Jury Lists

Just like today, the criminal element in our ancestors’ society were generally tried before a judge and jury. Unlike today, you had to be of sufficient character (ie of sufficient financial worth!) to be eligible to serve on a jury.

Eligibility depended on the annual value of the freehold land or property you owned – and naturally you had to be male and between the ages of 21 and 70. From 1664 the value was £20 which was apparently sufficient to restrict jury duty to a “better class” of men (although £80 per annum was required in order to serve on a Grand Jury). Unfortunately this minimum meant the prospective pool of jurors was a bit small, so in 1692 it was altered to £10. In 1732 the Act For The Better Regulation of Juries also included for the first time those with leasehold property of £20 per annum. These two limits were retained in the Juries Acts of 1825 and 1870 and on into the 20th century when the property qualification was officially abolished altogether in 1972.

Lists of those residents meeting the above criteria had to be prepared each year by the local constable and delivered to the courts each Michaelmas. There were two separate courts that used these jury lists, the Assize courts for more serious crimes (held twice a year at Lent and Summer) and the Courts of Quarter Sessions for minor crimes and other administrative matters (held four times a year at Epiphany, Easter, Midsummer and Michaelmas). There were also Petty Sessions for very minor crimes which could be dealt with by a magistrate rather than a jury. For Buckinghamshire the Lent assizes (plus all quarter sessions) were held at Aylesbury while the Summer assizes (from 1758) were held at Buckingham.

Of course, being on the jury list didn’t mean you would necessarily be called to serve. Some of the jury lists do have extra notations which appear to record when the individual did in fact serve.

If you don’t find any of your ancestors below, perhaps you’ll have more luck with my compilation of Wing criminals and their colourful stories!

William ADAMS and William PEELE, jurors in a case against the inhabitants of Middle and East Cleydon – sometime 1705-1712

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 5 Oct 1769: Thomas ADAMS gent, Henry WOODMAN junr, Thomas HELEY, Richard BARTON, Francis COLES

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 8 Oct 1778: Robert ADAMS, Francis COLES, William TOFFIELD, Francis SAYELL, Edward BROMSON, John MORTIMER, Richard BARTON, William HEELEY, Henry WOODMAN, William LOCK

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 10 Oct 1782: John MORTIMER, Robert ADAMS, Francis SAYELL, Edward BROMSON, Richard BARTON, William HEELEY, Thomas HEELEY chief const, William LOCK

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury at Aylesbury for 1784: Robt ADAMS yeoman, William SCOTT labr, Thos HELEY victlr, Willm HELEY yeoman, Richd BARTON yeoman, Edward BROMSON yeoman, Francis SAYELL yeoman, John MORTIMER yeoman, Thos WOODMAN Sr yeoman, Thos WOODMAN Jr yeoman, Willm LOCK blacksmith

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 6 Oct 1785: Robert ADAMS, William SCOTT, Thos HELEY, William HELEY, Joseph MORTIMER, Richard BARTON, William LOCK, Edward BROMSON, Fras SAYELL, Thos WOODMAN junr, Thos WOODMAN senr

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 5 Oct 1786: Robert ADAMS, Francis SAYELL, Edward BROMSON, Thomas WOODMAN senr, Thomas WOODMAN junr, Joseph MORTIMER, William HELEY, Thomas HELEY, Richard BARTON, William LOCKE, William SCOTT

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 8 Oct 1789:

  Robert ADAMS Farmer Eas 88
NP LA 1790 William SCOTT do Mic 87
  Francis SAYELL do Eas 88
  Edward BROMSON Dairyman NP sa 89
  Thomas WOODMAN senr Farmer Mic 89
  Thomas HELEY Victualler  
NP LA 1790 William HELEY Farmer CJ LA 87
  Thomas MORTIMER Dairyman (infirm)  
NP LA 1790 William GRIFFIN Gent  
  William LOCK Blacksmith Mic 89

[LA = Lent Assizes; SA = Summer Assizes; Eas = Easter; Mic(h) = Michaelmas; CJ = Crown Jury]

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 7 Oct 1790

CJ LA 1791 Robert ADAMS Eas 88
CJ LA 1791 Francis SAYELL do
  Edward BROMSON NP SA 89
  Thomas HELEY  
CJ LA 1791 Joseph MORTIMOR  
  William GRIFFIN NP LA 90
  William LOCK Mic 89
  Thomas WOODMAN Senr do
CJ LA 1791 Thomas WOODMAN Junr  
  William HELEY NP LA 1790

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 6 Oct 1791:

  Robert ADAMS Yeoman LA 91
Midr 1792 William SCOTT Yeoman  
  Francis SAYELL Dairyman LA 91
Edward BROMSON Dairyman  
William LOCK Blacksmith  
  Thomas HELEY Innholder LA 90
Thomas WOODMAN Senr Yeoman  
  Thomas WOODMAN Junr Yeoman LA 91
  William GRIFFIN Yeoman LA 90

[Mid(r) = Midsummer]

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 4 Oct 1792:

Robert ADAMS Farmer LA 91
Francis SAYELL Dairyman do
Thomas HELEY Victualler do 90
William LOCK Blacksmith Mid 92
William GRIFFIN Yeoman LA 90

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 10 Oct 1793:

CJ LA 94 Robert ADAMS Farmer LA 91
CJ LA 94 Francis SAYELL Dairyman do
  Thomas HELEY Victualler do 90
  William LOCK Blacksmith Mid 92
CJ LA 94 William GRIFFIN Yeoman LA 90

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 9 Oct 1794:

Robert ADAMS Farmer CJ SA 94
Francis SAYELL Dairyman CJ SA 94
Thomas HELEY Victualler (very infirm) (Dr de Salis – he may not be summoned) LA 90
William LOCK Blacksmith Mid 92 Mic 95
William GRIFFIN Yeoman CJ LA 94
Daniel ELLIOTT Dairyman Mich 1795

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 8 Oct 1795: Robert ADAMS farmer, William HELEY farmer, Thomas ELLIOTT farmer, William GRIFFIN yeoman, William LOCK blacksmith, Francis SAYELL farmer, Thomas WOODMAN farmer, Daniel ELLIOTT farmer, John WILLISON farmer

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 6 Oct 1796:

Robt ADAMS Farmer  
Fras SALE Dairyman  
Danl ELLIOTT do Mic 95
Thos ELLIOTT Farmer  
John WOOD Publican  
Wm WINDMILL do  
Wm LOCK Blacksmith Mic 95
Thos WOODMAN Senr Farmer  
John WILLISON do  
Thos WOODMAN Junr do  
Wm GRIFFIN Yeoman  
Wm HELEY do  

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 5 Oct 1797:

NP LA 97 Robert ADAMS Farmer
NP LA 97 Francis SAYELL Dairyman
  Danl ELLIOTT do
  John MORTIMER do
GJ Eas 97 John WILLISON Farmer
Mich 98 Wm LOCK Blacksmith
CJ LA 97 Wm GRIFFIN Yeoman
Mich 98 Stephen SHIRLEY Dairyman
GJ Eas 97 Willm WINDMILL Innkeeper

[GJ = Grand Jury]

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 4 Oct 1798:

Mich 99 John HART Carpenter
Mics 98 Stephen SHIRLEY Dairyman
CJ LA 97 William GRIFFIN Yeoman
do Robert ADAMS Farmer
[Mich] 99 Daniel ELLIOTT Dairyman
[Mich] 99 John WALTER Dairyman
[Mic] 98 William LOCK Blacksmith
[G]J Eas 97 John WILLISON Farmer
Mich 99 William HELEY do
GJ Eas 97 William WINDMILL Publican
Mich 99 Thomas ELLIOTT Farmer
Mich 99 William BONE Publican
Mich 99 John WOOD Farmer

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 10 Oct 1799:

Mich 98 Stephen SHIRLEY Dairyman
Mich 99 Danl ELLIOTT do
Mich 99 John HART Carpenter
do Thos ELLIOTT Yeoman
Mich 98 Wm LOCK Blacksmith
Mich 99 John WOOD Farmer
Mich 98 Wm HELEY Senr do
  John WILLISON do
  Wm HELEY Junr Yeoman
Mich 99 John WALTER Farmer
do Wm BONE Victualler
  Wm WINDMILL do
  Robt ADAMS Farmer

A List of all persons qualified to serve on the Jury 9 Oct 1800:

Mid 1801 Robert ADAMS Farmer
Mic 99 John WALTER do
do Daniel ELLIOTT do
do Thomas ELLIOTT Yeoman
  William WINDMILL Victualler
Mic 99 William BONE do
do William HELEY Farmer
do John HART do
  William LOCK Blacksmith
Mid 1801 Stephen SHIRLEY Farmer
Mic 1801 John WILLISON do

Return of men qualified to serve on Juries 1826: Thomas ADAMS farmer of Burcott copyhold, Thomas BRANDOM blacksmith of Ascott copyhold, Francis CAPP carpenter of Wing copyhold, William COLLINS farmer of Crafton poor rate, Willliam ELLIOTT farmer of Old Park copyhold, Robert ELLIOTT farmer of Old Park poor rate, Richard FOUNTAINE farmer of Wingberry poor rate, William HELEY maltster of Wing copyhold, Henry HELEY farmer of Wing poor rate, William HART farmer of Wing Field free and copy hold, Thomas HART farmer of Ascott Field poor rate, Joseph LUCK farmer of Crafton copyhold, William MORTIMER innkeeper of Wing freehold, John PRENTICE farmer of Ascott Field poor rate, Thomas REYNOLDS farmer of Wing copyhold, George ROADS farmer of Cottesloe poor rate, William ROSE farmer of Tinkersole freehold, George TOFFIELD farmer of Cottesloe poor rate, Thomas & John WOOD farmers of Burcott poor rate, William WYATT farmer of Burcott Lodge poor rate, William WOODMAN jr farmer of Crafton poor rate, Thomas WOOODMAN farmer of Crafton poor rate