Chancery: Warrants for the Great Seal, Series II
Various instruments which constituted the authority for the issue of royal acts under the great seal, the order coming either directly from the monarch or through a minister.
The majority are privy seal warrants, followed by signed bills, which were immediate warrants from the monarch under signature or stamp; they include some royal proclamations. Also present are warrants by senior officials like the treasurer, the masters of wards and of liveries, general surveyors and commissioners.
The warrants are kept in files, by month. Some files are wanting. Those warrants without exact dates are given in bundles by regnal year, or by reign. There are very few files between 1644 and 1660.
The provisions of the act of 1535 for the passing of instruments under the great seal remained substantially in force until 1851, when the Signet Office was abolished and the signet bill ceased to be the lord privy seal's authority for his warrant to the lord chancellor.
The sign manual warrants, which thereafter took the place of signet bills, were sent on to the lord chancellor, after being passed and entered by the lord privy seal. By the Great Seal Act 1884 the necessity of passing any instrument under the privy seal was abolished and the Privy Seal Office ceased to exist, warrants for passing instruments under the great seal being thenceforth prepared by the clerk of the Crown in Chancery.
Once the chancellor had approved the docquet, the text of the grant, commission or proclamation as given in the warrant was engrossed by one of the many Chancery clerks, who had divided up the responsibility by subject and by 'ownership' of particular kinds of grant. The clerk of the patents, appointed in 1618, had the responsibility for writing and despatching only those grants, confirmations, charters and letters patent under the great seal which did not belong, or had not already been granted to, any other officer of the court of Chancery.
Found an error? Suggest a correction to help improve our descriptions.
Users have not yet tagged this record
Use the form below to include your knowledge of this record. If your description includes any citable references, please add these to the "Citable References?" field on the right, remebering to seperate each reference with a comma, for example (FO 176/1/1, FO 178/2/1, and so on...)
- C Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal...
- Records of the Lord Chancellor
- C 82 Chancery: Warrants for the Great Seal, Series II