Minute Book: February 1713

Pages 8-14

Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 27, 1713. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1955.

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February 1713

Feb. 2.
Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Sir Christopher Musgrave, Mr. Musgrave and Mr. Lawson are called in [and also the Taxes Commissioners] concerning the Window money in Cumberland. The former complain that a strict execution of the Act would be very hard on that country [county] especially in market towns: that they pay to this tax about 900l. a year: that the gent[ry] submit to pay more than can strictly be charged on them, but they desire a more easy method for the poor in market towns.
Mr. Ryly [one of the Taxes Commissioners] says great abuses have been committed in that country.
He is ordered by my Lord to state the facts in writing: which my Lord will consider.
The Gentlemen of the Bank are called in with Sir P. [Peter] King and also the Million Bank with Mr. Jefferys, the Attorney and Solicitor General being present. The report of the Attorney General dated 4 April 1711 is read: that of the 4th Aug. 1711 is also read. The Bank of England's objections are likewise read. King says that Ince had no order to consent, but on the contrary to enter caveats: a corporation eo nomine has the same power to do any act as a private person: no restrictions can restrain them: at present they are under a restriction by being personally obliged: they are not to bank; but they do bank now, only they are personally obliged for one another: but if they can avoid that and have a corporation that can only [alone] be sued which may have nothing but in nubibus: they grant annuities in consideration of money which is a sort of banking: if their own estates be not obliged it will be difficult to find any means to restrain them.
The Solicitor General says he is of counsel for the petitioners and that all care possible has been taken to restrain them. Mr. Dod was the counsel for the Bank [of England]. He signed to it in 1710 and ‘twas thought the Bank consented by their Secretary: there was a second examination by the Attorney General: then Mr. Ince [for the Bank of England] agreed again. It is inconvenient, as Sir Peter owned, to have the fond in trustees and there is great trouble in transferring: that the objections [now made] are [as to matters] common to all incorporations made or to be made by charter, as that every corporation may act eo nomine as a private person and that there can be no restriction: if they do anything the Bank [of England] complains of it will (if you see the clauses) be a forfeiture of the charter: if there be any obj[ections] particular for the Bank [from the point of view of the Bank of England in particular and] not common to all incorporations it may be cons[idered]: they [the Bank of England as opponents] may pen all the clauses as strictly as they please.
Mr. Jefferys, of the same side [for the petitioner or Million Bank says] before the Gentlemen made any application the draft was laid before the Bank [of England] for three months and then ‘twas signed by their counsel: afterwards it was considered by the Attorney General again and again and restrictive clauses were added in July 1711: but now a general objection is made [viz.] that no provision can be made to restrain: the clauses are strongly penned against giving out bills, keeping any cash but their own or banking in any sense: all corporations have liberty to lend money on fonds as well as private persons: as this charter is framed you reach every particular person as well as the body politic, for in case of an offence the charter is to be forfeited: they don't call themselves a bank: they had the name of the Million Bank for the first year, but were then restrained by an Act. (fn. 1)
My Lord Treasurer takes notice that the Sword Blade Company is restrained but still they do bank; and that Sir Peter [King] says banking is not to be defined.
The Solicitor General [says] surely assigning their interest in their annuities is a privilege given them by Acts of Parliament: that is not banking: he would not have it admitted that it is not understood what banking is.
Mr. Jefferys [says] we descend to particulars, that we shall not keep others' cash, negociate bills &c.
King says Mr. Dod consented only upon a supposition that a charter would be granted: when these gentlemen are a corporation they'll divide the whole stock into shares: it will be a corporation to act on the public funds, prejudicial to the Bank of England: it was a fault in these gentlemen to unite their interests without a charter.
It may be the same case as of the Mine Adventure who act still in private.
The Lord Treasurer takes notice that there is a difficulty at present on the Trustees and that Sir Peter says that [such restraint or] difficulty is the security of the Bank of England.
My Lord will lay this matter before the Queen and receive her pleasure; it being desired only as a matter of favour and grace [that is of the royal prerogative, not of Parliamentary enactment]. Treasury Minute Book XX, pp. 31–32.
Feb. 3. Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Ordered that Mr. Brydges be directed to pay so much money as 14 days' pay amounts to as the Queen's Bounty to the unregimented Dragoons arrived from Barcelona and that Mr. Brydges do make a demand in writing for the same. Ibid., p. 33.
Feb. 4.
St. James's.
Present: ut supra.
The Treasurer of the Navy having transferred 300,000l. stock in the South Sea Company to the Lord Mayor of London and other trustees to secure the repayment of such sums as any persons will advance for the service of the Navy not exceeding 200,000l. with 6 per cent. interest on or before April 26 next, the Lord Treasurer doth declare his intention (in case a Land Tax shall be granted in the ensuing Session of Parliament) that such issues shall be made to the said [Navy] Treasurer by loans thereupon as shall be sufficient to enable him to satisfy the money which shall have been advanced to him as aforesaid with the interest thereof.
Speak to Mr. Brydges, Judge Advocate, to attend constantly the Commission for the Invalids.
[Write] to the Auditor and Deputy Auditor of Imprests to send my Lord forthwith a state of all the imprest accounts.
[My Lord Treasurer directs] Mr. Burton to attend the Chancellor of the Exchequer “with his rental [of the late Savoy Hospital].”
[Write] to the Taxes Commissioners to certify how much came in on the Land Tax of 1711 before 3 Feb. 1711–12 and how much is come in of Land Tax anno 1712 before 3 Feb. 1712–13.
My Lord Treasurer observing the small receipt of the Customs in the last week directs the Customs Commissioners to acquaint him with the occasions thereof and also what money is in the hands of the Collectors or others.
Memorandum to be laid before the Queen:
that directions be sent to the Commanding Officer in Chief in Minorca to take care that the silver moneys which are coined at Barcelona and are now current at Minorca do pass at their intrinsic value only, so that five quarter pieces of Eight of the new species shall go for one piece of Eight and the rest of the base coins proportionably.
[My Lord directs the issue of] 10,000l. to the Ordnance for land services: [as in] part of the Deficiency of the grants anno 1711. Ibid., p. 34.
Feb. 7.
St. James's.
Present: Lord Treasurer.
[My Lord directs] 2,000l. to be issued to the Navy Treasurer for Sir Roger Mostyn in part of 14,184l. 4s. 1ld. for two-thirds sea pay demanded in his memorial of Jan. 8 last [for the Marines]. Ibid., p. 35.
Feb. 9.
Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
On Mr. Bridges's memorial [my Lord Treasurer directs that] 400l. is to be paid on the Elector Pal[atine's] subsidy upon account of what was due before the separation of the Troops.
One of the clerks [of the Treasury] is to make a copy of such minutes as relate to remittances in the time of the Earl of Ranelagh's being Paymaster.
[My Lord directs that] on Mr. Bridges's memorial 3,137l. 17s. 9d. is to be paid out of loans on South Sea Stock for forage for the Dragoons in Flanders.
[Likewise] 3,000l. [as in] part of 5,000l. for stoppages upon the subsistence of the Regiments serving in Spain and Flanders.
On Mr. Bridges's memorial of this day [my Lord orders that] 4,000l. of the money borrowed on South Sea Stock per Mr. Bridges be applied to the half pay of the Officers disbanded to 21 Dec. last. Ibid., p. 36.
Feb. 11.
St. James's.
Present: ut supra.
[Write] to the Admiralty that the war being now near an end my Lord Treasurer desires that they will think of reducing the expense of the Sick and Wounded Office; but thinks that one or two persons should be employed till the accounts be passed.
My Lord Treasurer will also think of reducing the expense of the Transport Office.
Write to the [Principal] Officers of the Works to take a survey of the two tenements now in lease to the Lord [Visct.] FitzHardinge at St. James's and make a plan of the ground and of the house now upon it and an estimate of the charge which my Lord FitzHardinge has been at in rebuilding or repairing.
[Likewise to same] to send my Lord an estimate of the charge of repairing the defective rails about the Canal.
[Write] Mr. Brydges to send my Lord an account of what arrears [of pay &c.] are due in his Office [as Paymaster of the Forces Abroad] to Xmas last and what effects he has in his hands towards answering the same.
[My Lord Treasurer orders that the Navy Treasurer] Mr. Cæsar is to apply (out of the money raised on South Sea Stock) 4,000l. to discharge the Delicia hospital ship; and 3,410l. 2s. 8d. to pay interest to the Bank; and 6,000l. for bills of exchange: [being items demanded by him] upon his memorial of this day.
Look out the Postmaster's report about the Post Office.
Upon a report of the Navy Commissioners of the 9th inst. concerning workmen discharged from the Yards my Lord finds the petitioners' allegations are groundless and resolves not to encourage such applications for the future. Ibid., p. 37.
Feb. 13.
Present: Lord Treasurer.
[Send] to Mr. Fitch and his paymaster to be here on Monday next; and to the Attorney General to be here then about preventing frauds and forgeries relating to the payment of the Lottery orders.
[Write] to Sir James Bateman and some other of the Directors [of the Bank of England] to be here on Monday morning.
Sir John Lambert is called in and the proposal dated the 13th inst. of himself and partners (viz. Theodore Janssen, Nicholas Santini and Co.) for remitting 50,000l. for the Forces in the Low Countries is read, as also one made by Mr. James Milner; and Sir John's appearing to be most for the advantage of the public is agreed to as follows, viz. to give their bills for 50,000l. half upon Amsterdam and half upon Antwerp at the exchange rate of 10 guilders 16 stivers current money per pound sterling payable half at eight days' sight and half at 15 days' sight: upon [the security of the making of] a minute of the Treasury for their repayment in three months without interest and [with the collateral security of] a deposit of 60,000l. South Sea Stock “or any other security your Lordship shall please to give us.” Treasury Minute Book XX, p. 38.
Feb. 16. Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Attorney General comes in.
The Directors of the South Sea Company and Mr. Annesley are called in. Upon an agreement between Mr. Bridges and Mr. Milner my Lord Treasurer will give warrant for Mr. Milner to transfer out of 60,000l. [in South Sea Stock deposited as collateral in said Milner's hands] the sum of 50,000l. [to any lenders] to enable him [Milner] to raise the money which he lends to Mr. Bridges.
The like for Mr. Deckar.
The Attorney General is to prosecute the clerks in Mr. Fitch's office as have been concerned in counterfeiting orders. Ibid., p. 39.
Feb. 18.
St. James's.
Present: ut supra.
[My Lord] ordered [payment of the following] out of the money for the Civil Government: viz. to
£ s. d.
Mr. Scobell for tin 3,000 0 0
the Cofferer of the Household 1,500 0 0
the Privy Purse 1,500 0 0
the Great Wardrobe 500 0 0
the Robes 500 0 0
Lord Abingdon, Chief Justice in Eyre 250 0 0
Mr. Topham and Mr. Holmes 62 10 0
the Governors of Christ's Hospital 370 10 0
Mr. Compton [for the Queen's private bounties &c.] 1,000 0 0
the Paymaster of the Works for Mr. Tuckwell 100 0 0
the Lord Privy Seal [Dr. John Robinson] on his ordinary as Ambassador 300 0 0
the Earl of Strafford the like [on his same] 300 0 0
the Earl of Peterborough, the like 300 0 0
the Earl of Rochester, Keeper of New Park 219 6 0
Mr. Lowndes for secret services 1,500 0 0
Mr. Smethin, her Majesty's goldsmith 500 0 0
£11,902 6 0
[My Lord Treasurer orders the Navy Treasurer] Mr. Cæsar, out of money raised on South Sea Stock to apply 20,200l. to the uses following: viz.
on the head of Wages.
for paying the pilots and others concerned in the Book of Wages four months' Course to 31 Oct. last 5,200
on the head of Victualling.
for carrying on the new Course of that [the Victualling] Office 10,000
for carrying on the payment of Short Allowance Money to the Companies of several of her Majesty's ships now at home 5,000
Ibid., p. 40.
Feb. 20.
Present: Lord Treasurer.
Several papers are read and [minutes of my Lord's decisions or] answers are written thereupon.
The Excise Commissioners are called in; their certificates are read and considered. My Lord orders them to send an account of what is standing out on the twelfth 4s. Aid. Ibid., p. 41.
Feb. 23. Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
[Write] to the [Principal] Officers of the Mint [and to] Mr. Ferne and Mr. Pauncefoot and Mr. Lilly to attend here on Friday afternoon to consider of the best means to provide against the counterfeiting or diminishing the current money.
Write to the Attorney General and the Solicitor General [to attend then] about the same.
[Write] to Mr. Bridges to send copies of all the instructions which were given for clothes and accoutrements sent to Spain or Portugal since the war there; what quantities were sent and when and how far they have been disposed [of] and charged to the account of the Troops. Ibid., p. 42.
Feb. 24. Present: ut supra.
[The Principal] Officers of the Ordnance are called in.
[My Lord orders that] Mr. Baker is to provide the [gift or] present for the Alcaide of Alcazar. Ibid., p. 43.
Feb. 25.
St. James's.
Present: ut supra.
[My Lord Treasurer ordered issues as follows] out of the cash for the Civil List: viz. to
£ s. d.
Mr. Scobell to pay for tin 3,000 0 0
the Cofferer of the Household (out of which Mr. Russel and Mr. Croft are to be supplied) 2,000 0 0
Mr. Compton [for the Queen's private pensions and charities]: out of [the Post Office or] Letter money 2,000 0 0
Mr. Pigott for the [Office of] Robes 500 0 0
Duke of Somerset for arrears to the Stables 500 0 0
the Judges et al. for last Hilary term 4,200 0 0
Lord Privy Seal [Dr. John Robinson on his ordinary as] Ambassador at Utrecht 300 0 0
Earl of Strafford, the like, on his [Ambassadorial] ordinary 300 0 0
Earl of Peterborough, on his [Ambassadorial] ordinary 300 0 0
Mr. Baily, a late Receiver [General of Taxes, for his] extraordinary charges 185 14 9
£13,285 14 9
Write to the Secretary at War for Estimates [for the following services for the year 1713]: viz.
for Guards and Garrisons.
for Troops in Flanders, exclusive of Dunkirk &c.
for the Garrisons of Dunkirk, Gibraltar, Minorca.
for Half Pay.
for the Exceedings of the year 1712.
for the Invalids.
[Write] to the Admiralty for an Estimate of the [Naval] Ordinary [anno 1713].
[Write] to the Ordnance for an Estimate of Land and Sea Service [of the Office of Ordnance] [anno 1713].
[Write to the Transports Commissioners for] an Estimate for Transports anno 1713.
[Write] to Mr. Swift to attend on Saturday concerning the accounts of Mr. Whitfield. Treasury Minute Book XX, p. 44.
Feb. 27.
Present: Lord Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Lord Halifax [Auditor of the Receipt], the Attorney General and Solicitor General come in.
The [Principal] Officers of the Mint are called in and the Receivers General of the Customs [Mr. Ferne] and of the Excise [Mr. Pauncefoot] and the [their] Tellers' Clerks. Mr. Peyton produced a crown and several half crowns diminished by washing. The Attorney General and Solicitor General say diminishing is within the law against treason.
Mr. Pauncefoot says the tallow chandlers at first brought great quantities of counterfeit money. Mr. Ferne says there is not much bad money comes to his hands.
Mr. Lilly [Receiver General of the Post Office] says he always tells and weighs the money: much brass was brought at first [after the last re-coinage], but not at present. He finds the weight wanting to be two or three ounces [of silver] in a bag.
They all say they cull the money they suspect.
The Attorney General says by old laws [still] in force the money in the Exchequer is to be taken by weight.
Mr. Peyton says half the silver brought to the Mint to be coined is new bullion and they suspect it to be money melted.
The Officers of the Mint say they have met with new money clipt and edged again.
Sir Isaac Newton says six bags [bags of sixpences] are too light [by] about 14 or 15 ounces; the shilling bags [by] 7½ ounces; the crowns and half-crowns bags [are short by] about four ounces in every 100l. by wearing and unlawful diminishing together.
My Lord Treasurer orders that the reasonable wearing only of sixpences, shillings and crowns or half crowns separately be adjusted and a medium taken from thence for the ordinary wear of a bag in which those pieces are promiscuously put.
The Officers of the Mint are to consider how to prevent the counterfeiting of the copper halfpence and farthings.
Mr. Bridges and Sir William Windham are called in. Upon reading a letter from Col. Nevil, Sir William Windham is directed by my Lord to write to Col. Nevil to take care to send the remainder of the prisoners in Spain home by the speediest and cheapest method that he can. Ibid., p. 45.


  • 1. The words “by an Act” appear to refer to a Resolution of the Million Bank (“the Bank on Tickets of the Million Adventure”) of date 23 June 1696 “that it was not to the interest of the Society to continue banking any longer”. (see Parliamentary Papers: Accounts and Papers, House of Commons, 1792–3, Vol. XXXVIII, p. 780).