In the 18th and 19th centuries, the coroner was responsible for holding inquisitions for those who had met violent or unusual deaths. The coroner summoned at least 12 jurors, who convened at a specific location and time, to view the deceased and discuss the circumstances surrounding his or her death. Together, they decided on the cause of death and made oath before the coroner, who then delivered the guilty party (if there was one) to the sheriff, and handled the affairs of the deceased’s estate.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by surname. Please note that this collection is not complete; several original inquests have been lost or destroyed. Coroner’s inquests can also be found in the Term Papers index, as the practice of removing coroner’s inquests from term papers has ended.
Coroner’s Inquests, 1831 – 1915
Frederick Wilmer (F.W.) Richardson and his father, Ferdinand Dawson (F.D.) Richardson, held the position of Clerk of Fairfax County Court from 1833 to 1935 – over one hundred years of service between two men. This collection of personal papers sheds light on F. W. Richardson’s life as an individual and as a public servant.
F. W. Richardson Papers, 1858 – 1943
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