MARRIOTT, Reginald (d. 1730), of Parson’s Green, Fulham, Mdx.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
m. lic. 23 May 1690, Anne Bentham, 1s.
Second clerk and sol. to commrs. of hackney coaches 1688; dep.-auditor of fee farm rents, Lancs., Westmld., Cumb., Salop, Staffs., Herefs., Worcs., Northants., Rutland, Warws., Leics. 1689–1701, auditor 1702–16; dep.-auditor, city of London by 1690; under-teller to receiver-gen. of excise 1 June–30 Sept. 1697; auditor of St. Paul’s by 1711.1
A minor official, Marriott came to public notoriety through his connexion with John Knight I*, who had obtained for him in June 1697 the post of under-teller to the receiver of excise, Bartholomew Burton. Shortly afterwards, Marriott was persuaded by Knight and Burton to participate in a lucrative fraud. Exchequer bills to the value of £7,000 were purchased at 10 per cent discount and then falsely endorsed by Marriott as having been used to pay taxes. Such bills were redeemable at the Exchequer for their face value. Rather unwisely, he repeated the procedure on a £100 bill on behalf of a personal friend, and the fraud was discovered. Marriott was summoned before the Treasury lords on 21 Sept. 1697 and two days later committed to Newgate. He was out on bail a week later, but by this time the trustees for Exchequer bills had launched their own full-scale investigation. Knight and Burton promised Marriott an office of £500 p.a. plus an annuity of equal value on condition that he should take all the blame upon himself. On 12 and 13 Oct. Marriott therefore made a false confession to the lords of the Treasury. It was suspected, however, that he was covering up for others. He was recommitted to Newgate and scheduled for prosecution in the court of King’s bench. After 11 days he was bailed for £6,000, arranged by Burton and Knight, whose guilt in the frauds had been revealed by further investigation. James Vernon I* now wrongly believed that Marriott and his co-conspirators would flee overseas. The Commons commenced its own investigation on 4 Jan. 1698, whereupon Marriott abandoned any further attempt to shield Burton and Knight, making a full confession of his share, both in the false endorsement of the bills, and in the attempted cover-up. He did not obtain an immediate pardon, however. Instead he was ordered into the custody of the serjeant-at-arms, and then discharged on 12 May with the benefit of an accompanying address from the House for a royal pardon. Vernon informed the House on 4 June that the King had agreed to this request.2
Further improprieties came to light in May 1701, when Marriott was cited in the articles of impeachment against Lord Somers (Sir John*), the former lord chancellor. Somers had made use of inside information from Marriott, as a deputy auditor, to obtain royal grants of various undisposed fee farm rents. Marriott and his principal accomplice, John Digby, clerk to the trustees for the sale of fee farm rents, had received their reward in the form of grants from Somers to the value of £500 p.a. Somers admitted the substance of the charge but averted any prosecutions by denying that the transactions were illegal. In 1698 Marriott had also used his position as auditor of fee farm rents to obtain the lease of some lucrative lead mines in Yorkshire. His tenure was unsuccessfully challenged in the courts by Lord Wharton (Hon. Thomas*) in 1708.3
Marriott was returned as a Tory for Weymouth at a by-election in 1711, with the support of Lord Weymouth (Thomas Thynne†). He voted against the French commerce bill on 18 June 1713, being classed as a ‘whimsical’. He contested Weymouth in 1713, lost at the poll but was seated the following year on petition. He stood down in 1715, thereafter confining himself to local affairs in Fulham, where he now lived. He served as a j.p. in 1723 and as a church vestryman in 1729. He died in 1730, administration of his estate being given to his son on 21 Aug.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Authors: Paula Watson / David Wilkinson
- 1. Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 1915; ix. 1012; xi. 255; xiii. 174; CJ, xii. 26; HMC Lords, ii. 321; HMC Kenyon, 355.
- 2. CSP Dom. 1697, pp. 436–7, 462, 464, 470; 1698, pp. 11, 41, 178, 184, 295; Cal. Treas. Bks. xii. 78, 79–82; xiii. 4, 5, 9–11, 11–12, 13, 20, 22–23, 28, 31–32, 33, 113; Vernon–Shrewsbury Letters, i. 407–8; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 282, 284–5, 295, 299, 311, 318–19, 327–8, 330–1, 333, 361, 379; Life of Halifax (1715), 50.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 257, 339; ix. 334; xx. 176; xxii. 47, 445; xxiii. 7; Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 1274; Luttrell, vi. 300–1, 315, 319; R. Fieldhouse and B. Jennings, Hist. Richmond and Swaledale, 201; HMC Downshire, i. 858.
- 4. C. J. Feret, Fulham Old and New, i. 154, 171; PCC admon. Aug. 1730.