Lower Court Records



This alphabetical index has been created from the Record of cases heard in Petty Sessions at the township of Sorell between 1847 and 1866 and is published by Hobart Branch in two books.  The original three volumes are available on film at the Archives Office of Tasmania (Reference LC 484/1-3). It should be noted that while the records for the period January 1847 October 1862 appear to be complete, there are then no further entries until July and December 1864, with one further sitting on 1 January 1866.  No Petty Session cases were recorded at Sorell in 1863 or 1865.

Our index not only lists everyone named as an accused person, it also includes the names of their employers (where applicable), local constables, all witnesses, any other people mentioned in the statements before the court, local hotels and inns, and the judiciary i.e. Assistant Police Magistrates, Justices of the Peace and, in the 1860s, other local, respectable gentlemen appointed to the task.  Some offenders were before the court on many occasions and consequently have numerous references in the index.  Many crimes were of a minor nature eg bad language, disobedience to an employer, drunkenness etc. but other more serious offences include absconding, larceny, damage to property and common assault.