This series contains documents submitted or generated in the course of judicial proceedings, mostly in equity, heard before the Court of Star Chamber between 1558 and 1603. The series contains over 35,000 proceedings (although the number of suits is significantly less, as the consituent documents of a suit may have been filed separately). STAC 5 may also contain pleadings from other reigns, although the contemporary practice of dating bills of complaint helped to reduce the possibility of error.
By the early years of the reign of Elizabeth, Star Chamber had become almost exclusively a criminal court. Among the suits contained in this series are cases alleging perversion of justice, abuse of legal procedure, frivolous litigation, false imprisonment, or crimes unpunished, often because of corruption, at common law. Such cases might involve corrupt jury verdicts, perjury, improper procedure, and falsification of records either by officials of the court or by the interested parties, including forgery of bonds, wills, and deeds. Other criminal causes included allegations of murder, abduction, assault, and riot. Disputes arising from enclosure and religious differences are also represented.
Records and procedure in Star Chamber under Elizabeth were essentially those that had operated since the latter years of Henry VIII.