Minute Book: May 1700

Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 15, 1699-1700. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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, 'Minute Book: May 1700', in Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 15, 1699-1700, (London, 1933) pp. 78-91. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-books/vol15/pp78-91 [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Minute Book: May 1700", in Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 15, 1699-1700, (London, 1933) 78-91. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-books/vol15/pp78-91.

. "Minute Book: May 1700", Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 15, 1699-1700, (London, 1933). 78-91. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-treasury-books/vol15/pp78-91.


May 1700

May 14,
forenoon. Hampton Court.
Present: the King: all the five Treasury Lords.
The King says as long as Mr. Parry and partners refuse to mend their proposal it is impossible to think of a farm [of the Excise].
The King orders my Lords to tell the proposers to-morrow that he refuses their proposal and my Lords are to give further time until the 24th inst. to receive new proposals.
[Order for the issue of] 200l. a week for Mr. Talman's work at Hampton Court.
[The King orders] Sir James Jeffries' (Jefferies') allowance to commence from May last. Ibid., p. 47.
May 15,
Treasury Chambers Cockpit.
Present: all the five Lords.
Write to Mr. Boyer to examine and inform himself what profit was made by Mr. Accourt and his partners of any lotteries (other than the Royal Oak Lottery) for two or three years before the passing of the late Act for suppressing the same: and to report the same to my Lords.
Mr. Parry and company are called in. The Earl of Tankerville tells them the Board has laid their proposal before the King and their [Parry's] reasons to support it: that the King thinks the rent they offer is far short of what his Majesty may in reason expect; and that the allowance of poundage they demand [on the surplus] is extravagant; and upon the whole matter [his Majesty] commanded this Board to reject the proposal: but to shew his willingness for a farm he hath commanded public notice to be given for a further time to receive proposals.
The papers of the Navy [are ordered] to be looked out against the next sitting.
Capt. Delaval [attends]. My Lords desire him to take care at present to make provisions for the gentlemen come from Barbary: and when he and Sir John Standley bring the account my Lords will take care for the money.
The Customs Commissioners are called in. My Lords direct them that the gentlemen now come from Barbary be fairly [handsomely] treated and that an account be taken of their goods; and when they [the Commissioners] bring the account how much the Duty comes to for their goods [baggage] only it shall be repaid out of the Civil List money [in the Exchequer].
The petition of the old East India Company is read. Mr. Newport says the payment of Customs or a warrant for delivering the goods is no reason against a seizure by any officer if the importation be against a law; and when they are seized they must be deposited in the King's warehouse; and he takes the opposition thereto to be illegal.
Mr. Godolphin says they [the Customs Commissioners] gave their warrant for bringing the diamonds to the [East India] Company's warehouse as usual before any seizure or knowing any cause of seizure; which [seizure] was afterwards made by two officers who scuffled about it.
The Attorney and Solicitor General come in.
Sir Thomas Coke et al of the East India Company [come in] with Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Browne, their Counsel.
The petition of the old Company is read with the order of reference [thereof from the King to the Treasury].
Mr. Browne says [he] desires my Lords to report in these particulars: [to wit] that the old Company stands in equal degree with any Company having power to trade to the East Indies: if they have no power to trade and give licences to trade the forfeiture goes a quarter to the seizer and three quarters to the new Company, so [that] the King is not concerned for Customs or otherwise: that after they had a warrant as usual to being the jewels to their own warehouse some persons by pretended authority would take away the liberty they always had.
He desires my Lords will direct the [Customs] Commissioners not to give countenance to any such officers for the future; for if they be troublesome to all sailors and others it will perfectly take away the Company's whole trade, for none will serve them. The matter of law will be tried in a place having proper jurisdiction, but here [in the Treasury] the King's officers make themselves parties not to serve the King but the new Company.
Mr. Harcourt takes it for granted that the facts in the petition will be admitted; that they have secured [given bond for] the Customs and 15 per cent. and thereupon received the usual sufferance to have their goods brought to their own warehouse: that Raynton who had authority only to bring the goods to their own warehouse, and no other, seized the jewels: the Customs Commissioners should have resented this acting against their direction; but they have countenanced what the officers have done; which occasions the complaint to my Lords for redress: the question now is, not whether [legally] a forfeiture or not but whether the Commissioners can intermeddle in this case, supposing a forfeiture: we [the Company's Counsel] say not: the Duties are secured, therefore their [the Commissioners'] trust is executed; here no part of the penalty is to the King: where an officer makes a seizure all tenderness is shewn in the Courts to him; but where a common informer does an injury he is sure to [have to] give full satisfaction: he [Harcourt] thinks the King's officers gave them disturbance without colour of law: he desires the Company may be put into the same possession of these goods [as] they should have had if this had not happened; [and] that the Customs Commissioners be confined to their proper business and they [the Company] be left to law.
Mr. Newport says Raynton as a landwaiter was to see no more goods brought ashore than had paid or secured [the Duties] but these goods were first seized by another officer for unlawful importation.
The entry of the seizure is [that it was made] by Raynton and Hunt.
Sir William Young [one of the Commissioners for Customs] says any officer has power to seize and cannot be hindered if there be cause. The [delivery] warrant which Raynton had doth not hinder him from seizing goods if forfeited.
Mr. Browne agrees that: but complains [that] this officer who had the Commissioners' order to another purpose [viz. for delivery] abuses his power and becomes a seiser for the new Company.
Mr. Harcourt said the Commissioners' second order (contrary to the first) was to bring the jewels to the King's warehouse. As to the opposition he says we were for having the goods brought [to our own warehouse] pursuant to the first order. The officers broke it. As to the second order it was totally void. They knowing we had cause to complain, [in order] that we might come with the less grace, have artificially [artfully] made this report.
Mr. Moor says the reading of the Representation of the Customs Commissioners will shew they have not proceeded as they ought.
It will be read in Counsel [the Privy Council].
Mr. Moor says in the affidavit it appears there was no contempt of the authority of the Customs Commissioners [viz.] by their first warrant. By the second order [the goods are] brought to the King's warehouse without any security; by which the King and the old Company are wholly divested of these diamonds and they are delivered to the old [sic for new] Company and the seizer. There is no precedent that when there was a [delivery] warrant there was such a seizure. This appears to be a countenancing of the old [sic for new] Company against the King and the new [sic for old] Company. If this practice be continued there will be no duty [paid] for such goods. The old Company hath a right for 18 per cent. for these goods. [He therefore] prays my Lords to direct the Customs Commissioners not to countenance their officers in such practices: and [desires my Lords] to report to the King accordingly.
Mr. Godolphin says [on the] 2nd May sufferance was granted upon security given [for payment of Customs]: on the 3rd May the Capt[ain of the ship] put the jewels into the officer's hands: other officers (without any order of the [Customs] Commissioners, perhaps set on by the new Company) seize the jewels as [being] private trade [and therefore as being] against the late Act. The question is whether others by permission of the old Company may trade. The Commissioners by reason of the precept on the new charter could not refuse assistance, after seizure, to bring them to the [King's] warehouse, where the goods are in the Commissioners' custody (not put into the power of the old [sic for new] Company) and the Commissioners can secure by them the King's Duties. It's the regular and daily practice if an officer has a warrant to deliver goods, if he finds [the same to be] prohibited goods, to seize them by his own power.
Mr. Moor says when the Duty is paid the importer should have the goods delivered to him; but he is informed there is no entry of these goods and no Duty paid.
Mr. Brown says, when the King is to have part of the seizure the King's warehouse is proper but here the seizure is for the new East India Company: he [the seizer] is but a common informer, so the King's warehouse is not the proper place.
Mr. Harcourt says Raynton went to one purpose, but the other two officers went on a general authority: but he thinks that general authority should be restrained only to the King's concern otherwise it is doing execution before judgment.
Sir Thomas Cook says he went on board and saw Raynton in possession of the diamonds. I asked him, 'by what authority.' He said, 'by the permit.' 'Then pray obey your permit.' 'No' says he, 'I have seized these goods.' 'Then,' said Sir Thomas 'what business have you here.' He offered [suggested] the sealing them up and giving security to deliver them. But 'twas refused. Sir Thomas will say the rest to-morrow.
He says some of these goods are delivered out of the King's warehouse. The Commissioners deny that.
My Lords charge the Customs Commissioners to take special care that none of the goods be delivered out till the matter be decided.
The Solicitor General says, a common informer might secure [lodge] the goods elsewhere but he may bring them to the King's warehouse.
The Attorney General says it is safest for him to bring the goods to the King's warehouse and so [also] 'tis for the claimers [the old Company] and it's prudence in the Customs Commissioners to direct it: that an officer frequently seizes though the Duty is paid and he [can] do so for unlawful importation: that this case is unusual because the King has no part of the forfeiture. He thinks the seizure a legal seizure and if the forfeiture goes to others the King will have his Customs first.
The Solicitor General says an officer will be a seizer: 'tis every day's practice and he thinks it hardly justifiable to restrain him; and if there be a forfeiture [such as the King has no share in] yet the King's Customs must be paid.
Sir Samuel Dashwood complains that this seizure is made by an officer [? common informer] who is countenanced as [if he were] an officer.
Sir W. Young [one of the Customs Commissioners] says an officer may seize goods brought in contrary to law as well on ship board as after [being] brought on shore.
Mr. Moor says their [the old Company's] charter has a clause of assistance as well as the new Company's and he hopes the King shall not pay salaries to men to be seizers for the new Company.
Mr. Browne doubts that by this direction they are not in so good a condition as if the seizure was made by a common informer.
The Attorney General says any common informer might sue in any Court as well as the Excq. [Exchequer].
Mr. Harcourt insists that the seizure was illegal [being made] by two people who had a general authority only; and their going aboard [the ship] was unjustifiable: secondly that the Customs Commissioners can in no sort intermeddle after [the King's] Customs [have heen given bond for or] secured: that a private informer cannot come aboard my ship or into my house.
The gentlemen of the [old] Company withdraw.
My Lords are of opinion the Customs Commissioners have done their duty in this matter and that it does not appear to my Lords that they have intermeddled between the two Companies otherwise than by causing the goods, after seizure, to be brought to the King's warehouse according to law, there to remain until the matter be legally decided: but the gentlemen of the old Company having desired that an order may be given to restrain the Customs Commissioners and officers for the future; and Mr. Shepard having desired that no order may be made in prejudice of the new Company; my Lords will hear both Companies by their Counsel next Friday morning upon the subject matter of the order so desired.
The Marquess of Carmarthen is called in. He says there is a dispute between Capt. Ash and Capt. Bradbury which [of the two] shall receive the money for the men of the [Marine] Company commanded by them successively: that his lordship looks upon himself as answerable in point of law as colonel: that the [normal] course is, at disbanding, for the present officer to receive the money for the men: and that his lordship hopes it will not be taken ill that he hath ordered Capt. Bradbury to receive all the money for the men.
My Lords think the Marquess is to govern himself in this matter as he judges to be most fit; and [they] leave it to him. Treasury Minute Book XII, pp. 48–52.
Friday, May 17, forenoon. Present: all the five Lords.
[The Principal] officers of the Mint present a memorial for rebuilding some of their offices.
On Monday afternoon the doors to be shut and petitions to be read.
[Write] to the Exchequer to issue to the Earl of Ranelagh, upon his order for the Forces, the sum of 1200l. in part of 2181l. 19s. 6d. for the charge of transporting 740 men and 740 horses from Hoylake and Whitehaven into Ireland: the said issue to be out of loans made or to be made [as] by the letter of the — instant: and the said sum to be paid over by the said Earl to Mr. Samuel Atkinson for the said service.
[Write] to the Navy Commissioners to attend on Wednesday morning.
Write to the [Navy] Victuallers for an exact account of the tallies remaining in their hands out of those that were directed [to be paid over to them] for clearing the [Victualling] debt to May 1697; and that they give a state of the debt to that time remaining unpaid.
Write a letter for paying the Judges' salaries for the last term.
Sir Thomas Cook and others of the old East India Company are called in with Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Browne [of Counsel for them]: as also Mr. Shepherd et al of the new Company with Mr. Cooper and Mr. Dod [of Counsel for them]; upon the desire of the old Company that an order may be made to restrain the Customs Commissioners and officers to intermeddle between them [the said two Companies].
Mr. Browne says, they are only officers of the revenue, the King is not concerned in consequence: that officers of the Customs have liberty to search for uncustomed goods: they abuse that power to another purpose and to the prejudice of the [old] Company: if the Lord Chief Justice grants a warrant for breach of the peace and the officer by that gets a man in custody upon [a totally different ground such as] an action he [the Chief Justice] lays such an officer by the heels: the powers of seizing for unlawful importation do not extend to this [present] case, wherein no part of the forfeiture goes to the King. The old Company desire they may not be thought in such a case to contend with the King, when his Customs are secured. There is no necessity of seizure on the Act. The new Company may sue: they have a legal remedy if they have cause on that law. Seizing is a violent remedy.
Mr. Harcourt says: as to matter of law here is security given for all the Duties in the usual form, [and thereupon the Company has a let pass or] sufferance per the Customs Commissioners: if that had been executed there had been an end: but the Duty having been secured all [that was] done by the officer afterwards was illegal. As to the discretionary part [of the officers' power of seizure] if the Customs be secured he does not act as a Custom House officer but in a private capacity only: Customs officers can go aboard ships but if they'll go when the Duties are secured and they enter the ship for another purpose it subjects the Company to an inconvenience that none others are liable to.
Mr. Cowper says, if this be granted it will be a leading case to desire the same thing in the like cases: the order desired is unreasonable: you may tie up your officers that they shall not (under loss of their offices) take the benefit the law gives them: the Act authorises them to seize as well as others; the new [Company's] charter has not only made it lawful for them but their duty upon that Act. He reads the clause, "And further &c." (wherein the Customs Commissioners and other officers are directed to be aiding) The charter was granted upon an Act of Parliament upon which 2,000,000l. was lent [by the new Company to the Government]. We take it that every clause in this charter is a covenant or part of the agreement [in return] for the [said] money. None are so proper to make these seizures as these officers. The course of their duty in their offices gives them a nearer inspection; for this reason indifferent persons would think them fittest: offences upon this Act lie in their way. The Act of Frauds [13 & 14 Car. II. c. 11] has confined seizures to officers or to persons that have special commissions and the reason of that law holds good in this case. The officers are under a caution to act with more care and likelier to be obeyed and not disturbed: the owner has more awe and reverence for officers than for others. If the King's officers had not interposed there would have been a great disturbance in the river and bloodshed in probability. By officers such mischiefs are prevented. If officers be not allowed between the two Companies they within side of a ship will have too great advantage of those without. And whereas it is objected that the Government is not concerned in [point of the King's share or] interest, the Government acts for a more noble end. It would be reason enough that the King when he took the people's money [the 2,000,000l.] agreed he would do this. The bringing of these jewels by private persons is a prohibited trade. French goods were to be burned, the King got nothing. Why not a petition that the King's officers should not meddle in that case as well as this? The Government is not only a Society of Trade or to get money but to see its laws executed.
Mr. Dod says: the petition is against law, directions of the Crown and reason. By 14 Car. II the Customs Commissioners and officers are to bring [seizures] to the King's warehouse. They all swear to perform their duties. This Act directs bringing to the warehouse: a direction to the contrary is against law, their duty and oath. The King has a share in this. But in other cases as Irish cattle and [in which] the King has no part of the forfeiture the officers have seized and it hath always been looked on as their duties: the poor and the officer have all [the seizure]. It is against the direction under the great seal: the clause has been read. They apply for a direction against the direction which is under the great seal. Where an Act prohibits importation of particular commodities the Customs Commissioners are the proper persons to see the trade be not carried on against the law; the rather because they have a more immediate inspection. It may be a reason on the other side that they should not, because they are most able and likely. If the new Company should have their waiters and officers on the river it would make disorder. If one swear felony and that there are stolen goods and upon a warrant for them [for such causes] seizes goods for unlawful importation it would be as they [the other side] say: but this case is quite different.
Mr. Browne says: as to Irish cattle the officers may have acted but it does not follow they were required: that is declared a public nuisance. Here the old Company's trading during three years is well warranted by law: property is regarded so that the sheriff cannot break the door and do execution in the case of a private man upon a fieri facias. The assistance of a constable would do well in that case but 'tis not allowed. They may as well desire all the Justices of Peace and other Court officers (upon holding up their finger) to go aboard and seize; for the direction is general. So [this is] an extra reason that without the interpos[ition] of the Customs Commissioners the public peace had been broken. There is no need of seizing (which is violent) for they may sue. You shall not come into a ship or house to seize where the King is not concerned. Gasnet, a French Protestant in Charles II's time was an alien artificer; the English workmen seized all his goods upon an old Act: the Government discountenanced that seizure. The old Company has all such clauses of assistance in their charter, which are saved [safeguarded] in the [new Company's] Act of Parliament. The new [Company's] charter does not direct the officer to seize but to give assistance. They need not make seizures. If they will he hopes [they will have] no countenance.
Mr. Harcourt says: there is a difference [as between] where a general prohibition [exists] on the one hand and on the other a particular prohibition to one to import what may be brought in by another. What these people did was not as officers. The question is not that they may seize when in execution of their offices. Raynton came as an officer but the other two came and entered only to seize. They can pretend no more than a man that finds his goods in another's custody; he may seize them but if the other pretends a property and will keep them he must bring an action and not be judge in his own case.
My Lords recommend it to the Customs Commissioners to consider of such method as may secure the King's Duties upon all private trade from the East Indies in the Company's ships; and particularly upon the several Acts of Parliament to state this case [to wit] whether any persons other than officers of the Customs and such as are specially empowered [by commission from the Treasury Lords to seize] can make seizures upon the late Act for settling the trade to the East Indies.
Upon consulting with the King's Counsel my Lords see no reason for laying the restraint upon the Customs Commissioners or officers as is desired. Treasury Minute Book XII, pp. 53–5.
May 20,
Present: Earl of Tankerville, Sir Stephen Fox, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Hill.
Admiral Aylmer and Capt. Delaval [attend]. The latter will bring in his account this week.
[Write] to the [Principal] Officers of the Ordnance to be here on Wednesday morning about the arms for the [Five Nations of New York] Indians.
Desire the Earl of Ranelagh to be here on Wednesday morning.
[Write the] Postmasters [General] to be here again on Friday morning. Ibid., p. 56.
Eodem die.
Present: all the five Lords.
[No entry of any minute]. Ibid.
May 21,
Hampton Court.
Present: the King: Sir Stephen Fox, Mr. Smith (Chancellor of the Exchequer), Mr. Boyle, Mr. Hill.
Order for the issue to the Earl of Ranelagh of 7238l. 7s. 6d. out of the funds of this year; on his [weekly] memorial [for money for Forces].
Capt. Oliver et al their petition is read. [Ordered that] their pay from [the date of the] disbanding the Regiment (when they were in service at sea) till their arrival in England is to be by contingent warrant.
Medina's petition is read for 3000l. for Machado and Pereira. There is no money to pay it at present.
Major General Stuart's petition [is read]. The King is inclined to gratify his request if a way can be found out for doing of it.
Col. John Coningham's petition [is read]. Granted.
Isaac Teale [his petition is read. Ordered that he is] to be continued in pay and to be paid out of contingent money [of the Forces].
Hester Walker [her petition is read. Ordered] to be paid 30l. by W. L[owndes] but she is to apply to the Commissioners of Accounts for her arrears.
[Write] to Sir John Standley that it is the King's pleasure to allow 10l. a week to the gentlemen from Morocco besides the house rent.
The officers of Waltham Forest [their petition is read. Ordered to have] one year's salary: but let them know the King will pay no more unless better care for the future be taken to preserve the forest.
Anthony Row and partners [their] petition is read]. If the bonds are in the King's name they are to be transmitted to Ireland.
Mr. Bobin [his petition is read. Ordered to have] 50l. on the list in Mr. Hill's hands.
The King leaves it to my Lords to give permission to Mr. Palmes to employ Mr. Peters again, but will give no positive direction.
The Earl of Roscommon [his petition is read]. What he desires is [already] granted to the Earl of Bath.
Lord Fitzharding [his petition is read]. My Lords are to advise with the Surveyor [General of Crown Lands].
Mr. Stanyon [his petition is read]. The King will have him in his thoughts to employ him when there is a vacancy.
John Hudson [his petition is read]. To be considered for some employment.
Monsieur Gastigny's petition [is read]. To be examined into.
[Order for] 300l. to Lord Fairfax for half-a-year's pension: [to be issued] out of Civil List money: but see the [Civil List] Establishment.
William Langford's petition [is read. The King orders] the arrears of the pension to be paid by monthly payments.
The Earl of Lincoln [his petition is read. Ordered] to have as much as last year.
The King orders the privy seal for the money for the Privy Purse to be in the name of Caspar Frederick Henning.
[Order for the issue of] 500l. to Mr. Pryor for extraordinaries.
[Order for] "1300l. for the King in [Exchequer] Bills." Treasury Minute Book XII, p. 57.
May 22,
Treasury Chambers, Cockpit.
Present: all the five Lords.
Issue 100l. to the Cofferer: out of the funds of the Civil List.
Signify to the Board of Greencloth the King's pleasure to allow 10l. a week for the diet of the Agents from Morocco besides their house rent; and desiring that the same may be defrayed out of the [abovesaid] 100l. so far as it will extend and if more be needed application is to be made for the same; and that the 10l. a week for the diet be paid over to Benjamin Mitchel for that purpose.
[Write] to the Customs Commissioners that notwithstanding the holy days the goods of the Agents from Morocco be passed at the Custom House according to the directions they received at this Board.
Direct the Contractors for the Lotteries forthwith to pay the arrear of their rent due at Michaelmas last; and then to make proof of their loss by the Act which takes away all lotteries except the Royal Oak Lottery, in order to have a proportionable allowance for the same.
Sir Thomas Littleton [the Navy Treasurer] and other Commissioners of the Navy are called in. My Lords direct Mr. Dodington and Mr. Hayter (who are present) to give an account of the money and tallies in the hands of Mr. Dodington and Mr. Stephens respectively for the public service and for what particular uses the same remain. Mr. Hayter will go to the books in the Navy [Office] and see what part is assigned and what not.
My Lords recommend it to the Navy Commissioners to consider whether any part and how much of the money resting for wages on this year's funds can be applied to pay the wages due to officers who have cleared their accounts and to attend again this day week.
They will also consider whether the 4500l. for the Chest [at Chatham] can be now supplied out of the money for wages.
The Commissioners of the Ordnance [attend].
[Write] to the Commissioners of Customs and of Excise not to attend this afternoon. Ibid., p. 58.
May 24,
Present: all the five Lords.
The Victuallers [attend. They are to come again] next week.
Lord Byron [attends]. Mr. Hewet's letter is read to him complaining of cutting wood in Sherwood Forest. My Lord [Byron says he] does it by ancient grants which he will shew to the steward of the [Forest] Court. Write to Mr. Hewet of this.
[Order for the issue to the Earl of Ranelagh of] 584l. 10s. 2d. for Capt. Thornhill's Company, as by the warrant.
The Postmasters [General] and Mr. Dockwra [are] to attend on Wednesday morning.
Desire the Earl of Montagu not to put the King to any expense in providing the robes for any Knights of the Garter till my Lords have laid this business before the King.
The Earl of Ranelagh out of the 24,000l. which he received for the arrears of the year ended 1699 Dec. 24 is to pay to the Agents for the four Companies in New York so much as is due to them for clearings for any part of the said year according to the old Establishment [of the Forces].
The Receivers of the Two Millions are to attend next Wednesday morning.
Mr. Young and Mr. Ryly are to be here on Wednesday afternoon.
Write to the Customs Commissioners and Mr. Devereux to be here then.
A proposal for managing the Excise and Salt Duties by Sir John Parsons is opened and read.
A proposal of Samuell Shepherd et al for farming the Excise and Salt Duties is opened and read.
Sir John Parsons is called in. My Lords take notice there is no covenant for ascertaining any sum [fixing the rent] and 'tis not signed by him and partners.
Sir John says: the revenue will be countenanced more by the Justices of the Peace under a Commission than under a Farm. If his proposal be acceptable he will bring a set of men without exception unless my Lords are minded to name some of them: shifting from a Commission to a Farm is prejudicial to the King in respect of the arrears. He says he cannot covenant to ascertain the rents for the Excise and Salt Duties. He says whatsoever the revenue produces every week (above the necessary charges of management) shall be paid weekly into the Exchequer. In a day or two he will give an answer as to his partners.
Mr. Roger Hudson concurs in Sir John's proposal.
Mr. Parry and company are called in. My Lords desire them to come again on Monday afternoon. Ibid., p. 59.
May 27. Present: all the five Lords.
Prepare a warrant for paying to the Countess of Dorchester her rents out of the Exchequer in Ireland. The warrant not to endure longer than three years.
Mr. Sheppard and company are called in and are told that my Lords have considered their proposal. They are asked what they mean by the charge of the King's officers and incidents? They answer they mean all those that were paid by the King in the last farm [under Charles II]. [They are asked] when they mean to account for the overplus? Answer: for both revenues distinctly at the end of the three years and then one year will answer for another. [Asked]: how the King's arrears are to be collected and answered? Answer: their officers must do it and they [the Farmers] must undertake to bring them in and be accountants as to the arrears. [Asked]: whether they take the King's drink [beer for the Navy &c.] to be chargeable to the Excise? Answer: They must take an account of it to prevent frauds and because it [the yield of such Excise] hath been part of the produce they would have an abatement for it out of the rent. [Asked]: why they take this year for a measure [or average] for the low wines? Answer: they do not know what they will make this year but this year is most natural. [Asked]: why they postpone the weekly payments? [Answer]: for this they refer to an explanatory proposal now offered. [Asked]: whether they are advised that one revenue can make good the other? Answer: they fear they are mistaken in that point (struck through) the proposers intend to account for the [various branches of these] revenues distinctly as above. [Asked]: What do they mean by accounting after all just and reasonable allowances. Answer: they shall be charged with the total of the vouchers and expect allowances for exported beer and such like reasonable causes.
My Lords tell them they will lay these matters before the King and acquaint them with his Majesty's answer.
They are desired to come again on Wednesday morning. But my Lords ask them, considering the shortness of the time whether they will mend their proposal before it be laid before the King. They all say that in substance they cannot alter the same.
Mr. — Draper is to be [Customs officer] at Hull loco Engleby Daniel Esq. upon the latter's surrender.
Look out the Earl of Montagu's paper.
A quarter's payment to be made to the [Great] Wardrobe and that Office is to be paid quarterly for the future. Treasury Minute Book XII, p. 60.
May 28,
forenoon. Hampton Court.
Present: the King: Sir Stephen Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Hill.
The petition of the officers of Seymour's Regiment [is read] for taking off their respits. The Earl of Ranelagh will state the case of this Regiment and that of Columbin's and others who are in the same circumstances and present the same to the King.
The petition of James Smith and others of Lillingston's Regiment [is read] for their arrear of subsistence. [Answer]: there is no money provided [by Parliament] for these arrears.
The officers of La Melonier's Regiment [their petition is read]. They complain that their agent will not give a certificate of what is due for their personal pay because he does not know what the officers had for their own pay out of the money issued to them on account in Ireland. The King orders that the certificate of the Colonel shall serve as well as that of the agent, provided they keep within the Establishment and the Muster Rolls.
The petition [is read] of the French pensioners [whose pensions are charged on army] contingencies [complaining of their] having 38 months due [and unpaid]. They come to 8600l. a year. Some are dead; some rich; some on the [army pension] list in Ireland; some have pensions in Holland &c. Mr. Hill hath a list of such of them as the King is pleased to continue. "His Majesty will see the lists as well of the English as the foreigners."
12,118l. 0s. 4d. [is the total of the late Queen's pensions, servants &c.] according to a list of pensions to be paid by Mr. Nicholas. The women [officers' widows] which were paid [pensions or bounties] by the Earl of Ranelagh [are ordered by the King] to be inserted in this list "which will make the sum so much."
My Lords read to the King the Proposal of Mr. Shepard et al for the [farm of the] Excise [and] Salt Duties and their Explanatory Proposal; and acquaint his Majesty with what Mr. Parry said to them this morning.
[The King orders] half-a-year's pension more to be paid to the Duchess of Cleveland by continuing the weekly payment of 100l. at the Post Office, "to enable the payment of her tax."
Sir Basill Dixwell [his petition is read: ordered] to be paid out of [Army] Contingencies when there is any money for that use.
William Palmes Esq. his petition [is read] about his loss in making good the public cash. The King cannot do anything of that nature out of his revenue.
[The King orders] the Lord Keeper to have his 4000l. a year entirely out of the Post Office; to commence from the day he received the [great] seal. He is to have the same equipage as Lord Somers had.
The Greek boys in Gloucester Hall [their petition is read]. The King orders nothing at present but if they can find out any lands given to superstitious uses his Majesty will consider of it.
[Mr. Lowndes is directed to] call on the Office of Works to give an account of all the works now going on at Hampton Court.
The debt for the Works at Windsor is [submitted: ordered] to be considered.
Mr. Hen. Lowman [his petition is read] for his bills for housekeeping at Kensington: [ordered] to be paid in course. Ibid., p. 61.
May 29,
forenoon. Treasury Chambers, Cockpit.
Present: all the five Lords.
[Write] to Mr. Montagu to be here on Friday morning.
The Postmasters General, Mr. Dockwra and Mr. Darnelli [are] called in. The articles against Mr. Dockwra are read. The Postmasters General's report is read. Mr. Dockwra desires Mr. Darnelli may withdraw.
Paper A is read to show the accusation proceeds from malice and that he has improved the revenue [by] 344l. 12s. 8d. in two years. The improvement is mentioned in the [abovesaid] report to be 174l. 12s. 10d.
Darnelli says it sunk the last year [by] 123l. 18s. 10d.: see the account B.
Dockwra says: all money taken for the charity box amounted but to 6l. odd and it cost him above 7l.: that he never knew Power do an ill thing: that Power solicited him: Dockwra employed him to write for him at times and so he became acquainted with the business.
Mr. Frankland says that Sheepside gave Power 4l. 10s. 0d. and was admitted next day; and divers other instances are given of money paid to Power by persons that presently had places. See the examinations at large for this matter.
Dockwra says the expression in the report (that he put Power into a place to make a discovery of the matter) is a mistake, for Power was in place before. He denies the knowledge of the money taken by Power: [and says further] that he should have put in the same men if they'd given nothing to Power.
Darnelli says that Power took several sums of money before he was put in [as] sub-sorter. Darnelli says he could not bring to account the letters which were not received (in Westminster) at the Receiving houses but upon the way.
Dockwra says the tickets or [Mr.] Chard, in the Office, charged this money and it is but about 12l.
Darnelli says there is no account of this.
Sir T. Frankland [one of the Postmasters General] says Dockwra has spoken of this since the examination. The practice was irregular; but he thinks the messengers kept the money.
Darnelli says when Dockwra came in (on the conclusion of the Peace) the revenue was rising; but now 'tis sunk again.
Dockwra says his accusers have combined against him because he has turned some out and prevented the frauds of others.
My Lords are of opinion that Mr. Dockwra is not fit to be entrusted in the Office any longer.
The Navy Commissioners [attend]. They desire 4500l. to complete a year's pension to the Chest [at Chatham] to Lady day 1699 and that it be paid out of the money in the [late Navy Treasurer the] Earl of Orford's hands for defalcations. They'll attend again next Wednesday morning.
Desire the Attorney and Solicitor General to be here on Friday morning. Treasury Minute Book XII, pp. 62–3.
Eodem die, afternoon. Present: Sir Stephen Fox, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Boyle, Mr. Hill.
The Customs Commissioners are called in.
Mr. Devereux is called in. He is directed to attend the said Commissioners on his papers [which are] referred to them that they may make a report.
Reports concerning Custom House matters are read. See the answers [endorsed or margined] on them.
Desire the Attorney General to peruse the patent for the custody of the parks at Hampton Court (the copy whereof will be delivered to him by Mr. Young) and to consider whether the Great Meadow and Little Meadow at Hampton Court near the House Parks did pass to Mr. Young by that patent. Serjeant Ryly will attend the Attorney General upon this point.
Write to the Exchequer to pay the order for 1000l. to Mr. Benj. Baldwyn out of the Civil List money. Ibid., p. 63.
May 31. Present: all the five Lords.
Write to the Prince of Denmark, the Archbishop [of Canterbury] et al, Lords of the Cabinet Council, intimating that W. L[owndes] is commanded by the Treasury Lords to signify that the Treasury is by the King's command to attend him at Hampton Court on Sunday next at 4 of the clock and that it is his pleasure the Lords of the Cabinet Council attend him at the same time.
Pursuant to the King's command for making quarterly payments to the Great Wardrobe, my Lords will now issue 6250l. to the Earl of Montagu in part of the arrear due to his Office: and at the end of every three months will do the like for the three ensuing quarters. "To be inserted upon the Scheme" [of distribution of the Civil List funds].
Write to the Excise Commissioners to pay into the Exchequer to-morrow, being the 1st of June, all the moneys in the hands of them or their Cashier, of the Additional Excise of 9d. per barrel granted 5 Wm. and Mary c. 20, for payment of 100,000l. to the Bank and other annuities therein mentioned.
The petition of the officers of the Ordnance about their taxes [is ordered] to be carried to Hampton Court next Sunday.
On Monday afternoon the doors to be locked.
The letter to Mr. Ferne for paying 2704l. 6s. 9½d. to Col. Codrington is read and approved.
The Lottery Farmers are called in. My Lords require them to clear [their rent] to Michaelmas last and then my Lords will consider their defalcations. They promise to comply with this.
A new letter [to the Exchequer] is read and approved for taking in loans not exceeding 6000l.; instead of the former letter.
The letter [to the Exchequer] for an additional 200l. a week for the Gardens at Hampton Court is read and approved.
Likewise a letter to search for the wine gallon pot [or measure] in the [custody of the Chamberlain of the] Exchequer, is read and approved.
See the state of the debt of the Civil List as it stood at Xmas 1699 and how that debt stands now. Ibid., p. 64.