Principal Clerks 1854—70


Institute of Historical Research



J.C. Sainty

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'Principal Clerks 1854—70', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 69. URL: Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


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Principal Clerks 1854-70

Although it was employed for the first time to describe a specific grade only in 1856 the term 'Principal Clerk' had been in use in the Treasury long before this date. In the eighteenth century the term was virtually interchangeable with that of Chief Clerk. In the nineteenth century, on the other hand, it was usually employed to describe the new offices of Clerk Assistant (1815), Auditor of the Civil List (1831) and Clerk for Colonial Business (1832). None of these officers was directly involved in the work of the divisions. In 1854, however, a Principal Clerk of Finance was appointed who, while ranking with these Clerks, had specific responsibility for a division. (fn. 1) This development, therefore, to some extent foreshadowed the creation in 1856 of a new grade of Principal Clerks. Provision was then made for four such Clerks, each of whom was given responsibility for a division. (fn. 2)

The salary attached to the grade in 1856 was £1000 rising by annual increments of £50 to £1200. (fn. 3) In view of their special circumstances, however, two successive Principal Clerks of the Finance Division were appointed at fixed salaries of £1500. (fn. 4)


185424 MarchAnderson, W. G. (fn. 5)
18564 JulyCrafer, C. L.
18564 JulyStephenson, W. H.
18564 JulyAnderson, W. G.
18564 JulySeton, W.
185924 Dec.Shelley, S.
186018 Dec.Law, W.
18629 Dec.Stronge, C. W.
186517 Aug.Cole, J. H.
18676 MarchFoster, M. H.
186721 JuneClerke, Sir W. H.


1 TM 24 March 1854 (T 29/554 p. 642).
2 TM 4 July 1856 (T 29/564 p. 47).
3 Ibid.
4 TM 24 March 1854 (T 29/554 p. 642), 6 March 1867 (AB, iv, 260-1).
5 Principal Clerk of Finance.