A new podcast from the Daily Mail tells the tragic story of James Pratt and John Smith, who were the last men to be hanged in Britain for homosexuality.
Hosted by Sir Chris Bryant MP over three episodes, The Tragedy of James and John is the first part of Lost Voices, a series of stories that should never have happened.
In this deeply moving account, Chris uses archive material including poor law records, workhouse registers and private correspondence to tell the story of what it meant to be gay, working-class men in early 19th-century Britain through the lens of a landmark trial.
The podcast journeys back to London in 1835 and the societal pressures, hang-ups and outrageous hypocrisy that led to two working class gay men being executed by the state.
Episode one is out now and sees both men meet in William Bonell’s rooms in South London. But someone’s looking in on them and 19th-century Britain’s unique obsession with homosexuality will leave a dark and terrible stain on our nation’s legal history.
Labour MP Sir Chris Bryant said: “This is a story that will stir your heart. A tale of prejudice and judicial murder.”
dmg media head of podcasts Jamie East added: “Chris tells this tragic story with such verve and empathy. This may not be what you expect from the Daily Mail, but we are extremely proud to elevate this awful miscarriage of justice.”