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Chronological Table of Private and Personal Acts

Introduction

(The Introduction to The Chronological Table of Private and Personal Acts 1539-1997 (The Stationery Office 1997 - ISBN 0 11 0430069) is reproduced with abridgement for this online version of the Table)

1. Authority for Publication

The Chronological Table of Private and Personal Acts ("the Table") was completed by the Law Commissions and published in 1997 by The Stationery Office Ltd under the authority of the Advisory Committee on Statute Law as the successor to the Statute Law Committee 1 which originally authorised the project in 1974.

This online version of the Table has been edited and prepared for publication by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Publishing Services Team, Admiralty Arch, Room 1.35, North Entrance, The Mall, London SW1A 2WH. For availability of full texts of the Acts in the Table see section 5 of this Introduction.

2. Background

In 1974 the Statute Law Committee authorised the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission to prepare a chronological table covering the 26,000 Local Acts passed between 17972 and the end of 1973 and the 11,000 Private Acts, (later described as Personal Acts), passed between 15393 and the end of 1973. The local Act part of the project was completed in 1996 - The Chronological Table of Local Legislation 1797-19944 which covered the 26,500 Local Acts passed up to the end of 19945. The publication of the present Table completed the entire project and made available for the first time chronological tables for all Acts passed by the Parliaments at Westminster (The Chronological Table of the Statutes for Public Acts, The Chronological Table of Local Legislation for Local Acts and The Chronological Table of Private and Personal Acts for Private and Personal Acts).

This online version of the Private and Personal Act Table in 33 parts is updated to December 2008.

3. Contents

The Table lists in their chronological sequence the series of Private and Personal Acts passed by the Parliaments at Westminster between 1539 and the end of 2008 which comprise:

(i) Private Acts (1539-1802);

(ii) Local and Personal Acts, not printed (1802-1814);

(iii) Private Acts (1815-1947);

(iv) Personal Acts (1948 onwards).

The Table records the effects on the listed Acts of the following categories of legislation enacted or made between 1539 and the end of 2008:

(i) Public General Acts of the Parliaments at Westminster;

(ii) Measures of the Church Assembly and the General Synod of the Church of England;

(iii) Local, Personal and Private Acts of the Parliaments at Westminster;

(iv) Statutory Rules and Orders (before 1948) and Statutory Instruments (from 1948) which are classified as general and the most readily available texts of those which are classified as local 6;

(v) Public General Acts of the Northern Irish Parliament 1922-1972 so far as they affect pre-1922 United Kingdom private Acts;

(vi) Local and Private Acts of the Northern Irish Parliament 1922-1972 so far as they affect pre-1922 United Kingdom private Acts;

(vii) Northern Ireland Statutory Rules so far as they affect pre-1922 United Kingdom private Acts.

A number of Private Acts passed before 1800 were also treated as Public Acts. Such Acts are listed both in the Chronological Table of the Statutes and the Table where their dual classification is indicated in separate footnotes.

The Table does not show the effect of repeal or cesser provisions in general terms on Private and Personal Acts except where the repeal or cesser has been translated into, and contained in, specific repeal schedules to Public General, Local, Private and Personal Acts.

4. Source Used in Compiling the Table

The Private and Personal Acts have been listed and numbered in accordance with information obtained from the following sources:

1. The sources used to compile the Chronological Table of the Statutes, namely:-

(a) Statutes of the Realm, the edition of the Record Commissioners (1810- 1828), so far as it extends (to the end of the reign of Queen Anne (13 Anne) in 1714);

(b) Ruffhead’s edition of Statutes at Large (by Serjeant Runnington, 1786) so far as it extends (to the end of the session of the 25th year of the reign of King George the Third (25 Geo. 3) in 1785);

(c) the Sessional Volumes of Public (from 1797 Public General) Acts after 1785.

2. The Sessional Volumes of Local and Personal Acts (1797-1869), Local Acts (1870 onwards) and Private (later Personal) Acts (1815 onwards).

Lists of Acts in the House of Lords Record Office, including the Long Calendar7, have also been examined but no additional Acts have been identified.

A table of variances between Statutes of the Realm and Ruffhead’s edition of Statutes at Large, on pages 1-8 of the Table, lists the differences between years and chapter numbers of Private Acts as listed in those two editions.

5. Nature and Availability of the Texts of Private and Personal Acts

The Private Acts listed in the Table were not officially printed until 18158, in contrast to the texts of Public (from 1797 Public General) and Local Acts which have all been authoritatively or officially printed and whose effect is recorded in the Chronological Table of the Statutes and the Chronological Table of Local Legislation respectively. Until 1815 the most authoritative and readily available texts of the Private Acts are the Original (manuscript) Acts which are available in the House of Lords Record Office9.

Some Private Bills, which are entitled "An Act ...," were privately printed before 1815. These may only be accepted as the text of Bills as passed, i.e. as Acts, if the date of Royal Assent is printed at the beginning or end.

In respect of all Private Acts before 1815 and unprinted Private Acts (those marked with an asterisk in the Table) after 1815 inquiries for viewing and about copies should be made to the House Lords Record Office and should be addressed to:

The Clerk of the Records,
Record Office,
House of Lords,
London
SW1A 0PW

Tel: 020 7219 3074
Fax: 020 7219 2750
e-mail hlro@parliament.uk

The website address is: www.parliament.uk [select Further information about parliamentary services; Parliamentary Archives; General information]

In the printed edition of the Table (see the first paragraph of this Introduction) at pages 1-8, a table of variances between Statutes of the Realm and Ruffhead’s edition of Statutes at Large lists the differences between years and chapter numbers of Private Acts as listed in those two editions.

6. Listing, Numbering and Annotations of Acts

Generally the Table has the same layout and uses the same conventions as the Chronological Table of the Statutes.

Chapter numbers (1) The Table follows the modern practice of distinguishing Public General Acts, Local Acts and Private/Personal Acts, namely:

It should be borne in mind that this method of distinguishing the different series of Acts is not necessarily reflected in the texts of the Acts themselves. For instance, Private Acts were not officially numbered in italic Arabic numerals until 1869.

(2) In contrast to Public General and Local Acts the chapter numbers for most of the Acts listed in the Table do not relate to printed, published, texts and their function is therefore confined to providing an authoritative means of citation. Until 1902 all the Original Acts in the Parliament Office - Public, Public General, Local and Private - were numbered in one sequence for each session,10 and in the House of Lords Record Office the sessional numbers are cross-referenced to the chapter numbers as listed in Ruffhead to enable the manuscript texts of the Acts to be identified for those wishing to see them.

(3) Until 1713, and unless otherwise indicated11, the chapter numbers of the Acts listed in the Table are either those given in the lists of Private Acts in Statutes of the Realm12 or, where no such numbers are given, they follow the order in which the Acts are listed in that work.

(4) Between 1876 and 1922 the small numbers of Private Acts which were not officially printed were not numbered by the Queen’s Printer. To avoid uncertainty such Acts have been given Arabic numbers in square brackets in the Table in a separate sequence from the official chapter numbers for the printed Acts, and in the order in which they are listed in the annual volumes of Local and Private Acts concerned.

Titles of Acts

Where an Act has an official short title it is, so far as practicable, referred to by that title13. In other cases, and for the majority of the Acts listed in the Table, the titles are modernised or abridged versions of the long titles of the Acts as they appear in the relevant sources. It has not, in general, been possible to examine the substance of the Acts themselves and as a result the Table does not record subjects which are not mentioned in the long titles. Also, it has not always been possible to provide meaningful entries for every Act14.

In accordance with the convention used in the Chronological Table of the Statutes, the title of an Act which has been wholly repealed is shown in italic type. Where the title is shown in bold type, it indicates that the Act is or may be in force.

Place names

The spelling of place names has, so far as possible, been modernised and made consistent throughout the Table. As a result the spelling of place names in the Table frequently differs from that in the titles of the Acts themselves.

The counties of places mentioned in the titles of the Acts have been included wherever possible. But in many instances it has not been practicable to provide such information without examining the substance of the Acts concerned. The county names are either those which are given in the titles of the Acts themselves, or which are considered likely to have been the county concerned at the time the Act in question was passed15, and not those of counties as reconstituted by later legislation16.

Personal names

Personal names have been modernised so far as possible, but not on a systematic basis throughout the Table.

The annotation "see"

The annotation "see" is used to draw attention to a number of different provisions which are difficult to record in any other way. Examples are provisions which are relevant in considering the legislation concerned but do not act directly upon it and those whose effects on earlier legislation are not clear or cannot be expressed succinctly.

7. Glossary

Long Calendar: An authoritative chronological list of long titles of Original Acts (6 vols., 1497-1863) compiled contemporaneously from 1608 onwards. It is kept in the House of Lords Record Office with the other lists, calendars and indexes of Original Acts made for the use of the Parliament Office in the House of Lords (M F Bond, Guide to the Records of Parliament (1971, pp 3, 96-97, 181).
Original Acts: From 1497 to 1849 the manuscript texts of engrossed Bills on parchment rolls, as altered in the course of the Bills’ passage through Parliament, which became Original Acts after the Bills received the Royal Assent. Amendments to the Bills were entered on the engrossed rolls, but additional clauses were engrossed on separate pieces of parchment which were stitched to the roll concerned. From 1849 the authoritative text of each Public General Act, and from 1850 that of each Local Act and of each Private Act, has been printed separately on (generally) vellum leaves bound at the margin by red silk tape (M F Bond, ’Acts of Parliament’ Archives iii (1958), pp 204-206; Guide to the Records of Parliament (1971) pp 65-66, 95-96).
Parliament Roll: One of the Chancery series of Parliament Rolls which are preserved in the Public Record Office. The information which they contain includes the text of all Public Acts and of those Private Acts enrolled for a fee (1535-1593); the text of all Public Acts but the titles only of Private Acts (1593-1757); the text of all Public Acts (1758-1849) and duplicate copies of Original Acts (1849 onwards) (M F Bond, ’Acts of Parliament’ Archives iii (1958), p 218).

8. Updating the Table

Details of repeals and amendments made to Private and Personal Acts after 1997, of future Personal Acts and of any corrections to the Table, will be given on this site which will be updated annually.

9. Corrections and Correspondence

Details of any omissions or errors noted in the Table, or any other correspondence about it, may be addressed to Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Publishing Services Team, Admiralty Arch, Room 1.35, North Entrance, The Mall, London SW1A 2WH. For availability of full texts of the Acts in the Table see section 5 of this Introduction.

[1] The Statute Law Committee was succeeded in 1991 by the Advisory Committee on Statute Law whose members are listed in The Civil Service Year Book and Whitaker’s Almanack.[back]

[2] In 1797 the public Acts were divided into a separate series of Public General Acts and Public Local and Personal Acts. Public Acts passed before 1797 are listed in the Chronological Table of the Statutes.[back]

[3] In 1539 public and private Acts were first distinguished on the official enrolments of Acts of Parliament.[back]

[4] HMSO 1996, ISBN 0 11 043002 6 (and see note 5 below)[back]

[5] The on line text of the local legislation table is updated annually on this website [back]

[6] It has not been possible to record the effects of all local subordinate legislation since no comprehensive collection of the texts of local Statutory Rules and Orders for the period 1890-1921 has yet been found, and the most readily accessible comprehensive collections for the period after 1922 - in the Statutory Publications Office, the Public Record Office and the British Library - have gaps in them (Report on the Chronological Table of Local Legislation (1996) Law Com No 241; Scot Law Com No 155; Cm 3301, para 5.13).[back]

[7] An authoritative chronological list of long titles of Original Acts (6 vols., 1497-1863) compiled contemporaneously from c. 1608 onwards (M F Bond, Guide to the Records of Parliament (1971) pp 96-97).[back]

[8] Thereafter only a residue of Divorce, Name and Naturalization Acts, and some Inclosure Acts, were not officially printed and their only authoritative texts are the Original Acts in the House of Lords Record Office (Bond, op cit, p 102). Since 1924 all Private Acts (styled Personal Acts since 1948) have been officially printed.[back]

[9] Bond, op cit, pp 3, 66, 94-97.[back]

[11] Bond, op cit, p 98.[back]

[12] See, e.g., nn 28, 47, 51 and 52 to the text of the Table.[back]

[13] Table of Variances, n 2.[back]

[14] The Act 4 & 5 Anne (c.33) was given the short title ’The Lichfield Chapter Act 1706’ by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act 1873 (c.64), s.6, sch. The first private Act to have its own short title provision appears to have been the Nottingham Freeman’s Allotments Act 1850 (c.1). Official short titles were increasingly enacted in the 1850s and nearly all printed private Acts have them after 1860. The last printed private Act which did not have an official short title was Prince Henry of Battenberg’s naturalization Act 1885 (48 & 49 Vict.) (c.1).[back]

[15] e.g. 1539 (c.27) - Chancery Clerks’ House; 1548 (c.1) - Kent Gavelkind lands; 1605 (c.3) - Corpus Christi College, Oxford.[back]

[16] e.g. 1698 (11 Will.3) (c.17): Llanriddian and Penrice [Glamorgan].[back]