The National Archives (United Kingdom)

The National Archives (TNA) is a non-ministerial government department.[2] Its parent department is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[3] It is the official archive of the UK government and for England and Wales; and "guardian of some of the nation's most iconic documents, dating back more than 1,000 years."[4] There are separate national archives for Scotland (the National Records of Scotland) and Northern Ireland (the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland).

TNA was formerly four separate organisations: the Public Record Office (PRO), the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO). The Public Record Office still exists as a legal entity, as the enabling legislation has not been modified,[5][6] and documents held by the institution thus continue to be cited by many scholars as part of the PRO.[7] Since 2008, TNA has also hosted the former UK Statute Law Database, now known as

It is institutional policy to include the definite article, with an initial capital letter, in its name (hence "The National Archives", abbreviated as TNA) but this practice is not always followed in the non-specialist media.

The National Archives
Welsh: Yr Archifau Cenedlaethol
The National Archives logo
National Archives 2007 02 03

The National Archives building at Kew
Non-ministerial department overview
FormedApril 2003
JurisdictionEngland and Wales, Government of the United Kingdom
HeadquartersKew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU
Annual budget£43.9 million (2009–2010)[1]
Minister responsible
Non-ministerial department executive
  • Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of the Public Records
Parent departmentDepartment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Child agencies
  • Office of Public Sector Information
  • Her Majesty's Stationery Office
Key document
  • Archives Inspire [1]


The National Archives is based in Kew in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south-west London. The building was opened in 1977 as an additional home for the public records, which were held in a building on Chancery Lane. The site was originally a World War I hospital, which was later used by several government departments.[8] It is near to Kew Gardens Underground station.

Until its closure in March 2008, the Family Records Centre in Islington was run jointly by The National Archives and the General Register Office. The National Archives has an additional office in Norwich, which is primarily for former OPSI staff. There is also an additional record storage facility (DeepStore[9]) in the worked-out parts of Winsford Rock Salt Mine, Winsford, Cheshire.


For earlier history, see Public Record Office.

The National Archives was created in 2003 by combining the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission and is a non-ministerial department reporting to the Minister of State for digital policy.

On 31 October 2006, The National Archives merged with the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI), which itself also contained Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) which was previously a part of the Cabinet Office. The name remained The National Archives.

Chief Executive and Keeper

Key roles

A gloved pair of hands at The National Archives
A manuscript and seals being examined at the archives

TNA claims it is "at the heart of information policy—setting standards and supporting innovation in information and records management across the UK, and providing a practical framework of best practice for opening up and encouraging the re-use of public sector information.[12] This work helps inform today's decisions and ensure that they become tomorrow's permanent record." It has a number of key roles in information policy:

  • Policy – advising government on information practice and policy, on issues from record creation through to its reuse
  • Selection – selecting which documents to store
  • Preservation – ensuring the documents remain in as good a condition as possible
  • Access – providing the public with the opportunity to view the documents
  • Advice – advising the public and other archives and archivists around the world on how to care for documents
  • Intellectual property management – TNA (via OPSI and HMSO) manages crown copyright for the UK
  • Regulation – ensuring that other public sector organisations adhere to both the public records act and the PSI reuse regulations.

Sector leadership

The National Archives (and before it the Public Record Office) has long had a role of oversight and leadership for the entire archives sector and archives profession in the UK, including local government and non-governmental archives. Under the Public Records Act 1958 it is responsible for overseeing the appropriate custody of certain non-governmental public records in England and Wales.[13] Under the 2003 Historical Manuscripts Commission Warrant it has responsibility for investigating and reporting on non-governmental records and archives of all kinds throughout the United Kingdom.[14] In October 2011, when the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council was wound up, TNA took over its responsibilities in respect of archives in England, including providing information and advice to ministers on archives policy. The National Archives now sees this part of its role as being "to enhance the 'archival health of the nation'".[15]


Types of records

Cropped Gladstone's Red Box
UK Prime Minister William Gladstone's 19th-century "red box", held in the archives
TNA gates
Entrance gates to The National Archives from Ruskin Avenue: the notched vertical elements were inspired by medieval tally sticks.

The National Archives is the UK government's official archive, "containing 1000 years of history from Domesday Book to the present", with records from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites.[16] The material held at Kew includes the following:

There is also a museum, which displays key documents such as Domesday Book and has exhibitions on various topics using material from the collections.[17]

Access to documents

A pair of Researchers at The National Archives
Researchers at the archive

The collections held by the National Archives can be searched using their online catalogue.[18]

Entrance to The National Archives is free.[19] Anybody aged 16 or over can access the original documents at the Kew site, after producing two acceptable proofs of identity and being issued a free reader's ticket.[20]

The reading room has terminals from which documents can be ordered up from secure storage areas by their reference number. The reference number is composed of three sections: the department code of up to four letters, such as WO for the War Office; a series or class number, for the "subcategory" or collection that the document comes from; and an individual document number. Documents can also be ordered in advance.[21]

Once a document has been ordered, The National Archives aims to get it to the reader within 45 minutes (assuming it is kept at Kew rather than at their second repository, "Deep Store" – a former salt mine in Cheshire: it can take 2–3 days for files to be retrieved from the latter). Special arrangements are in place for readers wishing to retrieve large groups of files.

A reader's ticket is not needed to access records on microform or online. Frequently accessed documents such as the Abdication Papers have been put on microfilm, as have records for two million First World War soldiers. The originals of the latter were stored in a warehouse in London along with four million others, but incendiary bombs dropped on the warehouse in the Second World War started a fire in which most were destroyed. The surviving third were largely water or fire-damaged and thus acquired the colloquial name of the "Burnt Documents." Because they were mostly too fragile for public access, they were put on microfilm with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund. They have now also been digitised and are available on the Ancestry website.[22]

Some of the most popular documents have now been digitised and are available to download from Discovery, for a fee of £3.50 per file,[23] or through co-branded services called licensed Internet associates (LIA) as pay per view or part of their subscription service.[24] A list of records online is available under the records, catalogues and online records menu on The National Archives' website.[25]

All of the open census records have been digitised, and there are also significant other sources online, such as wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1383–1858. Researchers are encouraged to check the online services first, to see if they can get what they want online. If a document is available online, The National Archives' policy is to encourage people to use the digital copy and not the original, even if they come to Kew, in order to protect the original from damage.


National archives shelving
Moveable shelving in one of the more modern repositories

The documents are stored on mobile shelving – double-sided shelves, which are pushed together so that there is no aisle between them. A large handle on the end of each shelf allows them to be moved along tracks in the floor to create an aisle when needed.

They are generally stored in acid-free folders or boxes.

In the event of a fire The National Archives would be clearly unable to use sprinklers for fear of ruining its holdings, and so when the building is evacuated, argon gas is released into the air-tight repositories.

Other services

The National Archives also provides services to help users in their research and also find collections beyond those it holds.


National Archives School Adv Studies History Day 27 Nov 2015
National Archives at the London University School of Advanced Studies History Day, November 2015.

The National Archives' education web page is a free online resource for teaching and learning history, aimed at teachers and students.[26] Users can select time periods they are interested in, from the medieval era to the present day. Each time period contains sub-topics with various materials that can be used as teaching tools for teachers.[27] Resources for students focus primarily on tips for research and writing using archival materials.[28]

"Access to Archives"

Access to Archives (also known as A2A)[29] is a database containing details of archival collections held in many different archive repositories in England and Wales.[30] As of March 2008, there are no more plans to add additional collections to A2A due to lack of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the changing financial priorities of The National Archives, but existing entries can still be updated.[31] The A2A database was transferred to The National Archives with a new platform with a simpler interface to ensure its availability.[32]

National Register of Archives

A researcher working with delicate resource at The National Archives
A researcher at the archives

The National Register of Archives (NRA)[33] is the central point for the collection and circulation of information about the content and nature of archival manuscripts relating to British history.[34] It contains published and unpublished lists and catalogues describing archival collections in the UK and overseas: currently over 44,000 such catalogues are included.[35] The register can be consulted in the National Archives reading room and the index used to be searchable as an online database on the National Archives web site.[34]

The information is collected in a variety of ways. TNA is sent hard-copy catalogues from archive repositories holding records relating to British history. These are kept in the reading room at The National Archives and indexed in the online database. TNA conducts an annual survey of archive repositories and records all new accessions, and the accession lists[36] are also available on TNA's website. Information is also obtained from surveys and guides to archival collections, and other publications.[34]

The Register includes name indexes to its contents (covering corporate names, personal names, family names, and place names); but not subject or thematic indexes.[34] Where the catalogues are themselves available online the indexes provide direct electronic links; but many still exist in hard copy only (often as unpublished "grey literature"), and it remains necessary for the researcher to visit either TNA or the specific repository in order to consult them.

A separate National Register of Archives for Scotland is maintained at the National Archives of Scotland, but its contents are duplicated within the NRA at Kew.

ARCHON directory

ARCHON Directory is a database of contact details for archive repositories in the UK and institutions elsewhere in the world which have substantial collections of manuscripts relating to British history.[37]

"Your Archives"

Your Archives[38] is a wiki for the National Archives on-line community which was launched in May 2007; it was closed for editing on 30 September 2012 in preparation of archiving on the Government web archive.[39] The contributions are made by users to give additional information to that which is available on the other services provided by the National Archives, including the catalogue, research guides, documentonline and National Register of Archive.[40] Your Archives encourages users to create articles not only about historical records held by the National Archives, but those held in other archive repositories.[41]


The National Archives also hosts several databases on types of records including hospital records;[42] migration records;[43] and manorial records.[44][45]

Working with the Wellcome Library, TNA has made hospital records available via the Hospital Records Database. The Hospital Records Database has not been updated since 2012, and there are no current updates occurring as of 2018.[46]

The Manorial Documents Register includes records relating to manors located in England and Wales. Digitization of the records is on-going as of 2018.[47]

Civil Pages

The National Archives operates the Civil Pages project on behalf of the Cabinet Office, operating as an online directory for the civil service, facilitating working together and providing a means of sharing knowledge securely between government departments.[48]

Smartphone applications

National Archives QRpedia codes - 1
QRpedia codes at the archives

In January 2011 The National Archives, in conjunction with historian Nick Barratt and smartphone applications development studio RevelMob,[49] developed its first Old Money iPhone app,[50] which uses historic price data from documents held at The National Archives to see what a sum of money from the past (from 1270) would be worth today and the spending power it would have commanded at the time.[51]

In September 2011, TNA's museum began using QRpedia codes, which can be scanned by smartphone users in order to retrieve information about exhibits from Wikipedia.[52]

Blogs and Podcasts

TNA regularly posts blogs to its website. Posts cover a wide range of topics, from specific events and time periods to features on holdings in TNA, as well as information on the archive's operations.[53]

The "Archives Media Player" section holds videos and podcasts created and posted by TNA. Videos and audio are not posted as regularly as TNA's blog.[54]

The Future: Archives Inspire 2015–19

Archives Inspire[55] is a strategy document that sets out the goals and priorities of the organisation over four years, from 2015 onwards.

Forgeries discovered in 2005

In June 2005, journalist Ben Fenton of The Daily Telegraph received an email from a colleague asking him to investigate documents held at TNA that alleged that a British intelligence agent had, on the orders of Winston Churchill, murdered Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi SS, in 1945.[56] The three documents had come to prominence after being revealed by author Martin Allen in his book Himmler's Secret War.[56]

On viewing photographs of the documents, Fenton's suspicions were immediately aroused by the fact that such a controversial policy was casually committed to paper, even to the extent of naming the assassin, and by the use of colourful language, unlike the civil service language of the 1940s used by senior Foreign Office officials John Wheeler-Bennett and Robert Bruce Lockhart.[56] Viewing the original documents the next day, Fenton spotted what looked like pencil marks beneath the signature on one of them. This confirmed his suspicions and, along with his experience of analysing historic documents, it enabled him to persuade The Daily Telegraph to pay for forensic analysis.[56]

TNA staff took four files, along with authenticated copies of the authors' handwriting, to Dr Audrey Giles, a former head of Scotland Yard's Questioned Documents Unit where she confirmed that the documents were certainly forgeries. One letter head had been printed on a laser printer, the earliest example of which was produced in 1977, and all had tear marks where they had been threaded on to the security tags. Further investigations by TNA staff revealed that the counterfeit documents contained errors, breaches of protocol and etiquette which their supposed authors would not have committed, prompting one expert to state that the inconsistencies in the papers "would lead any serious historian to question their veracity".[56]

After his account of the deception appeared in the newspaper, Fenton was contacted by a German academic, Ernst Haiger, who informed him of his own suspicions over other TNA documents cited in an earlier Allen book. Examination by TNA experts led to more than a dozen documents being identified as suspicious and submitted to Home Office specialists for examination. When they, too, were declared forgeries, the TNA called in the police.[56]

In the addendum to the later American edition of the book (which acknowledged that the papers were forged), Allen theorised that, some time after he saw the documents, they had been removed and replaced with clumsily forged replicas, to cast doubt upon his discoveries.[56]

In all, twenty-nine forged documents were discovered, each typed on one of only four typewriters. They were placed in twelve separate files, and cited at least once in one or more of Allen's three books. According to the experts at TNA, documents now shown to be forgeries supported controversial arguments central to each of Allen's books: in Hidden Agenda, five documents now known to be forged helped justify his claim that the Duke of Windsor betrayed military secrets to Hitler; in The Hitler/Hess Deception, thirteen forged papers supported Allen's contention that, in 1941, British intelligence used members of the Royal Family to fool the Nazis into thinking Britain was on the verge of a pro-German putsch; in Himmler's Secret War, twenty-two counterfeit papers also underpinned the book's core claims that British intelligence played mind games with Himmler to encourage him to betray Hitler from 1943 onwards, and that ultimately they murdered the SS chief.[56]

In 2007 the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it was "not in the public interest" to prosecute the only suspect questioned by police. Allen's health problems had prevented the police questioning him for nine months, after which he told them he was wholly innocent. In a December 2007 response to questions from Norman Baker MP, the Solicitor-General said that the police investigation, guided by the opinion of a senior barrister, had produced "sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction" on charges of forgery, using a forged document and criminal damage but it had been decided that it was not in the public interest to proceed. In reaching that decision, "matters relating to Mr Allen's health and the surrounding circumstances were significant in deciding that a prosecution was not in the public interest".[56]

a well-planned attempt to corrupt the UK's primary source of historical information

— Detective Inspector Andy Perrott, Financial Times, 3 May 2008[57]

It is hard to imagine actions more damaging to the cause of preserving the nation's heritage, than wilfully forging documents designed to alter our historical record.

— Historian Sir Max Hastings, Financial Times, 3 May 2008[57]

MI5 Records at TNA

TNA receives records from MI5 around twice a year.[58] Some information in records—or records themselves—are withheld at the discretion of MI5.[59]

MI5 Records in the News

MI5 records relating to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's time in office have caused some questions and controversy regarding the transparency of the British government. In 2017, journalist Richard Norton-Taylor argued that MI5, and the British government by extension, was purposely withholding some information that the public deserves to know.[60] Norton-Taylor specifically refers to Thatcher's reluctance to allow the publication of two books looking into the impact that intelligence organizations of Britain had on World War II, as well as her worries about British activities in Northern Ireland becoming known to the general public.[61]

Additional MI5 records relating to the blacklisting of government workers during Thatcher's time in office have also prompted questions after their release.[62] In addition to government workers, the blacklists also targeted other groups, such as unions and minorities, that may not fall in line with conservative policies.[63] Debates on the roles of MI5, Whitehall, and Thatcher's administration, have come up in light of these records at TNA and prompted questions of transparency as well as whether or not these blacklists had an effect on the careers of any individuals included.[64] Questions also remain, as of 2018, whether or not there are still blacklists currently in effect and if these could affect government workers, unions, and other individuals possibly included in the blacklists.[65]

See also


  1. ^ The National Archives Annual Report 2009-2010 (PDF), The National Archives, 15 July 2010, archived (PDF) from the original on 17 December 2010, retrieved 19 December 2010
  2. ^ "The National Archives". UK Government. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Machinery of Government changes: Data protection policy; Information Commissioner's Office; The National Archives; and, Government records management policy:Written statement – HCWS209". Inside Government. 2015. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  4. ^ Archived 29 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine.""Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Freedom of Information Act 2000". Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Public Records Act 1958". Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  7. ^ "General Instructions: The Library". Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  8. ^ "The opening of the Public Record Office in Kew in 1977". Your Archives. The National Archives. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  9. ^ "Home". Deepstore. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  10. ^ "New role for Chief Executive". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Appointment of Chief Executive and Keeper". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  12. ^ "About Us, About us". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  13. ^ "Public Records Act 1958". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  14. ^ "HMC Warrant". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  15. ^ Kingsley, Nick (2012). "Perspectives and Priorities: The National Archives Vision for Sector Leadership". Journal of the Society of Archivists. 33: 135–47. doi:10.1080/00379816.2012.721344.
  16. ^ "Who we are, what we do and how we operate". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 12 July 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  17. ^ "Visit us, Museum". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Detecting your browser settings". Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Visit us, Why visit us?". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 10 July 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  20. ^ "Visit us, Registering for a readers ticket". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  21. ^ "Visit us, Ordering documents in advance". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  22. ^ "Family Tree, Genealogy and Census Records". Archived from the original on 12 November 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  23. ^ "The National Archives, Discovery". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  24. ^ "The National Archives, Licensed Internet Associates". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  25. ^ "The National Archives, online records". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  26. ^ "Education". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  27. ^ Archives, The National. "Education - The National Archives". The National Archives. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  28. ^ Archives, The National. "Education - The National Archives". The National Archives. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Access to Archives". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  30. ^ "The National Archives – Access to Archives". Archived from the original on 8 July 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2008.
  31. ^ "Archives Hub Steering Committee meeting, 1 November 2007, University of Manchester". Archives Hub. 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  32. ^ "A2A – Access to Archives home". Archived from the original on 28 July 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2008.
  33. ^ "Discovery – The National Archives". Archived from the original on 4 August 2007.
  34. ^ a b c d The National Archives. "National Register of Archives". Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  35. ^ The National Archives. "National Register of Archives: Frequently asked questions". Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  36. ^ "Search Other Archives | Accessions to Repositories". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  37. ^ "The National Archives – The ARCHON Directory". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  38. ^ "Your Archives". Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  39. ^ The National Archives (14 May 2007). "Your Archives". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  40. ^ "Your Archives". The National Archives. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  41. ^ "Your Archives: What can I contribute?". The National Archives. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  42. ^ "Catalogues and online records". The National Archives. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  43. ^ "migration". Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  44. ^ "Manorial Documents Register | Welcome". The National Archives. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  45. ^ "The National Archives – Search the archives". Retrieved 4 July 2008.
  46. ^ "The National Archives | Hospital Records Database | Welcome". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  47. ^ Archives, The National. "Manorial Documents Register - The National Archives". Archives sector. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  48. ^ "The National Archives Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2008–2009 HC 469" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  49. ^ " | Revel Mob – developing best-selling smartphone apps". Revel Mob. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  50. ^ "Old Money". Archived from the original on 22 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  51. ^ "Old Money iPhone app launched using records from The National Archives". Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  52. ^ "New collaboration between Wikimedia UK and The National Archives". The National Archives (United Kingdom). 15 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  53. ^ Archives, The National. "Blogposts | The National Archives Blog". The National Archives blog. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  54. ^ Archives, The National. "Home - Archives Media Player". Archives Media Player. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  55. ^ Archives, The National. "Archives inspire - The National Archives". Archived from the original on 9 December 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h i Fenton, Ben (3 May 2008). "Lies and secrets". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 6 May 2008.
  57. ^ a b Fenton, Ben (3 May 2008). "Himmler forgeries in National Archives case will stay unsolved". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 6 May 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  58. ^ "MI5 At The National Archives | MI5 - The Security Service". Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  59. ^ "MI5 At The National Archives | MI5 - The Security Service". Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  60. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (29 December 2017). "For their eyes only: the secret stories ministers don't want you to read | Richard Norton-Taylor". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  61. ^ Norton-Taylor, Richard (29 December 2017). "For their eyes only: the secret stories ministers don't want you to read | Richard Norton-Taylor". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  62. ^ Cobain, Ian (24 July 2018). "'Subversive' civil servants secretly blacklisted under Thatcher". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  63. ^ Cobain, Ian (24 July 2018). "'Subversive' civil servants secretly blacklisted under Thatcher". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  64. ^ Cobain, Ian (24 July 2018). "'Subversive' civil servants secretly blacklisted under Thatcher". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  65. ^ Cobain, Ian; MacAskill, Ewen (25 July 2018). "Labour: government must say if blacklists are still in place". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2018.

External links

Coordinates: 51°28′52″N 0°16′46″W / 51.48111°N 0.27944°W

Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes is a historical document that records names and descriptions of 3,000 Black Loyalists, enslaved Africans who escaped to the British lines during the American Revolution and were evacuated to points in Nova Scotia as free people of colour.

Census in the United Kingdom

Coincident full censuses have taken place in the different jurisdictions of the United Kingdom every ten years since 1801, with the exceptions of 1941 (during the Second World War) and Ireland in 1921. Simultaneous censuses were taken in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, with the returns being archived with those of England. In addition to providing detailed information about national demographics, the results of the census play an important part in the calculation of resource allocation to regional and local service providers by the governments of both the UK and the European Union. The most recent UK census took place in 2011.

Charter Roll

The Charter Roll is the administrative record created by the medieval office of the chancery that recorded all the charters issued by that office.

Committee for Compounding with Delinquents

In 1643, near the start of the English Civil War, Parliament set up two committees the Sequestration Committee which confiscated the estates of the Royalists who fought against Parliament, and the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents which allowed Royalists whose estates had been sequestrated, to compound for their estates — pay a fine and recover their estates — if they pledged not to take up arms against Parliament again. The size of the fine they had to pay depended on the worth of the estate and how great their support for the Royalist cause had been.To administer the process of sequestration, a sequestration committee was established in each county. If a local committee sequestrated an estate they usually let it to a tenant and the income was used "to the best advantage of the State". If a "delinquent" wished to recover his estate he had to apply to the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents based in London, as the national Sequestration Committee was absorbed by the Committee for Compounding in 1644.After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, most of the sequestrated land was returned to the pre-war owners.

Henry Thomas Riley

Henry Thomas Riley (1816–1878) was an English translator, lexicographer, and antiquary.

Höfle Telegram

The Höfle Telegram (or Hoefle Telegram) is a cryptic one-page document, discovered in 2000 among the declassified World War II archives of the Public Record Office in Kew, England. The document consists of several cables in translation, among them a top-secret message sent by SS Sturmbannführer Hermann Höfle on 11 January 1943; one, to SS Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann in Berlin, and one to SS Obersturmbannführer Franz Heim in German-occupied Kraków (Cracow).The Telegram contains the detailed statistics on the 1942 killings of Jews in the extermination camps of Operation Reinhard including at Belzec (B), Sobibor (S), Treblinka (T), and at Lublin-Majdanek (L). The numbers were compiled and quoted by Höfle likely from the very precise records shared with the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRG). Even though the Holocaust train-records were notoriously incomplete as revealed by the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes against the Polish Nation, the quoted numbers shed a new light on the evidential standard of proof for the scope of the crimes committed by the SS. The telegram gave train arrivals in the prior fortnight, as well as cumulative arrivals until 31 December 1942, for the extermination camps during the most deadly phase of the "Final Solution".

John Knox Laughton

Sir John Knox Laughton, (23 April 1830 – 14 September 1915) was a British naval historian and arguably the first to argue for the importance of the subject as an independent field of study. Beginning his working life as a mathematically trained civilian instructor for the Royal Navy, he later became Professor of Modern History at King's College London and a co-founder of the Navy Records Society. A prolific writer of lives, he penned the biographies of more than 900 naval personalities for the Dictionary of National Biography.

John Romilly, 1st Baron Romilly

John Romilly, 1st Baron Romilly PC (20 January 1802 – 23 December 1874), known as Sir John Romilly between 1848 and 1866, was an English Whig politician and judge. He served in Lord John Russell's first administration as Solicitor-General from 1848 to 1850 and as Attorney-General from 1850 and 1851. The latter year he was appointed Master of the Rolls, a post he held until 1873. Knighted in 1848, he was ennobled as Baron Romilly in 1866.

Joseph Stevenson

Joseph Stevenson (27 November 1806 – 8 February 1895) was an English Catholic archivist and editor of historical texts.


Mahogany is a straight-grained, reddish-brown timber of three tropical hardwood species of the genus Swietenia, indigenous to the Americas and part of the pantropical chinaberry family, Meliaceae.

Office of Public Sector Information

The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) is the body responsible for the operation of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and of other public information services of the United Kingdom. The OPSI is part of the National Archives of the United Kingdom and is responsible for Crown copyright.

The OPSI announced on 21 June 2006 that it was merging with the National Archives. The merger took place in October 2006. The OPSI continues to discharge its roles and responsibilities from within the structure of the National Archives.

Olive Branch Petition

The Olive Branch Petition was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5, 1775 and signed on July 8 in a final attempt to avoid war between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies in America. The Congress had already authorized the invasion of Canada more than a week earlier, but the petition affirmed American loyalty to Great Britain and beseeched King George III to prevent further conflict. It was followed by the July 6 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, however, which made its success unlikely in London. In August 1775, the colonies were formally declared to be in rebellion by the Proclamation of Rebellion, and the petition was rejected by Great Britain—even though King George had refused to read it before declaring the colonists traitors.

Open Government Licence

The Open Government Licence is a copyright licence for Crown Copyright works published by the UK government. Other UK public sector bodies may apply it to their publications. It was developed and is maintained by The National Archives. It is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence.

Patent roll

The Patent Rolls (Latin: Rotuli litterarum patentium) are a series of administrative records compiled in the English, British and United Kingdom Chancery, running from 1201 to the present day.

Public Record Office

The Public Record Office (abbreviated as PRO, pronounced as three letters and referred to as the PRO), Chancery Lane in the City of London, was the guardian of the national archives of the United Kingdom from 1838 until 2003, when it was merged with the Historical Manuscripts Commission to form The National Archives, based at Kew. It was under the control of the Master of the Rolls, a senior judge. The Public Record Office still exists as a legal entity, as the enabling legislation has not been modified.

Ragman Rolls

Ragman Rolls are the collection of instruments by which the nobility and gentry of Scotland subscribed allegiance to King Edward I of England, during the time between the Conference of Norham in May 1291 and the final award in favour of Balliol in November 1292; and again in 1296. Of the former of these records two copies were preserved in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey (now in The National Archives (United Kingdom) at Kew), and it has been printed by Thomas Rymer. Another copy, preserved originally in the Tower of London, is now also in The National Archives. The latter record, containing the various acts of homage and fealty extorted by Edward from John Balliol and others in the course of his progress through Scotland in the summer of 1296 and in August at the parliament of Berwick, was published by Prynne from the copy in the Tower and now in The National Archives (United Kingdom) at Kew. Both records were printed by the Bannatyne Club in 1834.

The derivation of the word ragman is described in several mixed and conflicting accounts. Various guesses as to its meaning and a list of examples of its use for legal instruments both in England and Scotland can be found in the preface to the Bannatyne Clubs volume, and in Jamiesons Scottish Dictionary, s.v. Ragman. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines "Ragman Roll" as follows:

originally meant the “Statute of Rageman” (De Ragemannis), a legate of Scotland, who compelled all the clergy to give a true account of their benefices, that they might be taxed at Rome accordingly. Subsequently it was applied to the four great rolls of parchment recording the acts of fealty and homage done by the Scotch nobility to Edward I. in 1296; these four rolls consisted of thirty-five pieces sewn together. The originals perished, but a record of them is preserved in the Rolls House, Chancery Lane.The name ragman roll survives in the colloquial rigmarole, a rambling, incoherent statement. Merriam Webster gives a very different account of the origin of rigmarole and the term Ragman Roll. The name of Ragman has been sometimes confined to the record of 1296. There is an account of this given in Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland preserved in the Public Record Office, London.

Simon Fowler (author)

Simon Fowler (born 1956) is an English social historian and author who lives in Richmond, London. He is editor of Richmond History, the annual journal of the Richmond Local History Society, and has written many books relating to family history and social history.

Fowler was editor of Ancestors, the family history magazine of The National Archives (UK), until it ceased publication in 2010. He edited Family History Monthly from 2000 to 2004. His history-related articles have appeared in Local History Magazine, Family Tree, History Today, BBC History Magazine and several academic journals.

He was an archivist at the Public Record Office, now The National Archives, for 20 years. He was secretary of Labour Heritage, the Labour Oral History Project and the Friendly Societies Research Group. He is also active with the London Archive Users Forum and the Brewery and Pub History societies.

The London Gazette

The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, and the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette. This claim is also made by the Stamford Mercury (1712) and Berrow's Worcester Journal (1690), because The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation.

Other official newspapers of the UK government are The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette, which, apart from reproducing certain materials of nationwide interest published in The London Gazette, also contain publications specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively.

In turn, The London Gazette carries not only notices of UK-wide interest, but also those relating specifically to entities or people in England and Wales. However, certain notices that are only of specific interest to Scotland or Northern Ireland are also required to be published in The London Gazette.

The London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes are published by TSO (The Stationery Office) on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office. They are subject to Crown copyright.

Valor Ecclesiasticus

The Valor Ecclesiasticus (Latin: "church valuation") was a survey of the finances of the church in England, Wales and English controlled parts of Ireland made in 1535 on the orders of Henry VIII.

In 1534, King Henry parted with the Pope and the Catholic religion and by the Act of Supremacy made himself the supreme head of the church in his lands. One of his first actions in his new role was to impose taxes on the clergy. Taxes traditionally paid by clerics to the Pope were now to be given to him, and Henry also decided in late 1534 to create a new annual income tax of 10% on the income from all church lands and offices. To properly assess the new tax a survey of all church property and revenues had to be made.

In January 1535, the government appointed commissions throughout the country to conduct the survey. All clergymen, parish priests, heads of monasteries, colleges, hospitals and other institutions under church auspices were commanded to give sworn testimony before their local commissioners as to their income, the lands their establishments owned and the revenues they received from all other sources. The commissioners were to examine documents and account books and from these and the testimony provide a full financial statement for every religious institution. The work of collecting the information was ordered to be completed by 30 May 1535 and the results sent in to the Exchequer in London.

The commissioners were unpaid and untrained, mostly local gentry, mayors, magistrates, bishops and sheriffs, but they approached the vast task with speed and, by the summer of 1535, the government had in its hands a detailed accounting of the property and wealth of the church. Most of their work survives, preserved in 22 Latin volumes and three folders at The National Archives in Kew. Two of the volumes are illuminated manuscripts and seem to be a summary made for King Henry's personal use.

Executive agencies
public bodies
Public corporations
European national archives
Sovereign states
States with limited
Dependencies and
other entities
Railway stations
River Thames bridges, islands
and river services
Other rivers and streams
Sports venues
Breweries and pubs
Theatres, cinemas
and music venues
Film and recording studios
Media and publishing
Public art
Historical royal palaces
Other places
of interest
Tragedy and disaster
Other history topics
Parliamentary constituencies
Other topics

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.