The documents in this series are bundles of loose papers covering the period 1843 to 1890. Until 1876 they are the records of the Northern circuit; thereafter they are the records of both the Northern and North-Eastern circuits. All of the estreats relate to criminal, not civil, cases. The series contains some correspondence between the Treasury and the clerk of assize asking for estreats to be sent to the Queen's Remembrancer's Office, under 22 & 23 Vict c 21, s 38 and s 24, so that debts could be recovered.
The estreats are paper draft and engrossed parchment copy returns of fines, issues, amercements, penalties and recognizances set, imposed, lost or forfeited at each assize session, which were extracted (estreated) from the records of the court. A typical estreat in this series provides a list of persons fined, etc., at a particular assize session, giving the name of the person, the nature of the offence and the amount of the fine, etc. Many of the estreats in this series are nil returns.