Special Collections: Papal Bulls
|Title:||Special Collections: Papal Bulls|
An artificial collection created in the mid-1880s of papal documents, brought together from a variety of archival sources among the public records.
The records cover the whole range of dealings between the papacy and the royal government and ecclesiastical authorities. A significant proportion of the series consists of letters addressed to the King of England. There are also numerous letters addressed generally or to named ecclesiastics and others, most of which relate to matters touching royal government, from papal taxation and papal provisions to benefices and ecclesiastical dignities within the king's lands.
The records include:
The documents relating to Cardinal Wolsey date from the years 1524-1530, and deal with various aspects of Wolsey's power, including his diplomatic activities on behalf of King Henry VIII. The majority, however, relate to his exercise of power as legate a latere in conducting visitations of religious houses in England, and his campaign to suppress some of the smallest of these.
Many documents are transcripts or exemplifications, often made many years after the original date of issue.
The former Exchequer and Chancery records are arranged alphabetically by name of the Pope, though listed in strict chronological order of the issue or creation of the documents. Original letters are assigned to the known or presumed date of issue, but exemplifications and other transcripts are usually listed according to the date at which they were compiled, where this is known.
Abbreviations used in the list are as follows:
additional finding aid ZBOX 1/75/2
A number of papal letters are in the British Library under the references Cotton MSS Cleopatra E.i-iii and Vitellius B.ii-ix.
|Held by:||The National Archives, Kew|
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Exchequer, Treasury of the Receipt, 1109-1833
|Physical description:||64 bundle(s)|
|Physical condition:||Many of the documents have lost their bullae|
|Custodial history:||Many documents were among the records of the Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer prior to transfer to the Public Record Office, the earliest items held in the Exchequer by 1323. The bulk of the documents remained in the Chapter House utilised by Thomas Rymer in the compilation of his Foedera in the 1720s and 1730s. In 1843 the bulls were transferred to the Rolls House and thence to the Public Record Office. A collection of papal documents was held among the records of the Chancery, housed in the Tower of London from the fourteenth century until 1856 when transferred to the PRO. Further papal letters among the records of the Chancery, from 1441 to 1507, continuing the Tower series, were housed in the Rolls Chapel before transfer to the PRO.|
|Unpublished finding aids:||
See also Special Collections: Papal Bulls (formerly introductory note to SC 7)