Online series shines new light on Britain’s corridors of power in the eighteenth century

Gale publishes the first part of a new series in the State Papers Online programme

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, once again partners with The National Archives UK to extend its acclaimed State Papers Online programme into the eighteenth century with the publication of Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782: Part I: State Papers Domestic, Military, Naval and Registers of the Privy Council held by The National Archives.

The first of this new three part series contains over 12,000 volumes of confidential British government records from the eighteenth century. Shedding new light on the reigns of King George I, II and III and their respective governments, the State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782 series will be vital to any understanding of the political, social and economic history of Britain and the world during this turbulent period.

This remarkable archive offers academics and those interested in history unrestricted access to confidential papers from the reigns of the Hanover rulers providing fascinating insights into the backroom politics of Britain during the eighteenth century.

Julia de Mowbray, Publisher of History and Politics at Cengage Learning EMEA, comments: “It is an enormous pleasure to have reached the eighteenth century in this series and these fundamental documents for the study of British history.  The handwriting is easy to read so students will be able to study page after page, without need of palaeographic skills, and re-write the history of the eighteenth century with all its complexities, subtleties, failures and successes.”

Crime, treasonous plots & rebellion

Jacobite plots, crime, unrest and treason feature prominently in the collection, revealing the underlying insecurity of the Hanover monarchs’ grip on the British throne. Researchers can uncover a wealth of historical documents on the Atterbury Plot which attempted to overthrow George I, including a testimony recounting the attempted escape of Atterbury’s co-conspirators Lords North and Grey to France in September 1722. The ‘Second Jacobite Rebellion’ is also richly documented, from the landing of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ in Scotland to the rebels’ defeat at Culloden the following year.

Aside from the secret reports and correspondence exposing the internal threats to Hanoverian rule, researchers can trace the founding of Britain’s burgeoning empire abroad as it extended from North America to the Indian subcontinent. Researchers can also mine a trove of material on George III’s government’s mismanagement of the American colonies and the American war of independence.

Using technology to bring history to life

Built on the same platform as the original State Papers Online series, and cross-searchable with it, State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782 harnesses all the same sophisticated search technology to streamline the research process. Scholars can search and retrieve manuscripts in multiple ways: they can limit manuscripts by reign or date, browse through manuscripts volume by volume, view two manuscripts side by side to compare them, or even make personal notes using a virtual note pad. The platform has been designed to address a range of different needs, catering equally for the experienced researcher and for the student less familiar with the materials and the period.

Caroline Kimble, Head of Licensing, at The National Archives, said:  “The National Archives is delighted to partner with Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in their ongoing digitisation project State Papers Online. The project has improved access and the usability of some of our most challenging and illuminating record collections. The latest collection to be made available online reveals the origins of modern-day British parliamentary democracy and allows more people to explore the inner workings of the State during the Age of Enlightenment.”

The online archive is now available for trial and purchase to institutions ranging from public libraries and academic institutions to museums and galleries.

For a free trial or further information about State Papers Online Eighteenth Century, please contact or visit

About State Papers Online

The largest digital manuscript programme of its kind, State Papers Online, gathers together British State Papers from the Early Modern period. The first series in the programme, the four part State Papers Online, 1509-1714, offers early modern scholars and students access to the government records of the Tudor and Stuart governments. The second series, Eighteenth Century, 1714-1782, extends the programme’s coverage into the eighteenth century and consists of three parts. Part I will be followed by Part II: State Papers Foreign: Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Netherlands and Part III: State Papers Foreign: Western Europe and Barbary States which cover the extensive ‘foreign’ government records that documents Britain’s relations with its colonies, European neighbours and Russia.. For more information please visit  

About Cengage Learning and Gale

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company, empowering educators and driving learner engagement through personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world's information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats. For more information, visit or  

About The National Archives

The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use.

Follow the press office on Twitter @TNApressofficer and for general news @UkNatArchives.


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