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Volume 662, Page 38   View pdf image (33K)
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38 HIS LORDSHIP'S PATRONAGE

actually received the license fines only from June, 1717, to
October, 1727, and from April, 1735, to June, 1740. Over Balti-
more's protest the Assembly appropriated them in supply acts of
1740, 1746, and 1756. Ten years later, on the advice of Governor
and Council, the proprietor expressly abandoned this claim. 37 By
a law of June, 1768, the Assembly then applied these fines to
defraying the public charge; and under this disposition they con-
tinued until 1780.

Sir Thomas Lawrence had valued the fines at about £ 150 sterl-
ing a year, but they were probably worth much less. County
courts would fail to take good security for their payment, and
the tobacco was often of poor quality. Moreover it lay dispersed
in the several counties and had to be collected by the sheriffs.
According to Governor and Council the fines produced a net
income of about £ 63 sterling a year from 1703 to 1708. 38 They
doubtless brought in somewhat more in the second proprietary
period.

If we assume that Sir Thomas had a salary of £ 200 and rate
the license fines at £ 70 a year, then the full net income of the
Secretary in England, reckoned in sterling, was as follows:

£ 200 per year 1706 through 1716

270 per year 1717 through 1727

200 per year 1728 through 1732

100 per year 1733 and 1734

170 per year 1735 through 1740

100 per year 1741 through 1751

450 per year 1752 and 1753

500 per year 1754 only and

650 per year 1755 through 1775

If again we recall that from 1715 through 1732 this revenue
was divided between joint incumbents, it will appear that the
office was not one of great value until the appointment of Cecilius
Calvert late in 1751. Thereafter the Principal Secretary's influence
was so great that he could obtain a much augmented income at
his appointment and could substantially increase it in later years.

37 Calvert Papers, II, 239, 251; Archives, XXXII, 143-47; XIV, 308, 327-28,
354. For a more detailed treatment of the ordinary license fines as a political
issue see Mereness, op. cit., 353-60, and Barker, op. cit., passim.

38 Archives, XXV, 247-8; Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1708-09, art. 131.


 

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