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.
"The aim of this article is also to shift attention away from the suffragettes towards a consideration of the broader base of suffrage politics in Bristol in the immediate pre-war years. By examining the non- militant, or constitutional movement, we can gain a more complex picture of the nature of support for women’s suffrage and can assess its long lasting influence on the politics of the city".