Cumbria Archive Service - catalogues and guides - Coroners

Coroners originated in the 12th century (or possibly earlier).  Originally they were royal officers responsible directly to the Crown.  Their main duty was to hold inquests into sudden and unexplained deaths.  Claims relating to treasure trove and wreck were also dealt with.  The coroner was chosen by the county freeholders until 1889, when the county council was given the right to appoint.  Coroners still exist today and perform many of the same duties assigned to them in the 12th century.

Due to the sensitive and personal nature of material within coroner's records, researchers are required to contact from H.M. Coroner's Service for Cumbria in order to obtain access to any records dating from the last 75 years. They must supply this permission to the appropriate archive centre before they will be able to see records within this time period.

Local newspapers often contain summaries of local inquests, including more modern ones, and these may be useful to anyone wanting details of a particular inquest.

Links to online catalogues of holdings:

Appleby and North Westmorland Coroner

Barrow-in-Furness Coroner

City of Carlisle Coroner 

District of Furness Coroner 

East Cumberland Coroner

Kendal and South Westmorland / South Cumbria Coroner

Liberty of Furness Coroner

North Cumberland Coroner  

West Cumberland/West Cumbria Coroner (1907-2001)

Available material for earlier Coroners' Inquisitions for the Liberties of Cockermouth and Egremont from 1610 to 1875