In a week when the Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented a Spring Statement/Budget I have been tracking down the Commissioners of Salt Duty appointed between 1702 and 1798.
A list was prepared in 2003 by JC Sainty and published by the Institute of Historical Research -http://www.history.ac.uk/publications/office/comms-salt
I have been trying to find out a bit more about their background, but found many have a very low web presence. If you can find links to any of the Commissioners please leave a comment.
The office was abolished on 28 June 1798.
I number of those I have found seem to have died without leaving male heirs, without children to inherit their lives seem to have been lost.
Some have interesting histories, such as JOHN MORTLOCK, the last to be appointed in the year the office was abolished.
John Mortlock (1755-1815) described the role of Commissioner of Salt Duty as 'a troublesome office of small value' and having been accused by his opponents as being corrupt his response, which is recorded on a blue plaque in Cambridge, was -
"without influence, which you call corruption, men will not be induced to support government, though they generally approve of its measures" the blue plaque qualifies this with "his bitterest political opponents never impeached his business honesty".
John Mortlock's bank in Cambridge eventually sold out Barclays in 1896.
THOMAS EVARARD joined from the Excise and published a book using his slide rule to guage barrels - https://archive.org/details/stereometryorar00evergoog
JOSHUA CHURCHILL committed suicide by cutting his throat at his home.
Two Commissioners had their portraits painted by Thomas Gainsborough.
Currently, still NO information at all about THOMAS SUTTON and THOMAS MILNER.
Currently, still no residence or grave for JOHN DANVERS, JAMES CARDONNEL, HUMPHREY GRIFFITH and LEWIS GEORGE SCHELE.
SCHELE was only a short appointment and later appears as a debtor in the Fleet Prison.
Any help would be appreciated......