[Manuscript] The Court Book of the High Sheriff of Yorkshire [High Sheriff's Book]

[ Walter Hawkesworth, High Sheriff of Yorkshire ]
Publication details: 
1720 to 1721
SKU: 19034

50pp. used, 41 x 16cm, poor condition, surviving front cover (title "High Sheriff's Book") detached, gatherings partly detached. Most in Latin. One page only (November 1721) interpreted by scholar seems to be a record of the civil cases (names, dates, etc.) coming before the Sheriff, almost all concerning debt of relatively minor claims of damages. "However, since sheriff's county courts were at this period limited to jurisdiction over cases not exceeding 40 shillings, and the cases recorded here mention damages of 12 and 14 pounds (and one debt of 70 pounds), I am inclined to think it is actually a record of the sheriff's instructions to his bailiffs concerningcases heard at the Quarter Sessions. | Each entry provides the names of the parties, the amount of the debt or damages claimed, and, in the left margin, the relevant part of Yorkshire (Pontefract, Tickhill, Hallamshire, Richmondshire). There is usually a note about when the next action is to occur (quindene of St Martin, i.e. 25 November; octave of St Hilary, i.e. 20 January, etc.). | Althoiugh sheriff' own jurisdiction was very minor in the eitheenth century, they were still responsible for empanelling juries at the Quarter Sessions and Assizes, as well as executing write and sentences of these courts." In addition, there are extensive accounts, and a statement signed by Hawkesworth that £12.1s had been left in the Hands of "Mr Holmes", presuambly the Clerk or similar. Hawkesworth was apparently High Sheriff only in 1721 according to a google site but 1720 obviously crept in. He was an eminent Freemason, and died in 1735.