Council of State papers relating to merchant shippping

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume containing an Order in Council, 2 May 1654, signed by William Jessop, Clerk of the Council of State, concerning the discharge of some merchant ships from service with the Royal Navy, and ordering that the new coined money on the Tower of London, along with cash from the sale of prize goods, should be used by the Admiralty Commissioners to defray the charge of freight and wages of those ships. The Order was approved on 4 May 1654.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Council of State was set up by Parliamentary ordinance on 13 February 1649 as a successor to the Derby House Committee which had taken over much of the Privy Council's executive role in the State. It was annually renewed by Parliament and insisted on choosing its own President. From May 1649 it was housed at Whitehall. Membership was reduced from 41 to 15 in 1653 when it became the Protector's Council. By 1656 it was being styled the Privy Council. After Richard Cromwell's abdication in 1659 the Council of State was revived and remodelled twice before it relapsed into a Privy Council. It spawned committees, both standing and ad hoc; the former included the Admiralty Committee, set up in 1649.


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

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.

Related Material

Papers of the Commonwealth Council of State and the Admiralty Committee are held at the Public Record Office, London (Ref: SP 18 and SP 25), including another copy of this Order of Council.


See the Calendar of State Papers: Domestic Series , 1654, 144, nos. 3,4.

Geographical Names