Chancery and Lord Chancellor's Office: Crown Office: Docket Books

C 231
Chancery and Lord Chancellor's Office: Crown Office: Docket Books

Registers of dockets, summaries for official record of appointments made or recalled by letters patent, commissions, proclamations and writs. The introduction of the wafer seal in 1878, and its extension to further instruments in 1916, limited their contents.

Appointments docketed consist chiefly of peers, baronets, bishops and judicial officeholders. Commissions include those of array, musters, lord lieutenancy, justices of the peace, oyer and terminer, gaol delivery, sewers, charitable uses, mortmain and special ad hoc inquiries.

Military commissions are included during the Civil War, when Charles I used the great seal instead of the signet. The Civil War also gave rise to many writs of pardon and indemnity, which reappear in the Jacobite era, but pardons for non-political offences occur regularly.

The election writs, summonses to the Lords, regulation of parliamentary meetings (and of convocations) and arrangements for royal assents to bills derive from the duties of the clerk of the Crown.

Nearly all dockets are dated, usually no more than a few days later than that on the warrant that brought them into being. Many of the volumes have indexes.


Mainly chronological

Related Material:
Dockets of appointment to civil offices, together with land grants, charters, inventions, monopolies, licences and contracts, are in C 233
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Former references:
in The National Archives:   IND 1/4208-4220
Legal status:
Public Record
Physical description:
24 volume(s)
Access conditions:
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Series is accruing, transfers being made periodically from the Crown Office in the House of Lords.
Publication note:
Material from this series was used by Sir William Dugdale, The ancient usage in bearing of such ensigns of honour as are commonly called Arms (1682). The creation of peerages and baronetcies appearing in the series can be found in the Complete Peerage and Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. Officeholders have usually appeared in Joseph Haydn's Book of Dignities (1st ed, 1894). More recent works, drawing specifically on the series, include J R S Phillips, The Justices of the Peace in Wales and Monmouthshire, 1541-1689 (Cardiff, 1975) and Sir J Sainty, A list of English Law Officers, King's Counsel and Holders of Patents of Precedence (Selden Society, London, 1987).

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