Quarter Sessions and Assize Records

Criminal cases in Surrey (including those resulting in transportation) could be heard either before the Court of Quarter Sessions or at the Assizes. As a rule more serious cases were heard at the Assizes.

To find out how homosexuality was dealt with by Surrey Quarter Sessions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries click here.

The Surrey History Centre holds the records of the Surrey Quarter Sessions. A summary of the collections can be found on The National Archives Discovery website.

  • Was your ancestor sent to Surrey County Gaol? An on-line index to the register of deaths, 1798-1878, in the prison is now available. Click here for more details.

Surrey Quarter Sessions [QS1/1 – QS2/5]

QS1/: Appointment Of Justices And Standing Orders
QS1/1/: Commissions Of The Peace, 1767-1878
QS1/2/: Justices’ Oaths Books And Papers Relating To The Appointment Of Justices, 1880-1938
QS1/3/: Lists Of Justices And County Officers, 1808-1920. See also Manuscript Lists and Printed Lists.
QS1/4/: Papers Relating To The Appointment Of Chairmen And Deputy Chairmen, 1938-1971
QS1/5/: Standing Orders, 1854-1963. Download a pdf (pdf logo) document showing the contents of this collection.
QS2/: The Court In Session
QS2/1/: Order Books, 1659-1971
QS2/1a/: Annual Lists Of Sessions, 1858-1872
QS2/1b/: Sessions Agendas And Papers Including Reports Of Committees, 1869-1971.
QS2/2/: Minutes Books, 1694-1971
QS2/3/: Order Books Relating To Appeals & Highways Proceedings, 1843-1971
QS2/3a/: Appeal Entry Books, 1895-1971
QS2/3b/: Summary Jurisdiction (Appeals) Committee Minute Books, 1934-1962
QS2/3c/: Standing (Rating Appeal) Committee Registers And Order Books, 1929-1950
QS2/4/: Chairmen’s Note Books, 1893-1971. Download a pdf (pdf logo) document showing the contents of this collection with a list of the Chairmen’s names.
QS2/5/: Sessions Rolls, 1661-1800, 1889-1915

Surrey Quarter Sessions Bundles QS2/6/  1630, 1637, 1701-1888

Surrey Quarter Sessions [QS2/7 – QS8/1]

QS2/7/: Indictments, 1759-1971
QS2/8/: Appeal Papers, 1846-1888. Download a pdf (pdf logo) document showing the contents of this collection.
QS2/9/: Removal Orders: Notices Of Abandonment Following Appeal, 1849-1881
QS2/10/: Vagrants’ Passes, 1816-1821
QS3/: Judicial Business
QS3/1/: Estreat Books, 1689-1967
QS3/2/: Records Relating To The Release Of Debtors, 1691-1811: Debtors’ Appearance Books and Debtor Prisoners Books.
QS3/3/: Calendars: Central Criminal Court, 1857-1894
QS3/4/: Calendars: Surrey Quarter Sessions & Assizes, 1848-1971
QS3/5/: Process Books, 1671-1968
QS3/5a/: Conviction Registers, 1911-1971
QS3/5b/: Memoranda Of Summary Convictions, 1915-1971
QS3/5c/: Case Files: Trials, 1964-1971
QS3/5d/: Case Files: Appeals And Committals For Sentencing, 1964-1971
QS3/6/: Prosecution Expenses Books, 1838-1889
QS3/7/: Recognizance Books, 1826-1854
QS3/8/: Drafts Of Questions For The Decision Of The Court For Crown Cases Reserved, 1866-1881
QS3/9/: General Releases, 1800-1822
QS3/10a/: Freeholders’ Books, 1696-1824
QS3/10b/: Lists Of Jurymen Fined For Non-Attendance And Forfeited Recognizances, 1868-1902
QS3/11/: Sheriff’s Returns Of Fines, Issues And Forfeited Recognizances, 1834-1879
QS3/12/: Returns To The Treasury Of Fines, Issues And Forfeited Recognizance, 1867-1971
QS3/13/: Statistics Relating To Cases Heard, 1947-1971
QS3/14/: Treatment Of Offenders Committee, 1956-1961
QS4/: Returns From Petty Sessions
QS4/1/: Returns Of Summary Convictions In Petty Sessions, 1831-1889
QS4/2/: Returns From Petty Sessions Of Convictions Under The: Juvenile Offenders Act, 1856-1880
QS4/3/: Returns From Petty Sessions Of Convictions Under The Criminal Justice Act, 1855-1883
QS4/4/: Returns From Petty Sessions Under The Summary Jurisdiction Act (1879), 1884-1911
QS4/5/: Bastardy Returns From Petty Sessions, 1844-1858
QS4/6/: Petty Sessions Returns Of Fees, 1889
QS5/: Administrative
QS5/1/: General Committee Minute Books, 1766-1904
QS5/1a/: Finance And General Purposes Committee(S), 1875-1970
QS5/1b/: Parliamentary Committee, 1878
QS5/1c/: Staff Committee, 1965-1970
QS5/2a/: Committee Membership Books, 1855-1919
QS5/2b/: List Of County Officers, 1874-1921
QS5/3a/: List Of High Constables, 1799-1844
QS5/3b/: Lists Of Constables, 1842-1867
QS5/3c/: County Constabulary And Metropolitan Police, 1850-1888
QS5/4/: Records Relating To The County Gaols And Sessions House, 1536-1890
QS5/4/1/: New County Gaol And Sessions House Minute And Account Books, 1791-1824
QS5/4/2/: Prison Discipline Committee And Prison Accommodation Committee, 1854-1858
QS5/4/3/: 1877 Prisons Act Committee, 1877-1878
QS5/4/4/: The White Lion County Gaol, Southwark: Title Deeds, 1536-1774
QS5/4/5/: Papers Relating To The Acquisition, Development And Disposal Of The County Gaols And Sessions House, 1790-1890
QS5/4/6/: Plans Of County Gaols And Sessions House, 1818-1885
QS5/4/7/: Administration Of County Gaols, 1798-1878
QS5/4a: Reformatories And Industrial Schools, 1865-1884
QS5/5/: Private Asylums, 1774-1933
QS5/6/: County Asylums, 1838-1889
QS5/6/1/: Springfield Asylum, Wandsworth
QS5/6/2/: Brookwood Asylum, Woking
QS5/6/3/: Cane Hill Asylum, Coulsdon
QS5/6a/: Institutions For Mental Defectives, 1914-1960
QS5/7/: Records Relating To County Bridges And Other County Property, 1743-1887
QS5/8: Highway Proceedings From 1784
QS5/8a: Highway Repair Adjudications, 1805-1826
QS5/8b/: Creation Of Highway Districts And Proceedings Relating To Highway Boards, 1862-1888
QS5/8b/1/: Creation Of Highway Districts Under 1862 Highways Act And Relating Proceedings To 1879
QS5/8b/2/: Highways Committee And Proceedings Under Highways And Locomotives (Amendment) Act 1878, 1879-1889
QS5/9/: Inquisitions Into Compensation Payable For Lands Etc Needed For Public Undertakings, 1769-1893
QS5/9a/: Proceedings Under The 1774 Building Act, 1801-1845
QS5/9b/: Deserted Premises Proceedings, 1789-1867
QS5/10/: Licensing Of Premises Selling Intoxicating Liquor, 1785-1935
QS5/11/: Licensing Of Places Of Public Entertainment, 1882-1889
QS5/11a/: Slaughter House Licensing, 1802-1844
QS5/12/: Race Course Licensing, 1879-1881
QS5/13/: Weights And Measures, 1800-1887
QS5/14/: Control Of Infectious Diseases In Animals, 1866-1888
QS5/15/: Papers Of Clerk Of The Peace, 1807-1971
QS5/16/: County Rates And General Finance And Papers Of County Treasurer, 1708-1893
QS5/17/: Coroner, 1852-1889
QS6/- & 7/-: Registration, Depository, And Enrollment
QS6/1/: Records Of Charities, 1812-1888
QS6/2/: Canals And Inland Waterways, 1795-1807
QS6/3/: Turnpike Roads And Other Public Companies: Accounts And Returns, 1820-1971
QS6/4/: Inclosure Awards, 1799-1906
QS6/5/: Freemasons’ Returns, 1799-1915
QS6/6/: Deputations To Gamekeepers And Game Certificates, 1789-1940
QS6/7/: Land Tax Assessment Books, 1780-1832
QS6/7a/: Electoral Registers, 1832-1889
QS6/8/: Plans Of Public Undertakings, Acts Of Parliament Etc, 1789-1982
QS6/9: Friendly Societies, Loan Societies And Building Societies, 1794-1909
QS6/10/: Savings Banks, 1844
QS6/11/: Scientific And Literary Societies, 1887-1947
QS6/12/: Registration Of The Estates Of Roman Catholics, 1717-1718
QS6/13/: Certificates Of Protestant Dissenting And Roman Catholic Places Of Worship, 1786-1853
QS6/14/: Notices Of Printing Presses, 1799-1881
QS7/1/: Enrolment Book, 1772-1889
QS7/2/: Memorials Of Annuities Or Rentcharges, 1780-1870
QS7/3/: Conveyances By Turnpike Trustees, 1758-1815
QS7/4/: Agreements For Enclosure Of Commons For Preservation Of Timber, 1764-1818
QS7/5/: Certificates Of Commissioners Of Inland Revenue, 1861-1941
QS7/6/: Enrollments Under Local Acts, 1756-1844
QS7/7/: Appointments And Oaths On Taking Office Of Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs And Returning Officers, 1823-1971; Quietus, 1653, 1817
QS8/: Clerk To The Lieutenancy
QS8/1: Clerk To The Lieutenancy Papers Relating To Militia From 1852

The Assize records are at:

The National Archives
Ruskin Avenue
Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU.
Telephone 020 8876 344.


Kingston and Guildford Boroughs held their own Sessions of the Peace. Surrey History Centre holds the Guildford Borough Sessions records.

For details of surviving Kingston Borough records contact:

The Kingston Borough Archivist
Kingston Local History Room and Archives
North Kingston Centre
Richmond Road
Kingston Upon Thames KT2 5PE.
Telephone 020 8547 6738.

Click here to go to ther Kingston Local History Room and Archives website

Prison History comprises two datasets. The first, 19th Century Prisons, is a database of institutions used to confine those accused and convicted of crime in England between 1800 and 1899. The second, Local Lock-Ups, is a public engagement project which asks members of the public to contribute details of structures that they know existed in their community which were used to restrain temporarily those accused of crime.

BlackSheepAncestors.com has genealogical prison records for the UK.

6 thoughts on “Quarter Sessions and Assize Records”

  1. Peter Godfrey says:

    Is it possible to access the Surrey Assizes trial records for convict trials in the early 19th century?

    1. Raymond Hay says:

      Peter have you tried ancestry England & Wales Criminal Registers 1791-1892. Regards Raymond H

  2. JS Turner says:

    Would these records provide the names of gamekeepers and the conditions of their employment, particularly those working at Windsor Great Park and others nearby,for the years 1820-1865?

  3. Tim Everson says:

    There are lovely published volumes for ‘Calendar of Assize: Surrey Indictments’ for the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. What about Charles I & II (and the Commonwealth)?

  4. Kelly CAMERON says:

    I would be grateful if someone can do a search in the Surrey Quarter Sessions records from 1830-1831 on Charles DUNCAN , as I am researching information about him as he is my 3rd great grandfather whom was tried for felony and his sentence was prison for 1 month and whipping ( this is my brickwall ).
    However I have copied records stating that he was again tried for Larceny (stealing cheese) in 1831, Surrey Quarter Sessions, which he was exported on the convict ship CLYDE for 7 years bound for NSW, Australia.
    If any records relating to him, may I have a copy for my personal record keeping and can you please state what prison he was placed in.
    Thank you!

  5. Marjie Grady says:

    Hello Kelly. How awful that Charles Duncan was sent to the other side of the world for stealing cheese, effectively, a life sentence. I hope your family can still enjoy eating cheese. My great, great grandfather was also transported for 7 years to Tasmania on the Clyde, but in 1830. He had passed a forged coin. What harsh times they lived in. I hope found the information you asked for. Have you you any chance found out where the Surrey Quarter Sessions court building is/was. Cheers

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