The archives of the principal secretaries of state during the reign of James I, as they survived in official custody. The papers are evidence of the great variety of business passing through the secretaries' office, and the presentation of the most important matters for consideration by James I and the Privy Council. The series includes what was formerly a separate series of Scottish Papers.
The volumes are of two types: contemporary volumes, and volumes of individual letters and papers, from various sources, sorted and bound in the nineteenth century for the purpose of publication in calendar form in the Calendar of State Papers Domestic, James I. The date sequence includes the Conway Papers (a private collection of state papers apparently removed from official custody by Sir Edward Conway, Secretary of State from 1623-1628) which returned to the State Paper Office in 1857. The Conway Papers were split up and bound in the relevant date order in SP 14, but were not incorporated into the first two volumes of the Calendar.
The contemporary volumes include Exchequer papers, Gunpowder Plot papers, articles of union between England and Scotland, charters of Trinity House and the Cinque Ports, records concerning lands given for superstitious uses in London and Middlesex, a survey of the Navy in 1618, musters of troops for Count Mansfeldt's expedition in 1624, proclamations, treatises, lists of justices of the peace, registers of aliens in London, Sir Walter Raliegh's 'Prerogative of Parliaments' , etc.