These are the original reports made to the court by the masters in Chancery on the matters referred to them for their investigation and opinion.
The series also contains the certificates confirming that certain actions could appropriately be carried out by the court.
Reports might be lengthy and include detailed material from the pleadings and other papers being examined by the master. Certificates were generally short, since they dealt with relatively simple matters, and the masters did not record the details of any arguments put to them by counsel seeking to obtain the certificates.
Many of the reports and certificates derive from disputes concerning the administration of the estates of deceased persons, and relate to such matters as enquiries into receivers' accounts, certificates concerning the results of property sales, infant wards of court, lunatics, and schemes for the administration of charities.
Reports are sometimes accompanied by supporting documents, such as receivers' accounts, advertisements of property sales, and plans. Certificates could also be about such matters as authorising the delivery of monies out of court, certifying the need for the issue of a commission to examine witnesses, or the need for a retrial.
Traditionally dated from 1544, the start of the start of the series was redated to 1562 in 2020.