Sivut kuvina
PDF

hundred thousand pounds a year was the sum actually expended, but expended, as we have seen, to very little purpose. The cost of the French marine was nearly the same; the cost of the Dutch marine considerably more.‘

The charge of the English ordnance in the seventeenth century was, as compared with other military and naval charges, much smaller than at present. At most of the garrisons there were gunners; and here and there, at an important post, an engineer was to be formd. But there was no regiment of artillery, no brigade of sappers and miners, no college in which young soldiers could learn the scientific part of the art of war. The difliculty of moving field pieces was extreme. When, a few years later, William marched from Devonshire to London, the apparatus which he brought with him, though such as had long been in constant use on the Continent, and such as would now be regarded at Woolwich as rude and cumbrous, excited in our ancestors an admiration resembling that which the Indians of America felt for the Castilian harquebusses. The stock of gunpowder kept in the English forts and arsenals was boastfully mentioned by patriotic writers as something which might well impress neighbouring nations with awe. It amounted to fourteen or fifteen thousand barrels, about a twelfth of the quantity which it is now thought necessary to have in store. The expenditure under the head of ordnance was on an average a little above sixty thousand pounds a year.*

The ordnance.

* My information respecting 1684. Pepys’s “Memoirs re

the condition of the navy, at this time, is chiefly derived from Pepys. His report, presented to Charles the Second in May 1684, has never, I believe, been printed. The manuscript is at Magdalene College, Cambridge. At Magdalene College is also a valuable manuscript containing a detailed account of the maritime establish. ments of the country in December

lnting to the State of the Royal Navy for Ten Years, determined December 1688,” and his diary and correspondence during his mission to Tangier, are in print. I have made large use of them. See also Shefiield’s Memoirs, Teonge's Diary, Aubrey’s Life of Monk, the Life of Sir Cloudesley Shovel,1708, Commons’ Journals, March 1. and March 20. 1688.

The whole effective charge of the army, navy, and ordnance, was about seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds. The noneffective charge, which is now a heavy part of our public burdens, can hardly be said to have existed. A very small number of naval ofiicers, who were not employed in the public service, drew half pay. No Lieutenant was on the list, nor any Captain who had not commanded a ship of the first or second rate. As the country then possessed only seventeen ships of the first and second rate that had ever been at sea, and as a large proportion of the persons who had commanded such ships had good posts on shore, the expenditure under this head must have been small indeed.T In the army, half pay was given merely as a special and temporary allowance to a small number of oflicers belonging to two regiments, which were peculiarly situatedi Greenwich Hospital had not been founded. Chelsea Hospital was building: but the cost of that institution was defrayed partly by a deduction from the pay of the troops, and partly by private subscription. The King promised to contribute only twenty thousand pounds for architectural expenses, and five thousand a. year for the maintenance of the invalids.§ It was no part of the plan that there should be outpensioners. The whole noneffective charge, military and naval,

[ocr errors]

" Chamberlayne’s State of England, 1684; Commons’ Journals, March l. and March 20. 1683. In 1833, it was determined, after full enquiry, that a hundred and seventy thousand barrels of gunpowder should constantly be kept in store.

1' It appears from the records of the Admiralty, that Flag 095

cers were allowed half pay in 1668, Captains of first and second rates not till 1674.

IWarrant in the War Office Records, dated March 26. 1678.

§ Evelyn’s Diary, Jan. 27. 1682. I have seen a privy seal, dated May 17. 1683, which confirms Evelyn’s testimony.

can scarcely have exceeded ten thousand pounds a year. It now exceeds ten thousand pounds a day.

Of the expense of civil government only a small portion was defrayed by the crown. The Chmeofcim great majority of the functionaries whose “mum” business was to administer justice and preserve order either gave their services to the public gratuitously, or were remunerated in a manner which caused no drain on the revenue of the state. The sheriffs, mayors, and aldermen of the towns, the country gentlemen who were in the commission of the peace, the headboroughs, bailiffs, and petty constables, cost the King nothing. The superior courts of law were chiefly supported by fees.

Our relations with foreign courts had been put on the most economical footing. The only diplomatic agent who had the title of Ambassador resided at Constantinople, and was partly supported by the Turkey Company. Even at the court of Versailles England had only an Envoy; and she had not even an Envoy at the Spanish, Swedish, and Danish courts. The whole expense under this head cannot, in the last year of the reign of Charles the Second, have much exceeded twenty thousand pounds)"

In this frugality there was nothing laudable. Charles was, as usual, niggardly in the G _

. . rent gums of wrong place, and mumficent 1n the wrong gamutsmund place. The public service was starved ' that courtiers might be pampered. The expense of the navy, of the ordnance, of pensions to needy old oflicers, of missions to foreign courts, must seem small indeed to the present generation. But the personal favourites of the sovereign, his ministers, and the creatures of those ministers, were gorged with public

" James the Second sent En- more than 30,000]. a year. See voys to Spain, Sweden, and the Commons’ Journals, March Denmark; yet in his reign the 20. 1685. Chamberlayne's State diplomatic expenditure was little of England, 1684', 1687.

money. Their salaries and pensions, when compared with the incomes of the nobility, the gentry, the commercial and professional men of that age, will appear enormous. The greatest estates in the kingdom then very little exceeded twenty thousand a year. The Duke of Ormond had twenty-two thousand a year)“ The Duke of Buckingham, before his extravagance had impaired his great property, had nineteen thousand six hundred a year.1' George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, who had been rewarded for his eminent services with immense grants of crown land, and who had been notorious both for covetousness and for parsimony, left fifteen thousand a year of real estate, and sixty thousand pounds in money which probably yielded seven per centi These three Dukes were supposed to be three of the very richest subjects in England. The Archbishop of Canterbury can hardly have had five thousand a year.§ The average income of a temporal peer was estimated, by the best informed persons, at about three thousand a year, the average income of a baronet at nine hundred a year, the average income of a member of the House of Commons at less than eight hundred a year.“ A thousand a year was thought a large revenue for a barrister. Two thousand a year was hardly to be made in the Court of King’s Bench, except by the crown lawyers.‘ It is evident, therefore, that an official man would have been well paid if he had received a fourth or fifth part of what would now be an adequate stipend. In fact, however, the stipends of the higher class of oflicial men were as large as at present, and not seldom larger. The Lord Treasurer, for example, had eight thousand a year, and, when the Treasury was in commission, the junior Lords had sixteen hundred a year each. The Paymaster of the Forces had a poundage, amounting, in time of peace, to about five thousand a year. on all the money which passed through his hands. The Groom of the Stole had five thousand a year, the Commissioners of‘ the Customs twelve hundred a year each, the Lords of the Bedchamber athousand a year each.1' The regular salary, however, was the smallest part of the gains of an official man of that age. From the noblemen who held the white staff and the great seal, down to the humblest tidewaiter and gauger, what would now be called gross corruption was practised without disguise and without reproach. Titles, places, commissions, pardons, were daily sold in market overt by the great dignitaries of the realm; and every clerk in every department imitated, to the best of his power, the evil example.

" Carte’s Life of Ormond.

1' Pepys’s Diary, Feb. 14. 166 . 1 See the Report of the Bath and Montague case, which was decided by Lord Keeper Somers, in December 1693.

§ During three quarters of a year, beginning from Christmas

1689, the revenues of the see of Canterbury were received by an oflicer appointed by the crown. rl'hat oflicer’s accounts are now in the British Museum. (Lans

downe M85. 885.) The gross revenue for the three quarters was not quite four thousand pounds; and the difi'erence be— tween the gross and the net revenue was evidently something considerable.

" King's Natural and Political Conclusions. Davenant on the Balance of Trade. Sir W. Temple says. “ The revenues of a House of Commons have seldom exceeded four hundred thousand pounds.” Memoirs, Third Part.

During the last century no prime minister, how ever powerful, has become rich in office; and several prime ministers have impaired their private fortune in sustaining their public character. In the seventeenth century, a statesman who was at the head of affairs might easily, and without giving scandal, accumulate in no long time an estate amply sufficient to support a dukedom. It is probable that the in_

" Langton’s Conversations 27. 1689 ; Chamberlayne's State with Chief Justice Hale, 1672. of England, 1684.

T Commons’ Journals, April VOL. I. I

« EdellinenJatka »