Merionethshire Quarter Sessions Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Content

Miscellaneous records of Merionethshire Court of Quarter Sessions, 1752-1949, including assize papers, 1833-1846; Lieutenancy papers, 1812-1814; financial records, 1752-1947; petitions, 1866-1883.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Court of Quarter Sessions in Merionethshire sat four times a year, attended by the Justices of the Peace of the county. Quarter sessions courts began in Wales after the Acts of Union, 1536-1543. The Quarter Sessions played a major role in the local administration of Merionethshire until the late nineteenth century, when many of its administrative functions were transferred to the County Council. However, the judicial role of the Courts continued until their abolition in 1971. The Court of Quarter Sessions heard a broad range of cases including burglary, assault, drunkenness, poaching, vagrancy, rioting, unlawful cutting of timber, and encroachment. Forms of punishment handed down by the justices were fines, flogging, imprisonment and transportation. The Court also heard disputes between individuals, such as non-payment of debts, and was responsible for the administration of the Poor Laws. There were numerous administrative matters overseen by the courts, including licensing alehouses, determining wage-levels and controlling registration of charities and nonconformist meeting houses. In addition, the Court had responsibility for overseeing the upkeep of bridges, gaols and houses of correction.


Arranged into the following: Assize papers; Quarter Sessions Lieutenancy papers; Finance; Quarter Sessions petitions

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Source not recorded


Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Archifdy Meirionnydd Archives, Llys Chwarter Papurau Amrywiol/ Quarter Sessions Miscellaneous Papers, catalogue; Jones, Gareth Elwyn, Modern Wales: A Concise History c.1485-1979 (Cambridge, 1984).

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available in Meirionnydd Archives and the National Library of Wales.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Meirionnydd Archives have been retained.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

The main Merionethshire Quarter Sessions records are Archifdy Meirionnydd Archives, Z/QS.

Geographical Names