Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 4, 1672-1675. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.
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Broadly speaking, the bankruptcy of 1672 had a two-fold effect on English Governmental finance for the remainder of Charles II's reign. (1) The national income was diminished by the amount of the yearly value of fee farms sold. (2) The expenditure was increased by the amount of the interest which had to be paid upon the bankers' debt. Each of these two transactions had a peculiar character, and it is necessary to explain them before attempting a tabular resum of income and expenditure for the period covered by the present volume.
(1) The sale of Fee Farms. The fee farms represented the hitherto unalienated or unsold Crown remains of the chantry lands which had been confiscated under Edward VI. The rentals of such lands were collected by local receivers, who paid their receipts to the respective superior Receivers General of Crown lands, and the latter in turn paid their receipts into the Exchequer. In a statement therefore of yearly income received in the Exchequer the item of "Receivers General" ought to account for the full yield of these fee farms of the Crown as well as of the other Crown lands. But as a matter of fact this is not found to be the case. The amounts paid in yearly by the Receivers General do not by any means represent the total yearly yield of fee farms and Crown lands. This arises from the fact that many yearly charges were in the respective counties made upon the above source of income. Such charges were paid by the Receiver General, and were allowed to him as a credit in his account. He therefore only paid into the Exchequer the net balance of his receipts. It must not be supposed that such charges were novel and that they had been instituted by Charles II. They were mostly very ancient in date as well as in character, and covered in their totality most varied species of expenditure, payments for repairs of roads and harbours, castle guard rents, annuities to schoolmasters and ministers of the Gospel, and so on. For instance, the royal bounty of 100l. per an. to the poor ministers of the Isle of Man was a charge on the fee farm rents of Lancashire and was paid by the Receiver General of that County to the Earl of Derby, who, with the Bishop of Man, distributed it yearly to the recipients (see pp. 722-3 infra). Similarly the provision for the King's Preachers in the County of Lancashire (an institution which goes back to the reign of Elizabeth and in a different form even to that of Edward VI) was made by the Receiver General of the County paying 200l. yearly to the Bishop of Chester, who paid it away to four godly preaching ministers chosen by himself. Each county in England and Wales (or rather each Receiver General's district, which occasionally comprised several counties) had its own list of such "fixed charges" as they were called.
When the fee farms were sold it was no longer possible to meet these county "fixed charges" in the old way. Each case appears to have considered as it came up and any arrangement was made which was feasible at the moment. Failing any other alternative the charge was thrown upon the national Exchequer, and from that time onwards it will figure in the Exchequer expenditure table. This was what was done, for instance, in the above quoted case of the King's preachers (see p. 865 infra). In the case of the poor ministers in the Isle of Man the annuity of 100l. was transferred and charged upon the Excise. It therefore acted as a diminution pro tanto of the receipts from the Excise, and so figures, in effect, in the Exchequer revenue or income table. In the case of the officials of Hampton Court the charge of their ancient fees was transferred to a rent payable nomine decimae to the Crown by the Dean and Chapter of Westminsterthese nomine decimae rents being specially (in the Act for Sale of Fee Farms) reserved from sale (see p. 458 infra). In this case also, therefore, the effect of the transaction will appear as a diminution of Exchequer revenue, not as an increase of Exchequer expenditure. The whole of this subject is brought together in the index to the present volume under the head "Fee Farms (County payments)."
From such an explanation it will be at once apparent that the effect of the transaction of the sale of Fee Farm rents of the Crown is not traceable in more than a fraction of its entirety in the tables of Exchequer income and expenditure given below. Its effect appears on both sides of the balance sheet, as an item of decrease of revenue and as an item of increase of expenditure. Further it appears or figures not under one item, but under many. The main heading under which it does appear is in the item Receivers General in the table of income. Prior to the transaction of the sale of fee farms of the Crown the Receivers General had paid into the Exchequer the following sums :
|Year ending Easter||s.||d.|
If this be taken roughly as an average net income of certainly over 12,000l. a year the diminution of income is at once apparent on turning to the table below, p. xx. From 1673 onwards the item of Receivers General yields only between 1,000l. and 1,500l a year.
But as has been already explained such a figure by no means represents the total diminution of income which the executive had to face as a consequence of the sale of fee farms. So far as I am aware no tabular statement of the transaction as a whole was ever drawn up. The statement printed below, pp. 111-2, is at once incomplete and unworkable for the reason that the transaction was not complete in 1673. The sales continued until 1679. The account in question may be condensed as follows :
From its form it will be seen that this account of April, 1673, is an estimate of the probable yield of the transaction rather than an account of its actual yield.
As a matter of fact the amount of rents thrown on to the market seems to have been too great for instant absorption. The purchase price had to be reduced from 18 to 17 years and then to 16 years for rents in possession, and finally a rebate of something like a quarter's rental had to be made from the 16 years' purchase. Even with these reductions it was impossible to force the sale, and in the end the executive was driven to (almost forcibly) apply the unsold remainder to the liquidation of debt. The loan of 60,000l. from the City, the banker Lindsay's debt of over 36,000l., and the Customs Farmers' advance money of over 187,000l. on balance, were liquidated in this way. (All the details of these several transactions are brought together in the index to the present and preceding vols. of the Calendar under the respective heads of London loan, Lindsay, J., Customs Farmers, 1671.) A final element of confusion in this very complicated transaction of the sale of fee farms was introduced by Charles's own easy-going good nature. Under the guise of fictitious sales he freely gave away blocks of fee farm rents to individuals. Treasurer Danby himself, for instance, benefited largely from such royal bounty (see pp. 541-3 infra). In their totality these grants are brought together in the index under the heading Fee Farm (grants).
Among the Duke of Leeds' MSS. at the British Museum there is one volume (Addit. MS. 28,073) devoted to the subject of the sale of fee farms. This volume contains entries of each particular contract, but in an exceedingly confused form and not strictly chronologically. With much trepidation I have attempted a re-arrangement of the entries according to counties and an abstraction of the whole as follows. If the account is complete then the conclusion to be drawn is that the total annual value of fee farms sold was something over 50,000l. (fn. 1)
The second result of the stop of the Exchequer by means of which Charles's income was lessened is easier of explanation than the transaction just described. It was not until 2 years after the stop that Charles was able to keep his promise and arrange for the payment of 6 per cent. interest on the bankers' debt. On the 23 July, 1674, a great seal was issued providing 140,000l. for 2 years' interest to the goldsmiths, viz. from 1 Jan., 1672, to 1 Jan., 1674 (see the warrant for this great seal on p. 540 infra). In calculating the sums due to each banker compound interest was allowed, that is to say, the 6 per cent. interest due at the first half-yearly period, June, 1672, was added to the principal debt as from that date, and so similarly the interest dividends due at Jan., 1673, June, 1673, and Jan., 1674. By this means Charles kept faith with the bankers as far as their interest was concerned. But this payment so arranged in 1674 was only a provisional and interim arrangement pending the permanent settlement of a specific fund for charging the interest upon. When in 1677 Charles allocated such a fund and granted the bankers annuities on the Excise, the same arrangement of allowing compound interest on the unpaid instalments of interest due from 1 Jan., 1674, to 1677, was again adopted. The unpaid instalments of interest for these 3 years, 1674-7, were added half yearly to the principal sum. In this way the amount of the principal debt owing to the bankers was by the year 1677 increased by the amount of 5 years' compound interest, viz., 2 years from 1672 and 3 years from 1674. It was on this enhanced or increased sum of principal debt that the annuities granted to the bankers in 1677 were calculated. In his own time and in his own way, therefore, Charles kept his word with the bankers as to the payment of their interest. It is necessary to emphasise this, as the idea is constantly disseminated that Charles played fast and loose with the bankers and that they were robbed of their interest after having been robbed of their capital ; whereas in matter of fact the arrangements for the payment of their interest were scrupulously honest. From the moment that the bankers received their annuities their payment was ensured and became only a matter of official routine. Tallies were made out half-yearly at the Exchequer drawn on the Excise, the tallies were delivered to the bankers and were paid by the Receivers or the Commissioners of Excise at the Excise Office. It only remains to point out two merely technical features in this transaction. (1) As the interest money was paid at the Excise Office it does not appear as an expenditure item in the Exchequer expenditure. It figures in the national balance sheet only by way of diminution of the receipts from the Excise. (2) In each banker's grant of annuity there was a covenant inserted that he would within a twelve month assign to his own creditors pro rata shares or parts of his own annuity in the proportion of the deposits of those creditors. When these assignments had been made accordingly and duly enrolled, the individual depositors or customers of the bankers became entitled to their own annuity on the Excise and received their tallies in their own name. They thus became investors in the first funded national debt of this country.
The two transactions which have been described above represent in their combined effect a diminution of Charles' income as follows :
Bearing in mind, therefore, on the one hand that this diminution of effective income would have to be faced, and on the other hand that Charles was committed irrevocably to the second Dutch war, it would seem that the task of the Lord Treasurer was a hopeless one. It may be safely asserted that such task would have been indeed worse than hopeless if the Lord Treasurer's staff had remained long in the hands of Lord Clifford. Such of the Treasury records in the present volume as cover the short period of his treasurership bear witness to the merely personal ability of this worthless, unscrupulous gamester, but of any broader administrative ability there is not a trace. His utter recklessness is amply vouched for. In Sept., 1673, Sir William Temple writes to the Earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as follows : "A little before he [Clifford] left the Treasury, upon [the occasion of] a letter [which] it seems your lordship had written to desire his inspection into that [the Treasury] of Ireland before he left the [white] staff, and an expression in it that without some methods the King would be forced to run out [exceed his income] there [in Ireland, he, Clifford] fell into a fit of raillery before the company that was there, saying among other things, my Lord of Essex would be taken for a gentleman that is resolved to live within his compass ; the good man must needs have his bread and butter meet ; but he's out of the story : we run out [exceed our income] here [in England] and he must run out there in spite of his teeth : with a good deal more of this kind which was told me by one that was there and heard it all. For aught I hear he practised as he preached, for one of his best friends told me he might be arraigned for the bounties he used in the disposal of the King's money about six weeks before he left the staff ; and all has gone at that rate that I hear by a state of the revenue lately brought in, the King will owe at the end of this month 500,000l. more than he will have to realise, and all since the stop in the Exchequer."
Ample confirmation of this gossip is furnished by the long list of money warrants and letters of direction which Clifford signed in the few days prior to the 19th June, 1673 (infra pp. 161-82).
On the latter date Clifford was succeeded as Lord Treasurer by Sir Thomas Osborne, then Viscount Osborne, of Dunblane. Anticipating his later creations (as Viscount Latimer in Aug., 1673, and as Earl of Danby in June, 1674), it is convenient to speak of him consistently as Danby.
Within an incredibly short space of time Charles's finances took on another aspect under the guidance of the new Lord Treasurer. Owing to the fact that the larger administrative side of Treasury work was shaped not in the Treasury Chambers but at the Privy Council, it is not to be expected that the more statesmanlike and comprehensive aspect of Danby's administration of the Treasury should be revealed in the Treasury records calendared in the present volume. In the Privy Council he gave his advice inter pares for a regulation of expenses : at the Treasury Chambers he merely transacted the routine side of Treasury work, signing warrants, writing letters, passing accounts, considering claims, and so forth. But throughout the record of even this merely mechanical routine work there shines the illuminating sense of a statesman consistently sound, clear headed, businesslike without ever condescending to be brilliant. That this was the impression produced by his personality upon the business community is evident from the speedy restoration of the credit of the Navy which had taken place under his tenure of the office of the Treasurer of the Navy, and it is still more evident in the view of his contemporaries as to his administration of the higher office of Lord High Treasurer of England. With the second Dutch war on his hands, towards which the Parliament had granted an inadequate supply, he still succeeded in restoring credit so far as to be able to borrow money at 8 per cent., whereas previously 10 per cent. had been paid for loans to the Government. He not merely paid the seamen in ready money, whereas previously for years they had been paid only in tickets or part tickets and part money, but he also furnished the stores with cash to enable them to make purchases at cash value instead of at 40 per cent. enhanced prices for deferred payment. And when he subsequently came to settle the claims of householders for the quarterings and nursing of sick and wounded seamen he was particularly solicitous to protect the householders from the fraud of speculators who had bought the quartering tickets at a discount. Finally he never rested until he had made a completely honest, even a generous, provision for the interest due to the bankers. In doing all this Danby was struggling not merely against the natural financial difficulties of his position, but also against the violent opposition of interested factionsa faction about the Court on the one hand which resisted his efforts at economy (see Lord Conway's letter to the Earl of Essex, dated 1674, Mar. 31, among the Essex Papers), and on the other hand a Parliamentary faction which sought his downfall.
But apart from Danby's businesslike and administrative capacity it has up to the present remained a mystery how he managed to accomplish so much. The following tables of revenue income lift the veil from this mystery and furnish a perfectly natural explanation. There is evidence in the economic life of England in the seventeenth century of that same cyclical recurrence of depression and expansion which characterises the economic life of the modern world. In the middle of its career Cromwell's Government had felt the benefit of such a period of mercantile expansion. The Restoration took place at the moment of the lowest depression following on that expansion, in fact that depression made the Restoration possible. If the course of the cycle had been normal, revival and expansion would have ensued in or about 1666 ; but two unrelated causes contributed to postpone it. In the first place Cromwell had financially bled the country to death in his ambitious policy to be strong at once abroad and at home. The financial embarrassment of Charles's Government was in some measure due to this exhaustion of the country, as witnessed in the diminished yield of the taxes. In the second place the mere accidents of the extraordinary expenses connected with the Restoration (the disbandment of the Commonwealth Army and the pay of arrears to the Navy) and the subsequent plague, fire, and Dutch war and the depletion of the currency by the exchangers all acted as forcible deterrents to postpone the return of economic expansion. The revival which should have come in 1666, therefore, only made itself felt in 1672. One contributory cause of the revival was doubtless the temporary dispersal of currency medium and of capital which resulted on the stop of the Exchequer. Prior to the stop, not merely investors' capital, but also the currency itself, had been engrossed in the hands of the bankers, and the breaking down of that dam turned both currency and capital into other and more fructifying channels.
I am not concerned with the external evidence of this revival. I am only concerned with its effect on Charles's finances and on Danby's administration. In a word, it brought Charles's income up with a bound and made him for the moment solvent. For the first time since the Restoration Charles actually received the income which Parliament had voted him in 1660. In the following tables it will be noticed that the Customs yielded over 400,000l. in 1674, and over 700,000l. in 1675. In the year Mich., 1670, to Mich., 1671, the Customs had yielded 162,000l. Similarly the Excise (which is if anything a surer indicator of internal trade activity) yielded over 750,000l. in 1674 and about 500,000l. in 1675. Its prior yield had been from 250,000l. to 300,000l. per an. These increases, therefore, much more than counterbalanced the loss of income from the sale of fee farms. As a result Charles's fixed, settled or hereditary revenue, which had been fixed in 1660 at 1,200,000l., but which had never before 1672 amounted to more than 900,000l., rose in 1674 and 1675 to over 1,400,000l. This of course is quite independent of the money which Charles received from Louis XIV, as that money was not paid into the Exchequer nor accounted for there.
These simple figures furnish the key to the mystery of the financial success of those years of Danby's Treasury administration which are covered by the present volume of Calendar. In the following tables I give in accordance with the plan consistently followed in these introductions the figures of Exchequer income and expenditure for the period in question, and the chief accounts of departmental expenditurethe latter of course in a condensed form.
|One Year ending Mich., 1674||2,605,460||4||11||2,565,134||2||8|
|One Year ending Mich., 1675||1,688,297||3||2||1,848,071||17||1|
|Half Year ending Easter, 1676||452,995||19||7||494,817||18||1|
|Hereditary or Fixed Revenue of the King.|
|Year ending Michaelmas, 1674||1,479,938||6||0|
|Year ending Michaelmas, 1675||1,420,645||8||11|
|Half Year ending Easter, 1676||430,018||11||5|
There are three large outstanding conclusions of general interest which may be drawn from the above tabular mass of figures.
(1) The general expenditure of the country was at last provided for or met as by a State that was (momentarily) solvent, or equal to the task of paying its way.
(2) The cost of the second Dutch war was in excess of the provision which Parliament had made for it, and yet that cost was honourably liquidated.
(3) Under the influence of his momentary solvency Charles gave way to a wild outburst of extravagance in the matter of his secret service and his mistresses.
(1) The first of these points can be dismissed at once, as the figures printed above speak for themselves.
(2) The second needs elaboration.
In consequence of three successive prorogations Parliament had not sat between the 22nd of April, 1671, and the 4th of Feb., 1672-3.
The second Dutch war had therefore been in progress for over a year before the Executive received the aid of a penny piece from Parliament. When at last in Feb., 1672-3, the Parliament did meet, Charles gave it to understand that he expected it to make provision, not only for the effective carrying on of the war, but also for the bankers' debt.
"I have been forced to a most important necessary and expensive war, and I make no doubt but you will give me suitable and effective assistance to go through with it ... You will find that the last supply you gave me did not answer expectation for the ends you gave it [viz.] the payment of our debts. Therefore I must in the next place recommend them again to your special care."
In his following speech the Lord Chancellor elaborated on this demand in the following terms :
"In the next place to the supply for the carrying on of the war, His Majesty recommends to you the taking care of his debts. What you gave the last session did not near answer your own expectation ; besides, another considerable aid you designed His Majesty was unfortunately lost in the birth ; so that the King was forced, for the carrying on of his affairs, much against his will, to put a stop to the payments out of the Exchequer. He saw the pressures upon himself growing, and inconveniences to his people, by great interest, and the difference through all his business between ready money and orders. This gave the King the necessity of that proceeding to make use of his own revenue ; which hath been of so great effect in this war. But though he hath put a stop to the trade and gain of the banker, yet he would be unwilling to ruin them, and oppress so many families as are concerned in those debts. Besides, it was too disproportionable a burden upon many of his good subjects ; but neither the bankers nor they have reason to complain, if you now take them into your care, and they [shall] have paid [to] them what was due to them when the stop was made, and six pounds per cent. interest from that time. The King is very much concerned, both in honour and interest, to see this done ; and yet he desires you not to mistime it, but that it may have only the second place ; and that you will first settle what you intend about the supply."
It is evident from the terms of these speeches that both Charles and his ministers looked upon the stop of the Exchequer as having furnished the Administration with war funds during the recess of Parliament. Herein they were completely mistaken, as has been already shown in the introduction to the preceding volume of this Calendar. All that the stop of the Exchequer had done had been to set free his ordinary current income for the purpose of meeting his ordinary current expenditure. Had the stop not taken place the current income would have been paid automatically to the bankers in liquidation of debt ; then fresh loans would have been taken in from them and the ordinary expenditure would have been met out of such loans. The only difference that it would have made to Charles's financial position in the beginning of 1673 would have been that, in the one case, he would have had the usual current twelve months' debt (plus arrears of debt) upon him ; whereas in consequence of the stop he had (hypothetically) no current twelve months' debt, but a two year old or postponed bankers' debt (plus arrears of debt). The misunderstanding on the part of Charles's ministers arose from the fact that it was not then the custom to draw up a yearly budget (including a statement of debt as well as current revenue and expenditure). The Exchequer half-yearly statements ("declarations") were only of current income and expenditure. The departmental debts separately were not stated ; in fact they could not be, for in some cases departmental accounts were not declared until ten years or more after the current year. The total of these departmental debts, therefore (which would have represented the national debt), could at best only be guessed at.
This, however, is, by the way, and merely to make clear that, during the first year of the second Dutch war, Charles had no benefit from any source whatever of any specific war fund.
To this part of Charles's request Parliament made no reply whatever. On the first effective day of their sessions the Commons in Grand Committee with alacrity and unanimity voted him an eighteen months' assessment, and after the interruption of the quarrel over the Declaration of Indulgence this vote was made effectual, and the Act for the Eighteen Months' Assessment was passed (25 Car. II., c. 1). This was the only Parliamentary aid of any kind which Charles received towards the cost of the second Dutch war ; in fact, it was the only Parliamentary aid at all which he received between 1671 and 1677.
The first payment into the Exchequer on the head of this assessment was made on the 23rd of May, 1673, and the total receipts from it up to 1676 were as follows :
After the last-named date nothing came in on this head save small items of arrears.
The complete yield of the tax, therefore, was very little in excess of this total of 1,166,238l. 3s. 4d. When Parliament voted the tax it had been intended to yield 1,238,750l. As to the expenditure on the war no statement was ever drawn up, and it is now impossible to do more than roughly approximate it. The bulk of the expenditure fell under the three heads, Navy, Ordnance, and Army. Taking only the three years, 1672-5, inclusive (and this will necessarily give an under-estimate, because the financial effect of departmental debts carried forward would necessarily drag into several later years) the expenditure on these three heads was in round figures :
Taking the average normal peace expenditure on the Navy as 300,000l. per an., Ordnance as 50,000l. per an, and Army as 200,000l., this gives an excess of war expenditure during the years in question of :
Thus the least statement of the expenditure of the war exceeds the Parliamentary supply for it by between 300,000l. and 400,000l.
(3) Charles's extravagance as to his mistresses and his secret service.
The difficulty of treating this subject adequately arises from the elusive nature of the expenditure, and also from the fact that two and a half centuries of accumulated misrepresentation have to be swept off the field as a preliminary to the investigation. In the first place, so far in date as the present Calendar of Treasury Books has travelled, Charles's memory must be for ever cleared of the aspersion that he starved the administration for the sake of lavishing money on his so-called harem. During the years that the executive was pinched for money the cause lay in the inadequate yield from those sources of revenue which the Parliament had allocated for the supply of Charles's revenue. Parliament had solemnly undertaken to find him 1,200,000l. a year to meet the national expenditure. For the first twelve years of his reign the supply allocated had fallen short of this sum by at least 300,000l. per an. But although thus straitened for money Charles had not starved the administration. He had kept all the services runningArmy, Navy, ambassadorial and civil service, &c., and to do this he had not only turned into the national Exchequer every penny of extraneous or non-parliamentary money which he received before the era of the arrival of the French subsidies, but he had also postponed his own private claims (such as for the Household, &c.) to the claims of the more public service, such as the Navy. When once this elementary fact (which is vouched for by every page of this Calendar) is grasped, the subject of Charles's expenditure on his mistresses and on secret service sinks into minor significance.
Without pretending that it is possible to tell in what way and to what extent Charles spent money on secret service and on his mistresses, it is possible by a process of elimination of the unfit to narrow the question down and to strip it of the extravagant misrepresentations which have passed current for centuries. If the table of expenditure supra, p. xxii, be carefully examined, there are certain heads which at once attract attention. These are :
(1) Extraordinaries of divers natures.
(2) Annuities and allowances.
(3) Rewards and royal bounties.
(4) Fees and annuities.
(5) Privy Purse.
(6) Secret service.
(7) In addition, certain pensions were granted which do not appear specifically under any of the above heads, because they were granted or charged upon certain branches of the revenue, such as Excise, Customs, Navy, First Fruits, Hanaper and Subsidiary Farms and the Irish Revenue. The Receiver or Treasurer for each of these revenue branches accounted for them in his general account, and so these pensions remain hidden away in the departmental accounts, and do not come to the surface.
Let me take these items in the order indicated.
(1) Extraordinaries of divers natures.
It will be found without exception that all the items under this head occur in their proper place in the present Calendar. All the items are easily explicable ; they have no occult significance, and the expenditure or allowance, or whatever it is, will be found in every case to be duly authorised by Great Seal, or Privy Seal, or Royal Warrant and Treasury Warrant. The following table gives a complete abstract of these items of extraordinaries for the Exchequer half-year, Michaelmas, 1674 to Easter, 1675. Any other Exchequer half-year account would have yielded similar results.
All the above items can be traced in the present Volume of Calendar. In the Exchequer accounts they are brought together under one head of "extraordinaries" simply because, being of a miscellaneous nature, they did not fall under any of the usual specific headings of departmental expenditure. That is to say, the existence of an item of "extraordinaries" is simply a matter of classification.
(2) Annuities and allowances.
The head may be briefly styled the pension list. All the items comprised under it are brought together in the Index to this Calendar under the head of "Pensions." An examination of the list will convince any student that pensions to mistresses under this head form a very small proportion of the whole.
(3) Rewards and Royal bounties.
This head comprises grants of an occasional (i e non-recurring or non-annual) nature. All the items contained under it are brought together in the Index under the head "Royal bounties." The grants are invariably comparatively small and of an eleemosynary nature.
(4) Fees and annuities.
This head comprises such portions of the ordinary civil service salaries as were not included collectively under one or other departmental establishment account.
(5) Privy Purse.
There is, of course, no account of the expenditure of the money paid to the Privy Purse. A certain proportion of it was doubtless expended through Chiffinch in largess to the mistresses. But on an average Charles only took about 20,000l. a year for his Privy Purse, and the uses to which he put the money were more various than his mere personal expenditure. For instance, the item of healing medals for use in Charles's touching for the King's evil (a heavy item, as will be seen from the item Healing medals in the Index) was charged on the Privy Purse. It would be absurd to suppose that even so much as half of the income of the Privy Purse was spent on the mistresses.
(6) Secret service.
The secret service expenditure of Charles's reign falls under 4 heads.
(a) What was spent in Parliamentary corruption. During the later years of Danby's tenure of the Lord High Treasurership this portion of the secret service money was issued to Charles Bertie, Secretary to the Treasury, and was dispensed by him. The total so paid to him during the period covered by the present volume can be gathered from the item Bertie, C., in the Index.
(b) What was spent for intelligence. This head was worked by the Secretaries of State (see Secretaries of State in the Index), but the amount was comparatively small.
(c) Expenditure on items of a public and perfectly harmless nature, which were put under secret service for no more reason than the various items supra, pp. xlii-v, were put under Extraordinaries. For instance, the salary of 4,000l a year to the Lord Treasurer was periodically issued to Sir Stephen Fox as secret service money, and was by him periodically handed over to the Lord Treasurer. There are several other such instances in the present volume.
(d) Charles's own secret service expenditure. This is represented by the names in the Index to the present volume under Secret Service after eliminating the names of Charles Bertie and the Secretaries of State. The main bulk is credited to Sir Stephen Fox, but large deductions have to be made from his total for such items as have just been mentioned.
(7) Coming to the seventh head indicated above, p. xli, viz. that of pensions hidden away under departmental accounts, it will be of advantage to give the details of these from the departmental accounts themselvessuch accounts that is as fall within the limits of the present volume.
Pensions Charged On The Navy
(exclusive of the allowances to widows and orphans).
Earl of Anglesey for his pension of 3,000l. per annum [as former Navy Treasurer].
Thomas Bond, boatswain to the "Royal Katherine."
Thomas Bates in consideration of the loss of his leg aboard the "Lyon" in the West Indies.
Sir John Chicheley, late commander of the "Royal Katherine" and Vice-Admiral of the fleet in the Straits.
William Clerke, a seaman wounded in the West Indies.
John Fowler, late Judge Advocate of the fleet.
John Hart, as captain's pay of a second rate.
Robert Hutchins, late master of the "Greenwich."
John Hodges, late master of the "Diamond."
Dame Katherine, widow of Sir John Harman.
Sir Joseph Jorden, in consideration of service at sea.
Sir John Kempthorne as Rear-Admiral of the Red.
Thomas King, boatswain to the "St. Michaell"
William Markham, late surgeon of the "St. Andrew."
William Procter, a seaman wounded in the West Indies.
Whetney Parry, as gunner of a third rate.
Thomas Rawlings, late boatswain of the "Violet" hulk.
Henry Rigg, a seaman wounded in the West Indies.
George Salby, for his sufferings.
Abraham Sommers, another wounded soldier.
James Shepheard, late boatswain of the "St Andrew."
William Wooley, another wounded soldier.
Annuities And Pensions Payable (By Patent) Out Of Customs.
Prince Rupert, 2,000l. per ann.
Duke of Albemarle, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Duke of Lauderdale, 3,000l. per ann.
Earl of Bath, 2,000l. per ann. as 1st Gentlemen of the Bedchamber, and 56s. a day as Governor of Plymouth.
Earl of Middlesex, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Lord Buckhurst, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Earl of Manchester, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Earl of Ossory, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Earl of Carlisle, 1,000l. per ann.
Chas. Lord Gerard, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Earl of Sunderland, 1,000l. per ann. as a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Sir Joseph Williamson 462l. 10s. each, quarterly, as Secretaries of State.
Henry Coventry 462l. 10s. each, quarterly, as Secretaries of State.
Bishop of Sarum, for the Order of the Garter, 800l. per ann.
Sir Ed. Walker (Garter), 100l. per ann.
Thos. Doyley, 100l. per ann.
Amias and Juliana Hext, 200l.
Lord Chandos, arrear of annuities, as by Privy Seal of 1674, March 27, 150l. per ann., 200l. per ann.
Earl of Inchiquin, 500l. per ann.
Richard Topham, 200l.
Ellis Lloyd and John Morgan, 300l. per ann.
Phillip Browne, 500l. per ann. for a limited number of years, to settle 3,000l.
Town of Berwick, 100l. (for bridge).
Town of Dartmouth, 40l.
Town of Lyme, 100l. (for 7 years for the Cobb).
Earl of Anglesey, 20s. a day.
List Of Pensions Paid By Tallies On The Customs.
Prince Rupert, 4,000l. per ann.
Earl of Nottingham, 666l. 13s. 4d. and 500l. per ann.
Hy. and Charles Fanshaw, as executors of Eliz. Visct, Fanshaw, on her annuity of 600l. per ann.
Now, with the exception of the petty Navy pensions, everyone of the above sums can be traced in the present Calendar as being authorised (sometimes in unblushing language) by Great Seal or Privy Seal, and by Treasury Warrant.
The conclusion to which I wish to point as the result of the above examination is not so much that it is possible to estimate correctly the total of Charles's expenditure on his mistresses (it is indeed not possible), but rather that the utmost possible total falls far short of the extravagant guesses and assertions of two centuries of gossips. Select the names of the ladies in question, one by one, under the heading Pensions, in the Index ; add to their pensions any grants of Royal Bounty from the item Royal Bounty in the Index ; add to these again the several special grants under their several names in the Index, whatever those grants be, whether of Wine licences, Cornish Duchy rents, chains in the river, or what not ; and finally add to the total of these a small proportion of the total of Privy Purse money and a small proportion of the total of secret service money. The result will be the outside statement of the total of this unsavoury portion of Charles's expenditure.
I do not attempt to perform this operation myself because of my conviction that the historical importance of this subject has been grotesquely exaggerated. Anyone who edits a Calendar of Treasury records sits for the time being in the very centre of the circle of the National executive, and from that centre he can, with certain limitations, view the whole machinery of departmental Government at work. Years of pre-occupation with this subject have convinced me that Charles's Executive was ably and honestly served, and that the financial straits which hampered that Executive arose from the total insufficiency of Parliamentary supply and not from Charles's personal extravagance. Of such extravagance there is no trace in the Treasury records until the time of the arrival of the French subsidies. Louis's subsidies paid (and more than paid) for Charles's mistresses. The bill which Charles himself paid was a different oneit was the impotence in European affairs to which he was reduced as a result of French intrigues in English domestic politics. In his diplomacy Louis XIV. had two strings to his bow. (1) To get England (or Charles) to aid him in his European designs. In the second Dutch war this plan was tried and eventually failed. (2, in case of the failure of No. 1) to stir up strife between Charles and his Parliament and people, and by means of that strife to reduce England to impotence. This plan was tried for the remainder of Charles's reign and was effectual. But why was it effectual? Because Parliament, in the blindness of its faction, allowed itself to be made Louis's dupe and catspaw. Through all the stupid fury of the debates on the Indulgence, of the attack on Danby and of the Popish plot, Charles saw clearly enough from what quarter the storm had been raised. Did Parliament know it, too? Or did Shaftesbury? If either of them did, there is one verdict of history that will have to be re-considered. For two centuries we have taken it for granted that in the diplomatic struggle of the later years of Charles's reign his mistresses played an alldecisive part. This is only because we have up to the present derived the later portion of Charles's history from French archives.
Wm. A. Shaw.