Description of the offices of the English Exchequer

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume, [1522-1566], containing a description of the offices of the King's Remembrancer's and Lord Chamberlain's Departments of the Upper Exchequer, and an account of their duties, with an enumeration of grudges and complaints and a suggestion of remedies for them. A second memorandum, possibly written between 1531 and 1533, discusses the problems of financial administration.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Exchequer was responsible for receiving and dispersing the public revenue. The lower Exchequer, or receipt, closely connected with the permanent Treasury, was an office for the receipt and payment of money. The upper Exchequer was a court sitting twice a year to regulate accounts. The business of the ancient Exchequer was mainly financial, though some judicial business connected with accounts was also conducted. In time the upper Exchequer developed into the judicial system, while the lower Exchequer became the Treasury.


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

Bought by Foxwell as an addition to the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript quarto. Morocco binding.

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

The manuscript is inscribed by Bryan Holme, whose library was sold at Sotheby's on 28 June 1865, and contains a nineteenth century title page inscribed 'Incorporated Law Society'. It was bought by Herbert Somerton Foxwell from Mawson, Swan and Morgan, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in March 1912.

Related Material

University of London MS 57 also relates to Exchequer offices.


W A Bryson 'Exchequer equity bibliography' in American Journal of Legal History , Vol XIV (1970). Jack and Schofield 'Four Early Tudor financial memoranda', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research , Vol XXXVI (1963).

Corporate Names

Geographical Names