Proceedings of the Old Bailey
We are pleased to be able to present the following historic transcripts from trials which took place at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court). The transcripts show the early involvement of the various railway police forces in the judicial system.
Edward Thompson is our Project Manager for the BTP Constituent Forces Project and during his researches has put these cases together to give us some insight into our early professional forebears.
As Eddie says about the transcripts:
“I find the way the evidence is presented fascinating, the terminology used comes straight out of old movies. Witnesses appear to be aware of what others have said before them and to prosecute Railway related offences the Act of Parliament had to be proven, usually by the Supt of the Railway Police; much like the Bye-Laws in our day. Another point is the harsh sentences that were passed down, many involving transportation for long periods!”
We are indebted to the website Old Bailey Proceedings Online (oldbaileyonline.org) for their kind permission to reproduce these transcripts. The website is a collaboration between the Open University, and the Universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield.
A routine arrest for Sergeant William Lee of the Great Western Railway Police leads to deadly consequences for the suspect…..
Bullets fly as PC William Leys of the Midland Railway Police struggles with a prisoner…..
It was just sixteen pounds worth of cloth, but these two had plenty of time to rue their mistake…..
Ex – Inspector James found a use for his old uniform; it led to an extended stay in Van Diemen’s Land…..
Our first instance of a Canal Police arrest. A relatively minor theft results in a stiff punishment…..
A 13 year old boy learns a painful lesson…..
A simple house burglary where no violence was used, however two young men paid the ultimate price…..
Another teenager gets a stern punishment for playing on the railway…..
A violent robbery on the Underground in 1880…..
A tourist has her purse stolen by pickpockets – it could be now, but it was 1838…..
Mindless vandalism – 1887, only the punishment indicates the period…..
Harsh punishment for an old man…..
He was 70 years old, but was still transported for the theft of a pillow…..
Constable Allen of the Central London Railway learns the hard way about dealing with young ladies…..
A shooting on the Metropolitan Line means a lucky escape for the victim…..
Theft of corn by staff on the canal. Our first case involving the London General Omnibus Company…..
A second spell of transportation for this offender for a crime committed on the Regent’s Canal…..
Another case for James Taylor, the observant Regent’s Canal Constable closes the case…..
A theft of a tarpaulin gives us our first case involving a constable from the Lea Conservancy…..