Period drama. After losing his first case to his nemesis, young, idealistic barrister William Garrow is instructed to defend a helpless serving girl accused of murdering her baby.
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My client's life is at stake!
Are you the monster?
Thou must be a ruffian to get at the truth.
The court is yours not Garrow's.
You are not sentenced yet.
Are you aware of the role this trial will play in our nation's history?
-He was slain by them!
-You may have trained me but you do not own me.
Blast your eyes, you damned bitch!
These are the men who will decide what charge you face.
Your law is weak if men can bend it to their will.
-Damn the lot of you!
-This is a lynching, not a trial!
Eliza Radnell, spinster was indicted for that she on the 26th of April...
Oh, please take pity, sirs, tis my wife.
..house of Thomas Langstaffe did breach and enter,
no person being therein and stealing
thence one linen shift, one pair of worsted stockings, twelvepence.
I call the prosecutrix, Mrs Mary Langstaffe.
Would that the jury concentrate as much as you.
Then this would be a much improved place.
-As for your place, it is not here alas.
-Just one more case!
You are not employed here.
I came home and found her within.
I asked her how she got in, she could not tell.
I asked her what business she had with my things, she could not tell.
I got assistance and kept her there until the parish beadle came over.
Mr Crompton will not be pleased.
It is drudgery there.
I was not called to the bar to be buried in book dust.
The prisoner shall speak for herself in her own defence.
And again and as ever, no defence counsel for the prisoner.
I beg your pardon, sir, but I had drunk part of four pints of two penny.
I let myself in the house to sleep, I put the clothes on for warmth.
Jurymen, consider your verdict.
-You have reached a verdict?
It did not take them long to confer.
The sentence is branding.
-Relative to transportation, it is a mercy.
But she may have been telling the truth, that she was not guilty.
The wisdom of the court observes that it requires no manner of skill to make a plain and honest defence.
But it will, one day it will. SHE SCREAMS
BRANDING HISSES JEERING
An acquittal shall follow!
Will, when you have a criminal brief, it will be your duty to address a court of law but not now.
Nicholas Porter is indicted for stealing two fat hogs
value 40 shillings and 18 live fowls value nine shillings...
You have business in there this afternoon?
A silk merchant prosecuted by a creditor with half a guinea to enlist me as his attorney.
Is he in need of counsel, I should very much like to help.
You should hurry.
Brandy here. This man's not long been robbed at gunpoint!
Come on. Come and sit down.
The wretch clapped a pistol to my breast and demanded my money!
You robbed this gentleman, you wretch. And now you'll be brought to justice.
Mr Southouse! I've never been inside Newgate, I would learn from it.
I'm not there to furnish you with experience.
-Well, what then?
-A very faithful and sincere young woman has
sold half her possessions to pay for my service on behalf of her brother.
It is a limited service, you cannot appear in court, you may tell him
who and what is sworn against him and help prepare his speech...
-And it may save his life.
Mr Southouse, I promise I will not speak I will merely observe.
I have seen you observe at the Old Bailey.
-Your eyes are very busy as is your mouth, unfortunately.
-I cannot stay in the Pleader's Office!
Then head for Quarter Sessions.
Pass paupers from one parish to another! Oppose dancing licences...
I will be an Old Bailey barrister
and I will seek any attorney for my briefs but I would rather you embraced me, dear mentor.
but in silence.
Mr Southouse, always a pleasure to see you going about your business.
His humble servant.
Peter Pace, please.
This way, gentlemen.
So, the young lady's brother was brought before the justice for violent theft and highway robbery.
Half a guinea is a not inconsiderable sum...
but for his life, it may be a bargain.
Peter, this is Mr Southouse your attorney.
I never saw my accusers at all until they come up to me and knocked me off my horse.
They stamped on my head, they said they would butcher me for what I done.
They said, "Damn his eyes, kill him!"
My pen is not yet out of my pocket, Mr Pace.
Now then, tell me, at magistrate's court, what passed?
I cannot exactly recall.
My mind was not set right.
Mr Grove, the prosecutor swore he was the highwayman.
The charge says that two shillings were stolen.
They did not find me two shillings richer.
-You were searched immediately?
-I was more set upon...
-and then brought along.
-You were in want of money?
Did you see an opportunity?
-A man, alone on a deserted road.
-You will wait outside!
The man you overtook put a pistol to his cheek and then discarded it.
-Explain this! Who is this accuser?
Mr Garrow. Apprentice to me at 15...
But too gifted in law to be a mere attorney.
Come, sir, you can speak freely. Black is white and white is black,
according as we are paid, our loyalty is to the client, not to the truth.
Oh, I have a language for you, sir.
Damn you both if you would take a guinea from me or my sister and think to have me lie.
I will not have you!
Excellent. Well said.
You will not give a better testimony.
Oh! Oh, I see.
-He puts it to me and I...
And am I blessed to have the both of you to serve me?
Mr Garrow is a barrister.
I would be bound to instruct him.
Then do so. Mary?
But the cost of a barrister, madam.
Half a guinea?
-I'm afraid that will not...
-Half a guinea.
Half a guinea.
You are instructed.
-I am instructed.
-Attorney and counsel.
-This goes well.
-This goes very well.
You will concentrate here.
-This is the brief.
-It s very thin.
-Well, you're not allowed to see the indictment.
You are refused copies of the deposition sworn against your client.
You are not permitted to visit your client while he is in Newgate.
When you are at the Old Bailey you will not be allowed to address the jury, make an opening statement
or a closing speech.
You may call witnesses as to the prisoner's character but they are not bound to appear.
In fact, not only is it impermissible for counsel to make a full defence,
it is barely allowable for them to actually win a case.
Hence the thinness of your papers.
But in the meantime, Mr Southouse, what have I to save Mr Pace from the rope?
The prosecution's testimony.
You must find a weakness in it.
Study your brief. I shall see you at court.
And if you cannot sleep, let us hope it's from anticipation and not fear.
You look splendid.
Oh, no. Edward Forrester. A renowned thief-taker.
If he's involved in the prosecution, this goes not so well.
-Mr Southouse, if a thief-taker is at the heart of this that will help make our defence.
-Or our damnation.
Good luck, Will.
-William Garrow from Lincoln's Inn.
-By way of?
-Well, not Oxford or I'd know you.
Articled to an attorney, John Southouse of Milk Street.
You received your education in Billingsgate.
Come to condemn the wretches or confound the jury today?
I've come to defend a man.
You're against me. And the facts.
Court shall rise.
Still, they'd need only detain for us for a few hours, then what's next?
Oh, a coining. Well, that will make two hangings before lunch.
-I recommend the broth.
-I recommend you read your brief again.
The prisoner, Peter Pace, is indicted for that he,
in the King's highway in and upon William Grove, feloniously
did make an assault, putting him in corporeal fear and danger of his life and stealing from his person
two shillings in monies numbered the property of the said William Grove.
Call William Grove.
So, the alarm being raised, we gave chase.
Mr Forrester, myself and Mr Stoddert who'd witnessed the assault upon me.
Mr Grove, at the magistrate's committal you swore to the identity of the fellow.
Could you please do so now again for the benefit of this court?
-Behold the prisoner!
A humour not to be encountered on any lonely by-way.
No more questions.
You know this man?
I know this is the man that robbed me.
You swore before the magistrate,
-that the man who robbed you covered his face with a handkerchief.
So how were you able to swear to Mr Pace?
This man rode a grey mare.
Is there a horse in the dock, Mr Grove?
A grey mare accused of robbery?
I do not know what you mean, sir.
Well, your only means of identification is by way of the horse my client was riding.
You could not swear to his face, only to his horse. LAUGHTER
What words did your attacker make use of?
He demanded my money or my life.
-Those were the very words, your money or your life?
-Well, he expressed it in that manner.
He came up, shows me the pistol and he says...
Your money or your life, remarkable. LAUGHTER
-You were robbed of two shillings?
Oh, dear, still £40 is better than two shillings.
-Well, I don't know that it is under a wrong cause.
-A wrong cause.
You know it is not every day that one gets £40 reward for hanging a man? Is that not your cause?
M'lord. My learned friend Mr Garrow has a very rude approach.
do not speculate.
Interrogate. And do so with a little delicacy.
Who paid for this prosecution?
-Mr Forrester - the renowned thief-taker.
And who paid for your expenses to attend this business?
-What assistance that man does provide.
No further questions, my lord.
Thank you, Mr Grove.
Do you think Mr Garrow makes an impression on the jury?
Forrester appears next and he has made an impression on many juries.
Call Edward Forester!
A robbery takes place on the road
from Hounslow to Hanworth
where a thief-taker is dining at that very hour. A rare convenience?
The good fortune of those in need.
You had no fear to pursue a man who would wield a pistol.
I had a pistol of my own, sir.
Who paid for this prosecution?
-I paid half a guinea.
-Who paid for the indictment?
To see justice done?
To obtain the conviction of a guilty man who would put others in fear and danger of their life.
-You are quoting the indictment.
-It is also my belief.
-As a thief-taker?
-And as a man.
But as the former, you are a taker of rewards for the apprehension
and conviction of those found guilty of serious crimes.
As the government sees fit.
And are you hoping for a reward here?
I would not presume on the judge, the jury or the law.
I put it to you that this crime did not take place.
A man was caught, brought before the magistrate and stands here now.
I put it to you that you paid Grove to make a hue and cry against an innocent man,
-turn him all at once into a highwayman.
-Innocence is the jury's business.
I put it to you that you invented this robbery. MURMURING
I put it to you that...
the victim and the witness are schemes of your own fiction
as is the blameless prisoner you accuse as your robber!
JUDGE BANGS GAVEL
Mr Garrow, it is your job to excite distrust of the evidence not to make a speech on your client's behalf.
Please forgive my learned friend, m'lord.
Until today he's never actually been in the law.
How long have you been in the business of thief-taking?
Um... I can't rightly tell.
Well, guess a little, how long?
Well, clearly some time longer than you've been a counsellor.
-How many trials did you appear upon last sessions?
-Never a one.
There was no blood money last sessions?
If there were no thieves, how would you get a brief?
Unless this be your last.
No more questions.
Thank you, Mr Forrester.
Gentlemen, you will consider your verdict.
You may wish to leave this place.
I cannot until I know my brother's fate.
You have reached a verdict?
-How do you find the prisoner?
No! Please! God have mercy!
Judge, your Lord, I beseech you!
The sentence is death.
Death by hanging.
Take the prisoner down.
JEERING AND SHOUTING
It troubles you not to derive your living from the groans of the gallows?
The man is all a-flutter, my lord.
I should demand satisfaction if I had not already found it in the verdict.
-You will apologise to Mr Silvester.
-I will only apologise to my client.
-Then I shall commit you!
-So your lordship may!
Mr Garrow, you are hot-headed and intemperate.
This is your first case here and you have lost it.
So, I forgive you.
Now sit down.
You need food, man.
That, and a stronger constitution.
It is the lot of defence counsel to see their clients carried off to Tyburn.
I was determined mainly to prosecute, far more congenial.
And as for the rights of prisoners, that's a very irregular income.
-You will learn that the law is not a game for gentlemen.
And you shall learn to become a gentleman or there shall be no law for you at all.
Sir Arthur Hill MP invites you to dinner.
Now you have an opportunity, Garrow.
Are you familiar with the phenomenon of cutlery?
I have made law and order my business in parliament, Mr Garrow,
but I fear I understand the law only as we legislate and not as it is practised.
Even an MP should not be quite so narrow.
So you do attend the Old Bailey, Sir Arthur?
I am fortunate to have the attendance of my wife there.
-Mr Garrow, we are grateful that you did accept our invitation.
Well, I imagine those that see me at the bench would consider me there for my leisure and sport
and Judge Buller certainly does think me very elegant alongside him.
And how could you not look so, beside him!
I'm not there for his decoration.
But on my behalf, so that I'm informed from the very place where justice is dealt.
The law be dealt there but no justice.
You will enlighten us?
I am sorry if you feel a source of enquiry for a good dinner but
I think at least you should have your dinner before you feel so used.
The law is the concern of us all here.
We are under siege in London from ruffianism.
From Chick Lane to the Ratcliffe Highway.
We all do well to employ our own watchmen.
And form our own societies.
You have heard of the Society for the Reformation of Manners, Mr Garrow?
You campaign, Mrs Browning?
We bring prosecutions in the hope that it will be...improving.
Improving manners in illegitimacy, adultery, bawdy houses, molly houses, prostitution.
-What's a molly house?
-And what do you know of such?
I pay attention at the Old Bailey as you would have me do is all.
Pay attention to...?
Sodomy, Mr Sowerby. Sodomy and catamites.
Please sir, you may examine me.
My wife did remark that your...
defence of the prisoner was very...
It was why we did invite you here.
You do not favour the protection of our society in prosecution?
The Bloody Code upheld?
The terror of the rope, the branding iron,
the thief-takers' corruption that sends innocent men to Tyburn?
And you think a battle amongst counsel the best way of arriving at the truth?
The prisoner in the dock has been too long left to his fate for want of counsel.
And is your loyalty to the prisoner,
-or your fee?
-My loyalty is to the truth.
-But you'll settle for a 'not guilty' regardless of the truth?
-You think we should eke out injustice all day
for one wrong verdict that may come between?
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.
Now there's a truth for you.
"Did not the felon firmly fix his hope on flaw or jaw and so escape the rope?
"Justly he'd meet that fate without reprieve that comes when the Advocate fails to deceive."
A good satire, sir.
It seems your investigations into the law were concluded before they had begun.
If I am not a source of satire for a good dinner, I will also not be a source of amusement for it.
I remember my father teaching in the school where my education was under his superintendence.
We were both mocked - him by his better born pupils for the plainness of his background
and myself for the fact that no fee was paid for my education.
My father's service was the fee.
He suffered their insults behind his back, he never turned to face them down.
And you were taken out?
Because I would bite and scratch.
They were for Oxford, I was articled.
And I was grateful for it.
My dear friend, I thank you for your trust but you should not have instructed me with the case.
Well, now you are instructed at least.
-But I was undone by my arrogance, my inexperience.
-You lack manners.
You were too angry.
You lost control.
And what did you mean to challenge Judge Buller?
You are in the law, you cannot be in contempt of it.
The law is itself contemptible.
Then perhaps you are not ready to practise it.
Your new chambers are very commodious.
If I still have use for them.
SHE CRIES OUT IN PAIN
SHE PANTS AND GROANS
It is a vile day at the Old Bailey when we are in want of eleventh-hour briefs from attorneys.
A state of affairs you may well have to get used to permanently unless you begin to win.
More than agreeable.
And all prosecution witnesses already called before the coroner.
Lunch will come early.
Will! It was a prosecution brief.
You could not trust me with such a case?
I think... I think things came a little too quickly.
"Here and there in the crowd we mark with pity,
"for his too certain fate,
"the careworn face of some self-educated peasant.
"The ambition which has aspired his toil in the unwonted field of legal labour
"is doomed to inevitable blight."
So, Mrs Tarling, the prisoner Elizabeth Jarvis
came into your service as a servant some three weeks since?
Yes, your honour. After a few days I suspected she was with child.
She insisted she was not.
If the magistrate thinks the case strong enough to go to trial,
the Society will bring a prosecution upon this wretch.
..And found blood on the kitchen table and on the floor.
I took a candle and followed the spots of blood
into the coal cellar... Sorry.
Pray continue, Mrs Tarling.
I hope you will not find this too distressing.
I am not concerned about myself.
Who will defend her?
She may ask God's mercy.
A pair of stockings soaked in blood and...
as I moved a box... the body of a dead child.
Her name is Elizabeth Jarvis.
She is committed for trial - infanticide.
-And you will pay for counsel?
-I will pay for Mr Garrow.
MEN LAUGH AND CHATTER
You have a brief for me and I am like a dog called to its bowl. Thank you.
-A tankard of ale, please.
How has a maidservant a guinea for her defence?
A lady has a guinea and an inclination to help her.
And you have an inclination to help me?
We have to prove that the child was born dead.
Otherwise the mother be presumed guilty of its murder.
The presumption of innocence not applying in infanticide.
Particularly when she is unmarried.
Particularly when the birth was concealed.
Regarded as usually conclusive evidence of the woman's guilt.
And the evidence that would be in her favour?
Did she confess the pregnancy?
Did she seek assistance in labour?
Did she prepare for birth by the collection of linen?
And the answer to all three be no?
And there is the presence of a bloody knife
and a surgeon attesting to marks of violence.
Mr Southouse, this is an unwinnable case.
Previously you were a barrister with too much confidence,
now you are one with none.
All right, I will earn my guinea. But who has pledged it?
Who has better faith than I that we can obtain an acquittal here?
Her name is Lady Sarah Hill
and she attended the magistrate's committal for her education.
-Lady Sarah Hill instructed you?
-And most expressly asked for you.
Mrs Browning did almost drop her spoon when you left the room.
Well, at least she will not try to enlist me for her society.
You could not join the Reformation of Manners because you have none.
I refuse to be reformed. And your husband?
-He did not object.
-Because he thinks I fled the argument.
His beliefs are sincere and certain.
But you do not share them?
On this particular cause, no.
My husband sat on a parliamentary committee
with the aim of reforming the law on infanticide.
It was suggested that a lesser charge - concealment - be instigated in its place.
Your husband was an opponent?
Concealment carries a two-year sentence.
He was still of the opinion that women who bring forth bastards should be hung.
-You have read on the subject?
from the papers that lay in my husband's study.
Mrs Browning is convinced that in Elizabeth Jarvis
they will punish sexual licentiousness and loose morals.
I only saw a young woman trapped and overwhelmed with fear.
But you are not afraid yourself, I think?
My husband would consider my participation in this an infidelity.
Well, it shall remain a confidence we share.
But in defence, and in this case above all, I am disadvantaged in law.
Then you shall have all the evidence I noted in the magistrate's parlour.
I believe I am fortunate to have made your acquaintance.
And fortune may allow us to prevail.
-To Newgate! But it's not permissible.
-It's not etiquette.
-You would prefer taste to justice?
I must know more. I must see the prisoner!
I am the attorney. I talk to the client, I make the preparation!
You do not trust my services all of a sudden?
I do not trust myself, Mr Southouse.
It is not a wish to flout conventions,
it is simply thoroughness to ensure all ground is covered in this case.
And that I am truly prepared - where before I was not.
-Well, if it comes from humility, then happily.
Lady Sarah will meet us there.
Lady Sarah, how so?
Elizabeth... you lied about not being pregnant.
You then attempted to conceal the birth.
Explain to me as counsel for the prosecution would have you do.
The knowledge of my pregnancy would bring about my dismissal, sir.
And I would have left that residence with no character reference
and little chance I'd be taken into service again.
-And I did not want to own my shame.
-You prepared no linen.
I had not the wits or the wherewithal to plan anything.
You had the wherewithal for a knife, Elizabeth.
You had the wits to know that you would cut the navel string. That was cold experience.
-I knew I had to separate the child from me.
Bodily, yes. And in life? Did you want it dead so you could live?
The child was already dead, sir! But if it had lived...
Would you have killed it? Would you? Look at me?!
I would have hid it, in the hope that it would be found alive and well and looked after.
And never have to follow in the low ways of its mother.
You would go there for thoroughness?
You simply convinced her of her own worthlessness.
And convinced myself of her innocence.
You think to play rough tricks?
I am in want of rough tricks. I am learning some.
-Her innocence may be established in court, not in Newgate.
By casting polite doubt on the eyesight of the prosecutrix?
Or the obtaining of an acquaintance of Elizabeth as character witness? That will not suffice!
-You cannot insult to an acquittal. It was your mistake before.
-That I was not rude enough was my mistake!
I have no means but to destroy the prosecutrix
and make war with her counsel. What would you have me say?
"I am in no way satisfied the jury were right in finding her guilty
"but at least everything was carried out with the utmost decorum."
The life of Elizabeth Jarvis is at stake
in solemn and polished injustice.
I must be a ruffian to get the truth,
I must confront the Gentlemen of the Old Bailey to save her life.
-I am sorry you were in attendance.
I am gratified to hear it.
Well, then, if you are going to insult,
your tongue must at least be well prepared with the sharpest of facts.
Which it is my job, as attorney, as your attorney...
I've already arranged an appointment.
We are to meet a surgeon.
WOMAN SCREAMS IN AGONY
Well, these are the forceps.
-To cut the navel string, in certain circumstances.
-When it's around the baby's throat.
-Now, you wish to see the mortuary?
In particular, the lungs of infants recently dead.
Certainly, there are new cadavers there now.
By preparation I meant black letter law and statutes not this atrocity!
Elizabeth Jarvis was indicted for that she, on the 29th April last,
at the parish of Marylebone, being big with a certain female child,
the said female child, alone and secretly from her body
by the providence of God, did bring forth alive,
which said child, being so born alive...
Everybody does look at me. Where do I look?
Fix your eyes on me, in hope you see your acquittal.
..But being moved and seduced by the instigation
of the devil feloniously and wilfully
and of her malice aforethought...
You listen for some mistake in the indictment to get the case thrown out?
A forlorn hope but at least you are learning your law , Mr Garrow.
Improvement will surely follow,
if not quite enough for acquittal of this careless spinster.
Mrs Tarling, could you tell me what happened that morning?
I went to the prisoner's room with my niece.
I found the prisoner in bed.
And you found her, apart from horizontal...
-She said she felt better.
She felt better.
The baby was downstairs dead and she felt better?
By this, presumably, you mean she felt relieved and glad?
-I mean she...
-Sanguine and very calm...
-May the witness not be the subject of ventriloquism.
-I put no words into the mouth of the witness.
-You lead her like a farmer brings a cow to market!
-He speaks of his former calling.
-The cow very sickly, the farmer selling it hasty.
-Continue, Mr Silvester.
You addressed her in her room...
as she lay there...
And what did you say to her?
I told her it was a very sad thing
-and how could she do so cruel an act?
-And her reply?
"Do what, Mrs Tarling?" she said.
She would not own it?
I spoke more plain. I asked her how she could destroy the poor little creature.
And she responded?
She made no answer.
She made no answer.
I have no more questions, my lord.
-do you remember the account of this you gave to the magistrate?
Do you remember that you swore it?
I've just heard you tell my learned friend the prisoner gave you no answer.
-Is that the end of what passed between you?
-I cannot recall.
You say you asked her how she could destroy the poor creature and she gave you no answer.
I put it to you that you then asked her why she did so.
-That may be so.
-Please try to recall what you have already sworn to.
I think I asked her if...
if she destroyed it to prevent its crying.
You asked her if she destroyed it to prevent its crying, yes or no?
-Yes, I did, sir.
-And how did the prisoner respond?
-I cannot recall.
That this young woman may be executed in consequence of your evidence, would you not venture to recall?!
-My lord, this is very rough!
-Why do you tremble so?
-This is an onerous occasion.
-Yes, my client's life is at stake!
Now would you please recall what you swore in front of the magistrate?
-Or is the truth now too inconvenient to own?
Please look at the jury as you do so.
it did not cry.
It never cried.
It did not cry.
It never cried.
It had no breath to cry.
It was still and silent and unmoving.
It was dead when it was born.
-Court shall adjourn for lunch.
-Court shall rise.
My lord, I have not finished cross-examining the witness.
It is MY court Mr Garrow and I shall determine the fate of my lamb chops
as ruthlessly as I determine the law here.
Sometimes a mouth must simply allow chewing as its function.
The prisoner used to speak to clear himself or hang himself.
Now the prisoner is silent, we have the eloquent hectoring of Mr Garrow.
-In a cause not his own.
-Judge, it may not be his cause
but surely the defence of the accused is progress and therefore some improvement?
Improvement, madam? How can it be improvement in my own court, where I play a lesser part?
Am I merely there to temper Mr Garrow's reign of terror?
I shall have to put out my leg to trip up the coming of these lawyers, or I will be trampled underfoot!
Doctor, after you made examination of the child,
would your opinion be that it was alive or dead
-at the time the wound to the throat was inflicted?
In wounds made on a living subject, the edges are red and turned out
and there are little spots of coagulated blood
from the extremities of the blood vessels.
Now that would be caused by the coagulation of blood before death.
-Did you open the body of the child?
It was the body of a full-grown, mature, healthy child.
The lungs were fully inflated which would not have been the case
had not the child breathed for some little time.
In other words, the child had been alive when it was cut with the knife.
That is so.
Poor little wretch.
SHOTS AND MURMURS FROM COURT
-Circulation continues after death, does it not?
So those appearances that you spoke of could equally occur after death?
I should say not. Unless...a very few minutes after death possibly.
My experience has not been such.
-And I understand the test to which you subjected the lungs is called the hydrostatic test?
-And you have read Beck and Taylor's work on medical jurisprudence?
-High authorities on that subject.
Indeed they are. Well, you will tell me whether you subscribe to this doctrine of Professor Taylor.
"The hydrostatic test is no more capable of showing that a child has been born alive
"than it is of proving whether it has been murdered or died of natural causes."
In other words, the exercise is worthless is it not?
My own experience tells me...
The high authority on this subject is incorrect?
I have never before engaged professionally on an inquiry of this nature.
-Oh, really, then you are some kind of beginner? Your experience doesn't mean much.
If you have the work of Professor Taylor alongside you,
may I suggest you read out the relevant excerpt in court.
Yes, your honour.
Who is this man? Is this man an attorney?
Junior counsel, my lord.
"The majority of those who have made experiments upon this subject have only pretended to show,
"by the use of this and other tests, whether or not a child has breathed."
Is that you, sir? Conducting unreliable experiments?
Pronouncing solemnly on scientific advancements that actually advance nothing?
The child breathed with some force - it was a vital act.
And how would it have breathed with a cord around its neck?
Enough for the lungs to inflate!
Dear me, sir, how your lungs inflate.
-Do you recognise these, Mr Herring?
They're used in some deliveries.
They are used, are they not, in cases where the navel string,
the umbilical cord, is twisted around the neck of the child.
-I believe so.
-You believe so?
-I have not used them.
I believe the process of cutting the cord in such circumstances is considered so hazardous
that this peculiar pair of scissors is manufactured for the purpose, is it not?
To prevent, by accident, an incision in the throat of a child?
-I have never cut the cord from a child's neck.
I have never had the experience of such an event.
Really? Oh, dear, oh, dear.
-Precisely how many children have you delivered?
-A dozen or...
-Well, one or the other, Mr Herring.
It is not my specialism.
Poor fellow, you are without the necessary competence again.
-My lord, this is bullying.
-Curb your tongue, Mr Garrow.
Yes, your honour.
Despite your lack of expertise,
you do acknowledge that cutting the cord from a child's neck
-may cause an incision there.
-It's a possibility.
Can you not say...
that a female in such circumstances as unassisted labour may,
from pain and anxiety,
become deprived of all judgment,
cause an incision by accident in the throat of a child?
A child who was fatally compromised by the cord around its neck...
and therefore dead
and from whom this poor mother was naturally anxious to remove herself?
My lord, my learned friend is addressing the jury.
My lord, I'm merely looking their way.
You may not address them with your mouth or your eyes.
-I know the limitations of my defence.
-As do I!
Perhaps you would like the witness to provide an answer to your...speech.
-It is my fervent wish.
-Then put it to him more succinctly.
I put it to you, Mr Herring,
that the wound to the child's throat was not a mark of violence at all
but a sad sign of desperation.
She cut her offspring's neck because she did not know what she was doing.
-It may be so.
-HUBBUB IN COURT
Court will adjourn for a short time.
Court shall rise.
I was earlier detained by some doubtful lamp chops and I fear they may detain me again.
-You think it goes well, Mr Southouse?
-I think we head towards acquittal.
-The judge is determined that you shall lose.
In the way he will direct the jury.
What can be done, Mr Southouse?
If he is determined, there is nothing to be done.
Court shall rise.
I cannot address the jury directly so the court must hear your voice.
-What do I say?
-How you did defend yourself to me in Newgate.
Remember how you were in Newgate.
-Do you wish to call any more witnesses?
-Mr Garrow, any witnesses as to the defendant's character?
-None, my lord.
if I may...
I could not own to the pregnancy
because I could not bear it to be true.
But I held...
..I held my child in the cellar
as its flesh grew colder and colder...
..until I grew cold next to her.
I did not sleep that night.
I did not wash her blood from me. I would not.
It was also my blood.
My baby did not suffer in life.
My baby was born at peace.
The single question here is whether the mother has proved that the infant was born dead.
I draw your attention to grievous wounds at the child's throat.
I draw your attention to the fact the young woman had provided no things for the child -
no clothing, no linen.
It suggests that she was in no way prepared
for the arrival of the child, had no intention of keeping it.
To be sure, there is evidence to convict of the crime of wilful murder.
You will confer and reach a verdict.
JURY CONFERS IN WHISPERS
-You have reached a verdict?
How do you find the prisoner charged with this indictment? Guilty or not guilty?
Not guilty. HUBBUB IN COURT
The prisoner is free to go.
You think I play the law as a game for gentlemen.
You're not wrong.
But now, sir, you will find me in earnest.
Mr Garrow, you are also free to go,
unless of course you intend to defend every prisoner here today?
Not today, my lord, but perhaps tomorrow.
I owe you my life, Mr Garrow.
It should not have been at stake. But you will thrive now.
-With a reference, I may have hope of some employment.
Thank you, both.
Thank God you did not disappoint me.
And now perhaps by association with me, you will not be blackened further as a Newgate solicitor.
By association with you I may find some other trouble altogether.
I shall change the trial forever.
Then you shall make enemies, Mr Garrow.
I hope there shall be some who will favour me.
I cannot do what is not in my heart.
You were called to the bar - they do not announce your heart there!
That man is the monster! He is the monster that did attack me!
You no longer find favour with the public gallery, Mr Garrow.
I would happily lay hands on you, Rawlings!
Madam, your agitation seems to occur at the most convenient time!
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2009
E-mail [email protected]
In the late 18th century, young idealistic barrister William Garrow is given his first criminal defence case at the Old Bailey by attorney and mentor John Southouse. He defends Peter Pace, who is accused by renowned thief-taker Edward Forrester of robbing a man at gunpoint.
The case is won by Garrow's nemesis Silvester, but Garrow's impressive performance in court catches the eye of Lady Sarah Hill. She instructs him to defend a helpless serving girl, Elizabeth Jarvis, who stands accused of murdering her newborn baby. Garrow learns a harsh lesson from his first case, and vows to defend the life of Elizabeth.