Catalogue description Privy Council: Registers

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Details of PC 2
Reference: PC 2
Title: Privy Council: Registers

This series contains the register of the Privy Council, comprising the minutes of its proceedings, its orders, certain proclamations and the reports of committees with the papers accompanying them, sometimes entered at length, sometimes in abstract only. Pieces 1-873 are fully indexed. There are several gaps in the series of registers, the chief being that between 1 January 1602 and 1 May 1613.

From the late sixteenth century the registers generally contain lists of privy councillors and, occasionally, lists of committees and committee members, transcripts of official oaths, etc. From the mid 1890s, maps and plans frequently appear in the registers. They relate mainly to local authority areas and ward boundaries arising from the issue of orders in council in connection with the grant of charters, etc. Other maps relate to the boundaries of ecclesiastical parishes, chapelries, benefices and the extent of military manoeuvres.

Also included are a number of volumes containing copies of revised king's regulations and Admiralty instructions, issued under orders in council.

Digital images of some of the records in this series are available through the Anglo-American Legal Tradition website. Please note that The National Archives is not responsible for this website or its content.

Date: 1540-2019

The registers are arranged by sovereign, in date order.

Related material:

No Privy Council registers earlier than 1540 and in precisely the same form are known to have survived, but there are some Elizabethan transcripts from early Tudor Council registers among the Ellesmere manuscripts in the Huntington library in California.

Separated material:

The volumes for 1 January 1602 and 1 May 1613 are known to have been destroyed by fire in 1619, and the same fate may have attended other volumes now missing, but one of them, extending from 10 May 1545 to 28 January 1547, is in the British Library (Add. MS 5476).

For Privy Council minutes and memoranda for the first half of the eighteenth century see SP 45

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 1441 volumes, bundles and papers
Access conditions: Open
Accruals: Series is accruing
Publication note:

Colonial affairs between 1613 and 1783 have been calendared in Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial (6 vols HMSO 1908-1912). The registers have been calendared from 1542 to 1631 in Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series, (46 vols, HMSO 1890-1964) 1540 to 1542 Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, vol VII

Unpublished finding aids:

The registers were subject indexed for the years 1627/8 to 1645 and 1660 to 1714, in the 1840s by Robert Lemon. Available in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.

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