Radio 4 – Old Bailey show

August 23, 2011

Hi everyone,

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.

Garrow’s Law goes stateside

May 9, 2011


Garrow’s law is currently showing in various parts of America.  Check out the trailer!


Garrow’s House

November 30, 2010

Hi everyone,

If you are in the UK, go to BBC iplayer and listen to the special feature on BBC Radio Kent about William Garrow’s house in Kent.  Start listening at 1hour, 36 mins and 40 seconds

Garrow Mini documentary

November 29, 2010

Morning all,

Here is an exclusive sneak peek at the Documentary that will be included as a bonus feature to the DVD of series 2 of Garrow’s Law:

The full film is 25 minutes’ duration and features clips from the series and also interviews with:

John Hostettler, Author of the first biography to be written about Garrow;

Guy Holborn, The Librarian, Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, who shows us some of the original Garrow documents from the Inn’s archive;

Prof. Tim Hitchcock, Co-Director of

Nick Pitt, Producer, Garrow’s Law

Mark Pallis (that’s me!), Story Editor and Legal & Historical Consultant

Damian Wayling, Writer, Garrow’s Law, Episode 4

The film was written and directed by me, and Shot, Edited and Produced  by the fantastic with music produced by star Hollywood composer Patrick Kirst

Interview with Mark Pallis + recreation of a case

November 22, 2010

A few months ago, I was contacted by some of the children at Sandylands primary school. They were looking into a case (from around Garrow’s period) of two children who were found guilty of stealing and transported to Australia.

They came up to London with their teacher and we spent a very enjoyable morning together in Lincoln’s Inn.  The children asked me some questions about the period and the interview is online on their site.

The site is a really fun thing to have a look at. What I  enjoyed was their re-creation of the trial of young George and Elizabeth.  In addition to all of the actors, they have absolutely fantastic and creative wigs!  Anyway, I think all of the work on the project is fantastic and everyone who took part in it – in front of the camera and behind the scenes – deserves warm congratulations.

Well done Sandylands!

Here is the link

with best wishes


Blue plaque

November 13, 2010

Hi everyone.

I have a piece about Garrow in The Times today with lots of fun facts.

In it, I mention the fact that Garrow’s former homes don’t have Blue Plaques.  But, amazingly, I have just found out that Garrow’s former home in Kent is being given its recognition in a ceremony at the end of the month!

Thanks very much to Bryan Gibson of the Garrow Society for sharing this information:

And well done to everyone involved in putting the plaque up there!

Fascinating fact: William Garrow

November 11, 2009

Someone asked me whether we had made up Garrow’s aggressiveness.  It’s certainly true that you can’t tell tone of voice from the proceedings but check this out.  This is taken from an 1832 article about Garrow.  The author is talking about Garrow’s cross examination style:

“He seemed every now and then to destroy, almost to annihilate, an adverse witness; and often he would, without effort and unperceived, be winding about him, throwing a net round, gradually contracting it into a noose … and then he would on a sudden pounce forth upon him and tear him to pieces.”

That was one of the things that we used to help get a sense of what Garrow was like in Court.

Mark Pallis

Judge Buller – fascinating fact

November 5, 2009

In Garrow’s Law, Judge Buller is portrayed as a harsh traditionalist.  That’s true.  But get this:  the real Judge Buller was known in his time as Judge Thumb.  This was because in 1782 he is reported as saying that it was OK for a man to beat his wife, so long as the stick was no bigger than his thumb.  This was the caricatured by James Gilray in an etching.  Here is a link.