Private Secretaries to Chancellor of the Exchequer 1806-70

Pages 77-78

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

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Private Secretaries to Chancellor of the Exchequer 1806-70

As an officer of the court of Exchequer the Chancellor had the services of a Principal and an Under Secretary. The office of the former was abolished in 1830; that of the latter in 1849. (fn. 1) Neither of these secretaries formed part of the Treasury office and they have therefore been excluded from these lists.

Before 1806 it is uncertain to what extent Chancellors employed Private Secretaries in their capacity as officers of the Treasury. The situation is complicated by the fact that for most of the eighteenth century the offices of First Lord and Chancellor were combined and that there was in consequence little opportunity for a settled convention to become established. (fn. 2) In 1806, however, provision was made for a regular salary of £300 for the Private Secretary to the Chancellor when the two offices were held by separate individuals. (fn. 3) Until 1852, with the exception of the years 1830 to 1839, it was the practice for Chancellors to select their Private Secretaries from amongst the Clerks of the Treasury. In 1852 the appointment of a second Private Secretary was authorised on account of the additional work falling upon Disraeli in his capacity as Leader of the House of Commons. (fn. 4) Thereafter both Disraeli and Gladstone, when holding the office of Chancellor, usually had two Private Secretaries, one being drawn from outside the Treasury. Until 1858 the second Private Secretary received no salary. In that year £150 was provided. (fn. 5) For Treasury Clerks the salaries were additional to their ordinary remuneration. Private Secretaries who were members of the House of Commons received no salary.


Petty 1806-7 No appointment traced
Perceval 1807-12 1811 21 June Rosenhagen, A.
Vansittart 1812-23 1812 June Rosenhagen, A.
1815 19 May Sargent, W.
1818 31 July Freeling, J. C.
Robinson 1823-7 1823 Feb. Freeling, J. C.
1826 Aug. Drummond, E.
Canning 1827 See Private Secretaries to First Lord
Herries 1827-8 1827 13 Sept. Spearman, A. Y.
Goulburn 1828-30 1828 8 Feb. Walpole, E.
Althorp 1830-4 1830 31 Dec. Wickham, H. L.
1833 28 June Drummond, T.
Peel 1834-5 See Private Secretaries to First Lord
Spring Rice 1835-9 1835 April Spring Rice, S. E.
1838 30 Aug. Bourke, R.
Baring 1839-41 1839 30 Aug. Grey, C. S.
Goulburn 1841-6 1841 8 Sept. Pemberton, C. R.
Wood 1846-52 1846 7 July Arbuthnot, G.
1850 15 Nov. Stephenson, W. H.
1851 12 Aug. Cole, J. H.
Disraeli 1852 1852 2 March Courtenay, T. P.
1852 18 Sept. Spearman, A. Y.
Gladstone 1852-5 1853 18 Jan. Lawley, Hon. F. C.
1853 18 Jan. Wilbraham, R. W.
Lewis 1855-8 1855 16 March Gordon, Sir A. C. D.
1857 9 Jan. Drummond, M.
Disraeli 1858-9 1858 22 March Earle, R. A.
1858 22 March Ryan, C. L.
1859 14 March Clay, F. E.
Gladstone 1859-66 1859 24 June Ryan, C. L.
1860 Jan. Stuart Wortley, Hon. J. F.
1865 20 May Gladstone, W. H.
1865 20 May Gurdon, W. B.
1865 13 July Gladstone, S. E.
Disraeli 1866-8 1866 14 July Lowry Corry, M. W.
1866 14 July Fremantle, C. W.
Hunt 1868 1868 5 March Murray, H. H.
Lowe 1868 1868 24 Dec. Wilson, C. R.


  • 1. 2nd Rept. of Treasury Committee of Enquiry into Fees 1837 (HC 1837 xliv), 357; M. S. Giuseppi, Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office, 2nd ed. (London 1963), i, 65.
  • 2. Legge, who was Principal Secretary to Walpole as Chancellor of the Exchequer, also assisted him with Treasury business.
  • 3. TM 20 Dec. 1806 (T 29/88 pp. 504-5); this salary, originally paid out of the special service fund, was transferred to the estimates by TM 24 March 1835 (T 29/363 pp. 461-2).
  • 4. TM 18 Sept. 1852 (AB, iii, 194).
  • 5. TM 22 March 1858 (T 29/270 p. 602). By TM 20 May 1865 each of Gladstone's Private Secretaries was given a salary of £150 (AB, iv, 184-5).