7 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

"Scrivener, usurer, and the last of the Clerks of the Court of Wards, d. 15 Nov. 1662, "infinitely rich": Richard Smyth, *Obituary*, p. 56. He is said to have been worth £400,000 at his death: see 'The way to be rich, according to the practice of the great Audley'(1662)...." L&M note, 23 Nov. 1662.

in Aqua Scripto  •  Link

Clerks of the Court of Wards
A very good living to be made from worthy young people that required some one to look after their interests [ being a ward of]
here be list of incomes at this site also this
Officers of Court of Wards.
The Question being propounded, That the Officers of the Court of Wards, whose Names are mentioned in the Report from the Committee, to whom the Case of the said Officers was referred, are fit (in Case the Bill pass for taking away the Court of Wards) to be taken into Consideration, for a Recompence for their respective Places, according to the Committee's Report;
And the Question being put, That the Question be now put;
It passed in the Negative.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 21 December 1660', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 8: 1660-1667 (1802), pp. 219-23. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…. Date accessed: 22 November 2005.

Terry F  •  Link

Court of Wards.
Resolved, upon the Question by the Parliament, That the Records lately belonging to the late Court of Wards, be transferred into the Court of Exchequer: And that Humfrey Salwey Esquire do take them into his Care and Custody, as well such as are already transferred into the said Court, as also all such Records, Evidences, and Writings, as remain in the Custody of Hugh Audley Esquire, as Clerk of the said late Court: Who is hereby required to deliver them accordingly, by Inventory, to be kept for the Benefit of the Publick: And that the said Mr. Salwey be authorized to deliver them out, as he shall receive Orders, from time to time, by any of the Courts of Justice sitting at Westminster.
Ordered, by the Parliament, That the Amendments to the Bill touching bringing in the Arrears of the late Court of Wards be reported on Thursday-sevennight.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 6: 14 March 1651', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 6: 1648-1651 (1802), pp. 548-49. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/…. Date accessed: 22 November 2005.

It appears the Court of Wards under Audley mat have engaged in accounting irregularities to the benefit of the guardian.

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Hugh Audley (baptised 13 January 1577 – 15 November 1662), also known as The Great Audley, was an English moneylender, lawyer and philosopher. Following his death, he was the feature of a popular 17th century pamphlet titled The way to be rich according to the practice of the Great Audley, which compared his humble beginnings to his ultimate fortune....After being admitted to the Inner Temple in 1603, he became a clerk of the Court of Wards and Liveries, a position for which he allegedly paid £3000, until it was abolished in 1660.[6] In his position, he became extremely rich, and survived a £100,000 loss after the court's suppression in 1646. However, all the money and records remained in his possession long after this event.
Through his wealth, Audley was able to buy and invest in land. He bought the manor of Ebury, in Westminster, from Lionel Cranfield, the first Earl of Middlesex. Deeply in debt, the Earl sold it cheaply, but had a negative opinion of Audley himself, whom he described as "barbarous", with "looks [that] show his disposition", and one who bore himself "loftily respectless and peremptory".[7] The property later passed through his great-grandniece, Mary Davies, wife of Sir Thomas Grosvenor. Her inheritance enriched the Grosvenor family through one of Audley's legacies, which still present today.

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

There is an old tract called "The way to be Rich, according to the Practice of the great Audley, who began with 200/. in 1605, and dyed worth 400,000/, November, 1662." London, printed for E. Davies, 1662.
---Diary and correspondence of Samuel Pepys, the diary deciphered by J. Smith. 1854.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link


Baptised in 1577, Hugh Audley started his career with £100 and died age 86 with a fortune of more than £400,000. He worked as a philosopher, a lawyer and a money lender - the latter making his wealth - and owned land across London’s Mayfair.
Mr Audley also bought property in south Norfolk, including Old Buckenham Castle, New Buckenham Castle and Tibenham Hall.
Known as The Great Audley, he had roads in central London named after him and became the sheriff of Norfolk.
Mr. Reed said a mourning ring is given as a memory of the person who made it.
“According to Audley’s will, he had 11 rings made in two different sizes - one to fit men and the other for women,” he said. “I haven’t heard that any of the others are in existence,”
Hugh Audley had no children of his own, the rings were passed down to his great-nephews - with one selling his share to the other.
The great-nephew then died aged 29 and left his entire fortune, including the rings, to his six-month-old baby daughter, Mary Davis.
Aged 12, Mary married Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet, Member of Parliament and ancestor of the current Dukes of Westminister.
The mourning ring is currently at the British Museum.

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