The Courts and Judiciary
Bedford Magistrates Courts Built 1881
In the early nineteenth century, court conditions and the treatment of both the victim and the accused was very different from today. Trials in court were often very quick. Prosecutors, judges and jurors had more power and choice than they do today.
The prosecutor was normally the victim of the crime, and he or she would accuse the defendant. The defendant was expected to explain away the evidence against them and, thus, prove their innocence.
What happened in the trial, depended on the court in which the case was being tried. Each different court had its own set ways of doing things.