Archive centreCarlisle
TitleCumberland Quarter Sessions
DescriptionThe Records of the Court in Session fall into two main divisions, firstly the record of proceedings in Court, which appears in the books, and secondly files of papers received by the Court, which are called the Quarter Sessions rolls. The books contain notes of the meetings and adjournments of the Court, with the names of the justices who were present, notes of recognizances and indictments, orders of the Court, lists of jurors, of persons taking oaths, and so forth. The first surviving book is the Minute book for the years 1668-95. For the first twenty years it is the only record that we have, and probably the only one that was made, of the proceedings. However, the clerks of the peace very soon began to keep separate books for the different kinds of proceedings of the Court. In 1689 the first indictment book began. This contains notes of indictments and presentments session by session from Michaelmas 1689. In 1696 the orders of the Court began to appear in separate books, a series which was replaced about 1730 by two separate series of Public Order and Private Order books. In the first half of the eighteenth century, the distinctions between the various series of books were not rigidly adhered to, and it is not unusual to find several kinds of proceedings recorded in a book which appears to have been intended for one kind only. For records of indictments, for example, it is advisable to look not only in the indictment and minute books, but even in the order book. However, once the separate series of indictment and order books were well established, followed in 1747 by estreat books, and in 1770 by recognizance books, the minute books became mere rough notes compiled in Court, from which the other more formal series were afterwards written up. CQ/ The Court in Session 1. Quarter Sessions minute books 1667-1971 2. Indictment books 1689-1928 3. Abstract books 1747-1864 4. Conviction books 1769-1891 5. Recognizance books 1770-1834 6. Order books 1696-1734 7. Public Order books 1730-1889 8. Private Order books 1734-1777 9. Miscellaneous books 1825 - 1974 11. Quarter Sessions rolls 1686-1942 12. Debtors 1755-1781 CQA/ Administration AA/ County Analyst 1878-1879 AB/ Bridges 1665-1881 AC/ Court Houses, Carlisle 1807-1878 AG/ Gaols and Houses of Correction 1750-1922 AH/ Highways 1745-1890 AL/ Lunacy 1828-1880 AM/ Minor matters 2 Minor matters - Militia barracks 1858-1872 3 Minor matters - Diseases of animals 1747-1882 4 Minor matters - Weights & measures 1854 CQF/ Finance 1. County Treasurers' accounts 1739-1826 2. County Treasurers' account books 1710-1889 3. Accounts of County Stock 1839-1876 5. Treasurers' vouchers 1739-1855 7. Treasurers' books 1855-1889 9. Treasurers' various account books 1854-1889 12. Finance Committee, Report books 1839 - 1889 21. Poor rate returns, assessments and correspondence 1777-1837 22. Rates, assessment or valuation books 1783-1848 23. County rate books 1810- 1850 24. County rates committee books 1848-1929 25. County rates committee, various papers 1826-1863 31. Miscellaneous papers 1808-1836 CQG/ Grand Jury 1771-1933 CQJ/ Justices of the Peace 1. Commissions of the Peace, 1710-1872 2. Correspondence relating to commissions, 1820-1875 3. Certificates of writs, 1798, 1803 4. Justices' property qualifications, 1760-1906 5. Justices' oaths of allegiance and oaths to execute justice, 1761-1971 CQL/ Licensing of ale houses 1753-1932 CQP/ Petty Sessions Records Cumberland 1856-1915 Allerdale Below Derwent/Whitehaven 1858-1952 Alston 1896-1957 Carlisle See Ca/PS Cockermouth See D/WM Keswick 1889-1967 Workington (with CQPL) 1910-1968 CQR/ Enrolment, Registration and Deposit RC/Crime, poverty and philanthropy 1 Crime, poverty - deputations to gamekeepers 1729, 1748, 1775 RD/Deeds enrolled 1690 -1859 RE/Enclosure awards 1 Enclosure awards - Awards and plans [See separate list] 2 Enclosure awards - Interim awards of the Commissioners 1799-1804 3 Enclosure awards - Agreements for enclosures 1802 4 Enclosure awards - Enclosure Commissioners' minute books 1806-1815 5 Enclosure Awards - Printed copies of Enclosure Acts 1806-1841 11 Enclosure Awards - Copies of awards 1781-1945 RJ/Jurors 1 Jurors - Jury returns 1714-1869 2 Jurors - Freeholders books 1720-1822 RO/Appointments of Officers ROC Appointments of Officers - Coroners 19th C. ROL Appointments of Officers - Deputy Lieutenants and Militia Officers 1758-1883 ROM Appointments of Officers - Miscellaneous officers 1772-1796 ROS Appointments of Officers - Sheriffs 1834-1947 RP/Parliamentary elections 1 Parliamentary elections - Land tax assessments 1764-1829 2 Parliamentary elections - Registers of electors 1834-1914 3 Parliamentary elections - Appointments, various and poll books 1774-1915 RR/Religion 1 Religion - Articles of religion 1691, 1779 2 Religion - Sacrament certificates 1784, 1820 3 Religion - Declarations 1796-1812 4-5 Religion - Oaths of allegiance and supremacy 1696-1858 6 Religion - Declarations books 1828-1895 11 Religion - Warrants and returns 1696-1744 12 Religion - Papists' estates 1716-1723 13 Religion - Registers of Papists' deeds 1727-1780 14 Religion - Powers of Attorney 1717-1723 15 Religion - Dissenters 1853 RS/Printers' Registrations, Freemasson circa 1890-1901, 1942 Banks + Building Societies 1799 - 1860 RT/Taxation 1 Taxation - Gamekeepers' certificates 1794 - 1804 2 Taxation - Game certificate accounts 1793 - 1805 11 Taxation - Hair powder 1795 RX/Commutation Awards 1831 RZ/Deposited Plans 1 Railways 1825-1963 2 Roads 1806-1968 3 Towns, Harbours, Docks, Tramways 1806-1968 4 Water, Gas, Electricity 1815-1961 QS/251 Appeals and Commitals for sentence 1943-1954. List of subscribers to the presentation of a chair, made to Superintendent William Thwaite, upon his retirement, undated, [late 1930s]. Ratepayers and business registers (loose pages); Parliamentary County of Cumberland, Northern Division; 1946-1948
Invoice to the County Gaol, Carlisle for coir mats, 1856
ContextAdministrative History

Cumberland County Petty Sessional Divisions

The twelve Petty Sessional Divisions of the modern County grew gradually out of the old ward divisions which had survived without alteration until the early 19th C.

Parson and White's Directory of Cumberland and Westmorland gives the position in 1829 as follows:-

Magistrates' Clerks and Days of Meeting.

Cumberland ward, Wm. Hodgson; meetings at Carlisle every Wednesday and Saturday.

Eskdale ward, Wm. Carrick; meetings at Brampton, every Tuesday.

Allerdale above Derwent, Edwin Holwell Heywood; meetings at Whitehaven and Cockermouth, every week.

Allerdale below Derwent, Wm. Hodgson Esq.; meetings at1 Cockbridge, every Thursday after the full moon.

Leath ward, Mr. Richard Jameson; meetings at Penrith once a month.

An Act of 1828, (9 Geo. IV c.43) gave statutory encouragement to Quarter Sessions to alter and adjust these ancient divisions to suit the needs of the day.

In Cumberland, the first new division made under the 1828 Act was called Derwent Division formed from an amalgamation of parishes in the wards of Allerdale above and below Derwent at the Easter Quarter Sessions 1833. Petty Sessions in this Division were at first held only at Cockermouth,² but later and certainly by 1859, at Maryport and Keswick as well. Maryport had not been included by name in the original 1833 order although it may have been intended to include the place under the ancient parish name of Crosscanonby. A further adjustment of the divisions in 1841 puts Maryport in the Derwent Division in an entry which runs, `Crosscanonby, Birkby, Maryport and Crosby'³

Between 1857 and 1868, additional new divisions were made as follows:

Bootle, 20 October 1857 (Q 7/7 p. 114)

Longtown, 15 October 1861 (Q 7/7 p. 139)

Keswick, 20 October 1868 (Q 7/8 p. 34)

Workington, 20 October 1868 (Q 7/8 p. 33)

Despite the persistence of ward names for some time after 1868 the list of places where Petty Sessions were held was identical 100 years ago to the present list of Petty Sessional Divisions.4

In 1859 for example a Return of the amount of fines received in aid of the County Rate sets out the places where Petty Sessions are held in each ward thus:-

Allerdale above Derwent, Workington, Whitehaven, Bootle, Allerdale below Derwent, Wigton

Cumberland ward, Carlisle County, Carlisle Borough.

Derwent Division, Cockermouth, Keswick, Maryport.

Eskdale ward, Brampton.

Leath ward, Alston, Penrith.

Taking into account that Carlisle City later obtained a separate Court of Quarter Sessions the only name missing from this list which is there today is Longtown and Longtown was made a separate Division in 1861.

1. At Wigton from c.1847, Mannix & Whellan, Cumberland Directory.

2. Mannix & Whellan, Cumberland Directory, 1847

3. (Q 7/6 pp. 43, 48. Q 7/7 p.10, D/Ho. QS. Misc. pps.)

4. D/Ho. Misc. QS pps.
Catalogue levelFonds
Subject termsQuarter Sessions

Show related name indexes

CodePerson/Corporate namesDates
NAX130Cumberland Quarter Sessions
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