The exchequer was one of the earliest government departments and developed out of the king's chamber, the branch of the royal household which oversaw the royal finances. The chief financial officer was the king's great chamberlain. It was not a permanent body, meeting only to audit the accounts of the sheriffs and other collectors of royal revenues. Amongst the records of the exchequer we find the earliest mentions of tartan and whisky.
An excerpt from the Exchequer Roll which notes that John Corr, a monk at Lindores Abbey, was allowed 8 bolls of grain to make aqua vitae for the King, 1494 (Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E38/306)
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First official recorded mention of tartan, 24 March 1538 (Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E21/34/63/1)
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Itemised account book of royal household 1534/1535 (Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E31/6)
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Image of an extract from the Treasurer’s Accounts recording payments to royal messengers to perform their duties, including an instruction to recruit mariners from Fife to take Mary to France, July 1548 (Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E21/42 page 291)
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Image of Vouchers of accounts of Robert Richardson, Treasurer. Warrant for some taffeta in preparation for the baptism of Prince James, 3 Dec 1566. Endorsed with receipt and signature in the hand of Bastien Pagez.(Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E23/3 page 18)
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Image of an extract from the Receipted inventory of books, ornaments and masquing clothes delivered by Servais de Conde to the regent's servitors by his warrant, 24-25 November 1569 (Crown Copyright, National Records of Scotland, E35/10)
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Find out more about exchequer records.