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Understanding Presentments

Some or all of the presentments may be written in Latin. They are written in the form in which the jury would read them out. Constables presentments, written on scraps of paper were a presentment of a particular offence in a particular parish, usually concerned with deficiencies in rent collection or bastardy, which were presented to the Head Constable. If a parish constable had no presentment to make he reported 'omnia bene' [all is well].

Examples of presentments:

Ref. QSR1729/136

The Presentment of the Constables of Pulloxhill Jan 6th 1728. We present John Rainsden for keeping an unlicensed alehouse in the parish of Pulloxhill and to the rest of our articles to the rest of our articles omnia bene. Richard Carter, Constable

Ref. QSR1731/112

Presentment of the Constables of the Parish of Ampthill in the Hundred of Redbournestoke in the County of Bedford made this 12th day of July 1731 at Petty sessions kept for the said hundred.

We have had no bloodshed, outcryes nor affrayes, we have executed all warrants to us directed. We have no unlicensed or disorderly alehouses kept in our said parish, nor destroyers of game contrary to law therein, and as to all other articles contained in our oath we present omnia bene. William Wildman, Constable.