Regency Mystery: The Disappearance of Benjamin Bathhurst

The disappearance of a British Diplomat in Germany during the Napoleonic Wars is perhaps not so mysterious to today’s reader.  But imagine its November 1809, and a young man named Baron de Koch is stopped at the post house for fresh horses in the town of Perleberg, west of Berlin.  He is dressed with the care and elegance of German merchant, in a sable fur … Expand

Regency Crime and Punishment: Assizes

For serious criminal and civil matters, the courts of assize or assizes as they were known were held in country towns.  Visiting judges from higher London courts often presided over the assizes, a system that was created sometime in the 12th Century and largely abandoned by reform in 1971 (http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/laworder/court/overview/assizes/).  Judges, normally in pairs, moved around circuits on royal commission (http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/Leaflets/Assizes.pdf). Cases were assigned to … Expand