After years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her alcoholic husband, who often beat her unconscious, Elizabeth Ratcliffe, 47, at last found a refuge when her eldest son bought a house in Stockport, and invited her to live with him.

Elizabeth planned to keep her whereabouts a secret from her husband James, but he found out where she was living and called on her. “I’m seriously ill,” he told her in a hoarse whisper. “Could you get me a glass of water?” As she came close to him he stabbed her in the stomach. She died in hospital next day.

James Ratcliffe was hanged on Saturday, September 2nd, 1843, outside Chester Prison.