n.a government document obliging a man alleged to have fathered an illegitimate child to pay for the care of that child until he or she reached majority, so that responsibility would not fall to the governmentJones 1980, 147However, bastardy was a crime, and if a mother identified the father, or if his identity was determined by the court, he was placed under a bastardy bond and required to provide for the upkeep of the child.SoA 1993, 110Should we index parish registers, or bastardy bonds for genealogists, or list Quarter Sessions records or an archive from one of our employer’s departments?Gilfoyle 1994, 519A second source of judicial records is the indictment records from jury trials in courts of general or quarter sessions. Although less voluminous than police court records, their number is often considerable. Other court-generated records that sometimes contain information on prostitutes include bastardy bonds and divorce proceedings.DPA 2023Bastardy bonds were filed in response to a law that required a bond be filed by the father of an illegitimate child, to ensure that the child did not become a burden on the county.NRO 2023Bastardy Bonds ¶ The overseers of the poor and perhaps the churchwardens of the parish would then pay a visit to the alleged father. ¶ The favoured option was to put pressure on him to marry the woman if he admitted paternity. ¶ If he refused to marry her, he could enter into an agreement whereby he would either consent to pay weekly maintenance or a lump sum to the overseers and to indemnify the parish against all future costs. These documents are called bastardy bonds. ¶ Often a wealthier relative and/or employer was required to act as guarantor and countersign the bond, in which case they would be liable should the man default or abscond. ¶ The bond remained in force as long as the child was dependent.