Portrait of Queen Anne (Catalogue reference: T 40/4)

This is a brief guide to help you find records about 18th century political history. There are various types of material available from this period, both in manuscript and in print, and this guide describes some of the most important.

  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

    • Records held locally

      Search for key political figures in the National Register of Archives (NRA) database to find records held in local archives.

Did you know?

The state papers domestic are the accumulated papers of the secretaries of state relating to domestic affairs. They contain material on a wide variety of subjects, including petitions for mercy addressed to the monarchs and secretaries of state. They are divided by reign.

The state papers foreign are the papers accumulated in the offices of the secretaries of state in the conduct of British diplomacy abroad. They include treaties and correspondence with diplomats. They are divided by country.

The principal Secretaries of State handled the domestic and foreign business of the British government until 1782, when the Home Office and the Foreign Office were founded.