In the Records the County Hall at Nottingham is referred to as the Shire Hall alias King's Hall." There appears to have been, for many centuries, a County Hall at Nottingham on the High Pavement site. The County Hall is not within the Town and County of the Town of Nottingham, being excepted by the Charter of Henry VI. and by subsequent Charters.

In the County Hall the Assizes and the Sessions for the County were held.

Several of the Notts, historians (Thoroton, Throsby, Deering, Cox, &c.) inform us that John Boun, Gent, Father of Sergeant Boun, "did some years before the Civil War give an house having the Common Hall of the County on the East and another House now Sir Thomas Hutchinson's* on the West side to be used by the Country people for the more convenient Tryalls of Nisi prius. It was made with arches to the street as it remains to this day."

The date of the gift was about 1618 as Deering records the finding of a large panelled Table in the King's Hall on which was painted twenty-three Coats of Arms with the Bearers names under each, with this inscription:

"These whose names are here set down, being then in the Commission of the Peace of this County, were contributors to the building of this Hall. Anno Dom 1618."

Some of the names he was able to make out were the following:

Lord Cavendish, Lord Stanhope, Sir Percival Willoughby, Knt., Sir John Byron, Sir George Parkyns, Knt., Sir George Lascelles, Knt., Sir Gervas Clifton, Bart., Sir Francis Leek, Knt., Sir Thomas Hutchinson, Knt., Folk Cartwright, Esq., Hardolph Wastnes, Esq., Robert Pierpont, Esq., Robert Sutton, Esq., John Wood, Esq., Robert Williamson, Esq., Lancelot Rolleston, Esq., Gervas Tevery, Esq.

Facsimile of an old document, dated 1622.
Facsimile of an old document, dated 1622.

The following document dated 1622 (of which a photograph is given above), has recently been found among the County Records:

Whereas wee understand that the new hall lately built is [torn] of by the Countrye to. be very inconvenient for the freeholders in respect of the straitnes thereof, whereupon Mr. Bowne (who afforded the place whereupon it is built) hath soe far indeavored with the town of Nottingham that it maie bee enlarged twelve foote into the street upon pillars wch (as his paynes hath contrived the matter) wilbe performed for the some of One Hundred Pounds or thereabouts, the particulars whereof Mr. Bowne hath acquainted us with, yet seemeth unwilling out of his respect to us to propose the same generally to the freeholders of the Countie, until we were made acquaynted therewith. These are to [torn] you, that wee have taken the same into our consideracon and think it for our parte very fit and convenient to be done. And therefore desire you to regard it in yor contribucon, by which meanes it is desired to be effected, rather then other as a matter wch wee think wilbe of good use and consequence for you, We have likewise thought fit (if you allow thereof) that yor said contribucon be gathered by the severall Chief Constables of yor several Hundreds. Nottingham ult Septembris, 1622

J. Haughton †   J. Thornhagh
Thos. Hutchinson  Hardolph Wasteness
John Byron  Fulc Cartwright
Ro. Sutton      Ro. Williamson
Hen. Sacheverell John Woode
W. Cooper.  

To the freeholders of the County of Nottingham."

On 8th April, 1687, it was "ordered that ye Place where Jury in ye Hall of Nisi prius stands bee made conveynient for ye Jury, and ye charges thereof be payd by the Treasurers."

On 11th July, 1687, it was ordered " that ye floor in ye Crown Hall for ye County be new cast with Plaister."

The following sums were paid for repairs carried out from time to time:

On 9th July, 1683           -         -    £6.
On 7th April, 1684          -        -    Sums of £7 11 2 and £3 15 7.
On 5th October, 1688      -         -    £34 4 10.
On 5th October, 1691      -        -    Sums of £10 15 0 and £5 2 0.
On 5th October, 1694      -         -    £13 9 0.

The only item of furniture mentioned is: On 20th July, 1687, when £4 12 10 was paid " unto ye undersheriffe for 2 carpits for both ye County Halls at Nottingham."

The prints in the frontispiece show the Shire Hall above referred to as it appeared in the following century.


The County was divided into the following Wapentakes or Hundreds:

Thurgarton Aleigh
Hatfield }
North Clay } Bassetlaw
South Clay }

When, in 1655, a levy of £100 was made among the several Hundreds, the amount was apportioned as follows:







£ s. d.
Thurgarton -   - - - - 16 8 1
Broxtowe - - - - - 13 12 8
Bingham - - - - - 13 12 8
Rushcliffe - - - - - 10 17 11
Hatfield - - - - - 11 7 1
North Clay - - - - - 11 6 3
South Clay - - - - - 10 11 3
Newarke - - - - £ 12 4 1
100 0 0

The following entry appears on the 6th October, 1675:

"Whereas it has been made appeare to us yt ye Mannor of Meering did formerly belong to Girton. Ordered yt it shall pay to Newarke Hundred."

The business arising in the Wapentakes of Rushcliffe, Bingham and Broxtowe was transacted at Nottingham; in the Wapentakes of Thurgarton Aleigh and Newarke, at Newark; and in the Wapentake of Bassetlaw (including the Hundreds of Hatfield, North Clay and South Clay) at East Retford. But on the 10th January, 1680, the Court made the following Order:

"Order yt ye townes of Snenton, Collick, Gedling in Carlton, Stoke Bardolfe, Burton Joice cum Bulcote, and Lambley doe appeare to doe their service at Nottm. Sessions and yt Flintham, Hawkesworth, Screveton, Kneeton, Car Colston doe appeare and doe their service at Newarke Sessions."


In 1657 the following document is copied in the records:

"Olliver Lord Protector of the Comon wealth of England, Scotland, Ireland and the dominions and terrytories thereunto belonging To our Custos Rotulorum for ye County of Nottingham greeting Wee willing for certaine causes to be certifyed of a true List of the names of all the parishes within our said County of Nott doe comand you yt you send to us without delay into our Chancery distinctly and plainly under your seale the sayd List of the names of all the parishes aforesayd within our sayd County and this Writt. Witnes our selves at Westmr the xxvith day of November in ye year of our Lord 1657.


The List of Parishes supplied was as follows:

Abbolton Edwinstow with Ollerton
Ansley Parlthorpe and Carberton
Arnold Egmanton
Askham Elkesley
Averham Elston als Eyleston
Austerfield Elton
Babworth Epperston
Balderton Everton
Barnby in the Willowes ffarndon
Barton 'ith Beanes ffarnsfeild
Basford ffiningley
Bawtry ffledbrough
Beckingham fflyntham
Beeston Gamston
Bilborow Gedling mediety
Bilsthorpe Gonalston
Bingham Gotham
Bleasby wth Morton Grandby
Blidworth Greasly
Blyth Gresthorpe
Boale Gringly on the hill
Burton west Grove
Boney Halloughton
Bothemsall Hallam
Brampcote Hawton neere Newarke
Bridgford east Harworth
Bridgford west Hawkesworth
Broughton Solney Hayton
Bulwell Headon
Burton wth bulcote Hickling
Calverton Hockerton
Carlton in Lindrick Holm Pierropont
Caunton Hucknall Torkard
Chilwell and Toton Kelham
Clarebrough Keyworth
Clayworth Kilvington
Clifton, North, South with Harby Kirkby in Ashfeild
Clifton with Glapton Kirtlington
Coddington Chappell Kirton
Colewick Kneesall wth Kirsall and Aumpton
Collingham North Kneeton
Collingham South Kneighton
Colston basset Keynolton
Colston Carr Kingston
Cossall Lambley
Cottam Laneham
Cartlingsocke Langar
Cotgrave two Medyetys Laxton with Moorehouse
Crumwell Leake East
Cropwell bishopp Leake west
Cuckney Leverton North wth Hablesthorpe
Darlton Leverton South
Drayton with Askham and Stoakham Linby
Dunham Lenton
Drayton West Littlebrough
Eakringe Loudham
Eastwood Mansfeild
Eaton Mansfeild Woodhouse
Edingley Maplebeck
Edwalton Markham East
Markham West wth Milneton and Stanford
Bevercote Sibthorpe
Marnham South Stanton 'ith Wolds
Mattersey Stanton 'ith Vale of Beaver wth
Misterton wth Stockwith fflawborow
Morton Stappleford
Muskham North with Holme Stoakham
Muskham South Stoak wth Coddington and
Myssen Elston Chappell
Newarke Strelly
Normanton upon Trent Sturton
Norwell Overhall Sutton in Ashfeild
Norwell wth Carleton Sutton Bonington St. Michaels
Nottingham, St. Maries Sutton Bonington St. Anns
Nottingham, St. Peters Sutton upon Lound
Nottingham, St. Nicholas Sutton upon Trent with Meering
Nuttall Teversall
Ordsall Thorney with Wiggesly
Orston with Thoroton Thorpe neere Newarke
Scarrington and Stanton Chap Thorpe in the Clotts
Ossington Thrumpton
Owthorpe Thurgarton with Hoveringham
Oxton Torlaston als Tolerton
Paplewicke Trowell Mediety
Plumtree Truswell East, Rectory
Radford Truswell West, Rectory
Ragnall Tuxford
Rampton Tythby
Ratcliffe upon Soare Upton
Ratcliffe upon Trent Walesby with Boughton
Rempston Walkeringham
Retford East Warsopp
Retford West Welley
Rolston Weston
Rossington Whatton wth Aslacton
Ruddington wth Edwalton and Wheatley North
fflawford Wheatley South
Scarle South wth Besthorpe and Widmerpoole
Girton Wilford
Screaveton Willoughby
Scrooby Winckburne
Selston Winthorpe
Shelford Wollaton
Shelton Woodborow
Skegby Worksopp
Snenton Wysall


The names of villages, towns and hamlets occur constantly in the records, together with the names of persons living there, and their occupations. It might be possible from the Records to compile a fairly complete directory of persons residing in the County in the seventeenth century. A study of the Records, coupled with the information in the Parish Registers, would supply compilers of parish histories with much detail of general and personal interest. In the appendices to this book are some names of persons and the parishes in which they resided.

The Sessions Books have often been searched to obtain evidence for genealogical purposes in particular cases.

The spelling of names of places and of individuals is often very erratic, being, as a rule phonetic rather than accurate.

* Note.—This house, about the year 1707, was sold by Julius Hutchinson, Esq., to the County, for the purpose of making an additional enlargement of the County Hall.
† Note.—John Holles, Lord Haughton, created Earl of Clare in 1624.