The RECORD COMMISSIONS were a series of six Royal Commissions of Great Britain and (from 1801) the United Kingdom which sat between 1800 and 1837 to inquire into the custody and public accessibility of the state archives . The Commissioners' work paved the way for the establishment of the Public Record Office in 1838. The Commissioners were also responsible for publishing various historical records, including the Statutes of the Realm (i.e. of England and Great Britain ) to 1714 and the Acts of Parliament of Scotland to 1707, as well as a number of important medieval records.
Although the six Commissions were technically distinct from one another, there was a considerable degree of continuity between them, and it is common practice to regard them as a single entity and to refer to them in singular form as the RECORD COMMISSION.
* 1 Activities * 2 Publications * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 Bibliography * 6 External links
Extract from the Patent Roll for 3 John (1201–2), as published
The first Commission was established on 19 July 1800, on the
recommendation of a Select Committee appointed earlier in the year, on
the initiative and under the chairmanship of Charles Abbot , MP for
Helston , "to inquire into the State of the Public Records of this
kingdom". The public records were at this time housed in a variety of
repositories, including the
Tower of London
The Commission (in particular the sixth Commission, which sat from
1831 to 1837) gained a reputation for inactivity, corruption, jobbery,
and for including among its members too many persons in high office
with other demands on their time. Some of these criticisms came from
external observers, such as Sir Harris Nicolas ; others were made by
the Commission's own salaried employees, notably
The Commissioners' second objective was to make the records more accessible through the compilation of finding aids (indexes and calendars ), and where possible the publication of these, as well as the publication of full texts of selected records of particular importance. The sixth Commission employed four sub-Commissioners (Joseph Hunter , Francis Palgrave , Joseph Stevenson , and for a time John Caley ), as well as other ad hoc editors and a number of clerks, specifically on the task of editing records for publication. Most of the Commission's publications used a "record type " typeface, designed to present the text in a near-facsimile of the manuscript originals. The publications programme was generally considered a success, and many of the Commission's editions remain in current scholarly use. In other cases, however, the absence of a permanent arrangement to the records rapidly rendered the compilation of finding aids efforts redundant.
The Commissions' publications included:
* Astle, Thomas ; Ayscough, Samuel ; Caley, John , eds. (1802).
Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae auctoritate P. Nicholai IV,
circa A.D. 1291.
* Astle, Thomas ; Ayscough, Samuel ; Caley, John , eds. (1802).
Calendarium Rotulorum Patentium in Turri Londiniensi. See Patent
* Caley, John , ed. (1803). Calendarium Rotulorum Chartarum et
Inquisitionum ad quod damnum. See
Charter Roll .
* Robertson, W., ed. (1804). The Parliamentary Records of Scotland
in the General Register House, Edinburgh.
* Playford, H.; Caley, John , eds. (1805–1810). Rotulorum
Originalium in Curia Scaccarii Abbreviato. (2 vols)
* Caley, John ; Bayley, J., eds. (1806–28). Calendarium
Inquisitionum post mortem sive Escaetarum. (4 vols). See Inquisition
post mortem .
* Vanderzee, G., ed. (1807). Nonarum Inquisitiones in Curia
Scaccarii, temp. Regis Edwardi III.
* Caley, John ; Illingworth, William , eds. (1807). Testa de Nevill
sive liber feodorum in Curia Scaccarii, temp Hen. III et Edw. I. See
Book of Fees .
* Luders, A.; Tomlins, T.E.; Taunton, W.E.; Raithby, J., eds.
(1810–28). The Statutes of the Realm, from original records and
authentic manuscripts. (11 vols). See
The Statutes of the Realm .
* Caley, John ; Hunter, J., eds. (1810–34). Valor Ecclesiasticus
temp. Hen. VIII auctoritate regia institutus. (6 vols)
* Illingworth, William , ed. (1811). Placitorum in Domo Capitulari
Westmonasteriensi asservatorum abbreviatio, temporibus regum Ric. I,
Johann., Hen. III, Edw. I, Edw. II.
* Thomson, Thomas , ed. (1811–16). Inquistitionum ad Capellam
Domini Regis retornatarum quae in publicis archivis Scotiae adhuc
servantur, abbreviatio. (3 vols)
* Illingworth, William , ed. (1812–18). Rotuli Hundredorum temp.
Hen. III et Edw. I in turr’ Lond’ et in curia receptae scaccarii
West' asservati. (2 vols). See
Hundred Rolls .
* Macpherson, David ; Caley, John ; Illingworth, William, eds.
(1814–19). Rotuli Scotiae in Turri Londinensi et in Domo Capitulari
Westmonasteriensi asservati. (2 vols)
* Thomson, Thomas ; Innes, Cosmo , eds. (1814–44). The Acts of
Parliament of Scotland. (11 vols)
* Ellis, Henry , ed. (1816). Libri Censualis, vocati Domesday-Book,
additamenta ex codic. antiquiss.: Exon’ Domesday, Inquisition
Eliensis, Liber Winton’, Boldon Book. (An edition of four 11th and
12th-century regional surveys associated with
* Hunter, Joseph , ed. (1833). Rotulus Cancellarii, vel Antigraphum
Magni Rotuli Pipae, de tertio anno regni Regis Johannis.
* Hardy, Thomas Duffus , ed. (1833). Rotuli Litteraum Clausarum in
Turri Londinensi Asservati. (An edition of the Close Rolls for the
years 1204–1224. A second volume, covering the years 1224–27 and
also edited by Hardy, was published by the
Public Record Office in
* Hunter, Joseph , ed. (1834). Rotuli Selecti ad res Anglicas et
Hibernicas Spectantes: ex Archivis in Domo Capitulari
* Nicolas, Sir Harris , ed. (1834–37). Proceedings and Ordinances
Privy Council of England (1386–1542). (7 vols)
* Palgrave, Francis , ed. (1835). Rotuli Curiae Regis: Rolls and
Records of the Court held before the King’s Justiciars or Justices.
* Hardy, Thomas Duffus , ed. (1835). Rotuli Litterarum Patentium in
Turri Londonensi Asservati: Vol. I, part I. (An edition of the Patent
Rolls from 1201 to 1216.)
* Hardy, Thomas Duffus , ed. (1835). Rotuli Normanniae in Turri
Londinensi Asservati, Johanne et Henrico Quinto Angliae Regibus: Vol.
II: De annis 1200–1205, necnon de anno 1417.
* Hardy, Thomas Duffus , ed. (1835). Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus in
Turri Londinensi Asservati, tempore Regis Johannis. (An edition of
Fine rolls to 1216.)
* Cole, Henry , ed. (1835). Catalogue of Records remaining in the
Office of the King’s Remembrancer of the
* Roberts, Charles, ed. (1835–36). Excerpta e Rotulis Finium in
Turri Londinensi Asservatis, Henrico Tertio Rege, A.D. 1216–1272.
(2 vols) (A selective edition of excerpts from the
Fine rolls of the
reign of Henry III .)
* Hunter, Joseph , ed. (1835). Fines sive Pedes Finium sive Finales
Concordiae in Curia Domini Regis, ab Anno Septimo Regni Regis Ricardi
I ad Annum Decimum Sextum Regis Johannis, A.D. 1195–A.D. 1214. (An
edition of feet of fines for the counties of
* Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts
* ^ Walne 1973, pp. 9–12. * ^ Walne 1973, pp. 13–14. * ^ Cantwell 1984, p. 278. * ^ Cantwell 1984, p. 277–8. * ^ Cooper, Ann (2008) . "Cole, Sir Henry (1808–1882)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi :10.1093/ref:odnb/5852 . (subscription required) * ^ Cantwell 1984, p. 277. * ^ Cantwell 1984. * ^ Walne 1973, p. 15. * ^ Walne 1973, pp. 14–17.
* Cantwell, John (1984). "The 1838 Public Record Office Act and its aftermath: a new perspective". Journal of the Society of Archivists. 7: 277–86. doi :10.1080/00379818409514241 . * Cappon, Lester J. (1972). "Antecedents of the Rolls Series: Issues in Historical Editing". Journal of the Society of Archivists. 4 (5): 358–69. doi :10.1080/00379817209513979 . * Gouldesbrough, Peter (1973). "The Record Commissions and Scotland". In Ranger, Felicity. Prisca Munimenta: studies in archival & administrative history presented to Dr A.E.J. Hollaender. London: University of London Press. pp.