Treasurer of Scotland
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The full title of the post was Lord High Treasurer, Comptroller, Collector-General and Treasurer of the New Augmentation, formed as it was from the amalgamation of four earlier offices. Of these, the Treasurer and Comptroller had originated in 1425 when the Chamberlain's financial functions were transferred to them. From 1466 the Comptroller had sole responsibility for financing the royal household to which certain revenues (the property) were appropriated, with the Treasurer being responsible for the remaining revenue (the casualty) and other expenditure. The Collector-General, created in 1562, handled the Crown's revenue from the thirds of benefices, and the Treasurer of the New Augmentation was responsible for the former church lands annexed to the Crown in 1587.
From 1581 Queen Elizabeth sent James VI an annual sum of money. In February 1599 the Privy Council declared that the Treasurer would administer this English subsidy, spending it on clothes for the royal family and the household of Prince Henry. In previous years the goldsmith Thomas Foulis and cloth merchant Robert Jousie accounted this money.
All four offices were held by the same person from 1610 onwards, but their separate titles survived the effective merging of their functions in 1635. From 1667 to 1682 the Treasury was in commission, and again from 1686 to 1708, when the separate Scottish Treasury was abolished. From 1690 the Crown nominated one person to sit in Parliament as Treasurer.
Originally a deputy to the Treasurer, the Treasurer-depute emerged as a separate Crown appointment by 1614. Its holder attended the Privy Council in the absence of the Treasurer, but gained independent membership of the Council in 1587 and sat in the Parliament of Scotland as a Great Officer of State in 1593 and from 1617 onwards.
List of Treasurers
The following have been identified as Treasurers of Scotland.
- Commissioner nominated to sit as Treasurer in Parliament.
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, vol. 1, (1877), xiv.
- John Duncan Mackie, Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 13, pt. 1 (Edinburgh, 1969), pp. 202-3.
- David Masson, Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1882), p. 521.
- Miles Kerr-Peterson & Michael Pearce, 'James VI's English Subsidy and Danish Dowry Accounts', Scottish History Society Miscellany XVI (Woodbridge, 2020), pp. 1-94.
- Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1851, pages 402-3.
- Genealogical Memoirs of the Family of Sir Walter Scott, Bt., with a reprint of the memorials of the Haliburtons by Charles Rogers, London, 1877, Haliburtons: p.15-16.
- The Complete Peerage. London: The St. Catherine Press. 1936. pp. 9:148.
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer, Vol. 1, (1877), xxvii n.6
Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer
The final audited accounts of the Lord High Treasurer were public records of Scotland. These survive as an almost complete record from 1473 to 1635 at General Register House in Edinburgh. The manuscripts were published between 1877 and 1978 in thirteen volumes covering up to 1580.
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1473–1498, vol. 1, HM General Register House, (Edinburgh, 1877).
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1506-1507, HM Register House, vol. 3 (Edinburgh, 1901)..
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1507-1513, HM Register House, vol. 4 (Edinburgh, 1902).
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1515-1531, HM Register House, vol. 5 (Edinburgh, 1903).
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1538-1541, HM Register House, vol. 7 (Edinburgh, 1907).
- Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, 1541-1546, HM Register House, vol. 8, (Edinburgh, 1908)
- Accounts of the Treasurer of Scotland, 1566–1574, vol. 12, Scottish Record Office, (1970)
- Accounts of the Treasurer of Scotland, 1574–1580, vol. 13, Scottish Record Office, (1978)