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Court of Wards

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 194
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Court of Wards
Date(s): (1620), 1581-1622
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 4 items
Name of creator(s): Unknown
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Court of Wards was established in 1540 (in 1542, as Wards and Liveries) to deal with monies owed to the king by virtue of his position as a feudal lord; it was also empowered to protect certain rights of marriage and wardship. The Court of Wards and Liveries remained separate from the Exchequer until it was abolished in 1660.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume containing transcripts of documents relating to the Court of Wards, [1620], namely a selection of decrees from 1553 made by John Hare, headed 'Le Court des Gards', dated [12 Jul] 1581; reports of cases of the Court of Wards, dated 1605-1610; 'Instructions for the Master of our Wards and Liveryes', [by James Ley, 1st Earl of Marlborough, dated [Dec, 1618]; an account [by William Rastell] of procedure in the Court of Wards, with a table of fees and a table of contents, dated [1622].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
French, English and Latin

System of arrangement:

Single item.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

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.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

From the Library of the London Institution.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Another version of [William Rastell's] account may be found in the British Library, London (Ref: Harl.MS.1323).

Publication note:

For other copies of these transcripts, see H E Bell, Introduction to the history and records of the Court of Wards (Cambridge, 1953). The instructions to the Master of the Wards and Liveries were printed as A learned treatise concerning wards and liveries (1641).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) 2nd edition, and NCA rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names (1997).

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jun 2000

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