Denbighshire Record Office

Denbighshire Quarter Sessions Records

Reference code(s): GB 0209 QSD

Held at:

Title: Denbighshire Quarter Sessions Records

Short title: Denbighshire Quarter Sessions records

Dates of creation: 1541-1974

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 21.432 cubic metres (1128 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Denbighshire Court of Quarter Sessions


Administrative and biographical history: 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.


Scope and content: Records of the Denbighshire Quarter Sessions, 1541-1974, including session rolls, 1706-1971; depositions, 1866-1889; sessions files, 1934-1971; process and cognate records, 1772-1836; sessions books, 1649-1971; sessions papers, 1785-1891; assessments, 1806-1824; records relating to the maintenance of bridges, 1696-c.1900; County Gaol records, 1783-1881; houses of correction records, 1711-1859; records relating to county buildings, 1710-1885; police records, 1839-1889; records relating to lunacy, 1828-1900; records relating to highways, 1788-1888; weights and measures records, c.1813-1891; militia armouries and depots records, 1854-1879; records relating to diseases of animals, 1865-1875; records relating to salmon fisheries, 1866-1890; industrial training ship 'Clio' records, 1879-1887; polling district and parliamentary divisions records, 1869-1888; records of petty sessional divisions, c.1828-1912; records of committees, 1810-1972; miscellaneous administration records, 1885-1919; financial records, 1698-1914, including general accounts, 1698-1890; special accounts, 1711-1914; county rates records, 1749-1888; enclosure awards and related records, 1768-1872; plans of public undertakings, 1792-1935, including turnpike roads, 1807-1865; canals, 1792-1829; railways, 1836-1935; gas and water, 1862-1965; electricity, 1889-1928; public undertakings records, 1839-1947; records relating to religion, 1706-1956; records of taxation on game duty, 1784-1865; records relating to the diversion, closure and widening of highways, 1775-1959; records of jurors, 1742-1946; parliamentary elections records, 1747-1974; records relating to crime, poor relief and friendly societies, 1710-1949; including transportation bonds, 1733-1774; records of charities, 1853-1947; records relating to officer's appointments, 1541-1966; licensing records, 1733-1848; miscellaneous plans, c.1807-1884; records of the Clerk of the Peace, 1721-1974; records of the Justices of the Peace, 1745-1930.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Court in session; Administration; Finance; Enrolment, registration and deposit; Clerks of the Peace; Justices of the Peace.

Conditions governing access: Access to some documents within this collection may be restricted due to Data Protection legislation. Please contact Denbighshire Record Office for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available in Denbighshire Record Office, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records transferred to Denbighshire Record Office have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Immediate source of acquisition: The majority of the records were transferred from the Public Record Office, London, 1972.


Related units of description: Further records are Denbighshire Record Office, Denbigh Borough Records, BD/A; NLW, Chirk Castle (1), Denbighshire Quarter Session Records.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds

Archivist's note: Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Denbighshire Record Office, Denbighshire Quarter Sessions Records catalogues; Hey, David, Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History, (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of description: February 2005



Court records | Wales | Denbighshire

Criminal courts | Wales | Denbighshire

Denbighshire (Wales) | Politics and government

Great Britain. | Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace | (Denbighshire) | Archives

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Great Britain | Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Denbighshire)