Posts Tagged ‘cri’

Garrow’s Law

November 17th, 2009

To compensate for my self- imposed BBC blackout, we rejoin the Corporation’s output with the continuing mini-series Garrow’s Law. Mr Garrow is probably doing more in his 18th century depictions of the profession than many of his 21st century counterparts. My pleasure at this series stems from the very engaging dramatisation of the actual Old Bailey records, which allows me to point towards the case reports we have seen performed.

Episode Two centred around the case of Renwick Williams in 1790. A quite a lot of dramatic licence finds its way into this episode, but the facts at least seem to be taken from this case report of the second trial. The debate about the appropriate charge can be found here. It seems worth noting that media hysteria attempting to second guess a court is alive and well, over two hundred years later.

Episode Three began with a Mr. Cole accused of rape, which the records show that Mr. Garrow unsuccessfully prosecuted, rather than successfully defended. The report really is worth reading, if only for the ending:

[Here the witness proceeded in a narration too indelicate for publication, which, however, did not amount to legal proof of the crime charged against the prisoner in the indictment.]

NOT GUILTY .”

The series concludes next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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