This series contains proceedings and proofs in equity heard in the Court of Star Chamber during the reign of Charles I. Some proceedings from the reign of James I are also included.
The series is incomplete, and most records belong either to the first three years of the reign, or to the last three years of the court's operation before its abolition in 1641.
Under Charles I, the business of Star Chamber declined from about 800 bills a year to only 300, as the court became less attractive to litigants. At the same time, the proportion brought directly on behalf of the Crown rose. Some of these official prosecutions were undoubtedly fiscal: for example, those brought concerning offences against the Lenten laws. Others were more for the public benefit, including prosecutions for the corrupt manufacture or fraudulent sale of goods. The political trials of 1637 for which Charles's Star Chamber stands condemned in popular mythology were unrepresentative.
Suits brought by private plaintiffs ranged over those main categories of offence or injustice discernible as Star Chamber matter from the mid-sixteenth century: for example, riot, combination, forgery, conspiracy and perjury. Disputes concerning title to land, tithes, property or privilege continued to underpin some alleged offences.
Records and procedure in Star Chamber under Charles I were much the same as those that operated during the reign of his father.