Old Bailey Records Online

Thanks to Jon Smithen for a link to a BBC piece discussing the availability of The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913, which is a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

The site is fascinating, although I would advise North American readers of Slaw to look at the site in the evening, since there is so much traffic from British researchers that the site is crashing.

A conference on the use of these resources is planned for later in the Spring.
Old Bailey


  1. Slawyers might be amused to know that my great grandfather is immortalized in the Old Bailey records as a (not very successful) jewel thief. You can see the brief report of his lawyer’s procedural skirmishing here, which was followed, of course, by the prompt collapse of his case. It pleases me irrationally that he stole from someone named Arbuthnot.