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Volume 662, Page 102   View pdf image (33K)
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WHAT THEN were these offices worth ? We must compute their
value, not in terms of revenue alone, but in terms too of their
trouble, risk, and tenure. For an incumbent, preferring to diversify
his interests, would not, if he could help it, expend all his time,
or risk much of his estate, in any single field. Thus an office like
the shrievalty, with a high income but held for a limited term and
entailing trouble and risk, was less valuable than the county
clerkships and naval and customs offices, which though less lucra-
tive were practically tenable for life and could be executed by

The most profitable offices were the chief executive's place,
normally worth well over £ 2000 a year; the Deputy Secretaryship,
Commissaryship General, proprietary Agency, and Land Office,
with incomes varying in the eighteenth century from £ 300 to
£700 sterling; the shrievalties, often worth £300 a year; the
provincial and county clerkships, the Treasurerships, the Naval
Offices and Collectorships, earning from less than £ 100 up to
£ 250 or £ 300 annually. Smaller incomes rewarded the Attorney
General, Currency Commissioners, Surveyors and Examiner Gen-
eral, Rent Roll Keepers, and Surveyors and Comptrollers of
Customs. The provincial Armourer, the Clerks of Indictments,
Deputy Commissaries, and Deputy Surveyors had as a rule very
limited revenues.

In point of trouble and attendance the Commissaryship General,
the shrievalty, and the farmerships were least desirable, for each
made great demands on the incumbent. The proprietary Agency
entailed the keeping of elaborate accounts and a correspondence
with all those officers, high and low, who administered Lord
Baltimore's revenues. The Rent Roll Keeper, after 1733, had
somewhat similar duties, while the Examiner General had to
inspect and sign all certificates of survey. Attorney's offices,
requiring the prosecution of offenders and certain kinds of debtors,
prevented the incumbent's defending criminals. Deputy surveyor-
ships, difficult and fatiguing offices, required careful training,



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Volume 662, Page 102   View pdf image (33K)
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