Committee for Compounding with Delinquents

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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.[1]

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".[2] If a "delinquent" wished to recover his estate he had to apply to the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents based in London,[2][a] as the national Sequestration Committee was absorbed by the Committee for Compounding in 1644.[3]

After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, most of the sequestrated land was returned to the pre-war owners.[4]

Background[edit]

In 1643 the "Parliamentary Committee for the Sequestration of Delinquents' Estates" was formed in order to confiscate the estates of Royalists who fought against the victorious Parliamentarians in the Civil War.[5] This was followed by the establishment of the Committee for Compounding for the Estates of Royalists and Delinquents, at Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London, which first met on 8 November 1643.[6]

Assessment of sum[edit]

The delinquent paid a fine proportional to the value of his estate,[1] frequently three times net annual income.[7]

Valuation of estate[edit]

The delinquent submitted to the "Committee for Compounding with Delinquents" a signed declaration of his revenue and assets, which ended with wording such as: This is a true particular of the estate he doth desire to compound with this Honourable Committee for, wherein he doth submit himself to the fine to be imposed (partial transcript of declaration to the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents of Francis Choke of Avington, Berkshire, dated 1646)[8]

Payment[edit]

Payment of the sum compounded was made generally at Goldsmiths' Hall in the City of London, where the Committee was based.[9]

Surviving records[edit]

The surviving records of compositions, known as the Royalist Composition Papers, ("The Proceedings of the Committee for Compounding, A.D. 1643-1660"), made by delinquents are held by the National Archives at Kew, under reference State Papers (SP) 23 , Books and Papers, 1643-1660, calendared in Committee for Compounding with Delinquents, etc., 1643-1660, ed. M A E Green, 5 parts, 1889-1893. The papers record the particulars of the estates and personal property sworn on oath to belong to delinquents as part of the compounding process. Records held under SP 28 contain material concerning the County Committees for Compounding with Delinquents.[10]

County records[edit]

Records held at the National Archives under SP 28 contain material concerning the various County Committees for Compounding with Delinquents.[10] These have been published for several counties, as follows (list incomplete):

Lancashire[edit]

The Royalist composition papers : being the proceedings of the Committee for Compounding, A.D. 1643-1660, so far as they relate to the County of Lancaster / extracted from the records preserved in the Public Record Office, London, Stanning, J.H., (ed.), 1891.

Yorkshire[edit]

Yorkshire Royalist Composition Papers Or the Proceedings of the Committee for Compounding with Delinquents during the Commonwealth, Clay, John William, (ed.) several volumes, 2013

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In a paternalistic society most of the property sequestrated was owned by men.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Document 17: State Papers: Committee for Compounding with Delinquents document relating to Francis Choke, of Avington, Berkshire, dated 1646 (Catalogue reference: SP 23/193 folio 825)". The National Archives. 
  2. ^ a b O'Riordan, Christopher (1987). "The story of a gentleman's house in the English Revolution"". Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 38: 165–7. 
  3. ^ State Papers Domestic: The Commonwealth, 1642-1660, Domestic Records Information 17, The National Archives, Retrieved 10 March 2010
  4. ^ Habakkuk H. J. (All Souls College, Oxford) Landowners and the Civil War The Economic History Review Volume 18 Issue 1, Pages 130 - 151, Published Online: 11 February 2008
  5. ^ http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100431622
  6. ^ National Archives, Committee for Compounding with Delinquents: Books and Papers, SP 23[1]
  7. ^ Andrews, Rev. J.H.B., Chittlehampton, Transactions of the Devon Association, vol.94, 1962, pp.233-338, p.266, described as "the usual composition", concerning Col John Giffard of Brightley
  8. ^ Document 17: State Papers: document relating to Francis Choke of Avington, Berkshire, dated 1646, Catalogue reference: SP 23/193 folio 825[2]
  9. ^ As in case of Col John Giffard of Brightley, per Prince, John, (1643–1723) The Worthies of Devon, 1810 edition, p.412, biography of Col John Giffard of Brightley
  10. ^ a b http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/state-papers-commonwealth-1642-1660.htm
  11. ^ Thirsk Joan (1984).The rural economy of England: collected essays, Volume 25 of History series, Hambledon Press, 25, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-907628-29-3. p. 88

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]