The St Paul’s Riots: from ‘mindless mob’ to ‘conscious crowd’

st pauls riots 1980

Dr Roger Ball, Thursday 15 October 2020 18:00-19:00 The violent disturbance in the St Paul's area of Bristol on 2 April 1980 is regarded as iconic. It heralded the beginning of a decade or more of unrest in English cities. It is also central to the modern history of Bristol, marking a moment where issues… Continue reading The St Paul’s Riots: from ‘mindless mob’ to ‘conscious crowd’

‘Have They a Sense of Justice?’: Britain’s first female jurors at the Bristol Quarter Sessions

Headline Western Daily Press 29 July 1920

The right to trial by jury has been traditionally acknowledged as a pillar of the English legal system. Under the principle of ‘twelve good men and true’, juries had been trusted for centuries with the responsibility of dispensing justice impartially and according to evidence. Defendants had the right to be tried ‘by their peers’, but juries had always been composed entirely of men. In 1919, reforms in the law allowed women to take their seats as jurors in a criminal trial for the first time. The trial took place here in Bristol in 1920, and not everyone was entirely happy about it.