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)
Commissioners 9 Feb. 1815 Campbell, J. (fn. 4) ; Alexander, W.; Adams, W.; Burrough, J. (fn. 5) ; Osgoode, W. (fn. 6) (C 66/4158).
3 June 1816 Walton, W. vice Burrough (C 66/4177).
14 March 1820 Trower, J. vice Campbell (C 66/4218).
Secretary 2 March 1815 Dealtry, H. (T 90/5 pp. 7-9, 12).
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)
In the following list ex officio members are omitted.
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).
The Commissioners were unsalaried. The warrant of appointment neither
named nor made provision for the appointment of a Secretary.
Commissioners 9 July 1818 Banks, Sir J.; Congreve, Sir W.; Courtenay, W.;
Gilbert, D.; Harman, J.; Wollaston, W. H.; Hatchett, C. (C 66/4200).
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).
5 Aug. 1820 Russell, Sir H. vice Gibbs (C 66/4224).
Secretary Sept. 1818 Carlisle, N. (Tompson, Charity Commission, 120).
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).
Secretary Dec. 1831 Hine, J. (Tompson, Charity Commission, 121).
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).
8 Dec. 1835 Eagle, F. K. vice Roberts (C 66/4466).
25 Feb. 1836 Whishaw, J; Barrett Lennard, G. vice Romilly and Pennington
25 May 1836 Buller, A. W. vice Peter (C 66/4479).
Secretary Oct. 1835 Hine, J. (HO 43/47 pp. 375-6).
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)
Commissioners 9 May 1821 Estcourt, T. G.; Mundy, C. G.; Phelps, J. D. (C
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
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
Secretary 26 April 1824 Jackson, G. (ibid.).
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)
Commissioners 12 July 1827 Roget, P. M.; Brande, W. T.; Telford, T.
Secretary 12 July 1827 Pauncefote, R. (fn. 42) (ibid.).
Dec. 1827 Rutt, W. (fn. 43)
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)
Commissioners 16 May 1828 Bosanquet, J. B.; Stephen, H. J.; Alderson, E. H.;
Parke, J.; Patteson, J. (C 66/4338).
10 March 1831 Pollock, J. F.; Starkie, T.; Evans, J.; Wightman, W. (C
Secretary 16 May 1828 Faulkner, G. (C 66/4338).
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)
Commissioners 6 June 1828 Campbell, J.; Tinney, W. H.; Hodgson, J.;
Charity Commission, 119-21.
14 Sept. 1829 Sanders, F. W. (fn. 58) ; Duval, L.; Tyrrell, J. (C 66/4355).
Secretary 6 June 1828 Swann, C. J. (C 66/4339).
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)
Commissioners 18 Feb. 1829 Scarlett, Sir J.; Eden, Hon. R. H.; Starkie, T. (C
Secretary 18 Feb. 1829 Allsopp Lowdham, L. (ibid.).