20 episodes

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.

Stuff The British Stole ABC listen and CBC

    • History
    • 4.7 • 582 Ratings

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.

    The Girl Called Pocahontas

    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

    • 33 min
    The Fever Tree Hunt

    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.

    • 30 min
    Zero Marks The Spot

    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

    • 35 min
    The Unfinished Prince

    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 Podcasts

    If this episode has raised any issues for you, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

    • 44 min
    Bottles in the Basement

    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.

    • 36 min
    The Head in the Library

    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.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
582 Ratings

582 Ratings

S. Titchkosky 12 ,

Great podcast

This is an amazing! Well written and said, but also any of you giving it one star because you find the title annoying and offensive have you even listened to it? I think not!

#@bby ,

Know the truth!

People need to know the truth about ALL heritages. Even if it’s offensive, or violent. Please make a Canadian heritage version, American version, and an Australian version. All great empires have dark pasts. Also, if it would be a bit more short, that would be great.

Reviewer1735801 ,

Why so offended?

I find it amusing that some have been so offended by the title of the podcast! They’re either ignorant of history in general or they simply didn’t even listen to the podcast. Well produced deep-dives into some uncomfortable truths! Hope the podcast keeps going!

Top Podcasts In History

History of the 90s
Curiouscast
The Rest Is History
Goalhanger Podcasts
Short History Of...
NOISER
Tides of History
Wondery / Patrick Wyman
The Spy Who
Wondery
The Secret Life of Canada
CBC

You Might Also Like

99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
Pushkin Industries
Articles of Interest
Avery Trufelman
The History Listen
ABC listen
Sidedoor
Smithsonian Institution
Decoder Ring
Slate Podcasts

More by ABC Podcasts

All In The Mind
ABC listen
Imagine This
ABC Kids listen
What's That Rash?
ABC listen
Health Report - Full program podcast
ABC listen
Short & Curly
ABC listen
The Science Show
ABC listen