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Records of the Stratford-upon-Avon Borough Sessions


The charter of 1553 named the bailiff and chief alderman Justices of the Peace. Although they had no powers to hold Quarter Sessions, counsel's opinion when taken was favourable and from 1602 Quarter Sessions were held before the bailiff and chief alderman plus a jury made up of the Common Council The charter of 1610 named the Recorder, Bailiff and Chief Alderman as Justices of the Peace with the right to hold Quarter Sessions in the borough and their jurisdiction extended over Old Stratford. The 1664 charter increased the number of Justices to five and the town clerk or his deputy was to join them in holding sessions; the mayor, town clerk or deputy to be of the quorum The concurrent jurisdiction of the County Sessions at Warwick, established at least by 1680, took away much of the usefulness of the Borough Sessions, and the records from 1745 frequently note that the proceedings were adjourned for lack of business. From 1817 only the Michaelmas Sessions were held