The records in this series cover the period from 1810 to 1957, with an unexplained gap for the years 1941-1952. They relate to cases that originated in the common law courts at Westminster but which were to be heard locally at sittings of nisi prius. The cases involved are usually, but not invariably, civil ones.
The documents consist of parchment records of nisi prius for the period from 1810 to 1875, and paper pleadings used to enter trial, as directed by the Judicature Acts, for the period from 1875 to 1940. Both kinds of document give the name of the court in which the action originated (after 1875, the name of the division of the High Court and/or district registry) and a full transcript of the pleadings. They are annotated with details of the mode of trial, the verdict, the date on which the verdict was given, whether tried by special jury, damages awarded (if any), and notes relevant to the award of costs. Parchment records of nisi prius are annotated with the name of the attorney, usually the attorney for the plaintiff, who drew them up. Pleadings and other documents after 1875 include the names and addresses of attorneys for both parties and also of their London agents, if any. They are sometimes accompanied by related documents, such as cause lists, notices of trial, copies of rules of court, correspondence and more detailed statements of damages claimed. They often bear an endorsement indicating the outcome of the action. Nineteenth century pleadings are often also accompanied by special and common jury lists.