County Waterford, Ireland
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Grand Jury Collections
Waterford County was established by the writ of John, King of England and Wales and Lord of Ireland in the thirteenth century.
From the seventeenth century the Grand Jury began to acquire functions beyond the administration of justice and became involved in the provision of roads and bridges and the collection of county cess, the tax levied to pay for these works. A limited franchise was also introduced and elections were carried out for membership of the Grand Jury. Details of the franchise legislation can be found in the collection. (GJ/30)
By the beginning of the nineteenth century they were responsible for a wide range of works and services including roads and bridges, lunatic asylums, county infirmaries and fever hospitals, dispensaries, courthouses and gaols.
The administrative powers and duties of the grand juries were transferred to County Councils and Rural District Councils by the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898.
The archives of the grand jury are a valuable resource as they provide evidence of the beginning of the county infrastructure, as we know it today. Many of the roads, bridges and piers still in use today were originally built under the aegis of the grand jury. These records also provide evidence of the building of railway lines in the county, many of which are no longer in use or existence. The accounts of the grand jury (GJ/21-25) also contain a glimpse at the social conditions of the time with entries such as payments made for the maintenance and transport of prisoners.
Similar records can be found among the archives of other County Councils in Ireland.
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Grand Jury Descriptive Lists (word .doc, 55 kbs)
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