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 ADAMSFarmerEas 88
NP LA 1790William SCOTTdoMic 87
 Francis SAYELLdoEas 88
 Edward BROMSONDairymanNP sa 89
 Thomas WOODMAN senrFarmerMic 89
 Thomas HELEYVictualler 
NP LA 1790William HELEYFarmerCJ LA 87
 Thomas MORTIMERDairyman (infirm) 
NP LA 1790William GRIFFINGent 
 William LOCKBlacksmithMic 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 1791Robert ADAMSEas 88
CJ LA 1791Francis SAYELLdo
 Edward BROMSONNP SA 89
 Thomas HELEY 
CJ LA 1791Joseph MORTIMOR 
 William GRIFFINNP LA 90
 William LOCKMic 89
 Thomas WOODMAN Senrdo
CJ LA 1791Thomas WOODMAN Junr 
 William HELEYNP LA 1790

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

 Robert ADAMSYeomanLA 91
Midr 1792William SCOTTYeoman 
 Francis SAYELLDairymanLA 91
Edward BROMSONDairyman 
William LOCKBlacksmith 
 Thomas HELEYInnholderLA 90
Thomas WOODMAN SenrYeoman 
 Thomas WOODMAN JunrYeomanLA 91
 William GRIFFINYeomanLA 90

[Mid(r) = Midsummer]

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

Robert ADAMSFarmerLA 91
Francis SAYELLDairymando
Thomas HELEYVictuallerdo 90
William LOCKBlacksmithMid 92
William GRIFFINYeomanLA 90

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

CJ LA 94Robert ADAMSFarmerLA 91
CJ LA 94Francis SAYELLDairymando
 Thomas HELEYVictuallerdo 90
 William LOCKBlacksmithMid 92
CJ LA 94William GRIFFINYeomanLA 90

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

Robert ADAMSFarmerCJ SA 94
Francis SAYELLDairymanCJ SA 94
Thomas HELEYVictualler (very infirm) (Dr de Salis – he may not be summoned)LA 90
William LOCKBlacksmithMid 92 Mic 95
William GRIFFINYeomanCJ LA 94
Daniel ELLIOTTDairymanMich 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 ADAMSFarmer 
Fras SALEDairyman 
Danl ELLIOTTdoMic 95
Thos ELLIOTTFarmer 
John WOODPublican 
Wm WINDMILLdo 
Wm LOCKBlacksmithMic 95
Thos WOODMAN SenrFarmer 
John WILLISONdo 
Thos WOODMAN Junrdo 
Wm GRIFFINYeoman 
Wm HELEYdo 

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

NP LA 97Robert ADAMSFarmer
NP LA 97Francis SAYELLDairyman
 Danl ELLIOTTdo
 John MORTIMERdo
GJ Eas 97John WILLISONFarmer
Mich 98Wm LOCKBlacksmith
CJ LA 97Wm GRIFFINYeoman
Mich 98Stephen SHIRLEYDairyman
GJ Eas 97Willm WINDMILLInnkeeper

[GJ = Grand Jury]

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

Mich 99John HARTCarpenter
Mics 98Stephen SHIRLEYDairyman
CJ LA 97William GRIFFINYeoman
doRobert ADAMSFarmer
[Mich] 99Daniel ELLIOTTDairyman
[Mich] 99John WALTERDairyman
[Mic] 98William LOCKBlacksmith
[G]J Eas 97John WILLISONFarmer
Mich 99William HELEYdo
GJ Eas 97William WINDMILLPublican
Mich 99Thomas ELLIOTTFarmer
Mich 99William BONEPublican
Mich 99John WOODFarmer

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

Mich 98Stephen SHIRLEYDairyman
Mich 99Danl ELLIOTTdo
Mich 99John HARTCarpenter
doThos ELLIOTTYeoman
Mich 98Wm LOCKBlacksmith
Mich 99John WOODFarmer
Mich 98Wm HELEY Senrdo
 John WILLISONdo
 Wm HELEY JunrYeoman
Mich 99John WALTERFarmer
doWm BONEVictualler
 Wm WINDMILLdo
 Robt ADAMSFarmer

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

Mid 1801Robert ADAMSFarmer
Mic 99John WALTERdo
doDaniel ELLIOTTdo
doThomas ELLIOTTYeoman
 William WINDMILLVictualler
Mic 99William BONEdo
doWilliam HELEYFarmer
doJohn HARTdo
 William LOCKBlacksmith
Mid 1801Stephen SHIRLEYFarmer
Mic 1801John WILLISONdo

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