Creator(s): Waterford Grand Jury and Waterford Turnpike Board
Administrative History ↴
Waterford County was established by the writ of John, King of England and Wales and Lord of Ireland in the thirteenth century. In the medieval period a Sheriff appointed by royal authority administered the county. The Sheriff was responsible for the collection of taxes, repair of castles, gaols, arrangements for court sessions, the policing of the county, the election of a Coroner and the construction of roads and other public works. The King’s Judges visited twice yearly to hold Assizes with the assistance of the Grand Jury. The members of the Grand Jury were chosen by the Sheriff from among the largest landowners in the county. 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. Gradually they accumulated further functions and 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.
Archival History ↴
The collection was held by Waterford County Council and the Grand Jury Query Books and Contract Books were transferred to the County Library. They were transferred from the County Library in 1999 to the County Archive and in 2000 the Grand Jury Accounts and the Waterford Turnpike Board records were transferred from Waterford County Council to the County Archive.
Immediate Source Acquisition ↴
Content & Structure
Scope & Content: Waterford Grand Jury and Waterford Turnpike Board ↴
The collection is limited as it includes only those records that have survived and largely date to the 19th century. The Query Books (GJ/1-8) provide information regarding the maintenance of roads and bridges and of works such as the construction of piers and the development of the railway in Waterford County. Also included are payments toward the maintenance of boys and girls industrial schools, salaries to the County Surveyor and payments to the county hospital. The Contract Books (GJ/15-18) detail the road and works contract listing the contractors names and particulars of the roads and the Assize Presentment Books (GJ/9-14) detail the contracts for the building of roads and the other construction work undertaken in the county. The Account Books (GJ/21-23) provide evidence of the county cess paid by individuals and the manner in which these funds were expended. Includes records of the Waterford Turnpike Board charged with maintaining the Military Road from Waterford Courthouse in Waterford City to Tallow, County Waterford with all bridges and gates on the road. Included among these records are the Turnpike Resolution Book (GJ/32) and the Turnpike Account Book (GJ/33) recording receipt of tolls for use of the road and payments made by the Board.
Appraisal Destruction ↴
Due to the small size of the collection little arrangement has been carried out; it has simply been arranged with the Query Books (GJ/1-8) and Contract Books (GJ/15-18) followed by the Account Books (GJ/21-23) in order to show, first, the work carried out by the grand jury and then the cost of carrying out these works and services.
Some documents have been digitised on www.waterfordcoco.ie
Descriptive Control Area
IGAD: Irish Guidelines for Archival Description. Dublin: Society of Archivists, Ireland, 2009.
ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000.
National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions
November 1998, Revised October 2009