Catalogue description Treasury: Treasury Board Papers and In-Letters

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Details of T 1
Reference: T 1
Title: Treasury: Treasury Board Papers and In-Letters

Original correspondence of the Board of Treasury and of letters to the Treasury together with reports and draft minutes.

The Board sat to decide on royal finances and the organisation of the Treasury and other governmental bodies, matters affecting the colonies, including Australia, New Zealand and America, as well as domestic issues. Minutes of the Treasury Board are present in T 1 although the main and expanded minutes are in series T 29 and T 99.

From 1782, the Treasury began to register and number the papers considered by or produced by the Treasury Board. The majority of papers from this date onwards are registered, although some papers from the years 1782-1809 are unregistered.

Note that the majority of papers are not described individually in online catalogue entries. Most pieces are described by the range of file or paper numbers included in a particular box.

  • To find papers dated up to 1745, consult the Calendar of Treasury Books, Calendar of Treasury Papers or Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers.
  • To find most papers registered during the period 1782-1878 and 1884-1908, consult the registers in series T 2 or T 108 first to identify relevant paper numbers and then check the paper numbers against the Skeleton Registers in series T 3 to find out whether those papers have survived.

Date: 1557-1946

The records are arranged as volumes of correspondence, loose bundles and files. In general, the sequence of these is roughly chronological but the subject-based Long Bundles of the period 1782-1840 are arranged as a separate subseries.

The arrangement of the registered papers reflects the Treasury's usual method of handling them. Each paper received was usually given a number followed by a year (eg 21/86 for the 21st paper received in 1886). A paper was filed in the Registry (in its numerical order for its year) once action on it was completed, unless the arrival of a later related paper meant that an earlier one needed to be consulted. When an earlier paper was called for it was then attached to the later paper and put away with it, under the later registered number. The transfer to the new number was marked up against the original number in the appropriate place in the Skeleton Registers now in series T 3.

Related material:

Letters sent by Treasury to applicants before the Board can be found in the various overlapping out-letter books until the 1870s when formal copies were made available for the files now in T 1. For registers see:

For other papers not recorded in the calendars of Treasury books, 1599 to 1800, see T 98

For subject indexes see T 108

For Treasury arrangement books see T 197

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 12627 boxes, bundles and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:


Selection and destruction information: Note that not all of the registered papers listed in the registers in T 2 and T 108 have survived in T 1. Many of the earlier papers that would otherwise have formed part of this series were destroyed when they were used for lighting fires in Treasury offices. This practice was stopped during the 19th century. Some papers of short-term use, mainly accounting records including vouchers, were destoyed in accordance with the Destruction Schedules to the Public Records Act 1877. During the 1960s, papers registered in 1909 were classified as A, B or C, and papers registered during 1910-1920 were classified as A, B, C or D, according to their perceived interest and importance (A being the most important); the apparent intention was to destroy those papers classified as C or D, but this was never carried out.
Publication note:

Treasury Board: Letters and Papers, 1557-1920 Go to our research guidance

Administrative / biographical background:

This collection of papers dates from before the Treasury was first put into commission in the 17th century to beyond the date when the Treasury Board last sat to decide on applications before it. The Treasury Board consisted of the senior members of government (the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer) and was attended by the reigning Royal monarch until the reign of Queen Anne.

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