The Full Wiki

Trial by jury: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Jury trial article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A jury trial (or trial by jury) is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact which are then applied by a judge. It is distinguished from a bench trial, in which a judge or panel of judges make all decisions.

English common law and the United States Constitution recognize the right to a jury trial to be a fundamental civil liberty or civil right that allows the accused to choose whether to be judged by judges or a jury. The use of jury trials evolved within common law systems rather than civil law systems. Jury trials are of far less importance (or of no importance) in countries that do not have a common law system.

Juries usually weigh the evidence and testimony to determine questions of fact, while judges usually rule on questions of law, although the dissenting justices of the Supreme Court case Sparf et al. v. U.S. 156 U.S. 51 (1895), generally considered the pivotal case concerning the rights and powers of the jury declared: “It is our deep and settled conviction, confirmed by a re-examination of the authorities … that the jury, upon the general issue of guilty or not guilty in a criminal case, have the right, as well as the power, to decide, according to their own judgment and consciences, all questions, whether of law or of fact, involved in that issue.” Jury determination of questions of law, sometimes called jury nullification, may lead to the overturning of a verdict by the judge.





Trial by jury originated in Ancient Greece. There existed in Ancient Athens a mechanism through which it was assured that no one could select jurors, called dikastaí, for their own trial. For normal cases, the courts were made up of dikastai of 500 citizens. For capital cases, those which involved death, the loss of liberty, exile, the loss of civil rights, or the seizure of property, the trial was before a jury of 1,000 to 1,500 dikastai. In such large juries the unanimity rule would be unrealistic and verdicts were reached by majority. Juries were appointed by lot. Jurists cast a ceramic disk with an axle in its middle: the axle was either hollow or solid. Thus the way they voted was kept secret because the jurists would hold their disk by the axle by thumb and forefinger, thus hiding whether its axle was hollow or solid. Since Periclean times, jurists were compensated for their sitting in court, with the amount of one day's wages.

The institution of trial by jury was ritually depicted by Aeschylus in the Eumenides, the third and final play of his Oresteia trilogy. In this play the innovation is brought about by the goddess Athena, who summons twelve citizens to sit as jury. The god Apollo takes part in the trial as the advocate for the defendant Orestes, and the Furies as prosecutors for the slain Clytaemnestra. In the event the jury is split six to six, and Athena dicates that in such a case the verdict should henceforth be for acquittal. It is thought that the reason Aeschylus chose to present trial by jury as conforming to divine will was because the institution was relatively new at the time the play was produced. Before then, trials were heard and decided upon by the Areopagus, a council of elders of aristocratic descent, who were members for life.


From the beginning of the republic and in the majority of civil cases towards the end of the empire, there were tribunals with the characteristics of the jury, the Roman judges being civilian, lay and not professional. Capital trials were held in front of juries composed of hundreds or thousands of people in the commitias or centuries, the same as in Roman trials.[citation needed]

The connection between England and Rome goes back to the time of Julius Caesar, when he conquered the southern part of the British Isles. How deep the imprint left by the Roman institutions on the Romanised Celts is difficult to determine. With the fall of the Roman empire and the following "barbarization" of the region, historians doubt that Roman customs and laws survived. The arrival of Roman institutions to England is more widely attributed to William the Conqueror and the Normans during times of greater interest in Roman law.[citation needed]


According to George Macaulay Trevelyan in A Shortened History of England, during the Viking occupation: “The Scandinavians, when not on the Viking warpath, were a litigious people and loved to get together in the ‘thing’ to hear legal argument. They had no professional lawyers, but many of their farmer-warriors, like Njal, the truth-teller, were learned in folk custom and in its intricate judicial procedure. A Danish town in England often had, as it principal officers, twelve hereditary ‘law men.’ The Danes introduced the habit of making committees among the free men in court, which perhaps made England favorable ground for the future growth of the jury system out of a Frankish custom later introduced by the Normans.” The English king Ethelred the Unready set up an early legal system through the Wantage Code of Ethelred, one provision of which stated that the twelve leading thegns (minor nobles) of each wapentake (a small district) were required to swear that they would investigate crimes without a bias. These juries differed from the modern sort by being self-informing; instead of getting information through a trial, the jurors were required to investigate the case themselves.[1]

In the 12th century, Henry II took a major step in developing the jury system. Henry II set up a system to resolve land disputes using juries. A jury of twelve free men were assigned to arbitrate in these disputes. Unlike the modern jury, these men were charged with uncovering the facts of the case on their own rather than listening to arguments in court. Henry II also introduced what is now known as the "grand jury" through his Assize of Clarendon. Under the assize, a jury of free men was charged with reporting any crimes that they knew of in their hundred to a "justice in eyre," a judge who moved between hundreds on a circuit. A criminal accused by this jury was given a trial by ordeal.

The Church banned participation of clergy in trial by ordeal in 1215. Without the legitimacy of religion, trial by ordeal collapsed. The juries under the assizes began deciding guilt as well as providing accusations. The same year, trial by jury became a pretty explicit right in one of the most influential clauses of Magna Carta, signed by King John. Article 39 of the Magna Carta read:

Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel imprisonetur, aut desseisetur de libero tenemento, vel libertatibus, vel liberis consuetudinibus suis, sut utlagetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum, vel per legem terrae. It is translated thus by Lysander Spooner in his Essay on the Trial by Jury: "No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, and or by the law of the land." Although it says and or by the law of the land, this in no manner can be interpreted as if it were enough to have a positive law, made by the king, to be able to proceed legally against a citizen. The law of the land was the consuetudinary law, based on the customs and consent of John’s subjects, and since they did not have Parliament in those times, this meant that neither the king nor the barons could make a law without the consent of the people. According to some sources, in the time of Edward III, by the law of the land had been substituted by due process of law, which in those times was a trial by twelve peers.

During the mid-14th Century, it was forbidden that persons who had sat on the Presenting Jury (i.e., in modern parlance, the Grand Jury) to sit on the trial jury for that crime. 25 Edward III stat 5., c3 (1353). Over time, English juries became less self-informing and relied more on the trial itself for information on the case. Jurors remained free to investigate cases on their own until the 17th century. The Magna Carta being forgotten after a succession of benevolent reigns (or, more probably, reigns limited by the jury and the barons, and only under the rule of laws that the juries and barons found acceptable), the kings, through the royal judges, began to extend their control over the jury and the kingdom. In David Hume's History of England, he tells something of the powers that the kings had accumulated in the times after the Magna Carta, the prerogatives of the crown and the sources of great power with which these monarchs counted:

One of the most ancient and most established instruments of power was the court of Star Chamber, which possessed an unlimited discretionary authority of fining, imprisoning, and inflicting corporal punishment, and whose jurisdiction extended to all sorts of offenses, contempts, and disorders, that lay not within reach of the common law. The members of this court consisted of the privy council and the judges; men who all of them enjoyed their offices during pleasure: And when the prince himself was present, he was the sole judge, and all the others could only interpose with their advice. There needed but this one court in any government, to put an end to all regular, legal, and exact plans of liberty. For who durst set himself in opposition to the crown and ministry, or aspire to the character of being a patron of freedom, while exposed to so arbitrary a jurisdiction? I much question, whether any of the absolute monarchies in Europe contain, at present, so illegal and despotic a tribunal. While so many terrors hung over the people, no jury durst have acquitted a man, when the court was resolved to have him condemned. The practice also, of not confronting witnesses to the prisoner, gave the crown lawyers all imaginable advantage against him. And, indeed, there scarcely occurs an instance, during all these reigns, that the sovereign, or the ministers, were ever disappointed in the issue of a prosecution. Timid juries, and judges who held their offices during pleasure, never failed to second all the views of the crown. And as the practice was anciently common of fining, imprisoning, or otherwise punishing the jurors, merely at the discretion of the court, for finding a verdict contrary to the direction of these dependent judges; it is obvious, that juries were then no manner of security to the liberty of the subject.

The first paragraph of the Act that abolished the Star Chamber repeats the clause on the right of a citizen to be judged by his peers:

Abolition of the Star Chamber July 5, 1641
An act for the regulating of the privy council, and for taking away the court commonly called the star-chamber.

WHEREAS by the great charter many times confirmed in parliament, it is enacted, That no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed, and that the King will not pass upon him, or condemn him; but by lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land…

Many English colonies adopted the jury trial system including the United States. Jury trials in criminal cases were a protected right in the original Constitution and the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments of the U.S. Constitution extend the rights to trial by jury to include the right to jury trial for both criminal and civil matters and a grand jury for serious cases.

The role of jury trials

  • In most common law jurisdictions, the jury is responsible for finding the facts of the case, while the judge determines the law. These "peers of the accused" are responsible for listening to a dispute, evaluating the evidence presented, deciding on the facts, and making a decision in accordance with the rules of law and their jury instructions. Typically, the jury only judges guilt or a verdict of not guilty, but the actual penalty is set by the judge. An interesting innovation was introduced in Russia in the judicial reform of Alexander II: unlike in modern jury trials, jurors decided not only whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty, but they had the third choice: "Guilty, but not to be punished", since Alexander II believed that justice without morality is wrong.
  • In France and some countries organized in the same fashion, the jury and several professional judges sit together to determine guilt first. Then, if guilt is determined, they decide the appropriate penalty.[2]

Some jurisdictions with jury trials allow the defendant to waive their right to a jury trial, this leading to a bench trial. Jury trials tend to occur only when a crime is considered serious. In some jurisdictions, such as France and Brazil, jury trials are reserved, and compulsory, for the most severe crimes and are not available for civil cases. In Brazil, for example, trials by jury are applied in cases of voluntary crimes against life, such as First and Second-degree murders, forced abortion and instigation of suicide, even if only attempted. In others, such as the United Kingdom, jury trials are only available for criminal cases and very specific civil cases (defamation, malicious prosecution, civil fraud and false imprisonment). In the United States, jury trials are available in both civil and criminal cases. In Canada, an individual charged with an indictable offence may elect to be tried by a judge alone in a provincial court, by judge alone in a superior court, or by judge and jury in a superior court; summary offences cannot be tried by jury.

In the United States, because jury trials tend to be high profile, the general public tends to overestimate the frequency of jury trials. Approximately 150,000 jury trials are conducted in state courts in the U.S., and an additional 5,000 jury trials are conducted in federal courts. Two-thirds of jury trials are criminal trials, while one-third are civil and "other" (e.g., family, municipal ordinance, traffic). Nevertheless, the vast majority of cases are in fact settled by plea bargain, which removes the need for a jury trial.

Pros and cons

In countries where jury trials are common, juries are often seen as an important check against state power. Other common assertions about the benefits of trial by jury is that it provides a means of interjecting community norms and values into judicial proceedings and that it legitimizes the law by providing opportunities for citizens to validate criminal statutes in their application to specific trials. Alexis de Tocqueville also claimed that jury trials educate citizens about self-government. Many also believe that a jury is likely to provide a more sympathetic hearing, or a fairer one, to a party who is not part of the government – or other establishment interest – than would representatives of the state.

This last point may be disputed. For example, in highly emotional cases, such as child rape, the jury may be tempted to convict based on personal feelings rather than on conviction beyond reasonable doubt. Former attorney, then later minister of Justice Robert Badinter, remarked about jury trials in France that they were like "riding a ship into a storm," because they are much less predictable than bench trials.

Another issue with jury trials is the potential for jurors to be swayed by prejudice, including racial considerations. An infamous case was the 1992 trial in the Rodney King case in California, in which white police officers were acquitted of excessive force in the violent beating of a black man by a jury consisting mostly of whites without any black jurors, despite an incriminating videotape of the action. This led to widespread questioning about the case and riots ensued.

The positive belief about jury trials in the UK and the U.S. contrasts with popular belief in many other nations, in which it is considered bizarre and risky for a person's fate to be put into the hands of untrained laymen. Consider Japan, for instance, which used to have optional jury trials for capital or other serious crimes between 1928 and 1943. The defendant could freely choose whether to have a jury or trial by judges, and the decisions of the jury were non-binding. During the Tōjō-regime this was suspended, arguably stemming from the popular belief that any defendant who risks his fate on the opinions of untrained laymen is almost certainly guilty. Similarly, jury trials were abolished by the government of India in 1960 (this was followed by Pakistan soon afterwards) on the grounds they would be susceptible to media and public influence. One Pakistani Judge called a trial by jury "amateur justice". Malaysia abolished its jury system from 1 January 1995, citing inter alia the danger of jurors untrained in the legal profession delivering verdicts coloured by emotions or popular perception. One of the last trials-by-jury in Malaysia was the notorious Mona Fandey case in 1994.

Jury trials in multi-cultural countries with a history of ethnic tensions may be problematic, and lead to juries being unduly biased and partial. This is one of the reasons why both India and Pakistan abolished jury trials soon after independence. Indeed, in these countries, a jury trial is seen as a failing of some foreign legal system rather than an advantage; this is despite the fact that both nations are common law countries.

A major issue in jury trials is the secretive nature of the process. While proponents may say that it aids in the protection of liberty by protecting the jury from undue (although what exactly constitutes "liberty", of course is a subjective issue), opponents contend this prevents there from being a transparent trial. The fact that juries do not often have to give a reason for their verdict is also criticized, since opponents argue it is unfair for a person to be deprived of life, liberty or property without being told why it is being done so. In contrast where there is a decision by a judge or a bench, they are required to give often detailed reason of both fact and law as to why such a decision is given.

One issue that has been raised is the ability of a jury to fully understand statistical or scientific evidence. It has been said that the expectation of jury members as to the explanatory power of scientific evidence has been raised by television in what is known as the CSI effect. In at least one English trial the misuse or misunderstanding of statistics has led to wrongful conviction.[3]

Recently, in England and Wales, Lord Goldsmith, the government's Attorney General, has been actively pressing forward[4] with the Fraud (Trials Without a Jury) Bill in Parliament, which seeks to abolish jury trials in major criminal fraud trials. The Bill was subject to sharp criticism from both sides of the House of Commons,[5] , but passed its second Commons reading in November 2006.[6] The Bill follows the Government's earlier, unsuccessful attempt to pass measures allowing trials without jury in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

By country


The Australian Constitution provides that: "80. The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes." [7][8]

The first trial by jury in the colony of New South Wales was held in April 1841 in the town of Berrima.[9]

Challenging potential jurors

The voir dire system of examining the jury pool before selection is not permitted in Australia as it violates the privacy of jurors. Therefore, though it exists, the right to challenge for cause during jury selection cannot be employed much. Peremptory challenges are usually based on the hunches of the counsels and no reason is needed to use them. All Australian states allow for peremptory challenges in jury selection, however, the number of challenges granted to the counsels in each state are not all the same. Until 1987 New South Wales had twenty peremptory challenges for each side where the offence was murder, and eight for all other cases. In 1987 this was lowered to three peremptory challenges per side, the same amount allowed in South Australia. Eight peremptory challenges are allowed for both counsels for all offences in Queensland. Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory allow for six. Western Australia allows five peremptory challenges per side, according to section 104 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2004 (WA).

Majority and unanimous verdicts in criminal trials

In Australia majority verdicts are allowed in South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and New South Wales, while Queensland and the ACT require unanimous verdicts. Since 1927 South Australia has permitted majority verdicts of 11:1, and 10:1 or 9:1 where the jury has been reduced, in criminal trials if a unanimous verdict cannot be reached in four hours. They are accepted in all cases except for "guilty" verdicts where the defendant is on trial for murder or treason. Victoria has accepted majority verdicts with the same conditions since 1994, though deliberations must go on for six hours before a majority verdict can be made. Western Australia accepted majority verdicts in 1957 for all trials except where the crime is murder or has a life sentence. A 10:2 verdict is accepted. Majority verdicts of 10:2 have been allowed in Tasmania since 1936 for all cases except murder and treason if a unanimous decision has not been made within two hours. Since 1943 verdicts of “not guilty” for murder and treason have also been included, but must be discussed for six hours. The Northern Territory has allowed majority verdicts of 10:2, 10:1 and 9:1 since 1963 and does not discriminate between cases whether the charge is murder or not. Deliberation must go for at least six hours before delivering a majority verdict. Majority verdicts were introduced in New South Wales in 2005 (see Jury Act 1977 (NSW), s 55F).


Austria, in common with a number of European civil law jurisdictions, retains elements of trial by jury in serious criminal cases.


Under Canadian law, a person has the right to a jury trial for all crimes punishable by five years of imprisonment or more.


In France one can only have a jury trial when prosecuted for a crime, that is an offense liable of at least 10 years of jail (for natural persons) r a fine of 75000 € (for juristic persons). The only court that tries by jury is the cour d'assises.

See also: Cour d'assises


The government in Germany abolished jury trials on January 4, 1924, because their verdicts were not perceived as just anymore. Juries tended to be mistaken because of the increasing complexity of trials. Also, they started to lead into an unjustified acquittal in more and more cases.[10] The German legal system, however, provides for laymen to sit in court as judges alongside professional judges. This type of laymen is called a "Schöffe".[11] Such courts always consist of three or more judges. The laymen have exactly the same rights and obligations as the professional judges.


The country which gave birth to the concept of the jury trial retains it in an unusual form. Serious crimes in this country are tried by a panel of three professional judges and four lay jurors who decide the facts and appropriate penalty if convicted.


Being a Common Law jurisdiction, Gibraltar retains jury trial in a similar manner to that found in England and Wales, the exception being that juries consist of nine lay people, rather than twelve.


Jury trials were abolished by the government of India in 1960 on the grounds they would be susceptible to media and public influence. This decision was based on an 8:1 acquittal of Kawas Nanavati in K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra, which was overturned by higher courts, on the grounds that the jury was misled by the presiding judge.


In the Republic of Ireland, a common law jurisdiction, jury trials are available for criminal before the Circuit Court, Central Criminal Court and defamation cases. Consisting of twelve persons, juries are selected from a jury panel which is picked at random by the county registrar from the electoral register. Juries only decide questions of fact. They have no role in criminal sentencing or awarding damages in libel cases. It is not necessary that a jury be unanimous in its verdict. In civil cases, a verdict may be reached by a majority of nine of the twelve members. In a criminal case, a verdict need not be unanimous where there are not fewer than eleven jurors if ten of them agree on a verdict after considering the case for a "reasonable time". For certain terrorist and organised crime offences the Director of Public Prosecutions may issue a certificate that the accused be tried by the Special Criminal Court. Instead of a jury the Special Criminal Court consists of three judges, one from the District Court, Circuit Court and High Court. The principal statute regulating the selection, obligations and conduct of juries is the Juries Act 1976 as amended by the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008, which scrapped the upper age limit of 70. Juries are not paid, nor do they receive travel expenses, however they do receive lunch for the days that they are serving.


The Corte d'Assise is composed by 2 judges and 6 laymen chosen at random among Italian citizens 30 to 65 years old. Only serious crimes like murder can be tried by the Corte d'Assise.


On May 28, 2004, the Diet of Japan enacted a law which requires selected citizens to take part in criminal court trials of certain severe crimes and make decisions together with professional judges both on guilt and on the sentence. These citizens are called saiban-in (裁判員 "lay judge"). The saiban-in system was implemented in May 2009.

New Zealand

In 2004 New Zealand Parliament first heard the Criminal Procedures bill which would allow majority verdicts of 11:1. At its second reading in 2006, both major parties supported this element of the bill.[12]


Firstly, jury trials were introduced in the Russian Empire as a result of the Judicial reform of Alexander II in 1864. After the October Revolution they were abolished and introduced again in the Russian Federation for certain crimes in 1993. The Federal Constitution of that year also stipulates that, until the abolition of the death penalty, all defendants in a case that may result in a death sentence are entitled to a jury trial.[13]


In Singapore The jury system were abolished in early 1969, quoted by then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew that the jury system is an "Anglo-Saxon" concept that is irrelevant in Asia.[citation needed] Jury trials for all were earlier abolished in 1959, except for capital offenses with death penalty.


As of 2008, only the code of criminal procedure of the Canton of Geneva provides for genuine jury trials. Several other cantons – Vaud, Neuchâtel, Zürich and Ticino – provide for courts composed of both professional judges and laymen (Schöffengerichte / tribunaux d'échevins). Because the unified Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure (set to enter into force in 2011) does not provide for jury trials or lay judges, however, they are likely to be abolished in the near future.[14]

Absence of juries in Israel

The Israeli judicial system is conspicuous in having no juries of any kind - a feature especially interesting considering that very many other features of this system are derived from the British one - i.e. many Israeli laws are derived from British ones (including, in some cases, laws already repealed in Britain itself but which were in force when Israel became independent in 1948) and the Israeli Supreme Court makes frequent reference to British precedents. However, the authorities in British Mandatory Palestine had taken the conscious decision not to introduce any jury system, officially due to the consideration that it would not work in conditions where the population was divided into mutually-hostile communities of Jews and Arabs.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom consists of three separate legal jurisdictions, but there are some features common to all of them. In particular there is seldom anything like the U.S. voir dire system; jurors are usually just accepted without question. Controversially, in England there has been some screening in sensitive security cases, but the Scottish courts have firmly set themselves against any form of jury vetting.

England and Wales

In England and Wales (which have the same legal system), minor criminal cases are heard without a jury in the Magistrates' Courts. Middle ranking ("triable either way") offences may be tried by magistrates or the defendant may elect trial by jury in the Crown Court. Serious ("indictable") offences, however, must be tried before a jury in the Crown Court. Juries sit in a few civil cases, in particular, defamation and cases involving the state. Juries also sit in coroner's courts for more contentious inquests. All juries consist of 12 people between 18–70 years of age, selected at random from the register of voters. In the past a unanimous verdict was required. This has been changed so that, if the jury fails to agree after a given period, at the discretion of the judge they may reach a verdict by a 10-2 majority. This was to prevent jury tampering in cases involving organized crime.


In Scotland juries consist of 15 people for criminal trials and 12 people for civil trials. In criminal trials there has never been a requirement for verdicts to be unanimous; they are reached by simple majority. (People were occasionally hanged on majority verdicts in Scotland.) Juries may also return the verdict of not proven. The backing of at least eight jurors is needed to return a guilty verdict, even if the number of jurors drops below 15, e.g., because of illness. It is not possible for Scots juries to be "hung"; if there is not sufficient support for any verdict then this is treated as a verdict of not guilty.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the role of the jury trial is roughly similar to England and Wales, except that jury trials have been replaced in cases of alleged terrorist offences by courts where the judge sits alone, known as "Diplock courts". This was because of widespread jury intimidation during the Troubles. With the improving security situation in the province, Diplock courts were due to be phased out in 2007.

United States

In the United States every person accused of a felony (serious crime) has a constitutional right to a trial by jury, which arises from Article Three of the United States Constitution, which states in part, "The Trial of all Crimes...shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed." The right was expanded with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states in part, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." Both provisions were made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Most states' constitutions also grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal matters, though most have abrogated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. Also, a person accused of any crime punishable by more than six months imprisonment is also entitled to demand trial by jury; the Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for six months or less, trial by jury is not required, meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases.

In the cases Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) and Blakely v. Washington (2004), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a criminal defendant has a right to a jury trial not only on the question of guilt or innocence, but any fact used to increase the defendant's sentence beyond the maximum otherwise allowed by statutes or sentencing guidelines. This invalidated the procedure in many states and the federal courts that allowed sentencing enhancement based on "a preponderance of evidence", where enhancement could be based on the judge's findings alone. Depending upon the state a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision. A hung jury results in the defendants release, however charges against the defendant are not dropped and can be reinstated if the state so chooses.

Jurors in some states are selected through voter registration and drivers' license lists. A form is sent to prospective jurors to pre-qualify them by asking the recipient to answer questions about citizenship, disabilities, ability to understand the English language, and whether they have any conditions that would excuse them from being a juror. If they are deemed qualified, a summons is issued.

Civil trial procedure

In the United States, a civil action is a lawsuit; civil law is the branch of common law dealing with non-criminal actions. It should not be confused with legal system of civil law.

The right to trial by jury in a civil case is addressed by the 7th Amendment, which provides: "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."[15] In Joseph Story's 1883 treatise Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, he wrote, "[I]t is a most important and valuable amendment; and places upon the high ground of constitutional right the inestimable privilege of a trial by jury in civil cases, a privilege scarcely inferior to that in criminal cases, which is conceded by all to be essential to political and civil liberty."

The 7th Amendment does not guarantee or create any right to a jury trial; rather, it preserves the right to jury trial that existed in 1791 at common law. In this context, common law means the legal environment the United States inherited from England at the time. In England in 1791, civil actions were divided into actions at law and actions in equity. Actions at law had a right to a jury, actions in equity did not. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 2 says "[t]here is one form of action - the civil action[,]" which abolishes the legal/equity distinction. Today, in actions that would have been "at law" in 1791, there is a right to a jury; in actions that would have been "in equity" in 1791, there is no right to a jury. However, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 39(c) allows a court to use one at its discretion. To determine whether the action would have been legal or equitable in 1791, one must first look at the type of action and whether such an action was considered "legal" or "equitable" in 1791. Next, the relief being sought must be examined. Monetary damages alone were purely a legal remedy, and thus entitled to a jury. Non-monetary remedies such as injunctions, rescission, and specific performance were all equitable remedies, and thus up to the judge's discretion, not a jury. In Beacon Theaters v. Westover, the U.S. Supreme Court discussed the right to a jury, holding that when both equitable and legal claims are brought, the right to a jury trial still exists for the legal claim, which would be decided by a jury before the judge ruled on the equitable claim.

The right to a jury trial in civil cases does not extend to the states, except when a state court is enforcing a federally created right, of which the right to trial by jury is a substantial part.[16]

Following the English tradition, U.S. juries have usually been composed of 12 jurors, and the jury's verdict has usually been required to be unanimous. However, in many jurisdictions, the number of jurors is often reduced to a lesser number (such as five or six) by legislative enactment, or by agreement of both sides. Some jurisdictions also permit a verdict to be returned despite the dissent of one, two, or three jurors.

Waiver of jury trial

The vast majority of U.S. criminal cases are not concluded with a jury verdict, but rather by plea bargain. Both prosecutors and defendants often have a strong interest in resolving the criminal case by negotiation resulting in a plea bargain. If the defendant waives a jury trial, a bench trial is held.

In United States Federal courts, there is no absolute right to waive a jury trial. Per Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(a), only if the prosecution and the court consent may a defendant have a waiver of jury trial. However, most states give the defendant the absolute right to waive a jury trial.

See also


  1. ^ "Narrative History of England". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  2. ^ * The Protection of the Accused in French Criminal Procedure * Robert Vouin * The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Apr., 1956), pp. 157-173 * Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  3. ^ "Cot deaths; Munchausen by Proxy, Sir Roy Meadow". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  4. ^ "No-jury trial plan 'presses on'". BBC News. 
  5. ^ "Non-jury trial plans under fire". BBC News. 
  6. ^ "Commons passes jury-less trials". BBC News. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Berrima Village — History & Attractions". Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  10. ^ "Geschworenengericht". Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Geschworenengericht".öffe. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  12. ^ "Criminal Procedure Bill: Second Reading". Hansard, Tuesday, 9 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  13. ^ "Constitution". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  14. ^ Mansour, Fati (29 September 2008). "Le jury populaire à l'agonie" (in French). Le Temps. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  15. ^ "The Constitution of the United States of America". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  16. ^ "CRS/LII Annotated Constitution Seventh Amendment". Retrieved 2008-09-06. 

Further reading

  • Brill, Steven. Trial by Jury. (New York: American Lawyer Books/TOUCHSTONE, 1989).
  • Burns, Robert. The Death of the American Trial. University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN 9780226081267
  • Lehman, Godfrey D. We the jury… (New York: Prometheus Books, 1997).
  • Sadakat Kadri, The Trial: A History from Socrates to O.J. Simpson. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0-00-711121-5

History of the jury

This article is about the comic opera. For the legal institution, see jury trial.

of 1 May 1875]] Trial by Jury is a comic opera in one act, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was first produced on 25 March 1875, at London's Royalty Theatre, where it initially ran for 131 performances and was considered a hit, receiving critical praise and outrunning its popular companion piece, Jacques Offenbach's La Périchole. The story concerns a "breach of promise of marriage" lawsuit in which the judge and legal system are the objects of lighthearted satire.

Gilbert based the libretto of Trial by Jury on an operetta parody that he had written in 1868. The opera premiered more than three years after Gilbert and Sullivan's only previous collaboration, Thespis, an 1871–72 Christmas season entertainment. In the intervening years, both the author and composer were busy with separate projects. Beginning in 1873, Gilbert tried several times to get the opera produced before the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte suggested that he collaborate on it with Sullivan. Sullivan was pleased with the piece and promptly wrote the music.

As with most Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the plot of Trial by Jury is ludicrous, but the characters behave as if the events were perfectly reasonable. This narrative technique blunts some of the pointed barbs aimed at hypocrisy, especially of those in authority, and the sometimes base motives of supposedly respectable people and institutions. These themes became favourites of Gilbert through the rest of his collaborations with Sullivan. Critics and audiences praised how well Sullivan's witty and good-humoured music complemented Gilbert's satire.[1] The success of Trial by Jury launched the famous series of 13 collaborative works between Gilbert and Sullivan that came to be known as the Savoy Operas.

After its original production in 1875, Trial by Jury toured widely in Britain and elsewhere and was frequently revived and recorded. It also became popular as a part of charity benefits. The work continues to be frequently played, especially as a companion piece to other short Gilbert and Sullivan operas or other works. According to theatre scholar Kurt Gänzl, it is "probably the most successful British one-act operetta of all time".[2]



Before Trial by Jury, W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan had collaborated on one previous opera, Thespis; or, The Gods Grown Old, in 1871. Although reasonably successful, it was a Christmas entertainment, and such works were not expected to endure.[3] Between Thespis and Trial by Jury, Gilbert and Sullivan did not collaborate on any further operas. Gilbert wrote several short stories, edited the second volume of his comic Bab Ballads, and created 11 theatrical works, including The Happy Land (1873), Charity (1874) and Sweethearts (1874).[4] At the same time, Sullivan wrote various pieces of religious music, including the Festival Te Deum (1872) and an oratorio, The Light of the World (1873), and edited Church Hymns, with Tunes (1874), which included 45 of his own hymns and arrangements.[5] He also wrote many parlour ballads and other songs, including three in 1874–75 with words by Gilbert: "The Distant Shore", "Sweethearts" (inspired by Gilbert's play) and "The Love that Loves Me Not".[5]

Genesis of the opera

in 1868]] The story of Trial by Jury started in 1868, when Gilbert wrote a single-page illustrated comic piece for the magazine Fun entitled Trial by Jury: An Operetta. Drawing on Gilbert's training and brief practice as a barrister, it detailed a "breach of promise" trial going awry, in the process spoofing the law, lawyers and the legal system. (In the Victorian era, a man could be required to pay compensation should he fail to marry a woman to whom he was engaged.) The outline of this story was followed in the later opera, and two of its numbers appeared in nearly their final form in Fun. The skit, however, ended abruptly: the moment the attractive plaintiff stepped into the witness box, the judge leapt into her arms and vowed to marry her, whereas in the opera, the case is allowed to proceed further before this conclusion is reached.[6][7]

In 1873, Gilbert arranged with the opera manager and composer, Carl Rosa, to expand the piece into a one-act libretto. Rosa was to write the music, and Euphrosyne Parepa-Rosa, his wife and an old friend of Gilbert's, was to sing the role of the Plaintiff, as part of a season of English opera that Rosa planned to present at the Drury Lane Theatre.[8] Euphrosyne died in childbirth in 1874, and the despondent Rosa dropped the project.[9] Later in the same year, Gilbert offered the libretto to the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte, but Carte knew of no composer available to set it to music.[10]

Meanwhile, Sullivan may have been considering a return to light opera: Cox and Box, his first comic opera, had received a London revival (co-starring his brother, Fred Sullivan) in September 1874. In November, Sullivan travelled to Paris and contacted Albert Millaud, one of the librettists for Jacques Offenbach's operettas. However, he returned to London empty-handed and worked on incidental music for the Gaiety Theatre's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.[11] By early 1875, Carte was managing Selina Dolaro's Royalty Theatre, and he needed a short opera to be played as an afterpiece to Offenbach's La Périchole (in which Dolaro starred). Carte asked Sullivan to compose something for the theatre and advertised in The Times in late January: "In Preparation, a New Comic Opera composed expressly for this theatre by Mr. Arthur Sullivan in which Madame Dolaro and Nellie Bromley will appear."[12][13] But around the same time, Carte also remembered Gilbert's Trial by Jury and knew that Gilbert had worked with Sullivan to create Thespis. He suggested to Gilbert that Sullivan was the man to write the music for Trial.[12]

Gilbert read the libretto to Sullivan on 20 February 1875. Sullivan was enthusiastic, later recalling, "[Gilbert] read it through... in the manner of a man considerably disappointed with what he had written. As soon as he had come to the last word, he closed up the manuscript violently, apparently unconscious of the fact that he had achieved his purpose so far as I was concerned, inasmuch as I was screaming with laughter the whole time."[14] Trial by Jury, described as "A Novel and Original Dramatic Cantata" in the original promotional material,[15] was composed and rehearsed in a matter of weeks.[14][16]

Production and aftermath

The result of Gilbert and Sullivan's collaboration was a witty, tuneful and very "English" piece, in contrast to the bawdy burlesques and adaptations of French operettas that dominated the London musical stage at that time.[1]

Initially, Trial by Jury, which runs only 30 minutes or so, was played last on a triple bill, on which the main attraction, La Périchole (starring Dolaro as the title character and Fred Sullivan as Don Andres), was preceded by the one-act farce Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata.[14] The latter was immediately replaced by a series of other curtain raisers.[17][18] Arthur Sullivan conducted the first night's performance, and the theatre's music director, B. Simmons, conducted thereafter.[19] The composer's brother, Fred Sullivan, starred as the Learned Judge, with Nellie Bromley as the Plaintiff. One of the choristers in Trial by Jury, W. S. Penley, was promoted in November 1875[20] to the small part of the Foreman of the Jury and made a strong impact on audiences with his amusing facial expressions and gestures.[21] In March 1876, he temporarily replaced Fred Sullivan as the Judge, when Fred's health declined from tuberculosis.[22] With this start, Penley went on to a successful career as comic actor, culminating with the lead role in the record-breaking original production of Charley's Aunt.[21] Fred Sullivan died in January 1877.[23]

Offenbach's works were then at the height of their popularity in Britain, but Trial by Jury proved even more popular than La Périchole,[24] becoming an unexpected hit.[1] Trial by Jury drew crowds and continued to run after La Périchole closed.[25] While the Royalty Theatre closed for the summer in 1875, Dolaro immediately took Trial on tour in England and Ireland.[26] The piece was revived for additional London seasons in 1876 at the Opera Comique and in 1877 at the Strand Theatre.[27]

Trial by Jury soon became the most desirable supporting piece for any London production, and, outside London, the major British theatrical touring companies had added it to their repertoire by about 1877.[28] The original production was even given a world tour by Opera Comique assistant manager Emily Soldene, which travelled as far as Australia.[28] Unauthorised "pirate" productions quickly sprang up in America, taking advantage of the fact that American courts did not enforce foreign copyrights.[20][19] It also became popular as part of the Victorian tradition of "benefit concerts", where the theatrical community came together to raise money for actors and actresses down on their luck or retiring. The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company continued to play the work for a century, licensing the piece to amateur and foreign professional companies, such as the J. C. Williamson Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company.[29] Since the copyrights to Gilbert and Sullivan works ran out in 1961,[30] the piece has been available to theatre companies around the world free of royalties. The work's enduring popularity since 1875 makes it, according to theatrical scholar Kurt Gänzl, "probably the most successful British one-act operetta of all time".[2]

The success of Trial by Jury spurred several attempts to reunite Gilbert and Sullivan, but difficulties arose. Plans for a collaboration for Carl Rosa in 1875 fell through because Gilbert was too busy with other projects,[31][32] and an attempted Christmas 1875 revival of Thespis by Richard D'Oyly Carte failed when the financiers backed out.[31][33] Gilbert and Sullivan continued their separate careers, though both continued writing light opera, among other projects: Sullivan's next light opera, The Zoo, opened while Trial by Jury was still playing, in June 1875; and Gilbert's Eyes and No Eyes premièred a month later,[34] followed by Princess Toto in 1876.[35] However, Gilbert and Sullivan would not be reunited until The Sorcerer in 1877.[17]


  • The Learned Judge (comic baritone)
  • The Plaintiff (soprano)
  • The Defendant (tenor)
  • Counsel for the Plaintiff (lyric baritone)
  • Usher (bass-baritone)
  • Foreman of the Jury (bass)
  • Associate (silent)
  • First Bridesmaid
  • Chorus of Bridesmaids, Gentlemen of the Jury, Barristers, Attorneys and Public.


Excerpt from "The Judge's Song"[36]

JUDGE. When I, good friends, was called to the bar,

   I'd an appetite fresh and hearty.

But I was, as many young barristers are,

   An impecunious party.

I'd a swallow-tail coat of a beautiful blue –

   A brief which I bought of a booby –

A couple of shirts, and a collar or two,

   And a ring that looked like a ruby!

CHORUS. He'd a couple of shirts, and a collar or two, And a ring that looked like a ruby.

JUDGE. In Westminster Hall I danced a dance,

   Like a semi-despondent fury;

For I thought I never should hit on a chance

   Of addressing a British Jury –

But I soon got tired of third-class journeys,

   And dinners of bread and water;

So I fell in love with a rich attorney's

   Elderly, ugly daughter.

CHORUS. So he fell in love, etc.

style="text-align: center;" center]]

Drawing by W. S. Gilbert

The curtain rises on the Court of the Exchequer,[37] where a jury and the public assemble to hear a case of breach of promise of marriage.

]] The Usher introduces the proceedings by exhorting the jury to listen to the broken-hearted Plaintiff's case but telling them that they "needn't mind" what the "ruffianly defendant" has to say. He adds, however, that "From bias free of every kind, this trial must be tried!" The Defendant (Edwin)[38] arrives, and the jurymen greet him with hostility, even though, as he points out, they have as yet no idea of the merits of his case. He tells them, with surprising candour, that he jilted the Plaintiff because she became a "bore intense" to him, and he then quickly took up with another woman. The jurymen recall their own wayward youth, but they are now respectable gentlemen and no longer have any sympathy for the Defendant.

The Judge enters with great pomp and describes how he rose to his position – by courting a rich attorney's "elderly, ugly daughter". The rich attorney then aided his prospective son-in-law's legal career until "at length I became as rich as the Gurneys" and "threw over" the daughter. The jury and public are delighted with the judge, and ignore that he has just admitted to the same wrong of which the Defendant is accused.[39]

The jury is then sworn in, and the Plaintiff (Angelina)[38] is summoned. She is preceded into the courtroom by her bridesmaids, one of whom catches the eye of the judge. However, when Angelina herself arrives in full wedding dress, she instantly captures the heart of both Judge and jury. The Counsel for the Plaintiff makes a moving speech detailing Edwin's betrayal. Angelina feigns distress and staggers, first into the arms of the Foreman of the Jury, and then of the Judge. Edwin counters, explaining that his change of heart is only natural:

"Oh, gentlemen, listen, I pray, Though I own that my heart has been ranging, Of nature the laws I obey, For nature is constantly changing. The moon in her phases is found, The time and the wind and the weather, The months in succession come round, And you don't find two Mondays together...."

He offers to marry both the Plaintiff and his new love, if that would satisfy everyone. The Judge at first finds this "a reasonable proposition", but the Counsel points out that it is "a rather serious crime / To marry two wives at a time". Perplexed, everyone in court ponders the "nice dilemma" in a parody of Italian opera ensembles.[40]

Angelina desperately embraces Edwin, demonstrating the depth of her love, and bemoans her loss – all in evidence of the large amount of damages that the jury should force Edwin to pay. Edwin, in turn, says he is a smoker, a drunkard, and a bully (when tipsy), and that the Plaintiff could not have endured him even for a day; thus the damages should be small. The Judge suggests making Edwin tipsy to see if he would really "thrash and kick" Angelina, but everyone else (except Edwin) objects to this experiment. Impatient at the lack of progress, the Judge resolves the case by offering to marry Angelina himself. This is found quite satisfactory, and the opera is concluded with "joy unbounded".[41]

Musical numbers

  • 1. "Hark, the hour of ten is sounding" (Chorus) and "Now, Jurymen, hear my advice" (Usher)
  • 1a. "Is this the Court of the Exchequer?" (Defendant)
  • 2. "When first my old, old love I knew" (Defendant and Chorus) and "Silence in Court!" (Usher)
  • 3. "All hail great Judge!" (Chorus and Judge)
  • 4. "When I, good friends, was call'd to the Bar" (Judge and Chorus)
  • 5. "Swear thou the Jury" (Counsel, Usher) and "Oh will you swear by yonder skies" (Usher and Chorus)
  • 6. "Where is the Plaintiff?" (Counsel, Usher) and "Comes the cheated flower" (Chorus of Bridesmaids and Plaintiff)[42]
  • 7. "Oh, never, never, never, since I joined the human race" (Judge, Foreman, Chorus)
  • 8. "May it please you, my lud!" (Counsel for Plaintiff and Chorus)
  • 9. "That she is reeling is plain to see!" (Judge, Foreman, Plaintiff, Counsel, and Chorus)
  • 10. "Oh, gentlemen, listen, I pray" (Defendant and Chorus of Bridesmaids)
  • 11. "That seems a reasonable proposition" (Judge, Counsel, and Chorus)
  • 12. "A nice dilemma we have here" (Ensemble)
  • 13. "I love him, I love him, with fervour unceasing" (Plaintiff, Defendant and Chorus) and "The question, gentlemen, is one of liquor" (Judge and Ensemble)
  • 14. "Oh, joy unbounded, with wealth surrounded" (Ensemble)

For clarity, only characters with a major role in each particular song have been listed.[43]


Reviews of the first performance of Trial by Jury were uniformly glowing. Fun magazine declared the opera "extremely funny and admirably composed",[44] while rival Punch magazine wrote that it "is the funniest bit of nonsense your representative has seen for a considerable time", only regretting that it was too short.[45] The Daily News praised the author: "In whimsical invention and eccentric humour Mr. W. S. Gilbert has no living rival among our dramatic writers, and never has his peculiar vein of drollery and satire been more conspicuous than in a little piece entitled Trial by Jury".[45] The Daily Telegraph concluded that the piece illustrated the composer's "great capacity for dramatic writing of the lighter class".[45] Many critics emphasised the happy combination of Gilbert's words and Sullivan's music. One noted that "so completely is each imbued with the same spirit, that it would be as difficult to conceive the existence of Mr. Gilbert's verses without Mr. Sullivan's music, as of Mr. Sullivan's music without Mr. Gilbert's verses. Each gives each a double charm."[46] Another agreed that "it seems, as in the great Wagnerian operas, as though poem and music had proceeded simultaneously from one and the same brain."[47]

In 1880, Punch magazine prematurely anticipated Sullivan's knighthood, publishing a cartoon accompanied by a parody version of "When I, good friends", from Trial by Jury, that summarised Sullivan's career to that date:
Excerpt from A Humorous Knight"
["It is reported that after the Leeds Festival Dr. Sullivan will be knighted." Having read this in a column of gossip, a be-nighted Contributor, who has "the Judge's Song" on the brain, suggests the following verse....]

As a boy I had such a musical bump,

   And its size so struck Mr. HELMORE,

That he said, "Though you sing those songs like a trump,

   You shall write some yourself that will sell more."

So I packed off to Leipsic, without looking back,

   And returned in such classical fury,

That I sat down with HANDEL and HAYDN and BACH,—

   And turned out "Trial by Jury."

But W.S.G. he jumped for joy

   As he said, "Though the job dismay you,

Send Exeter Hall to the deuce, my boy;

   It's the haul with me that'll pay you."

And we hauled so well, mid jeers and taunts,

   That we've settled, spite all temptations,

To stick to our Sisters and our Cousins and our Aunts,—

   And continue our pleasant relations.

The opening night audience was also delighted by the piece, preferring it to even the Offenbach work: "To judge by the unceasing and almost boisterous hilarity which formed a sort of running commentary on the part of the audience, Trial by Jury suffered nothing whatever from so dangerous a juxtaposition [with a piece by the popular Offenbach]. On the contrary, it may fairly be said to have borne away the palm."[47] A reviewer noted that "Laughter more frequent or more hearty was never heard in any theatre than that which more than once brought the action... to a temporary standstill."[48] Another paper summed up its popular appeal: "Trial by Jury is but a trifle – it pretends to be nothing more – but it is one of those merry bits of extravagance which a great many will go to see and hear, which they will laugh at, and which they will advise their friends to go and see, and therefore its success cannot be doubtful."[49]

Among the actors, special critical praise was reserved for the composer's brother, Fred Sullivan, in the role of the Learned Judge: "The greatest 'hit' was made by Mr. F. Sullivan, whose blending of official dignity, condescension, and, at the right moment, extravagant humour, made the character of the Judge stand out with all requisite prominence, and added much to the interest of the piece."[50] The Times concurred that his portrayal deserved "a special word of praise for its quiet and natural humour."[51] Nelly Bromley (the Plaintiff), Walter Fisher (the Defendant), John Hollingsworth (the Counsel) and others were also praised for their acting.[52]

Later assessments of the work have been no less positive. In 1907, Gilbert's first biographer, Edith A. Browne, concluded:[53] "In Trial by Jury we find author and composer looking at the humorous side of life from exactly the same point of view, and we at once realise how Gilbert and Sullivan have been able to do for Comic Opera what Wagner has done for Grand Opera by combining words and music so as to make them one." H. M. Walbrook similarly wrote in 1922:

Trial by Jury... satirizes the procedure in an average breach of promise, and also the insincerity which may sometimes underlie the pose of "respectability." Everything done or sung is ludicrous, and yet beneath it all lies a recognisable substratum of truth. The piece is a riot of laughter. The Judge's ditty, "When first, my friends, I was called to the Bar," [sic] is the best-known comic song in the English language. In none of the operas is the genius of Gilbert as an inventor of "comic business" more daringly and irresistibly exhibited. One can see the piece again and again and discover fresh strokes of comicality. Its place in the Gilbert and Sullivan repertory is as secure as ever; and whatever reforms may be hereafter effected in this particular department of the King's Bench Division, Trial by Jury will probably long continue to be one of the English-speaking world's refreshments.[54]

Gilbert and Sullivan biographer Michael Ainger, writing in 2002, 127 years after the premiere of the opera, explained its enduring appeal: "Nothing could be more serious than a court of law... and now the world had been turned upside down. The court of law had become the scene of humor and frivolity; the learned judge had shown himself to be as fickle as the defendant, and the justice system turned out to be flawed by human frailty. And Sullivan had grasped the joke.... From the first chords... Sullivan’s music sets the scene of mock-seriousness and proceeds to dance its way through the whole piece."[55]

Impact and analysis


As the first Savoy opera, Trial by Jury marked an important moment in the history of the Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration, as well as in the careers of each of the two men and in Victorian drama in general. Historian Reginald Allen sums up the historical import of the opera:

Most scholars of the Victorian theatre date the birth of Gilbert & Sullivan opera with the first performance of Trial by Jury .... Some will maintain that there is no single date of comparable importance in the history of the modern lyric theatre than this occasion which first brought together the triumvirate of W. S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan, and their catalyst business genius, Richard D'Oyly Carte. The next twenty-five years witnessed the spectacular, worldwide success of this collaboration: the Gilbert & Sullivan operas, initiated by Trial by Jury. Without this spark, who can say that any of the instantaneous hits of G[ilbert] & S[ullivan] that followed would ever have been written?[56]

Sidney Dark and Rowland Grey also give a high value to the importance of Trial by Jury and the operas that followed: "There is not a little historical interest in the genesis of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the one English contribution of any value to dramatic literature for many generations."[57] In addition, references to the opera continue today in the popular media[58] and even in law cases.[59]

Pattern for later Savoy operas

Trial by Jury is the only Gilbert and Sullivan opera played in one act and the only theatrical work by W. S. Gilbert without spoken dialogue.[60] However, later Gilbert and Sullivan operas retained a number of patterns seen in Trial. For example, all except for The Yeomen of the Guard begin with a chorus number.[61] Also, like Trial by Jury, the later operas generally end with a relatively short finale consisting of a chorus number interspersed with short solos by the principal characters. "Comes the broken flower" (part of No. 3) was the first in a string of meditative "Horatian" lyrics, "mingling happiness and sadness, an acceptance and a smiling resignation".[62] These would, from this point forward, allow the characters, in each of the Savoy operas, an introspective scene where they stop and consider life, in contrast to the foolishness of the surrounding scenes.[63] Like both of the tenor's arias in Trial by Jury, tenor arias in later Savoy operas were set in 6/8 time so frequently that comedienne Anna Russell, in her 1953 parody, "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera",[64] exclaimed, "the tenor ... according to tradition, must sing an aria in 6/8 time, usually accompanying himself on a stringed instrument".[65] In Trial by Jury hypocrisy is revealed as the characters' motivations are held up to satire, and Gilbert mocks the underlying absurdity of the judicial procedures. As Gilbert scholar Andrew Crowther explains, Gilbert combines his criticisms with comic entertainment, which renders them more palatable, while at the same time underlining their truth: "By laughing at a joke you show that you accept its premise."[66] This too would become characteristic of Gilbert's work.[67]

as The Learned Judge]]

The judge's song, "When I, good friends, was called to the Bar" was followed by a string of similar patter songs that would come to epitomise Gilbert and Sullivan's collaboration.[68] In these, often, a "dignified personage [would, just like the Judge,] supply a humorous biography of himself.[69] Just as in Gilbert's earlier play, The Palace of Truth, in these songs, the characters "naïvely reveal their innermost thoughts, unconscious of their egotism, vanity, baseness, or cruelty".[70] Crowther points out that such revelations work particularly well in Trial by Jury, because people commonly expect "characters singing in opera/operetta will communicate at a deeper level of truth than they would in mere speech."[60] In "When I, good friends", the judge outlines the path of corruption that led to his becoming a judge, and this, too, would set the pattern for many of the patter songs in Gilbert and Sullivan operas to follow.[60]

One of Gilbert's most notable innovations, first found in Thespis and repeated in Trial by Jury and all of the later Savoy operas, is the use of the chorus as an essential part of the action. In most earlier operas, burlesques, and comedies, the chorus had very little impact on the plot and served mainly as "noise or ornament".[71] In the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, however, the chorus is essential, taking part in the action and often acting as an important character in its own right.[71] Sullivan recalled, "Until Gilbert took the matter in hand choruses were dummy concerns, and were practically nothing more than a part of the stage setting. It was in 'Thespis' that Gilbert began to carry out his expressed determination to get the chorus to play its proper part in the performance. At this moment it seems difficult to realise that the idea of the chorus being anything more than a sort of stage audience was, at that time, a tremendous novelty."[72] Another Gilbert innovation, following the example of his mentor, T. W. Robertson, was that the costumes and sets were made as realistic as possible:[73] Gilbert based the scenery for the production on the Clerkenwell Sessions House, where he had practiced law in the 1860s.[74] The costumes were contemporary, and Angelina and her bridesmaids were dressed in real wedding attire.[73] This attention to detail and careful creation of realistic sets and scenes were typical of Gilbert's stage management and would be repeated in all of Gilbert's work.[75] For instance, when preparing the sets for H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), Gilbert and Sullivan visited Portsmouth to inspect ships. Gilbert made sketches of the H.M.S. Victory and the H.M.S. St Vincent and created a model set for the carpenters to work from.[76] This was far from standard procedure in Victorian drama, where naturalism was still a relatively new concept, and where most authors had very little influence on how their plays and libretti were staged.[77]


Andrew Crowther places Trial by Jury at the centre of Gilbert's development as a librettist. He notes that in some of Gilbert's early libretti, such as Topsyturveydom (1874), the songs simply emphasise the dialogue. In others, such as Thespis (1871), some songs are relatively disconnected from both the story and characterisation, such as "I once knew a chap" or "Little maid of Arcadee", which simply convey a moral lesson.[78] In Trial by Jury, however, each song carries the plot forward and adds depth to the characters. In addition, unlike some of Gilbert's more fantastical early plots, "Aside from the ending, nothing essentially improbable happens."[60] Theatre historian Kurt Gänzl agrees, writing that "Gilbert's libretto was superior to any of his previous efforts. It was concise, modern and satirical without being impossibly whimsical. Having no spoken dialogue it was perforce tightly constructed and allowed of no interpolation or alteration."[79] Sullivan's development as a comic opera writer, too, would mature with Trial by Jury. Except for incidental music for productions of Shakespeare, he had not written any music for the stage since Thespis. Gänzl wrote that Trial by Jury "brought Sullivan firmly and finally into the world of the musical" stage[80] and confirmed, after his previous success with Cox and Box and Thespis, that "Sullivan was a composer of light lyric and comic music who could rival Offenbach, Lecocq and any English musician alive."[80]

Sullivan used the opportunities suggested by Gilbert's satire of the pomp and ceremony of the law to provide a variety of musical jokes.[40] For example, counterpointing the plaintiff's calculated swooning in "That she is reeling is plain to see!" (No. 9) with a reeling, minor-key theme in the string accompaniment, heading up and down (but mostly down) the octaves.[17] He underlines the Counsel's misstatement in the line "To marry two at once is burglaree" with a comic bassoon "sting" in octaves.[17] The instruments are also used to comically set the scene; for instance, by having the Defendant tune his guitar on stage (simulated by a violin in the orchestra) in the opening to his song.[81]

The score also contains two parodies or pastiches of other composers: No. 3, "All hail great Judge" is an elaborate parody of Handel's fugues,[82] and No. 12, "A nice dilemma", parodies "dilemma" ensembles of Italian opera in the Bel canto era; in particular "D'un pensiero" from Act I of Bellini's La sonnambula.[83] "A nice dilemma" uses the dominant rhythm and key of "D'un pensiero" and divides up some of the choral lines between the basses and higher voices to create an oom-pa-pa effect common in Italian opera choruses.[84]


After the premiere of Trial by Jury in 1875, operetta companies in London, the British provinces and elsewhere picked it up rapidly, usually playing it as a forepiece or an afterpiece to a French operetta.[2] The first American productions were at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia on 22 October 1875 and the Eagle Theatre in New York City on 15 November 1875.[19] The world tour of the original British production took it to America, Australia, and elsewhere.[85] It was even translated into German, and premièred as Im Schwurgericht, at the Carltheater on 14 September 1886, and as Das Brautpaar vor Gericht at Danzer's Orpheum on 5 October 1901.[86]

Richard D'Oyly Carte's opera companies (of which there were often several playing simultaneously) usually programmed Trial by Jury as a companion piece to The Sorcerer or H.M.S. Pinafore. From 1894, the year when the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company established a year-round touring company that had most of the Gilbert and Sullivan works in its repertory, Trial by Jury was always included, except for 1901–03, and then again from 1943–46, when the company played a reduced repertory during World War II.

During the company's 1975 centennial performances of all thirteen Gilbert and Sullivan Operas at the Savoy Theatre, Trial was given four times, as a curtain raiser to The Sorcerer, Pinafore and Pirates and as an afterpiece following The Grand Duke. Before the first of the four performances of Trial, a specially-written curtain raiser by William Douglas-Home, called Dramatic Licence, was played by Peter Pratt as Carte, Kenneth Sandford as Gilbert and John Ayldon as Sullivan, in which Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte plan the birth of Trial in 1875.[87] Trial by Jury was eliminated in 1976 as a cost-saving measure.[88]

Production history

The following table summarises the main London productions of Trial by Jury through Sullivan's death in 1900:

TheatreOpening DateClosing DatePerfs.Details
Royalty Theatre[89]25 March 187511 June 1875131This company also played matinées at the Gaiety Theatre on 10 April, 17 April, and 24 April 1875.[19] The theatre closed from 12 June through October 10[90] while the company took Trial by Jury and other operas on a provincial tour.[80] After 18 December, this production was transferred to the Opera Comique.[89]
October 11 1875December 18 1875
Opera Comique[89] January 13 1876May 5 187696Trial by Jury was not performed from March 13–18 due to the illness of Fred Sullivan.[2]
Strand TheatreMarch 3 1877May 26 187773Produced "under the immediate direction of the authors". Originally performed as an afterpiece to Tom Taylor's comedy Babes and Beetles.[90]
Opera ComiqueMarch 23 1878May 24 187856Played as an afterpiece to The Sorcerer[91]
Savoy TheatreOctober 11 1884March 12 1885150Played as a forepiece to The Sorcerer[92]
Savoy TheatreSeptember 22 1898December 31 1898102Played as a forepiece to The Sorcerer[93]
Savoy TheatreJune 6 1899November 25 1899174Played as a forepiece to H.M.S. Pinafore[94][95]

The copyrights to Trial by Jury and the other Gilbert and Sullivan operas were held by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company until their expiration in 1961, 50 years after Gilbert's death, and no other professional company was authorised to present the Savoy operas in Britain until that date.[30] The following tables show the casts of the principal original D'Oyly Carte productions and touring companies at approximately 10-year intervals through to the 1975 centenary season.[96]

RoleRoyalty Theatre
Strand Theatre
Opera Comique
Savoy Theatre
Savoy Theatre
JudgeFrederic Sullivan J.G. TaylorGeorge GrossmithRutland BarringtonHenry Lytton
CounselJohn Hollingsworth[97]Charles ParryRutland BarringtonEric LewisJones Hewson
DefendantWalter H. Fisher[98]Claude Marius George PowerDurward LelyCory James
ForemanCharles Kelleher[99][100]W. S. PenleyF. TalbotArthur KennettLeonard Russell
UsherBelville R. Pepper[99][101]Harry Cox Fred CliftonWilliam LuggWalter Passmore
Associate[99] J. WilbrahamCharles Childerstone
PlaintiffNelly BromleyLottie Venne Lisa WaltonFlorence DysartIsabel Jay
1st BridesmaidLinda Verner[102] Gwynne Williams Sybil GreyMildred Baker
RoleD'Oyly Carte
1905 Tour[103]
D'Oyly Carte
1915 Tour[104]
D'Oyly Carte
1925 Tour[105]
D'Oyly Carte
1935 Tour[106]
JudgeCharles H. WorkmanLeo SheffieldLeo SheffieldSydney Granville
CounselAlbert KavanaghFrederick HobbsHenry MillidgeLeslie Rands
DefendantStrafford MossDewey GibsonSidney PointerRobert Wilson
ForemanJ. Lewis CampionFrank StewardT. Penry HughesT. Penry Hughes
UsherReginald WhiteGeorge SinclairJoseph GriffinRichard Walker
Associate Allen MorrisMartyn GreenC. William Morgan
PlaintiffBessie MackenzieMarjorie GordonEleanor EvansAnn Drummond-Grant
1st BridesmaidMabel BurnegeEthel ArmitBeatrice ElburnNancy Ray
RoleD'Oyly Carte
1949 Tour[107]
D'Oyly Carte
1955 Tour[108]
D'Oyly Carte
1965 Tour[109]
D'Oyly Carte
1975 Tour[110]
JudgeRichard WatsonJohn ReedJeffrey SkitchJon Ellison[111]
CounselAlan StylerAlan StylerAlan StylerMichael Rayner
DefendantLeonard OsbornJohn FryattPhilip PotterJeffrey Cresswell[112]
ForemanDonald HarrisJohn BanksAnthony RaffellJames Conroy-Ward
UsherL. Radley FlynnGeorge CookGeorge CookJohn Broad
AssociateC. William MorganKeith BonningtonKeith BonningtonWilliam Palmerley
PlaintiffEnid WalshKathleen WestJennifer ToyeMarjorie Williams[113]
1st BridesmaidJoyce WrightMargaret DobsonPauline WalesRosalind Griffiths

Benefit performances

as the Learned Judge]]

Starting in 1877, Trial by Jury was often given at benefit performances, usually for an actor or actress who had fallen on hard times, but occasionally for other causes. These were glittering affairs, with various celebrities appearing in principal roles or as part of the chorus.[114] Gilbert himself played the silent role of the Associate on at least four occasions.[115]

Arthur Sullivan conducted the 1877 benefit for actor Henry Compton.[116] At the Compton benefit, Penley and George Grossmith were members of the Jury, and a number of other famous actors and actresses were in the chorus.[117] Sullivan also conducted the 1889 benefit for Barrington.[118]

At the Nellie Farren benefit, many of the performers listed below sat in the jury or the gallery, and Trial by Jury was followed by a six-hour long concert. Performances were given by Henry Irving, Ellaline Terriss, Marie Tempest, Hayden Coffin, Arthur Roberts, Letty Lind, Edmund Payne and many others.[119]

The Ellen Terry benefit in 1906 was also a particularly well-attended affair, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle numbered among the jury and Enrico Caruso singing, among many star performances.[120]

RoleHenry Compton
Drury Lane
March 1 1877[116]
Amy Roselle
June 16 1887[116]
Rutland Barrington
May 28 1889[116]
Nellie Farren
Drury Lane
March 17 1898[116]
JudgeGeorge HoneyRutland BarringtonRutland BarringtonRutland Barrington
CounselGeorge FoxRichard TempleAlec MarshEric Lewis
DefendantW. H. CummingsHenry BracyCourtice PoundsCourtice Pounds
Foreman Mr. BurbankHenry Lytton
UsherArthur CecilR. LewisW. H. Denny[121]Walter Passmore
AssociateW. S. GilbertArthur Roberts[122] W. S. Gilbert
PlaintiffPauline RitaGeraldine UlmarLottie VenneFlorence Perry
RolePrincess Christian's Homes of
Rest for Disabled Soldiers
Drury Lane, 15 May 1900[123]
William Rignold
Lyric Theatre
5 December 1902[124]
Ellen Terry
Drury Lane
12 June 1906[125]
JudgeRutland BarringtonRutland BarringtonRutland Barrington
CounselEric LewisC. Hayden CoffinHenry Lytton
DefendantCourtice PoundsCourtice PoundsCourtice Pounds
ForemanW. H. DennyFred KayeRobert Marshall
UsherWalter PassmoreGeorge Grossmith, Jr.Walter Passmore
AssociateW. S. GilbertLionel MoncktonW. S. Gilbert
Associate's Wife1Effie BancroftFanny Brough
PlaintiffFlorence St. JohnEvie GreeneRuth Vincent

1The role of the Associate's Wife was especially created for the disabled soldiers' benefit performance and does not appear in any standard performances.[126]


Trial by Jury has been recorded many times. Of the recordings by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, those recorded in 1927 and 1964 are ranked the best, according to "A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography", edited by Marc Shepherd. The 1961 Sargent and the 1995 Mackerras recordings are also rated highly by the Discography.[127]

Selected recordings

Textual changes

, 1919]] Of the material cut before the first performance of Trial by Jury, the most significant were two songs and a recitative: a song for the foreman of the jury, "Oh, do not blush to shed a tear", which was to be sung just after "Oh, will you swear by yonder skies"; and a recitative for the Judge and song for the Usher, "We do not deal with artificial crime" and "His lordship's always quits", which came just before "A nice dilemma".[134] The melody for "His Lordship's always quits" is known, and it was reused in "I loved her fondly" in The Zoo and later modified into the main tune from "A wand'ring minstrel, I" in The Mikado.[135] A few changes were made to the end of "I love him, I love him!" after the first night.[136] A third verse for "Oh, gentlemen, listen I pray" was sung, at least on the first night, and part was quoted in a review in the Pictorial World.[137]

Trial by Jury underwent relatively minor textual changes after its first run, mainly consisting of insignificant amendments to wording.[138] The most significant changes involve the ending. The original stage directions set up a simple pantomime-style tableau:

JUDGE and PLAINTIFF dance back, hornpipe step, and get on to the Bench – the BRIDESMAIDS take the eight garlands of roses from behind the Judge's desk and draw them across floor of court, so that they radiate from the desk. Two plaster Cupids in bar wigs descend from flies. Red fire.[139]

This became much more elaborate in the 1884 revival, with the entire set being transformed, and the plaintiff climbing onto the Judge's back "à la fairy". However, in the 1920s, the plaster cupids were evidently damaged on a tour, and the transformation scene was abandoned completely.[139]


  1. ^ a b c Stedman, 129–30
  2. ^ a b c d Gänzl, p. 90
  3. ^ Rees, p. 78
  4. ^ Stedman, pp. 99–127
  5. ^ a b Ainger, p. 106
  6. ^ Trial by Jury: An Operetta, from Fun, 11 April 1868; Also Trial by Jury. (Gilbert and Sullivan Archive editions, accessed 11 October 2007)
  7. ^ Bradley, pp. 6, 24, 36
  8. ^ Ainger, pp. 101–02 and 105
  9. ^ Stedman, pp. 120–21
  10. ^ Stedman, p. 125
  11. ^ Ainger, pp. 107–08
  12. ^ a b Ainger, p. 108
  13. ^ Apparently, this refers to another opera that Sullivan was working on for the Royalty, since an advertisement in The Era on 14 March 1875 stated that "In consequence of the continued success of La Périchole, the production of Mr. Sullivan's two-act opera is postponed" (McElroy, p. 40). A gossip column in the Athenæum, dated 13 March 1875, stated that Sullivan was working on new music for a piece at the St. James's Theatre. From this, McElroy speculates that Sullivan had already begun writing musical numbers for The Zoo before he shifted his energies to Trial by Jury and decided "to salvage them by telling [his librettist] to boil the libretto down to one act and [transfer] the project to another theatre." (McElroy, pp. 51–52)
  14. ^ a b c Ainger, p. 109
  15. ^ See this First edition libretto cover on exhibition at the University of Rochester Libraries. In 1871, Sullivan had composed his only other "dramatic cantata", On Shore and Sea.
  16. ^ Stedman, pp. 128–29
  17. ^ a b c d Ainger, p. 110
  18. ^ The fashion in the late Victorian era was to present long evenings in the theatre, and so Carte preceded his savoy operas with curtain raisers. See Lee Bernard, "Swash-buckling Savoy curtain-raiser", Sheffield Telegraph, 1 August 2008
  19. ^ a b c d Gänzl, p. 95
  20. ^ a b Ainger, p. 114
  21. ^ a b Walbrook, pp. 38–40
  22. ^ Ainger, pp. 113, 120
  23. ^ Ainger, p. 128
  24. ^ The Times, 29 March 1875, quoted and discussed in Ainger, p. 109
  25. ^ Ainger, p. 117
  26. ^ Ainger, p. 111
  27. ^ Ainger, pp. 118 and 130
  28. ^ a b Gänzl, pp. 89–90
  29. ^ "J.C. Williamson Opera Programs", (1906 programme), National Library of Australia, Retrieved on 23 June 2008
  30. ^ a b Stedman, p. 132
  31. ^ Ainger, p. 112
  32. ^ Ainger, pp. 113–14
  33. ^ Gänzl (1986), p. 90
  34. ^ Crowther, p. 211
  35. ^ Full text of "The Judge's Song", The Victorian Web. Retrieved on 23 June 2008.
  36. ^ The "Court of the Exchequer extended its jurisdiction, a breach of promise [could be] tried there by the legal fiction that the wrong done to the plaintiff by the conduct of the defendant made her unable to pay her taxes" (Burgess, p. 38)
  37. ^ a b Edwin and Angelina were "a traditional pairing of names of faithful lovers" as far back in English literature as Oliver Goldsmith's The Hermit and The Vicar of Wakefield. See Benford, Harry (1999). The Gilbert & Sullivan Lexicon, 3rd Revised Edition. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The Queensbury Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-9667916-1-4.  and Bradley, p. 6, note to line 9
  38. ^ "The irony of the situation will not go unperceived by the reader." - Burgess, p. 43
  39. ^ a b Bradley, p. 4
  40. ^ This synopsis is based on the libretto as printed in Bradley, pp. 7–39
  41. ^ "Where is the Plaintiff?" has a joke involving echoes of the Usher's "Oh, Angelina", echoing in the courtroom. In D'Oyly Carte productions, the echoes were performed by the defendant with his back to the audience.
  42. ^ Gilbert and Sullivan, passim.
  43. ^ Allen (1958), p. 29
  44. ^ a b c Allen (1958), p. 30
  45. ^ London's Daily News, 27 March 1875, p. 3
  46. ^ a b "Trial by Jury", The Musical World, 3 April 1875, p. 226. Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  47. ^ Allen (1958), p. 32
  48. ^ Quoted in Gänzl, p. 88
  49. ^ Allen (1958), p. 31, quoting the Daily Telegraph
  50. ^ Allen (1958), p. 31, quoting The Times
  51. ^ Allen (1958), pp. 31–32
  52. ^ Browne, p. 57
  53. ^ Walbrook, p. 40
  54. ^ Ainger, pp. 109–10
  55. ^ Allen (1975b), p. iii
  56. ^ Dark and Grey, p. 68
  57. ^ For example, in the British television show Kavanagh QC, starring John Thaw, in the episode "Briefs Trooping Gaily", Kavanagh's colleague Jeremy Aldermarten (Nicholas Jones) plays the Judge in an amateur production of Trial by Jury.
  58. ^ For example, in the American law suit Askew v. Askew, 22 Cal.App.4th 942 (4th Dist. 1994), the decision includes an extensive reference to Trial By Jury as an introduction to its discussion of suits for breach of promise and "the potential for abuse inherent in such lawsuits".
  59. ^ a b c d Crowther, p. 77
  60. ^ Bradley, p. 758
  61. ^ Stedman, p. 244
  62. ^ Stedman, pp. 129–30, 244; Crowther, pp. 133–35
  63. ^ Recording and re-issue history available at: Shepherd, Marc (2002), "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera (1953)", A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography, Retrieved on 12 June 2008.
  64. ^ Anna Russell Sings! Again? 1953 Columbia Masterworks Mono LP ML4594/ML4733
  65. ^ Crowther, p. 78
  66. ^ Crowther, pp. 78–79
  67. ^ Bradley, p. 14
  68. ^ Fitzgerald, pp. 25–26
  69. ^ Crowther, p. 77, quoting Archer, p. 161
  70. ^ a b Dark & Grey, pp. 67–68
  71. ^ Lawrence, pp. 85–86
  72. ^ a b Stedman, p. 129
  73. ^ Dark & Grey, p. 65
  74. ^ Crowther, p. 90
  75. ^ Stedman, pp. 157–58; Crowther, p. 90
  76. ^ Crowther, pp. 87–89
  77. ^ Crowther, pp. 76–77
  78. ^ Gänzl, p. 88
  79. ^ a b c Gänzl, p. 89
  80. ^ Bradley, p. 10
  81. ^ Bradley, pp. 4 and 12; Burgess, pp. 38–39
  82. ^ Bradley, p. 4; Burgess, p. 47
  83. ^ Jacobs, p. 91
  84. ^ Theatre programme for Soldene English Opera Company's Trial by Jury at Boston's Globe Theatre, 28 November 1876, from online exhibition at University of Rochester Libraries. Retrieved on 3 June 2008. Lady Soldene was co-proprietor of the Opera Comique, and this was the grand tour of the original British production. See Gänzl, pp. 89–90
  85. ^ Gänzl, pp. 96–97
  86. ^ Forbes, Elizabeth. Kenneth Sandford obituary, The Independent, 23 September 2004, accessed 6 April 2009
  87. ^ Bradley, p. 5
  88. ^ a b c Rollins and Witts, p. 1
  89. ^ a b c d Rollins and Witts, p. 4
  90. ^ a b Rollins and Witts, p. 5
  91. ^ a b Rollins and Witts, p. 9
  92. ^ a b Rollins and Witts, p. 17
  93. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 18
  94. ^ a b 1899 cast: As 1898, except: Counsel - Leonard Russell; Defendant - Charles Childerstone; Foreman - Iago Lewys; Associate - Albert Gater; 1st Bridesmaid: Madge Moyse. (From Rollins and Witts, p. 18)
  95. ^ Rollins and Witts (and supplements). An examination of Rollins and Witts and Gänzl shows that a ten-year interval is sufficient to indicate the bulk of the notable performers who portrayed these roles in authorized productions during that period.
  96. ^ Stone, David (2002): "John Hollingsworth", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (1875-1982). Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  97. ^ Fisher had appeared in other Gilbert works and would go on to a long association with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. See Stone, David (2003): "Walter H. Fisher", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (1875-1982). Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  98. ^ a b c Early in April 1875, as shown by the programme pictured above, Mr. C Campbell became the Foreman, Mr. Charles Kelleher became the Usher, and Mr. Pepper became the Associate
  99. ^ Kelleher appeared in other D'Oyly Carte productions in the 1870s. See Stone, David (2002): "Charles Kelleher", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (1875-1982). Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  100. ^ Stone, David (2006): "Belville R. Pepper", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (1875-1982). Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  101. ^ Verner took over the role of Plaintiff in July 1875, as Bromley had reportedly fallen out of favour with Selina Dolaro. See Stone, David (2002): "Linda Verner", Who Was Who in the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company (1875-1982). Retrieved on 17 June 2008
  102. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 121
  103. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 132
  104. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 148
  105. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 160
  106. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 174
  107. ^ Rollins and Witts, p. 180
  108. ^ Rollins and Witts, 1st Supplement, p. 7
  109. ^ Rollins and Witts, 3rd Supplement, p. 28
  110. ^ John Reed played the Judge for the two-week Savoy season.
  111. ^ Colin Wright played the Defendant for the two-week Savoy season.
  112. ^ Julia Goss played the Plaintiff for the two-week Savoy season.
  113. ^ Burgess, pp. 52–54
  114. ^ Burgess, pp. 52–53; Gänzl, pp. 96–98
  115. ^ a b c d e Gänzl, p. 96. The chorus included leading stars such as W. S. Penley, George Grossmith, Kate Bishop and Marion Terry. See also The Era, 4 March 1877, p. 6
  116. ^ Ainger, p. 130
  117. ^ The Era, 1 June 1889, p. 9
  118. ^ Davis (1995), Chapter X, letter of March 20, 1898.
  119. ^ Burgess, pp. 56–61 reproduces the programmes for several of these benefits in facsimile. Others are listed in Gänzl, pp. 95–98.
  120. ^ The Era, 1 June 1889 (reporting that Denny, not Lugg was Usher and that the piece was played together with Locked In by Walter Frith (libretto) and James Caldicott (music), starring Jessie Bond, Eric Lewis and Rose Hervey, directed by Barrington)
  121. ^ The Era, 18 June 1887, p. 8
  122. ^ Burgess, p. 57
  123. ^ Gänzl, p 97.
  124. ^ Gänzl, pp. 97–98
  125. ^ Ainger, pp. 380–81
  126. ^ Shepherd, Marc. "Recordings of Trial By Jury (1995)". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  127. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The 1927 D'Oyly Carte Trial By Jury". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  128. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The Sargent/Glyndebourne Trial By Jury (1961)". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  129. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The 1964 D'Oyly Carte Trial By Jury". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  130. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The 1975 Trial By Jury". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  131. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The Brent Walker Trial By Jury (1982)". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  132. ^ Shepherd, Marc (2008). "The Mackerras/Telarc Trial By Jury (1995)". A Gilbert and Sullivan Discography. Retrieved on 2008-06-01. 
  133. ^ Bradley, pp. 20, 32
  134. ^ Tillett, Selwyn; Roderick Spencer (2002). "Forty Years of Thespis Scholarship" (PDF). Retrieved on 2006-05-25.  p. 11
  135. ^ Bradley, p. 34
  136. ^ Allen (1975a), p. 42
  137. ^ Bradley, pp. 6–38
  138. ^ a b Bradley, pp. 36, 38


External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address