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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 960 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EXCHEQUER RECORDS.—The records of the administrative and judicial sides of the Exchequer (q.v.) are here described under its several divisions. (1)UP PER EXCHEQUER,OR EXCHEQUER OF AUDIT.—(a)Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office, or office of final audit. The result of the final audit is recorded in duplicate on the Pipe and Chancellor's Rolls. These consist of a solitary (Pipe) roll for 31 Henry I., and a duplicate series extending from 2 Henry II. to 2 William IV. The Record Commission has printed the following rolls: Pipe Rolls, 31 Henry I., 2–4 Henry II., i Richard I.; Chancellor's Rolls, 3 John. The Pipe Roll Society has printed the Pipe Rolls for 5–24 Henry II. Foreign Rolls or Rolls of Accounts.—These contain the records of the preliminary audit of accounts other than county accounts of the sheriffs; they run from 42 Edward III. to modern times: closely connected with them are the Enrolled Accounts, which deal with the more important accountants separately. It should be noted that the final audit is not recorded upon either Foreign Rolls or Enrolled Accounts, but must be sought on the Pipe Roll, unless the accountant is found to be quit or to have a balance due to him. The Record Office has published a classified list (No. XI.) of the Foreign and Enrolled Accounts taken from all the foregoing rolls of audit, but omitting the accounts of Customs and Subsidies. Declared Accounts.—A list (No. II.) of these records with an introduction has been published by the Record Office. The series begins in the 16th century, and from the 17th century is fairly complete. Originalia Rolls (20 Henry III. to 1837), or extracts from the Chancery Rolls communicated to the Exchequer for its information and guidance. Latin abstracts of the rolls from Henry III. to Edward III. were printed by the Record Commission as Abbreviatio Rotulorum Originalium (2 vols. folio). Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Memoranda Rolls.—These contain the letters received and issued by the Exchequer and notes of the general business of the department. They run from t Henry III. to 1848. Edward Jones's Index to the Records contains a few scattered references to them; and many extracts will be found in the notes to Thomas Madox's History of the Exchequer. Judicial.—The only judicial proceedings on the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's side are in cases connected directly with the revenue. These are enrolled upon the Memoranda Rolls; and for the period 35 Charles II. to William IV. there are Order Books. (b) King's Remembrancer's Office, or office of preliminary audit. The most important financial records of this branch of the Exchequer are the class known as " Exchequer K. R. accounts, &c.," which comprise vouchers and audited accounts of expenditure. Of similar accounts relating to receipts, the Escheator's accounts have been listed in the loth Report; but the inquisitions there described as filed with the accounts as vouchers are now kept separately, and are described with the Chancery Inquisitions in the calendars. Accounts and vouchers relating to Subsidies and Customs are at present only described in manuscript (see below under SPECIAL COLLECTIONS). King's Remembrancer's Memoranda Rolls (1 Henry III. to 13 Victoria).—These run parallel with those of the Lord Treasurer and to a large extent contain the same matter. Adam Martin's Index to Exchequer Records contains a certain number of references to them. In the reign of Edward VI., returns were made into the Exchequer by commissioners appointed to take inventories of Church Goods. Volumes of these for several counties are being published by the Alcuin Club (see Mely et Bishop, Bibliographie generale des inventaires imprimes, vol. i. p. 245). Judicial.—The court of Exchequer on the King's Remembrancer's side was a court of equity held before the lord treasurer, the chancellor of the exchequer and the barons. The usual records of a court of equity, Bills and Answers, Decrees and Orders, Affidavits and other subsidiary documents exist for it. Martin's Index to Exchequer Records contains references to the Decrees and Orders. Of the proceedings under special commissions issuing from this court a descriptive catalogue (Elizabeth to Victoria) has been published in the 38th Report. Depositions taken by commission (Elizabeth to George III.) are catalogued in the Reports 38-42. A catalogue of the later depositions exists in manuscript. (2) LOWER EXCHEQUER, Or EXCHEQUER OF RECEIPT.—The principal financial records of this department are the Receipt and Issue Rolls showing the payments made to and by the Ex-chequer. The former consist of an exceptional roll for 14 John and a series from Henry III. to George III. The latter run from Henry III. to Edward IV. and from Elizabeth to George III. A translation of the issue rolls (2) for 44 Edward III. was published by F. Devon; who also published a volume of extracts from the issue rolls of the reign of James I., and another volume of extracts from the rolls for the period 41 Henry III. to 39 Henry VI. The other records of this department are very numerous. (3) EXCHEQUER OF PLEAS.—The barons of the Exchequer without the lord treasurer had a court of their own, where process took place by common law. A list of the Plea Rolls of this court (20 Henry III. to 1855) will be found at p. 64 of the Record Office List of Plea Rolls (No. IV.). A partial index to the tithe-suits on these rolls is contained in the 2nd Report. (4) EXCHEQUER OF THE JEWS.—SUitS between Jews, or in which Jews were concerned, were tried before a special subordinate court. The Plea Rolls (3 Henry III. to 4 Edward I.) are listed in the Record Office List of Plea Rolls. For specimens see Select Pleas, Starrs and Records of the Jewish Exchequer, edited for the Selden Society and the Jewish Historical Society of England by J. M. Rigg. (5) FIRST FRUITS AND TENTHs.—After the breach with Rome, the crown obtained a new source of revenue in the first fruits due to the pope from every holder of a benefice upon appointment, and from the tenths payable during his tenure of it. For a few years under Henry VIII. a special office administered this revenue. At the accession of Mary the business was transferred to a department of the Exchequer. The principal records are the following: Bishop's Certificates of Institutions to Benefices; Composition books giving the names of incumbents and the sums paid by them in lieu of first fruits; and documents relating to the valuation of livings. The most important entries touching valuation were printed by John Ecton in the Liber Decimarum (1711), which has passed through many editions under the titles of Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum and Liber Regis. The first fruits and tenths are now transferred to Queen Anne's Bounty, and are managed by that office. (6) VALOR EccLESIASTICUS.—In 26 Henry VIII. a commission was issued for a valuation of all ecclesiastical property. The re-turns were made into the Exchequer and consist of eighteen volumes and three portfolios of rolls. Of these abstracts were made in three volumes known as Liber Valorum or King's Books, and a portion was copied in two volumes known as Liber Regis. The original returns for the diocese of Ely, most of that of London and part of those of Salisbury, Lincoln, Durham and York are not now known to exist, and are very imperfectly represented by the abstracts and copies mentioned above. From these materials the Record Commission compiled six volumes folio known as the Valor Ecclesiasticus provided with maps and indexes. The introduction and general map were published later (1834) in a separate octavo volume; but some copies were struck off in folio and inserted into Vol. I., which was published in 18io. (7) COURT OF AUGMENTATIONS.—This office was instituted to administer the property of the suppressed monasteries and the revenues of the duchy of Cornwall. The records consist of the muniments of the suppressed houses taken over with them and of documents connected with their actual seizure and subsequent administration (for the former, see SPECIAL COLLECTIONS below; the latter are in great part calendared in the Letters and Papers relating to the Reign of Henry VIII.). There was also a judicial side of the office, in which the proceedings were by bill and answer. In 38 Henry VIII. this court absorbed an earlier one known as the Court of General Surveyors of the King's Lands, which had been set up in 33 Henry VIII. A calendar of the decrees of-the court will be found in the 3oth Report. The court of augmentations was merged in the Exchequer in 1 Mary.

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