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Thread: Assize Records

  1. #1
    Member Lyn A's Avatar
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    Assize Records

    I was wondering if anyone can tell where I would find Assize records for a trial in 1840.
    If they are held at Kew, or somewhere like that, what info would one need to have before making a visit?

    Any info would be appreciated.
    Many thanks & blessings.

  2. #2
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    Lyn, I think they would be at the local record office for the area.
    KiteRunner

    Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
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    Found this link in our Wiki which should give you lots of info about assize records:

    Research Guide: Assizes - Criminal Trials - Your Archives
    KiteRunner

    Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
    (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")

  4. #4
    Hi Lyn
    Anything appearing in the assizes would most likely appear in the newspapers too,have you checked the Times Indexes ? I can take a look if you want,just send me the details.
    Astro Lady

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    Member Lyn A's Avatar
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    Thanks Kiterunner......I did look at the index in Wiki, but didn't see that!
    Will check it out now.

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    Member Lyn A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro Lady View Post
    Hi Lyn
    Anything appearing in the assizes would most likely appear in the newspapers too,have you checked the Times Indexes ? I can take a look if you want,just send me the details.

    Thank you...will Pm you in a minute.
    I really appreciate your offer.

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    Member Little Nell's Avatar
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    Quarter sessions records are at county records offices. Assizes records are at Kew. BUT they don't early on give a lot of info, there aren't transcripts for example.
    My gt gt gt uncle's trial papers give the name of the judge, the jury, a list of witnesses and the time of the trial (it only took a few hours in the morning!). You get a better idea of the proceedings from a newspaper report and The Times routinely covered trials (usually near the back of the paper).

    BUT it was exciting finding the papers as they are tied in faded pink ribbon folded and stuffed carelessly into a box with all sorts of other stuff. Not indexed.

    The National Archives assizes records are all in ASSI series with different numbers for different circuits. You would need to use the top floor reading room.
    ~ with love from Little Nell~
    Chowns, Dunt, Emms, Mealing, Purvey & Smoothy

  8. #8
    Member Lyn A's Avatar
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    Thanks Nell.
    I have been looking through the site that Kiterunner gave me....looked last night and got confused. I thought I must be too tired, but it is just as bad this morning.....maybe I am just easy to confuse!!
    Now you come aboard, someone who has done it, and your experience makes it sound much easier! I am sure that my cousin won't be scared off now.
    However, how do you know which file batch to order? Where would I find the right numbers for Central Crim Court & Old Bailey? Are they in chronological order or alphabetically? Do you need to order the records before you arrive?
    Thanks
    Last edited by Lyn A; 11-01-08 at 23:13.

  9. #9
    Member Little Nell's Avatar
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    Lyn

    It was a while ago I did this and to be honest I can't remember much. I think I used the Kew website to find the right Assi number for Gloucester (it comes under the Oxford Circuit) but I rang Kew up to ask which sequence I needed as it wasn't clear which date(s) were covered in which ASSI section. I will have a look through my notes today to see if I can give you more detail.

    I don't know about the Old Bailey, again I'll poke around TNA and see what I can find.
    As I recall, its all in chronological order (roughly) and there aren't indexes.

    Of course if you find a newspaper account in the Times online it'll give you a precise date which will make it easier when you get the box of papers.

    As for ordering in advance, no, you don't have to, its just time-saving if you can get to Kew and collect your papers and go. But you can always go to Kew and look pathetic in front of the research desk and they will help you locate what you want. The only problem with this is it takes time and is dependent on how busy they are.

    I know Kew sounds scary - and the scale of it is impressive - but once you have a go its brilliant and now they are revamping it will be even better.

    I'll post on here again when I've found my notes (which are also not easy to locate!!!)
    ~ with love from Little Nell~
    Chowns, Dunt, Emms, Mealing, Purvey & Smoothy

  10. #10
    Member Lyn A's Avatar
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    Thanks Nell, I appreciate that.
    It is not me that is going...my cousin is going to London in May and will visit Kew for me, if I can find out exactly how she goes about it all. She is quite a bit older than me, so I don't want to confuse her too much. I know that I would have to know exactly what to do, or I wouldn't do it and I feel that I can't expect to just throw her in at the deep end.

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