Catalogue description Chancery and Lord Chancellor's Office: Crown Office: Miscellaneous Books

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Details of C 193
Reference: C 193
Title: Chancery and Lord Chancellor's Office: Crown Office: Miscellaneous Books

The volumes relate to the whole range of responsibilities of the clerk of the Crown over several centuries, although nineteenth-century material predominates.

These miscellaneous records demonstrate the range of functions of the Crown Office in Chancery, and after 1885 in the House of Lords, where the clerk of the Crown moved on becoming ex officio permanent secretary to the lord chancellor.

The earliest are the precedent books dating from the fifteenth century, which reflect the duties of the Crown Office in relation to authenticating royal grants such as honours, appointments, commissions and proclamations. Later, the lists of returns to the House of Commons make clear the clerk of the Crown's parliamentary importance, of which there is further evidence in the series: the drafts of the book of returns which the clerk was statutorily required to present to the House after every general election from 1696, and the House's orders to him to attend, chiefly to amend election returns, the earliest of which dates from 1698.

They include precedent books, some indexed, 1461-1934; parliamentary returns and draft lists of members of the House of Commons, 1553-1841, with a return book for the general election of 1931; orders to the clerk of the Crown in Chancery to attend and amend returns, 1693-1846; Libri Pacis and other lists of justices of the peace, borough magistrates, commissioners for oaths and other commissioners, c1509-1975.

The Crown Office's role in keeping tabs on justices of the peace is also represented by entry books and libri pacis from Henry VIII's reign onwards, registers of commissions, dedimus books, and a series of nineteenth- and twentieth-century JP lists and indexes for England, Wales and Scotland.

Also, registers of ecclesiastical dispensations, 1715-1849; documents relating to the Lord Chancellor's Augmentation (of benefices) Act, 1863-1902, including an indexed volume of sales; registers of documents sealed with the great seal, 1889-1936; various orders of the House of Commons, 1698-1846; entry books of warrants, and writs of statute staple, 1601-1829; cash and account books of the Crown Office and Hanaper, 1724-1944; proceedings of trials of various peers, 1746, 1765, 1776; a register of solicitors struck off, 1905-1960; several notorial faculty registers, 1873-1952; registers of commissioners of oaths, 1876-1974; and other miscellaneous Crown Office material.

Date: 1417-1975
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin
Physical description: 189 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Lord Chancellor's Office, Clerk of the Crown , from 1876

Custodial history: Some of the records in this series were transferred from the predecessor of the Crown Office to the Public Record Office in 1876 to facilitate publication of the official Return of members of Parliament, prepared by staff of the PRO.
Publication note:

Some of the proclamations in the series have been printed in Tudor Royal Proclamations, 1485-1603, ed P L Hughes and J F Larkin (3 vols, New Haven, 1964-69). See also, Stuart Royal Proclamations, 1603-1646, ed P L Hughes and J F Larkin (2 vols, New Haven, 1973-83).

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