clear space clear space clear space white space
 r c h i v e s   o f   M a r y l a n d   O n l i n e

PLEASE NOTE: The searchable text below was computer generated and may contain typographical errors. Numerical typos are particularly troubling. Click “View pdf” to see the original document.

  Maryland State Archives | Index | Help | Search
search for:
clear space
white space

Volume 662, Page 57   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
clear space clear space clear space white space


1678, however, they were cut to half their previous value. They
were further reduced by the fee act of 1719 and by the Inspection
Law of 1747. Certain additional fees, including one for the
drawing of ordinary licenses, were established by law as occasion
arose. In addition, to his fees each clerk received a commission for
collecting alienation fines and paying them to His Lordship's
Receiver General.

The county clerk paid his own assistants but was probably
allowed in the county levy for his paper, books, and writing
materials. A further expense was the purchase of his appoint-
ment from the Secretary and, at least after 1692, the payment to
that officer annually of a tenth of his gross revenue. 29

Despite these expenses, and a progressive reduction of fees,
this office became steadily more valuable as the population in-
creased. However, as the value of each clerkship depended on
the number of law suits and land transfers in that county, some
of them became more profitable than others. Thus in the two
first settled counties, St. Mary's and Calvert, the clerkships de-
clined in value after all land had been taken up. Meantime
those offices in the northern counties, which were later settled,
had become the more lucrative. 30

The average value of a county clerk's office in 1745 was about
£ 115 sterling a year. However, those of St. Mary's and Calvert
Counties brought in only about £ 80 each, while that of Baltimore
was worth £250 sterling. The clerkship of Frederick County,
organized in 1748, must have brought in yet more. 31 The county

29 These obligations of the county clerks are treated in more detail in our
chapter on the two Secretaries.

30 On conditions affecting the value of a county clerkship see Daniel Dulany,
" The Case of Mr. Dennis Dulany, " 1760 (Dulany Papers). According to Dulany,
Baltimore, Frederick, and Cecil Counties offered the most valuable clerkships. Those
of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties were the least valuable, and the others were
about alike.

31 An estimate of about 1745 (see note 15 above) values the county clerkships
at £ 115 each "but more in peace time, " and Gov. Sharpe, in his report to the
Board of Trade, Dec. 21, 1761, rates them conservatively at £ 80 to £ 200 sterling
(Archives, XXXII, 27). See also the dispute between Secretary Lawrence and
Cleborne Lomax, 1692, over the value of the Charles County clerkship (Ibid.,
VIII, 401-03). The sanguine Henry Callister may have overvalued the Dorchester
County office in 1746 when he rated it at 50, 000 pounds of tobacco, about £210
sterling (Callister Papers, I, 58). The income of the Baltimore County office, as
here quoted, is derived from the fee book of John Beale Bordley, clerk of that
county, for the years 1759 through 1761 (Bordley Papers).


clear space
clear space
white space

Please view image to verify text. To report an error, please contact us.

Volume 662, Page 57   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  

This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.

Tell Us What You Think About the Maryland State Archives Website!

An Archives of Maryland electronic publication.
For information contact

©Copyright  August 02, 2018
Maryland State Archives