The first Bench of Magistrates was convened in Sydney on 19 February 1788. By 1800 sittings were held regularly in Parramatta and the Hawkesbury district, and the use of magisterial proceedings had become widespread in the Colony by the 1820s. As settlement spread during the squatting era, magistrates and their clerks performed an increasingly wide range of judicial and administrative functions, particularly in more remote areas.
Information includes surname, name, charge/nature of document, date, number and remarks. Hearings reflecting the Bench's other functions are also noted. These include setting the price of bread, issuing and cancelling publicans' licences, swearing in constables and controlling the market.
- Record series in the index: NRS 3397
- Entries in the index: 3000+
About the entries
Please note that some records are very difficult to decipher. Names followed by a (?) indicate an illegible entry or one in which the name could not be read clearly enough to make a positive identification.
Where it has been identified the profession of the defendant is listed in the 'Remarks' column. For example: Assistant Surgeon, Blacksmith, Baker, Mariner, and Prisoner. If more than one person is involved in a crime their details have been listed in the index separately. There is only one person listed per entry in the index. Often there is a cross reference to another trial of the same person in the 'Remarks' column. This usually occurs when there has been a repeat offence.
- Search the catalogue under the location of the court e.g. 'Parramatta Court of Petty Sessions'