Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.
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These Messengers are chiefly under the direction of the Secretary of State, being always ready to be sent with all manner of Dispatches Foreign and Domestick: they are also employ'd with the Secretaries Warrants, to take up Persons for High Treasons, or other Offences against the State, or which do not so properly fall under the Cognizance of the common law; and are, perhaps, not proper to be divulg'd in the ordinary Course of Justice. Such prisoners as they apprehend are usually kept at their own Houses, for which they are allow'd by the Government 6s. 8d. Per Day. When they are dispatch'd Abroad, they have an Allowance for their Journey, as stated, viz., to Paris 30l. to Holland 25l. to Edinburgh 30l. to Ireland 30l. and so to other Places in proportion, part of which Money is advanc'd to them for their Journey. They wait 20 at a time, Monthly, distributed as follows, viz., four at Court, five at one Secretary's Office, five at the other, and two at the third Office for North Britain, three at the Council Office, and one on the Ld. Chamberlain. (fn. 1)
The messengers of the chamber were appointed by the lord chamberlain. For most of the period, they were forty in number with salaries of £45 per annum. Early in the period they had livery worth £10 per annum and badges of office. By 1836, each messenger made £34 18s plus an allowance of £260 per annum. (fn. 2) Their number was reduced to 34 in 1782, nineteen in 1796, eight in 1798 and seven assigned to the King's service in 1799. In 1837 six were assigned to the King, one to the lord chamberlain. (fn. 3) Extra messengers were appointed from 1660 to 1700 and again from 1722.
Separate messengers were appointed, especially early in the period, to attend individual government officers. Unfortunately, information about rights of appointment and the appointments themselves is often difficult to obtain. For example, it would appear that the chancellor of the Exchequer had long been entitled to the services of two royal messengers. Although sworn in pursuance of a lord chamberlain's warrant it seems clear that the messengers were in fact nominated by each succeeding chancellor and held office during his pleasure. The arrangements seem to have broken down during the tenure of the younger Pitt. No appointments have been traced for either of his periods in office. However, Petty appointed Charles Butts on 2 Oct. 1806. In 1836 the two messengers to the chancellor of the exchequer were transferred to the Treasury establishment. (fn. 4)
Messengers (from 1809 Messengers to the King)1660–1837
Messenger to attend the Lord Treasurer –1837
Messengers to attend the Chancellor of the Exchequer –1836
Messengers to attend Auditors of the Revenue –?1782
Messenger to Prevent the Exportation of Wool out of England 1691–?c. 1695
Messenger in Extraordinary for Suppression of the Owling Trade 1709–?1714
Messenger to attend the Earl Marshal 1685–?1688
Messenger to attend Black Rod 1691–?c. 1695
Messenger to attend the Lord Chancellor –1837
|1685||22 May||Eddowes, T.|
|1689||28 May||Eddowes, R.|
|1693||23 July||Briscoe, R.|
|1732||5 Jan.||Crawford, J.|
|1792||31 Jan.||Stainforth, G.|
|1815||23 Nov.||Peacock, L.|
|1827||31 July||Ridgway, G. S.|
Messenger to attend the Attorney General –?
Messenger to attend the Lord Chief Justice in Eyre 1689–?1714
Messenger to attend the Lord President of Wales 1676–?
Messenger to attend Mr. Le Strange 1678–1685
Messenger of the Press 1678–1837
|1678||11 Dec.||Stephen R.|
|1684||16 Dec.||Sewell, T.|
|1689||18 Apr.||Stephen, R.|
|1719||17 Sept.||Kent, J.|
|1729||15 Jan.||Gray, S.|
|1750||17 Nov.||Ibbatt, J.|
|By 1769||Bibbins, E., jun.|
|1779||11 Feb.||Bibbins, W.|
|1796||Apr.||Gordon, E., sen.|
|1829||5 June||Gordon, E., jun.|