Audit Commissioners 1785-1867

A provisional list compiled by J C Sainty, February 2003

Introduction

In 1785 provision was made for a commission for auditing public accounts consisting of five members, three of whom were to be appointed by the crown by letters patent under the great seal and two of whom were to be the comptrollers of army accounts for the time being (Act 25 Geo. III c. 52). Accordingly the following comptrollers served as ex officio commissioners: Sir John Dick 1785-1802, William Molleson 1785-94, John Martin Leake 1794-1805 and John Erskine 1802-05. In 1805 the connection with the latter offices was severed and power was granted to appoint three additional commissioners (45 Geo. III c. 91). In 1806 the commission was remodelled and composed of ten commissioners including a chairman (46 Geo. III c. 141). One of the previous commissioners, Rouse Boughton, was retained and the three extra commissioners were advanced to full status. The number was progressively reduced over the years as a result of a failure to fill vacancies. Thus it fell to nine in 1809/10, to eight in 1810, to seven in 1813, to six in 1818 and to five in 1819 on the respective deaths of Jenkins, Moore, Deare, Eliot and Anstey.

In 1821 Rouse Boughton died and Praed and Sargent surrendered their positions. Of those appointed in 1806 only Dawkins and Whishaw remained. During the course of the year four new appointments were made bringing the total to six. In 1821 provision was made for the termination of the commission for auditing West Indian accounts and the appointment of one of its former members as a commissioner of public accounts (1 & 2 Geo. IV, c. 121, s. 13). Under this authority Chapman was appointed an additional commissioner, bringing the number up to seven. The same act provided that, for the future the number should be kept within a maximum of six (ibid. s. 14). The number was reduced to this level in 1824 when Jenkinson and Larpent were replaced by Osborn. There was a temporary vacancy between the death of Osborn in August 1848 and the appointment of Davis in May 1849. The number of commissioners declined to five in 1854 and to four in 1860 with the vacancies caused by the respective deaths of Grant and Ross. The commission terminated on 1 April 1867 when its functions were transferred to the comptroller and auditor general (29 & 30 Vict. c. 39; C 66/5030 no. 19).

The chairmanship was instituted in 1806. It is not clear how the appointment was made. Except in the cases of Praed (1806) and Dunbar (1865) the matter is not referred to in the letters patent. The chairmen were: Praed 1806-21, Stewart 1821-7, Larpent 1827-43, Herries 1843-54, Romilly 1854-65 and Dunbar 1865-7.

The tenure of the commissioners was during good behaviour.

In 1785 it was provided that ordinary commissioners should receive salaries of £1,000 and the comptrollers of army accounts £500 in addition to their regular salaries (25 Geo. III). Extra commissioners appear to have received no salary. In 1806 it was provided that the chairman should receive £1,500 and the other commissioners £1,200 (46 Geo. III).

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Chronological list of commissioners

  • 1785 Musgrave, Sir William, 6th Bart.
    Gt. 14 July 1785 (C 66/3820 no. 7); surr. 13 June 1799 (C 66/3961 no. 18).
  • 1785 Batt, John Thomas
    Gt. 14 July 1785 (C 66/3820 no. 7); vac. by 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14).
  • 1785 Martin Leake, John
    Gt. 14 July 1785 (C 66/3820 no. 7); surr. 15 Jan. 1794 (C 66/3898 no. 4).
  • 1794 Chamberlayne, William
    Succ. Martin Leake.
    Gt. 8 Mar. 1794 (C 66/3898 no. 4); d. 11 Nov.1799 (GM (1799), lxix(2), 1004).
  • 1799 Pole Carew, Reginald
    Succ. Musgrave.
    Gt. 4 July 1799 (C 66/3961 no. 18); surr. 26 26 June 1802 (C 66/4010 no. 16).
  • 1800 Rouse Boughton, Sir Charles William, 9th Bart.
    Succ. Chamberlayne.
    Gts. 6 Jan. 1800 (C 66/3966 no. 8), 11 Sept.1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); d. 26 Feb. 1821.
  • 1802 Bouverie, Hon. Bartholomew
    Succ. Pole Carew.
    Gt. 30 July 1802 (C 66/4010 no. 16); vac. by 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14).
  • 1806 Praed, William Mackworth
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); surr. by 19 Oct. 1821 (C 66/4238 no. 15).
  • 1806 Eliot, Francis Perceval
    Former additional commissioner.
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); d. 23 Aug. 1818 (DNB).
  • 1806 Dawkins, Richard
    Former additional commissioner.
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); surr. by 9 May 1822 (C 66/4245 no. 5).
  • 1806 Moore, Charles
    Former additional commissioner.
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); d. 8 Nov. 1810 (GM (1810), lxxx(2), 500).
  • 1806 Sargent, John
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); surr. by 19 Oct. 1821 (C 66/4238 no. 15).
  • 1806 Anstey, John
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); d. 25 Nov. 1819 (GM (1819), lxxxix(2), 569; DNB).
  • 1806 Whishaw, John
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); surr. 7 Jan. 1836 (C 66/4470 no. 17).
  • 1806 Deare, Philip
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); d. 16 May 1813 (GM (1813), lxxxiii(1), 591).
  • 1806 Jenkins, Lewis
    Gt. 11 Sept. 1806 (C 66/4057 no. 14); last occurs 1809 (Royal Kalendar (1809), p. 256).
  • 1821 Stewart, Hon. Edward Richard
    Gt. 1 May 1821 (C 66/4231 no. 19); surr. 21 Mar. 1827 (C 66/4318 no. 8).
  • 1821 Jenkinson, George
    Gt. 19 Oct. 1821 (C 66/4238 no. 15); d. 21 Mar. 1823 (GM (1823), xciii(1), 381).
  • 1821 Larpent, Francis Seymour
    Gt. 19 Oct. 1821 (C 66/4238 no. 15); surr. 21 Dec. 1823 (C 66/4266 no. 3).
  • 1821 Thornton, John
    Gt. 19 Oct. 1821 (C 66/4238 no. 15); surr. 7 Nov. 1826 (C 66/4313 no. 2).
  • 1822 Fownes Luttrell, Henry
    Succ. Dawkins.
    Gt. 9 May 1822 (C 66/4245 no. 5); surr. 9 Jan. 1849 (C 66/4856 no. 13).
  • 1822 Chapman, James
    Gt. 13 June 1822 (C 66/4246 no. 8); surr. 28 Mar. 1835 (C 66/4453 no. 5).
  • 1824 Osborn, Sir John, 5th Bart.
    Succ. Jenkinson and Larpent.
    Gt. 26 Jan. 1824 (C 66/4266 no. 3); d. 29 Aug. 1848 (C 66/4867 no. 12).
  • 1826 Arbuthnot, Henry
    Succ. Thornton.
    Gt. 7 Dec. 1826 (C 66/4313 no. 2); resigned by 2 May 1865 (C 66/5021 no. 15).
  • 1827 Larpent, Francis Seymour
    Succ. Stewart.
    Gt. 4 Apr. 1827 (C 66/4318 no. 8); surr. 28 Mar. 1843 (C 66/4683 no. 15).
  • 1835 Herries, Sir William Lewis, Knight
    Succ. Chapman.
    Gt. 1 Apr. 1835 (C 66/4453 no. 5); res. by 9 May 1854 (C 66/4985 no. 20).
  • 1836 Romilly, Edward
    Succ. Whishaw.
    Gt. 19 Feb. 1836 (C 66/4470 no. 17); res. by 2 May 1865 (C 66/5021 no. 15).
  • 1843 Grant, Sir Alexander Cray, 8th Bart.
    Succ. Larpent.
    Gt. 5 Apr. 1843 (C 66/4683 no. 15); d. 29 Nov. 1854 (DNB).
  • 1849 Ross, Charles
    Succ. Fownes Luttrell.
    Gt. 18 Jan. 1849 (C 66/4856 no. 13); d. 21 Mar. 1860 (GM (1860), cxlvi, 528).
  • 1849 Davis, Richard Vaughan
    Succ. Osborn.
    Gt. 11 May 1849 (C 66/4867 no. 12); vac. 1 Apr. 1867 (29 & 30 Vict. c. 39; C 66/5030 no. 19).
  • 1854 Maberley, William Leader
    Succ. Herries.
    Gt. 9 May 1854 (C 66/4985 no. 20); vac. 1 Apr. 1867 (29 & 30 Vict. c. 39; C 66/5030 no. 19).
  • 1865 Dunbar, Sir William, 7th Bart.
    Succ. Romilly.
    Gt. 2 May 1865 (C 66/5021 no. 15); vac. 1 Apr.
    1867 on appointment as comptroller and auditor general (C 66/5030 no. 19).
  • 1865 Macaulay, Charles Zachary
    Succ. Arbuthnot.
    Gt. 2 May 1865 (C 66/5021 no. 15); vac. 1 Apr. 1867 (29 & 30 Vict. c. 39; C 66/5030 no. 19).
  • 1867 Anderson, William George
    Gt. 2 Mar. 1867 (C 66/5030 no. 15); vac. 1 Apr. 1867 on app. as assistant comptroller and auditor general (ibid. no. 20).

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Additional Commissioners

  • 1805 Eliot, John Perceval
    Gt. 13 Nov. 1805 (C 66/4045 no. 9); app. Commissioner 11 Sept. 1806
  • 1805 Dawkins, Richard
    Gt. 13 Nov. 1805 (C 66/4045 no. 9); app. Commissioner 11 Sept. 1806
  • 1806 Moore, Charles
    Gt. 13 Nov. 1805 (C 66/4045 no. 9); app. Commissioner 11 Sept. 1806

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References

C 66
Chancery patent rolls
CTB
Calendar of Treasury Books
CTBP
Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers
DNB
Dictionary of National Biography
GM
Gentleman's Magazine
HP
History of Parliament
HRC
Historical Register (Chronicle)
RK
Royal Kalendar
T 53
Treasury: warrants relating to money
T 54
Treasury: warrants not relating to money

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