Catalogue description Foreign Office and predecessors: Political and Other Departments: Miscellanea, Series II

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Details of FO 96
Reference: FO 96
Title: Foreign Office and predecessors: Political and Other Departments: Miscellanea, Series II

This series contains records of several departments. Also included are drafts, minutes and memoranda which originate mainly from the political departments of the Foreign Office. Also contained are various miscellaneous records whose provenance is uncertain and which are hard to ascribe to other Foreign Office series.


  • Draft despatches, minutes and memoranda 1820-1865 of the political departments, including the Slave Trade department, many in the secretary of state's hand.
  • Papers of the Chief Clerk's department, mainly accounts to do with the slave trade, messengers, the North American Boundary Commission, 1843-1848 and British Central Africa administration 1892-1895.
  • Papers of the Treaty and Royal Letter department including commissions to secretaries of state, ambassadors and special commissioners; addresses to the sovereign and prime minister 1840-1929; and entry books of presents given for assistance rendered to ships in distress.
  • Miscellaneous petitions 1880-1903.
  • Consular trade statistics 1869-1870.
  • Archives of special commissions 1872-1905 including Sir Bartle Frere's slave trade commission to Zanzibar 1872-1873, the Serbian Boundary commission 1878-1880, and photographs of Naturalists' mission to Seal (Pribilof) Islands, 1896.
  • Correspondence and papers of Arnold Toynbee about the Turkish atrocities in Armenia 1915-1916.
  • Original passports,
  • Printed treaties,
  • Printed correspondence including material from the India Office about the North West Frontier.
  • Miscellaneous objects from the Foreign Office.
  • Cigarette cards of Nazi personalities and functions.

Date: c1700-1953
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 350 bundles, files and volumes
Selection and destruction information: FO 96/35-66, 68-80, 82-85, 87-100, 102-114, 116, 118-121, 124-135, 149, and 154-172 were destroyed under the Second Foreign Office Schedule of 1923.
Unpublished finding aids:

An essay on FO 96/2-27 (draft despatches, minutes and memoranda 1820-1865 of the political departments) is available at the Public Record Office, Kew. The obsolete pre 1923 FO 96 catalogue is in OBS 1/1049/15.

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