Our collections

Court records

We hold a range of court records from the courts of the six towns of Sandwell and also from Warley. 
  • Petty sessions, later magistrates court were courts at which two or more local justices would meet to deal with minor criminal cases and routine business that threatened to overwhelm the quarter session.
  • Quarter sessions were local courts which were held four times a year, presided over by a justice of the peace.
  • Coroner's courts were courts where a coroner would preside over an inquest, which is a judicial investigation into the circumstances people who have died in suspicious circumstances, a sudden or violent death, including abroad, or in the care of the local authority. These records may include medical records.
  • County court known as the 'small claims court' were not criminal courts, but  civil courts where people made claims for under £5,000.  IThe county court may also include bankcruptcy and other civil cases.

 Court records can include the following:

  • juvenile court, later youth court
  • adoption registers
  • adoption orders
  • domestic court, later family proceedings court
  • registers of licensed premices
  • registers of clubs
  • registers of music, dancing and singing
  • registers of cinematograph licences
  • licensing justice's plans
  • confirming and compensation committees
  • justice clerk's cashbook
  • probation officers registers of offenders
  • unfixed, fixed penalty fines
  • youth case information check list
  • driving licences received and endorsed
  • registers of store licenses under explosives act . 

The catalogues for these collections are currently available on the Black Country History website. 

Please note that there may be access restrictions for records that are less than 100 years old.

Please contact us for more information.