Life trial sentence and last farewell to the world of Anne Merritt

Life trial sentence and last farewell to the world of Anne Merritt
This ballad tells of Anne Merritt, convicted of poisoning her husband in exchange for a "paltry sum of money" from the Hackney Benefit Society (referred to as a "Burial Society" in the ballad). Benefit societies such as these were early precursors to life insurance policies. Merritt was initially sentenced to be hung. However, doubts were cast on the medical evidence for her conviction. Though she might have received a verdict of not-guilty due to a lack of conclusive evidence, Merritt was unable to afford legal defense. In the end, she was exiled to Australia, leaving behind three children. The press focus on this case later led to reforms in the trial process, preventing a reliance on unchallenged singular sources.
Mitchell, Michael. "Ann Merritt later Shipley (nee Rowe)." Female Convicts Research Center, Inc.
Call Number (click link to view in library catalog)
Hodges, E
Full Title
Life trial sentence and last farwell [sic] tu [sic] the worrld [sic] gf [sic] Anne Merritt for the murder of James Merritt her husband, by poison, on the 2kth [sic] Jan. 1853.
Seven Dials
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Bibliographic Citation
Life Trial Sentence and Last Farewell To the World of Anne Merritt for the Murder of James Merritt Her Husband, by Poison. London: E. Hodges, printer, Toy and Marble Warehouse, 31 Dudley Street, Seven Dials, 1853.

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