Mine Workers’ Court Records for Åtvidaberg, Östergötland 1788–1851

Control of the Swedish mining industry was managed by a Bergmästare (Mine Inspector) who was appointed by the government and subordinated to the Bergskollegium. From the middle of the 18th century, Sweden was divided into 12 Bergmästardömen (Mine Inspection regions) with one Bergmästare responsible for each Bergmästardöme. The duties of a Bergmästare included inspection and examination of the mines and the mining industry, evaluation of mines, supervision of government forests, supervision of subordinated mining clerks, ensuring that mining regulations were followed and judging in legal matters at the mines and mine mills at the Bergsting (Mining Court of Law). The Bergmästare had 7 Nämndemän (Lay Assessors). Legal issues included supervising the operation of a mine and  mine mills, judging in different disputes between the workers, fiddling with weighing of ore, payments, thefts etc. Greater legal matters such as man slaughter or dispute about proprietorship to forests used by the mines was handled by the ordinary court Häradsrätt.

A Bergsting session was held once a year, usually in May or June and was announced via the churches at least 10 weeks before the meeting.

During the first half of the 19th century, it was discussed whether these special courts should be abolished or not. Abolishment would give a consist legal system After 1851 these courts disappeared and the cases was taken over by the Häradsrätt.

The Database contains 1426 records with information about:

Example of a page from Miners Court's
A page from Miners Court's
  • Province (Östergötland)
  • City (Åtvidaberg)
  • Gender (woman are included since they lived in the region covered by the Miners’ Court
  • Date (the date that the crime was committed)
  • Paragraph in the court records (not the paragraph in the law)
  • Profession
  • Abode
  • Name (first and last)
  • Type of Crime
  • Description of Crime
  • Court’s Decision
  • Notes
  • Number of entries (i.e. number of items related to current record)
Registration

Registration covers the period 1788–1851 (volumes AIbi:2–8). The period 1781–1787 (AIbi:1) has not been registered because the original material is hard to interpret, meaning that the quality could not be guaranteed.
All registration has maintained the spelling, abbreviations and language of the original documents. This means that the database is only as accurate as the original material.
Registration has been a collaboration between Linköping University Electronic Press, ArkivData in Norrköping and Brukskultur Åtvidaberg. ArkivData did the registration and Linköping university has checked the quality.

Referencing the Database

Landsarkivet i Vadstena, Bergstingsprotokoll, Åtvidaberg, Östergötland, 1788–1851, volumes AIbi:2–8. Linköping University Electronic Press http://www.ep.liu.se/databases/bergsting/

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