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London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 COR/LS

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1927-1964

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 9.33 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Coroner for the Jurisdiction of the Southern District of the County of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The County of London Southern District Coroner's Office was based at Saint George's Churchyard, Borough High Street, SE1.

The coronership is an ancient county office concerned originally with pleas of the crown within the county. By 1689 the Coroner's duties had been reduced to the holding of inquests in cases of death under circumstances of suspicion and committing to trial persons against whom verdicts of murder or manslaughter had been returned by the inquest jury. Coroners were also empowered to hold inquests over 'treasure trove' and wrecks.

Under an Act of 1752 (26 Geo II c29) coroners were paid 20/- for every inquisition held and 9d for every mile travelled to view a body. These fees were paid out of the County rates by order of the justices. Coroners returned accounts of inquests held, usually in the form of a list, giving also the mileage travelled and total sum due, which were approved for payment, in Middlesex, by an Accounts Committee. Sometimes inquisitions and witnesses' depositions were returned instead of or in addition to the account.

Coroners were elected by county freeholders (except in certain liberties) and held the office for life. By the Local Government Act 1888 the power to appoint Coroners was transferred to the new County Councils.

Counties were usually divided into districts with a Coroner assigned to each. Sometimes, however, Coroners did act in the district of another Coroner. Coroner's districts changed in size and extent over time, often due to increased population and changes in local government boundaries.

London: The County of London was formed in 1889. At first there was no change to the existing Middlesex Coroners Districts now included, in part, within the new County. However, in 1892 the County was finally divided into districts which took in the former Middlesex parishes plus some from the former counties of Surrey and Kent. The new districts were: Eastern; Western; South Western; North Eastern; Central; Southern; Penge; South Eastern; and four franchise districts: Westminster; Duchy of Lancaster (Savoy/Clapham); Tower Liberty and Borough of Southwark.

In 1894 there were minor boundary changes to the Eastern, North Eastern and Central Districts. In 1900 Penge was transferred to Kent. 1912 saw further boundary changes between districts.

In 1930 the districts were reduced to six: Western; Eastern; Southern; Central; Northern; South Eastern; plus Southwark and Tower Liberty. In 1940 this was reduced to five, absorbing the franchise districts: Western; Northern; Eastern; South Western and South Eastern. In 1943 four districts were formed: Western, Southern; Eastern; Northern. These were reduced in 1956 to Western, Northern, Southern.

For a guide on how to use Coroners' Records and information about access to confidential records please see the hard copy guide in the Information Area or consult a member of staff.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London Southern Coroner's District, comprising case papers, 1927-1964.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Case papers arranged in chronological order.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the depositor.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited by the Coroner.


DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2009 to February 2010

Coroners | Legal profession personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Coroners courts | Courts | Administration of justice
Coroners records | Documents | Information sources
Court records | Records (documents) | Records and correspondence | Information sources
Legal history | Law
Legal procedure | Administration of justice
Legal systems | Law

Personal names

Corporate names
Coroner for the Jurisdiction of the Southern District of the County of London

Southwark | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe