Note on editorial method

Pages xiii-xiv

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

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Note on Editorial Method

This volume is designed to make available lists of the officials who served in the Treasury between the Restoration in May 1660 and the reorganisation of the establishment which was initiated in May 1870. The material is presented in four parts: an introduction, lists of appointments, periodic lists of officials and an alphabetical list of officials. The purpose of the introduction is to provide a short account of the institutional development of the Treasury during the period in order that the various offices and grades may be related to their general context. The lists of appointments give the dates of appointments to these offices and grades. They are preceded by introductory notes which bring together information concerning such matters as the method of appointment, remuneration and the relevant statutes and Treasury minutes. The periodic lists enable the complete establishment to be seen at selected dates.

The alphabetical list is not intended to be a biographical index. Its purpose is confined simply to providing summarised accounts of the offices held by each individual within the Treasury during the period. No information has been included unless it is directly relevant to this purpose. Thus dates of death are included only if the individual in question was in office at his death. Appointments to offices outside the Treasury have been ignored unless they occasioned, or can reasonably be held to have occasioned, the departure of the official from the Treasury. In general the accounts of the careers of the 'political' officials, the Treasurer, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Commissioners and the Secretaries, have been confined to a simple statement of their periods of service in these offices; information concerning resignations and retirements is provided only in the case of those holding 'permanent' offices. Where an individual held an additional office within the Treasury such as a private secretaryship, which was not directly related to the ordinary course of promotion, the details of his period of service in this additional office have been placed in a separate paragraph. A similar course has been adopted in the case of Chancellors of the Exchequer who were also Commissioners. The accounts of the careers of those who were in office in May 1870 have not been continued beyond this date.

All references have been concentrated in the alphabetical list except in the case of the Commissioners where they are included in the relevant list of appointments. Where printed calendars of manuscript material exist they have been used as authorities provided that the calendaring is sufficiently full. Peers and holders of courtesy titles have been indexed under their titles. In the case of changes of name or status, appropriate cross-references have been inserted. Unless otherwise noted, information concerning peers and baronets has been taken from the Complete Peerage (ed. G.E.C. 2nd ed. 13 vols. London 1910-59), the Complete Baronetage (ed. G.E.C. 5 vols. Exeter 1900-6) and Burke's Peerage.

Certain conventions have been adopted for dating appointments. The year is taken to have begun on 1 January throughout the period. In the case of those offices which were conferred by an instrument, whether this took the form of letters patent under the great seal, Treasury constitution or Treasury warrant, the date is that of the instrument. Where appointment was by Treasury minute, it is that of the minute. For reasons that are given in the relevant introductory notes these conventions have been modified in the cases of the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1782 and the First Lord from 1827. The task of determining the periods of service of the 'political' officials presents considerable difficulty particularly in the nineteenth century when their appointments were frequently canvassed in newspapers and elsewhere several days before the date of their formal entry into office. For the sake of consistency the latter date has been adopted throughout the period. All officials are taken to have remained in office until the appointment of their successors unless there is clear evidence to support the selection of an earlier date. Where there is no indication of the date of the appointment of an individual, his period of service is dated by reference to the time during which he received a salary or other remuneration or, failing this information, by reference to the earliest and latest date at which he is found occupying a particular office.