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Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Petty Sessions Records

 The Petty Sessions Archives for each division include some or all of the following types of record. Please note that the coverage varies by area, with some divisions having a more comprehensive set of records than others:

1) Minute Books

2) Registers of Defendants & Cases

3) Summary Conviction Returns

4) Returns of Convictions

5) Bastardy orders and agreements

6) Monthly returns of fines and penalties

7) Juvenile Court Registers

8) Registers of Licences

9) Registers of Clubs

10) Registers of Explosives

11) Registers of Alehouse Licences

12) Security (Surety) Registers

13) Case Committee Minute Books

14) Probation Officer’s Registers of Offenders (from 1940)

Details of exactly what we hold can be found by searching our catalogues for reference PS.

Please note: Access to records less than 100 years old is likely to be restricted due to data protection legislation. 

PSA1-1 Ampthill minutes


The Ampthill Petty Sessions minutes include details of a riot in Millbrook and Lidlington in 1835 [ref.PSA1/1]

Using the minute books and court registers can be tricky as not all of them are indexed by name of defendant. The level of detail is usually quite brief. If you have a date and place of conviction local newspapers such as the Bedfordshire Times and Bedfordshire Mercury are likely to give more detail about the case.