Quarter Sessions indexes and transcripts now online
I occasionally reblog a post from elsewhere when I feel it is either interesting or informative or both. I have used Derbyshire’s Quarter Sessions Indexes a fair bit so it is great to see they are now online.
It is also a reminder of what can be included in the Quarter Sessions papers – they are not just about criminals!
Before the formation of Derbyshire County Council in 1889, many of the things that we now regard as local authority functions were the preserve of the County Quarter Sessions. That’s why, from the very moment of its creation, the new authority already had such a wealth of historic quarter sessions records. It also benefited from work that had been kicked off in 1872 by the appointment of a Quarter Sessions Committee charged with “inspecting and arranging the records of the county”. For more about these early efforts to understand and organise Derbyshire’s archives, have a look at “Three Centuries of Derbyshire Annals” by John Charles Cox (1843-1919). There is a copy in our search room.
The Quarter Sessions had a broad and changing range of responsibilities and used a lot of very formal language to record what was going on. The format and language can be a little off-putting for…
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