Ref NoQ/A
TitleDerbyshire Quarter Sessions Court: Administration
Date1660-1978
DescriptionComprising 10 groups of records:
Q/AB Records relating to gaols and lock-ups, 1660-1930
Q/AD Militia records (administration), 1762-1877 (see also Q/RD and Q/RG)
Q/AF Financial records, 1754-1869, including coroners' expenses claims and corn price returns and certificates
Q/AG Mill apprenticeship records, 1802-1841
Q/AH Highways and Bridges, 1648-1978, including lists of county bridges, contracts for rebuilding and repairing bridges together with plans and specifications (mostly 18th-19th century)
Q/AL Lunacy records, 1828-1937
Q/AM Records relating to various functions, 1744-1955, including in relation to weights and measures, land carriage rates, hemp and flax bounties, gunpowder mill and stores, and theatre licensing
Q/AN Records relating to enrolment of volunteers to the Navy and Army, 1795-1797
Q/AR Printed reference materials accumulated by the Quarter Sessions court, 1731-1817, particularly relating to enclosure and the poor law
Q/AT Transportation of felons, 1720-1772

Also including estimates, contracts and plans relating to the county buildings 19th-20th century
Administrative HistoryA great many of the records of the Quarter Sessions are perhaps unexpected in the context of an institution originally intended for the keeping of the peace. Before the creation of county councils in 1888, Quarter Sessions were also the county administrative body, what we now refer to as local government. Some of the minor administrative matters with which they dealt arose naturally from the conduct of the business of the court, for instance the payment of the stationer’s bill and the salary of the court crier. Other more important matters for which the justices had a direct responsibility were the maintenance of numerous county bridges, the provision and maintenance of the County hall, the gaol and houses of correction and from the mid-19th century the county asylum, as well as the inspection of weights and measures.

Much of information concerning these and other responsibilities may be found in the Order Books, where orders are made for the payment of coroners, the gaoler and surgeon, chaplain and matron of the gaol, the inspectors of weights and measures, the keeper of the county hall and housekeeper of the judges’ lodgings (where the assize judges stayed). In addition, the court had to order the means with which to pay these salaries and to pay for the repairing and widening bridges, repairing or providing a new county hall or new gaol when the need arose. Orders were therefore made to raise a rate for these purposes and the money to be paid the county treasurer.
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