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Country code GB
Repository code 234
Repository National Records of Scotland
Reference E861
Title Exchequer Records: King's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office: Ultimus Haeres Department: Ultimus haeres files (2nd series)
Dates 1891-1997
Access status Open
Location Off site
Description Initially a separate file was opened for each new case. From 1893, however, special numbers were allocated to blocks of files for 'Chancery enquiries' (estates said to be 'in Chancery' or otherwise not traceable in the exchequer records) and later for 'no funds' cases (estates found not to have fallen to the crown). In 1969 these files were transferred to a separate series E862.
No general index to the files is available after 1895 E868/6, but cases can be identified from the indexes in the procedure books E851, which show the relevant file numbers. A numerical listing of the files (excluding 'chancery' and 'no funds' files), 1893-1972, will be found in the ledgers E855.
Certain files from 1957 onwards have been retained by the Crown Office and are noted as wanting in this list. Recent files are subject to closure for 30 years from the date of the last paper.
Level Series
Admin history The King's (or Queen's) and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office was established on 9 May 1837, by the union of the separate offices of King's Remembrancer and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, in terms of Treasury minutes of 26 August 1836 and 5 May 1837, the first holder of the combined posts being John Henderson, formerly one of the attornies in Exchequer. These minutes implemented section 2 of the Act 3 & 4 Will. IV c.13 (1833), which had provided for the regulation of the two offices, together with those of Auditor of Exchequer and Receiver-General. This last office had already been abolished by a minute of 21 May 1833, dividing the functions of the Receiver-General as Paymaster of the Civil Establishment between the King's Remembrancer and the Auditor. The Auditor's Office remained separate until 1 December 1848, when a further minute of 3 November 1848 united it to the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office. With the abolition of the office of Presenter of Signatures under the Conveyancing (Scotland) Act, 1874 (sec. 57), this was left as the sole remaining part of the Scottish Exchequer.

Many of the functions of the office formed a continuation of those of its predecessors. From the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's Office it acquired responsibility for auditing the accounts of sheriffs and for fixing the Exchequer fiars. As the auditing of most public accounts had been transferred to the Audit Board at Westminster before 1848, the main duties taken over from the Auditor's Office related to the preparation of establishment schedules and fixing compositions on Crown charters. The King's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer took over the duties of the King's Remembrancer as secretary to the Barons of Exchequer for certain limited purposes, mainly connected with passing signatures for Crown charters. He also acted under the Barons and (after 1839) the Exchequer Judges of the Court of Session in respect of the judicial functions of the Court of Exchequer, until its final abolition in 1856 (19 & 20 Vict. c.56). Other functions of the Barons had been transferred to the Commissioners of Woods and the Treasury, to whom the Remembrancer supplied certain information, which it was formerly part of the ministerial duty of the Barons to communicate. He also continued to perform, under the direct supervision of the Treasury, many of the functions which the King's Remembrancer had carried out under that of the Barons, particularly in regard to the administration of Ultimus Haeres estates.

Additional functions were conferred upon the Remembrancer, by statute or otherwise, from time to time. A Treasury letter of 4 April 1835 had made the King's Remembrancer responsible for carrying out the duties of H.M. Almoner in Scotland in paying charities and bounties and reporting on the state of the charity roll. In 1838 the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer was constituted deputy keeper of the Regalia under the Officers of State. An Act of the same year (1 & 2 Vict. c. 117) gave him custody of monies paid by subscribers to works or undertakings to be effected under the authority of Parliament. In 1858 a warrant of the Board of Trade under the Companies Act, 1856, appointed him Registrar of Joint Stock Companies in Scotland and in 1917 he was also appointed Registrar of Business Names. In 1871 the 'Edinburgh Gazette' was put under the management of the Remembrancer, as Keeper. Other functions conferred upon him at a later date need not be particularly noticed.

A full account of the Remembrancer's duties in 1869 will be found in Miscellaneous Book E881, vol. 2, pp. 235-245. For a description of the functions of the Remembrancer and the organisation of the Exchequer Office in 1953 see 'Report of the Royal Commission on Scottish Affairs', ii, pp. 112-118.

Ultimus Haeres Department: This branch, acting on behalf of the Treasury, deals with property falling to the Crown as bona vacantia, including moveable property situated in England or Scotland of intestates of Scottish domicile dying without known kin, (Estates of illegitimate persons used to form a separate category of c of "bastardy") moveable property in Scotland of foreigners dying intestate without known kin according to the law of their domicile, heritable property in Scotland of persons dying wihout heirs in heritage according to the law of Scotland, property standing in the name of dissolved companies registered in Scotland or belonging to defunct non-charitable societies, unclaimed funds in the hands of solicitors and others and Treasure Trove. Also escheats, abolished under the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act, 1949. The Remembrancer is responsible for the recovery and safe custody of the property, during the competition of parties making claims, and reports on each case to the Treasury E853, which makes grants on behalf of the Sovereign E858. The records of this branch include some personal papers of defuncts, as well as minutes and accounts of Incorporations and societies E870. Treasure Trove is also recovered by the Remembrancer, objects of antiquarian or archeological interest being disposed of in consultation with the Keeper of the National Museum of Antiquities. E871, E872.
Arrangement This inventory is divided into three sections, corresponding to the three branches or departments of the Exchequer, the Pay Office, the Audit Department and the Ultimus Haeres Department. Records of the Companies Branch are not included, as these are properly records of the Board of Trade. It should be noted, however, that the precise allocation of functions among the branches has varied from time to time. Certain records, which cannot be assigned to a particular branch, form a fourth section, which includes papers deposited in the Exchequer by order of the Treasury in 1895. These comprise E884/52-64, most of E885 and the whole of E886. In some cases, however, it is not possible to distinguish between the Exchequer records proper and those deposited in 1895. An appendix lists records of the King's Remembrancer's Office and the Auditor's Office, which were continued by the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer after 1837 and 1848 respectively, and plans, which have been incorporated in the Register House series.
Format Text
Language English
Related material G245/P/1

National Records of Scotland, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY; tel +44 (0) 131 535 1314; email: historical_enquiries@nrscotland.gov.uk