Monday, August 02, 2010

Question from David - Comptroller of the Pipe Roll

My question literally begins in the Tudor era and runs to the Stuarts. My 10th gr-grandfather Robert Barham was appointed as Comptroller of the Pipe Roll, an Exchequer office, in 1596. Sources show him still in that position as late as 10 years later, though after that, I've no proof. The problem is the lack of any enumerations of office holders for that position, at least that I've been able to locate. Was this a lifetime appointment? He is known to have died in late 1630, which would mean 34 years of service in this capacity. He was in his 20s when first appointed, so it's not impossible.

I've seen several calendars of appointments for Wardrobe and Royal Household positions, but Exchequer, including Comptroller of the Pipe Roll, remains elusive. Can anyone help?


kb said...

The best I can suggest is that you search on the UK National Archives site in the Exchequer records (E178/E179?). For a fee they can scan and send you pdfs of the original documents if you know what you want. Of course, these documents will not be in modernized English.

Frequently these appointments were recorded in the patent rolls, or are mentioned in the patent rolls. The Elizabethan calendar of patent rolls is published by the List and Index Society.

1596 was a big year of office holder switches. As long as Robert's patron was in favor and he made no serious errors of judgement or behavior,he would most likely have kept his post indefinitely. He may have also passed it off to one of his own 'clients' if he was promoted.

Several of the late Elizabethan political players flourished during the early Stuarts. So it is possible he held the post till his death and perhaps jobbed out the detail work to a junior, or a son.

Good luck with your research.

Anonymous said...

Can get some details in google searches. 1596 was Elizabeth I. Lord Paget was Comptroller in 1618. James I came to the throne in 1603. My ancestor, George Blincoe is listed in his will dated 1633 as Comptroller, presumably for Charles I and after Paget

Anonymous said...

The famous writer and eccentric aristocrat Horace Walpole (1717-1797) also held that post -- quite a lucrative one I think. He held it 1738-to his death. (