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.
"When discussing the Irish in twentieth century Britain, one could be forgiven for thinking first of the ‘Irish Navvy’, building workers who were as notorious for their alleged drunkenness as for their prevalence on construction sites in post-war Britain... This article will focus on the Irish nursing staff employed at Glenside Hospital, Bristol’s psychiatric hospital from the end of the First World War. This is predominantly based on staff records from the hospital, which were often very detailed and included next of kin, as well as nationality, length of employment, religious affiliation and general comments from the matron on the suitability of the individual for nursing".
‘Shortly after midnight on 3rd October 1730, a series of brilliant 'fire balls' or hand-made grenades were seen arching through the air on St Augustine's Back, Bristol, and over the back wall of George Packer's large and opulent mansion house. There was 'a noise like the report of several guns', followed by quickly spreading flames. Within minutes, the merchant's home was ablaze, his household in full flight, and it was only a favourable wind that prevented the flames spreading to nearby warehouses and the dense flotilla of wooden ships crowding the adjacent quay.’ In this article, Steve Poole uncovers a story of organised extortion by arson at Bristol, and the ethnic and religious prejudices which it exposed.