‘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.

Early Indian Visitors in Bristol

This article explores the early presence of Indian migrants in the city of Bristol, as well as how they acclimatised and adjusted to the surroundings. In addition, Contractor provides an insight into the travels of Mary Carpenter, and how they influenced her many years pioneering social reform in Bristol.

‘Fancy and useful’: Bazaars and middle class women in late Victorian Salisbury

Leisure was a substantial part of the life of a Victorian lady. Leisure pursuits took place mostly in the domestic sphere, although attendance at theatres, concerts and flower shows increasingly brought leisured ladies into the public. Another undertaking of these ladies which brought them into the public arena was voluntary philanthropic work. Jane Howells explores the Salisbury Bazaars, where middle class local women sold the products of their leisured labour as a means of charitable fundraising.

A Brush with the Ancien Regime: French Courtiers at Bath in 1787

In the eighteenth century, the Spa town of Bath was bustling with gentry who came to buy luxury goods and specialist services; but until the 1780s, very few of these visitors had been French. In this article, Trevor Fawcett follows the story of the French Courtiers at Bath in 1787, and their connection to a scandal involving Mary Antoinette on the eve of the French Revolution.

‘No time for cuddles?’ The Wartime residential nurseries at Dyrham Park

During the Second World War, children flocked to the country from cities across Britain as evacuees. Many of the large country houses became nurseries for children below school age; Dyrham Park Manor in Gloucestershire was one of these homes. In this article, Hyla Holden uncovers the story of the Dyram Park nursery for evacuees which was run by Lady Islington.

In search of an ‘England’s past for everyone’ in Ilfracombe, Devon: a digital history and heritage project

By Andrew Jackson Issue 17, Summer, 2007 pp.32-34. Andrew Jackson looks at some of the work of the Victoria County History (VCH), and their project in Ifracombe in north Devon. The group launched the ‘Devon’s History and Heritage’ project 100 years after the Devon volume of the VCH was first published. The new project explored different ways to approach Devon’s history by utilising image analysis and oral history.   17… Continue reading In search of an ‘England’s past for everyone’ in Ilfracombe, Devon: a digital history and heritage project

Looking for James: science and bridge-building in eighteenth century Bristol

James Bridges was clearly a versatile and talented character; it seems that talent ran in his family. Following on from his father, the creator of a marvellous invention which is celebrated today at the British Museum, James Bridges was a skilled surveyor, architect and travelling showman with a keen interest in science. Bridges took on many projects throughout his lifetime, including the Bristol bridge, to name but one. In this article, Barb Drummond follows the story of this intriguing character - although the end of his story remains elusive.

Bristol Association of University Women: The Early Years (1911-1928)

In 1911 a group of women graduates took the important step of forming the first branch in Bristol of the British Federation of University women. In this article, Bardgett looks at the formative years of the organisation, and how different events shaped its attempts to further education, medicine and social work.