Courthouses and Gaols Act, 1788



An Act for using the Court-Houses of Counties at large, and Counties of Cities where situate within the Precincts of the same Counties, for the Purposes of both Counties, and for declaring that Gaols for Counties at large, situate within Counties of Cities, shall be deemed Part of such Counties at large.


Where court houses of counties at large, &c. are erected within precincts of a county of a city, &c. judges of assize, &c. may do business where most convenient, and sheriffs may hold election in either or both, such court houses deemed part of the county at large, &c.

WHEREAS the court-houses of several counties at large in this kingdom are now situate within the precincts of counties of cities, and counties of towns, and there are also in such counties of cities and towns, court-houses appropriated to such counties of cities and towns respectively, and it would tend much to the publick convenience, that such court-houses should be used as occasion may require, for the purposes of both counties: be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this act, wherever the court-houses for counties at large, and counties of cities or towns, now are, or hereafter may be erected within the precincts of a county of a city, or county of a town, it shall and may be lawful for the judges, or judge of assize, and commissioners or commissioner of oyer and terminer, and gaol delivery, and justices of the peace respectively, to transact all business appertaining respectively to the assizes, and to the sessions of the peace of such counties at large, or counties of cities, in either one or the other of such court-houses as may be most convenient, and also for the sheriff and sheriffs of such counties, and their deputies respectively, to hold the elections for members to represent such counties in Parliament respectively, in either or both of such court-houses, as occasion may require, and such court-houses, and each of them shall be considered as part of the county at large, or county of the city or town for the purposes aforesaid.

Gaols as herein deemed part of counties at large.

II. And whereas gaols of counties at large now are, and hereafter may be erected within counties of cities, or counties of towns: be it enacted, That where gaols for counties at large, now are, or hereafter shall be erected within the county of a city or town, the scite on which such gaols do or shall stand, together with such inclosures as now are, or hereafter may be made for the health and convenience of the debtors and prisoners therein confined, shall be considered as part of the county at large to which such gaols do or shall belong respectively, so long as the same shall be used as the gaols of such counties at large.