to Humphreys that Valentine's meat extract made him ill -- well, I would rather wait until I hear the evidence, because I am not clear on the point.

However that may be, this bottle of Valentine's extract was found at the top of the box, and there were also found three other bottles, each of them containing arsenic in the process of solution -- that is, being converted into a liquid form. One bottle contained a strong solution of arsenic, with several grains in a solid form in the bottle; another bottle contained several grains solid and also a strong solution; and a third bottle contained 15 or 20 grains solid arsenic, but only two drops of the solution. In each of these three bottles there was arsenic in different stages of solution. In the second hat-box there was found a tumbler which contained a fluid resembling milk, and in that tumbler was a piece of handkerchief soaking. In this tumbler were found 20 grains of arsenic. Undoubtedly that was an important point, because you will remember it has been suggested that at an early stage of Mr. Maybrick's complaint a handkerchief was placed over his mouth. Well, later on in June, the dressing-gown which Mrs. Maybrick had worn during the illness was examined, and in the pocket of the gown and in a pocket handkerchief traces of arsenic were found to an extent which will be spoken of by Dr. Stevenson and Mr. Davies. This brings me to Sunday, 12th May. On the next day, Monday, the 13th, there was a post-mortem and an analysis of some of the viscera. The general result was this -- it was found that all the organs of the deceased were healthy. The intestines and bowels were very much irritated, and traces of arsenic were discovered. The stomach was in a state of acute inflammation, such as is produced by an irritant poison. The kidneys showed traces of arsenic, and in the liver undoubtedly arsenic was found in a weighable quantity. Undoubtedly the result of the examination is this, that all the doctors will say, having regard to the post-mortem and the symptoms he showed in his illness, that they have no doubt Mr. Maybrick died from the administration of arsenic. Dr. Stevenson and Mr. Davies, who have had large experience in these matters, will tell you, if there were repeated doses of arsenic, such as the history of this case would seem to indicate, and if for a day or two before he died no arsenic was given to him, that is precisely a case in which they would expect to find the body of Mr. Maybrick in the condition they describe, because it is not the arsenic which is found in the system which kills, but the arsenic which kills is that which has passed away. Now, on the 14th of May, Mrs. Maybrick was in custody in her own house. She at that time wanted some money to pay for telegrams and stamps, and Mrs. Briggs, who was there, said, "Perhaps Mr. Brierly will help you." In which sense she used the words she will explain herself. Thereupon prisoner wrote a letter to Mr. Brierly. She was then in custody and in trouble, and her husband had died in this terrible way on the Saturday before. She said in this communication to Brierly:

Battlecrease House, Aigburth

I am writing to you to give me every assistance in your power in my present fearful trouble. I am in custody, without any of my family with me, and without money. I have cabled to my solicitor in New York to come here at once. In the meantime, send some money for present needs. The truth is known about my visit to London. Your last letter is in the hands of the police. Appearances may be against me, but before God I swear I am innocent.

Florence E. Maybrick.

Gentlemen, we know the relations that existed between her and Brierly, and we know the correspondence that went on between them whilst her husband was on his sick bed; and I do not know that the fact of her applying to Brierly for assistance when the suggestion is made to her adds really very much to our knowledge of the case. After that she was charged by Mr. Inspector Bryning with causing her husband's death, and to that she made no reply. But it is fair to add that the officer cautioned her, and told her to be careful, as what she said might be given in evidence against her. And that she made no reply under the circumstances is not a matter which I, for the Crown, will make any observations upon. On the 14th May the charge was more formally made to her by Mr. Bryning, and again in the same words of caution, of having killed and murdered her husband. She again made no reply. When before the magistrates she was represented by my friend Mr. Pickford, and he, of course, reserved the defense until the assizes. I have now to say that I have no knowledge up to this time, no notion whatever, of what explanation may be given to explain away, if it is possible, the facts which I have laid before you. Gentlemen, there is no reason to doubt what the doctors will swear without doubt, and what the chemists will swear without doubt, that James Maybrick died by arsenic, and arsenic given to him by repeated doses. And if he did, the question will be for you, who gave him the arsenic of which he died? Undoubtedly the whole household, whom you see, knew and had nothing to do with it. It cannot be suggested that the doctor, or his brothers, or the four maidservants, had anything to do with it. It will be for you to say whether the wife, who until the 8th of May attended and administered everything that was given to him, and afterwards gave medicine to him through the nurses -- whether she was or was not the person who did it. It is clear that he was not a man who administered this himself by way of killing himself. That the whole case demonstrates. You will find the deceased was a man who was distressed at the bare notion of death, who was cheered by every ray of hope. Whenever he was a little better was glad to tell it, and was anxious and pleased to describe to his doctors all that he had taken and all that happened. It is clear, besides, that by no mistake was arsenic administered to him. It is clear that he was quite unconscious all through his illness -- and apparently his wife too -- that he was taking arsenic. The name arsenic was never mentioned or brought into question. The illness was attributed to an overdose of the medicine from London, to the wrong medicine being administered, to brandy, sherry, and another time to beer, and different matters. There was never for one moment any notion that he was taking in any shape or form arsenic. Whether by the beer, the sherry, the brandy, or by the many medicines, it is clear that arsenic was being administered to him without his knowledge or the knowledge of any one about the place. Gentlemen, who did it? I shall be compelled, and am compelled, to submit that there is very cogent and powerful evidence to show that it was his wife who administered it. Undoubtedly if she was the person who administered these repeated doses to him, then, gentlemen, she is guilty of the cruel offense of wilful murder, and it will be your painful but bounden and incumbent duty to say so.

As the first witness enters the box, Mr. Addison says he should like to make it plain that the only meat juice in which arsenic was found was that to which Nurse Gore spoke, in which half a grain of arsenic was found, and from which juice nothing was administered to deceased.

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