Warwickshire County Record Office - Quarter Session Records
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Amongst the books that have been chosen to be digitised from our library are published sets of the earliest surviving justice of the peace records for Warwickshire. The Quarter Sessions Order Book, 1625 - 1637 is the first in a series of publications by Warwickshire County Council. Published in 1935 the series aimed to make primary sources more accessible for social historians.
The Order Books contain orders, proceedings and resolutions of the Quarter Sessions. These are often administrative in nature and were necessitated by the legislation of the Tudor Parliaments and Privy Council. Much of the business of the Order Books is taken up with the administration of poor relief by local overseers. The records therefore provide more information about those who may otherwise only be names in a register. A useful index to names and places is available for free for researchers to check to see if the volumes may be of interest to them.
The introduction to the first volume explains ‘The settlement of paupers and the efforts of parishes to avoid the settlement of any persons who might himself or whose children might become a charge upon the parish and questions concerning vagrancy are other fruitful sources of orders. The support of illegitimate children, efforts to make the father or his relatives responsible and the detention of the mother for a year in the house of correction all receive ample illustration.’
The Order Book also contains references to William Dugdale in the office of High Constable who seems to spend much of the five years of his office trying to leave it. There are also entries of Shakespearean interest which are picked out in the introduction to the volume.
Sam Collenette, Archives and Historic Environment Manager, Warwickshire County Record Office, Heritage and Culture Warwickshire, Priory Park, Cape Road, Warwick CV34 4JS, Tel: 01926 738950, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/