Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 9, Officials of Royal Commissions of Inquiry 1815-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1984.
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1.OFFICERS OF COURTS OF JUSTICE 1815-24
Five Commissioners were appointed in 1815 to inquire as to the duties, salaries and emoluments of the officers, clerks and ministers of justice in England and Wales. (fn. 1) Alexander succeeded Campbell as Chief Commissioner in 1820. (fn. 2) They issued two reports on chancery officials dated 9 April 1816 (HC 428 (1816) viii, 91) and 20 December 1817 (HC 156 (1818) vii, 225) and one each on the officials of the following courts or groups of courts: King's Bench, 5 January 1818 (HC 292 (1818) vii, 243); Common Pleas, 3 July 1819 (HC 3 (1819-20) ii, 175); Exchequer and Exchequer Chamber, 9 February 1822 (HC 125 (1822) xi, 99); the courts of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 16 May 1823 (HC 462 (1823) vii, 27); the Consistory Court of the Bishop of London and the Commissary Court, 4 July 1823 (HC 43 (1824) ix, 25); the Admiralty Court, the Court of Delegates and the Prize Appeals Court, 7 February 1824 (HC 240 (1824) ix, 75). Osgoode died shortly before the final report was signed.
The Commissioners were each awarded salaries of £1,200. Their Secretary, appointed by the Commissioners with the approval of the Home Secretary, was awarded a salary of £1,000. (fn. 3)
2. FLEET, PALACE COURT AND MARSHALSEA PRISONS 1815-18
Fifteen Commissioners were appointed in 1815 to inquire into the state and management of the Fleet, Palace Court and Marshalsea Prisons. Three of the fifteen were ex officio members: the holders of the offices of Master of the Rolls, Chief Justice of Common Pleas and Chief Baron of the Exchequer. The quorum was fixed at six, at least three of whom were to be drawn from Ellenborough, Scott and the three ex officio members. (fn. 7) The Commissioners reported on 29 October 1818 (HC 109 (1819) xi, 325). Cholmondeley, Harvey, the Master of the Rolls and the Chief Baron of the Exchequer did not sign the report. Sir Vicary Gibbs signed the report as Chief Justice of Common Pleas.
The Commissioners were unsalaried. They were authorised to appoint only a clerk. (fn. 8)
Commissioners 21 Oct. 1815 Cholmondeley, Earl of; Ellenborough, Lord; Vansittart, N.; Bragge Bathurst, C.; Scott, Sir W.; Garrow, Sir W.; Burton, F.; Leycester, H.; Park, J. A.; Heywood, S.; Harvey, J. S.; Walton, W. (C 66/4167).
3. WEIGHTS AND MEASURES 1818-21
Six Commissioners were appointed in 1818 to inquire how far it might be practicable and advisable to establish a more uniform system of weights and measures. (fn. 9) The number of Commissioners fell to five on the death of Banks, who appears to have been succeeded as chairman by Clerk. The commission issued three reports, dated 24 June 1819 (HC 565 (1819) xi, 307), 13 July 1820 (HC 314 (1820) vii, 473) and 31 March 1821 (HC 383 (1821) iv, 297).
The Commissioners were unsalaried. Their Secretary, appointed by the Commissioners, was awarded an allowance of £200 for his services. (fn. 10)
Commissioners 15 June 1818 Banks, Sir J. (fn. 11); Clerk, Sir G.; Gilbert, D.; Woollaston, W. H.; Young, T.; Kater, H. (C 66/4199).
Secretary Troward, R. (fn. 12)
4. FORGERY OF BANK NOTES 1818-20
Seven Commissioners were appointed in 1818 to inquire into the best possible means of preventing forgery of promissory notes issued by the Bank of England. (fn. 13) They issued two reports dated 15 January 1819 (HC 2 (1819) xi, 303) and 15 February 1820 (HC 64 (1819-20) ii, 399).
5. CHARITIES 1818-37
The various Charities Commissions appointed between 1818 and 1835 were hybrids. The terms of reference of their inquiries were defined by statute, which empowered the King to appoint commissioners by letters patent under the great seal. R. Tompson, The Charity Commission and the age of reform (1979), describes their work in great detail. The following account, therefore, is confined to listing the senior officials and describing their remuneration.
Statutory authority was given in June 1818 for the appointment of up to fourteen Commissioners to inquire into charities in England for the eduction of the poor. (fn. 14) Fourteen Commissioners were accordingly appointed by letters patent under the great seal in August 1818. (fn. 15) In 1819 the terms of reference of the inquiry were extended to include all charities, with the exception of various schools and colleges and those charities supported by voluntary contributions. At the same time the limit on the number of Commissioners was increased to twenty. (fn. 16)
In 1818 it was provided that up to eight Commissioners could be remunerated. In 1819 this number was increased to ten. Members of both Houses of Parliament were specifically excluded from receiving remuneration. Salaries of £1,000 were made available to the stipendiary Commissioners. (fn. 17) The Secretary, appointed by the Commissioners, was awarded a salary of £500. (fn. 18)
The length of time allowed to the commission was extended by two further statutes until it expired on 1 July 1830. (fn. 19)
Commissioners 17 Aug. 1818 (Honorary) Manners Sutton, C.; St. Asaph, Bishop of (fn. 20); Peterborough, Bishop of (fn. 21); Scott, Sir W.; Yorke, C. P.; Grant, Sir W. (Stipendiary) Warren, J. W.; Holbech, H. H.; Grant, W.; Roberts, W.; Mathews, W.; Marsham, R.; McMahon, J.; Finch, Hon. D. (C 66/4201).
16 July 1819 (Honorary) Oxford, Bishop of (fn. 22) vice Bishop of Peterborough; Nicholl, Sir J.; Gibbs, Sir V. (fn. 23); Burton, F.; Leycester, H. (Stipendiary) Burnaby, S. B.; Daniell, G. (C 66/4212).
The commission was revived in December 1831, and again consisted of twenty Commissioners, ten of whom were permitted to receive remuneration. The salaries of the Commissioners were reduced to £800, and that of the Secretary remained £500. The commission expired in 1834. (fn. 24)
Commissioners 22 Dec. 1831 (Honorary) Brougham, Lord; London, Bishop of; Lyndhurst, Lord; Manners Sutton, C.; Lushington, S.; Warren, J. W.; Holbech, H. H.; Roberts, W.; Mathews, W.; McMahon, J. (Stipendiary) Grant, W.; Finch, Hon. D.; Carlisle, N.; Macaulay, Z.; Wrottesley, J.; Cameron, C. H.; Miller, J.; Romilly, C.; Smith, S.; McDonnell, A. (C 66/4400).
The commission was again revived in October 1835. On this occasion, a Chief Commissioner, Brougham, eleven honorary and twenty stipendiary Commissioners were appointed to complete the inquiry by 1 March 1837. (fn. 25) An allowance of £1,000 was awarded to the stipendiaries for their whole work; the Secretary was awarded £650. (fn. 26) The commission's powers were extended for a further four months from 1 March 1837 and the concluding report was signed on 10 July 1837. (fn. 27)
Commissioners 22 Oct. 1835 (Honorary) Brougham, Lord; Sugden, Sir E. B.; Lewis, T. F.; Eden, Hon. R. J.; Milman, H. H.; Warren, J. W.; Warre, J. A.; Roberts, W. (fn. 28); Carlisle, N.; Shaw Lefevre, J. G.; Nicholls, G.; McMahon, J. (Stipendiary) Walsham, Sir J. J. G.; Grant, W.; Wrottesley, J.; Finch, Hon. D.; Smith, S.; Romilly, E. (fn. 29); Mackintosh, R. J.; Pennington, G. J. (fn. 30); Martin, F. O.; Miles, W. A.; Clark, E.; Sedgwick, J.; Long, G.; Hume, J.; Fellows, J. M.; Humfrey, C.; Peter, W. (fn. 31); Gunning, H. B.; Johnston, P. F.; Macqueen, J. F. (C 66/4463).
6. ILCHESTER GAOL 1821
Three Commissioners were appointed in 1821 to inquire into the condition and treatment of prisoners confined in Ilchester gaol, into the management of the gaol and into the state of its site and buildings. (fn. 32) They reported on 4 December 1821 (HC 7, 54 (1822) xi, 277, 313).
The Commissioners were unsalaried and were empowered to employ only a clerk to assist them. (fn. 33)
7. CHANCERY 1824-6
Fourteen Commissioners were appointed in 1824 to inquire whether any alterations could be made in the jurisdiction and practice of the court of chancery by which the expense and time attending its proceedings might be reduced. (fn. 34) They reported on 28 February 1826 (HC 143 (1826) xv, xvi). Redesdale and Littledale did not sign the report.
The Commissioners were unsalaried. They were served by a Secretary, named in the commission, and an Assistant Secretary, probably appointed by the Commissioners. The Secretary, Jackson, received two payments of £800 for his services. The Assistant Secretary, Murray, received a payment of £500 in August 1825 for services performed during the previous year and a further payment of £600 in June 1826. (fn. 35) Murray and one of the Commissioners, Merivale, were in November 1827 awarded sums of £500 and £1,000 respectively for their assistance in preparing the parliamentary bill founded on the report. (fn. 36)
Commissioners 26 April 1824 Eldon, Earl of; Redesdale, Lord; Gifford, Lord; Leach, Sir J.; Wetherell, Sir C.; Cox, S. C.; Hart, A.; Lushington, S.; Courtenay, W.; Smith, R. P.; Littledale, J.; Merivale, J. H.; Tindal, N. C.; Beames, J. (C 66/4270).
Assistant Secretary 1824 Murray, C. K. (fn. 37)
8. METROPOLITAN WATER SUPPLY 1827-8
Three Commissioners were appointed in 1827 to inquire into the state of the water supply in the metropolis. (fn. 38) The Home Secretary determined that a protracted examination involving engineering work could not be undertaken and instructed the Commissioners to confine the inquiry to a description of the quantity and quality of the water supplied by the several water companies. (fn. 39) The Commissioners reported on 21 April 1828 (HC 267 (1828) ix, 53).
The Commissioners were awarded salaries of £800 for the period 11 December 1827 to 21 April 1828. (fn. 40) A Secretary, Pauncefote, chosen by the Home Secretary, was named in the commission but proved unacceptable to the Commissioners as he had no knowledge of civil engineering. He resigned in December 1827 and was replaced by the Commissioners' nominee, Rutt, who was awarded a sum of £200 for his services. (fn. 41)
Secretary 12 July 1827 Pauncefote, R. (fn. 42) (ibid.).
Dec. 1827 Rutt, W. (fn. 43) vice Pauncefote.
9. COMMON LAW 1828-34
Five Commissioners were appointed in 1828 to inquire into the process, practice and pleading in actions used in the superior courts of common law in England and Wales. (fn. 44) On this subject they issued three reports: 18 February 1829 (HC 46 (1829) ix); 26 February 1830 (HC 123 (1830) xi, 547); 6 July 1831 (HC 92 (1831) x, 375). The second and third reports were not signed by Parke. Following the production of the third report, four of the Commissioners who since their appointment had been elevated to the bench, (fn. 45) took no further active part in the work of the commission. In March 1831 four additional Commissioners were appointed and the scope of the inquiry extended to include the law of arrest or imprisonment on mesne or final process and the law of evidence in civil suits. (fn. 46) The investigation of this new subject was undertaken by the remaining original Commissioner, Stephen, and the four newly appointed Commissioners under the Chairmanship of Pollock. They presented their report to chancery on 1 March 1832 (HC 239 (1831-2) xxv pts. 1 and 2). Stephen was unable to sign the report and submitted a minority report (HC 239 pp. 46-86 (1831-2) xxv (1), 46-86). The commission of 10 March 1831 expired on 10 March 1832. However, the Home Secretary continued its powers for a further year so that a report could be made on the practice and proceedings of provincial courts in England for the recovery of small debts. (fn. 47) This report was received on 29 April 1833 (HC 247 (1833) xxii, 195). On 14 January 1833 the Home Secretary requested the Commissioners to inquire into the regulations of the inns of court as to the admission of students and those to be called to the bar. (fn. 48) Their report on this subject, received on 13 March 1834, formed the sixth and final report of the commission (HC 263 (1834) xxvi, 1).
The Commissioners received salaries of £1,200. (fn. 49) The four Commissioners elevated to the bench declined to receive salaries from the dates of their appointments as judges. (fn. 50) The five remaining Commissioners received salaries until 10 March 1833. (fn. 51) Their Secretary, named in the commission, received a salary of £800, which was also paid until 10 March 1833. (fn. 52)
10. REAL PROPERTY 1828-32
Five Commissioners were appointed in 1828 to inquire into the law of England respecting real property. (fn. 53) Their number was increased to eight in 1829 (fn. 54) and fell to seven in 1831 on the death of Sanders. The commission issued four reports. The first (HC 263 (1829) x) was received in chancery on 11 May 1829; the second (HC 575 (1830) xi, 1), concerned solely with the subject of a general registry of deeds and instruments relating to land, was received on 8 June 1830; and the third (HC 484 (1831-2) xxiii, 321) on 4 May 1832. Although the commission was officially closed on 10 March 1832, (fn. 55) the fourth report (HC 226 (1833) xxii, 1) was not received in chancery until 18 April 1833. (fn. 56)
The Commissioners were awarded salaries of £1,200. Their Secretary, named in the commission, was awarded a salary of £800. (fn. 57)
14 Sept. 1829 Sanders, F. W. (fn. 58); Duval, L.; Tyrrell, J. (C 66/4355).
11. COURTS OF COUNTRY PALATINE OF LANCASTER 1829-34
Three Commissioners were appointed in 1829 to inquire into the course of proceedings in suits established in the courts of chancery and common pleas and in the county court in the county palatine of Lancaster. (fn. 59) They reported on the courts of chancery and common pleas on 13 December 1830 (HC 621 (1831-2) xxxv, 201). Their report on the county court (HC 202 (1836) xxxvi, 315) was received by the Chancellor of the duchy on 8 October 1834.
Of the Commissioners, only Starkie, who did not hold legal office, received an allowance of £500 for his services. The Secretary, named in the commission, was awarded by the duchy an allowance of £300. (fn. 60)