Narrations - This Sceptred Isle - Empire

Appendix to 'This Sceptred Isle - Empire' // Narrations

Main narration by Juliet Stevenson.

31 - Jan 30 - 'After The Revolution - The Boost To Canada'

Christopher Eccleston's role: David Fanning (1754-1825)
The story of the British Empire resumes in 1783 with the end of the war of American Independence and the loss of the American colonies. But what was to happen now to those American colonists who had remained loyal to the Crown?
(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

32 - Jan 31 - 'Canada'
Role: Louis Aubrey Wood
Following the independence of the United States of America, Britain found itself with new and different responsibilities in north America. And, not for the first time in Britain's history, the French were closely involved.
(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

33 - Feb 1 - 'Australia - Captain Cook'
Role: Captain James Cook (1728-1779)
When James Cook sailed to the Pacific in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus, he had no idea that the sealed envelope he took with him contained secret orders that would lead to his lasting fame.
(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

34 - Feb 2 - 'Australia - Transportation'
Role: George Barrington (1755-1804)
Some of those who went to colonise Australia were free men (and some women), but the nature of the country would be shaped by those whom Britain shipped there as a punishment.

(Readings also by Denis Lawson and Hugo Speer.)

35 - Feb 3 - 'Australia - Sheep And Gold'
Roles: E.H. Hargreaves, Anthony Trollope
The growth and prosperity of the colony were given a kick start by a chance discovery and by the foresight of one remarkable woman.
(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

36 - Feb 6 - 'The Innocents'
Role: Mayor of London plus readings from a news sheet and 'National Children Homes' Magazine'
The story of slavery in the British Empire includes that of tens of thousands of British children - some of them, but by no means all, waifs and strays - who were taken and sold into servitude, often with official approval.

(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

37 - Feb 7 - 'Imperialism And Edward Wakefield'
Roles: Edward Wakefield (1796-1862), John B. Knights
By the 1830s, the British were becoming aware that their empire had become more than a large-scale trading opportunity, and some were seeing great possibilities as far from Britain as it was possible to go.
(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

38 - Feb 8 - 'New Zealand'
Roles: Samuel Marsden, Augustus Earle
The Dutch were the first Europeans to find New Zealand, hence its name, but British missionary zeal saw new opportunities, in spite of the hostility of the people who were already there, the Maoris.

(Readings also by Denis Lawson and Hugo Speer.)

39 - Feb 9 - 'Shutting The Slave Market'
Roles: James II, William Dickson
Slavery was taken for granted in the early years of the Empire, not only by the British, and it was crucial to the economy. But by the 1780s the mood was changing.

(Readings also by Ben Onwukwe.)

41 - Feb 13 - 'Warren Hastings'
Role: Warren Hastings (1732-1818)
The first governor-general of British India was a skilled administrative reformer, whose opponents did everything they could to maintain their self-interest.
(Readings also by Hugo Speer and Denis Lawson.)

42 - Feb 14 - 'The Trial Of Warren Hastings'
Role: Warren HastingsBritish colonial India in the late 18th Century was rife with corruption, and the man who set out to change all that had a mighty battle on his hands.
(Readings also by Hugo Speer and Denis Lawson.)

44 - Feb 16 - 'Raffles'
Sir Thomas (Stamford) Raffles (1781-1826)
The name of Sir Stamford Raffles is almost synonymous with that of Singapore, and for good reason. But he is yet another British hero whom the British themselves treated appallingly badly.

47 - Feb 21 - 'The First Opium War'
Role: Lt. W. Marrey
Britain's acquisition of Hong Kong was the result of one of the most ignoble episodes in the whole history of the British Empire.

(Readings also by David Yip and Jemma Redgrave.)

48 - Feb 22 - 'The First Sikh War'
Role: Sgt. Jack Pearman
One remarkable first-hand account bears witness to the fact that the Punjab in the 1840s was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in the whole story of Empire.

50 - Feb 24 - 'The Sepoy Rebellion, Part 1'
Role: Brigadier Graves plus reading from a British proclamation
Once the rebellion started among Indian troops in the Army of Bengal, it spread rapidly, and two years of dreadful slaughter followed on both sides.

(Readings also by Hugo Speer, Denis Lawson and Vincent Ebrahim.)

51 - Feb 27 - 'The Sepoy Rebellion, Part 2'
Role: Reginald Wilberforce
After two years of dreadful fighting, the British in India began to get the upper hand, but the brutal conflict is poignantly expressed in one father's experience.

(Readings also by Hugo Speer, Jemma Redgrave and Vincent Ebrahim.)

53 - Mar 1 - 'The Viceroys'
Roles: Joseph Farrington, Sir Richard Temple
From 1858, the British crown ruled India, and the Governor General now became a Viceroy, the Deputy of the Queen, and the nearest a Briton could ever hope to being an actual monarch.

(Readings also by Denis Lawson, Hugo Speer and Jemma Redgrave.)

55 - Mar 3 - 'West Africa: Jaw Jaw'
Role: Major H.I. Ricketts
The importance of West Africa to the British Empire was first as a staging-post on the journey to the east, but the region's natural resources led to increased interest for its own sake.

56 - Mar 6 - 'The Missionaries'
Role: Robert Moffat
Africa was a target for Christian missionaries in a way that no other part of the empire had been, and their zeal and sense of adventure gave a different emphasis to colonialism there.

(Readings also by Denis Lawson.)

58 - Mar 8 - 'South Africa - Boers And Brits'
Reading from 'The Cape Colony - A Handbook for Intended Settlers'
Tension between British and Dutch settlers in the Cape was to have a long and difficult history, one that started the moment the British took it from the Dutch in 1795.

(Readings also by Hugo Speer and Ben Onwukwe.)

59 - Mar 9 - 'Zulu War'
Role: staff officer plus reads 'headlines'
The British and the Dutch in South Africa may have been at odds with each other, but neither of them could afford to ignore the presence and the rights of the native people.

(Readings also by Hugo Speer.)

60 - Mar 10 - 'Empress'
Role: Duke of Wellington
In 1876, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli crowned an era when he proclaimed that henceforth, Queen Victoria should add Empress of India to her long list of titles.
(Readings also by Hugo Speer.)

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