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James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton broker, died on 11th May, 1889. A suspicion had arisen in the minds of some of those attending Mr. Maybrick during his illness that his wife was attempting to poison him.
She was arrested and tried for his murder at the Liverpool Assizes, convicted and sentenced to death on 7th August, 1889. This sentence was commuted by the Home Secretary to one of penal servitude for life. Mrs. Maybrick served fifteen years of imprisonment, and was released on 25th January, 1904.
The justice of Mrs. Maybrick's conviction was gravely questioned at the time and has been the subject of criticism ever since.