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MIDDLESEX SESSIONS OF THE PEACE: COURT IN SESSION

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/0381
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/ ›
Full title: MIDDLESEX SESSIONS OF THE PEACE: COURT IN SESSION
Date(s): 1819-1829
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Middlesex Quarter Sessions of the Peace

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The origins of the Justices of the Peace lie in the temporary appointments of 'conservators' or 'keepers' of the peace made at various times of unrest between the late twelfth century and the fourteenth century. In 1361 the 'Custodis Pacis' were merged with the Justices of Labourers, and given the title Justices of the Peace and a commission (see MJP). The Commission (of the Peace) gave them the power to try offences in their courts of Quarter Sessions, appointed them to conserve the peace within a stated area, and to enquire on the oaths of "good and lawfull men" into "all manner of poisonings, enchantments, forestallings, disturbances, abuses of weights and measures" and many other things, and to "chastise and punish" anyone who had offended against laws made in order to keep the peace.

During the sixteenth century the work of the Quarter Sessions and the justices was extended to include administrative functions for the counties. These were wide ranging and included maintenance of structures such as bridges, gaols and asylums; regulating weights, measures, prices and wages, and, probably one of their biggest tasks, enforcing the Poor Law. The bulk of the administrative work was carried out on one specific day during the court's sitting known as the County Day (see MJ/O, MJ/SP and MA). By the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was clear that the Quarter Session's structure was unable to cope with the administrative demands on it, and it lost a lot of functions to bodies set up specifically to deal with particular areas - the most important of these was the Poor Law, reformed in 1834. By the end of the century, when the Local Government Act of 1889 established county councils, the sessions had lost all their administrative functions. The judicial role of the Quarter Sessions continued until 1971, when with the Assize courts they were replaced by the Crown Courts.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Middlesex Sessions of the Peace comprising extracts from minutes of the orders of court relating to County business. The extracts were first made in 1819 for the period 1716-1829. Only two entries were made between 1826 and 1829.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

Orders of Court in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Given to the Archive in September 1950.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For the main series of records relating to Middlesex Quarter Sessions Court in Session records, see MJ.


Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's 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:
November 2009 to February 2010

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