For my MPhil dissertation I studied the regality court records of Melrose. These include thousands of detailed court cases between 1657 and 1676, which I built a database for. In the process I recorded details of people participating in the court: pursuers who went to court with complaints, defenders who disputed their claims, and other mentioned people. Nearly 9000 people are recorded in my database, mostly local to the regality. The regality included all of Melrose parish, and stretched north almost to Lauder, west almost to Galashiels, east almost to Earlston, southeast to Lessudden (St Boswells), and south nearly to Bowden. The population of the regality then was probably about 2500, but many people appeared before the court multiple times, disputing things with neighbours, business contacts, or relatives. The court included some criminal cases, but was primarily a civil court, for disputes between individuals.
I am putting an index of court participants online here. There is also a person index in the available versions of the regality court transcript books, but this online index is more detailed, including information where recorded about occupations, addresses, and any relatives. Due to its length and size the index is split into three sections:
- Surnames unspecified through to those beginning with F
- Surnames beginning with G through to M
- Surnames beginning with N through to Y
Fields in the table are standardised version of name, name as recorded, occupation/designation, address, any additional notes (often relatives are mentioned), the case ID as used in my database, and type of reference i.e. whether pursuer, defender, or another mention. Entries in the table are sorted by standardised version of name and then case ID. The case ID can be used to look up the full case details – see here for the relevant details.