Magistrates' Courts Records

Scope and Content

Records of the Magistrates Courts, Pembrokeshire, 1884-1996, including records of the Cemaes Petty Sessions Division, 1907-1969, Cemaes Court Registers, 1972-1985, Cemaes Juvenile Court records, 1947-1986, Castlemartin Petty Sessions records, 1902-1954, court registers of the Cardigan Division, 1995-1998, court registers of the Cleddau, 1986-1996, records of the Petty Sessional Division of Cilgerran, 1901-1954, Dewsland Petty Sessions, 1890-1986, registers of domestic courts, 1979-1990, Dungleddy Petty Sessions records, 1906-1954, Fishguard Petty Sessions records, 1909-1994, Haverfordwest Petty Sessions records, 1919-1984, Juvenile Court Registers, 1934-1998, register of licences, 1952-1987, records of the Milford Haven Petty Sessions, 1936-1986, Narberth Petty Sessions records, 1885-1996, records relating to Pembroke Petty Sessions, 1884-1986, Roose Petty Sessions records, 1875-1955, court registers of the South Pembrokeshire Division, 1986-1996, court registers for Community Charge/Council Tax, 1975-1995, and Tenby Petty Sessions records, 1925-1986.

Administrative / Biographical History

Magistrates, or Justices of the Peace, were lay members of county administration and courts. Courts of Petty Sessions began to appear at the beginning of the eighteenth century, as extra meetings to reduce the burden on Justices of the Peace in Quarter Sessions. The Petty Sessions were regular meetings, subdivided into geographical divisions, with each magistrate being assigned to one division. The Petty Sessions dealt with minor cases such as petty theft, drunkenness, minor assaults, bastardy and failure to maintain families, larceny, trespassing, fraud and juvenile cases, as well as ale licensing and adoption. They required the presence of two Justices of the Peace but no jury. In the Pembrokeshire area, divisions included Cemaes Petty Sessions Division, Cardigan Petty Sessions Division, Castlemartin Petty Sessions Division, Fishguard Division (also referred to as Gogledd Preseli), Narberth Division, Roose Division, Tenby Division, Pembroke Division, Dewsland Division, Dungleddy Petty Sessions Division. The Petty Sessional Divisions (Pembrokeshire) Order 1954 reorganised the divisions and created a new Division of Haverfordwest, which had previously only covered the town of Haverfordwest. The Division of the Milford Haven Petty Sessions was established in 1939. In 1971, the Petty and Quarter Sessions were replaced by Magistrates' and Crown Courts respectively.


Arranged into the following: Cardigan Division; Castlemartin Division; Cemaes Division; Cleddau Division (from May 1986); Dewsland Division; Dungleddy Division; Fishguard Division; Haverfordwest Division; Milford Haven Division; Narberth Division; Narberth Division sitting at Saundersfoot; Pembroke Division; Roose Division sitting at Haverfordwest; Roose Division sitting at Milford Haven; South Pembrokeshire Division; Tenby Division; Juvenile Courts; Nonpayment of rates, community charge, council tax; Domestic Courts - North and South; and Licensing Sessions.

Access Information

The Petty Session records are restricted for 30 years after date of volume.

Acquisition Information

Transferred by the Clerk of Pembrokeshire County Council and the Cemaes Juvenile Court records between April 1968 and March 2000.


Compiled by Annette Strauch for the ANW project. The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Pembrokeshire Record Office, Magistrates' Courts, catalogue.

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy of the catalogue is available at Pembrokeshire Record Office.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

The register of store licences under the Explosives Act 1875, Haverfordwest Division and Dewsland Division was found among the papers of R. T. P. Williams, Solicitors.


Accruals are not expected