Law and order

Find podcasts related to courts, crime and punishment. Whether you’re looking for an ancestor who worked in the police force, was transported or sued, or interested in internment or famous criminals of the past, there’s something for you here.

  • Audio content

    Mapping Women’s Suffrage

    The women’s suffrage campaign in Britain was a particularly long and difficult struggle. It was fought by women and men in cities, towns and villages right across the country. This talk, featuring suffrage experts Tara Morton, Sarah Richardson and Elizabeth…

  • Audio contentReverse side of the Great Seal of John.1202. Catalogue reference: DL10-56.

    The life and death of King John

    King John’s acts of misgovernment prompted his barons to demand reform, setting the kingdom on the road to civil war and leading to John’s grant of Magna Carta. Why was he seen as such a terrible king and how did…

  • Video contentPathe: incensed patriots besiege pacifists in a London church.

    Pacifists besieged in a London church, First World War

    This footage shows a meeting of pacifists in a London church, which is interrupted by patriots. We see a large crowd outside the church, some trying to get in and then dragging people out, or throwing things through window. A chair…

  • Audio contentCHE activist Jackie Forster at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park, 1974

    Amiable Warriors: A History of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality

    The Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) is the oldest surviving LGBT organisation in the UK. With more than 150 local branches and over 6,000 members, it has grown from a small regional committee lobbying for law reform with local MPs,…

  • Audio contentCato Street conspiracy, 1820 (catalogue reference HO 44/4 (16))

    Portillo’s State Secrets

    Researcher Tommy Norton introduces some of the 30 documents featured in the BBC 2 ten-part television series, Portillo’s State Secrets. He also talks about the background to the series. Originally a journalist on local newspapers and magazines, Tommy spent four…

  • Audio contentCensus return of 1911, defaced by Louisa Burnham (catalogue reference RG 14/2227)

    Vanishing for the Vote: diverse suffragettes boycott the 1911 census

    Vanishing for the Vote tells the story of what happened on census night, 2 April 1911. Despite decades of campaigning, no woman had won the right to vote. Suffragettes urged women to boycott the census, proclaiming ‘No vote, no census!’.…

  • Video contentHong Kong (catalogue reference CO 1069/457)

    From British bobby to Hong Kong copper

    This year marks the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Police. This talk traces the history of the organisation through the stories of a few very ordinary British constables from the 1840s up to the First World…

  • Audio contentFlorence Maybrick 1889 (catalogue reference COPY 1/397)

    Did she kill him? Addiction, adultery and arsenic in Victorian Britain

    Florence Chandler was in her early 20s when she married much older James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton broker, in 1881. Eight years later, tensions seethed. James was addicted to arsenic. Both were unfaithful. When James died suddenly, Florence was arrested…

  • Audio contentBig Data for Law

    Big Ideas: Big Data for Law

    Big data is big news. Did you know an estimated 90 per cent of the world’s data was created in the last two years (see Insights gleaned from large datasets are increasingly driving business innovation and economic growth. Underpinning…

  • Audio contentLucy Worsley

    Writer of the month: A very British murder

    A Very British Murder is Lucy Worsley’s account of a national obsession – a tale of dark deeds and guilty pleasures. Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity which opens up The Tower of London,…

  • Audio contentPipe Roll 10 Henry II (catalogue reference E 372/10)

    Annual lecture of the Pipe Roll Society (2014): Formal record and courtroom reality in 13th and 14th century England

    Please note: Professor Brand quotes direct dialogue from original plea rolls and some listeners might find the language offensive. The Annual Lecture of the Pipe Roll Society 2014 was given by Professor Paul Brand, All Souls College Oxford. Professor Brand is one…

  • Audio contentSummary of debate on homosexual offences

    From deviance to diversity? Finding sexuality and sexual science in the archives

    Dr Lesley Hall, Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library, examines sources at the Wellcome Library on questions of sexuality from approximately 1800 to the present, with particular reference to the roles of medicine and the psychological sciences. She also considers…

  • Audio contentjohn-reginald-christie-ho-291-228

    John Reginald Christie: a study in sources, The National Archives and beyond

    This talk examines and evaluates the sources for the study of the life and crimes of a notorious serial killer, including records held in The National Archives. It will also be useful for anyone interested in similar felons and for…

  • Audio contenttim-hitchcock16

    Big Ideas: Big data and dead criminals

    Big data and dead criminals, presented by Professor Tim Hitchcock of the University of Hertfordshire. This talk explores work to make complex trial accounts totalling 127 million words fully searchable by key word and location on The Old Bailey Online.…

  • Audio contentCato Street Conspiracy 1820 sketch of hayloft, cat. ref. TS11-202

    A system of spies and informers: intelligence gathering in the period 1780-1830

    The years 1780 to 1830 were a tumultuous time in British history with parliamentary reform societies, food riots, Luddite disturbances, Captain Swing and Cato Street. Using the records of the Home Office, this podcast focuses on just how the government…

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