Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Crime and punishment
  Brought before the bench
Drawing by
Rob Davies

One important source of information for crime and punishment in Powys is the records of the Montgomeryshire Quarter Sessions.

These were courts held 4 times a year (once a quarter) where men and women were brought when accused of a crime.
Drawing of JusticesA jury of twelve men would listen to the evidence and decide whether the accused person was guilty or not, and then the Justices of the Peace would decide on a punishment if they were found guilty. As these Justices usually sat in a row they are often described as being ‘on the bench’.

Justices of the Peace - educated and property-owning men who ran the affairs of a county for the Queen.


Both the Justices and the jury members had to be property owners. This meant that poor people were kept out of the system. Women were also completely excluded whether property owners or not.

You can see examples of cases which came before the bench in Victorian times on the pages listed on the crime menu...

Back to Machynlleth crime menu



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