Chancery: Original Letters Patent of Denization
This series consists of fifteen engrossed letters patent of denization, each with the great seal attached, and each supplying the new place of residence of each alien.
Some of the documents also supply the alien's former place of residence and occupation.
Most of the denizations are in their original wooden boxes, and may have been left, unclaimed by the patentees, in the department of the Hanaper.
Letters patent of denization conferred naturalized British status upon the recipients. Denization was granted by the crown, and so differed from naturalization, which, until the Aliens Act of 1844 empowered the Home Secretary to issue certificates of naturalization, was conferred only by act of parliament. In practice, the patents frequently contained clauses of limitation which restricted the recipient's rights; but there was no general, legal, distinction between the status created by naturalization and that created by denization.
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