Insight into the Work of the Clerks of the House of Lords: Some Case Studies during John Walker Senior's Occupancy of the Office of Clerk Assistant, 1670–80


  • Clyve Jones


During the occupancy of the office of clerk assistant in the house of lords by John Walker sr (1664–82) and his son John Walker jr (1682–1715) jottings appeared in the margins of the manuscript minutes (the preliminary stage of the Lords’ journal compiled each day on which the House sat). These jottings are concerned with the work that the clerks assistant performed as part of their ‘official’ duties, such as those concerned with the registering of proxy votes. But there are other jottings which indicate that the clerks were performing jobs for the individual members of the Lords, helping them in their own private affairs as well as helping the peers and bishops perform as lords of parliament. This article looks at the working of this system for the years 1670–80, its origins and why it ceased.