An artificial collection of public and private letters, memoranda and papers brought together by the editors of the Letters and Papers...Henry VIII. Unlike later SP series, SP 1 contains both domestic and foreign correspondence and papers.
The series includes official correspondence and papers generated by the secretaries of state, officials, English representatives abroad, commissioners, judges and informants. A large part of the collection consists of the confiscated official papers of Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell, and Thomas Darcy, Lord Darcy. Sir Thomas More destroyed his equivalent papers after his resignation as Lord Chancellor.
The collection is particularly full in the late 1520s and 1530s with the marriages of Henry VIII with Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr, and the break with Rome, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the Pilgrimage of Grace. It also covers wars and alliances with the rest of Europe.
Access to the contents of this series is by way of the published Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII (22 volumes, London, 1862-1930). Unfortunately, this work does not give modern references to the documents in SP 1 or the many other series of documents also used: these have to be worked out from a key available at the National Archives.