The Resource Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes

Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes

Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes, 1776-1914
Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes
Inclusive dates
  • Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes, 1776-1914 are criminal court cases that have not been processed and consist primarily of warrants, summons, indictments, and verdicts handed down by grand juries and other legal authorities in order to prosecute individuals who violated the penal code. These offenses ranged in severity from murder, rape, assault and battery, and larceny to tax evasion and slander. Criminal offenders and victims who appear in cases prior to the abolition of slavery in Virginia in 1865 included both free and enslaved persons
  • Warrants were issued by grand juries, judges, and justices of the peace directing law enforcement officials to either arrest and imprison a person suspected of having committed a crime or to cause an individual to appear in court to answer accusations made against them. Peace warrants directing an offender to "keep the peace of the Commonwealth" or to restrain from any violent acts are commonly found in assault and battery cases
  • Summonses were used to call a suspected person to appear in court. A summons could also be issued to direct witnesses or victims to come before the court in order to provide evidence or information deemed pertinent to a case
  • An indictment is the official, written description of the crime that an accused individual is suspected of committing, which is approved by a grand jury and presented to a court in order to begin legal proceedings. Due to this process, indictments are often referred to as "presentments."
  • Verdicts are the formal pronouncements made by juries on issues submitted to them by a judge or other law enforcement official. In the case of a guilty verdict, a judge will sentence the offender. Sentences may include a fine, corporal punishment, and/or imprisonment. Coroners also submitted verdicts such as "death by suicide," "death by natural causes," etc. when determining the cause of a suspicious or sudden death
Member of
Biographical or historical data
Westmoreland County was named for the English county. It was formed from Northumberland County in 1653, and part of King George County was added in 1777.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • Additional court records for Westmoreland County can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm" found on the Library of Virginia web site.
  • Additional Westmoreland County criminal records may be found at the Westmoreland County Courthouse and the Library of Virginia.
Westmoreland County (Va.) Commonwealth Causes
These items came to the Library of Virginia in multiple shipments of court papers from Westmoreland County including a transfer under the accession number 41889
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Westmoreland County Circuit Court
  • Westmoreland County Circuit Court
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (15 boxes)

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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