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William Lowndes

(1652—1724) Treasury official


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Lowndes was born 1 November 1652 at Winslow, Buckinghamshire to Elizabeth Fitz-William and Robert Lowndes (1619–1683). He died there on 20 January 1724 and was buried in the family vault at Winslow on 3 February. He was educated at the free school in Buckingham and in 1679, at the age of twenty-seven, entered the service of the Treasury. He thus began a slow progression through the ranks of public servants that formed the permanent staff of the Treasury. Following passage of the Treasury Commission by Charles II in 1667 and the subsequent Order in Council of 31 January 1668, the Treasury was increasingly able to exert primary control over government revenues, expenditures and borrowing. This required the development of a clerical establishment characterized by a hierarchy of Senior clerks, under-clerks and other officials responsible for the preparation of reports and accounts related to government financial activities. By the time of the accession of Queen Anne in 1702, the Treasury had supplanted Exchequer officials as the source of authoritative reports on government revenue and expenditure. In addition, the Treasury had acquired authority over a range of professional revenue boards, such as the Office of Taxes and the Commissioners of Excise, responsible for securing government revenues.

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From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.


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