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 Oldbury Court Park and housing estate is situated about 3.5 miles from the centre of the city of Bristol. It has a recorded history dating back to 1086 and the core of the original Domesday land holding has remained remarkably clear of development for over 900 years. Its proximity to Bristol has inevitably meant that throughout its long history it has been intimately connected with the economic and social development of Bristol'. Anthony Nott looks at the events that transpired, and how it has shaped the history of the place.
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".
As we entered the new Millennium, historians reflected on the main events which shaped our lives. One of these achievements has been that women in Britain obtained the vote. Many books have been written and various debates undertaken regarding Emmeline Pankhurst's suffrage movement, the W omen's Social and Political Union (WSPU). However, there were many women who fought for this cause who have had little or no acknowledgement over the years. Pearl Jebb writes a short piece as a tribute to a Suffragette who seems to have been forgotten.