Just had this very interesting meesage from Mrs Silvester. I am re-posting it below. Thanks to Mrs Silvester for sharing, and I hope everyone enjoys the links (apologies to people in the US, these tend to only work in the UK):
Hi, I’m not sure where would be best to post this, but I recently stumbled across some excellent BBC Radio 4 programmes from a series called “Voices From the Old Bailey” (series 2). Historian Amanda Vickery is looking at 18th century culture through some of the court cases of the time. The programmes focus on riots, the lives of gay men in the 18th century, servants and ordinary people.
The link to listen to all the programmes is:
For each individual programme there are also useful links, including a link to the actual cases on OldBailey Online, and a users guide to using the site. Here is the page with links to the cases discussed in the riot programme:
There is also a blog:
It all makes for very interesting listening and gives an excellent flavour of the times. I think the dramatised recordings of the witness testimonies are great. One of the co-founders of OldBailey Online is a contributor to the first programme, and he sums things up very well at the end. He states that the cases of the Old Bailey give people who otherwise would not be heard (because they could not read or write) a voice, and this allows us to hear them and empathise with them.