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Where there were no specifications, the details of the grant recorded in the Patent Rolls were transcribed.
These printed specifications and transcriptions are held by the British Library.
From 1711, specifications (providing full working details of the invention) began to be enrolled in a different place after the issue of the patent. Up to October 1852 the Court of Chancery was responsible for the enrolment and issue of patents of invention, and the enrolment of specifications, safe-guarding intellectual property rights in England and Wales.
The Patent Office (now The Intellectual Property Office) took over this responsibility when it was founded in 1852.
English patents granted before October 1852 were first printed and published in a numbered sequence in the mid-1850s.