November 28, 2010
My notes on the real cases that inspired this episode of Garrow’s Law is online now here at the BBC website.
In addition to the details, if you want to see Captain Baillie’s original pamplet, it’s online here
The speech that Garrow made in the Baillie case was in fact made by Thomas Erskine. To read Erskine’s speech in full, click here. In particular, scroll down to page 30 to see the bit about Lord Sandwich, that was so outrageous that it was blanked out!!
April 15, 2010
I am writing to let you know about a really great thing. 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
March 1, 2010
Thanks so much for all your emails about the show, I have tried to get back to as many as I can. I’m glad people enjoyed it. Even where people found things in the show that they didn’t agree with – whether beards, wigs, gavels, the word ‘hung’, I hope that it has been helpful to have someone to put these questions to!
Now, about that second series… Some of the most eagle eyed have noticed that writer Tony Marchant, when asked what he was working on at the moment, said the second series of Garrow’s Law! http://essentialwriters.com/tony-marchant-5119.htm
I can’t give you a definitive answer about the second series I’m afraid, but I can tell you the same as I told the people who came to my lecture on Garrow’s Law (at the University of Hertfordshire’s Historical Studies Conference at Cumberland Lodge earlier this month) … at the moment, I too am working on the second series of Garrow’s Law!
Watch this space!!!
very best wishes
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. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/rule-of-thumb.html
October 28, 2009
OK, so the crime has happened. How else would the suspect be brought to court? A common option was to use a Thieftaker. As you’ll know if you’re read the outline for this Sunday’s episode, Garrow defends Peter Pace, who is accused by renowned thief-taker Edward Forrester of robbing a man at gunpoint. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00nsp4s Thieftaking was most notorious in the 1720s – 50s, but carried on as long as there were rewards paid. The Times newspaper was writing against the corrupting effects of the reward system well into the 1780s. Thieftaking didn’t stop finally until 1818 when the reward system was abolished by Parliament.
The core idea is that Thieftakers are driven by the reward money. They will do anything to get it. However, they were not all bad, and many performed useful functions. These included,
1) Recovering stolen property and claiming any private reward that was offered from the victim eg man’s horse stolen. He offers a reward and puts an advert in the paper. You find it, bring it to him and claim the reward.
2) Apprehending criminals: Often, private citizens would go to a Thieftaker and ask them to intercept a criminal. Basically, the Thieftaker is like a private policeman. The Thieftaker is paid by getting some of the reward money offered by the state for successful conviction of criminals.
That’s it, let’s wait and see what happens in Episode 1 !!!
If you are interested in learning more about Thieftakers, have a look at the historical section of the Old Bailey Proceedings Online. It gives you a great overview of the development of policing over a long period – much longer than just Garrow’s time.
October 27, 2009
If there were no watchmen around, there was no choice other than to run after the criminal yourself. If you discovered a felony, you were legally obliged to apprehend those responsible and notify the constable. Also, if a constable was trying to catch a felon, he could require people to join the ‘hue and cry’.
In this case, a man explains the steps he took to catch the highwayman:
This isn’t a Garrow case and it shows you just how swift and harsh the justice was. No defence counsel, not even a prosecution. Basically, the judge was in charge and played all the parts …
October 26, 2009
If you enjoy Episode One of Garrow’s Law on Sunday and want to find out more, you can come and catch me giving a lecture on William Garrow at the Legal Biography Project of the London School of Economics on 3rd November from 1800h – 1930h . For more details: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/projects/legalbiog/lbp.htm
Hope to see you there! Mark