Treasury Solicitor: Jacobite Rebellion (1745) Prosecution Papers

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Details of TS 20
Reference: TS 20
Title: Treasury Solicitor: Jacobite Rebellion (1745) Prosecution Papers

Treasury Solicitor's papers, including some formerly part of what is now TS 11, concerning the prosecution mainly in England, but also in Scotland, of those involved in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion.

The series includes correspondence, administrative papers, lists of rebels, prisoners and witnesses, evidence, and records of assizes and special commissions and of proceedings against Scottish peers.

Prison records and lists of rebels may give names and other details, such as age, place of birth, trade, regiment in which served, if dead since capture, etc. Prison conditions are sometimes indicated, including the presence of women and children, and similar information may be obtained from the correspondence of the agents of John Sharpe, the Treasury Solicitor (e.g. Stratford Eyre).

Date: 1715-1753
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Treasury Solicitor, 1655-1876

Physical description: 131 file(s)
Custodial history: The papers were among a quantity of documents at one time in the Public Record Office and returned to the Treasury Solicitor in 1917.
Administrative / biographical background:

The rebels captured in England, or captured in Scotland and subsequently brought to England, were tried at assizes or before special commissions appointed at Carlisle, St Margaret's Hill in Southwark, and York. The principal rebels were tried at Southwark, but Lords Lovat and Balmerino, and Earls Cromarty and Kilmarnock were tried by their peers at Westminster Hall. Some were also tried at Lincoln, but records of their trials have not survived in this collection. Of the rank and file prisoners one in twenty were selected for trial by a lottery system based upon 1715 precedents; it was left to the rest to petition for pardons conditional upon transportation.

The Treasury Solicitor reporting to the Attorney General, Sir Dudley Ryder, was responsible for ensuring that the administrative machinery employed in bringing the rebels to trial ran smoothly; but that was complicated by the fact that most of the witnesses against the rebels were themselves prisoners. This meant that prisoners and witnesses had to be moved from prison to prison so that they might appear together at the most convenient place. Sharpe's correspondence and that of his country agents throw light on these proceedings.

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