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INDIA OFFICE

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 964 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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INDIA OFFICE.—The records of the India Office are preserved there. Complete printed lists exist for the whole collection, and the following documents have been published: The First Letter Book of the East India Company, edited by Sir G. Birdwood and W. Foster; Letters received by the East India Company from its Servants in the East, edited by F. C. Danvers and W. Foster (6 vols.). The records in India may be mentioned here. Each presidency and each province keeps its own; and this is the case also with the smaller subdivisions. No printed lists appear to exist for any of the collections. The following volumes have been published: Letters, Despatches and other Papers of the Foreign Department of the Government of India, 1772-85, edited by G. W. Forrest (3 vols., Calcutta) ; Bengal 1756-1757, edited by S. C. Hill (3 vols. 1905) ; and Old Fort William, edited by C. R. Wilson (3 vols., 1906-7). Ireland. The Public Record Office of Ireland was established in 1867 by the Act 30 & 31 Vict. C. 70, when the records of the various courts of law, all wills proved in Ireland, and certain financial records, were collected into one building. The State Paper Office remains a separate, though subordinate, department in one of the towers of Dublin Castle, whence the papers are only transferred to the Record Office by special order. The Deputy Keeper of the Irish Record Office publishes yearly reports with appendices. The most important calendar published in these is that of Fiants or warrants for the issue of letters under the Great Seal, Henry VIII. to Elizabeth, contained in Reports 7-9, 11-13, 15-18, with indices for each reign. A calendar of the Deeds of Christ Church, Dublin, is contained in the loth, 23rd, 24th and 27th Reports. The Wills of the diocese of Dublin, down to the year 1800, are indexed under the names of the testators in the 26th and 3oth Reports. The series of Proclamations by the lord lieutenant and council, and by the crown, which is among the records in the Record Tower of Dublin Castle, is catalogued in the 23rd and 24th Reports. Of the financial records very little has been published. In the 33rd Report there is a good account of the Books of the Treasury and Accounting Departments from the reign of Henry VIII. Scattered entries from the Pipe Rolls (13 Henry III.-33 Edward I.) are printed in the 33rd and 35th-38th Reports. Before the establishment of the Record Office the Irish Record Commission published a Latin calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls from Henry II. to Henry VII., and an incomplete calendar in English for the years 5-35 Henry VIII. Under the authority of the Master of the Rolls a calendar was published for the period Henry VIII. to Elizabeth, upon which some severe comments will be found in J. T. Gilbert's The History . . . of the Public Records of Ireland. An English calendar for the reign of James I. was published by the Record Commission; and a calendar for the years 1-8 Charles I., under the authority of the Master of the Rolls. Two large folio volumes entitled Liber Hibernie should here be mentioned. The history and contents of this astounding work can be gathered from its introduction, and from an index to it in the 9th Report. Inquisitions post mortem and on attainder, for the provinces of Leinster and Ulster only, are dealt with in the Record Commission's Inquisi• tionum in officio Rotulorum Cancellarie Hibernie asservatarum Repertorium. Of strictly judicial records the Record Office has published one volume of an admirable calendar of the Justiciary Rolls (1295-1303). Scotland. The records of the kingdom are deposited in several places in Edinburgh. The principal repository is the General Register House, at present governed by the Act 42 & 43 Vict. C. 44. But certain records of the chancery and all the records of the court of teinds are in separate repositories. A general account of these records is given in M. Livingstone's Guide to the Public Records of Scotland deposited in H.M. General Register House, Edinburgh, with appendices describing those contained in other repositories. Parliamentary.—The Record Commission of Great Britain published The Acts of the Parliament of Scotland (1124-1707), a text derived from many sources described in the introductory volume; The Acts of the Lords Auditors of Causes and Complaints (1466-1494), being the proceedings of the parliamentary committee for hearing petitions; and The Acts of the Lords of Council (1478-1495), being proceedings of a similar body. Privy Council.—The register of the Privy Council of Scotland from 1J45 is in course of publication at the General Register House. Exchequer.—The Exchequer Rolls, corresponding to the Great Roll of the English Exchequer, are being printed in full from 1264 at the General Register House; and the accounts of the Treasurer of Scotland from 1473 are being published at the same office. Chancery.—The enrolments of letters issued under the Great Seal of Scotland are contained in twelve rolls and a series of volumes. The Record Commission printed these registers in full for the period 1306-1424; and the General Register House is continuing the publication in an abridged form. Court of Chancery.—Only the enrolments of letters under the Great Seal are transferred to the General Register House; the remainder are preserved in the court of chancery. The most important of these are the Retours to Chancery. To these the only printed means of reference is the Inquisitionum ad capellam Domini Regis retornatarum abbreviatio (16th and 17th centuries), published by the Record Commission. Local Records. To deal with the municipal and local records of Great Britain in any detail is quite impossible in this article. Fortunately the admirable work of C. Gross, entitled The Bibliography of Municipal History (Harvard Historical Studies), contains a complete account of the work done on municipal records up to 1897; while the Report of the Committee appointed to inquire as to the existing arrangements for the collection and custody of local records (1902) affords a complete view of the questions dealt with by it. Private Collections.—The publications of the Historical Manuscripts Commission are in most cases the only printed means of reference to private muniments. The 17th Report of the Commission contains an index to all the collections of papers so far dealt with by them. Wills.—Up to the date of the Probate Act (20 & 21 Vict. c. 77) the proving of wills was under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the wills themselves were scattered among peculiar courts—courts of the various bishops, and the prerogative court of Canter-bury. By the passing of the act a general registry was established at Somerset House, to which were transferred all the wills of the prerogative court of Canterbury and of many of the other registries. But even at the present time there remains much confusion and uncertainty as to the place of deposit of the wills of any particular court; and for accurate information on this point the inquirer must be referred to the Handbook to the Ancient Courts of Probate and Depositories of Wills, by G. W Marshall. British Colonies. For the British colonies the most important records, historically speaking, are the Colonial Office papers deposited in the Public Record Office, London; and those colonies which have published the records relating to their history have usually gone to that source. In New South Wales, however, there is in the Colonial Secretary's office at Sydney a collection of records dating from 1789, which are included in the volumes published by that State Cape Colony possesses records dating from 1652 ; G. McCall Theal, historiographer of the colony, has also published important series of volumes of documents drawn from the Public Record Office and other European sources. Canada has recently centralized its records, of which a large part so far consists of transcripts made in Europe. For an account see E. C. Burnett's List of printed guides to and descriptions of Arc,'Aives and other repositories of Historical Manuscripts (American Historical Manuscripts Commission Report, 1897). The Dominion Archivist submits yearly to the Minister for Agriculture a report, in which (in Appendices) are given many lists and accounts of records. European Countries. In dealing with Great Britain it has seemed desirable to give some account of publications dealing with the contents of the repositories described. In the remainder of the article this will not be attempted. For the most part the books mentioned are in themselves bibliographies and guides, and do not contain even abstracts or descriptions of actual documents. It is scarcely necessary to explain that much of the following information is based on the work of Langlois and Stein.
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