Assignation books of the High Court of Delegates.
The surviving assignation books run in a complete sequence from 1650 to 1838. They are notes of proceedings both in court and in chambers and give the names of parties, their proctors, dates of appearance, details of the case and some final judgments.
The assignation books fall into two groups. DEL 6/1-25 (1650-1691) are clearly rough drafts of the act books (DEL 4). They are unindexed and very difficult to read, being compiled at speed while the court was sitting. DEL 6/26 is the first volume to be indexed and although its successor is not, from DEL 6/28 onwards (1696-1838) all the volumes have indexes and it is clear that they are being used as the formal record of proceedings; the writing is clearer and the entries fuller and by this point the act books (DEL 4) have ceased to be kept. DEL 6/26-27 (1691-1696) may represent a transitional period.
The assignation books are laid out in much the same way as the act books, each entry beginning with the names of the parties and their proctors and a note of the business assigned. Following this is an account of the business as transacted.