Skip to main content

Royal revenues collection

Call Number: MS Q12


Financial documentation for King James I of England (1566-1625) and for some of the preceeding kings and queens of England, notably Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). Collection includes copies or compendiums of historical statistics concerning the English sovereign's finances through Queen Elizabeth I; proposals for financial reform; and other documents copied and probably prepared for Sir Julius Ceasar, Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer for James I of England and James VI of Scotland after his assumption of the English throne in 1603. Some items are written, revised, and/or annotated by Caesar; some are written, revised, or annotated by Thomas Sackville, who was Lord Treasurer at the time; and some are in anonymous hands.


  • Creation: approximately 1603-1613; some materials have added 18th century notations


Language of Materials

Items in English unless otherwise stated--small number of items in Latin.

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 Exchequer's Office

The Exchequer became a distinct government entity by the beginning of the 12th century CE, under the reign of King Henry I (reigning from 1100-1135). The agency was closely associated with the Treasury, which existed before the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the term "Exchequer" came to refer to the two entities jointly.

The lower Exchequer, or receipt, served as the office for the receipt and payment of money. The upper Exchequer was a court sitting twice a year that regulated accounts and was closely related to the Curia Regis, or King's Court.

Over the centuries the upper Exchequer developed into the judicial system and the lower Exchequer became the Treasury. By the 19th century, the lower Exchequer's various departments and officials were done away with and absorbed into other agencies. However, the head of the Treasury is called the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Treasury is still referred to unofficially as the Exchequer.

[Information taken from "Exchequer," Encylopedia Britannica.]


3 Volumes (3 bound volumes + 1 folder, 2 oversize boxes)

Scope and Contents

These volumes and loose papers were acquired at the same time by Spencer Research Library and roughly deal with the same financial subjects. They include abstracts of all statues concerning royal revenues since King Henry III's reign; crown lands revenues from Queen Elizabeth I's reign; a brief view of annual revenues and payments of King James I of England and Wales; a brief collection of the yearly assignments of the king's revenues and other profits collected by the order of the Lord High Treasurer of England, probably containing the projected budget for revenues from 1605-1607; and various unbound papers containing financial accounts, reports of committees, orders by the king or other branches of government, petitions, letters, historical surveys of revenues, proposals for reform, and other revenue-related matters. These loose papers, located at MS Q12, cover the years 1440-1613, but most were probably written between 1605 to 1613. The other items are volumes and are housed by size at call numbers MS P577, MS C241, MS D146, and MS E191.

Physical Location

MS P577

Physical Location

MS C241

Physical Location

MS D146

Physical Location

MS E191

Physical Location

MS Q12

Other Finding Aids

Additional information particularly regarding the bound volumes in this collection is available at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Sotheby's, October 29, 1975, lots 88-92.

Related Materials

Royal subsidies collection, MS Q1, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Records of the Exchequer, and its related bodies, with those of the Office of First Fruits and Tenths, and the Court of Augmentations, E Series, National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom

Guide to the Royal Revenues Collection
Royal revenues collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1975, 1976, 1988. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Royal revenues collection, MS Q12, 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