Catalogue description Signet Office and Home Office: Docquet Books and Letters Recommendatory

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Details of SO 3
Reference: SO 3
Title: Signet Office and Home Office: Docquet Books and Letters Recommendatory

These volumes contain entries month by month of the docquets or short summaries of the contents of the king's bills.The docquets cease in December 1851.

Contained in the docquet books are details not only of bills which gave rise to instruments sealed with the signet, but also of immediate warrants sent from the king to the lord chancellor, upon which the clerks levied fees, even though the warrants did not pass under the signet. Caveats were also entered in some volumes, in a separate sequence.

The last volume in the series was compiled in the Home Office and contains letters recommendatory addressed to deans and chapters for the election of bishops. These have been entered in full and cover the years 1853 to 1874.

Date: 1585-1874
Related material:

Indexes to names found in the docquet books are in SO 4

Further copies of docquets were made by the clerks of the signet for the information of the secretary of state. This series of docquets spans the years 1541 to 1761 and is now in SP 38

A register kept by John Godsalve, clerk of the signet, of bills signed by Henry VIII during Godsalve's tours of duty in attendance on the secretary of state, 1541 to 1543 is in DL 42/133

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 40 volume(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

When a king's bill was submitted to the sovereign for signature, it was accompanied by a summary of its contents, known as a docquet, which was signed by the law officer or clerk of the signet responsible for preparing the bill. The docquet was entered on the bill near its lower left-hand corner.

The clerks of the signet kept registers of these docquets for the purpose of calculating the fees that were due to them.

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