Friday, May 25, 2007

Beyond the pale

Yep, it's one of those days here where you just can't see the world beyond the white.

Curled up with laptop, typey-scribbling. The writing is going well, despite me wandering off on a tangent of old crime.

You can now read online the trial records of the Old Bailey 1674-1834. You can search the cases by crime (e.g. seducing from allegiance; keeping a brothel; assault with sodomitical intent), verdict & punishment (death: drawn and quartered; branding; pillory). Some of them are fascinating, like this one: lady suspects maid of theft, straps her to bedpost and tortures her to death. The jury issues a death sentence, lady reveals that she's pregnant, sentence is respited. It makes Moll Flanders seem tame.

Time to put on another pot of coffee. Have a good weekend :)


SaraC said...

Ah yes, the old "pleading her belly" ploy. At least that one was based on humane reasoning than the medieval "get of out jail" card of "benefit of clergy" where a literacy test could allow you to claim exemption from trial in a secular court. How far the justice system has come...

Orlaith said...

Benefit of Clergy was the best rationalisation of the last millennium: "Dude, I toootally shouldn't be judged by normal people. I like, read'n'stuff!"

Bill Hicks would have made a fine medieval secular judge, eyeing up the plaintiff and declaring:
"Looks like we got ourselves a reader..."