Solicitors and Assistant Solicitors 1660—1870

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Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

J.C. Sainty

Year published

1972

Supporting documents

Pages

97-98

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'Solicitors and Assistant Solicitors 1660—1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 97-98. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16789 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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Solicitors and Assistant Solicitors 1660-1870

There were formerly two distinct offices of Solicitor of the Treasury. (fn. 1) The first, known as that of Solicitor for negotiating and looking after the affairs of the Treasury, dated from the Restoration. The duties of the office were defined in 1661. (fn. 2) From the time of the establishment of the second solicitorship in 1696 they were confined to business outside Westminster Hall. (fn. 3) Probably from 1716 and certainly from 1744 the office was a sinecure. (fn. 4) It was abolished in 1800. (fn. 5) From 1675 until the abolition of the office the Solicitor received a salary of £200. (fn. 6) From time to time he was assisted by a deputy or assistant but this was not a regular appointment and, except in the case of P. Burton (1685-9), it received only a limited degree of official recognition.

The office of the second Solicitor, known as that of Solicitor for the affairs of the Treasury, was established in 1696. The division of duties between the two Solicitors made in that year assigned to this office the business in Westminster Hall. (fn. 7) Probably from 1716 its holder was the sole effective Solicitor and conducted all Treasury business. In 1786 it was his function to undertake work for the Secretaries of State and the Attorney General as well. (fn. 8) In the early nineteenth century he began to be employed by other government agencies and in 1842 he was made directly responsible for the work of thirteen departments in addition to the Treasury. (fn. 9)

A regular salary was attached to this office from 1700. Beginning at £500, it was increased in 1755 to £1000. (fn. 10) In 1794 it was further increased to £2000 and at the same time certain earlier allowances were discontinued and the Solicitor was forbidden to engage in private practice without the consent of the Board. (fn. 11) In the early nineteenth century he made charges for work undertaken for departments outside his immediate responsibility. Later he was accorded an annual allowance of £850 for these services in addition to his basic salary. (fn. 12) In 1851 the salary was fixed at £2000. In 1866 it was provided that it should rise after five years to £2500. (fn. 13)

Although the position of assistant to the second Solicitor was recognised between 1722 and 1730 it was not until 1746 that it was established on a regular basis. It was discontinued in 1794 but revived in 1811. (fn. 14) The salary paid to the Assistant Solicitor from 1722 to 1730 was £200. In 1746 it was fixed at £100. It was increased to £250 in 1766 and to £400 in 1781. (fn. 15) In 1811 it was fixed at £1200 rising after five years to £1500. Until 1842 the Assistant Solicitor received an additional allowance of £400 for work undertaken for departments outside the immediate responsibility of the office. (fn. 16)

Originally the Solicitor was entirely responsible for the employment of such clerical and other assistance as he required. From 1806 he was served by a permanent establishment of subordinate officials paid out of public funds. These subordinate officials have not been included in the lists. (fn. 17)

LISTS OF APPOINTMENTS

Solicitors (I) (fn. 18)

By 1661 Rushworth, J.
By 1673 Turner, Sir. W.
1676 15 July Ramsey, J.
1679 8 April Lloyd, T.
1685 2 March Burton, P.
1689 20 April Smith, A.
1696 11 Sept. Baker, H.
1716 18 Jan. Horneck, P.
1728 22 Oct. Roome, E.
1729 12 Dec. Jones, C. V.
1737 4 Aug. Hayward, C.
1744 9 Aug. Jones, H. V.

Solicitor (2)

1696 Sept. Baker, N.
1700 15 Oct. Borrett, W.
1715 31 May Cracherode, A.
1730 24 Dec. Paxton, N.
1742 27 July Sharpe, J.
1756 4 Nov. Webb, P. C.
1765 30 July Nuthall, T.
1775 28 March Chamberlayne, W.
1794 1 July White, J.
1806 28 March Litchfield, H. C.
1818 1 Jan. Maule, G.
1851 30 Dec. Reynolds, H. R.
1866 5 June Greenwood, J.

Assistant Solicitor

1679 8 April Burton, P.
1722 20 Dec. Paxton, N.
1746 29 April Leheup, T.
1747 17 Nov. Wright, R.
1750 30 May Francis, T.
1781 1 Aug. White, J.
1811 21 Dec. Hobhouse, H.
1817 2 July Maule, G.
1818 1 Jan. Bourchier, C.
1842 22 Nov. Reynolds, H. R.
1851 30 Dec. Greenwood, J.
1866 19 June Stephenson, A. F. W. K.

Footnotes

1 For the earlier history of the Solicitors, see Baxter, Treasury, 241-55.
2 CTB, i, 215-16. Appointments were made by Treasury constitution.
3 TM 1 Sept. 1696 (ibid. xi, 53).
4 2nd Rept. on Fees, 75. There is no evidence that any of the occupants of the office from Horneck onwards undertook any duties.
5 On the death of H. V. Jones, in conformity with the Order in council 21 June 1793 (15th Rept. on Finance, 288).
6 CTB, iv, 389. The salary was paid from the civil list.
7 TM 1 Sept. 1696 (ibid. xi, 53). Appointments were made by Treasury constitution from 1761 to 1817; at other times usually by Treasury minute.
8 2nd Rept. on Fees, 75-6.
9 Rept. on Misc. Expenditure, pt. i, 527-31; TM 18 March 1842 (T 29/447 pp. 378-86).
10 CTB, xvi, 285; ibid. xviii, 120; TM 19 Feb. 1755 (T 29/32 p. 277). Until 1775 the salary was paid directly from the civil list; in that year it was transferred to law charges.
11 TM 14 June 1794 (T 29/66 p. 529).
12 TM 29 Jan. 1833 (T 29/337 pp. 383-5); Rept. on Misc. Expenditure, pt. i, 528.
13 TM 9 Dec. 1851 (T 29/545 p. 511), 3 July 1866 (AB, iv, 229-31).
14 T 54/30 p. 396; T 54/34 pp. 396-7; TM 29 Nov. 1811 (T 29/114 pp. 284-5). Appointments were made by Treasury warrant to the Solicitor from 1722 to 1781 and by Treasury constitution from 1811 to 1818. Subsequent appointments were by Treasury minute.
15 T 54/30 p. 396; T 54/34 pp. 396-7; T 54/40 p. 158; T 54/43 p. 391. The salary was paid by the Solicitor out of law charges.
16 TM 29 Nov. 1811 (T 29/114 pp. 284-5), 18 March 1842 (T 29/447 pp. 378-86).
17 The development of the Solicitor's department may be traced in TM 17 Sept. 1806 (T 29/88 pp. 128-9), 29 Nov. 1811 (T 29/114 pp. 284-5), 18 March 1842 (T 29/447 pp. 378-86), 29 Oct. 1867 (AB, iv, 290-2).
18 The position of Bernard (1679) is uncertain. The proposed appointments of East (1696) and Collyer (1711) never became effective (CTB, xi, 29; ibid. xxv, 17).