Little is said of the town clerk in the medieval records of the town, but it seems that he was the keeper of the town’s records and fulfilled some legal and administrative functions. The duties overlapped with those of the recorder, and it may have been that in the early medieval period the same person executed the offices of both posts before charters distinguished their roles. In the 18th century this officer was still sometimes referred to as town’s solicitor, or clerk to the council, and many of the town’s financial matters were entrusted to him. The clerk received no specific salary at this time, his remuneration being left either to the discretion of the corporation or to his own devices. Before the Municipal Reform Act of 1835 the town clerk was appointed by the mayor, recorder, aldermen and other council members. After the 1835 Act he was still appointed by this body, but could no longer be a member of the council.


Further reading:
History of Southampton, by Rev. J. S. Davies, p186-189. (HS/h)
The Book of Remembrance of Southampton, vol. 1, by H W Gidden (ed), xix-xx. (HS/l)


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