I have now been through all my Garrow papers and I am afraid I cannot find from where where I got Sarah’s name!
However, at the plaque unveiling yesterday I was put on to the following.
Continue reading “How Do We Know Garrow’s Wife Was Called Sarah?”
“Knock it on the head, BBC. Judges don’t use gavels” Continue reading “Judges’ gavels”
This trial is briefly mentioned in the book, Sir William Garrow: His Life, Times and Fight for Justice, but merits fuller treatment since it brings together in one case the issues of corroboration of accomplice evidence, pious perjury by juries and an example of a jury changing a verdict which had already been handed down.
The 1740s saw an effort made to exclude the evidence of an accomplice of the accused who was endeavouring to save his own life by testifying against his partner in crime. In the first five months of that decade there were four well-reported cases in which uncorroborated accomplice testimony appears to have been sufficient to convict. Then, in December 1744 there were three acquittals in which the only ground mentioned for the verdicts was lack of corroboration.
Continue reading “Trial of John Merryman and William Pickering for Theft by Housebreaking”
Was Garrow the model for the defence counsel, Mr Stryver, in Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities? The question comes to mind because of a number of similarities between Garrow and Stryver as portrayed by the great novelist. In the first place the trial in which Mr Stryver is engaged takes place in the Old Bailey in 1780 close to the period of Garrow’s renown there in changing the face of criminal justice. It was the trial of Charles Darnay for treason for which the penalty if found guilty (as was generally expected) was to be hanged, beheaded and quartered.
Continue reading “Charles Dickens and Garrow”
This is a case where two women were charged with theft but had no counsel to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. Garrow volunteered to do so without fee even though on the face of it the case against the prisoners seemed clear cut. He is seen vigorously questioning another thief-taker. The case also reveals Garrow challenging hearsay evidence. At the time hearsay evidence was often allowed by the judges and it was the insistence by Garrow and other barristers that it be excluded that led to the introduction of the rule of evidence that forbade it. Continue reading “Trial of Sarah Slade and Mary Wood for Theft”
This is another trial of a young boy, where Garrow persuaded the jury to use their discretion and reduce the amount involved to avoid a sentence of death or transportation.
Peter Miller (aged nine) was charged at the Old Bailey on 22 April 1789 with feloniously stealing ten shillings in money from the person of Thomas May.
Continue reading “The Trial of Peter Miller for Theft by Pickpocketing”
This trial gives a clear example of Garrow’s style in cross-examination.
Thomas Duxton was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Wheeler at about 1am and stealing three silver tea-spoons, three table spoons and a silk waistcoat belonging to a Mr Mitchell with a total value of £3. 3s.
Continue reading “The Trial of Thomas Duxton for Burglary”
This is a strange case in which it appears that evidence was given against the prisoner by a thief-taker who perjured himself for the blood money given by the government to bounty hunters who prosecuted a person to conviction. Part of its significance lies in the fact that were the prisoner found guilty of theft to the value of 4s 6d he might well be executed as the Judge, Mr Baron Hotham, indicated.
Continue reading “The Trial of John Wheeler for Theft with Violence: Highway Robbery”
This was the trial of an eleven year old boy – William Horton – who was indicted for stealing various articles of linen and clothing to a total value of 13 shillings.
The first witness called by the prosecution was John Birdsey. He testified that he was a watchman and that on the 10th June at 2 am the prisoner and two more passed him and wished him good morning. At 3 am they passed him again and he saw they were loaded with something beneath their clothes. He pursued them and they dropped the bundle and ran away. He managed to catch Horton.
Continue reading “The Trial of William Horton for Theft”