All payments made out of the royal treasure in the Exchequer of Receipt were made on the authority of the King's writ or by order of the barons of the Exchequer. This series comprises the writs and warrants ordering those payments, and thus contains a very wide range of information on items of royal expenditure.
The most common records in the series are the writs of privy seal and the wardrobe debentures, both of which provide details of expenditure not always surviving elsewhere. The series contains a substantial number of seals, most notably in the wardrobe debentures.
The surviving warrants for issue are most complete and valuable for the period 1399-1485. Payments thus authorised include wages to judges, attorneys and sergeants-at-arms; annuities; payments for employment on embassies; payment of debts for supplies of all kinds and for works on the king's buildings; and the repayment of loans to the Crown. The information contained in the warrants complements that found on the issue rolls.
The wardrobe debentures contain a wide range of information on the royal buttery, gifts, alms, knights' fees and wages in war, the household of the king's children, the Great Wardrobe, the Royal Household, Crown jewels, necessaries, receipts and loans, robes, victualling, the wages of household staff, sailors, foot soldiers and the sergeants-at-arms who were the royal bodyguard.
In addition, the series contains paper warrants dating from the 16th to 18th centuries, and 18th and 19th century treasury letters and original warrants, all addressed to the auditors of the receipt ordering the issue of money; printed and manuscript orders from the auditors to the treasury to repay debts; and common debentures, or certificates of indebtedness.
Finally, there are a number of original receipts for various pensions and annuities, including the pensions granted by Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of English forces during the American War of Independence, pensions to the poor of St Martin's, probably St Martin's-in-the-Fields, lottery office pensions and Vaudois pensions, which were possibly payments made to fund Swiss partisans against France during the later 18th century.