of Denization and Acts of Naturalization for Aliens in England and Ireland,
1603-1700 - ISBN: 1-84630-122-X
This republication of Letters of Denization
& Acts of Naturalization for Aliens in England & Ireland, 1603-1700,
was edited by William A. Shaw and published by the Huguenot Society of
London in 1911.
The first instance of legislatively making a foreigner into an English
subject was recorded in 1295, when Elias Daubeny was granted by the grace
of King Edward I, the right to be held as an Englishman.
The distinction between denization and naturalization can be traced to
the early 15th century and was inextricably connected to the King's finances
and the taxation on foreign merchants. Although denization conferred certain
rights on a foreign merchant, it also meant that as an 'alien' he was
subject to twice the taxation of a natural subject. However, by the reign
of the Tudors the distinctions between denization and naturalization became
clearly defined. Naturalization provided full rights to a citizen, especially
the right and ability to own and transmitting land, whereas the rights
of denization, superior to that afforded an alien, did not include the
right to own or convey land. Denization became stereotyped as the favour
of the Monarch and naturalization the right of Parliament and as such
a number of Acts, such of the Irish Naturalization Law and the Plantation
Naturalization Law, passed into English Common Law, which codified the
criteria for naturalization.
Documentary sources for denization are drawn from the Patent Rolls and
a number of subsidiary sources including the Signet Office Docquet Book
and the Privy Seals as well as the Patent Rolls of Ireland. The Letters
of Denization & Acts of Naturalization covers the periods from the
accession of James I until the end of the reign of William III and is
especially interesting during the period of the so-called 'Great Migration',
when England and Ireland became the refuge for Protestants fleeing religious
persecution. During this period grants of denization were made without
fee on 'humanitarian' grounds and included large numbers of Huguenot refugees
in England and Ireland. Numbered amongst the denizens were foreign soldiers
and officers in the employ of William of Orange before and after he acceded
to the throne.
In the main the records for naturalization are more fulsome than those
for denization, requiring as they did a bill of Parliament. The records
of Irish Denizations and Naturalizations date from the third year of the
reign of James I are draw almost exclusively from the Irish Patent Rolls.
In total the Letters of Denization & Acts of Naturalization is republished
in 457 pages over 100 of which treat on Irish denizations naturalization
and is fully indexed and fully searchable on this CD-Rom publication.
Reviewed in BBC Who Do You Think You
Are? Magazine (October 2008) "You may strike gold with this disc".
Ref IET0094 Price £24.50.