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 South West of England was prominent in the campaign to ban blood sports in the second half of the twentieth century. Both the Hunt Saboteurs Association and Save Our Stags, an organisation established to oppose deer hunting in Devon and Somerset, were both born in the region". Tichelar looks at the people behind the movement, and how it has shaped the areas approaches to wildlife and conservation.
"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".
Being a Poor Law Guardian was an elected position which was open to certain middle and upper class women from 1869 and to women in general after 1894. The work was unpaid and in that sense similar to much work undertaken in the voluntary sector. Moira Martin examines the entry of women into one sphere of local government, the administration of Poor Relief.
As a small provincial city Bath is not the sort of place that historians would expect to find militant suffrage activity. And yet the city had a thriving branch of the militant group, the Women’s Social and Political Union. June Hannam looks at photographs of some of its integral members, and provides context relating to their activities and contribution to the cause.
"When I was asked to take part in a television programme on the Blathwayt family of Batheaston and their involvement in the suffragette movement I had no idea how much work this would entail. First of all I had to think differently about how to get their story across in a visual medium, in a way that would capture the attention of non history specialists but at the same time make some valid points about researching suffrage history".