SIGN UP

Help with criminal records

Avatar Image
echokilo | 19:30 Sun 30th Jan 2011 | Genealogy
8 Answers
Can anyone tell me what NO BILL means under the ACQUITTED and DISCHARGED column on criminal records from 1861 please?

This link may help (if you have ancestry accesss):

http://search.ancestr...=Thomas&ln=Jones&st=g

Answers

1 to 8 of 8rss feed

Avatar Image
From the county archivist:

Those against whom a bill of indictment (that is, a formal criminal charge) had been made were first placed before a grand jury, whose function was to hear evidence for the Crown. If it was decided that there was a case to be answered by the accused, the indictment was declared to be a ‘true bill’ (billa vera); if not it was...
01:55 Mon 31st Jan 2011
I had that on some of my husband's ancestors. I presumed they didn't have to pay costs.
Question Author
Not sure, as this is a manslaughter charge ................
From the county archivist:

Those against whom a bill of indictment (that is, a formal criminal charge) had been made were first placed before a grand jury, whose function was to hear evidence for the Crown. If it was decided that there was a case to be answered by the accused, the indictment was declared to be a ‘true bill’ (billa vera); if not it was ‘no bill’ (ignoramus)[meaning we do not know]. In the former case, the accused then went forward to a full trial. The grand jury procedure was abolished in 1933.
Therefore , I guess in your ancestors case, the Grand Jury did not find the Crown prosecutor's evidence sound enough to take the matter to the Crown Court for a trial. therefore it looks like the case was dropped and the defendant aquitted, which does not mean they were found 'not guilty' as the trial did not go ahead. I think that seems to be the case anyway,
Question Author
Thanks Dotty - comprehensive answer, as always. Much appreciated.
That is why then he got 3 months but with no bill. he was found guilty at a smaller court. he got 6 months the following year for the same thing - Assaulting a policeman!
He was abit of a bad lad then, but there's a woman there sentenced to death for murder! wonder how she went on
If you look at some of the sentences (especially on the Old bailey site) it is heartbreaking. Children transported for stealing an apple or a loaf of bread (one 8 year old sentenced to death for stealing a piece of ribbon). I think that to take someone's property was considered more serious than assault. You had to earn things you wanted not steal other peoples' stuff.

1 to 8 of 8rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Help with criminal records

Answer Question >>