The Pipe Rolls
are a series of financial records from England
, beginning in 1130
and lasting, mostly complete, until 1833
. They were used by the Exchequer
(treasury) and recorded such things as audits of kings' incomes and expenses. They are named after the "pipe" shape formed by a rolled up piece of parchment
on which records were originally kept. The Exchequer and Pipe Rolls were a great innovation in government; nothing else like it existed in Europe.
Pipe Rolls provide invaluable records for historians for everything from the composition of a hunting party, the contents of a king's kitchen to the tracking of historical figures.
The Pipe Roll Society , founded by the Public Record Office in 1883, has published the Pipe Rolls up to the year 1222. They were written in Latin until 1733. The society's website can be accessed at the link above