‘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.

Reconstructing the Parish in South Western England: the 1650 Church Survey

The ecclesiastical legislation of the early 1640s is justly famous. In the space of a few short years the ancient apparatus of the episcopal Church was replaced with a Presbyterian equivalent. Bishops were removed from the Lords, whilst the Book of Common Prayer was replaced with the Directory for Public Worship. Having abolished the episcopal hierarchy, the parliamentarian state was left in possession of land, tithes and impropriate rectories across the country. Following the execution of the king in 1649, the new Republic appointed trustees to carry out a survey of the state of the church. In this article, Alex Craven provides an insight into the local parish and the relationship between the Church and State through the evidence of the Church survey.