This series contains incoming Home Office domestic correspondence of the reigns of George IV (1820-1830), William IV (1830-1837) and Victoria (1837-1861 only), with some copies and drafts of outgoing responses. Papers of similar type and content, ranging from the 1770s to 1860, were added to the series subsequently. The records reflect the varied responsibilities of the Home Secretary's office, including: addresses and petitions to the crown, aliens and refugees, appointments to public offices and ecclesiastical dignities, disturbances and sedition, honours and orders of chivalry, inventions, poor relief, prison administration, public health, public order, royal patronage in Great Britain and Ireland, and the universities.
Among matters covered extensively are Chartism, agricultural distress, and the introduction of power looms and other industrial machinery. Some papers are grouped according to subjects of particular contemporary importance, among them the claim of Olive Serres to be Princess of Cumberland and Duchess of Lancaster (1819-1830), the Cato Street Conspiracy of 1820, the case of Caroline of Brunswick, Princess of Wales, and the disturbances which accompanied her funeral in 1821, and the attempt to assassinate Queen Victoria in 1840. Other subjects represented include the Duc de Bouillon's work for refugees, 1794-1801, socialist periodicals and pamphlets, 1838-1840, and membership of the Poor Knights of Windsor. Two substantial blocks of papers contain, respectively, replies from customs houses to a questionnaire relating to shipwrecks, 1815, and quarterly returns of births and deaths for various English and Welsh counties, 1860 and 1861.