Rolls and files (1128-1426)
Browse Discovery, our catalogue, for entries of inquests from coroners who presented their rolls to the court of the King’s Bench in JUST 1, JUST 2 and JUST 3.
Indictment files (1487-1926)
It was common practice from 1487 to 1752 for coroners to hand over records of all their inquests to assize judges. The judges returned them to the King’s Bench. These records were subsequently transferred to The National Archives.
Those which resulted in verdicts of murder or manslaughter (including many that would now be regarded as misadventure) are normally found in the indictments or depositions files of the relevant circuit.
The remainder was forwarded to the King’s Bench. As London and Middlesex were anomalous jurisdictions without assize courts, their inquisitions were not treated in the same way.
Coroners’ inquisitions therefore survive only for the out-counties and they are filed with the out-county indictments in KB 11.
Coroners’ inquisitions are also in KB 13 and KB 140. They include a significant number of items from the mid to late 18th century, although the practice of forwarding all inquisitions to the King’s Bench appears to have fallen into disuse in the early 18th century.
Inquisitions on prisoners who died in the King’s Bench prison are in KB 14.
Browse other indictment files which may contain inquests in KB 9, KB 12 and KB 13.
London and Middlesex indictments (1675-1845)
Look in KB 10 for any inquests which may be found among the London and Middlesex indictments.
Coroners’ records from other courts (1339-1896)
Browse coroners’ records collected by other courts in CHES 18, CHES17/13, DL 46, PL 26/285-295, ASSI 66, ASSI 47/24-73, PL 26/285-295, PCOM 2/165, C 260 or HCA 1.
Assize court files (1554-1971)
Refer to the table in Criminal trials in the English assize courts 1559-1971 to find out what type of trial records for different counties are held in the department code ASSI. It is possible to find inquests related to murder and manslaughter cases and returns from coroners for accidental deaths among the indictment records.