Trials: Ordeal and combat

In the first instalment of a three-part series on our trial records, we’re examining the history of trials by ordeal and combat. This episode has witch trials, defamation lawsuits from accused witches, myth-busting, strong-men for hire, Irish landowners fighting to the death in a castle, and some facts about duels.

Tune in to hear stories and historical insights that can only be found in the documents preserved at The National Archives.

Download the full episode transcript here.

Documents from The National Archives used in this episode: ADM 106/313/424; E 372/13; JUST 1/1092, m.3; KB 26/223; SP 16/269 f.172, ff.174-5; SP 16/271 f.227; SP 63/104, f.163; STAC 8/149/24.

The recordings of witch trial records used can be found, alongside others, in our Early Modern witch trials classroom resource.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our trial records take a look at our criminals, courts and prisons research guides. For help navigating our catalogue, you can watch our top level tips on using Discovery.

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