Stuff The British Stole
Stuff The British Stole
About Stuff The British Stole
In each episode of this global smash hit podcast, Walkley award-winning journalist, author and genetic potluck, Marc Fennell, takes you on the wild, evocative, sometimes funny, often tragic adventure of how these stolen treasures got to where they live today. These objects will ultimately help us see the modern world — and ourselves — in a different light.
This is a co-production between the ABC and CBC Canada.
How do you uncover the true life of a woman whose existence is wrapped in myth, propaganda and a famous animated children’s movie? This is the true story of Matoaka - a young Powhatan girl who you probably know as Pocahontas. This is the mystery of a child, a hidden history and a stolen story. Audio courtesy of Missing Matoaka. This podcast is a co-production of ABC Australia and CBC Podcasts
Most heists target gold, jewels or cash. This one targeted illegal seeds. As the British established their sprawling empire across the subcontinent and beyond, they encountered a formidable adversary — malaria. There was a cure — the bark of the Andean cinchona tree. The only problem? The Dutch and the French were also looking to corner the market in cinchona. And the trees themselves were under threat. Grab a gin and tonic and come with us to hear how a botanical empire took off — and gave birth to a quintessential cocktail.
It’s round. It has a hole in it. It symbolises nothing and yet it is the possibility of something... meet zero. The zero we know and love today is the foundation of our modern world. And we have India to thank for it; in particular one special Indian birch bark book — the Bakhshali manuscript. This is the story of how these fragile pages travelled to Oxford University and what their future looks like. This podcast is a co-production of ABC Australia and CBC Podcasts
There's a body buried in the grounds of Windsor Castle whose real home is thousands of miles away. Since 2007, there have been calls for Prince Alamayu’s remains to be returned to Ethiopia. But how exactly did this young royal end up alone in England, and buried at Windsor Castle? To answer that we have to go back to 1868 to hear the message the British wanted to send that still reverberates to this day. This podcast is a co-production of ABC Australia and CBC Podcasts If this episode has raised any issues for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Deep in the cellars of one of England’s grandest country homes, covered in dirt and cobwebs, lay dozens of bottles of ancient rum. Their discovery set off a frenzy among collectors vying to own the oldest rum in the world. But where did they come from and who produced them? Sealed inside was the story of an enslaved people in one of the first overseas colonies of the British Empire - Barbados. This podcast is a co-production of ABC Australia and CBC Podcasts.
In an old country town high school library there is a glass case that displays something highly unusual and, for some, confronting. Inside that glass case is a mummified head and according to its plaque, it was donated to Grafton High School in 1915. Now, over 100 years later, questions are being raised about where it really came from and whether it really belongs there. This podcast is a co-production of ABC Australia and CBC Podcasts.
Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today the Empire's loot sits in museums, galleries, private collections and burial sites with polite plaques. But its history is often messier than the plaques suggest. In each episode of this global smash hit podcast, Walkley award-winning journalist, author and genetic potluck, Marc Fennell, takes you on the wild, evocative, sometimes funny, often tragic adventure of how these stolen treasures got to where they live today. These objects will ultimately help us see the modern world — and ourselves — in a different light. This is a co-production of the ABC and CBC Podcasts.
It’s become a symbol for extinction; the dodo is a semi-mythical creature which most of us know only through Alice in Wonderland. But one particular dodo was the victim of a crime – murder. Its skull now sits in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. And it holds the clues to a thrilling mystery which illustrates a little-known colonial legacy. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
Sarah 'Saartjie' Baartman was taken to the UK by a British doctor. But did she know what she was signing up for? Stage-named 'The Hottentot Venus', Sarah was paraded around freak shows in London and Paris. During her life and even after her death, she was objectified, mistreated and abused. More than 200 years after her death, her life story reveals confronting truths about the treatment of black female bodies and how much has, and hasn’t, changed. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
In County Cork, Ireland, there’s a tree that locals call the Chalice Tree. Local lore says it’s where British Redcoats disrupted a secret Catholic mass, killed two priests and took a sacred chalice. Now that chalice sits in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. But what happened in the intervening 200 years is now being pieced together by two Irish families: the O’Keeffes and the McAulliffe’s. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
They’ve seen wars, the bottom of the ocean and even - bizarrely - been part of a boxing match. The story of how the Parthenon Marbles actually ended up in London’s British Museum is a wild tale featuring bribes, court cases and some extremely dodgy deals. There’s been a centuries-long campaign to get them back to their homeland. Now, a team of Greek-Australians have decided that the time for diplomacy is over and a new tactic is required. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
A war. A ransom. And a stunning recovery mission. Five elaborately carved panels were buried in a New Zealand swamp to protect it from a war. Then 150 years later, they’re acquired by a British collector before being sold to a Swiss-Bolivian collector in Geneva. And their long journey home began when a kidnap ransom payment had to be made. This is the remarkable story of the Motunui Epa. Season Two is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
Have you ever wandered around a museum and thought “How on Earth did all of this stuff get here?” You’re not alone. Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. This podcast tells the stories about the not-so-polite history behind those looted objects. In Season Two, Walkley award-winning host Marc Fennell will take you to a temple, a tree, a lab, a paradise island, a crime scene and a stage. You’ll uncover abductions, scandals and a murder investigation. Episode One out October 20. Season two of Stuff the British Stole is co-produced with CBC Podcasts.
Don’t let their fluffy hair and judging eyes fool you, Pekingese dogs are hiding a secret. Their history encompasses torture, hubris, war, and some very long sleeves. Most importantly these dogs — well, one in particular — may hold the key to understanding the sometimes vexed relationship China has with the West.