Powys County Archives Office

Brecknockshire Quarter Sessions Records

Reference code(s): GB 0223 B/QS

Held at:

Title: Brecknockshire Quarter Sessions Records

Short title: Brecknockshire Quarter Sessions records

Dates of creation: 1660-1971

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: Information to be supplied

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


Administrative and biographical history: The Court of Quarter Sessions in Brecknockshire 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 Brecknockshire 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 Brecknockshire Court of Quarter Sessions, 1660-1971, including session rolls, 1690-1927; recognisance rolls, 1823-1847; order books, 1670-1956; abstracts, 1859-1913; records of committees, 1916-1960; records of the Clerks of the Peace, 1660-1951; Commissions of the Peace, 1677-1871; Justices' oaths, 1821-1837; Justices' qualification rolls, 1870-1906; posters relating to diseases of animals, 1881-1884; records relating to the maintenance of bridges, 1850-1886; records relating to the Breconshire Constabulary, 1844-1896; gaol records, 1822-1896; records relating to the maintenance of roads, 1848-1894; records relating to the Shire Hall, 1840-1854; Treasurer's account books, 1791-1894; Treasurer's draft account books, 1791-1856; rates records, 1836-1879; miscellaneous financial records, 1846-1889; enclosure awards, 1817-1865; election memorials register and rolls, 1815-1837; registers of electors, 1836-1892; poll books, 1837; records of registration of electors, 1839-1859; jurors' books, 1825-1865; returns of jurors, 1728-1914; oath books, 1714-1909; deposited plans of public undertakings, 1812-1931, including railways, 1830-1926, roads, 1829-1835, gasworks, 1854-1909, waterworks, 1857-1928, electricity supply, 1900-1929; sacrament certificates, 1691-1709; records relating to nonconformist chapels, 1843; records of the Breconshire Lieutenancy, 1779-1831; turnpike trust records, 1767-1862; miscellaneous, 1754-1971.


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Sessions records; Administrative records; Financial records; Registered, enrolled and deposited records; Clerk of the Peace; Justices; Unclassified; Great Forest of Brecon papers; Lieutenancy; Breconshire Turnpike Trust; Miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access: Powys Archive Office restrictions, relating to data protection, apply

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy is available at the Powys County Archives Service.
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records transferred to Powys County Archives Service have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are possible

Immediate source of acquisition: Some records transferred from Brecknock Museum.



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: Powys County Archives Service, 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: March 2005



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