Chief Clerk of the Revenue c. 1688-1834

Page 63

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1, Treasury Officials 1660-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1972.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

Chief Clerk of the Revenue c. 1688-1834

Regular payments to the Treasury office for keeping accounts of the revenue are traceable to the year 1680. It is only from 1688, however, that such payments were made to specified individuals. In the light of subsequent evidence it seems reasonable to equate the recipients with the later Chief Clerks of the Revenue Department. (fn. 1) The duties were at first undertaken by persons who were Treasury Clerks in the strict sense. From 1725 to 1834, however, with the exception of the years 1799 to 1821, the office of Chief Clerk was filled by Clerks promoted from within the department itself. In 1834 the separate existence of the Revenue Department was brought to an end and the then Chief Clerk became the head of a new division of the Treasury to which its functions were transferred. (fn. 2)

From 1688 to 1714 an annual allowance of £150 was paid out of the customs to the Chief Clerk. In addition provision was made out of the secret service for clerkship and other incidents. This amounted to £50 from about 1697 and was raised to £150 a year in 1709. In 1714 these separate payments were replaced by a single sum of £260 from the customs to cover the salaries of all the Clerks in the Revenue Department. (fn. 3) It is not possible to isolate the actual amount received by the Chief Clerk for his own use until 1776 when his salary was fixed at £800. It was reduced to £700 in 1783 but increased again to £800 in 1793. (fn. 4) Between 1733 and 1783 it was usual for the Chief Clerk to receive £100 a year from the civil list establishment as part of his remuneration. (fn. 5) In 1798 it was fixed at £1000. In 1801 the Chief Clerk of the Revenue was accorded the same scale as the Chief Clerks on the ordinary establishment rising after fifteen years to £1200 and after twenty years to £1400. In 1821 a fixed salary of £1200 was established for future holders of the office. (fn. 6)


By 1688 Taylor, J.
1695 Tilson, C.
1714 Frecker, M.
1725 Beresford, J.
1752 11 Oct. Wilkin, T.
1758 5 Jan. Speer, W.
1799 3 Jan. Alcock, J.
1821 2 Jan. Bullock, E. C.
1829 2 Jan. Brooksbank, T. C.


  • 1. See Introduction, p. 8.
  • 2. TM 27 Oct. 1834 (T 29/358 pp. 318-19).
  • 3. CTB, ix, 19; ibid. xxviii, 466-7; ibid. xxix, 107, 628.
  • 4. TM 22 Feb. 1776 (T 29/45 p. 57), 23 Aug. 1783 (T 29/54 p. 332); 15th Rept. on Finance, 289.
  • 5. Beresford was placed on the establishment in 1733 and continued to receive the £100 annuity after his retirement as Chief Clerk until his death in 1760. Wilkin and Speer were placed on the establishment in 1757. The latter resigned his place in 1783.
  • 6. TM 5 July 1798 (T 29/73 p. 209), 12 May 1801 (T 29/77 p. 437), 10 Aug. 1821 (T 29/200 p. 241). An additional allowance of £100 was granted by TM 3 April 1812 (T 29/116 pp. 448-55).