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.
Solicitors and Assistant Solicitors 1660-1870
There were formerly two distinct offices of Solicitor of the Treasury. (fn. 1) The first, known as that of Solicitor for negotiating and looking after the affairs of the Treasury, dated from the Restoration. The duties of the office were defined in 1661. (fn. 2) From the time of the establishment of the second solicitorship in 1696 they were confined to business outside Westminster Hall. (fn. 3) Probably from 1716 and certainly from 1744 the office was a sinecure. (fn. 4) It was abolished in 1800. (fn. 5) From 1675 until the abolition of the office the Solicitor received a salary of £200. (fn. 6) From time to time he was assisted by a deputy or assistant but this was not a regular appointment and, except in the case of P. Burton (1685-9), it received only a limited degree of official recognition.
The office of the second Solicitor, known as that of Solicitor for the affairs of the Treasury, was established in 1696. The division of duties between the two Solicitors made in that year assigned to this office the business in Westminster Hall. (fn. 7) Probably from 1716 its holder was the sole effective Solicitor and conducted all Treasury business. In 1786 it was his function to undertake work for the Secretaries of State and the Attorney General as well. (fn. 8) In the early nineteenth century he began to be employed by other government agencies and in 1842 he was made directly responsible for the work of thirteen departments in addition to the Treasury. (fn. 9)
A regular salary was attached to this office from 1700. Beginning at £500, it was increased in 1755 to £1000. (fn. 10) In 1794 it was further increased to £2000 and at the same time certain earlier allowances were discontinued and the Solicitor was forbidden to engage in private practice without the consent of the Board. (fn. 11) In the early nineteenth century he made charges for work undertaken for departments outside his immediate responsibility. Later he was accorded an annual allowance of £850 for these services in addition to his basic salary. (fn. 12) In 1851 the salary was fixed at £2000. In 1866 it was provided that it should rise after five years to £2500. (fn. 13)
Although the position of assistant to the second Solicitor was recognised between 1722 and 1730 it was not until 1746 that it was established on a regular basis. It was discontinued in 1794 but revived in 1811. (fn. 14) The salary paid to the Assistant Solicitor from 1722 to 1730 was £200. In 1746 it was fixed at £100. It was increased to £250 in 1766 and to £400 in 1781. (fn. 15) In 1811 it was fixed at £1200 rising after five years to £1500. Until 1842 the Assistant Solicitor received an additional allowance of £400 for work undertaken for departments outside the immediate responsibility of the office. (fn. 16)
Originally the Solicitor was entirely responsible for the employment of such clerical and other assistance as he required. From 1806 he was served by a permanent establishment of subordinate officials paid out of public funds. These subordinate officials have not been included in the lists. (fn. 17)
LISTS OF APPOINTMENTS
Solicitors (I) (fn. 18)