Quarter Sessions Records:

The records of Quarter Sessions are the oldest and main collections of public records belonging to the historic counties of England and Wales. Their existence has led to the creation of county record offices, though this often overlooked by genealogists who use them in their frequent dual role of diocesan record offices, with holding of parish and probate records. (Gibson Guide). Until the sixteenth century, many manorial courts exercised jurisdiction in cases of petty theft, affray, drunkenness, and other minor offences, but from the fourteenth century until 1971 quarter sessions, held in each county by lay justices of the peace, were the main courts at which minor crimes were tried and at which major crimes were heard in the first instance. The courts usually meet quarterly (hence the name) around Epiphany, Easter, Midsummer and Michaelmas. The business of the courts encompassed three main areas: the determining of judicial cases; the administration of local government; and the statutory enrolment and registration of documents not otherwise directly related to the court. Justices were empowered to enforce national political, administrative and religious policy, the criminal law, taxation, rating, the poor law, maintenance of gaols, roads and bridges, regulation of wages, prices and alehouses and the hearing of petitions.

Cheshire Quarter Sessions

Appointments of Sheriffs and Undersheriff - ref. QDA/12/61

Thomas Henry Ismay of Dawpool. - date: 1892

Cumberland Quarter Sessions

1713 Easter petitions Q/11/1/107/17

Petition of Mary the wife of William Messenger of Parkgate p. Wigton - "a mentinance Out of the State, and not be troublesome to the Parish nor others". Her husband has lately returned after many years away, and has sold all his estates "both frehold and Tenenright" worth £300 of which £100 is yet to be paid, and "gone of[f]"; that he has ignored his wife and son, "but have Putt all his trust in his Brother", his purchaser; the said brother John has given her nothing, and has taken £140 from her, and kept the £100 outstanding. Certified by the signatures of the Vicar of Wigton and 13 parishioners including William Thomlinson, John Rook, Daniel Ismay, and 5 Wilsons.

1728 Easter petitions - ref. Q/11/1/149/2

Begins "To the Whorshipfull ...". Surnames include Senhouse, Rooke, Ker, Kay, Slack, Lightfoot, Hendrie, Saull, Hayton, Burges, Ismay, Selby, Watson, Askew.

1730 Easter petitions - ref. Q/11/1/159/18 date

Booker's certificate for same No. 17 large sheet, flamboyant hand; stolen at 4 a.m. on 1st August from James Ismay junior's grassing at "Corticall [Corkickle] near this Town"; belongs to "Thomas Huntington at Moor Whaite p. Wiggton"; "The Vallue of this Gelding: £4.0s.0d."; "Given in the 2nd at ½ an our past 9 Evining, To: Richard Taylor" signed. Headed "Whitehaven".

1746/7 Christmas Petitions Q/11/1/237/4

Petition of Joseph Ismay of Wigton - black bay gelding stolen; duly booked. Ordered £4

Printers' Registrations under the Seditious Societies Act 39 Geo.III. c 79. Repealed 32/3 Victoria, c. 24 - ref. QRS/2 - date: 2 November 1829

John Ismay, Wigton

Adult Conviction Book 1851 - 1900.                  LDS Film # 1,702,781, CRO Ref 3 Q9/7

Ref # 448                    15th April 1895

John Ismay for Larceny in stealing one counterpane of the value of 5/- the goods and chattels of one John Trimble:- Bound over in five pound for six months

Ref # 368                    19th August 1889

Joseph Ismay for Larceny in stealing a quantity of coal of the value of five pence the goods and chattels of Allendale Coal Company Ltd:- Fined One Pound plus eleven shillings costs or one month imprisonment.

Ref # 290                    1st November 1882

Joseph Ismay, Thomas Caverley, Jonothon Pool and John Ismay for Larceny in stealing one duck of the value of two shillings the goods and chattels of one Wilfred Harris:- Fined eighteen shillings each plus costs of one pound two shillings in default four months imprisonment.

Ref # 128                    28th September 1869

Margaret Ismay for Larceny in stealing a five pound note and fourteen shillings and six pennies in copper the monie of one Joseph Longrigg:- Three calendar months imprisonment.

Ref # 96                      4th March 1867

Thomas Ismay for Larceny in stealing one spade the property of the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway Company:- Lockup at Cockermouth for space of 24 hours

Ref # 76                      6th March 1865

Mary Ismay for Larceny in stealing 3 1/2 lbs of bacon, 2 1/2 ibs of butter one pot of preserves and a window blind the property of Issaac Parke:- 2 Calendar Months

Conviction Book  1876 - 1891  CRO Ref # Q/4/9 to 11

Easter Session 1882

21st June 1882

James Ismay for cruelty to animals:- Fined six shillings plus costs of ten shillings and six pence.

19th April 1882

John Ismay for cruelty to animals:- Fined four shillings and six pence plus costs of ten shillings and six pence.

Juvenile Offenders Book 1862 - 1911

No Ismays recorded

Return of Felons 1850 - 1893

No Ismays

Return of Persons committed for Trial with Verdict 1830 - 1839

No Ismays

Return of Persons committed for Trial with Verdict 1839 - 1850

Michaelmas Session 1847




If Tried Sentence or Acquittal

George Milhouse
Joseph Ismay



3 Calendar Months Imprisonment each with Hard Labour

Appeal Entry Book 1825 - 1927

No Ismays

Abstract Books CQ 3/1-6 (1747 – 1864)

John Ismay and another Ref “ 339 Q3-Q4

Thomas Ismay Ref 68 Q3-4

Lancashire Quarter Sessions

Manchester: Midsummer 1879 - ref. QSP/4059/41

Bill of costs of prosecution of William Ismay for larceny and receiving

Manchester: December 1881 - ref. QSP/4116/35

Bill of costs of prosecution of William Ismay for larceny


England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892

The criminal registers are a listing of individuals charged with crime. The registers provide information about the charged individual, their trial, and sentence (if convicted) or other outcome. Information listed may include:

·           Name of criminal

·           Age

·           Birthplace (not often listed after 1802)

·           Crime

·           When and where tried

·           Sentence (death, transportation, imprisonment, acquittal, etc.)

·           Where and when received

·           Date of execution or release

·           By whom committed, to whom delivered

Information obtained from these registers may be able to lead you to other records. For example, if you have a date and place of trial, you will know when and where to search for court records. Other criminal records to consult include:

·           Calendar of Prisoners

·           Prison Registers

·           Court records such as depositions, indictments, and case files

·           Warrants, including pardons, reprieves, and transfers of prisoners

·           Transportation records

For more information about these other records, where they’re located, and how to search them, consult The National Archives (TNA) online research guide publication, “Tracing 19th and 20th Century Criminals”, available at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk




Session Tried







Execution or Commuted Punishment


George Ismay

Carlisle City sessions

6 Apr 1835






No Guilty



John Ismay

October Sessions
Oct 1825




1 month





James Ismay

County Assizes
5th August 1847




1 month





Joseph Ismay

County Sessions
29th June 1847




3 months





James Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
Carlisle 1st July 1851

Felony in Receiving Stolen Goods



1 month





Joseph Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
18th October 1853

Housebreaking (Before convicted of Felony)



12 months





James Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
Carlisle  3rd Jan 1854

Horse Stealing (Before convicted of Felony)


4 years Penal Servitude






Mary Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
Carlisle 3rd July 1855

Larceny from the Person



3 months





William Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
5th January 1875

Breaking a warehouse and stealing therein



9 months





William Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
Lancaster 7th July 1879

Larceny before convicted of Felony



6 months &
2 years police supervision





William Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
30th November 1881

Larceny before convicted of Felony



12 months &
2 years police supervision





Mary Ismay

General Quarter Sessions
17th Oct 1888

Feloniously Receiving








City of London Sessions

15th October 1746

John Ismay

To the Right Honourable Sir Richard Hoare Knight Lord Mayor of the City of London and to the Rest of the Worshipfull the Aldermen his Brethren in their General Session of Gaol Delivery of Newgate for the City of London Assembled

The Humble Petition of John Surby


That on the Third Day of September One Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Six about Seven or Eight o'Clock in the afternoon of the Same Day Your Petitioner was Committed a Prisoner to the Poultry Compter on the Oath of John JesseJohn Ismay on a Strong Suspition of being Concerned with Nathaniel Miller in Negotiating a Bank Role for the Payment of Fifty Pounds which was Stollen out of the Western Mail on the Fourth of August last (the said Surby knowing the Same to be Stolen)
Your Petitioner Therefore humbly Craves the Right of the Habeas Corpus Act to beat this
Present Session of Gaol Delivery Tried
Bailed or Discharged
And Your Petitioner shall Pray Etc.

John Surby

13th September 1751

John Ismay

The King agt. Robert Derby

John Ismay of the General Post officer in the City of London Gentleman maketh Oath that the Offence with which Robert Derby Stands charged is for robbing the West Mail, on the 29th. of July 1751 And this Deponent further saith that he hath heard and verily believes that the said Robbery was committed on Blackwater Heath in the County of Surry .

Sworn at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey the 13th. Septr. 1751 . By the Court

John Ismay

Middlesex Sessions

1st October 1772

Joseph Ismay

Know all Men by these Presents That William Hughes of Bond Stables in the Liberty of the Rolls in the Countyof Middlesex Broker

have Remised Released and for ever quitt claimed and by these presents do Remise Release and for ever quitt claime unto Jonathan Ismay of the same Place Yeoman his Heirs Executors and Administrators all and all manner of Action and Actions Cause and Causes of Action Suits Bills Bonds Writings Obligatory Debts Dues Duties Accompts Sum and Sums of Money Judgments Executions Extents Quarrells Controversies Trespasses Damages and Demands whatsoever both in Law and Equity or otherwise howsoever which against the said Jonathan Ismay ever had and which I My Heirs Executors or Administrators shall or may hereafter have claim challenge or demand for or by reason or means of any Matter Cause on Thing Whatsoever from the beginning of the World unto the day of the date of the presents In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett any Hand and Seal the Twenty fourth Day of October in the Twelfth- year of the Reign of our Sovereign George the third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith And in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy two

Sealed and Delivered being first duly Stampt in the presence of Wm Hughes

Joseph Ismay
W: Johnston

1st October 1772

Joseph Ismay

Joseph Ismay of Chancery Lane London Watch Maker Maketh Oath that he was present and did See the within named William Hughes and Seal the General Release hereunto annexed And this Deponent saith that the Names William Johnston

Joseph Ismay

Jonathan Ismay

Isaac Ismay


Occupation/Status       FARMER