Catalogue description Lord Steward's Department: Ledgers

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Details of LS 3
Reference: LS 3
Title: Lord Steward's Department: Ledgers

This Lord Steward's Department series includes general ledgers, 1761 to 1781; ledgers of salaries paid, 1775 to 1782; and ledgers of the bills paid at the several royal residences, 1821 to 1851.

Barring the account of the cofferer (the officer of the Board of Green Cloth with responsibility for paying bills) and declared at the Exchequer, the general ledgers make up the department's main account for this period. They give ordinary expenditure (controlled by establishments, ie lists of fixed charges and allowances for all predictable items), and extraordinary (unpredictable) expenditure.

Ordinary accounts are by month, of bread, drinks, foodstuffs, wax, lamps, washing, dairy produce, coal, wood and other commodities and services. Disbursements to individual officers are noted, and these include officers of the chamber (ie the Lord Chamberlain's Department). They cover payment out for a variety of services, and also include travelling wages and boardwages. These were payments in lieu of food and drink allowances, whilst in attendance on household duties. The latter give name only, and amount, with no indication of where in the household the individual served.

Extraordinary accounts are denoted by creditor, but give totals only, with no further details. Like the detailed creditors for this period, they are divided into incidental, kitchen and household expenses. The incidental include items such as stationery, china and cartage costs; the kitchen comprise bread, meat, salt, herbs, items of the grocery, dairy and oilery, etc; the household also includes comestibles as above, as well as wax, tallow, washing expenses, coals, travelling wages etc.

Entries in these pieces are given separately for each relevant palace or residence. The name of the clerk in attendance at the Board is given, and at the end of each month a palace total and overall total are given. It should be noted that, where appropriate, the fees of the cofferer, his deputy and the Civil List are given.

Pieces regarding salaries and allowances give details by the quarter, according to the establishments, and are organised by office of the Department (eg kitchen, bakehouse, poultry, scullery etc) starting with the Board of Green Cloth. Both annual salary and quarterly payment are given.

Each account ends with a section of miscellaneous expenses, including pensions. Boardwages are given, but only for the chamber and the chapels royal. They are rendered quarterly, but, like the above, give the annual amount also. A total for household and pensions, for the chamber and for the chapels follows, with a grand total for all three.

Lastly, these pieces also include a creditor, of extraordinary allowances, and, again, it is arranged under the heads of household, incidental and kitchen, and accounted monthly. The palace or residence is given, and details of the individual concerned.

Pieces relating to bills paid at royal residences are not very detailed, and vary in both information given and detail. They give sundries and disbursements, some boardwages (again with no details) and travelling expenses, allowances to servants and salaries of extra servants. Some give named persons and commodity or service, and some only totals. They are quarterly renderings, by palace or residence. LS 3/10 is the most general, but does include information on gardens. Totals are given, with a few names only.

Date: 1761-1851
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 10 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure

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