Parliamentary Counsel and Agent 1769—1870

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

J.C. Sainty

Year published

1972

Supporting documents

Pages

99-100

Citation Show another format:

'Parliamentary Counsel and Agent 1769—1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 99-100. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16790 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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Parliamentary Counsel and Agent 1769-1870

The post of Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury was established in 1769. (fn. 1) From that year until 1841 the Treasury employed as Counsel a succession of barristers who were responsible for the drafting and settling of its parliamentary bills. In the course of time the Counsel was entrusted with the task of preparing bills for other departments as well. (fn. 2) The salary attached to the office in 1769 was £600. This was later raised to £1000. (fn. 3) On the death of the then holder in 1841 the office was discontinued and in 1842 it was provided that the work of drafting bills for the Treasury and a number of other departments should be undertaken by the Parliamentary Counsel to the Home Office. (fn. 4) The Home Office Counsel remained the principal government draftsman until 1869 when the office of Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury was revived. The then Home Office Counsel was appointed to this post with a salary of £2500 rising after two years to £3000. (fn. 5)

In 1805 one of the duties assigned to the Assistant Secretary as Law Clerk was to assist in the preparation of parliamentary bills. (fn. 6) Between 1817 and 1831 a distinct Assistant Counsel was attached to the Treasury with special responsibility for Irish business and a salary of £400. (fn. 7)

From 1769 the office of Parliamentary Agent to the Treasury was held by Clerks of the House of Commons. The salary attached to this office was originally fixed at £100. It was raised to £200 in 1770, to £300 in 1774, to £400 in 1779, to £600 in 1781, to £800 in 1812 and to £1100 in 1817. (fn. 8) Between 1808 and 1822 a former Treasury Clerk, Stuckey, acted as Clerk of Expiring Laws and Revenue Bills with a salary of £200. (fn. 9)

LISTS OF APPOINTMENTS

LISTS OF APPOINTMENTS

Parliamentary Counsel

1769 28 Nov. Pickering, D.
1781 26 July Hargrave, F.
1789 14 Aug. Lowndes, W.
1798 Harrison, W.
1869 8 Feb. Thring, H.

Parliamentary Agent

1769 28 Nov. Rosier, J.
1797 30 June Dorington, J.
1825 5 Dec. Dorington, J.
Dorington, J. E.

Footnotes

1 TM 28 Nov. 1769 (T 29/40 pp. 117-18). For the arrangements which preceded the establishment of this office, see O. C. Williams, The Clerical Organisation of the House of Commons 1661-1850 (Oxford 1954), 159-69. S. Lambert, Bills and Acts (Cambridge 1971), 45-7.
2 Rept. of Select Committee on House of Commons Offices and Fees 1833 (HC 1833 xii), 341-2; J. R. Torrance, 'Sir George Harrison and the growth of bureaucracy in the early nineteenth century' Eng. Hist. Rev., lxxxiii (1968), 69-71; H. Parris, Constitutional Bureaucracy (London 1969), 172-8.
3 TM 28 Nov. 1769 (T 29/40 pp. 117-18). £1000 was described as 'the usual allowance' in TM 30 July 1813 (T 29/124 p. 211).
4 TM 18 March 1842 (T 29/447 pp. 378-86); Rept. on Misc. Expenditure, pt. i, 283, 371-5. The Home Office Counsel were: John Elliott Drinkwater Bethune 1837-48, Walter Coulson 1848-60, Henry Thring 1861-9.
5 TM 8 Feb. 1869 (T 29/614 pp. 276-80).
6 TM 19 Aug. 1805 (T 29/85 p. 347).
7 Sir T. E. Tomlins.
8 TM 28 Nov. 1769 (T 29/40 pp. 117-18); Williams, Clerical Organisation, 169-79.
9 TM 13 July 1808 (T 29/95 p. 386), 10 Aug. 1821 (T 29/200 p. 243), 18 Jan. 1822 (T 29/205 p. 580).