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Acts of the Privy Council of England (1542-1631)

The Privy Council was the chief source of executive power in England before the emergence of the cabinet system of government. It developed during the later years of the reign of Henry VIII, when the councillors at the King’s side became permanently organised as a ‘privy council.’ Designed to continue the Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, the Acts of the Privy Council series contains registers of meetings of the Privy Council, detailing attendees and matters discussed. The register was introduced in 1540 and was kept continuously from then on; the published Acts cover the period from 1542 onwards.  The Library holds 16 volumes for the period between 1542-1597 and 10 volumes covering 1616-1631 (published between 1890-1967).