Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): CLA/046

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1666-1939

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 6 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

Southwark was granted to the citizens of London by a charter of Edward III in 1327, following a petition from the citizens because felons and thieves escaped the City into Southwark where they could not be followed. Quarter Sessions were held for the Town and Borough of Southwark on days fixed by the Recorder for the transaction of ordinary sessions business. The Lord Mayor, two Aldermen and the Recorder had to be present to hold the court. The High Bailiff and his officers were also required to attend.

Quarter Sessions were courts of limited criminal and civil jurisdiction and of appeal, held quarterly before the recorder in boroughs. They were abolished in 1972. The Recorder was a person with legal knowledge appointed by the mayor and aldermen to record the proceedings of their courts and the customs of the city, his oral statement of these being taken as the highest evidence of fact.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Southwark Quarter Sessions of the Peace, 1666-1939, including sessions books; sessions files containing indictments, recognizances, jury precepts and panels, writs, lists of constables and so on; sessions papers including depositions, informations, calendars of indictments, gaol calendars and so on; declarations of allegiance made by constables; rolls of victuallers' recognizances and orders from Insolvent Court.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

For Corporation of London records relating to courts see: CLA/004: Mansion House Justice Room, CLA/005: Guildhall Justice Room, CLA/023 Court of Husting, City of London, CLA/024: Mayor's Court, City of London, CLA/025: Sheriff's Court, City of London, CLA/026: City of London Court, CLA/027: Mayor's and City of London Court, CLA/038: Court of Requests, City of London, CLA/039: Courts of Judicature, City of London, CLA/040: Courts of Law, CLA/041: City of London Coroners Court, CLA/042: Southwark Crown Court, CLA/047: City of London Sessions, COL/CA/MGA: Court of Aldermen Magistracy Committee, COL/CC/AJC: Court of Common Council Administration of Justice Committee, COL/CC/CRC: Court of Common Council Court of Requests Committee, COL/CC/CRE: Court of Common Council Central Criminal Court (Extension) Committee, COL/CC/CRN: Court of Common Council Central Criminal Court Newson Smith Committee, COL/CC/LPC: Court of Common Council Law, [Parliamentary] and City Courts Committee, COL/CC/SDC: Court of Common Council Secondaries and Sheriffs' Courts Committee, COL/CHD/IC: Chamberlain's Department: Institutions and Courts and COL/PL for plans of courts.

Publication note:



Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2009

Criminal justice system | Legal systems | Law
Quarter sessions | Courts | Administration of justice

Personal names

Corporate names
Southwark Quarter Sessions | Corporation of London

Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Southwark | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe