War Office and predecessors: Secretary-at-War, Secretary of State for War, and Commander-in-Chief, In-letters and Miscellaneous Papers

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Details of WO 1
Reference: WO 1
Title: War Office and predecessors: Secretary-at-War, Secretary of State for War, and Commander-in-Chief, In-letters and Miscellaneous Papers

These consist of original despatches, letters and papers sent to the Secretary-at-War, 1755 to 1795, and to the Secretary of State for War, 1794 to 1865. Those sent to the Secretary of State relate for the most part to the conduct of the French Wars or to the military business of the Colonial Office (CO) from the late 1840s onwards. There are also some bundles of correspondence sent to the Commander-in-Chief (or to his subordinates the Military Secretary and the Adjutant-General); and some miscellaneous books. The series also contains letters, catalogued in detail, from Philip D' Auvergne, Prince de Bouillon.

Date: 1732-1868

Papers of the Secretary-at-War and the Secretary of State for War are arranged under the various military stations or public departments from which they were sent, or under the subjects with which they deal, or alphabetically by the name of the writer.

The papers are also grouped into two larger and two smaller subseries:

I: Records of the old War Office (Secretary-at-War), arranged into three groups:

  • 1. The books of original dispatches from various commanders,
  • 2. Correspondence received from other government departments,
  • 3. Correspondence from others, arranged roughly by the alphabetical order of the surnames of the senders, and including certain correspondence which might be expected to be found in the volumes of the first two groups. This has been divided into two sequences: the first consisting of foolscap volumes, the second of smaller volumes.

II: Records of the War Department (Secretary of State for War), arranged into four groups:

  • 1. Despatches, correspondence and papers from the French Wars period (1794-1816). Some of these books start earlier than July 1794, before the separate War Department was created,
  • 2. A few volumes covering the period 1817-1831, when the major part of the work of the Colonial and War Department was colonial,
  • 3. Military in-letters from the 1830s to the 1850s, arranged by colonies,
  • 4. Crimean War correspondence and despatches.

III: Loose bundles of despatches addressed to the Commander-in-Chief.

IV: Miscellaneous volumes.

Related material:

For other papers relating to the Prince de Bouillon see:

Subseries within PC 1

Subseries within PC 1

Subseries within PC 1

HO 69

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

Commander-in-Chief, 1795-1870

Secretary of State for War, 1794-1801

Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, 1801-1854

Secretary-at-War, 1660-1855

War Department, 1855-1857

War Office, 1857-1964

Physical description: 1138 bundles and volumes
Access conditions: Open

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