Home Office: Counties Correspondence

HO 52
Home Office: Counties Correspondence

Original Home Office correspondence and papers from magistrates, officers and other county authorities, from municipal corporations, etc. Much of the correspondence relates to the maintenance of public order and contains reports of local conditions, including riots, arson and other civil disturbances. The main series ceases in 1840 but there are a few papers between 1840 and 1850.

PLEASE NOTE: Records within this series are available to download free of charge as part of the Digital Microfilm project.


The papers are arranged under counties.

The papers are in coming letters from local landowners or officials (mayors, aldermen, magistrates or their clerks).

The records arrangements change through the period covered by the series.

The first five boxes (1820-1829) are 'all counties' boxes covering specific years.

From 1830 to 1838 the annual incoming correspondence to the Home Office increases due to the reports of agricultural disturbances (Swing Riots), trade union activity and increased reports of the demands for parliamentary reform. For this period the boxes are arranged in county ranges, e.g. Bedford to Kent (which includes alphabetically all counties in-between). In the majority of cases the county referred to is the place in which the correspondent is writing from as well as the location of the places mentioned in the letter, report memo etc. On other occasions this refers to the places/county being discussed in the content of the letter: the correspondent writing from elsewhere. In a few cases the correspondent may live within one county but were writing about events in the neighbouring county: for example a magistrate in Lancashire reporting on activities in Yorkshire.

From 1839 to 1840 the records are arranged alphabetically by place name (e.g. A-D; where for example a letter from Berwick upon Tweed would be filed). In the very last volume there are a number of papers to 1850.

Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
Physical description:
47 bundle(s)
Access conditions:
Available in digital format unless otherwise stated

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