LANCASHIRE COUNTY QUARTER SESSIONS

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This record is held by Lancashire Archives

Details of LANCASHIRE COUNTY QUARTER SESSIONS
Title: LANCASHIRE COUNTY QUARTER SESSIONS
Reference: Q
Description:

Alphabetical list of references

 

AE Enclosure Awards

 

AT Tithe Commutation

 

AV Awards: Various

 

CP Clerk of the Peace

 

CT County Treasurer

 

MA Manchester Assize Courts

 

EL Electrical Registers

 

PD Deposited Plans

 

PM Militia Storehouse Plans

 

PP Prison Plans

 

QAA Lancashire County Probation Committee

 

QAB Reformatory and Industrial Schools Committee

 

QAC Cattle Plague Committee

 

QAD Licensing Committee

 

QAF Finance

 

QAG General Purposes Committee

 

QAH Provisional Courts Committee

 

QAL Lancaster Castle Committee

 

QAM Lunacy

 

QAP Parliamentary Committee

 

QAR Roads and Bridges

 

QAS Standing Militia Storehouse Committee

 

QAV Various

 

QDB Bills, Acts and Orders

 

QDC Charities

 

QDD Enrolled Deeds and Other Documents

 

QDE Disputed Elections

 

QDF Freeholders or Jury Lists

 

QDG Gamekeepers

 

QDH Hair Powder Tax

 

QDL Land Tax

 

QDP Papists' Estates

 

QDR Register of Vagrants Deported from Liverpool to Ireland

 

QDS Societies

 

QDT Turnpike Trusts

 

QDV Various

 

QEC Constabulary Committee

 

QEV Various - Constabulary

 

QGB Gaol Sites and Buildings

 

QGC Convictions

 

QGG Visiting Committees

 

QGL Lancaster Prison

 

QGP Preston Prison

 

QGR Gaol Reports

 

QGT Transportation

 

QGV Various - Gaols

 

QJA Orders made under Summary Jurisdiction Appeals Act 1933 and National Parks Act 1949

 

QJB Insolvent Debtors

 

QJC Calendars of Prisoners

 

QJD Riot Depositions

 

QJE Estreats

 

QJI Indictments

 

QJS Cases Committed for Sentence to the Appeal Committee of Quarter Sessions

 

QJV Various

 

QJX Appeals, Arbitrations, Civil Suits, etc.

 

QSA Attendance Books

 

QSB Recognizances

 

QSC Commissions of the Peace

 

QSD Highway Diversion Orders

 

QSG Annual General Sessions

 

QSJ Oaths and Sacrament Certificates

 

QSL Lists of Magistrates

 

QSM Sessions Minute Rolls

 

QSO Order Books

 

QSP Petitions

 

QSQ Property Qualifications

 

QSR Sessions Rolls

 

QSV Various

 

QSZ Annual Sessions Proceedings and Reports

Held by: Lancashire Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative History:

The law required the Justices of each county to meet at Quarter Sessions four times yearly. Quarter Sessions had a considerable criminal jurisdiction exercised by the Justices sitting with juries; but their other functions were of a very different character. At these sessions were present a grand jury of the county, the hundred juries, and also the several Petty Constables and High Constables. All these were bound to present those seemingly guilty of such breaches of the law, including nuisances, as came within their cognizance. Further, each Justice could himself present on his 'own view'. Thus Quarter Sessions were supposed to punish not only ordinary crimes, but also omission to perform the various duties imposed on parishes and counties; in this way their task was one of supervising administration. A great part of it had to be discharged in open court, but there was nothing to prevent the Justices from deciding at private meetings upon certain general principles to be applied by them. The Justices tended therefore more and more to use Quarter Sessions as a means of forming and executing a policy. Nor was this strange, for there was a need of policies, and they could only be devised by the Justices. After 1700 the hundred juries gradually disappeared, and the High Constables usually made only such presentments as the Justices desired; further presentments by individual Justices increased in frequency. Hence the Justices were able to make a growing use of judicial machinery in order to carry out an administrative policy. For instance, the Justices had been given power by an Act of 1691 to levy a rate not exceeding 6d. in the pount upon a parish for the upkeep of a highway. But when a sum exceeding that thereby obtainable was desired, they often raised it by imposing a fine upon a parish for not discharging its highway obligations.

 

Only a fraction of the Justices' duties were performed at Quarter Sessions. They are also found acting alone, in pairs and at Special and Petty Sessions. In each of these capacities their functions were equally mixed. According to the law, some things could be done by a single Justice, others by any two Justices, and others, again - such as the enforcement of various statutes relating to highways and liquor licensing - by the Justices of a division meeting at Special Sessions. In the eighteenth century the Justices in each division took, to meeting together for other purposes at regular intervals, and these meetings became known as Petty Sessions. The Justices there assembled had a certain criminal jurisdiction - such as was assigned by statute, to any two Justices sitting together - and also exercised some quasi-administrative functions.

 

As the eighteenth century advanced the Justices made alterations in the methods of local government. In many counties they began to employ a small salaried staff; much business was referred by Quarter Sessions to committees; at the same time Quarter Sessions themselves tended to become a court of appeal from the Justices sitting alone or in Divisional Sessions. Many of the new developments were extra-legal and the virtual assumption of power by the Justices at Quarter Sessions, to act as a subordinate law-making body was definitely illegal. But Parliament encouraged the Justices to ignore the letter of the law by continually adding to their functions and by increasing the number of purposes for which they could levy rates.

Subjects:
  • Lancashire
  • Administration of justice
  • Local government
Creator Names:
  • Lancashire Quarter Sessions

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