Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
The following is an extract from the Guardian newspaper's legal column. I hope that this is the correct place to put it:
There is "a new website
which will eventually contain 100,000 reports of Old Bailey trials between 1674 and 1834. Some 22,000 are already available. They are from a popular periodical, The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, bought by a public fascinated by criminal trials.
A few examples. In 1725 Peter Matson "called for a Pint of Beer, which he drank, and called for another ... Two Soldiers were then in the same room. Some difference arising betwixt them and the Prisoner, he call'd them King George's Bulldogs and said King James the Third had more right to the Crown than King George." He was convicted of using seditious words against his Majesty and "drinking the Pretender's Health".
There is a lengthy and hilarious account of the trial of a maid accused of assault after her mistress blamed her for putting too little butter on a guest's bread.
Sexual shenanigans abound, as in the trial of Julius Cesar Taylor, accused of assault "with an intent to commit that horrid and detestable sin of sodomy". The evidence was that he had sat "on the Lap of John Burgess when they committed such indecent and effeminate actions as are not to be mentioned".
Old Bailey online:Great resource, Glyn -- thanks! Here's the direct link:http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
Law at sea : a good lead in for naval lawhttp://www.historycooperative.org/journals/lhr/...
Magistrates/Justices of the Peace
Romance author Leanne Shawler's 'Volterra's Journal' online blog has a short review of
I agree with Graham that these men got off lightly, however painful the punishment it was over quickly. Serious theft from a military establishment in time of war could have been punished much more severely, and it appears that they were allowed to keep their jobs, which wouldn't happen nowadays.
Here’s a case from a century later of three men stealing cordage: found to be guilty, they were given the most cruel sentence of all (transportation to America).
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