This series draws together several collections, originally wholly separate, of documents pertaining to sheriffs. The documents belong to both sides of the Upper Exchequer.
All the documents are in some sense subsidiary to the sheriffs' accounts at their varying stages of charge, collection, audit and subsequent enrolment and process. They include a range of documents from the administrative files of the Exchequer, mostly on the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's side, and particulars of account of individual sheriffs. The particulars include both the sheriffs' foreign accounts, which were the responsibility of the King's Remembrancer, and accounts for the farm of the county, which were handled on the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's side. They thus include accounts relating to both lands and to goods and chattels, and subsidiary documents which include receipts for payments from those issues. A few documents mostly, but not exclusively, early in date appear to be part of the sheriff's own archive relating to the administration of the shire.
The core of the series consists of particulars of account of sheriffs of particular counties for the issues of small escheats and other casual revenues, including forfeited cloth and money; goods of felons, outlaws, traitors and fugitives; and lands of former sheriffs, escheators, and other Crown debtors seized for debt or failure to account. Many are original files, some still contained in the pouches in which they were delivered, or into which they were put, for archiving after audit in the Exchequer. Others survive only as imperfect files. Also included in the series are the petitions for allowance. If a sheriff was unable to collect all the monies due to the Crown, he might seek to discharge his debt by petitioning the Exchequer. These records detail the source of the uncollected revenue, the reasons for its non-collection, and are annotated with the decisions of the court.
Other topics include documents relating to the appointment of sheriffs, especially for Wales, and particulars of account for the counties palatine of Chester (otherwise in CHES) and Lancaster which, unlike most other documents in the series, continue for years beyond 1660. Most other types of documents represented in this series have been destroyed under schedule for years later than 1660. The series also includes strays from other designated record series, including Bille et Petitiones; estreats; writs, inquisitions and extents, including writs of the Exchequer of Pleas; summonses of the Green Wax; auditors' memoranda; working papers of both Remembrancers; and strays from other collections such as petitions for allowance and summonses of the Pipe which have themselves been incorporated into series of miscellanea.