Convicts: Bound for Australia

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Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Assize Courts, 1775-1853

How to use Assize Courts, 1775-1853

Only in the Library You can use Assize Courts, 1775-1853 when in the Mitchell Library. Can't come to the Library? Contact us.

How to find out about a convict's crime and trial

We only hold Assize Courts records for Lancashire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire. The type of information in the records varies from county to county.

Search these records if you know your convict was tried at one of the below Assize courts.

Ask at the Special Collections desk in the Mitchell Library to view the records.

Lancashire (1819-1842)

Find the convict's name, details of their crime and place of transportation in these records. The records cover orders for death sentences to be reduced to transportation. See microfilm reel number M2802.

Oxfordshire (1775-1853)

Search calendars of prisoners tried at Oxfordshire Assizes and Quarter Sessions. You can find the convict’s name, details of their crime, sentence and date of committal or execution. See microfilm reel numbers M1638-1639.

The Oxfordshire records do not have an index. For more details of the contents of the reels M1638-M1639 see Micro Ref book 2.3/249.

Shropshire (1786-1845)

Find calendars of prisoners at Shrewsbury Gaol who were tried at the Assizes and Quarter Sessions. You can find the convict's name, date committed and crime. Sometimes the convict's age and sentence are included. See microfilm reel numbers M2021-2023.

The Shropshire records do not have an index.

Staffordshire (1777-1843)

Search calendars of prisoners tried at the Staffordshire Assize Court. Find the convict's name, age, their crime, whether they were charged, committed or condemned and the date committed. Sometimes they mention if a prisoner will be transported or imprisoned. See microfilm reel number CY Reel 1085.



What are assizes?

Assizes, or Courts of Assize, were periodical courts held across England and Wales for both civil and criminal cases.

They were held during Lent and Summer.

More help

Use the Criminal trials in the assize courts 1559-1971 research guide developed by The National Archives (UK) for help with Assize Court records.

The majority of the Assize Court records are held at The National Archives (UK). Use Tracing your ancestors in the National Archives to find where the records are held at The National Archives (UK).