e2bn E2BN
Victorian Crime and Punishment
HomePrisoner case studiesPrisoners19th Century JusticeTeachers Area

19th Century Justice homepage

The Courts and Judiciary

The Courts and Judiciary

Bedford Magistrates Courts 1
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.

Further pages