England Crime and Punishment

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Crime and Punishment


Criminal records

In England, crimes were tried in different courts, usually depending on the severity of the crime. Felonies went to the assize courts, or their equivalent for London, Old Bailey. Individuals who committed misdemeanors and some felonies were tried in quarter sessions, or their equivalent for boroughs, borough sessions. Lesser crimes were adjudicated in petty sessions.

Few of these records are indexed or available online, a notable exception being the Old Bailey.

Criminal Registers


Main article: Assize Court Records

Petty Sessions

Main article: England Petty Session Records

Quarter Sessions

Main article: England Quarter Session Records

Borough Sessions

Main article: England Borough Session Records

Old Bailey

Old Bailey was the central criminal court for London and Middlesex. Its proceedings from 1674-1913 are available online.

Main article: Records of the Old Bailey in London, England

Prison Records

Prison Hulks

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment U.K. (free) includes a list of 'all U.K. executions from 1735-1964' and identifies 'places of execution.'