Note on Editorial Method
This volume is designed to make available lists of the officials who served in the
Boards of Trade between the Restoration in 1660 and the year 1870 which witnessed
the introduction of the system of open competition for entrants into the Civil Service.
The term Boards of Trade has been understood to cover all the institutional arrangements, whether they took the form of Councils or Committees of the Privy Council,
which had charge of trade and foreign plantations, functions which were undertaken
by separate bodies until 1672 but which were invariably linked thereafter. The
material is presented in four parts: an introduction, lists of appointments, periodic
lists of officials and an alphabetical list of officials. The purpose of the introduction
is to provide a short account of the development of the Boards during the period in
order that the various offices and grades may be related to their general context.
The lists of appointments give the dates of appointments to these offices and grades.
They are preceded by introductory notes which bring together such matters as the
method of appointment, remuneration and the relevant statutes and minutes. The
periodic lists enable the complete establishment to be seen at selected dates.
The alphabetical list is not intended to be a biographical index. Its purpose is
confined simply to providing summarised accounts of the offices held by each individual serving the Boards during the period. No information has been included
unless it is directly relevant to this purpose. Thus dates of death are included only
if the individual was in office at his death. Appointments to offices elsewhere have
been ignored unless they occasioned, or can reasonably be held to have occasioned,
the departure of the official from the office. In general the accounts of the careers of
the members of the successive Boards have been confined to providing the dates
of their appointment. A terminal date is given only in the cases of salaried Commissioners and the President and Vice-President after 1786. Information concerning
resignations and retirements is provided only for those holding 'permanent' offices.
Where an individual held an additional office in the department such as a private
secretaryship, which was not directly related to the ordinary course of promotion,
the details of his period of service in this additional office have been placed in a
separate paragraph. The accounts of the careers of those who were in office at the
end of 1870 have not been continued beyond this point.
All references have been concentrated in the alphabetical list except in the case
of the Commissioners where they are included in the relevant lists of appointments.
Where printed calendars of manuscript material exist they have been used as authorities provided that the calendaring is sufficiently full. Peers and holders of courtesy
titles have been indexed under their titles. In the case of changes of name or status,
appropriate cross-references have been inserted. Unless otherwise noted, information
concerning peers and baronets has been taken from the Complete Peerage (ed. G.E.C.
2nd ed. 13 vols. London 1910-59), the Complete Baronetage (ed. G.E.C. 5 vols.
Exeter 1900-6) and Burke's Peerage.
Certain conventions have been adopted for dating appointments. The year is taken
to have begun on 1 January throughout the period. Where offices were conferred
by an instrument such as letters patent under the great seal, the date is that of the
instrument. Where an appointment was by order in council or by minute of the
Board, it is that of the order or minute. The task of determining the periods of
service of 'political' officials presents considerable difficulty particularly in the nineteenth century when their appointments were frequently canvassed in newspapers
and elsewhere several days before the date of their formal entry into office. For the
sake of consistency the latter date has been adopted throughout the period. All
officials are taken to have remained in office until the appointment of their successors
unless there is clear evidence to support the selection of an earlier date. Where there
is no indication of the date of appointment of an individual, his period of service is
dated by reference to the time during which he received a salary or other remuneration
or, failing this information, by reference to the earliest and latest date at which he is
found occupying a particular office.