525px-the Jury By John Morgan


Valentine Gray effigy

Quay Arts will host a re-enactment of the trial for manslaughter following the death of Little Sweep Valentine Gray on Thursday 28th April.

The theatre will become Winchester Lent Assizes as The IW Sealed Writ Society (which includes island legal professionals past and present), recreate the trial against master sweep Mr Benjamin Davies and his wife Margaret based on original court documents and newspaper articles.

After hearing the evidence, the audience will then decide the verdict … Will they agree with the original jury?

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The re-enactment forms part of Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council’s Year of the Child.

Roger Fruen, of The IW Sealed Writ Society, said:

“200 years ago, the death of Valentine led to a great injustice but highlighted the cruelty that chimney climbing children were accustomed to. Although we no longer send children up chimneys, there are still too many instances of modern child slavery and related abuse, even in this country. By supporting this event you will be helping the IW Youth Trust as they provide essential support for youths on the Island.”

Due to the graphic nature of the evidence, this event is not suitable for under 14s.

Tickets are £10, with proceeds going to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust, are available from Quay Arts online or by telephoning the Box Office on 822490. The re-enactment starts at 19:30.

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