Voices Of The Powerless

Melvyn Bragg explores the lives of ordinary working men and women in Britain over the last 1,000 years.


0101Castles And Cruelty20020725

The brutal regime of William I.

0102Who Was Then The Gentleman?20020801

The harshness of life for the rural poor led to the 1381 Peasants' Revolt.

0103Our Father, Who Art In Heaven20020808

How did the public respond to the changes of the Reformation?

0104Plantation And The Seeds Of Discord20020815

The Elizabethan era saw the power of the Ulster lords finally vanquished by the British crown.

0105Civil War: The Siege Of Chester20020822
0106 LASTBoils And Buboes20020829

When the city of Salisbury was ravaged by plague in 1627, the rich fled to the countryside. But the poor had no such recourse available.

0201Man And Manufacture20030724

'When I was six years of age I was sent to the cotton factory and, although I was of such a tender age, was treated there by the overlooker in the most brutal manner'. Melvyn Bragg is in urban Lancashire to explore the warp and weft of the Industrial Revolution, as mechanisation marginalised traditional trades like hand-loom weaving.

0202Below Decks And Boney20030731

""On Monday the 21st at daylight, the French and Spanish fleets were like a great wood on our lee bow, which cheered the hearts of every British tar in the ""victory"" like lions anxious to be at it. The signal was made to prepare for battle and that England expected every man would do his duty"".

0203A Journey Beyond The Seas20030807

"My prosecutor took a drop-latch valued at sixpence ha'penny off my door and swore it was his.

In consequence of this I was doomed to be transported beyond the seas for a term of seven years..." Tasmania is the location for stories of harsh punishment and brutal exile from family and friends as lived by the convicts, like Joseph Lingard of Derbyshire, sent to serve their sentence in the new colony of Australia.

0204The Crofters' Farewell20030814

"My Lord Duke, I am now verging on one hundred years of age it would be a hardship and quite unprecedented to remove a man of my age." Neil MacDonald (ex-soldier) 1st June 1847. Recorded in the Western Highlands and the Isle of Mull with Professors Tom Devine and Allan Macinnes, Melvyn hears how entire communities were relocated against their wishes during the Highland Clearances.

0205Wagoners At War20030821

Melvyn Bragg is in East Yorkshire to hear about the First World War through the experiences of the Wolds Wagoners - a unique reserve regiment of young farmworkers, hoisted out of the fields in the middle of harvest 1914 and sent off to fight in France.

With Dr David Neave, Professor Jay Winter, Professor Joanna Bourke, Professor Hew Strachan, and the voices of the soldiers themselves.

0206 LASTCoal And Dole20030828

Melvyn Bragg is in South Wales to hear about the Depression of the 1930s through the experiences of miners and their families, struggling against unemployment and poverty to seize power out of despair.

With Professor Chris Williams, Dr Sian Rhiannon Williams and Professor Kenneth Morgan, and the voices of the young men and women themselves.