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The Cecil Papers: Home

The Cecil Papers is a collection of full-colour scanned documents, digitised directly from the original Cecil Papers manuscripts at Hatfield House Archives.

William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley

Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury

What are the Cecil Papers?

William Cecil (1521-1598), Lord Burghley and his son Robert Cecil (1563-1612), First Earl of Salisbury were at the heart of events during one of the most dynamic periods in Western history.  One of Elizabeth I's closest advisors, William Cecil, was both her Lord High Treasurer and her Secretary of State - a position also held by his son who continued to serve Elizabeth and her successor, James I.  Previously, the essential historic documents available in the Cecil Papers were only available at Hatfield House in the United Kingdom.  This collection is valuable for scholars, students, and general users for the thorough study of significant evens and individuals of the 16th and 17th centuries. 

The online edition contains:

  • The Cecil Papers at Hatfield House Archives
  • The Calendar of the Cecil Papers
    • Historical Manuscripts Commission, Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Honourable The Marquess of Salisbury [. . .], 24 vols (London 1883-1976)
  • Haynes/Murdin transcripts of selected Cecil Papers
    • A collection of state papers, relating to affairs in the reigns of King Henry VIII. King Edward VI. Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, from the year 1542 to 1570 [. . .] Transcribed from original letters and other authentick memorials [. . .] , ed. by Samuel Haynes (London, 1740)
    • A collection of state papers relating to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from the year 1571 to 1596. Transcribed from original papers and other authentic memorials [. . .] , ed. by William Murdin (London, 1759)
  • Skelton & Summerson descriptions of items in Maps collection
    • R. A. Skelton and John Summerson, A Description of Maps and Architectural Drawings in the Collection Made by William Cecil, First Baron Burghley, Now at Hatfield House (Oxford, 1971)

The approximately 30,000 documents comprising the Cecil Papers, including numerous contemporary hand-drawn maps, have been reproduced as high-quality, full-colour images, digitized directly from the original manuscripts at Hatfield House Archives.

Additional Resources