Catalogue description Duchy of Lancaster: Drafts and Particulars for Letters Patent

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Details of DL 13
Reference: DL 13
Title: Duchy of Lancaster: Drafts and Particulars for Letters Patent

This series consists mainly of the particulars and drafts for letters patent issued under the seals of the Duchy of Lancaster and the County Palatine of Lancaster. They relate to grants of lands and offices during the monarch's pleasure and for life.

Also included in the series are four bundles of slightly different material: drafts and particulars for patents for grants in fee of the reign of James I; deeds of surrender of lands and offices of the same reign; drafts of letters patent, with warrants, dating from 1652 to 1749, allowing specified residents of the Duchy exemption from fair and market tolls in England outside the Duchy, either in the form of a charter of exemption or a constat (certificate) of exemption; and some miscellaneous drafts, mostly concerned with the grant of offices.

Date: 1514-1919
Related material:

Particulars for the sale of crown land will be found in LR 10

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Not Public Record(s)
Language: English and Latin

Duchy of Lancaster, 1399-

Physical description: 55 bundle(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 2021 Duchy of Lancaster

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

The drafting of a patent was a distinct stage in the process of issuing instruments under the Duchy and Palatine seals. The draft would be prepared after the appropriate authority had been received and be the basis for the final engrossed patent letter. The process, however, differed with the nature of the tenure of the office or lands.

By the mid-sixteenth century, from when the drafts in this series survive, patents for offices during the monarch's pleasure could be granted by the chancellor and council of the Duchy. The chancellor would first issue a warrant to the auditor for the area involved. The auditor would then prepare a particular to be returned to the chancellor who would note it with a warrant to the clerk of the Duchy to prepare a draft. If the office was for a term of life, or land was granted in fee, however, the authority had to come from the monarch in the form of a sign manual bill.

The initial stages of the above process would be the same but the chancellor's note on the particular would be for the preparation of a sign manual bill for the royal signature. The returned bill would be the warrant and as it carried the exact form of the grant no draft would be needed.

The particular, drawn up by the auditor, detailed the premises or office concerned, the county, the present tenant or office holder, tenure, terms and rents, and fees and allowances. From this information a draft letter patent could be issued, which formed the basis for the final engrossed letters patent.

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