2 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Thomas King (d. 1688). M.P. for Harwich Jan.-Apr. 1659, 1661-Jan. 79. Notorious for his corruption -- in the Fishery business, as hearth-tax assessor and as M.P.

L&M Companion

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Thomas King MP's Parliamentary bio has this information about Samuel Pepys' report on the Royal Fisheries, and Mr. King:

In 1664-5 Samuel Pepys prepared a highly critical report on the finances of the Royal Fishery.
Only £1,076 of the voluntary subscription had been paid in, but more had been collected, of which Thomas King MP retained £429 and the Earl of Pembroke, the nominal governor, a considerable sum.

According to Pepys, instead of handing over the money, Thomas King MP had ‘insinuated in his accounts’ that he had assigned to the Fishing Company the lease of his house in Harwich, which was said to be worth £700.

‘It may be fit’, wrote Pepys, ‘to inquire whether this house was not long ago otherwise disposed of by him, and is since fallen to his Majesty and now actually employed by the officers of the navy in his Majesty’s service.’

Pepys also drew attention to another instance whereby Thomas King MP was defrauding the Company, and finally suggested improved methods of collection and accounting.4

4. PC2/56/25; Pepys Diary, 10, 25 Oct. 1664; CJ, viii. 390, 399; Cal. Cl. SP, v. 217, 219, 234; VCH Essex, ii. 286-7; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 338; CSP Dom. 1661-2, pp. 477, 499; J. R. Elder, Royal Fishery Companies, 103-4.

For more about the rascal who appears to have been on the take for years, and somehow qualified for secret payments from Charles II after he could no longer get elected, see

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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