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Declared account drafts from the Exchequer Audit Office

Call Number: MS Q8


This collection consists of drafts on paper, in file form, of declared accounts brought before the Audit Office of the Exchequer of Great Britain by other governmental departments. The accounts usually begin "The declaration of the account of X, Warden [etc.] of A...which said accountant doth yield and make his account...which said account was afterward declared before the Rt. Honble. [blank]..." These drafts appear to have originated from a single point, presumably the Audit Office.


  • Creation: 1730 - 1749


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Audit Office of the Exchequer

The earliest known mention of an auditing function for government finance in Great Britain is a reference to the Auditor of the Exchequer under King Edward II, in 1314. From the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, three distinct types of accounts were rendered at the Exchequer by different methods: sheriffs' accounts of ancient revenues of the counties and collectors' accounts of subsidies and other assessed taxes, all of which followed the "ancient course" of the Exchequer; land revenue accounts, originally preserved in the Augmentation Office and afterwards by Auditors of Land Revenue, also called Auditors of the Exchequer; and accounts taken by the Auditors of the Prests, which became the Declared Accounts of the Pipe and Audit Offices.

The declaring of accounts before the Lord High Treasurer of England, or before the Chancellor of the Excequer and two or more of the other Commissioners of the Treasury, was directly connected with the addition to the establishment of the Exchequer of two Auditors of the Prests in 1560. Two copies of each account were prepared in the Audit Office, one written on paper and the other on parchment. Both were sent to the Treasury to be declared and registered in volumes known as "Declared Accounts" and "Auditors' States of Account."

The copy on paper, having been signed by the Auditor or Auditors, and by the Lord High Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer, or Commissioners of the Treasury, before whom it was declared, was then returned to the Audit Office. The parchment copy, signed in the same way, was sent to the King's Remembrancer's Office, where a "state" or abstract of it was enrolled, and there to the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, where another abstract was entered on the Memoranda Rolls under the heading "States and Views of Public Accounts." Finally the parchment copy was forwarded to the Clerk of the Pipe, who enrolled an abridgement of it amongst the Foreign Accounts (that is, non-Sheriffs' Accounts) and retained the original.

"Accountant" here means the person rendering the account, usually the head of the office of which the income was declared. That individual was personally responsible for the income.

The Auditors of the Imprest were supplanted in 1785 by the Commissioners for Auditing the Public Accounts of the Kingdom, typically called the Commissioners of Audit. In 1866 the Exchequer and Audit Office were amalgamated into the Exchequer and Audit Department, and in 1983 the departments were renamed as the National Audit Office.


3 Linear Feet (2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



Item numbering and ordering is as items originally came to Spencer Research Library.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Hofmann-Freeman, 1969. Was part of the North family papers (Group 14).

Guide to the Great Britain Exchequer Audit Office Collection
Declared account drafts from the Exchequer Audit Office
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1972. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Declared account drafts from the Exchequer Audit Office, MS Q8, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States