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State Papers Online, 1509-1714


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Gale Cengage


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State Papers Online, 1509-1714 is a collection of English government documents originating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The papers feature the office archives and correspondence of the secretaries of state serving the Monarch as facsimile manuscript documents accessed directly or via the fully searchable Calendar. This collection contains information on every facet of English government, including social and economic affairs, law and order, religious policy, crown possessions and intelligence gathering as well as Britain's international relations and foreign policy.

But what makes this unique collection truly rise above all others, is the ability to cross search the Calendars and access the documents directly from their individual Calendar entries. By overcoming the difficulty of matching an individual Calendar entry to the original facsimile document, State Papers Online, 1509–1714 marks a huge advance for historians in all disciplines, both as a research tool and as a teaching resource.

State Papers Online includes:

- Letters to and from local officers or private persons

- Letter to and from the monarchs

- Letters to and from the Secretaries of State

- Documents in cipher

- Letters to and from ambassadors abroad

- Instructions to commissioners and to special missions

- Depositions, documents covering the Crown's revenues and possessions

- Private papers and papers produced by the office's internal administration

- Drafts of proposals or of acts of Parliament

- More than 200,000 searchable manuscript pages, along with searchable calendars

Available collections:


State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part I:
The Tudors, Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, 1509-1603, State Papers Domestic


Part I delivers the complete series of State Papers Domestic for the Tudor era, encompassing every facet of early modern government including social and economic affairs, law and order, religious policy, crown possessions and intelligence. The collection is of immense value to researchers of religious history, chronicling social unrest in England as it pitched back and forth between the religious positions of its rulers; from the boy-king Edward VI's promotion of the Reformation, to Mary I's bloody reassertion of Catholicism and Elizabeth's loyalty to Protestantism and enduring suspicion of Catholic plots.

Treason and suspicion permeated many levels of Tudor government and researchers can mine a wealth of documents exposing the backroom politics of the Tudor and Stuart regimes. Accounts of espionage and treason, reports of secret agents and spies as well as descriptions of the interrogation and torture of prisoners provide insights into the anxieties of regimes struggling with the threats of internal unrest and foreign invasion.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part II:
The Tudors: Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, 1509-1603: State Papers Foreign, Ireland, Scotland, Borders and Registers of the Privy Council

Part II completes the State Papers of the Tudor period by reuniting the Foreign, Scotland, Borders and Ireland papers for the 16th century together with the Registers ('Minutes') of the Privy Council for the whole of the Tudor period. Part II opens up a window on the Tudor world beyond the borders of England, documenting Tudor England's relations with its neighbors, both near and distant including those it sought to control (Scotland, Ireland and Wales), those it fought wars or maintained peace with in Europe (the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, France) and those it traded with (the Ottoman Empire, the Barbary coast and Russia). Part II's comprehensive coverage of international diplomacy, colonial policy, commercial and maritime law, trade and industry and naval and military policy offers Early Modern historians key insights not only into the inner workings of the Tudor court but also into the courts of its foreign allies and enemies.

Owing to the international reach of the State Papers, users will find hundreds, in some instances, thousands of documents partly or completely written in non-English languages including, but not limited to, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part III:
The Stuarts: James I to Anne, 1603-1714: State Papers Domestic

State Papers Domestic For The Stuart Era (1603-1714) is the richest primary source archive of its kind to cover national affairs in the 17th century. The manuscripts and accompanying calendars are vital to any scholar's understanding of this turbulent century of civil strife, revolution and regicide. Users can explore the nature of monarchy, religious conflict and the emergence of party politics.

The clandestine world of espionage and treason emerges in numerous documents describing plots and assassination attempts; three volumes of the state papers are dedicated to the Gunpowder Plot alone. Reports of military maneuvers and accounts of battles bring the English Civil War sharply to life while sobering testimonies capture the public's experience of natural disasters like the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. For students or researchers of theology and religious history the collection contains every major religious issue from the commissioning of the King James Bible to questions over which recreations were deemed permissible on Sundays and holy days.

State Papers Online (SPO): Part IV:
The Stuarts, James I to Anne, 1603-1714: State Papers Foreign, Ireland, Scotland and Acts of Privy Council

The final installment of the four-part archive, State Papers Online, Part IV: The Stuarts, James I To Anne, 1603-1714: State Papers Foreign, Ireland, Scotland, And Acts Of Privy Council is an extensive collection of all the foreign state papers of the British monarchy from the reign of James I in 1603 to the end of the reign of Queen Anne, in 1714. This unique online resource reproduces the original historical manuscripts in facsimile and links each manuscript to its corresponding fully-searchable calendar entry. It is an unprecedented, groundbreaking primary source collection for British Early Modern history and courses on the Stuarts.

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