Stuff The British Stole

Stuff The British Stole

By ABC listen and CBC

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 between the ABC and CBC Canada.

Episodes

The Girl Called Pocahontas

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
01/08/23·33m 47s

The Fever Tree Hunt

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.
25/07/23·30m 22s

Zero Marks The Spot

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
18/07/23·35m 36s

The Unfinished Prince

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 PodcastsIf this episode has raised any issues for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 
11/07/23·44m 45s

Bottles in the Basement

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.
04/07/23·36m 38s

The Head in the Library

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.
27/06/23·41m 5s

INTRODUCING - Stuff The British Stole | Series 3

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.
19/06/23·2m 6s

Special Announcement

We’re working hard on bringing you more podcast episodes but in the meantime, we have a special announcement…
03/11/22·1m 57s

Strange Fowle

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.
16/11/21·34m 54s

Not Your Venus

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.
09/11/21·35m 7s

Cup Runneth

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.
02/11/21·38m 52s

Losing Your Marbles

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.
26/10/21·36m 46s

The Abductions

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.
19/10/21·35m 18s

Season Two Coming Soon

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.
12/10/21·5m 0s

Shots Fired

The Gweagal shield is just one of the things James Cook and his shipmates took from the local people when they landed in Botany Bay. Why has it become the most contentious?
19/12/20·32m 22s

The Headhunters

The arrival of Europeans in NZ kicked off a trade in Mokomokai — tattooed heads but these colonial souvenirs have their own complex history.
12/12/20·28m 46s

Best.Named.Dog.Ever

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.
05/12/20·28m 37s

Blood Art

What if your doorstop was evidence of brutal mass murder and wholesale theft? 
28/11/20·30m 23s

A Tiger and a Scream

How a toy tiger became the symbol of a struggle between India and its former British colonisers
21/11/20·32m 10s

INTRODUCING - Stuff The British Stole

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 is a series about the not-so-polite history behind those objects.
12/11/20·3m 56s
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