Coroners records

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This is a backup of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's "Off the Record" wiki from 2015. The live went offline in 2016 and remains unavailable.

The following source list was originally available only on paper in one of the West Yorkshire Archive Service offices. It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date. It was designed to act as a signpost to records of interest on a particular historical subject, but may relate only to one West Yorkshire district, or be an incomplete list of sources available. Please feel free to add or update with any additional information.

Please note: All Coroners' records on reported deaths are closed to the public for a period of 75 years. To request access to a record less than 75 years old an application must be made in writing to the relevant Coroner's office.

The two main types of records created by local authority coroners' offices are inquest files and written off files (also known as A and B passes or natural deaths). An inquest is a legal process to investigate the cause and circumstances of a violent, unnatural or unexpected death (for further information concerning the circumstances under which inquests are held and the law relating to coroners see the Coroners Act of 1887 and the Coroners (Amendment) Act of 1926). Written off files are cases reported to the Coroner where the death may have been sudden but extenuating circumstances such as a history of ill health may have contributed.

Unfortunately many early coroners' inquest records have not survived to the present day, although the WYAS: Wakefield does hold a set of notebooks written by Thomas Taylor, a County Coroner, which date from 1852-1905 (ref. C493 - not a complete series). Thomas Taylor was the coroner for the Honour of Pontefract from 1852-1900, deputy county coroner 1855, 1861-1864, and county coroner 1864-1900.


Inquest records held:


Description Dates Reference Repository
Craven/Skipton Coroner, return of inquests books 1887-1953 CL A397 WYAS: Wakefield
Craven/Skipton Coroner, foreign inquests* 1965-1972 CL A198 WYAS: Wakefield
Craven/Skipton Coroner, foreign inquests* 1973 CL A296 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest books 1927-1954 CL A396 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1965-1972 CL A198 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1973 CL A296 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1974-1975 CL A362 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1976-1979 CL A364 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1980-1984 CL A444 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1985-1989 CL WYAS726 WYAS: Wakefield
Leeds Coroner, inquest files 1990-1993 CL WYAS1761 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour and County of **, inquest notebooks (Coroner Thomas Taylor) 1852-1900 CW C493 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour of, inquest notebooks (Coroners Taylor and Maitland) 1892-Mar 1905 CW WYAS1180 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour of, inquests 1943-1950 CW A197 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour of, Stanley Royd inquests 1937-1960 CW A197 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour of, County inquisitions 1940-1953 CW A197 WYAS: Wakefield
Pontefract, Honour of, County inquisitions 1961-c1963 CW A395 WYAS: Wakefield
Ripon, Liberty of, register of inquests 1837-1896 QT/1/7/2 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1954-1957 CW A345 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1958-1962 CW A350 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1963-1966 CW A361 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1967-1969 CW A369 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1970-1972 CW A424 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1972-1976 CW A445 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1977-1979 CW A493 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1980-1982 CW WYAS767 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1983-1985 CW WYAS1163 WYAS: Wakefield
Wakefield Coroner, inquest files 1986-1989 CW WYAS1755 WYAS: Wakefield

[*Foreign inquests: All deaths outside of the Leeds area notified to the coroner have been listed as 'Foreign Cases', and listed in a separate sub series, regardless of whether an inquest was held. Areas outside Leeds covered by this series include Keighley, Guiseley, Ilkley and Barnoldswick. These files have been removed from the main series.]

[** Areas covered by the Honour of Pontefract include: Ackworth, Altofts, Ardsley (parish Darfield), Barnby Dun, Barnsley, Barugh, Briestfield, Carlton (parish Royston), Cawthorne, Clayton West, Crofton, Cumberworth, Darrington, Darton, Denby, Dodworth, Featherstone, Fenay Bridge, Flockton, Gildersome, West Hardwick, Hemsworth, South Heindley, Hoylandswaine, Ingbirchworth, Lepton, Middlestown, Mirfield, Monk Bretton, Rothwell, Ryhill, Scissett, Shafton, Sharlston, Nether Shitlington, Silkstone, Skelmanthorpe, Temple Newsam, Thornhill, Warmfield, Whitley Upper, Whitwood, Wintersett, Woolley and Wragby. ** Areas covered by county inquests include: Adel, Ardsley (marked 'Honor'), East and West Ardsley, Bardsey, Barlby (E. Riding), Bradford, Bramham, West Bretton, Broomfleet (E. Riding), Brotherton, Bubwith (E. Riding), Burn (parish Brayton), Carlton (parish Snaith), Cawood, Cliffe with Lund (E. Riding), Dewsbury, Eccleshill, Emley, Faxfleet (E. Riding), Gribthorpe (E. Riding), Hemingbrough (E. Riding), Holme upon Spalding Moor (E. Riding), Holmfirth, Horsforth, Kelfield (E. Riding), East Keswick, Kirkburton, Liversedge, Lofthouse, South Milford, Normanton, Ossett, Pannal, Riccall (E. Riding), Selby, Shelley, Shepley, Skelmanthorpe, Soothill, Stutton, Tankersley, Temple Newsam, Thorpe Stapleton, Ulleskelf, Wakefield, Walton, Weeton, Wike, Wistow and Wressell (E. Riding).]


Coroners' administrative records:

Coroners' returned extracts of inquests to the Quarter Sessions (see Session rolls ref. QS1) in order to claim their expenses. The abstracts give the date of inquests, name of the deceased and a verdict but no other supplementary detail. Payments to coroners became a county council function in 1889.


Description Dates Reference Repository
Deputy Coroners certificates of appointments 1843-1871 QE12/1 WYAS: Wakefield
Coroners' fees, orders for payment of expenses following the Act of 1752 in QS Order Books from 1752 QS10 WYAS: Wakefield
Inquisitions under Lands Closure Acts (includes coroners' inquests involving the Great National Railway Company, North Eastern Railway Company, and Leeds & Thirsk Railway Company) 1770-1909 QE21 WYAS: Wakefield
Coroners' salaries (includes annual statements of the number of inquests taken by four coroners for various years between 1855-1879) 1857-1888 QD1/603 WYAS: Wakefield