Quarter-sessions were local courts usually held four times a year, which generally sat in the seat of the county or county borough. Trials were held before a justice of the peace, judge or recorder.

Quarter-sessions dealt with a range of crimes which were too serious to be dealt with summarily at the petty sessions but were usually less serious crimes than those tried at the Assize Courts. They also had civil jurisdiction to deal with matters such as licensing, supervision of highways, and offences against the poor laws.

The records relating to the quarter-sessions are extensive and can include many different types of document, such as

  • indictments (formal accusations)
  • calendars of prisoners
  • punishment orders
  • depositions and examinations (witness statements usually required for felony cases – the survival of these documents is very uneven)
  • recognizances (bonds to keep the peace or similar)
  • sessions court rolls or books.

These records can contain a great deal of personal information on individuals (including both victims and witnesses of crimes). For example, information may include:

  • name
  • date of crime
  • county
  • parish
  • occupation
  • offence
  • name of presiding magistrates
  • names of witnesses
  • outcome (whether found guilty or acquitted)
  • sentence.

Latest Updates on Twitter

Pleased to work alongside Rachel Wood at @saltairestories to launch a competition aimed at Y9 Bradford pupils to create a graphic novel story for @BurnsHistory on the unsung heroes of the Bradford City Stadium fire. Please RT @becketthistory @leedsbeckett @WYFRS @BradfoBurnsUnit

Over on our Research Exchange blog, @janetlweston has been reflecting on the limits of thinking about HIV/AIDs as a matter of human rights in the 1990s, and the place of this within the dynamic history of prisons.

https://t.co/Oe0qHWm1dy

I’m (Heather) off to the @BritishAcademy_ to talk to @thehistoryguy and 300 young people from schools and colleges about Victorian youth/street crime.

We are delighted to confirm that @lizzieevens won the SHS Poster Prize at #SHS2019. You can find a copy of the winning poster in our official announcement #twitterstorians #phdchat

https://t.co/AP0A2Ar8XQ

In 1909 @leicspolice Boro PC John Mason was presented with a silver tipped walking cane by Leicester Boro Police Band. In 1960 his family loaned the cane to Leicester City Police as part of an exhibition, and was never seen again.

3

Just in case you missed it earlier we have launched our 1893 Special Edition #Saltaire map today. Prices start at just Β£10. Further details can be found at our website: https://t.co/Z8axm687wX Please ReTweet πŸ˜ƒ
#localhistory #familyhistory #genealogy #ancestry #maps #Yorkshire

4

A little obsessed with prison plans at the moment...here’s a sketch by George Dance of the new Newgate (c.1770s) held at @LdnMetArchives that I wish I could use in my thesis but probably won’t as I need the more detailed, final version (sob)

Late to the party but, in Ep.2 #GentlemanJackHBO Ann Lister asks a magistrate 'is it not the constable's job to gather evidence?' It wasn't actually in 1832. They undoubtedly did, but no legal requirement. Otherwise v. good. #pedant #pettyconstables