Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Military

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Date range

Details of SP 41
Reference: SP 41
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Military

Mostly letters and papers, dated 1702-1782, directed to the Secretaries of State in their military capacity, chiefly by the Secretary at War, and the Board of Ordnance (records primarily in SP 34), both activated by the Secretaries. Included are the copious military memoranda, statistical and financial, assembled by the secretaries and left by them in the State Paper Office. As most of the secretaries' out-letters to the Secretary at War survive only from 1755 this series provides useful evidence of the control exercised by the secretaries over the Secretary at War, as well as of their direct mandates to the military.

Some documents are dated as late as 1786, although it is clear that 1782 was intended as the terminal date for the series, which was formerly known as State Papers Domestic Military.

Date: 1640-1786
Related material:

Secretaries' out-letters to military commanders in Europe are in SP 87

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 48 bundles and volumes
Publication note:

The series is calendared in part in: Calendar of State Papers Domestic Anne 2 vols ed R P Mahaffy (London 1916-1924) Calendar of Home Office Papers in the Reign of George III 4 vols eds J Redington and R A Roberts (London 1878-1899) There is an index to most of the series in 'An Alphabetical Guide to certain War Office and other Military Records' in Public Record Office Lists and Indexes LIII (London 1931). Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location.

Administrative / biographical background:

After the retirement of William Blathwayt in 1704, Secretaries at War were usually junior politicians who took their orders from the Secretaries of State in military matters, if the latter did not issue them direct to the military.

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