Phillipps Treasury Records

Scope and Content

The volume contains:

  • a) advices to clerks with quotations of cases of the year 1556;
  • b) Tables of rates for money, wheat, etc.; with the reference to the year (1557) and James Redmer's authorship on folio 45.

Administrative / Biographical History

Throughout the medieval period the Treasury of England was responsible for collecting taxes and controlling the expenditure of royal officials. The actual office of the Treasurer was within the Exchequer court, which managed and accounted for all royal revenue. Exchequer court meetings were normally held twice a year when the Chief Justice, the Lord Chancellor, the Treasurer and others came to together to audit the accounts of each local Sheriff who collected and spent money on behalf of the Crown. As a means of financial management the Exchequer system was grossly inefficient and ineffective and was routinely ignored by the Crown when it needed extra revenues. Under Elizabeth I the system was reformed but the system could not cope with the level of expenditure generated by the Stuarts and in 1667 the Treasury was separated from the Exchequer court and given greater oversight in the hope of achieving greater financial control over spiraling costs. The Exchequer court continued up until 1833 when it was finally abolished.

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from the London booksellers J. and J. Leighton on 18 June 1908.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, with reference to:

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 101).

Custodial History

The manuscript is first noticed in November 1836, as part of Sir Thomas Phillipps's purchase of the entire manuscript collection of the London bookseller Thomas Thorpe (1791-1851), who specialised in historical, genealogical and topographical manuscripts. After the death of Phillipps in 1872 his library was very gradually dispersed.

Related Material

The John Rylands University Library holds the Phillipps Charters, formerly owned by Sir Thomas Phillipps (GB 133 PHC). The JRUL also holds another Phillipps manuscript previously owned by Thomas Thorpe (GB 133 Eng MS 8).