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English: Court Records-Criminal, Civil & Ecclesiastical
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This course deals with records of use to genealogists and family historians from the many English courts that controlled our ancestors’ lives—canon law, feudal law, customary law, common law and equity.

The former importance of ecclesiastical courts is emphasized. Civil ones comprising manor courts, petty, borough and quarter sessions as well as chancery and exchequer courts are covered. Criminal assizes and records of prisoners & convicts, gaols & transportation are discussed. The availability of original records and indexes to the researcher situated anywhere in the world and their relevance to genealogical investigations is explained.


Course Content

Module 1

Introduction
 
Ecclesiastical Courts
• Ecclesiastical Causes
 
Discipline of Clergy
• Dispensations
 
Immorality
 
Licenses & Degrees
• Conferring Degrees
• Marriage Licences
• Licences for Parochial Positions
• Professional Licences
 
Matrimonial Causes
Nonconformity & Heresy
Parish Boundaries 
Probate 
Tithes 
Usury 
Witchcraft & Sorcery 
 

Module 2
Church Hierarchy & Courts
Introduction 
Diocesan Courts 
 
Provincial Church Courts
• The Province of York
• The Province of Canterbury
• Chancery Court of York
 
High Court of Delegates
Peculiars & Donatives
Doctors' Commons
 
Procedures & Records
• Procedures & Records
• Articles of Enquiry
 
Cause Procedures
• Non-Judicial Business
• Plenary Court Procedure
• Testamentary Court Procedure
 
Sentences
• Sentences for Laity and Clergy
• Sentences for Clergy Only
 
Location of Records, Calendars & Indexes 
 

Module 3
Civil Courts
Introduction 
 
Civil Court Proceedings 
• Depositions
 
Early Civil Courts
• Hundred Courts
• Shire/County Courts
• Court of Hustings
 
Manor Courts
• Manorial Documents Register
• Petty Sessions
• Borough Sessions
 
Quarter Sessions
• County Administration
• Judicial Cases
 
Sessions Cases
• Apprentices
• Bastardy
• Constables
• Coroners' Inquests
• Gaols
• Licensing & Excise Law Enforcement
• Matrimonial Cases
• Militia
• Misdemeanours
• Nuisances
• Parish Officers
• Roads & Bridges
• Taxation
• Theft
 

Module 4
Some Civil Causes/Suits
 
Definitions 
• Bankrupts & Debtors
• Defamation
 
Divorce
 
Special Courts
• Courts of Commissioners of Sewers
• Court of Gaol Delivery
• Court of Orphans
• Court of Requests 1485-1642
• Forest Courts
• Guild Courts
• London Courts
• Mining Courts
• Port Mote
• Staple Courts
• Curia Regis
• King's or Queen's Bench
• Palatinate & Duchy Courts
• Equity
• Chancery Procedure
• Early Efforts
• Online Equity Database
 
Funds in Chancery
 
Chancery Office Records
• Close Rolls
• Charter Rolls
• Fine Rolls
• Parliament Rolls
• Revenue Courts with Equity Proceedings
• Exchequer
• Court of Augmentations
• Court of First Fruits & Tenths
 
19th & 20th Century Changes
• 1858 New Divorce & Probate Courts
• 1873-1875 High Court of Justice
 

Module 5
Criminal Courts
Introduction 
 
Assize Courts
• Commission of Oyer and Terminer
• Possessory Assizes
• Grand Assize
• Bloody Assizes
• Records of Assizes
 
Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey)
Court of Criminal Appeal
 
Prisoners & Punishments
• Nefarious Activities
• Imprisonment
• Execution & Hanging
• Transportation
• Young Offenders
 
Conclusion
 
References 
 
 
 

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