[Table of Contents] [Previous Page] [Finding Guides Title Page] [Index to the Finding Guides] [The Center for British Studies Home Page] [Government Publications Home Page]


Annual Abstract of Statistics.
Annual volumes.
Prepared by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) in collaboration with statistics divisions of other government departments. The name of the department or organization providing the statistics is given under each table. Most of the tables give annual figures so far as they are available. Current data for many of the series appearing in the Abstract are contained in Economic Trend, Monthly Digest of Statistics, and Financial Statistics, all prepared by the CSO. Regional information in this abstract is published in Regional Trends, also prepared by the CSO.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-St29 5:(year).
Current edition in GovPubs Ready Reference area; previous volumes (1887 forward) in Norlin Basement.
Background Brief.
Occasional publications.
Published by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, each brief addresses a particular issue of contemporary concern.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-F76 12:(no.)
Britain [Year]: An Official Handbook.
Annual volumes.
Provides a factual overview of the government policy and its operations as well as of other topics: the various sectors of the economy; social, cultural, and environmental matters; international affairs; and British achievements in many fields. Includes a list of government departments and their executive agencies, with addresses and phone numbers, a list of recent White and Green Papers, and a statistical appendix.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-In4 4:year. Current edition in GovPubs Ready Reference area; previous volumes (1948 forward) in Norlin Basement.
Catalogue of United Kingdom Official Publications (UKOP).
See section I.A. of the Gov Pubs Guide, under UKOP.
Current National Statistical Compendium: The United Kingdom.
Annual volumes for 1986 and 1988-1992.
Contains yearly summary data for the country as a whole: social, economic, and demographic material. Part of an international series of such Compendia.
Norlin GovPubs: MICROFICHE 996. In GovPubs Office Collection, filed in alphabetical order by country.
GovP - 42

Key Data: UK Social and Business Statistics.
Annual volumes through 1989-90.
Presents basic statistics in the main economic and social areas. Tables selected for reproduction have generally been taken direct from other publications of the Central Statistical Office. The whole text of the latest Government Statistics--A Brief Guide to Sources is reproduced, providing a useful list of the most important government publications concerning statistics and setting out departmental responsibilities and contact points.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-St29 11:1989/90. In GovPubs Ready Reference area.
National Technical Information Service (NTIS).
Annual reports.
NTIS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the largest single source for public access to federally produced information. It includes annual summaries of research and development and engineering activities sponsored by foreign governments, including the United Kingdom.
Microfiche index available for 1964-1979.
Index available through the NTIS database, only available on campus.
Microfiche available at Government Publications Reference Desk.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB).
The NTDB is issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistic Administration, Office of Business Analysis, and Interagency Trade Data Advisory Committee. It includes information on trade in Britain under such headings as State of Origin of Exports and Market Research Reports.  The Country Marketing Plan, prepared by the Commercial Section of the American Embassy in London, analyzes the country's business and economic climate, giving emphasis to marketing and trade issues.
Norlin GovPubs: C1.88:(year) available on CD-ROM from 1991-2000.
Now available online through Stat-USA, access only available on campus.
Policy Statements.
Occasional publications.
Produced by the British Information Services, New York, these statements are edited transcripts of press conferences or interviews concerning current political affairs.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-In3P 5:(year/no.).
Survey of Current Affairs.
Serial publication.
This current events periodical contains short articles on a great variety of subjects, with helpful references to source documents such as Parliamentary debates or the Sessional Papers. It supersedes two earlier publications, Commonwealth Survey and Survey of British and Commonwealth Affairs. Examples of issues covered are external affairs and defense, economic and scientific affairs, and environmental, social, and cultural affairs.
Norlin GovPubs: 301-In3 33:(vol. no./year). In Norlin Basement.
GovP - 43


Appendix A. GLOSSARY

This is a selected list of terms associated with British government activities and documents. Definitions are taken in part from Sectional List 24 ("British National Archives"), and Guide to the Records of the Public Record Office (vol. 1).

ACT PAPERS - administrative reports, mostly from non-departmental agencies, such as national boards, corporations, and other authorities established by Parliament.

AID - payment due to the Crown or feudal lord on specific occasions, or granted to meet special emergency.

ASSIZE RECORDS - records of the Clerks of Assize reflect the work of the Assize Justices under their civil and criminal commissions.

BILL - a short, formal document; petition by plaintiff initiating action in equity; brief written statement initiating proceedings at common law. See also: PUBLIC BILLS.

BULL - leaden or other metallic seal, or letter (esp. papal) sealed therewith.

CALENDAR - a chronological register of documents which includes brief descriptions and serves as an index to the document collection.

CHANCERY RECORDS - the administrative records of the Chancellor, custodian of the Sovereign's Great Seal. These include several series of documents, including Charter Rolls, Patent Rolls, Close Rolls, etc.

CHARTER ROLLS - the royal charter was the solemn instrument whereby the Sovereign made original and confirmatory grants in perpetuity of lands, liberties, privileges, etc., to both corporations and individuals.

CLASS or CLASSIFICATION - records of the Public Record Office are arranged in groups according to the several courts or departments from which they emanate (e.g., Exchequer, Admiralty, etc.). Each group is divided into "classes," and each class is assigned a class name and a class number. Most of these classes are original, and they correspond to distinct series compiled and preserved as such in their place of origin. Others are artificial, i.e., they represent assemblages of documents brought together for convenience of storage or reference after transfer to a repository (e.g., "Miscellaneous").

CLOSE ROLLS - writs and orders under the Great Seal addressed by the Sovereign to individuals were folded or closed up and are hence known as letters "close." These contain royal instruments for the performance of a variety of acts, including the observance of treaties, the levying of subsidies, the repair of buildings, the payment of salaries, the delivery of landed inheritances to heirs, the assignment of dower to widows, and so forth.

COMMAND PAPERS - series in the Parliamentary Papers of reports presented to Parliament "By Command of Her Majesty." These are reports sent to Parliament through the initiative of the government minister or by Royal Warrant rather than required by and Act of Parliament.

COMMON LAW - traditional English law administered in king's courts, as distinct from local customary law, statute and equity.

COURT ROLL - record of proceedings in manorial court.

CURIA REGIS ROLLS - judicial records (Latin text) of proceedings in the Bench (later known as the court of Common Pleas) and in the court coram rege.

DECREE - judgement (in court of equity), either "final" or "interlocutory" (reserving possibility of further consideration); distinct from "order," which might be merely procedural.

GovP - 44

DENIZATION - limited naturalization of aliens; before 1844 aliens could be fully naturalized only by Act of Parliament.

DEPOSITION - statement on oath, especially written statement admissible in lieu of production of the witness.

ENROLMENT - entry on a roll or (later) in a book.

EXCHEQUER - the accounting and auditing department in the government's treasury. Its name is derived from the checkered cloth on which accounts were originally worked out.

FEUDAL INCIDENTS - obligations incident to feudal service, such as payment of aids and reliefs, wardship of heir during minority, etc.

FINE ROLLS - "fines" or payments made for writs, grants, licenses, pardons, etc., of various kinds, most of them under the Great Seal, relating to matters in which the Crown had a financial interest.

GAOL DELIVERY - trial of prisoners detained on criminal charges.

GASCON ROLLS - documents relating to the English administration in Gascony, including treaties, truces, appointments, grants of land, etc.

INQUISITION or INQUEST - inquiry by means of sworn testimony, sometimes instituted by writ of inquiras.

INQUISITIONS POST MORTEM - upon the death of any land-holder presumed to have been a tenant of the king in chief, sworn inquiry was held to establish of what lands, etc. he was seized at the time of his death, their value, by what rents or services they were held, and the name of his next heir. The "proofs of age" returned when minor heirs came of age are filed with the Inquisitions Post Mortem.

LIBERATE ROLLS - writs of liberate (Latin "deliver ye") whereby the officers of the Exchequer were ordered to make payments on behalf of the Crown.

MUSTER - assembly for inspection of men eligible for military service, together with their arms.


OYER AND TERMINER - commission to justices to "hear and determine" specified treasons, felonies and misdemeanors, or all such committed within a specified district.

PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS - also called Sessional Papers, the collective name for the documents issued for the House of Commons and, separately, the House of Lords of the British Parliament. Included are public bills, reports of committees and royal commissions, command papers, etc.

PATENT ROLLS - letters patent, so called from being issued "open," with the Great Seal pendant, announced royal acts of the most diverse kinds, including grants and leases of land, appointments to offices, licenses and pardons, denizations of aliens, and presentations to ecclesiastical benefices. (The kind of royal grant which had been made previously by Charter took the form of letters patent from 1516 on.)

PECULIAR JURISDICTION - exemption from authority of bishop as ordinary (judex ordinarius) within his diocese.

PROBATE - certificate that a will has been duly proved and may be executed.

PROOF OF AGE - testimony (to some extent fictitious) that an heir to feudal tenement is of age to receive possession or occupation of the land.

PUBLIC BILLS - bills relating to public policy introduced in Parliament.

GovP - 45

QUARTER SESSIONS - statutory quarterly sessions of Justices of the Peace.

RECOGNIZANCE - formal acknowledgement of debt or other obligation, usually with sureties and subject to special penalties for default.

REMEMBRANCER - the official concerned with making and acting upon Remembrances (memoranda, reminders).

ROLL - document consisting of several parchment membranes attached end to end (Chancery type) or rotelets all attached at the top (Plea Roll type).

ROYAL COMMISSION REPORTS - reports of specially appointed commissions of investigation, created by Royal Warrant and not by Parliament. These may include reports from ad hoc committees, statistical returns, etc. Many are issued as Command Papers.

RETURNS - Administrative or executive reports issued periodically or special reports that are required by an Act of Parliament. (Part of the Parliamentary Papers.)

SESSIONAL PAPERS - see Parliamentary Papers.

SOVEREIGN - the Royal Crown, the King or Queen.

STATE PAPERS - the principle documents of the offices of the Secretaries of State from Henry VIII onwards. State Papers are generally categorized as Foreign, Domestic, Colonial, or other geographic areas.


TREATY ROLLS - record of the English side of official dealings--commercial, diplomatic, and military--with European countries and of the administration of possessions of the English Crown in Northern France.

VISITATION - inspection of church, religious house, etc., especially by a bishop or his representative.

WARRANT - document serving as authority for payment, grant, appointment or other act.

WILL - declaration providing for disposition of property after death (formerly concerned with land only, as distinct from a testament concerned with goods).

WRIT - sealed document conveying a formal command of the Crown or of a court.

GovP - 46


Below is a chronological list of English Kings and Queens, from 1066 A.D. to the present, and the dates of their reign:
Name Date Began Date Ended
William I 25 Dec 1066 9 Sep 1087
William II 26 Sep 1087 2 Aug 1100
Henry I 5 Aug 1100 1 Dec 1135
Stephen 22 Dec 1135 25 Oct 1154
Henry II 19 Dec 1154 6 Jul 1189
Richard I 3 Sep 1189 6 Apr 1199
John 27 May 1199 19 Oct 1216
Henry III 28 Oct 1216 16 Nov 1272
Edward I 20 Nov 1272 7 Jul 1307
Edward II 8 Jul 1307 20 Jan 1327
Edward III 25 Jan 1327 21 Jun 1377
Richard II 22 Jun 1377 29 Sep 1399
Henry IV 30 Sep 1399 20 Mar 1413
Henry V 21 Mar 1413 31 Aug 1422
Henry VI 1 Sep 1422 4 Mar 1461
Edward IV 4 Mar 1461 9 Apr 1483
[Henry VI - restored 9 Oct 1470 to c. Apr 1471] 
Edward V 9 Apr 1483 25 Jun 1483
Richard III 26 Jun 1483 22 Aug 1485
Henry VII 22 Aug 1485 21 Apr 1509
Henry VIII 22 Apr 1509 28 Jan 1547
Edward VI 28 Jan 1547 6 Jul 1553
Mary 6 Jul 1553 24 Jul 1554
Philip & Mary 25 Jul 1554 17 Nov 1558
Elizabeth I 17 Nov 1558 24 Mar 1603
James I 24 Mar 1603 27 Mar 1625
Charles I 27 Mar 1625 30 Jan 1649
Commonwealth 30 Jan 1649 29 May 1660
Charles II  [30 Jan 1649] 6 Feb 1685
James II 6 Feb 1685 11 Dec 1688
William & Mary 13 Feb 1689 8 Mar 1702
[Mary died 27 Dec 1694] 
William III 27 Dec 1694 8 Mar 1702
Anne 8 Mar 1702 1 Aug 1714
George I 1 Aug 1714 11 Jun 1727
George II 11 Jun 1727 25 Oct 1760
George III 25 Oct 1760 29 Jan 1820
Regency Feb 1811 Jan 1820
George IV 29 Jan 1820 26 Jun 1830
William IV 26 Jun 1830 20 Jun 1837
Victoria 20 Jun 1837 22 Jan 1901
Edward VII 22 Jan 1901 6 May 1910
George V 6 May 1910 20 Jan 1936
Edward VIII 20 Jan 1936 11 Dec 1936
George VI 11 Dec 1936 6 Feb 1952
Elizabeth II 6 Feb 1952 Ongoing

GovP - 47

Order of Succession to the Throne (partial list):
The Prince of Wales (Charles)
Prince William of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales
The Duke of York (Andrew)
Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Eugenie of York
Prince Edward
The Princess Royal (Anne)
GovP - 48

[Top] [Table of Contents] [Previous Section] [Finding Guides Title Page] [Index to the Finding Guides] [The Center for British Studies Home Page] [Government Publications Home Page]