Catalogue description Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Entry Books

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Details of SP 104
Reference: SP 104
Title: Secretaries of State: State Papers Foreign, Entry Books

An incomplete series of out-letter entry books of correspondence of the Secretaries of State with British ambassadors, ministers and other representatives abroad (including consuls). In addition, a number of volumes contain copies of letters to foreign ministers in England (1710-1783), and several more refer to those ministers' privileges. There are also a number of précis books which summarise both in-coming and out-going correspondence; draft minutes of the Committee of Foreign Affairs (1667-1678); registers of instructions given to special diplomatic missions and of allowances paid (1664-1687 and 1760-1773); an entry book of letters from the Secretary of State to the Board of Trade (1763-1767), and entry books of letters from British monarchs to foreign heads of state from c 1603 - c 1723. Some letter books contain general correspondence of individual Secretaries of State.

Date: 1571-1783

The records are mainly arranged alphabetically by country name (and then within each country they are listed in chronological order), or arranged chronologically under 'Miscellaneous' (ie relating to more than one country). The series ends with entry books of letters to foreign ministers in England.

Related material:

See later volumes with the King's Letter Books in FO 90

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 271 bundles and volumes
Publication note:

Selected documents dated before August 1589 are described in theCalendar of State Papers, Foreign Series, of the Reign of Elizabeth I, ed A J Butler, S C Lomas and R B Wernham (London, 1901-1950). Transcripts of some instructions from the Secretaries of State in this series are inBritish diplomatic instructions 1689-1789, I-IV, ed J F Chance and L G Wickham Legg (Camden Third Series, XXXII, XXXV, XXXVI and XXXVIII, London, 1922-1927). For Sicily and Naples, there are descriptions in Italian for a number pieces inIl commercio inglesi nel Mediterraneo dal '500 al '700..., ed Gigliola Pagano (Naples, 1984).

Unpublished finding aids:

Of the documents concerning Sicily and Naples certain folios are transcribed mainly in Italian in 'Contributo ad un inventario delle Fonti manoscitte inglesi o reperibili in Inghilterra e relative ai rapporti fra Inghilterra e mezzogriorno d'Italia nei secoli XVII-XVIII' ed Gigliola Pagano. Please speak to staff at the Map and Large Document Room enquiry desk for the precise location.

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