This is what I do for a living…

document

I’ve had this camera for over a week two weeks now (wow, how time flies) and have taken absurd numbers of pictures of mouldy old documents with it. This is just one of them. I could have posted something bigger and more fun, but those take up silly amounts of filespace. And I recognise that you might not find them as interesting as I do…

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10 thoughts on “This is what I do for a living…”

  1. Be careful what you wish for… In fact, I chose this one because a) it was quite small and b) the writing is nice. You should see some of those JPs’ (or their secretaries) scrawls…

    Actually, this is the kind of thing that I might prefer to put on EMR, maybe with transcripts. I’ll think about it.

  2. You mean, what kind of document is it? Briefly: it’s a witness examination (or deposition), taken down by the magistrate – or perhaps written down by a secretary in at least some cases – shortly after the offence. (Usually the JP would sign it at the end – or even after each witness’s testimony – I suppose to ‘verify’ its contents on top of the witnesses’ own signatures or marks.) On the basis of these testimonies, the magistrate would bind people over to prosecute (no CPS in the 17th century…), give evidence or appear to answer the charges (and in cases of felony, commit the suspect to gaol). He’d then pass on the documents to the relevant court before its next session.

    If people are interested, what I might do is put up examples of the kinds of document you get at each stage of the process? (I warn you, some are in Latin…)

  3. “If people are interested, what I might do is put up examples of the kinds of document you get at each stage of the process? (I warn you, some are in Latin…)”

    I’m certainly interested; and the only Latin that scares me is Augustine’s elaborate rhetorical prose….

  4. Claire: if I’ve already done them, I’ll put them up; otherwise it depends on whether I have time. (With the documents in Latin I’ll probably just do a summary.) I’ll probably put this stuff on EMR anyway and link to it from here. I’m teaching a skills and methods course next year for which these materials may be useful anyway.

    Brandon: it’s just jealousy really.

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