Last updated:

August 2, 2017

What do I need to know?

  • the name of the accused, and
  • the year the accused was or was to be tried.

How do I search?

Type in the name of the prisoner and the year they were on trial.

About these records

These records consist of the documentation created by the state to prosecute individuals committed for trial on serious charges known as indictable or capital offenses between 1841 and 1865. 

Indictable offences are the criminal offences that are prosecuted in the Supreme Court and the County Court (prior to 1969 called the Court of General Sessions). Capital cases may have resulted in the prisoner being hanged.

 

Next Steps

Once you have found records of interest to you, order them online and then view in our Reading room.

What are in these records?

For each case you will find an accumulation of documentation.  The range of specific documents found in and the consequent size of this accumulation will vary from case to case.  

Criminal trial brief registers:

  • name of prisoner
  • criminal case number
  • offence
  • date of offence
  • witnesses
  • trial date
  • judge
  • verdict
  • sentence.

Criminal trial briefs:

  • original depositions
  • witness statements (known as depositions) made during the committal hearing and signed by the witness
  • witness recognisances
  • statement of the accused (if made)
  • bail documentation (if granted)
  • evidence tendered, including documents, very small sized items and, increasingly from the 1920s, photographs
  • inquest deposition file for the victim (murder or manslaughter).
  • prosecutor’s brief (although these were culled from most of the documentation for cases currently available for public inspection.) 

Transcripts are rarely, if ever, found in 19th and early 20th Century trial briefs.  These appear more frequently in cases from the middle of the 20th Century.