These rolls are the chronological successors to SC 9, the so-called Exchequer series of Parliament rolls for the years 1289 to 1322, some of which were originally among the Chancery rolls.
Until 1483 this series records parliamentary proceedings (petitions, bills and answers, both public and private) which formed the basis of acts of Parliament, but seldom the statutes themselves, which are in the statute rolls: C 74
From 1483 to 1534 both public and private acts are enrolled in this series; after 1535 only those private acts for which an enrolment fee was paid appear, and from 1593 only the titles of private acts are supplied. By 1629 all proceedings other than the acts themselves disappear and from 1759 the titles of private acts disappear too. From 1798 public acts were classified as 'general' or 'local and personal' until 1868, when the latter were restyled 'local and private' ('personal' reappeared as a distinct category in 1972).
Until 1849 the records consist of parchment rolls inscribed in what became a standard 'Parliament' hand, and stitched end to end in the usual Chancery fashion, with numbered membranes. Thereafter they are printed on vellum, in leaflet form, being duplicates of the original acts. Each act is signed by the Clerk of Parliament at the end, the royal assent appearing on the top of the first page.
From 1998 (piece 7529) the titles of the Acts are included in the catalogue
The original acts of Parliament (of which this series contains the enrolments) are preserved, from 1497, in the House of Lords Record Office in the palace of Westminster.
Petitions to Parliament and proceedings may also be found in C 49
Measures laid before Parliament in consequence of the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act of 1919 appear in C 50
A more complete set of the statutes enacted in the Irish parliament of 1634-1635 are in C 86
See also the Special Collections, Ancient Petitions, in SC 8
For the earlier series of Parliament rolls, see SC 9
According to a list compiled in 1381, there were 33 Parliament rolls in the Chancery archive for Edward III's reign. There are now 31, the only notable break being from November 1355 to Michaelmas 1362. The discrepancy in the numbers may be partly explained by the amalgamation of four distinct rolls into one for the years 1330-1332.
Series is accruing
Many of the records in this series, up to 1503, were printed in Rotuli Parliamentorum (6 vols, London, 1767-1783), with an index volume (Record Commission, 1832). A new version of these rolls is being prepared for publication as a CD-ROM. For previously unpublished rolls from 1279 to 1373, see Rotuli Parliamenti Hactenus Inediti, ed G O Sayles (Camden Society, 3rd series, li, 1935). Statutes enrolled in this series, up to 1714, are reproduced in Statutes of the Realm (9 vols, Record Commission, 1810-1828), with a two volume index. Subsequent statutes appear in Public General Acts and Measures. The Chronological Table and Index of the Statutes, first issued in 1885. See also, Index to Local and Personal Acts since 1801, first issued in 1900. For the period of the Interregnum, see Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, ed C H Firth and R S Tait (3 vols, London, 1911).
Unpublished finding aids:
A calendar in three volumes is a useful guide to the contents of the series from 1485 to 1760, as it follows the arrangement of the rolls, by regnal years and parts thereof.
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