Eastern Caribbean Court House records

The vault of the Eastern Caribbean Court House, Nevis, holds numerous historic manuscript documents connected with the legal and colonial administration of the island. The earliest records date from 1705, with records continuing through to the 20th century. Some recent court documents are also held in the vault. The 'historic' documents principally comprise: Common Deed Record Books; Wills; Land Title Register Books; Court of Commissioners - Encumbered Estates; Court of Kings Bench/Queens Bench and Common Pleas; Jurors Lists; Bond Books; and Estate Plans. Records were held in a court house building in 1706 when the French invaded Nevis and burned many records and the building. The Supreme Court House has been rebuilt and repaired several times since then in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the vault, in which the historic records are currently held, added at some point. The earliest records were held in cupboards in the Registrar's office in the Court house when V. L Oliver visited in 1913. It is not known when they were moved to the vault. Custody of the records lies with the ECSC Registrar for St Kitts and Nevis, based in Basseterre, St Kitts. Some of the most used volumes relating to the early twentieth century are held in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Registry office. Extent and format of original material: 10 Series comprising 154 individual volumes and 205 maps and plans.

This collection contains the following 10 series.

  • EAP794/1/1: Common Record Deed Books, 1707-1956;
  • EAP794/1/2: Court of King’s/Queen’s Bench and Common Pleas, 1705-1960;
  • EAP794/1/3: Supreme Court, 1874-1962;
  • EAP794/1/4: Other Courts, 1815-1943;
  • EAP794/1/5: Wills, 1763-1880;
  • EAP794/1/6: Ships Bonds, 1847-1867;
  • EAP794/1/7: Provost Marshal’s Sales, 1847-1935;
  • EAP794/1/8: Land Title Register, 1887-1922;
  • EAP794/1/9: Miscellaneous, 1840-1940;
  • EAP794/1/10: Plans and Maps, 1888-1974;