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 It may have been compiled many years ago and could be out of date.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:
|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.
|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|