Excerpt from Abstract of the Orders Made by the Court of Quarter Sessions for Shropshire: January, 1638-May, 1660; October, 1652-October, 1659
N the Preface to the Abstract of the Orders of the Court of Quarter Sessions for the years 1709 - 1726 (being No. 2 of the County Record Publications), it was implied that the Volume then under review contained the earliest Orders of Q' the Court now extant. Early in 1904, however, laid away amongst other papers at the Shirehall, were discovered I3 3; ms. Volumes of Orders dealing with the business of the Court 5' from 1638 to I743. These volumes are for the most part simply sheets of ms. Tacked together, but some 6 out of the I3 volumes have been bound in some fashion, two or 43 three of them. In parchment. Speaking generally they are badly written and give the impression of being the notes made by a Clerk in Court, from which the official orders were to be written up at leisure it will be noticed that in point of time they considerably overlap the folio volumes already abstracted. The present publication deals with the first two volumes of the I3. No. I is bound in parch ment, is carefully written, with frequent intervals of blank pages; No. 2 consists of sheets of ms. Loosely tacked together, and the writing is careless, often bad. Where the two volumes deal with the same Sessions, as they often do, an entry is not as a rule to be found in both volumes, but there are instances to the contrary. On the whole, I believe that No. 2 contains rough notes which it was intended to copy into No. I, although some matters, chosen on no very definite principle, were placed in No. I at first hand. Mr. W. Phillips has dealt with No. 2 volume, whilst I have to thank Miss Rouse Boughton of the Abbey House for her valuable aid in deciphering much of the writing in No. I.iv.
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