Denbighshire Quarter Sessions

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Court of Quarter Sessions in Denbighshire 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 Denbighshire 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.

Arrangement

Arranged into the following sections-

A. Court in Session

B. Administration

C. Finance

D. Enrolment, Registration and Deposit

E. Clerk of the Peace

F. Justices of the Peace

Conditions Governing Access

Some records are closed for 100 years due to Data Protection