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Appendix No. 2: Appendix No. 2

Page 563

Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 24, 1710. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1952.

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Citation:
Page 563

Appendix No. 2

ALPHABETICAL REGISTER OF PAPERS READ AND MINUTED BY LORD TREASURER GODOLPHIN.
PREFATORY NOTE.
For the account of the Record known as the Treasury Alphabetical Register of Papers see
Appendix to Vol. XVII of this Calendar, pp. 104, 436.
Appendix to Vol. XIX of this Calendar, p. 79.
Appendix to Vol. XX of this Calendar, p. 101.
It is difficult to account for the ever recurring gaps in this Record. The papers themselves with the minutes endorsed thereon were in great measure kept in the Treasury Office: and the Treasury clerks under the pressure of business may have deferred and then finally overlooked the posting of them in the Alphabetical Register. But it is clear that in some cases where the petitioner was waiting in attendance at the Treasury Office to know the result of his petition, the actual paper itself was handed back to him with an endorsement of the dismissal of the matter by the Treasury Lords or the Lord Treasurer.
In such cases whenever the Alphabetical Register had not been written up to date it would of necessity be an imperfect record because papers so handed back would naturally drop out of sight.
The recommencement of the Record in August 1710 after a four years' break (between Sept. 1706 and August 1710) was doubtless due to the fall of Treasurer Godolphin and the putting of the Treasury in commission in August 1710.
At the first meeting of the new Board, on the 12th August, a plan of procedure for Treasury business was adopted (see supra, p. 34). Under this plan on every Monday, morning and afternoon, petitions and reports were to be considered. The greater precision and method which the Treasury Board thus introduced into its procedure must have reacted on the clerks, and it seems plain that the Alphabetical Register was re-started at once, as the entires in the Register T 4/18 commence from the 14th August and continue steadily through the year.
At the same time an effort was made to reduce to order the papers in the Office and to post up the Alphabetical Register. A separate volume was started, which is now lettered T 4/17 and which roughly covers the last two years of Lord Godolphin's Treasurership. But in this work of posting up there was hardly any attempt made to determine the date of the papers save in the cases where dated minutes were endorsed upon them. The bulk of the petitions, letters or reports were simply entered alphabetically without date and without intimation of the decision or action taken upon them.
Under the circumstances it is impossible to supply the missing data for the entries in T 4/17, and it only remains to print the record as it stands but with the general statement that the items cover roughly or pertain to the year 1709 and the first half of 1710, that is up to Godolphin's retirement in August of that year.
The succeeding volume of the Register, T 4/18, beginning with the new Treasury Board, is fairly precise in its dates and in its record of the Minutes found endorsed on the papers.