June 21st, 2003
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey is a fascinating collection of texts concerning criminal trials at London's central criminal court. So far there are details of some 20,000 trials held between 1724 and 1759, but the plan is to eventually include trials up to 1834. As well as records of individual cases, there are essays on the legal system and tons of background information.
This is a tremendous resource for educational purposes, or for anyone wanting a glimpse into a very different age:
Thomas Smout , offences against the king: seditious words, 07 Dec 1715.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17151207-9
Thomas Smout , of the Parish of St. Mary Hill, was indicted for a Misdeameanor, in speaking traiterous and devilish Words of His most excellent Majesty King GEORGE, viz. G – d d – n King G – e; I'll fight for another Man as soon as for him, on the 25th of November last. An Evidence depos'd, that going with a Friend to a Neighbour's House, to drink a Mug of Ale, he there found the Prisoner, and two more Soldiers who made a great Disturbance, and affronted all Companies; insomuch, that he desired them to be quiet and peaceable, and behave themselves like King George's Subjects to all such as lov'd him, since they wore his Cloth; upon which the Prisoner replied in the abovesaid Expression, and drew his Bayonet with great Passion, as with an Intent to murder him; but that was prevented. Other Evidence confirm'd their rude Behaviour; and depos'd, they were much in Drink. The Prisoner denied the Fact, and call'd the other two Soldiers to his Reputation, who gave him a quite contrary Character; but that not being credited, the Jury found him guilty.