Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

30/8/2012

How to search for High Court criminal trials

How to search for High Court criminal trials

The National Archives of Scotland (NAS) have catalogued and indexed all criminal trials held in the High Court of Justiciary between the years 1800-1994. High Court trials are heard before a judge sitting with a jury (15 persons) and are known as Solemn trials. The court sits permanently in Edinburgh and travels on circuit around Scotland. As Scotland’s supreme criminal court, cases heard before the High Court tend to be for crimes such as murder, rape, treason and other serious offences. In the 19th century repeat offenders, or persons deemed criminals ‘by habit and repute’, could be tried there for lesser crimes such as theft, or housebreaking (burglary in England & Wales). During the first half of that century many convictions for such offences ended with a sentence of transportation. For more advice on this, go to our guide on crime and criminals. for more click here

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