Court Depositions of South West England, 1500-1700

A digital edition of 80 fully transcribed depositions relating to 20 cases heard in the church courts and Quarter Sessions between 1556 and 1694 across Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

These depositions or witness statements relate to a range of crimes and offences tried in these two types of courts, from defamation to theft and are rich in detail of social, economic, political and religious life in early modern England. As manuscript archival sources and written in secretary hand, few of these records are accessible to historians online or in published manuscript form. This digital edition is therefore an extremely valuable resource, providing access to a selection of depositions from the abundance of church court and Quarter Sessions material available in local records offices for the early modern period. It is an essential source for students of the early modern period, and for local and family historians, palaeographers and others with a general interest in early modern society.