Garrow's Law

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (70)

  • John Southouse: The wisdom of the court observes that it requires no manner of skill to make a plain and honest defence.
    William Garrow: But it will. One day it will.

  • William Garrow: How long have you been in the honourable business of thief-taking?
    Edward Forrester: I cannot rightly tell.
    William Garrow: Well, guess a little, how long?
    Edward Forrester:Clearly, some time longer than you have been a counsellor.

  • William Garrow: You will learn that the Law is not a game for gentlemen.
    Silvester: Will I? And you'll learn to become a gentleman or there shall be no law for you at all.

  • John Southouse: (to Garrow)If you are going to insult, your tongue must at least be well prepared with the sharpest of facts.

  • Lady Sarah Hill: My husband would consider my participation in this an infidelity.
    William Garrow: It shall remain a confidence we share. But in defence, and in this case above all, I am disadvantaged in Law.

  • Sir Arthur Hill: You do not favour the protection of our society in prosecution?
    William Garrow: The Bloody Code upheld? The terror of the rope, the branding iron, the thief-taker's corruption that sends innocent men to Tyburn?
    Sir Arthur Hill: And you think a battle amongst counsel the best way of arriving at the truth?
    William Garrow: The prisoner in the dock has been too long left to his fate for want of a counsel.
    Sir Arthur Hill: And is your loyalty to the prisoner or your fee?
    William Garrow: My loyalty is to the truth.
    Sir Arthur Hill: But you'll settle for finding a "not guilty" regardless of the truth?
    William Garrow: And you think we should eke out injustice all day long for one wrong verdict that may come between?
    Sir Arthur Hill: I will not believe that the Law is a lie. And I think I may be better minded to listen to talk of reform were it not so bound up with the burgeoning prospects of defence counsel.

  • John Southouse: You are in the Law, you cannot be in contempt of it.
    William Garrow: The Law itself is contemptible.

  • Sir Arthur Hill: If a bad law will becalm London, we must have it.

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Trivia (14)

  • There really was the case of The Monster at the Old Bailey (1790), which had London in a fever. The man hid a knife in a bouquet of flowers and would stab women in the face or in the hips and buttocks. Ladies did not dare walk outdoors without copper pans over their petticoats for protection.

  • The duel in the episode was inspired by the real events: Garrow was challenged to a duel by a Swiss nobleman, Baron Hompesch, after Garrow had made fun of him in court.

  • The Zong massacre really happened in 1781 when 132 living slaves were thrown overboard by the crew of a slaving ship Zong, owned by Liverpool slave-trading firm. In English law, the act was legal; throwing slaves overboard was not murder. The publicity over this case was the first major turning point in the campaign to abolish slavery.

  • The real William Garrow defended the accused for free more than once. The words "My Lord, as this poor woman has no Counsel; will you permit me, as Amicus Curiae, to ask ... a question or two" are taken word for word from the case of Sarah Peason, who Garrow defended in 1790.

  • In 18th century England, the age of criminal accountability was seven (in 1795, a nine-year-old boy, Peter Tracy was sentenced to death); and Garrow often defended children. In 1784 he successfully defended eleven-year-old William Horton and nine-year-old Peter Miller. But, he could not prevent a lesser punishment in Miller's case: whipping.

  • Criminal conversation - legal jargon for adultery - is still legal in North Carolina, Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico and Utah. One wronged lady in North Carolina won damages of $9 million in 2010.

  • This episode describes an actual case: James Hadfield was accused of high treason in 1800. And he was acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity. The proceedings in the episode follow very closely the original case. The trial was a crucial turning point in the British law on insanity.

  • With Industrial Revolution came mass production, which made manual labour obsolete, especially in textile industry. Machines could be managed by the unqualified workers and many skilled textile labourers lost their jobs. People responded by destroying the machines – a capital offence in England at the time. The case in this episode is inspired by the actual case of William Horsford, who was sentenced to death for destroying silk and weaving machines.

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