Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1, Treasury Officials 1660-1870. Originally published by University of London, London, 1972.
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At the Restoration the Treasury had nominally at its disposal the four Messengers of the Receipt and the Messenger of the Chamber. These officials appear usually to have exercised their functions by deputy and to have failed to provide an adequate service. As a result the Treasury was obliged to employ additional Messengers. At first these were not fixed in number but from 1689 to 1714 there were two receiving salaries which finally became fixed at £20, one paid out of the civil list and the other out of the secret service. The recipient of the former was usually the deputy Messenger of the Chamber while the post to which the latter was attached appears to have been the same as that known after 1714 as the office of Bag Carrier.
Between 1714 and 1793 the salaries of several of the subordinate staff were carried on the civil list. Apart from those attached to the posts of Office Keeper, Bag Carrier, Bookranger and Messenger of the Chamber, a varying number of such salaries were made available for Letter Carriers or Messengers. Beginning at one in 1729 they were increased to two in 1736, to three in 1758 and to five in 1772. (fn. 1) The salaries themselves, originally £20, were raised to £40 in 1736 and to £50 in 1780. (fn. 2) While they had at first been intended for working Messengers, the salaries came in the course of time to be attached to the offices of the four Messengers of the Receipt and the deputy Doorkeeper who regarded them simply as additional perquisites. (fn. 3)
In 1793 these salaries were discontinued and provision was made for the employment of a distinct body of Messengers for deliveries paid at a weekly rate out of the fee fund. (fn. 4) These Messengers were at first four in number. They were increased to five in 1809, to six in 1817 and to seven in 1824. They were reduced to five in 1831. (fn. 5) The employment of a Messenger by the Revenue Department was authorised in 1809 and from 1822 a former Office Keeper was retained on the establishment as an extra Messenger. (fn. 6) The remuneration of these Messengers was originally fixed at £1 1S a week. This was raised to £1 5s in 1799 and to £1 7s in 1803. (fn. 7)
From at least 1771 it was also the practice to employ Messengers who were paid weekly out of the incidents. In 1786 there were three such Messengers, two of whom were attached to the Joint Secretaries on a permanent basis. (fn. 8) In 1806 the Assistant Secretary was authorised to appoint a Messenger. (fn. 9) In 1808 the remuneration of the Messengers to the Secretaries was fixed at £100 a year each. (fn. 10)
In 1835 a comprehensive reorganisation of the subordinate staff took place. They were integrated into a unified structure, placed under the supervision of the Office Keeper and divided into three classes. Provision was made for a first class of three consisting of the Messenger of the Registry, the Messenger of the Chamber and the Doorkeeper with salaries of £120 each; a second class of six Messengers for deliveries with salaries of £100 each from whom were selected the three Messengers to the Secretaries who received additional allowances of £20 while serving as such; and a third class of four Messengers for deliveries with salaries of £85 each. (fn. 11) In 1842 a temporary increase of one in each class took place when the three Messengers attached to the office of Paymaster of Civil Services were absorbed into the structure. In 1853 the first class was increased to four to accommodate the Bookranger. In 1856 it was further increased to five on the appointment of a Superintendent of the Messengers on the upper floor of the Treasury. (fn. 12)
In 1868 the subordinate staff was again reorganised. The post of Messenger of the Chamber was recognised as an office distinct from the other Messengers. Provision was made for the first class of Messengers to consist of four-the Superintendent of the Upper Floor, the Messenger of the Paper Room (Registry), the Bookranger and the Doorkeeper-with a salary scale of £120 rising by annual increments of £5 to £130; for the second class to consist of five Messengers for deliveries with a scale of £100 rising by annual increments of £2 10s to £110; and for the third class to consist of three Messengers for deliveries with a scale of £85 rising by annual increments of £2 10s to £100. The Messengers to the Secretaries were to be selected from the second or third class and to receive an additional £20 while serving as such. (fn. 13)