The records of the Secretaries of State during the reign of Charles I comprising correspondence and records of their other responsibilities. Day-to-day management of the Privy Council produced proclamations, orders and council correspondence, while the secretaries' custody of the Signet involved the accumulation of petitions to the King, and the resulting signs manual which initiated the long process leading up to the issue of money or a grant.
As well as the individual letters and papers, now bound into volumes, the series contains a large number of original bundles or volumes of very varying origins and subjects. Many of these relate to musters; to the navy and the Admiralty; to various commissions and committees; to crown lands; to taxes; and to various courts, particularly the Court of High Commission for the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The series also includes papers relating to trials including the state trials of Charles I and Archbishop Laud, and of the Earl of Castlehaven for rape and sodomy.
The majority of the documents were, until the mid-nineteenth century, kept in several series (Domestic, Admiralty, Sherburn and Channel Islands, and perhaps others as well) in the State Paper Office. The series also includes Conway Papers, and the Morton Papers (family letters, etc, 1625-1638), the origin of which is unknown. In addition, official and even private papers from other high officers of state, such as the Lord High Admiral, Attorney-General Heath, and Archbishop Laud, which were for some reason in the custody of the State Paper Office, were sorted into the the series. The documents were brought together in the nineteenth century for the purpose of publication in calendar form.