Catalogue description Public Record Office: Record Commission Transcripts, Series II

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Details of PRO 31/8
Reference: PRO 31/8
Title: Public Record Office: Record Commission Transcripts, Series II

This series consists principally of transcripts of documents from various foreign archives, including the 'Cartulaire de la Basse Normandie' a collection of transcripts of charters, etc, of various early dates, granted in England to the religious houses of Normandy.

Also included in it are a collection of transcripts of papers of the Earls of Bristol, extending from 1605 to 1695, in the possession of the Digby family, and transcripts of Carew Mss, made under the supervision of J S Brewer, and of certain Irish state papers, the originals of which were presented by the Philadelphia Library Company, but which were lost during the disturbances in Ireland in 1921.

The series also includes some transcripts from the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office and some of ancient correspondence and other records then in the Tower Record Office, which were made under the direction of Joseph Stevenson.

Date: c1800-1837
Related material:

For records relating to the Royal Commission on Public Records, 1800-1837, see PRO 36

The Philadelphia Library Company papers are related to papers in SP 63

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Miscellaneous
Physical description: 203 volume(s)
Custodial history: In the interim period between the demise of the Record Commission in 1837 and the creation of the PRO in the following year these transcripts came into the charge of Lord Langdale, the master of the rolls, and were placed by him in the State Paper Office for safe custody in April 1838. There they remained until August 1843 when they were deposited in the PRO on accommodation becoming available for them in its Rolls House
Publication note:

Many of these transcripts were used in the Syllabus (in English) of the documents relating to England and other kingdoms contained in the collection known as 'Rymer's Foedera' edited by Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy, in three volumes (London, Longmans, Green, 1869-1885). Details of the documents listed in these transcripts can be found in F. S. Thomas's Notes of Materials for the History of Public Departments (London, 1846).

Administrative / biographical background:

When the Record Commission (1800-1837), the forerunner of the Public Record Office (PRO), was allowed to lapse after the death of William IV in 1837, it left behind a large quantity of uncompleted editorial work. One of the uncompleted works was the Commission's revised edition of the collection of documents relating to treaties, etc., between the English crown and foreign powers, known as Rymer's Foedera. The latter work, which arose from a commission in 1693 to Thomas Rymer, the historiographer royal, and in which he was assisted by Robert Sanderson, was published in 20 volumes between 1704 and 1735.

At the time of its expiry the Record Commission had published three volumes of a revised edition, under the principal editorship of Dr Adam Clarke. Another volume, eventually run off in 1869, was held in printed proof form, together with a large quantity of transcripts relating to the Foedera, many of them from documents in foreign archives, such as the 'Cartulaire de la Basse Normandie', concerning early charters, etc., granted in England to religious houses in Normandy.

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