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Parliamentary Archives: continued

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Secret London
Murder Ballads

The open scroll pictured here dates from between 1820 and 1849, and can still be easily read by the naked eye. Even in this casual photograph - taken in available light with no particular thought of making the text legible - references to King George III, the Bank of Ireland and the various dates given are quite plain.
The full text seen here reads: "Whereas by an act passed in the fifty-ninth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the third entitled 'An Act to continue until the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and twenty three the restitutions or payments in cash by the bank of Ireland and to direct the gradual resumption of cash payments by the said bank', it was provided and enacted that at any time on or after the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and twenty one and before the first day of June one thousand eight hundred and twenty three whenever any person should tender to the governor and company of the bank of Ireland any note or notes of the said governor."

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Tally-sticks: continued

* Legislation stored in the Archives includes both Public Acts - which apply to all citizens - and Private Acts, which were used to grant a named individual a divorce or give someone British nationality.
      What the Archives call "most" Public Acts and "many" Private Acts are printed for the sake of convenient reference, but in other cases it may be necessary to resolve disputes by checking the original scroll.

* Perhaps the most famous example of a Private Act of Parliament is the one used to grant the composer George Frideric Handel British nationality in 1727.
      Handel, born in what is now Germany, moved to London in 1723, where he was appointed Composer of Music for His Majesty's Chapel Royal.
      His petition for naturalisation was laid before the House of Lords on February 13, 1727, and received royal assent from King George I a few days later.
      The Archives marked the 250th anniversary of Handel's death in 1759 by displaying this Act in Parliament's Royal Gallery.

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