Privy Council papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Collection of transcripts, [1560]-1624, mainly relating to Privy Council matters, notably a petition presented to King James I by Sir Robert Heath, Solicitor General, 1624; a survey of the Forests and Chaces [Chases] of Bringwood, Mocktree and Darvell, with the Manor of Buriton, 1604; a letter from King James I to the Peers of England and the Privy Council concerning the composition of the Privy Council and the replacement of the ailing Lord Chamberlain by Thomas Howard, Lord Howard of Walden, 1603; copies of documents relating to the French conquest of Guiana, South America, including commissions granted by King Henry IV of France to Renée Marie, Lord Mountbarrot, and Daniel de la Touche, Lord of Raverdiere, for the conquest of Guiana, 1605 and 1609, the appointment of Robert Le Brette, Lord Dubosc, as Raverdiere's lieutenant in Guiana and other parts of America, including Brazil, 1609; the commission of Sir John Digby, Vice-Chamberlain, to negotiate a marriage between Prince Charles of England and the Infanta Maria, daughter of King Philip III of Spain, 1615; a letter written by Captain Charles Parker, one of Sir Walter Raleigh's company at Guiana, to Captain Alley, 1607; a declaration of proceedings in the Star Chamber against John Wrenham, who charged the Lord Chancellor of injustice against the King, 1618; a discourse of marriage written by Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire, in defence of his wedding to Penelope, Lady Rich, [1605]; a discourse written by Dr Lancelot Andrewes, Bishop of Ely, against second marriage following a divorce, 1601; a discourse made by merchant adventurers on the occasion of a bill preferred to the High Court of Parliament, requiring free trade to all kingdoms and countries, [1610]; a consideration of the office and duty of a herald in England by John Dodridge, the Solicitor General, 1605; proceedings in the Star Chamber against Mary Countess of Shrewsbury for her refusal to give evidence against Arabella Seymour, Duchess of Somerset, 1618; an Act of Council upon the proceedings against James Whitlocke and Sir Robert Mansell for speaking against the King's Commission for reform of the Navy and also against the King's power and prerogative, 1609; speeches, and a memorandum on the union of England and Scotland, by Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, 1617; a copy of 'The present state of things as theye nowe stand, betweene the three greate kingdomes, France, England and Spayne, [1623], and 'A breviarie of the historie of England from William I, intitled the Conqueror, both written by Sir Walter Raileighe, Knight'; a speech by John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln and Keeper of the Great Seal of England, on the occasion of the collecting of the subsidy, Aug 1621; two versions of instructions by William Cecil, Lord Burleigh, Lord Treasurer to his son, Robert Cecil, 1561 and [1598]; letters from Sir Henry Sidney to his brother and to his son, Phillip, [1560]; a treatise entitled 'Toucheinge the Antiquities of Baronies delivered in the College of Antiquaries', [1600].

Administrative / Biographical History

The Privy Council is descended from the Curia Regis, which was made up of the king's tenants in chief, household officials, and anyone else the king chose. This group performed all the functions of government. About the time of Edward I (reigned 1272-1307), the executive and advising duties of the Curia Regis came to be handled by a select group, the king's secret council, which later came to be called the Privy Council.

Arrangement

Single item.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. 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 vellum.

Archivist's Note

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

Separated Material

Alternative versions of most of these documents can be found in the British Library, London (Refs: Harl. MSS 35, 39, 354, 3638; Add. MSS 4149, 36444; Sloane MS 173), the Bibliotech du Ministère de la Marine (Ref: MS 348, a copy of the British Library MSS), the Bodleian Library, Oxford University (Ref: MS Tanner 278), and Queen's College, Oxford University (Ref: MS 32). There is a copy of 'The present state of things...' by Francis Bacon in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth (Ref: Castell Gorford MS 1). Lord Burleigh's advice to his son may also be found in the Folger Shakespeare Library (Ref: MS V a 321).

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.

Bibliography

Most of these publications are from other versions of the manuscripts: P Lefranc Sir Walter Raleigh, écrivain (Paris, 1968); Thomas Bayly Howell A complete collection of state trials and proceedings for high treason (1811-1828); Works of Lancelot Andrewes (1841-1854); Thomas Hearne A collection of curious discourses (At the Theater: Oxford, 1720); Works of Francis Bacon (Longmans, London 1857-74) ed James Spedding; Instructions for Youth, Gentlemen and Noblemen (Randal Minshull: London, 1722); Advice to a Son. Precepts of Lord Burghley, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Francis Osborne (Folger Shakespeare Library by Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1962); John Somers A collection of scarce and valuable tracts on the most interesting...subjects (F Cogan, London, 1748); The complete works of Sir Phillip Sidney ed Albert Feuillerat (Cambridge University Press, 1912-26).