This series consists of original sealed and indented coroners' inquisitions for the periods from 1798 to 1799 and from 1817 to 1891. They are mainly for Cheshire but inquisitions from Anglesey, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Merionethshire are also included. No inquisitions from Welsh counties have been noted after 1877. Some, but not all, of the inquisitions have been numbered.
Each inquisition gives the name of the town or parish in which it was taken, the date of the inquest, the names of those serving on the coroner's jury and their parishes of residence, the name of the deceased and details of the circumstances under which he or she died. In almost every case the cause of death was such as required no further action: that is to say, these inquisitions relate mainly to cases of accidental death, death by natural causes or suicide while the balance of the mind was disturbed.
It is not clear why these inquisitions have survived. Information about coroners' inquests is usually found in quarter sessions records as a result of an act of 1752 (25 Geo II, c 29) which authorised the payment of fees by the justices of the peace to coroners for each inquest held. Even then it is often the coroner's bill rather than the actual inquisition which survives. Original inquisitions of this period were usually returned to assizes only when a verdict required some further action, as in cases of murder or manslaughter. Such inquisitions are usually to be found on the relevant indictment files; the indictment files of this circuit are in ASSI 64