Catalogue description Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Supplementary Decree Rolls

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Details of C 79
Reference: C 79
Title: Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Supplementary Decree Rolls

These records contain decrees, orders and dimissions (cases dismissed) which were enrolled to provide a permanent and authoritative record of final judgements of the court of Chancery.

Most of the decrees relate to land disputes, although the whole gamut of Chancery cases is represented. Until 1833 the pleadings of the parties and the court's proceedings are sometimes summarised in the rolls as well.

Orders confirming orders of English ecclesiastical courts directing the payment of sums of money, or of the court of Chancery of Ireland, might also be enrolled.

Date: 1534-1903
Related material:

A more comprehensive record of decrees and orders will be found in the entry books in C 33

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin
Physical description: 348 roll(s)
Access conditions: Open
Custodial history: The records in this series were apparently discovered 'on seats in the old office' when the six clerks moved to new premises in 1778.
Administrative / biographical background:

After the passage of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875, enrolment of decrees and orders became unnecessary, except for such railway scheme orders as were required to be confirmed by order of Chancery under the Railway Companies Act of 1867, and orders confirming the orders of other courts. There are therefore only a few enrolled decrees dated after 1876.

Decrees enrolled represent only a small part of the total number of Chancery cases for which proceedings were begun. However, in 1597 Lord Keeper Egerton pronounced that an order for a decree was not binding if it was only entered in the entry books (C 33) and not drawn up and enrolled. Once a decree was enrolled, it was more difficult and more expensive to reopen a case, a bill of review then being necessary.

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