Minute book: August 1695, 16-30

Pages 1397-1401

Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 10, 1693-1696. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1935.

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August 1695, 16–30

Aug. 21. Present: Lord Godolphin, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Smith.
The [weekly paper of cash] distribution for the Forces is [read and my Lords' decisions are entered in the margin] on the Earl of Ranelagh's paper [of demands or requirements].
To speak to Sir Stephen Evance and Mr. Shales severally about proposals for furnishing the Army in Flanders this winter from hence with bread, oats etc.
[Send] to the Customs Commissioners to know whether Mr. Banks has taken out his deputation and accepts the office of wine taster.
[Send] to the Excise Commissioners to be here in the afternoon.
The Virginia merchants [are called in and] desire that for their Customs guineas may be received at 30s. My Lords cannot encourage that, but will speak with the Customs Commissioners this afternoon before determining anything. These merchants are to be here again this afternoon. Mr. Knight [the Customs Cashier] to be here then.
[Letter of direction for] 28,045l. 7s. 6d. to be paid to the Earl of Ranelagh out of loans to be made by himself on the Duties on Coals and Glass: to be paid over to the Victuallers of the Navy for provisions to soldiers who served on board the Fleet.
Sir Joseph Herne and Sir Stephen Evance to be here on Friday afternoon.
Memorandum: To speak to the Customs Commissioners to direct their officers to be very careful in keeping out [preventing the import of] East India goods from Holland.
[Treasury Minute Book VIII. p. 71.]
eodem die Afternoon. Present: Lord Godolphin, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Smith.
[Send] to the Agents [for Taxes] to be here on Friday afternoon.
The Excise Commissioners [attend]. My Lords desire to know why so many officers of Excise lay down their office. Mr. Parry says some relinquish because they would not be removed into the country. Send to Mr. Edward Denison and Mr. Nathaniell Beale and other officers to be here on Friday afternoon.
[Send] to the Comptroller of Excise that by himself or his clerks he do prepare and make up fit for declaration the yearly accounts of Excise as was usually done by Mr. Ashmole, the late Comptroller.
William Griffith, the [Excise Office] Yardkeeper's salary to be 30l. per an.
The Customs Commissioners are called in and are asked what the Customs for the tobacco now imported may amount to. They answer near 100,000l. It is their opinion that if the goldsmiths should put their guineas into the Exchequer they would bring guineas down to 25s. next day; and lenders at the Exchequer are not bound to take guineas at the rate of 30s.
My Lords tell the Virginia merchants [who are called in] that they cannot comply with them in taking guineas at 30s., but are willing that the Customs Commissioners should grant their other desires, to wit that they on paying down the subsidy and the Additional Duty on tobacco in ready money and giving bond as usual for the new Imposition, they may be permitted to discharge and take up their impost bonds and receive all allowances as if the same [new Imposition] had been paid in ready money, provided the same [the said new Imposition bonds] be discharged before Michaelmas next.
[Ibid. p. 72.]
Aug. 23. Afternoon. Present: Lord Godolphin, Mr. Smith.
[Letter of direction for the issue to the Navy Treasurer of] 30,000l. for payment of ships: out of loans on the third 4s. Aid.
Several officers of Excise who have laid down their commission come in. Edward Denison, late surveyor, says on 19th July an order came from Everard to remove him from the place where he is settled with his family into another division; he acquainted the Excise Commissioners that he must lay down; the Commissioners dispensed with him; Everard came to town and sent a new order for his remove; then he came to the Commissioners and told them he must quit his employment because he would not be minuted down for a neglect; Mr. Everard's method is wholly erroneous, he never was a practical officer; he says in September last he, Denison, was suspended about seven weeks for objecting to Everard's method; that Sir John Foche told him the Commissioners suspended him during their pleasure, and he and the other surveyors petitioned in about a week and were restored in about seven weeks; he says the objections were about taking the gauge in works and having the direction and judgment of the gaugers as well when off duty as when they were on; on the 19th July last he gave notice to the Commissioners he would lay down upon an order he received from Mr. Everard for his remove; he took his house in Southwark about Midsummer, 1693, with the consent of the Commissioners and on their promise not to remove him; he says he offered to go into the second division, which was nearer his home, but it was impossible for him to perform the King's service in the fourth division, which is 14 miles about [in circuit] and remote from his house; he says he gave notice three weeks before [that] he would lay down if he were removed.
Mr. Pullein says they have been made very uneasy in their business this year; the method is erroneous; they are discouraged; men put over them do not understand the business; he has been officer 16 years; he laid down 14 August; he can expect no encouragement, for he was a surveyor till [in] November last [he was] made a gauger, and can never expect to rise again because country officers are brought up to take place before them; he said he had the prospect of a better employment.
Mr. Beal, late a surveyor, says in December he received an order to live in the Division; his lease was out Lady day, and he told Mr. Danverse he would take an house in his (the second) Division, which he approved, and as soon as settled (which cost him more than ever he got by the Excise) he had an order to be removed to the remotest Division from it.
Nicholas Wandley says the occasion of his laying down the employment of gauger was because [of] his uneasiness from Everard, who at first sight gave him ill names, rogue, rascal and the like; he endeavoured always to track him in his business, but could not, and dealt with another officer against him to detect him; he'll make this appear on oath; he finding Everard so severe and ignorant, not knowing his business, he, the said Wandly, quitted.
Mr. Wilson says he was a surveyor for five or six years till about half a year ago, and for a small mistake he was reduced to a gauger about six months ago; he petitioned twice and had no answer, and at last he thought he should not be a surveyor again and therefore quitted on the 14th inst.
William Browne, late gauger, says he has been made uneasy by removes from Division to Division, and now at last he was to be removed into the country, and therefore quits because he does not understand the method of country gauging.
William Travers, late a gauger, says he was four or five years in the tenth Division, and laid down the 14th inst. Mr. Booth, lately brought in per Everard to be a surveyor, told him he should not continue long; he would not be kicked out of his employment by such an ignorant person as Booth; he gives three instances against this Mr. Booth, first at Granges 22nd July, Booth took drink worth between 30s. and 40s. a barrel and entered it for Blue John, not worth above 3s. 6d. a barrel; the same morning he mist near 40 barrels at Mr. Arnold's and another officer took it; the third [instance] he took Blue John at Bredon's (which is bitter) for ale; and this made me uneasy to be undermined by a man so unskilful. Everard examines the books and might have found these mistakes himself; but Travers and Casburgh did detect this and saved the King from being wronged, but [he, Travers] confessed he did not inform.
Benj. Westwood [said he] laid down because made uneasy (in eighth Division) by Everard's methods; country officers are brought up; he has been an officer about five years.
Henry Carter laid down because uneasy a twelvemonth by Everard's methods; half a year ago Everard put in one Tenant, a very ignorant man, that could not take gauges; Carter was fain to go with him continually and took the gauges and the other wrote them down (in the eighth Division), he [Tenant] was not able to make a charge.
Westwood says the same. They did not complain of Tenant because he was a surveyor (their superior officer); then understanding we must be sent into the country, says he, I quitted.
The Excise Commissioners are called in and the preceding minutes are read to them.
Lord Godolphin being gone out, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Smith will speak at a full Board that these men never be employed again.
[Treasury Minute Book VIII. pp. 73–5.]
Aug. 28. Present: Sir Stephen Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir William Trumbull, Mr. Smith.
Mr. John Whittell to have 20l. as a free gift.
[Write] to the gentlemen of the Bank to be here to-morrow morning at nine.
Write to the Excise Commissioners that the officers heard the 21st inst. having been heard upon the reasons of their quitting the service, my Lords think fit to direct that none of the said officers be hereafter employed in the Excise without particular direction of this Board.
[Treasury Minute Book VIII. p. 76.]
Aug. 28. Present: ut supra.
The disposition [of the weekly cash] is made.
[Ibid. p. 77.]
Aug. 29. Present: Sir Stephen Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The gentlemen of the Bank come in. Sir John Houblon says the Court of Directors have agreed to lend 50,000l. on the tallies in the Earl of Ranelagh's hands on the Annuity Act. My Lords desire they will make it 74,274l. 18s. 0d. to complete the sub[sistence of the Forces] to the 12th instant; which they agree to.
[Ibid. p. 78.]