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Ceredigion Archives
Cardiganshire Petty Sessional and Magistrates Courts Records

Reference code(s): GB 0212 TPS and related

Held at: Ceredigion Archives

Title: Cardiganshire Petty Sessional and Magistrates Courts Records

Short Title: Cardiganshire Petty Sessional and Magistrates Courts Records

Creation date(s): 1861-1988

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: Information to be supplied

Name of creator(s): Aberaeron Petty Sessions Division; Aberystwyth Petty Sessions Division; Cardigan Petty Sessions Division; Rhydlewis Petty Sessions Division; Lower Troedyraur Petty Sessions Division; Tregaron Petty Sessions Division; Talybont Petty Sessions Division; Lampeter Petty Sessions Division; Llanbadarn Petty Sessions Division; Llandyssul Petty Sessions Division; Llanilar Petty Sessions Division; Cardiganshire Magistrates' Courts.


Administrative/Biographical history: Courts of Petty Sessions were introduced in the 18th century to alleviate the workload of the Courts of Quarter Sessions, which met only four times a year. Petty Sessions became increasingly formalised in the 19th century with more regular meetings and laws passed that required the keeping of records of the proceedings. The court was held before two or more magistrates but no jury. Petty Sessions dealt with minor cases such as drunkenness, poaching and vagrancy. More serious crimes were referred to either the Court of Quarter Sessions or Great Sessions (replaced by the Assize Courts in 1830). The creation of county councils in 1889 removed many of the administrative functions of the Petty Sessions. In 1971, the Petty and Quarter Sessions were replaced by Magistrates' and Crown Courts respectively. Following normal practice, the Petty Sessions in the county of Cardiganshire were subdivided into geographical divisions, with each magistrate being assigned to one division. These divisions were Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanbadarn, Llandyssul, Llanilar, Lower Troedyraur, Talybont and Tregaron. The Magistrates' Courts were held at Aberaeron, Cardigan and Aberystwyth.


Scope and content/abstract: Records relating to the Petty Sessional Divisions of Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Rhydlewis, Lower Troedyraur, Tregaron, Talybont, Lampeter, Llanbadarn, Llandyssul and Llanilar, Cardiganshire and successors, the Ceredigion Magistrates' Courts, 1861-1988, including minute books, 1861-1976; court registers, 1911-1985; police charge books, 1933-1960; registers of licenses, 1889-1978; registers of clubs, 1949-1962; registers of certificates granted for the keeping of explosives in registered premises, 1941-1961; registers of child adoption, 1934-1975; registers of store licences, 1930-1953; registers of registered premises, 1946-1951; registers of offenders, 1946-1960; poor prisoners defence list of cases, 1946-1970; records relating to fines and fees, 1915-1972; cash books, 1938-1976; postage books, 1948-1973; and applications for legal aid, 1970-1988.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: general; Aberystwyth, Aberaeron; Cardigan; Rhydlewis; Lower Troedyraur; Tregaron; Talybont; Lampeter; Llanbadarn; Llandyssul; Llanilar; and miscellaneous.

Conditions governing access: All material is restricted for a period of 30 years from the date of the final entry in any item. Registers of adoption are restricted for 75 years.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at Ceredigion Archives. The catalogue is available online.

Detailed catalogue

Language codes: eng


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained

Accruals: Accruals are not expected

Archival history: The records of Aberaeron Petty Sessions Division were previously deposited in the National Library of Wales.

Immediate source of acquisition: Part deposited by the Clerk to the former Cardiganshire County Council, 1974, 1976; part by the Clerk to the Magistrates, Aberaeron, Dyfed, 1979-1992; Aberystwyth Borough Petty Sessions minute books deposited by the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments, Aberystwyth, Dyfed, 1987; Aberaeron Petty Sessions division deposited by the Chief Executive of Ceredigion District Council, 1975; Aberaeron Petty Sessions division records transferred from the National Library of Wales, 1983; further records of Rhydlewis Petty Sessions division deposited by the County Information Officer per Carmarthenshire Record Office, 1985.



Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Ceredigion Archives online catalogue (, Petty Sessions, viewed 18 November 2003; Glamorgan Record Office website (, viewed 18 November 2003.

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2003

Great Britain. | Court of Petty Sessions (Cardiganshire) | Records and correspondence
Great Britain. | Magistrates' Courts (Ceredigion) | Records and correspondence

Personal names

Corporate names
Great Britain | Court of Petty Sessions (Cardiganshire). | Divisional Courts
Great Britain | Magistrates' Courts (Ceredigion)

Aberaeron (Wales)
Aberystwyth (Wales)
Cardigan (Wales)
Cardiganshire (Wales)
Dyfed (Wales)
Lampeter (Wales)
Llanbadarn Fawr (Ceredigion, Wales)
Llandysul (Ceredigion, Wales)
Llanilar (Wales)
Rhydlewis (Wales)
Tal-y-bont (Ceredigion, Wales)
Tregaron (Wales)
Troedyraur (Wales)

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