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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 962 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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STATE PAPERS.—This class contains the documents belonging to the offices of the secretaries of state, formerly deposited in the place of custody called the State Paper Office. This office was established about the year 1578, but the first attempt to arrange its contents seems to have been due to Sir Thomas Wilson, who in the reign of James I. divided the papers into two classes, Domestic and Foreign, to which at a later date the class of Colonial Papers was added. These series all come to an end at the year 1782, at which date the modern history of the office of Secretary of State begins. Domestic.—Calendars of these papers have been published for the period 1547–1676, with special volumes dealing with the papers of the Committee for Advance of Money (1642–1656), and of the Committee for Compounding (1643-166o). Another series of volumes begins with the year 1689, and a third extends from 176o to 177= these last are called Home Office Papers, but are in no way differeur II in character from the State Papers Domestic. The Domestic Papers relating exclusively to Ireland have been calendared under the title of State Papers, Ireland, for the years 1509-1601 and 1603-1665, with a special volume dealing with the papers concerning Adventurers for Land. From 167o these papers are calendared in the Domestic volumes. Scotland.—Originally there were in the State Paper Office two sets of papers relating to Scotland, State Papers Domestic, Border Papers, containing papers concerning the Council of the North and the Wardens of the Marches; and State Papers Foreign, Scotland, before the union of the two crowns. The first calendar of these was a Calendar of State Papers, Scotland, 1509-1603, containing brief notes of all the State Papers Foreign, Scotland, and of many of the Border Papers which were removed from their places without any record of the removal. Next came the Calendar of State Papers Foreign, in which were included apparently all the Border Papers for the period covered which had escaped the previous raid; notes, however, were made of the papers so taken. Out of the original 75 volumes of Border Papers only 36 remained. At a later date the papers drawn for the Foreign Calendar were restored and now form the first 19 volumes of the series, while the 36 volumes originally remaining have now become the final 23. At the same time the State Papers Foreign, Scotland, were annexed, and became State Papers Domestic, Scotland. In their present arrangement the Border Papers have been calendared in the following volumes: vols. 1-19 in the State Papers Foreign 1547-1560; vols. 20-42 in the Scottish General Register Office Calendar of Border Papers 1560-1603. The State Papers Domestic, Scotland, from 1547 on-wards, are being fully calendared in the Scottish General Register Office Calendar of Scottish Papers with other material. Those from 1509 to 1547 are dealt with in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII. (see below, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS). A list of these three Classes has been published (No. III.). Foreign.—Calendars of the State Papers Foreign have been published for the period 1547-1580. A few of these papers are also calendared in the first volume of the State Papers Spanish (see below under SPAIN). The Record Office has published a list of the State Papers Foreign (No. XIX.). Colonial.—These papers are calendared in two sets, an " East Indies " (1513-1634, which has been continued to 1639 by the India Office in Miss E. B. Sainsbury's Court Minutes of the East India Company) and an " America and West Indies " (1574–1693, in progress).
End of Article: STATE PAPERS

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