Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia: (Records Of) Fines, Examination of Criminals, Trials of Slaves, Etc. from March 1710 (1711) to (1754), (Richmond County, Virginia)

Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia: (Records Of) Fines, Examination of Criminals, Trials of Slaves, Etc. from March 1710 (1711) to (1754), (Richmond County, Virginia)

Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia: (Records Of) Fines, Examination of Criminals, Trials of Slaves, Etc. from March 1710 (1711) to (1754), (Richmond County, Virginia)

Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia: (Records Of) Fines, Examination of Criminals, Trials of Slaves, Etc. from March 1710 (1711) to (1754), (Richmond County, Virginia)

Excerpt

In 1710 the Virginia House of Burgesses informed the clerks of Virginia's county courts: "For the better and more regular prosecution and determination of all Causes in the said County Courts . . . and for the preservation of the Records thereof. . . . That all Proceedings and Judgments in Pleas of the Crown, for Fines and Forfeitures, and in other matters relating to Her Majesty's Revenues, be recorded in particular Books set apart for that purpose." In Richmond County, as elsewhere before the statute, serious crimes against the person and against property had been set down in county court order books (ROB), sandwiched among far more voluminous entries of civil actions, probate administration, enumerations of taxable property, internal court business, and petty morals offenses. Records of oyer and terminer tribunals called to try slaves accused of serious crime, according to the statute of 1692 (see below pp. xlv-xlvi), had been entered in the ROB as "memoranda" at the end of the regular county court records for the appropriate month. Sessions of "examining courts" held to investigate felonies suspected of free persons (see pp. xxxv-xliv) were inserted in the ROB when they occurred. Examining court hearings were usually introduced with the phrase "A Court held at . . . for the examination of the prisoners apprehended." In addition, before the 1710 statute some depositions in felony cases appeared in the Miscellaneous Records books.

To Sir Marmaduke Beckwith, Baronet, English-born and educated clerk of all the courts in Richmond County, Virginia, the 1710 directive was plain. From . . .

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