Catalogue description Assizes: Norfolk, Home and South-Eastern Circuits: Indictment Files

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Details of ASSI 35
Reference: ASSI 35
Title: Assizes: Norfolk, Home and South-Eastern Circuits: Indictment Files

The files of the Home Circuit, dating back to 1559, include the earliest extant files for any circuit, following the end of the medieval series in the fifteenth century.

Some files contain documents that have strayed from their proper files, but the vast majority are the trespass files for all the counties in that particular session. Indictments relating to trespasses were placed on one file for all the circuit, while indictments relating to felonies were placed on separate files for each county. The distribution of associated documents between the two types of file varies, but as a general rule trespass (or general) files contain the precepts and other documents issued under the justices' commission of oyer and terminer, while the felony files contain the precepts issued under the justices' commissions of assize and of gaol delivery, and such related documents as gaol calendars and names of the commission of the peace for the county in question. In the nineteenth century the trespass file is renamed the misdemeanour file. The practice of filing felonious indictments separately from those relating to lesser offences ceased in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Date: 1559-1969

Until 1996 this series included all the files for the Norfolk, Home and South-Eastern circuits from 1559 onwards, but the series was split into three to fit into the storage accommodation in the new PRO at Kew, and to accord with the requirements of the computerised ordering system. The files which remain in ASSI 35 cover the period up to the end of 1688, and retain their existing piece numbers.

The files are arranged by date of session and by county, and the different files are identified accordingly in this list in the case of the files. This is the result of sorting, relisting, and conservation of some pieces in the 1960s and 1970s.

Some pieces are described in this list not by county but under the term general.

Separated material:

Other Home Circuit indictments are in p. 22-24 in ASSI 39

Indictment files from 1689-1850 were removed from this series in 1996 and can now be found in ASSI 94

Files for 1851-1971 are now in ASSI 95

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Physical description: 554 bundles and files
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Publication note:

J S Cockburn, Calendar of assize records: Home Circuit indictments, Elizabeth I and James I: Introduction (London, 1985) contains a full account of early indictments files in this series. Indictments in this series for the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, and for Kent for the reign of Charles I and for the years 1649 to 1659 have been calendared in Calendar of assize records, 13 vols (1975-1995).

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