Explore Archives – Quarter Sessions

  • 11th June 2016

People stealing acorns, roads needing repairs and families being removed from one parish to another are among the many stories contained within Quarter Sessions.

The Quarter Sessions were both a court and a forerunner of the county council. Middling crimes which didn’t carry the death penalty were heard before it, and various county issues such as disputes between parishes, roads and permissions for new railways came before it. There are a host of stories contained within the boxes of papers, such as Thomas Hemmings who was charged with stealing 21 ducks, with his shoe print being used as evidence.

Thousands of people were involved across the county as victims, constables, witnesses, surveyors, and the accused. These records can be invaluable for family and local historians, potentially containing information about an ancestor or local community. However they are rarely used as many people either don’t know about them or don’t know how to access them. Our wonderful volunteers have helped index 200 years worth of records making them easier to search.

The next Explore Archives workshop will be looking at Quarter Sessions and will include lots of stories. It takes place on Wednesday, 22nd June from 2 to 4pm in The Hive. Tickets cost £6 and you can book your place online here.  

2 responses to “Explore Archives – Quarter Sessions”

  1. Are the indexes to quarter sessions available online or do your volunteers provide a lookup service for researchers at a distance (Canada, for instance)?

  2. C Taylor says:

    We do have some indexes available on our own website:

    You can also check The National Archives' catalogue, Discovery, which has many of our Quarter Session records available to search:

    If you would like to enquire further or order copies of any of our records, please send us an enquiry through our website:

    Best regards,
    Worcestershire Archive Service