Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Accused

If an ancestor appears as the accused in the QSR, you are likely to find a number of documents linked to the case:

Recognizances – these detail the prosecutor in the case and those called to give evidence. Each witness is bound financially to appear, or on occasion by the threat of imprisonment.

Depositions – testimonies of the accuser and witnesses taken before magistrates prior to the crime being indicted. Most cases also feature a Statement by the accused, although it was not uncommon for there to be no comment made.

Indictments - showing the offence, the plea and the verdict. Along side these may sit documents detailing Previous Convictions.

Most quarters also feature a Calender of Prisoners. These detail: When received into gaol, degree of education, prisoner's name, age and trade, and details of the charge against them.

Finally, there is usually a Return of Persons Commited. This shows: Names of the accused, the offence, whether convicted, acquitted or discharged, and the sentence.

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