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Was Jame Maybrick Jack the Ripper? The James Maybrick diary – new evidence reveals Maybrick may have been Jack the Ripper

First page of Maybrick diary - first 20 pages have been torn out

The discovery of a diary signed “Jack the Ripper”

Suspected Jack the Ripper murderer - James Maybrick

The journal, dubbed the Maybrick diary, surfaced in 1992 when Michael Barrett, an unemployed former Liverpool scrap metal dealer, said the diary had been given to him by a friend, Tony Devereux. According to Barrett, Devereux refused to reveal where the diary came from or how he got it. The diary was signed, “Jack the Ripper”. Devereux died a few months after turning over the diary to Barrett.

The discovery was complicated by Barrett’s wife Ann, who claimed to know where the diary came from. She said the diary had been in her family for as long as she could remember. She explained that she had asked Devereux to give the diary to her husband as literary inspiration (she thought he might write a book about it). She did not want to tell her husband that her family owned the diary because Barrett and her father had been having a “tough time” and she did not want them around each other.

Later, it was rumored that the diary was discovered by electrical contractors while working on Maybrick’s former residence (timesheets for the workers show they were in Maybrick’s former home on the day Michael Barrett told an agent he was in possession of the Ripper’s diary).

In later years, Barrett said he wrote the diary himself.  Then he retracted his confession and said he did not write it.  Barrett’s hesitancy to reveal the origin of the diary invokes doubt.  But, several pieces of evidence lend credence to its authenticity including recent laboratory analysis of the document itself.

What we know about the Maybrick diary

The diary was written in a genuine Victorian scrapbook. The first twenty pages have been inexplicably removed. The journal does not mention Maybrick by name and is simply signed “Jack the Ripper” (on the last page). However, there are enough references in the diary to make it clear the journalist was James Maybrick. If Maybrick was the author, the last entry was made about one week before he died.

Who was James Maybrick?

James Maybrick was born October 25, 1838, the third of seven sons. He was ordinary in appearance – high hairline, thickly folded eyes, and a long, dark mustache. Records show he became addicted to medication containing arsenic and strychnine (he was being treated for malaria) which was not uncommon at the time. He was a prominent Liverpool cotton merchant which required frequent travel to the United States. In 1871, he and his wife Florence, settled in Virginia, United States. They had two children, James (last name later changed to Fuller) and Gladys Evelyn.

During his travels between England and the United States, his wife had an affair with a family friend and was rumored to have had another affair with one of James Maybrick’s brothers. It is believed that the emotional pain from the situation destroyed him.

The death of Jame Maybrick

James Maybrick and his wife Florence Maybrick

By April 27, 1889, Maybrick’s health had deteriorated. He died 15 days later on May 11, 1889 in the family’s palatial Battlecrease House in Aigburth, Liverpool, England. Florence was ultimately convicted for his death and sentenced to death. Her sentence was eventually commuted to life imprisonment. A subsequent re-examination of her case resulted in her release in 1904.

Florence Maybrick’s final days

Using her maiden name Chandler, Florence moved to Gaylordsville, Connecticut and supported herself doing odd jobs. Locally she was known as the “Cat Lady”. Florence died on October 23, 1941 and was buried in South Kent, Connecticut.

From the time Florence was first put into jail, she never saw her children again.

Is the James Maybrick Jack the Ripper diary legit?

Upon discovery of the diary, critics were quick to call the journal a hoax. Forensic tests however, were not so conclusive. Experts analyzed the paper, handwriting, phraseology and via psychiatry, the mind of the writer. Tests show the ink is consistent with inks used since 1867 and the journal (a scrapbook) is from the Victorian era.

Anna Koren, graphologist to the Israeli Minister of Justice analyzed the diary’s writing and found the author to be “unstable, inner-conflicts, inferiority, hypochondriac, brutal, a distorted image of his masculinity, deep-rooted loneliness, exhibitionism, a tendency for his behavior to be repeated in cycles”. When asked if the writing could have been contrived to trick analysis, she responded, “Impossible”.

Only recently, researchers discovered that James Maybrick’s favorite pet name for himself was “Sir Jim”. The reference “Sir Jim” is found nearly a half-dozen times in the Maybrick diary.

Antique watch lends credence to diary evidence

1847 Antique watch engraved with "J Maybrick", "I am Jack"

Further evidence supporting the legitimacy of the Maybrick diary surfaced in June 1993. Author Shirley Harrison was researching a book on the diary when she came across a man who had purchased an unusual pocket watch. The watch, made by William Verity of Rothwell in 1847, was found at an English jeweler shop. It has “J Maybrick” scratched on the inside cover along with the words, “I am Jack” and the initials of the five canonical JTR victims.

The watch was examined with an electron microscope by Dr. Stephen Turgoose from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He concluded that the scratchings, wear and tear, and other markings on the watch indicated a “substantial age”. He noted that faking the scratchings would have been near impossible since many would not be visible even with optical microscopy.

The watch was examined a year later by Dr. Robert Wild using an electron microscope and Auger electron spectroscopy. Wild also concluded that the engravings were “several tens of years age”. He too noted that it was “unlikely that anyone would have sufficient expertise to implant aged, brass particles into the base of the engravings.”

Could James Maybrick be the Jack the Ripper murderer?

Last page of Maybrick diary with signature "Jack the Ripper"

It should be noted that Maybrick’s description fits those of Jack the Ripper and after Maybrick’s untimely death, the Jack the Ripper murders suddenly stopped. Evidence found hints James Maybrick may indeed be Jack the Ripper.

Documents have been found suggesting Maybrick was previously married to a Sarah Ann Robertson before his marriage to Florence Chandler. Census records from 1891, only released to the public in 1992, appear to confirm this allegation. Records show that Sarah Ann “lived on Bromley Street, near Whitechapel, and on Mark Lane, across the road from Whitechapel”. Both locations would have placed Maybrick directly in the center of the Jack the Ripper murders.

Due to his business in the cotton industry, Maybrick would have had intimate knowledge of the East End of London and he travelled frequently between England and the United States. It has long been suggested that Jack the Ripper spent time in the United States, was likely a frequent overseas traveler, with extensive knowledge of the East London area where the murders took place.

Enhanced photographs of the Mary Kelly murder scene show the initials “F M” written in blood on the wall of Kelly’s room. Recently researchers theorized the initials could refer to Florence Maybrick, Maybrick’s hated wife. Florence was similar in build and appearance to Mary Kelly.

A newly discovered “Dear Boss” letter from Jack the Ripper notes that he was “on his way to Innerliethen tweed factories”. This area of London was the location of many cotton factories and anyone in the business would have frequently visited the area.

The Maybrick diary mentions an empty tin box that Catherine Eddowes was carrying. Eddowes’ police evidence list was not published until 1987. In the official report we find listed, “one Tin Match Box, empty”.

You can read the complete story of Jack the Ripper here.

Additional information

Pictorial gallery

Few records directly related to James Maybrick. However, the trial of his wife revealed much about the man who claimed to be Jack the Ripper.  Below are articles covering the trial of Florence Maybrick, some of which contain direct testimony from the trial.

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London Times article regarding the poisoning of James Maybrick

Times (London)

20 May 1889


The Lancashire county police stationed at Aigburth, near Liverpool, have been for some days investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the late Mr. James Maybrick, a cotton broker, of Liverpool, who resided at Battlecrease house, Cressington road, Aigburth, and who died last week. The post mortem examination of the deceased disclosed symptoms suggestive of poisoning, and the viscera, &c., have been submitted to the county analyst for testing, while the police found a packet of arsenic in a cupboard of the house. Mrs. Maybrick, wife of the deceased, is under arrest. On Saturday afternoon Colonel Bidnill, J.P., went to the house of the deceased, accompanied by Mr. Swift, magistrate’s clerk, and Superintendent Bryning, of the county constabulary, Mrs. Maybrick having been certified to be too ill for appearance in the county magistrate’s court. Colonel Bidnill met at the house Drs. Hoffer and Humphreys, besides Messrs. A. and R.S. Cleaver, solicitors representing Mrs. Maybrick. After a brief consultation in the porch it was agreed that the doctors should visit Mrs. Maybrick, who was ill in bed, to ascertain whether or not she was fit to hear the charge. They returned with an affirmative answer. The clerk to the magistrates consulted with Mrs. Maybrick’s solicitors as to whether they would consent to a remand without any evidence being taken. Mr. A. Cleaver inquired what was the nature of the evidence the police proposed to give. Mr. swift replied in effect that the police were in a position to offer very grave evidence against Mrs. Maybrick of having administered arsenic to her husband from time to time. Upon hearing this Mr. Cleaver consented that the case should be remanded without evidence being called. With the concurrence of the medical men it was arranged to convey Mrs. Maybrick in a carriage to Kirkdale Gaol that afternoon, accompanied by the doctors and one of the professional nurses in charge. It is expected that she will be brought in court next Monday (27th).

London Times report concerning the Aigburth Poisoning inquest

Times (London)

29 May 1889


The adjourned inquest on the body of Mr. James Maybrick was held before Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, in the Reading Room, Garston, near Liverpool, yesterday. Much interest was shown in the proceedings. The deceased’s widow, who is under arrest on suspicion of poisoning her husband, was unable to be present. The police were represented by Superintendent Bryning and Inspector Baxendale, Mrs. Maybrick by Mr. Pickford, the relatives of the deceased by Mr. A.G. Steele, and a witness by Mr. Mulholland. Plans of the deceased’s residence, Battlecrease house, Aigburth, were produced.

Mr. Michael Maybrick, professor of music, of Wellington mansions, Regent’s Park, London, said that the deceased was his brother, and was in his 50th year. His wife was about 27 years of age. His brother had recently been to London to consult a physician. On the 8th of May witness went to Liverpool in consequence of a telegram and met his brother Edwin. They proceeded to Battlecrease house, where, inconsequence of what witness heard, he took possession of a letter (produced). It was addressed to Mr. A. Brierley, Huskisson street, Liverpool. The deceased was in bed, in charge of Nurse Gore. Witness told Mrs. Maybrick that the patient ought to have a professional nurse and a second doctor. Next day he saw Dr. Humphreys and Dr. Carter was called in. The following day, the 10th of May, he saw Nurse Gore, who told him something, in consequence of which he removed from a little table near the window of his brother’s room half a bottle of brandy. Later, after Nurse Gore, who had been out, had told him something else, he took possession of a bottle of Valentine’s meat extract, similar to the bottle mow produced. It was placed between two washing basins and in the centre of the table. He gave the bottle to Dr. Carter on the same day. After taking possession of the meat extract bottle he walked round the garden for a while. On returning to his brother’s room he found Mrs. Maybrick changing the medicine from one bottle to another and changing the labels. She said it was on account of the thick sediment in the smaller bottle. Witness then said he was very much displeased and should have the prescription remade. In consequence of what witness saw he had the nurse changed. After this time deceased grew rapidly worse, and died on the evening of Saturday, the 11th inst. About an hour after his brother’s death witness gave instructions to the children’s nurse, Alice Yapp, who subsequently brought him a box and a parcel in brown paper. The first thing he saw in the box was a white packet labelled “poison.” On one side was a label, “poison,” and on the other “arsenic poison” and “for cats” in writing. These witness had sealed up in presence of his brother and Mr. Steel, a neighbour. Powder was running out of the parcel, which was open at one end. He locked it up in the wine cellar, and afterwards gave it to Inspector Baxendale. His brother was the only person besides himself who had a key to the cellar. He had given some letters found in Mrs. Maybrick’s bedroom to Mr. Baxendale.

The Coroner – The documents consist of two letters addressed to Mrs. Maybrick, a third letter not in an envelope, and a slip of paper that seems to be the draft of a telegram? – Yes. The last is in Mrs. Maybrick’s handwriting.

Alice Yapp, the children’s nurse, gave evidence about the events that occurred on the Grand National day. Witness heard the deceased say to his wife, in the bedroom, “It will be such a scandal, it will be all over the town tomorrow,” and as they proceeded downstairs witness heard Mr. Maybrick say, “Florrie, I never thought it would come to this,” adding, “If you once cross this threshold you will never enter the house again.” She found in Mr. Maybrick’s bedroom some flypapers with liquid on the top of them. On the 27th of April Mrs. Maybrick told witness the master had taken an overdose of medicine, and on the following morning Mrs. Maybrick said, “The master is ill again.” Mrs. Maybrick went downstairs and got a cup, the contents of which witness did not see, saying, “It will make you sick and remove phlegm.” She then said that Dr. Humphreys said that it was Mr. Maybrick’s liver which was out of order. On the 6th of May Mr. Maybrick was very ill, and witness suggested that Dr. Hopper should be called in, but Mrs. Maybrick refused. On the following evening witness saw Mrs. Maybrick on the landing pouring the contents of one medicine bottle into another. When she saw witness she put the bottles down and went away. Subsequently Mrs. Maybrick gave witness a letter to post. It was in her handwriting and was addressed “A. Brierley, Esq., 60 Huskisson street, Liverpool.” The baby dropped the letter in the mud, and so as to put it in another envelope witness opened it in the post office. She caught sight of the words “My darling,” and she then read the letter and gave it to Mr. Edwin Maybrick.

The Coroner read the letters, which was written in pencil, and ran as follows:-

“Dearest – Your letter under cover to J. came to hand just after I gave them to you on Monday. I did not expect to hear from you so soon, and delay ommitted in giving him the necessary instructions. Since my return I have been nursing all day and night. He is sick unto death. The doctors held a consultation yesterday, and now all depends on how long his strength will hold out. Both my brothers in law are here, and we are terribly anxious. I cannot answer your letter today, my darling, but will relieve your mind of all fear of discovery now or in the future. M. has been delirious since Sunday, and I know that he is perfectly ignorant of everything, even to 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 this ground, dearest; but in any case please do not leave England until I have seen you once again. You must feel that these two letters of mine were written under circumstances which must ever excuse their injustice in your eyes. Do you suppose I could act as I am doing if I merely felt what I inferred? 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 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,


Witness further said that after the death she found in a closet a chocolate box and packet of powder marked “poison” which she took to Mr. Michael Maybrick.

Bessie Brierly, housemaid, gave evidence of quarrelling between Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick on the night of the Grand National and about the discovery of the fly papers.

Thomas S. Wokes, chemist, Aigburth, said that about the end of April Mrs. Maybrick purchased of him two dozen fly papers and a lotion.

Elizabeth Humphreys, cook in the house, deposed to bread and milk prepared for the master testing different when returned to her. The witness was kept out of the sick room for some time. When she saw her master he asked her for lemonade as he was dying of thirst. This was on the Wednesday morning before. The lemonade was prepared, but was taken out of witness’s hand by Mrs. Maybrick, who set it down, saying the doctor had forbidden it. On Thursday morning, the 9th, Mrs. Maybrick followed witness down to the kitchen and cried, and said she was blamed for all this trouble. She said, “It was all through Mr. Michael Maybrick,” who had had a spite against her since her marriage with master. “But,” she continued, “I suppose I must submit to it for the time being. Once Mr. Michael goes out of my house he shall never enter it any more.” She then cried very bitterly. Afterwards during the day Mrs. Maybrick said he would never pull through.

Mary Cadwallader, housemaid and waitress, gave evidence corroborative of that of the other servants.

Ellen Anne Gore, certificated nurse of the Liverpool Nurses’ Training School, Liverpool, said she assumed charge of Mr. Maybrick on the afternoon of the 8th inst. Soon afterwards Mrs. Maybrick brought medicine in a medicine glass and asked witness to give it to the patient. She did so, and put the glass on one of the tables in the bedroom. About half past 6 that evening Mrs. Maybrick said, “The medicine is due now.” Witness said she would give food then instead of medicine, and did so. Previously she had looked for the medicine glass, but could not find it in the room. Witness went to the lavatory, and there saw Mrs. Maybrick, who had mixed the medicine in the missing glass. She said it must have so much water in it else it would burn the patient’s throat. Mrs. Maybrick then put the glass containing the medicine in a glass of cold water to keep cool. She went downstairs and witness threw the medicine down the sink. The next day witness gave Mrs. Maybrick some Valentine’s meat juice from a table on the landing just outside the door. The bottle appeared to have been unopened. Mrs. Maybrick had said her husband had had Valentine’s meat juice before, but that it had always made him sick. Witness, however, did not observe any ill effects to follow the portion she had given him. While he was sleeping Mrs. Maybrick and herself were in the bedroom. The open bottle of Valentine’s meat juice still remained on the table. Mrs. Maybrick took it into the dressing room, pushed the door to, and remained there about two minutes. Then she returned, and while talking to witness put the bottle of Valentine’s meat juice back on the table. Witness made a statement to Mr. Michael Maybrick, and afterwards saw him taking the bottle of Valentine’s meat juice from the room. That was the last she saw of the bottle.

Margaret Callery, a nurse of the Nurses’ Institute, Liverpool, also gave evidence. On the Friday the deceased was very much exhausted, and complained of his throat and of pains in the abdomen. He said, “Don’t give me the wrong medicines again,” Mrs. Maybrick said, “What are you talking about? You never had the wrong medicine.”

By Mr. Pickford – The nurse going off duty never leaves the room until the next one comes on. While witness was on duty nobody gave the patient anything except on one occasion, when Mrs. Maybrick gave him a small piece of ice.

Susan Wilson, also a certified nurse from the Nurses’ Training School, Liverpool, said that when she took charge on Friday she found in the room nurse Callery and Mrs. Maybrick. Mrs. Maybrick stayed in the room most of the time. On Friday at 6 o’clock the deceased said three times, “Oh, Bunney, how could you do it? I did not think it of you!” He seemed all right then, not delirious. Mrs. Maybrick replied, “You silly old darling, don’t bother your head about anything,” and she remarked to witness, “We cannot think what is the matter with him or what has brought this illness on.”

By Mr. Pickford – When I heard the deceased say, “How could you do it?” I knew that Mr. Maybrick believed he had reason to complain of the conduct of his wife. I did not know the facts, but I suspected what was the matter.

Mr. Michael Maybrick, recalled, produced the will of the deceased. The document was handed to and glanced at by the Coroner. Witness said that the seal on the will had not been broken, and he did not see how Mrs. Maybrick could have any knowledge of the contents.

The Coroner – I thought it was suggested that the will was very much in favour of the widow, and that she had an opportunity of knowing it.

Mr. A.G. Steel – Only £2,000 at the outside, I think.

By Mr. Steel – There is no truth in the suggestion made by Mrs. Maybrick to the cook that I have had a spite against Mrs. Maybrick; quite the reverse. I have done all I can to assist her married life and make her happy. A short time ago I entertained her in London. I never had the smallest word of discussion with her in my life until the other evening about the doctor’s certificate.

Christina Samuelson, wife of Charles Eyton Samuelson, 5 Princes park terrace, said that she knew the late Mr. James Maybrick and Mrs. Maybrick. About a fortnight or three weeks before the Grand National witness and her husband were staying at the Palace Hotel, Birkdale. The deceased and his wife were stopping at the same hotel. Mr. Alfred Brierley was also stopping there. While at the hotel witness had a conversation with Mrs. Maybrick, who said she hated her husband. On the 29th of March witness was at the Grand National with Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick and Mr. Brierley. While at Aintree she saw Mrs. Maybrick return to the omnibus in Mr. Alfred Brierley’s company. She said to witness, “I will give it to him hot and heavy for speaking to me like that in public.”

Cross examined by Mr. Pickford – There was a little unpleasantness, and I understood Mrs. Maybrick to refer to that. She at the time was very angry.

The inquest was adjourned until Wednesday, June 5.

London Times report on the Florence Maybrick trial

Times (London)

6 June 1889


The inquest on the body of the late Mr. James Maybrick, cotton merchant, of Liverpool, who died at his residence, Battlecrease house, Aigburth, under circumstances stated in The Times, was resumed yesterday in the Garston Reading room, before Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner. The room, which will accommodate about 500 persons, was filled, those present including a large proportion of well dressed ladies, and there was a large crowd out side the building. Mrs. Maybrick, who was brought from gaol, was present but was kept in the library.

Superintendent Bryning and Inspector Baxendale again appeared for the police; Mr. Pickford for Mrs. Maybrick; Mr. Mulholland watched the case on behalf of Mr. Brierley (whose name has been mentioned in evidence); and Mr. E.G. Steele represented the deceased’s relatives.

On the application of Mr. Pickford, made as a consequence of the recent exhumation of the deceased’s body, it was agreed, after some discussion, to proceed first with medical evidence as to the cause of death, Superintendent Bryning stating that he had no objection, his only object being to have an exhaustive inquiry.

Dr. Richard Hopper, physician and surgeon, Liverpool, who had been medical adviser to Mrs. Maybrick from April last to the present, and medical adviser to the deceased from 1881 to last December, stated that during that time had had treated Mr. Maybrick for deranged digestion and nervous disorders, prescribing strychnine and nux vomica but never arsenic. He believed that the Maybricks lived happily; but on the 30th Match last Mrs. Maybrick visited witness with a black eye and said she desired a separation from her husband. Witness persuaded her to put the thought aside. The same day he visited Battlecrease house, and, having heard that on the previous night the parties had had a serious quarrel about matters which had occurred when they went to the Grand National, he endeavoured, at deceased’s request, to effect a reconciliation. Witness had a conversation with Mrs. Maybrick, who expressed repugnance for her husband. On the 1st of April witness called again, by arrangement, when a conversation arose regarding Mrs. Maybrick’s debts, and she stated the amount. The quarrel appeared to refer to a gentleman, whose name was not mentioned.

In cross examination, Dr. Hopper stated that he had prescribed the drugs mentioned as tonics. The deceased was in the habit of taking medicines recommended by friends, and he had told witness that he sometimes took double doses, and that when he left America, in 1882, he was acquainted with the properties of arsenic as an anti periodic. In June, 1888, Mrs. Maybrick told witness about deceased’s habit of taking the poison, and desired that he might be spoken to about it. Witness left the parties reconciled on his visit to Battlecrease.

Dr. Richard Humphreys, surgeon, said that on the 29th of April he was called to Battlecrease to attend the deceased, whom he found in bed. Mrs. Maybrick was sitting in the room. Deceased expressed fear of paralysis on the stomach, and stated that the symptoms had come on after breakfast, and he attributed them to a strong cup of tea. Tea had produced the same symptoms before, and he had resolved to give it up. He also complained of headaches, which he had for nearly a year, dating from the Ascot races. This was the Sunday after the Wirral races which deceased had attended. Deceased also said that he felt a stiffness in the legs, and on dining with a friend after the races he spilt some wine owing to weakness in his arm. He added that his sight was affected, near objects appearing far off. Witness ordered soda water and milk and prescribed prussic acid. Being called again to Battlecrease in the evening, he found deceased still in bed, and he spoke of a stiffness in the lower part of the legs. The patient was comparatively well. This continued until May 3, change of diet having been ordered. About midnight on Thursday, May 3, witness again saw the deceased, who complained of great pain in the thighs, which were rubbed with turpentine, and of having been twice sick since coming from business, adding that some inferior sherry had made him as bad as ever. On visiting deceased next day he found that the pain in the stomach had disappeared, but on the following day (Saturday) deceased was again sick after taking anything; consequently witness advised him not to take anything whatever. On Sunday Mr. Maybrick was better, but complained of a nasty, filthy taste on his tongue and in his throat. Next day, May 6, witness found deceased’s throat slightly red. The disagreeable taste continued and caused much irritation. Except for his throat, the patient was on the 7th of May much better. Tinctures were prescribed, but although for a little time his throat was improved it again became worse. On the 9th of May he suffered from throat and bowels, there being great irritation and pain. Mr. Maybrick was then under the care of a nurse. On the 10th he was visited three times by witness and also by Dr. Carter. Next day the illness had become dangerous and deceased could not swallow. That evening he died. Witness decided in his own mind on Friday night that the result would be fatal, but had never remarked to any one that Mr. Maybrick was sick unto death and did not remember telling Mrs. Maybrick that she alone was to attend her husband. He did not believe either that he said that, or that he told Mrs. Maybrick no one but she was to give the patient food and medicine. On Sunday or Monday he suggested to Mrs. Maybrick that another doctor should be called in, but she replied that so many medical men had seen her husband, and he had derived such small benefit from their attendance, that she did not think a second doctor necessary.

Superintendent Bryning – Can you tell me whether a small quantity of arsenic has any appreciable taste? – I should say not.

Can arsenic be taken in fatal quantities without exciting suspicion? – It has been taken in certain cases.

I want you to describe what the symptoms of a person suffering from arsenical poisoning are? – The symptoms of arsenical poisoning, as described in books, not from my own knowledge, depend entirely upon the dose. If a large dose is taken then you will have all symptoms of cholera; then if a moderate dose is taken you will have a diminished degree of this. You may not have so much diarrhoea, vomiting, or pain in the stomach, or perchance none of the symptoms will appear; but the patient or the person will be struck down as if with a large dose of narcotic. He will be comatized, he will be asleep, or he may have convulsions. Then if a small dose is taken once there will be no effect at all most probably. If a small dose is taken for a prolonged period you may have diarrhoea, pains in the stomach, vomiting, redness of the eyes, falling out of the hair, and skin eruptions of various kinds.

In reply to further questions witness said that a person might recover from the first effects of the poison and yet die from exhaustion, and, as a matter of fact, the quantity found in the stomach and organs was not a criterion for the quantity actually taken. Witness had prescribed for the deceased Fowler’s solution of arsenic of potash, the dose being one fifteenth of a drop every hour. Deceased complained that the medicine hurt his throat, and after a few doses it was discontinued. The solution, however, contained only 1 per cent of arsenic and 99 per cent of water.

In reply to the superintendent, witness described the appearances presented on the post mortem examination which he had made of the deceased’s body on the 13th of May, in company with Drs. Carter and Barron, and gave minute details as to the condition of the various organs of the body. On the 28th of May he further examined the body when it was exhumed.

Superintendent Bryning – Having regard to the post mortem appearances described and the symptoms you observed before death, and the symptoms described by the witnesses, what is your opinion of the cause of death? – That they are consistent with some irritant poison.

I will put that again. What is your opinion of the cause of death? – That it is consistent with an irritant poison. The actual cause of death was exhaustion set up by an irritant poison. (Sensation.)

Did you form the opinion before the death of the deceased that he suffered from the effects of some irritant poison? – Of some irritant poison, I did.

When did you first think that the deceased was suffering from some irritant poison? – When the diarrhoea came on. It was after the Wednesday, at any rate.

The Coroner – Can you say that on the Friday you thought he was suffering from some irritant poison? – You see I was under the impression that he might be, so that I cannot say exactly. I was put in a peculiar position, because it had been suggested to me. That strengthened my opinion after the suggestion.

After the suggestion was made and after you say you formed your opinion that the deceased was suffering from some irritant poison, will you tell the jury what the symptoms were that led you to that belief? – It was the diarrhoea and the straining together with a great failure of the heart that was taking place.

The Coroner – Are the jury to understand, Dr. Humphreys, that the deceased before death presented symptoms that were consistent with subsequent death from arsenical poisoning? – Certainly.

Before the suggestion was made to you, did the symptoms seem to be explainable? – Explainable when the suggestion was made as to what might probably be the cause.

Before the suggestion was made as to what might possibly be the cause? – Certainly, from what I assumed to be acute congestion of the stomach.

The Coroner – Then we come back to this – that these symptoms were consistent with acute congestion of the stomach or with the taking of an irritant poison? – Certainly.

You thought they arose from acute congestion of the stomach until the suggestion was made that they arose from the other source? – Certainly.

You are of opinion now, as Mr. Bryning put it, taking into consideration all that you saw during life, taking into consideration the result of the post mortem, that the deceased died from exhaustion consequent upon the taking of an irritant poison? – I am.

Being cross examined, Dr. Humphreys said that when he advised that a second doctor should be called in he was confident that the deceased would recover, but he was anxious about the case because he did not know much about the patient. Up to the Wednesday before Mr. Maybrick’s death the symptoms did not suggest poisoning. On that day a suggestion of poisoning was made. He considered the case unsatisfactory. Deceased described the sensation in his throat as being like a hair continually annoying him. To relieve the dryness of the throat witness prescribed japonandie – a medicine introduced into this country about ten years ago from Africa or America. When taken in large doses this was a poison. Not knowing that the deceased was suffering from the effects of arsenic, he considered it in some form a proper medicine to use to alleviate the symptoms.

Mr. Pickford – In what way? – Because with arsenic I had before alleviated persons suffering in a similar manner.

Deceased was not suffering pain? – No, only discomfort.

The foreman of the jury – When you were called in on the 28th of April can you tell us what you believed to be the malady from which Mr. Maybrick suffered? – From the condition of his tongue he was evidently suffering from dyspepsia.

Why did you refuse to give a certificate of death? – Because arsenic was found.

Mr. Pickford here interposed, and witness said he refused to give the certificate for certain reason of his own.

Dr. William Carter, Liverpool, said he was called in on the 7th of May, and found deceased’s throat dry, read, and glazed, and although the tongue was dirty his breath was quite sweet. After a consultation with Dr. Humphreys, who described the course of his illness and treatment, it was agreed that the deceased should take japonandie, chlorine water to wash his mouth, and small and frequent quantities of food. On May 10 deceased became worse, and a new symptom developed, his hands becoming white and bloodless, while he grew weak in spite of every effort to support him and complained greatly of sleeplessness. On Saturday he gradually lost consciousness and died. On the 9th of May Mr. Michael Maybrick handed witness a small bottle of Neave’s food, and on the 10th of May a bottle two thirds full of Valentine’s meat juice. These he took away with him. The bottle of Valentine’s meat juice he examined the same day.

Superintendent Bryning – What result did you get from it? – I found there was a steel gray deposit upon the copper foil which I boiled with it with a little hydrochloric acid. I dried this and put it in a dry test tube till next morning, when I further examined it and found that it was arsenic.

By the Coroner – I did not attempt to make a quantity analysis. I got the deposit immediately in the copper, and I felt that there was a good deal of arsenic; it was so immediate. But I did not attempt to find the quantity.

Superintendent Bryning – On the 14th did you make a post mortem examination of the deceased? – I did, and Dr. Humphreys and Dr. Barron were present. Dr. Humphrey’s statement as regards it was absolutely correct.

Did you assist at the further post mortem examination? – I did.

You have heard Dr. Humphreys describe what was done? – That is perfectly correct.

Having had the advantage of hearing the witnesses describe the symptoms exhibited by Mr. Maybrick, and having seen him yourself at various times during life, and having assisted to make the post mortem examination, what in your opinion was the cause of death? – Irritant poison.

The Coroner – Are you prepared to say what kind of irritant poison, doctor? – Most probably arsenic, Sir.

Did you form this opinion previous to death? – I did.

On which day of your visits did you form this opinion? – The presumption was raised on Thursday, the 9th; he was then suffering from the effects of some irritant poison.

Was your opinion strengthened on the Friday and Saturday? – Very much. I felt morally certain then. I was as certain as any one can be without actually demonstrating it. I was very strongly of opinion that the cause was poison.

Then did you treat the case as one of poisoning? – We did, Sir.

Will you tell the jury what were the symptoms displayed by the deceased that enabled you to come to this conclusion? – From vomiting, which was extremely obstinate, urgent, and continued; the diarrhoea which followed it, and tenesmus, unceasing thirst, the choking feeling in the throat, and gradual failure of the circulation, followed by sinking. That was a concourse of symptoms which, in the absence of any organic disease, impressed me strongly with the belief that it must be due to some irritant. Then there is the negative fact that there was no disease in the organs to account for this. Of course that was an important negative.

That was found by the post mortem examination? – No, the vital examination. The heart, lungs, and brain were all sound, and the liver also, as far as we could determine.

Mr. Pickford – Did you form this opinion before any suggestion was made to you? – No; the suggestion was made on the second day of my visit.

And you did not form any opinion that he was suffering from poison until after the suggestion was made to you and Dr. Humphreys? – No; but I thought from the account I heard of his dining at the Wirral races and the illness that followed, not knowing the gentleman, that he had been indulging somewhat freely, and had taken – I expressed this opinion to his brother – probably some irritant wine or decomposed food – as I expressed it, a very grave error of diet. I did not suspect any one, but in the first instance I said it was not a disease per se, but that it was something that was taken that had caused all these things. By poison I should comprehend decomposed tinned meat. I heard this gentleman had been at the races, and that it was a race dinner. I thought that wine might have entered into it, and as his mode of living was unknown to me entirely, I said, when pressed for an explanation, that some grave error of diet must have been committed which must have set up this irritation.

The Coroner – But from your further opportunities of observing the deceased and the post mortem you are now of opinion that the deceased had died from the effects of an irritant poison? – I am. Most probably arsenic? – Yes.

On May 7 did you say anything to Mrs. Maybrick that would lead her to say that her husband was sick unto death? – Certainly not. I never spoke to Mrs. Maybrick except on the first day, and then not knowing who she was.

If on the 8th she said, “Her husband is sick unto death,” it was not from anything you had said to her? – No; quite the contrary; I thought he would recover.

Did you say anything to the effect that it would depend how long his strength would hold out? – No.

Dr. Alexander Barron, Liverpool, who was present at the post mortem and exhumation, confirmed the evidence of the other doctors, and arrived at the conclusion that death resulted from an irritant poison.

Arthur B. Flatman, who had various addresses in London, including 82 Chapel street, Cavendish square, identified some letters and a telegram as having been received by him on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of March last.

After a discussion with Mr. Pickford and Mr. Mulholland, the Coroner said – First of all the name of Mr. Mulholland’s client is not mentioned in the letters in any shape or form. They go to this, that the wife of the deceased communicates with the witness now before you by telegram and letters, and asserts that her sister in law and her husband – that is to say, Mr. and Mrs. T. Maybrick – are about to come to town, and as their agent she makes the necessary arrangements for their arrival. Bear in mind that the Grand National is on March 29, and Mrs. Maybrick returned on the 28th, Thursday. On the 16th, the Saturday before the Grand National, a telegram was sent; then a letter on the 18th, one on the 19th, and then a letter of no date; but the text of the letter shows it must have followed the one of the 19th, so I think you may take it that it was sent on the 20th. The telegram and letters came to this, that Mrs. Maybrick, the wife of the deceased, said – “My brother in law and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. T. Maybrick, are coming to town. Can they stay in your house?” There is a reply, I presume, because arrangements are made for Mr. and Mrs. T. Maybrick to stay with the witness at the hotel.

Mr. Mulholland – The jury understand that this gentleman keeps an hotel, and she occupied rooms. Having read these letters, did, on March 21, a lady present herself at your hotel? – I presume she did from my books. I have no other knowledge; I produce my books. I only know that someone, purporting to be Mrs. Maybrick, came to my house, and stayed there from the 21st to the 24th. Alfred Schweasal, head waiter at the hotel, stated that he remembered a lady, whom he understood to be Mrs. Maybrick, coming to the hotel on the afternoon of the 21st of March. She had with her a portmanteau and dressing bag. Witness was sent into the library where Mrs. Maybrick was sitting and on returning into court stated that she was the person who came to the hotel. The day she arrived a young gentleman came to the house about half past six o’clock and took her out to dinner and to the theatre. Witness did not see her return to the hotel, and she said her husband was staying out late.

Superintendent Bryning – The next morning the 22nd had Mrs. Maybrick been joined by another person? – Yes, Mr. Maybrick.

What name did he give? – It was her husband, as far as I know.

They stayed at the hotel as man and wife, I understand? – Yes.

How long did they stay on those conditions? – From the Thursday to the Sunday morning, from the 21st to the 24th.

Do you mean they slept in the same bedroom? – Yes.

By the Coroner – The gentleman who called on the day of her arrival called the next morning to see Mrs. Maybrick, but she was not in, and he did not call any more.

Superintendent Bryning – And on the Friday morning you found a gentleman at the breakfast table who you believed to be the husband of the lady? – I saw him at the breakfast table. From that time up to the Sunday they lived together as man and wife.

Who is the gentleman? Have you seen him in this room?

Witness (standing) – To the best of my belief he is that gentleman there (pointing at Mr. A. Brierley).

This statement elicited some hissing, whereupon the Coroner said that if there was the slightest manifestation of feeling he would have the Court cleared.

Mr. Mulholland – Was the gentleman who called on Thursday the same gentleman you saw there afterwards? – No.

That gentleman took her out to the theatre, and you know nothing more about him except that he called to see her next morning and she was out? – Yes, he never saw her again.

When did the gentleman you have identified come? – I saw him at the breakfast table the morning after the lady arrived.

But he was not the gentleman who took her out the former evening? – No.

Thomas Lowery, a youth employed as clerk by the deceased at his office in Liverpool, and Eliza Busher, who cleaned out the office, gave evidence about the deceased lunching at the office. Mrs. Isabel Briggs, Sefton park, Liverpool, intimate friend of Mr. and Mrs. Maybrick, stated that after Mrs. Maybrick was taken into custody she, in witness’s presence, wrote to Mr. Alfred Brierley a letter, which the Coroner read, as follows:-

“Battlecrease, 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 at present and without money. I have cabled to my solicitor in New York to come at once. In the meantime send some money for present needs. The truth is known about my visit to London, and your last letter is in the hands of the police. Appearances are terribly against me, but before God I swear I am innocent.

Florence Maybrick.”

Mr. Pickford – About this letter, did you know whom she was writing it to? – Yes.

At the time she was writing? – Yes.

Did you advise as to writing to this gentleman or not? – I warned her that anything she wrote would be handed to the police.

Do you mean you cannot recollect whether or not you suggested she should write to this gentleman? – I might have said if he knew he would send her money – help.

She had told you, I suppose, she was in want of money? – Yes.

And it was then you suggested if this gentleman knew he might send her money? – Yes. If he knew she was in trouble he would help her.

And then she wrote? – yes.

Did you tell her it was your intention to hand the letter over to the police? – I did. I said she was not to write anything the police could not see.

But did you tell her before she wrote the letter that you yourself intended to hand it to the police? – Certainly. I told her to telegraph and not to write.

What difference would that have made, if I may ask?

The Coroner – Do you wish the jury to understand that although she was writing that letter she was perfectly persuaded that as soon as she had one it would be handed to the police? – Certainly.

Mr. Steele – About this letter, did you think the police would take a copy of it and send it on through the post to Mr. Brierley? – Certainly I did.

Mr. Mulholland – You suggested she should write to Mr. Brierley, but warned her you would show it to the police before it went? – Yes.

Mrs. Briggs also testified to the finding of several bottles and letters which were in Mrs. Maybrick’s room.

The inquest was adjourned until today, and Mrs. Maybrick was removed to a neighbouring police station in presence of a large crowd, but order was maintained by a strong force of police.

London Times report on the Aigburth (Maybrick) poisoning case

Times (London)

7 June 1889


Yesterday Mr. Brighouse, County Coroner, resumed the inquest on the body of Mr. James Maybrick, cotton merchant, Liverpool, whose death is attributed to poison. The inquiry was again held in the Garston Reading Room, near Aigburth, where the deceased resided at Battlecrease house. There did not appear to be the same public interest in the case as on the previous, when Mrs. Maybrick was present. Mr. Pickford again appeared for Mrs. Maybrick, Mr. Mulholland for Mr. Brierley, and Mr. A.G. Steel for the deceased’s relatives.

Mr. Edwin Maybrick, one of the deceased’s brothers, was the first witness called. He said that he came to Liverpool from the America on the 23rd of April, and saw the deceased at his office the next morning. He saw him again on the 27th and 28th, dining at his house on the latter date. The deceased, who was lying on the sofa in the morning room, complained of being very unwell and suffering from an attack of numbness in his legs, but was recovering. About 9 at night he had another attack of numbness, and at his request witness rubbed his legs, after which he recovered their use. Witness saw deceased at his office on May 1 in the forenoon, and he appeared to be unwell. Witness also saw him after luncheon, and he then seemed worse than before. The deceased had a luncheon, which was brought down from home; it was some kind of farinaceous food. He kept medicine in his office, and had some on the mantelpiece. On the morning of May 1 witness took down from Battlecrease to his brother’s office a parcel tied in brown paper, and given to him by Mrs. Maybrick, who said, “This is your brother’s dinner; will you take it to the office?” At the office his brother opened the parcel, which contained a small brown mug exactly similar to the one produced. Witness saw the deceased warm the contents in a saucepan and then pour them into the basin produced. He then partook of the food. Witness was at Battlecrease on Sunday, the 5th. He went out by the 9 o’clock train, and found his brother ill in bed and unable to retain anything at all on his stomach. Mrs. Maybrick was attending on him. Witness gave him some brandy and soda at his request in the afternoon, and the brandy and soda remained in him until Mrs. Maybrick gave him some medicine, when he vomited. On the Tuesday he was still in bed and much the same. Dr. Carter was called in that night to consult with Dr. Humphreys. Next day witness found his brother worse, and in the evening Nurse Yapp gave him the letter produced last week, and addressed to Mr. A. Brierley. He gave the letter to his brother Michael, who arrived that evening. Nurse Gore was engaged that day, and witness handed to her an unopened bottle of Valentine’s meat extract similar to the one produced. Nurse Callery was called in to assist Nurse Gore. On Friday the deceased was rather better, and from something which was told to witness Nurse Callery was changed and Nurse Wilson was brought in her place.

Superintendent Bryning – All this time where was Mrs. Maybrick?

Witness – She was either in my brother’s room or in the dressing room adjoining his room.

The Coroner – What do you mean by all this time? What period? – From the Sunday previous to his death.

Superintendent Bryning – On Saturday, the 11th of May, was Mr. Maybrick still worse? – Yes.

Was Mrs. Maybrick apparently in distress about his condition? – Yes. Did she say anything about it? – About 3 o’clock she called me and said, “Isn’t this sad?” I said, “What?” She said, “That Jim suffers so, and that I should not be able to relieve him.”

Did you remain about your brother’s room until evening? – No; I went to town for about two hours, and returned about 1 o’clock. Then I remained there until he died, about half past 8 o’clock.

In reply to further questions the witness said that on May 12 he and his brother Michael and Mrs. Briggs searched the room off deceased’s bedroom and found two hat boxes in a corner. In the upper box was a slouch hat with the lining downwards, and under the hat were two or three bottles, one of them, a Valentine’s meat bottle, partly full. In the box underneath there was a tall silk hat placed in the ordinary way, and lying across the bottom of the hat was a small hat brush, such as is generally used by hatters to rub hats, and between that and the side of the hat was a glass. On the day after the death Nurse Yapp came down to breakfast about 12 o’clock and gave his brother a small box.

Is this the box? – Yes, or one very similar to it. There was a handkerchief with the box, but I cannot identify it. The nurse gave the box and its contents to my brother Michael, who, on the advice of Mr. Steel, who was present, sealed it up.

Do you know where the box, after being sealed, was put? – My brother locked it up in the wine cellar. (The articles were here produced and identified.) There was also a piece of linen soaked in the liquid in the glass. The things were put back as found and subsequently handed to Inspector Baxendale, with whom witness entered the room, which had been kept locked, the key being left in witness’s possession. He also gave the inspector a bottle which he had found wrapped in a handkerchief in a small cupboard in the room. It was in consequence of what was said to him on the 8th that his suspicions were aroused.

Mr. Pickford – After Wednesday, the 8th, I think the charge of Mr. Maybrick was taken out of Mrs. Maybrick’s hands and placed in the hands of nurses? – Yes.

And your instructions were that she was not to give him any medicine after that? – My instructions were that the nurses would attend to him in every way.

On the morning of the Wednesday she telegraphed to you to send out your doctor? – On the Tuesday she telegraphed suggesting that Dr. M’Shane, who is a personal friend of mine, should be sent.

Had you suggested getting another doctor before that? – I suggested to my brother that as Dr. M’Shane was a friend of mine, I should ask his opinion. I did not propose to bring him there in a professional way. Dr. M’Shane could not come, and I sent Dr. Carter.

Did you know Mrs. Maybrick had telegraphed for a nurse on the Wednesday morning? – I did not.

Had you suggested she should send for a nurse before that? – No.

You have told us you found a number of things, bottles, &c.; none of them were locked up, were they? – No, none of them.

A juror – On Sunday, April 28, when you dined at your brother’s house, did you partake of the same kind of food? – My brother was ill and not able to take solid food. I dined in the dining room, and he was in the breakfast room all day. He only took what little food the doctor ordered him.

Dr. Humphreys was recalled, and stated that at the request of the police he took certain sediments of liquid from the lavatory and other private rooms in Battlecrease house, the drains being opened for the purpose. He placed the sediment in bottles and jars, which he gave to the analyst.

Frederick Tozer, chemist and druggist, in the employ of Messrs. Clay and Abraham, Liverpool, stated that he hade up prescriptions for Mr. Maybrick and described their nature. There was no arsenic.

Inspector Baxendale, in charge of the county police at Garston, said that about 8 o’clock on the night of Sunday, May 12, he received information of Mr. Maybrick’s death, and went to Battlecrease house to make inquiries. Witness asked to see the deceased’s body, and was taken to the room by Mr. Edwin Maybrick. He took possession of the bottles, glass of liquid, and other articles which had been described. He also attended the post mortem examination, and handed over the viscera to the analyst, Mr. Davies, of Liverpool. On searching Battlecrease on May 18 witness found in the lavatory a bottle bearing the label of Messrs. Clay and Abraham, and containing a dark mixture. On the same day he found at the deceased’s office in Liverpool another bottle with a similar label. Both were delivered to the analyst. Witness also attended at the exhumation of the body at Anfield Cemetery on the 28th of May, and handed over for analysis the vital organs which were then taken. He likewise procured for analysis fly papers of the same description as those proved to have been purchased by Mrs. Maybrick from different chemists.

Police sergeant Davenport testified to finding on May 17, in the linen room at Battlecrease, an unlabelled bottle containing a light coloured liquid, and in a dressing case in a closet in the same room some white powder and pills.

Mr. Isaac Bryning, superintendent of the county police for the West Derby Division, said that under his instructions the pipes and drains were opened and the sediment and liquid from them taken as stated by Dr. Humphreys. This was on May 13. On the following day he saw Mrs. Maybrick, who was in bed, and said to her, “Mrs. Maybrick, I am superintendent of police, and I am about to say something to you, and after I have said what I intend to say, if you reply, be careful how you do reply, because what you say may be given in evidence against you.” Witness then said, “Mrs. Maybrick, you are in custody on suspicion of causing the death of your husband, Mr. James Maybrick, on the 11th of this month.” She made no reply. On the 27th of May witness saw her in Her Majesty’s Prison at Walton, and cautioned her in similar terms to those used on the 14th ult. He said, “You are now charged with murdering your husband, Mr. James Maybrick, at Garston on the 11th of May.” She made no reply.

By a juror – On the last occasion a solicitor was present, but not on the first.

Mr. Edward Davies, analytical chemist, Fellow of the Chemical Society of London, Fellow of the Institution of Chemistry, and for 11 years public analyst for the Isle of Man, said he had a laboratory in the Royal Institution Buildings, Liverpool. Questioned as to the Valentine’s meat extract he received from Dr. Carter on May 11, he said – I tested it with the Reinsih test. I took 10 drops of it, and I obtained a strong deposit of arsenic upon a slip of copper. I then heated that slip of copper in a tube, and obtained crystals of what is commonly known as white arsenic. I also took some more and put it in Marsh’s apparatus, and obtained spots of arsenic from it. Those are some of the spots (produced) from Marsh’s apparatus. I passed the gas into nitrate of silver and got a precipitate of silver.

The Coroner – What does that mean? – That shows the presence of arseniuretted hydrogen – arsenic. I adopted another test with the result that I got a distinct precipitate of sulphide of arsenic, soluble in ammonia. I have since made a quantitative analysis. I weighed the arsenic as sulphide of arsenic, and for this purpose I took 100 grains, with the result that I got 12 per cent of white arsenic. On the contents of the bottle that would be as nearly as possible half a grain. By the Coroner – There were 375 grains when I had taken 35 minims out, so that we may say there were 411 grains in the bottle when I got it.

It seems there is no doubt in your mind that there was arsenic in the Valentine’s meat extract as given to you by Dr. Carter? – Oh, I am absolutely certain.

In reply to other questions the witness said he analysed another bottle of Valentine’s meat juice found in a box in Mrs. Maybrick’s room at Battlecrease. That did not contain arsenic, and on comparing it with the contents of the first bottle he found that it had higher specific gravity, from which he inferred that the contents of the first bottle had been diluted, and that the arsenic must have been added when in solution. There was a trace of arsenic in two of the bottles containing sediment from the lavatories and drains. The bottle found in the dressing table in Mrs. Maybrick’s room did not contain arsenic, but the handkerchief round it had a dirty red stain, part of which he cut out. From this he obtained distinct crystals of arsenic. A bottle found in the chocolate box in Mrs. Maybrick’s trunk room contained a dark liquid, which was the same as the arsenic contained in the package marked “Arsenic – poison,” but with water added. The bottle which was now produced contained 10 or 12 drops, and the solution was strong enough to poison two or three persons. A second bottle in the same box contained a saturated solution of arsenic, with solid arsenic at the bottom, and a third several drops of arsenic in solution strong enough for several drops to prove fatal.

The Coroner – You are not talking about the chronic use of arsenic? – No, a single dose. To put it on the safe side, we will say there is a grain in the bottle. Would that quantity produce unpleasant solutions, without causing death? – I do not know. I suppose it would depend upon a person’s idiosyncrasies. I cannot take much of a dose myself. (Laughter.) I have had it ordered for me, but it did not suit me. (Renewed laughter.)

Witness went on to say, in reply to other questions, that a fourth bottle in the box contained 15 to 20 grains of arsenic. The glass containing white liquid found in the hat box in Mrs. Maybrick’s room had just about 400 grains of fluid, in which was 3 per cent of arsenic altogether. The tumbler and a handkerchief in it contained 20 grains of the poison.

The Coroner – Twenty grains? – Yes, I should say so.

There is a fatal dose in the glass? – Oh, yes. The stuff in the glass seems to be same as the black mixture in No 8.

Can you tell us what the black is? – It is a powdered charcoal.

The foreman – Is charcoal used for any domestic purpose? – No, but it is mixed with arsenic in the poison for cats.

The Coroner – There is nothing in 13, 14, 15, and 16? – There was nothing in the bedding? – No, I cannot get a distinct analysis.

Now go to 17. Did you receive in a box a sealed packet marked “Arsenic for cats?” – Yes, it is arsenic mixed with powdered charcoal. I believe that, under the Arsenic Act, it must be mixed with one sixteenth of its weight of soot or indigo. That in this bottle is about 92 per cent of arsenic and eight of charcoal. Continuing his evidence, Mr. Davies said that in the bottle found by Inspector Baxendale in the lavatory at Battlecrease there was such a distinct presence of arsenic that, after mixing distilled water with the few drops of liquid that remained in the bottom, he found that he was able to obtain arsenic crystals from so small a quantity as 20 grains. In the medicine bottle from the defendant’s office there was a distinct trace of arsenic in only a few grains of the medicine. When he found arsenic in the latter bottle, which bore the label of Messrs. Clay and Abraham, witness went over to the firm’s shop and took samples from the store and dispensing bottles from which deceased’s prescription had been made up. On being tested separately the samples were found free from arsenic. He next examined the brown bag in which the luncheon which deceased used to take to his office was placed by Mrs. Maybrick. At the bottom of it were one or two small pieces of a farinaceous substance. These he removed by means of hot distilled water, reduced the liquid to a small bulk by evaporation, and tested it by Reinsch’s test for arsenic. He obtained distinct crystals of arsenic, and a second slip of copper which he boiled in the liquid was decidedly stained also. The deceased, he had been informed, cooked his luncheon in an enamelled pan. To be certain that arsenic did not come from the enamel witness bought a new pan of the same description, and after boiling distilled water in it for an hour he found it free from any trace of arsenic. Other bottles containing arsenic were tested, among others a bottle of Rice’s patent glycerine. A second bottle of the same substance which witness had bought was free from arsenic. On testing the fly papers submitted to him by Inspector Baxendale he found in each two grains and a half of arsenic. Replying to the foreman of the jury, witness said that in cold water the arsenic with the papers dissolved slowly, but he considered that in 24 hours there could be obtained from several of the papers by soaking them in cold water a solution sufficient to poison any ordinary person. The witness was next examined as to his analysis of the viscera. He stated that he took one ounce from different parts of the intestines and obtained distinct crystals of arsenic, but in very minute quantity. He doubted whether he could obtain a weighable quantity from any manageable portion of the intestines. From the coats of the stomach he failed to obtain evidence of arsenic, and also failed to find it in the contents of the stomach. Arsenic, however, was distinctly present in the liver, there being in six ounces 2.02 grains of the poison. It was distinctly present also in the kidneys, but not in a weighable quantity. Analysing portions of the heart and lungs he obtained faint indications of crystals, but whether or not they were arsenic he could not swear. He described the steps he had taken to be certain that the materials he used were pure.

Cross examined by Mr. Pickford – When he spoke of not being able to get a weighable quantity he meant that he could not find up to the hundredth part of a grain.

The Coroner – Is it absolutely necessary to find a fatal dose in the body in order to arrive at the conclusion that death was due to arsenical poisoning? – No.

In replying to further questions from Mr. Pickford, witness said that in this case he had found in the liver less than half the quantity of arsenic which he had found in previous fatal cases if arsenical poisoning with which he had had to deal. He made analyses in the Flannagan and Higgins’s case in Liverpool, about two years ago, which was a fly paper case.

The Coroner drew attention to a letter which had been referred to in the course of the day, and which had been held in abeyance.

Superintendent Bryning – I will put the letter before you, Mr. Coroner.

Mr. Pickford – I understand, Sir, that a communication was made to you at the first sitting by the gentleman who was sworn foreman of the jury. I should like to know whether it is proposed to call him.

The Coroner – No.

Mr. Pickford – Of course I have no official knowledge of what he communicated to you, but I understand it was something in relation to the case that he deemed so important that he ought not to act as foreman of the jury. You know what it is, and you know whether it is relevant or irrelevant.

The Coroner – I feel perfectly certain that it is not relevant. The foreman went himself to view the body. He made a statement to me when I arrived at the place of the inquest. I communicated that statement to Mr. Steel, who was then representing the Maybrick family, and Mr. Superintendent Bryning, and I said, “If you think that this statement is useful, if either of you think it is evidence, and you think that the foreman of the jury ought to appear as a witness, then I will discharge him.” They both thought that would be the better course, and I did so.

Mrs. Constance Louisa Hughes deposed that she was at Battlecrease on Sunday, the 12th, the day after the deceased’s death, and was alone in the bedroom – in the room where Mr. Maybrick died. While searching for keys she found the letter (produced) in the middle drawer, by Mrs. Maybrick’s dressing table.

The Coroner then read the letter, which was as follows:-

“My dear Florrie,

I suppose now you have gone I am safe in writing to you. I do not quite understand what you mean in your last letter about explaining my line of action. You know I could not write, and was willing to meet you, although it would have been 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. 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, and I think I shall take a round trip to the Mediterranean, which will take six or seven weeks, unless” (and the next five words are underlined) “you wish me to stay in England.” (The Coroner – You will recollect in her letter she says “In any case, do not leave England till I have seen you again.”) “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 to you my feelings on this unhappy business, but I do hope that some time I shall be able to show you that I do not quite deserve the strictures contained in your two last 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.


A juror – Is there any date to the letter?

The Coroner – No, nut I think you will find, by expressions in his letter, taken together with the letter of Wednesday, which Nurse Yapp intercepted, that this is the letter she refers to. I think it is absolutely certain some expressions of her letter are used in it. In this letter he says, “supposed the rooms are found,” she answering, “I know he is perfectly ignorant even of the name of the street.” I think it is very evident that her letter of Wednesday was a reply to this.

This being all the evidence, the Coroner summed up and said – The case is now before you, and on the evidence you have to find how and by what means Mr. James Maybrick came by his death. You must put on one side any matter you may have read in the papers, or anything you may have heard outside this room, and on the evidence, and the evidence alone, find the verdict you are about to give. You know very well a good many comments have appeared in the Press on this case, and I feel it is my duty to urge that matter strongly upon you – that you have to give your verdict on the evidence, and the evidence only. Now, although the object of your inquiry is to find out how and by what means Mr. Maybrick came by his death, the practical part of the inquiry is as to the connexion of Mrs. Maybrick with the death of the deceased, and as to whether on the evidence you can say she is criminally responsible for the death of her husband. The law presumes that every person is innocent until the contrary is proved; and we must take it that before the commencement of these proceedings, so far as you are concerned, Mrs. Maybrick was an innocent woman. In conclusion, he asked them three questions:- Did they believe that death resulted from the administration of an irritant poison; if so, by whom was the irritant poison administered; and if it was administered by Mrs. Maybrick, was it administered by her with an intent to take away life.

The jury retire to consider their verdict, and in 35 minutes returned into court.

The foreman, in reply to the Coroner, said that they were unanimously of opinion that death had resulted from an irritant poison, and 12 of the 13 were of opinion that the irritant poison had been administered to Mr. Maybrick with intent to take his life.

The Coroner – That means a verdict of “wilful murder” against Mrs. Maybrick. (To the police.) Bring in Mrs. Maybrick.

Mrs. Maybrick, who during the afternoon had been detained at the Garston Police station, was then brought into court, and addressed by the Coroner as follows:- Florence Elizabeth Maybrick, the jury have inquired into the circumstances attending the death of your husband, and they have come to the conclusion that he has been wilfully murdered by you. I therefore commit you to the next Assizes to be held at Liverpool, there to take your trial upon that charge.

The accused, who seemed to be dazed, made no reply, and was at once removed. She was dressed in deep mourning. She is to be brought up on remand before the magistrates on Wednesday next.

James Maybrick letter to brother Michael Blucher

Shortly before his death, Maybrick had attended the Wirral Races where he rode in bad weather. The next morning, he felt sick and called Dr. Humphreys to visit him. Maybrick complained of stiffness in his legs and hands. Dr. Humphreys directed Maybrick to stop taking the medicine he had recently been prescribed by a Dr. Fuller, his brother Micahel’s doctor in London. Dr. Humphreys gave Maybrick another prescription to replace it.

The next day, James Maybrick wrote a letter to Michael informing him about his illness. In the letter, Maybrick calls Micheal Blucher, an affectionate nickname the family had for Michael. Below is the text of the letter – and a hastily-written will.

Liverpool 29th April 1889

My Dear Michael Blucher,

I have been very seedy indeed. On Saturday morning I found my legs getting stiff and useless but by sheer strength of will shook off the feeling and went down on horseback to Wirral Races and dined with the Hobsons. Yesterday morning I felt more like dying than living so much so that Florie called in another doctor who said it was an acute attack of indigestion and gave me something to relieve the alarming symptoms, so all went well until about eight o’clock I went to bed and had lain there an hour by myself and was reading on my back. Many times I felt a twitching but took little notice of it thinking it would pass away but instead of doing so I got worse and worse and in trying to move round to ring the bell I found I could not do so but finally managed it by the time Florie and Edwin could get upstairs I was stiff and for two mortal hours my legs were like bars of iron stretched out to the fullest extent but as rigid as steel. The doctor came finally again but could not make it indigestion this time and the conclusion he came to was that the nux vomica I had been taking under Dr Fuller had poisoned me as all the symptoms warranted such a conclusion I know I am today sore from head to foot and played out completely.

What is the matter with me none of the Doctors so far can make out and I suppose never will until I am stretched out and cold and then future generations may profit by it if they hold a post mortem which I am quite willing they should do.

I don’t think I shall come up to London this week as I don’t feel much like travelling and cannot go on with Fuller’s physic yet a while but I shall come up again and see you shortly. Edwin does not join you just yet but he will write you himself. I suppose you go to your country quarters on Wednesday.

I have not seen Dickinson yet.

With love. Your affectionate brother


‘In case I die before having made a regular and proper will in legal form, I wish this to be taken as my last will and testament. I leave and bequeath all my worldly possessions of whatever kind or description, including furniture, picture, wines, linen and plate, life insurances, cash, shares, property, in fact, everything I possess, in trust with my brothers Michael Maybrick and Thomas Maybrick for my two children James Chandler Maybrick and Gladys Evelyn Maybrick. The furniture I desire to remain intact, and to be used in furnishing a home which can be shared by my widow and children, but the furniture is to be the children’s. I further desire that all moneys be invested in the names of the above trustees (Michael and Thomas Maybrick), and the income of same used for children’s benefit and education, such education to be left to the discretion of said trustees. My widow will have for her portion of my estate the policies on my life, say £500, with the Scottish Widows’ Fund, and £2,000 with the Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association of New York, both policies being made out in her name. The interest on this £2,500, together with the £125 a year which she receives from her New York property, will make a provision of about £225 a year – a sum which, although small, will yet be the means of keeping her respectably. It is also my desire that my widow shall live under the same roof with the children so long as she remains my widow. If it is legally possible, I wish the £2,500 of life insurance on my life in my wife’s name to be invested in the names of the said trustees, but that she should have the sole use of the interest thereof during her lifetime, but at her death the principal to revert to my said children James Chandler and Gladys Evelyn Maybrick.’

Partial transcript of the James Maybrick diary

Below is a partial transcript of the James Maybrick diary taken from photocopies of the original journal.

[Beginning of James Maybrick diary]

Maybrick begins by discussing his knowledge of the affair Florence is having.  References to “Michael” are his brother. The writing is poor, unpolished English.

What they have in store for them they would stop this instant. But do I desire that? My answer is no. They will suffer just as I. I will see to that. Received a letter from Michael perhaps I will visit him. Will have to come to some sort of decision regards the children. I long for peace f mind but I sincerely believe that that will not come until I have sought my revenge on the whore and the whore master.

Foolish bitch, I know for certain she has arranged a rendezvous with him in Whitechapel. So be it, my mind is firmly made. I took refreshment at the Poste House it was there I finally decided London it shall be. And why not, is it not an ideal location? Indeed, do I not frequently visit the Capital and indeed do I not have legitimate reason for doing so. All who sell their dirty wares shall pay, of that I have no doubt. But shall I pay? I think not I am too clever for that.

As usual my hands are cold, my heart I do believe is colder still. My dearest Gladys is unwell yet again, she worries me so I am convinced a dark shadow lays over the house, it is evil. I am becoming increasingly weary of people who constantly enquire regards the state of my health. True my head and arms pain me at times, but I am not duly worried, although I am quite certain Hopper believes to the contrary. I have him down as a bumbling buffoon. Thomas has requested that we meet as soon as possible. Business is flourishing so I have no inclination as regards the matter he describes as most urgent. Never the less I shall endeavor to meet his request.

Time is passing much too slowly, I still must work up the courage to begin my campaign. I have thought long and hard over the matter and still I cannot come to a decision to when I should begin. Opportunity is there, of that fact I am certain. The bitch has no inclination.

The thought of him taking her is beginning to thrill me, perhaps I will allow her to continue, some of my thoughts are indeed beginning to give me pleasure. Yes I will visit Michael for a few weeks, and allow her to take all she can from the whoring master. Tonight I shall see mine. I may return to Battlecrease and take the unfaithful bitch. Two in a night, indeed pleasure. My medicine is doing me good, in fact, I am sure I can take more than any other person alive. My mind is clear I will put whore through pain tonight.

I am beginning to believe it is unwise to continue writing. If I am to down a whore then nothing shall lead the pursuers back to me, and yet there are times when I feel an overwhelming compulsion to place my thoughts to paper. It is dangerous, that I know. If Smith should find this then I am done before my campaign begins. However, the pleasure of writing off all that lays ahead of me, and indeed the pleasure of thoughts of deeds that lay ahead of me, thrills me so. And oh, what things, for I am not, as all believe, a mild man, who it has been said would never hurt a fly. Indeed only the other day did not Edwin say of me I was the most gentlest of men he had encountered. A compliment from my dear brother which I found exceedingly flattering.

Have decided my patience is wearing thin. The bitch had made a fool of me. Tomorrow I travel to Manchester. Will take some of my medicine and think hard on the matter. I believe I could do so though I shake with fear of capture. A fear I will have to overcome. I believe I have the strength. I will force myself not to think of the children. The whore, that is all that shall be in my mind. My head aches.

My dear God my mind is in a fog. The whore is now with her maker and he is welcome to her. There was no pleasure as I squeezed I felt nothing. Did not know if I have the courage to go back to my original idea. Manchester was cold and damp very much like this hell hole. Next time I will throw acid over them. The thought of them riddling and screaming while the acid burns deep thrills me, ha, what a joke it would be if I could gorge an eye out and leave it by the shores body for all to see, to see, ha, ha.

I believe I have caught a chill. I cannot stop shaking, my body aches. There are times when I pray to God that the pain and torment will stop. Summer is near the warm weather will do me good. I long for peace by my work is only beginning. I will have along wait for peace. All whores must suffer first and my God how I will make them suffer as she had made me. Edwin asked regards Thomas and business. I informed him that Thomas was well and business was flourishing, both true. I have in my mind that I should write to Michael, perhaps not, my hands are far too cold, another day. I will take the bitch tonight. I need to take my mind off the night’s events. The children are well.

Strolled by the drive, encountered Mrs. Hamersmith, she enquired of Bobo and Gladys and much to my astonishment about my health. What has that whore said? Mrs Hammersmith is a bitch. The fresh air and stroll did me good. For a while I succeeded in forgetting the bitch and her whoring master. Felt completely refreshed when I returned to my office. I will visit Michael this coming June. June is such a pleasant month, the flowers are in full bud and the air is sweeter and life is almost certainly much rosier. I look forward to its coming with pleasure. A great deal of pleasure. I feel compelled to write to Michael if not obliged. My mind is clear, my hands are not cold.

I am vexed. I am trying to quell my anger. The whore has suggested she accompany me on my trip to Michael. I need time to put my mind in order. Under no circumstances can I let the bitch accompany me, all my hard work and plans will be destroyed if she were to do so. The pain was bad today. I believe the bitch has found one of my bottles, it had been moved. I am tired and need sleep the pain kept me awake for most of last night. Will return early avoid the bitch altogether.

Frequented my club. George stated that he had never seen me in better health.  I believe the bitch has changed her mind.  My thoughts are becoming increasingly more daring.  I have imagined doing all manner of things.  Could I eat part of one?  Perhaps it would tasted of fresh fried bacon ha ha.  My dear God it thrills me so.

Michael is expecting me towards the end of June, henceforth from July my campaign will gather momentum.  I will take each and everyone before I return them to their maker, damaged of course, severely damaged.

I try to repel all thoughts of the children from my mind.  I feel strong, stronger than I have ever felt.  My thoughts keep returning to Manchester, next time it will thrill me.  I know in my heart it will.  I cannot understand why William will not accept my offer to dine.  He is not unlike me, he hates the bitch.  I believe if chance prevails I will burn St. James’s to the ground. Tomorrow I will make a substantial wager.  I feel lucky.

If I could have killed the bastard Lowry with my bare hands there and then I would have done so.  How dare he question me on any matter, it is I that should question him.  Damn him damn him damn him. Should I replace the missing items? No that would be too much of a risk.  Should I destroy this?  My God I will hill him.  Give him no reason to order him poste haste to drop the matter, that I believe is the only course of action I can take.  I will force myself to think of something more pleasant.  The whore will suffer more than she has ever done so tonight, that thought revitalized me.  June is drawing to a close I shake with anticipation.

I have taken too much my thoughts are not where they should be.  I recall little of the events of yesterday.  Thank God I stopped myself in time.  I will show my wrath towards the bastard in such a manner that he will wish he had never brought up the subject.  No one, not eve God himself will away the pleasure of writing my thoughts.  I will take the first whore I encounter and shew her what hell is really like.  I think I will ram a cane into the whoring bitches mound and leave it there for them to see how much she could take.  My head aches, God has no right to do this to me the devil take him.

How I succeeded in controlling myself I do not know.  I have not allowed for the red stuff, gallons of it in my estimation.  Some of it is bound to spill onto me.  I cannot allow my clothes to be blood drenched, this I could not explain to anyone least of all Michael.  Why did I not think of this before! I curse myself.  The struggle to stop myself was overwhelming, and if I had not asked Michael to lock me in my bedroom for fear of sleepwalking, to which I had said I had been prone to do recently, was that not clever?  I would have done my dirty deeds that very night.

Middlesex Street represents the boundary between the City of London and the lower-class East End area of town.

I have taken a small room in Middlesex Street, that is itself a joke.  I have paid well and I believe no questions will be asked.  It is indeed an ideal location.  I have walked the streets and have become more than familiar with them.  I said Whitedchapel it will be and Whitechapel it shall.  The bitch and her whoring master will rue the day I first saw them together.  I said I am clever, very clever.  Whitecahpel Liverpool, Whitechapel London, ha ha.  No one could possibly place it gogether.  And indeed for there is no reason for anyone to do so.

The next time I travel to London I shall begin.  I have no doubts, my confidence is most high.  I am thrilled writing this, life is sweet, and my disappointment has vanished.  Next time for sure.  I have no doubts, not any longer, no doubts.   No one will ever suspect.  Tomorrow I will purchase the finest knife money can buy, nothing shall be too good for my whores.  I will treat them to the finest, the very finest, they deserve that at least from I.

This appears to be Maybrick’s discussion of an East End murder – Mary Ann Nichols, who was killed on August 31, 1888.  Records show her head was nearly severed from the body. She was found in an area of town known for its sewing factories.

I have shown all that I mean business, the pleasure was far better than I imagined.  The whore was only too willing to do her business.  I recall all and it thrills me.  There was no scream when I cut.  I was more than vexed when the head would not come off.  I believe I will need more strength next time.  I struck deep into her.  I regret I never had the cane, it would have been a delight to have rammed it hard into her.  The bitch opened like a ripe peach.  I have decided next time I will rip all out.  My medicine will give me strength and the thought of the whore and her whoring master will spur me on no end.

To wait to read about my triumph seemed long, although it was not.  I am not disappointed, they have all written well.  The next time they will have a great deal more to write, of that fact I have no doubt ha ha.  I will remain calm and show no interest in my deed if anyone should mention it so, but I will laugh inside, oh how I will laugh.

I will not allow too much time to pass before my next.  Indeed I need to repeat my pleasure as soon as possible.  The whoring Master can have her with pleasure and I shall have my pleasure with my thoughts and deeds.  i will be clever.  I will not call on Michael on my next visit.  My brothers would be horrified if they knew, particularly Edwin after all did he not say I was one of the most gentlest of men he had ever encountered.  I hope he is enjoying the fruits of America.  Unlike I, for do I not have a sour fruit.

“George” referenced below is likely George Lusk, the president of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee.  Jack the Ripper often communicated with him sending him letters and in one case, a verified piece of a victim’s body.  Maybrick also discussed his increasing intake of drugs/medicine.

I could not resist mentioning my deed to George.  I was clever and brought up the subject by way of how fortunate we were not having murders of that kind in this city.  He agreed with me completely.  Indeed eh sent on to say, that he believed we had the finest police force in the land, and although we have our fair share of troubles the women folk can walk the streets in safety.  And indeed they can for I will not play my funny little games on my own doorstep ha ha.

The gentle man with gentle thoughts will strike again soon.  I have never felt better, in fact, I am taking more than ever and I can feel the strength building up within me.  The head will come off next time, also the whores hands.  Shall I leave them in various places around Whitechapel?  Hunt the head and hands instead of the thimble ha ha.  Maybe I will take some part away with me to see if it does taste like fresh fried bacon.  The whore seen her master today it did not bother me.  I imagined I was with them, the very thought thrills me.  I wonder if the whore has ever had such thoughts?  I believe she has, has she not cried out when I demand she take another.  The bitch.  She will suffer but not as yet.  Tomorrow I travel to London.  I have decided I cannot wait any longer,.  I look forward to tomorrow nights work, it will do em good, a great deal of good.

One dirty whore was looking for some gain

Another dirty whore was looking for the same.

Am I not clever?  I thought of my funny little rhyme on my travel to the City of Whores.  I was vexed with myself when I realized I had forgotten the chalk.  So vexed in fact that I returned to the bitch and cut out more.  I took some of it away with me.  It is in front of me.  I intend to fry it and eat it later ha ha.  The very thought works up my appetite.  I cannot stop the thrill of writing.  I ripped open my God I will have to stop thinking of the children they distract me so I ripped open.

It has taken me three days to recover.  I will not feel guilty it is the whoring bitch to blame not I.  I ate all of it, it did not taste like fresh fried bacon but I enjoyed it never the less.  She was so sweet and pleasurable.  I have left the stupid fools a clue which I am sure they will not solve.  Once again I have been clever, very clever.

A ring or two will leave this clue

One pill that’s true

M will catch Sir Jim with no pills

left two

two farthings,

two pills

the whores M



The next section appears to discuss the double-murder night.  It is believed the Ripper was interrupted while cutting the first victim.  Body parts were taken from the scene and later mailed to authorities.  The “Jewish joke” referred to was the chalk writing found on a wall.

To my astonishment I cannot believe I have not been caught.  My heart felt as if it had left my body.  Within my fright I imagined my heart bounding along the street with I in desperation following it.  I would have dearly loved to have cut the head of the damned horse off and stuff it as far as it would go down the shore’s throat.  I had no time to rip the bitch wide, I curse my bad luck.  I believed the thrill of being caught thrilled me more than cutting the whore herself.  As I write I find it impossible to believe he did not see me, in my estimate I was less than a few feet from him.  The fool panicked, it’s what saved me.  My satisfaction was far from complete, damn the bastard.  I fused him and cursed him, but I was clever, they could not out do me.  No one ever will.  Within the quarter of the hour I found another dirty bitch willing to sell her wares.  The whore like all the rest was only too willing.  The thrill she gave me was unlike the others.  I cut deep deep.  Her nose annoyed me so I cut it off, had a go at her eyes, left my mark, could not get the bitches head off.  I believe now it is impossible to do so.  The whore never screamed.  I took all I could away with me.  I am saving it for a rainy day ha ha.

Perhaps I will send Abberline and Warren a sample or two, it goes down well with an after dinner port.  I wonder how long it will keep?  Perhaps next time I will keep some of the red stuff and send it courtesy of yours truly.  I wonder if they enjoyed my funny Jewish joke!  Curse my bad  luck had no time to write a funny little rhyme.  Before my next will send Central another to remember me by.  My God life is sweet.  Will give them something to know it is me.

The following appears next in the diary.  It’s a workup to a more formal, final poem.

Red -head



smelt breath

A rose matched the red

I did cut the head

Dam it I cried, hence forth I did hide,

The horse went and shed

With a rose to match the red

I tried to cut off the head

Damn it I cried

The horse wan and shed

But I could still smell her sweet scented breath

Sir Jim,

tin match box empty

cigarette case

make haste

my shiny knife

the whore knife

first whore no good

One whore no good,

decided Sir Jim strike another.

I showed no fright and indeed no light,

dam it, the tin box was empty

tea and sugar

away, pay ,did say

me, plea, be

tea and sugar paid my fee

Sweet sugar and tea, could have paid my small fee ha ha

then I did flee

Showed my glee

A kidney for supper

Sweet sugar and tea,

could have paid my small for.

But instead I did flee

and by way showed my glee

By eating cold kidney for supper




hides all



will tell you more

Mr Abberline is a funny little man

Oh Mr Abberline, he is a clever little man

he keeps back all that he can.
But I know better

For do I know better, indeed I do

did not leave him a very good clue

Nothing is mentioned, of this I know sure

and clever Abberline, he does know more

Oh Mr Abberoline, he is a clever little man

he keeps back all that he can.

For do i not know better, Indeed I do

did I not leave him a very good clue.

Nothing is mentioned, for this I am sure,

ask clever Abberline, could tell you more

Sir Jim trip over


have it near

redeem it near


poste haste

He believes I will trip over

but I have no fear

I cannot redeem it here

For I could not possibly redeem it here

of this certain fact, I would send him poste haste

if the requests that be the case

Am I not a clever fellow

The following is Maybrick’s next murder discussion.

if it were not for Michael insisting that we take dinner I would have tried my hand that very night.  I cursed my brother as I have never cursed him before.  I cursed my own stupidity, had I not informed Michael that I no longer sleepwalked I was forced to stop myself from indulging in my pleasure by taking the largest dose I have ever done.  The pain that night has burnt into my mind.  I barely recall putting a handkerchief in my mouth to stop the cries.  I believe I vomited several times.  The pain was intolerable, as I think I shudder.  No more.

I am convinced God placed me here to kill all whores, for he must have done so, am I still not here.  Nothing will stop me now.  The more I take the stronger I become.

Michael was under the impression that once I had finished my business I was to return to Liverpool that very day.  And indeed I did one day later ha ha.  I fear not, for the fact will not come to his attention as he addresses all letters to me.

I have read about my latest, my God the thoughts, the very best.  I left nothing of the bitch, nothing.  I placed it all over the room, time was on my hands, like the other whore I cut off the bitch’s nose, all of it this time.  I left nothing of her face to remember her by.  She reminded me of the whore.  So young unlike I.  I thought it a joke when I cut her breasts off, kissed them for a while.  The taste of blood was sweet, the pleasure was overwhelming, will have to do it again, it thrilled me so.  Left them on the table with some of the other stuff.  Thought they belonged there.  They wanted a slaughterman so I stripped what I could, laughed while I was doing so.  Like the other bitches she riped like a ripe peach.  One of these days I will take the head away with me.  I will boil it and serve it up for my supper.  The key and burnt clothes puzzled them ha ha.

[End of James Maybrick diary]

It shall not be long before I strike again.  I am taking more than ever.  The bitch can take two, Sir Jim take four, a double double event ha ha.  If I was in the city of whores I would do my fiendish deeds this very moment.  By God I would.

I curse myself for the fool I have been.  I shall have no more regrets, damn them all.  Beware Mr. Abberline I will return with a vengeance.  Once more I will be the talk of England.  What pleasure my thoughts do give me.  I wonder if the whore will take the bastard?  The bitch is welcome to him.  I shall think about their deeds, what pleasure.  Tonight I shall reward myself, I will visit mine, but I will not be gentle.  I will show my whore what I am capable of.  Sir Jim needs to wet his appetite, all whores be damned.  A friend has turned, so be it.  Sir Jim will turn once more.  When I have finished my fiendish deeds, the devil himself will praise me.  But he will have a long wait before I shake hands with him.  I have words to do a great deal of works ha ha kidney for supper.

I am tired of keeping up this pretense of respectability.  I am finding it increasingly difficult to do so.  I believe I am a luck fellow.  Have I not found a new source for my medicine.  I relish the thoughts that it will bring me.  I enjoy thinking of the whores waiting for my nice shining knife.  Tonight I will write to Michael. Inform him I shall be visiting the city of whores soon, very soon.  I cannot wait.  The whore may take as may whore masters as she wishes.  I not longer worry.  I have my thoughts and pleasure of deeds to come, and oh what deeds I shall commit.  Much, much finer than my last.  Life is indeed sweet, very very sweet.

Dear Mr. Abberline

I am a luck man

Next time I will do all that I can

run, can, fan, damn

cut and thrust

with a little cut her,

and a little cut there

I will go laughing

away to my lair.

Dear Mr. Abberline,

I am a luck man

Next time I will do

all that I can.

With a little cut here

and a little cut there

I will go laughing

away to my lair.

Damn it damn it damn it the bastard almost caught me, curse him to hell.  I will cut him up next time, so help me.  A few minutes and I would have done, bastard.  I will seek him out, teach him a lesson.  No one will stop me.  Curse his black soul.  I curse myself for striking too soon.  I should have waited until it was truly quiet so help me.  I will take all next time and eat it.  Will leave nothing not even the head.  I will boil it and eat it with freshly picked carrots.  I shall think about Abberline as I am doing so, that will give me a laugh ha ha the whore will suffer tonight for the deed she has done.

The bitch has written all,

tonight she will fall.

So help me God I will cut the bitch up and serve her up to the children.  How dare the whore write to Michael, the damn bitch had no right to inform him of my medicine.  If I have my funny little way the whore will be served up this very night.  I stood my ground and informed Michael it was a damn lie.

The bitch visits the city of whores soon.  I have decided I will wait until the time is ripe then I will strike with all my might.  I shall buy the whore something for her visit.  Will give the bitch the impression I consider it her duty to visit her aunt.  She can nurse the sick bitch and see her whoring master.  ha ha.

Ha, what a joke, let the bitch believe I have no knowledge of her whoring affairs.  When she returns the whore will pay.  I relish the thoughts of striking the bitch once more.  Am I not a clever fellow.  I pride myself no one knows how clever I am.  I do believe if George was to read this, he would say I am the cleverest man alive.  I yearn to tell him how clever I have been, but I shall not, my campaign is far from over yet.  Sir Jim will give nothing away, nothing.  How can they stop me now this Sir Jim may live for ever.  I feel strong, very strong, strong enough to strike in this damn cold city, believe I will.  Why not, nobody does suspect the gentle man born Will see how I will feel on my journey home, if the whim takes me then so be it.  Will have to be careful not to get too much of the red stuff on me.  Perhaps I will just cut the once, fool the fools, oh what a joke, more chickens running around with their heads cut off, ha ha I feel clever.

Sir Jimay



ha ha ha ha ha

Am I not a clever fellow, the bitch gave me the greatest pleasure of all.  Did not the whore see her whore master in front of all, true the race was the fastest I have seen, but the thrill of seeing the whore with the bastard thrilled me more so than knowing his Royal Highness was but a few feet away from yours truly ha ha what a laugh, if the greedy bastard would have known he was less than a few feet away from the name all England was talking about he would have died there and then.  Regret I could not tell the foolish fool.  To hell with sovereignty, to hell with all whores, to hell with the bitch who rules.

Victoria the bitch

Queen fool Sir Jack knows all

The queen she knows all

Victoria, Victoria

The queen of them all

When it comes to Sir Jack

She knows nothing at all

She knows one day

who knows,

perhaps one day

I will give her a call

Shining knife

my life

honor my knife

Show her my knife

and she will honor me for life

Come Sir Jim she will say

Arise Sir Jack she will say

and now you can go,

as you may ha ha ha

ha ha ha ha

Victoria, Victoria

the queen of them all

when it comes to Sir Jack

she knows nothing at all

who knows,

Perhaps one day,

I will give her a call

Show her my knife

and she will honor me for life

Arise Sir Jack she will say

and now you can go

as you may

Jim, Jack Jack Jim ha ha ha

I was clever.  George would be proud of me, told the bitch in my position I could not afford a scandal.  I struck her several times an eye for an ye, ha ha too many interfering servants, damn the bitches.  Hopper will soon feel the edge of my shining knife, damn the meddling buffoon, damn all.   Once more the bitch is in my debt, my God I will cut her.  Oh how I will cut her.  I will visit the city of whores I will pay her dues and I shall take mine, by God I will.  I will rip rip rip.  May seek the bastard out who stopped my funny little games and rip him too.  I said he would pay.  I will make sure he damn will.  I feel a numbness in my body, the whores will pay for that.  I wonder if Edwin is well?  I long for him to return.  I have decided that next time I will take the shores eyes out and send them to that fool Abberline.



take the eyes

take the head,

leave them all for dead

Fuller believes there is very little the matter with me.  Strange, the thoughts be placed into my mind.  I could not strike, I believe I am mad, completely mad.  I try to fight my thoughts. I walk the streets until dawn.  I could not find it in my heart to strike, visions of my dear Bunny overwhelm me.  I still love her, but how I hate her.  She has destroyed all and yet my heart aches for her, oh how it aches.  I do not know which pain is the worse my body or my mind.

My God I am tired.  I do not know if I can go on.  Bunny and the children are all that matter.  No regrets, no regrets.  I shall not allow such thoughts to enter my head.  Tonight I will take my shinning knife and be rid of it.  Throw it deep within the river.  I shall return to Barrlecrease with the knowledge that I can no longer continue my campaign.  Tis love that spurned me so, tis love that shall put an end to it.

I am afraid to look back on all that I have written.  Perhaps it would be wiser to destroy this, but in my heart I cannot bring myself to do so.  Ih ave tried once before, but like the coward I am, I could not.  Perhaps in my tormented mind I wish for someone to read this and understand that the man I have become was not the man I was born.

My dear brother Edwin has returned.  I wish I could tell him all.  No more funny little rhymes.  Tonight I write of love.

tis love that spurned me so,

tis love that does destroy

tis love that I yearn for

tis love that she spurned

tis love that will finish me

tis love that I regret

My God help me.  I pray each night he will take me, the disappointment when I awake is difficult to describe.  I not longer take the dreaded stuff for fear I will harm my dear Bunny, worse still the children.

I do not have the courage to take my life.  I pray each night I will find the strength to do so, but the courage alludes me.  I pray constantly all will forgive.  I deeply regret striking her, I have found it in my heard to forgive her for her lovers.

I believe I will tell her all, ask her to forgive me as I have forgiven her.  I pray to God she will understand what she has done to me.  Tonight I will pray for the women I have slaughtered.  May God forgive me for the deeds I committed on Kelly, no heart no heart.

The pain is unbearable.  My dear Bunny knows all.  I do not know if she has the strength to kill me.  I pray to God she finds it.  It would be simple, she knows of my medicine, and for an extra dose or two it would be all over.  no one will know I have seen to that.  George knows of my habit and I trust soon it will come to the attention of Michael.  In truth I believe he is aware of the fact.  Michael will know how to act he is the most sensible amongst us all.  I do not believe I will see this June, my favorite of all months.  Have begged bunny to act soon.  I curse myself for the coward I am.  I have redressed the balance of my previous will.  Bunny and the children are well cared for and I trust Micheal and Thomas will carry out my wishes.

Soon, I trust I shall be laid beside my dear mother and father.  I shall seek their forgiveness when we are reunited.  God I pray will allow me at least that privilege, for a reminder to all how love does destroy.  I place this now in a place where it shall be found.  I pray whoever should read this will find it in their heart to forgive me.  Remind all, whoever you may be, that I was once a gentle man.  May the good lord have mercy on my soul, and forgive me for all I have done.

I give my name that all know of me, so history do tell, what love can do to a gentle man born.

Yours truly

Jack the Ripper

Dated this third day of May 1889

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