Accounts of the Royal household

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume concerning the expenditure of the royal household of King Edward III, [1550], namely an abstract from the accounts of Walter Wentwage of 'the rates of wages of peace and warre, expenses necessarie of officers and other charges concerning the household', dating from 21 Apr 1344-23 Nov 1374 and mainly relating to armed forces. Includes a statement of the costs of diplomatic, military and naval activity taken from the accounts of William Norwell, Keeper of the King's Wardrobe, for the period 15 Jul 1348-25 May 1350.

Administrative / Biographical History

The royal household originated as the sovereign's retinue, and had a purely domestic function until the 12th century, after which it became a mainspring of government. The government departments of the Treasury, the Exchequer and the common law courts all originated there. In the 13th century, under Henry III and Edward I, the Royal Wardrobe became a major financial institution. Used as a war treasury, it acted as paymaster to the major military expeditions commanded by the king. It subsequently declined in importance, being replaced by the Chamber. Separate from the king's Wardrobe was the Great Wardrobe, for army clothing and military stores, peripatetic until 1361 and then at Baynard castle, and the Privy Wardrobe, for bows, arrows, pikes, and other weapons, in the Tower of London.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio. Bound in half-morocco.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

This manuscript was formerly in the library of the Child-Villiers family, Earls of Jersey, at Osterley Park.

Geographical Names