Thursday 21 September 2023

County Kildare's Grand Jury Presentment and query books digitised

More than 6,000 pages of Grand Jury Presentments and Query Books have been digitised by Kildare County Archives. They are now online, free to download in pdf format and to explore to your heart's content. 

The Grand Jury system of local government was set up in the medieval period. It was initially concerned with the administration of justice, and juries were made up of wealthy local landowners. The Courts sat just twice a year, at the spring and summer assizes. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the Grand Jury had taken on more responsibilities including the management and maintenance of hospitals, asylums, dispensaries, gaols and some other public buildings, and the provision of roads.

The books contain the names of many individuals: contractors taking on public works, medical staff and those caring for deserted children. 

County Kildare's surviving and newly digitised Grand Jury materials can be downloaded from the link above. 

For more about the Grand Jury, see the People, Place and Power flip-book for an informative read, or view a video (here) of "Beyond 2022: People, Place and Power Grand Jury Records & Local History" event held in May 2021.