The coroner determines who the deceased was and how, when and where they came by their death. If the death is thought to be suspicious, for example, with unknown cause or unnatural, the coroner can decide to hold a post-mortem examination or inquest.
Coroners' records have frequently been destroyed. For Manchester, the only 19th century records to survive are witnesses' depositions.
Coroner's records for 22 August 1851 to 24 December 1852 (ref GB127.M381/1/1/1-2) are available at Central Library.
The Greater Manchester County Record Office holds some 20th century coroners' records for Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale.
In the absence of coroners' records, a report of any inquest conducted by the coroner for Manchester might be found in local newspapers. The Manchester Guardian is online and free to access via our online reference library.
We also hold a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings for the period 1900 to 1938 (ref GB127.M381/2), mostly concerned with coroners' cases. It is not clear how complete the scrapbook is.
How to access
For records more than 75 years old, you can view them in the search room. Note the reference number and make an appointment.
Coroners' records are closed for 75 years, and permission to see records less than 75 years old has to be obtained from the relevant coroner's office. It is only given in exceptional circumstances, email email@example.com for details.