Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1, Treasury Officials 1660-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1972.
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Supernumerary Clerks 1736-1805
Supernumerary Clerks were those who were appointed with the expectation, whether express or implied, of being placed on the establishment, usually on the basis of seniority as vacancies occurred. At first the Clerks in question were described in the records of the Treasury indifferently as 'Supernumerary' or 'Extraordinary'. The term supernumerary has been used throughout these lists in order to avoid confusion with the distinct class of Extra Clerks which emerged after 1777.
In the accounts of the fees for the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries the names of certain Clerks appear before they begin to receive salaries which suggests that they may have started their careers as supernumeraries. (fn. 1) However, the first record in the minutes of the appointment of Supernumerary Clerks occurs in 1736. (fn. 2) A further appointment was made in 1746 but it was not until after 1756 that they became a regular feature of the office. Between that date and 1805, with the exception of the years 1773 to 1784 when none was appointed, it was usual for there to be one or two Supernumerary Clerks. Occasionally the number was higher. In 1765-6 there were five and between 1802 and 1805 there were six. The grade was abolished in the latter year. (fn. 3)
The Supernumerary Clerks appointed in 1736 received salaries of £50 from the civil list. Otherwise such Clerks apparently received no salaries until 1763. The Clerks appointed in that year were granted £50. (fn. 4) While this seems to have been the normal salary at this period the details are not clear in every case since the relevant accounts of the Treasury incidents, out of which the payments were apparently made, do not survive. Between 1784 and 1805 Supernumerary Clerks received £90 from the fee fund.