NEALE, Thomas (1641-99), of Portugal Street, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Mdx. and Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



14 Feb. 1668 - Jan. 1679
Mar. 1679 - Jan. 1681
1685 - 1687
28 Dec. 1689 - 1690
1690 - 11 Feb. 1699

Family and Education

bap. 3 Oct. 1641, o. s. of Thomas Neale of Warnford by Lucy, da. of Sir William Uvedale†, of Wickham, Hants.  educ. ?Winchester; Clare, Camb. 1656; L. Inn 1672.  m. 20 June 1664 (with £120,000), Elizabeth (d. 1683), da. of Sir John Garrard, 2nd Bt., of Lamer Park, Wheathampstead, Herts., wid. of Sir Nicholas Gould, 1st Bt.†, 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. by 1648.1

Offices Held

FRS 1664.

Freeman, E. I. Co. 1666; asst. R. Adventurers into Africa 1670–1; asst. Tapestry Makers’ Co. 1691; cttee. R. Fishery Co. [I] 1691; dep.-gov. Mines Co. 1693.2

Sheriff, Hants 1666–7; freeman, Winchester 1666, Lymington 1667, Portsmouth 1668.3

Commr. inquiry into the Mint 1677–8; groom porter 1678–d.; groom of bedchamber 1679–85; commr. for Mint 1684–6, master 1686–d.; postmaster in America 1691–9; commr. Million Fund 1694–d., transfer office for annuities under salt duty 1694–d.; manager, malt duty lottery 1697–d.4


By the Revolution Neale had established a reputation as a tireless and ingenious speculator and as a compliant placeman, characteristics united in the office with which he was most closely associated in the public mind, that of groom porter, responsible for the supervision of gaming at court. An inveterate gamester himself, he helped devise ‘a new sort of table to be played on with balls’, and a novel kind of dice, known as ‘the mathematics’, intended to eliminate cheating. The acquisition of a court place, with a modest salary (£600 p.a.) but lucrative perquisites arising from his authority to license gaming houses, subsequently augmented by the acquisition of the mastership of the Mint, had gone some way to restoring his fortunes after an early round of financial speculations, notably a disastrous venture into brewing, had almost ruined him and had among other things forced the sale of his Hampshire estate. ‘Golden Neale’, a sobriquet earned by his brilliant marriage, had become the ‘brazen groom porter’. Far from being cured of his mania for ‘projects’, he had then begun again with renewed vigour, backing inventions, developing property on a large scale at Shadwell and at Tunbridge Wells, and organizing the provision of piped water and street lighting in and around London. The possession of government office gave some financial security, and, more important perhaps, the contacts and influence with which his persuasive tongue could attract investment from City financiers. He therefore rallied quickly to the Williamite regime in 1688–9, and with the help of a royal grant of a lease of rents of assize at Stockbridge, found a seat there in the Convention. But being over £4,500 in debt, political and financial anxieties persisted, and during 1689 he seems to have put in, unsuccessfully, for the vacant governorship of Jamaica.5

In the 1690 election Neale turned back to Ludgershall, where, though he no longer enjoyed the support of a proprietorial interest (his former patrons, the Brownes, having lost their influence at the Revolution) his willingness to spend money carried him through. Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) listed him as a Whig and probably as a Court supporter too in March, and he was also named in a list of Court adherents of about the same date, but he was not a particularly active Member in the first or second sessions of this Parliament. The question which most engaged his interest was one with which he was professionally concerned, the export of gold and silver bullion, against which the London goldsmiths petitioned in April. He submitted a paper to the committee of inquiry, arguing that exports should be discouraged rather than simply banned, by means of a devaluation which would make exportation unprofitable, and he was added to the committee on 8 May when its first report was recommitted. Then on 11 Oct. 1690 he presented a bill to discourage exports and encourage imports of bullion, along the lines he had formerly suggested, chairing the committee of the whole upon it and carrying the bill to the Lords on 17 Nov. When his bill was attacked in a paper presented to the Upper House the following month, he defended it with his Remarks on a Late Paper Given into the Lords (1690), the first of many occasions in which he employed the printed broadsheet as a means to publicize his views. He was a teller on 26 Dec. against calling in counsel on a bill to charge the estate of the late Lord Justice Jeffreys with the sum of £14,760, paid by the former Whig MP Edmund Prideaux for a pardon from charges connected with Monmouth’s rebellion. Carmarthen included Neale in a list of supporters compiled in December, probably in response to rumours of an intended attack in the Commons on his ministerial position, while Robert Harley’s* analysis of the Commons in April 1691 also placed Neale on the Court side. It was during the autumn of 1690 that Neale began an extraordinary and prolonged bombardment of ministers with petitions of all kinds, for patents, monopolies, leases, concessions and other privileges from the crown. Between October 1690 and July 1693 he received grants of wrecks off the West Indies, the south coast of England and the west of Ireland; mines in America (yet to be discovered); patents for new processes to manufacture verdigris, steel-wire and cloth, and (in Ireland) leather; a patent for a postal service in the West Indies and America; and lands in Middlesex on which he began the Seven Dials development. He was also included in the newly established Irish Fisheries’ and Tapestry Makers’ Companies, in both of which he had been a moving spirit. But these successful petitions were far outnumbered by the unsuccessful, the catalogue of which included applications for leases of lands; grants of wrecks; patents for a waterworks in Southwark and street-lights in Dublin, an office to register porters in London, and new industrial processes for paper-making, glass-joining and lead-casting; the right to collect escheats of estates in America and to prosecute interlopers in the East India and Africa trades; a monopoly of taking up Thames sand; and even the lordship of Denbigh, eventually granted by King William to his favourite Portland, which Neale sought on the pretext of working lead mines. The scale and variety of these projects demonstrates not only his frenetic energy and restless appetite for financial speculation, but an opportunism and eclecticism in economic interests which was in due course to be reflected in his contribution to parliamentary debates on public revenue. Many of Neale’s schemes involved the exploitation of existing sources of wealth – mines, shipwrecks, even uncollected crown revenues – rather than wealth-creation through industry or trade, and where he did seek to involve himself in manufacture it was generally through the acquisition of a government-protected monopoly to develop technical innovations made by others. What he himself brought to each enterprise was finance, privileged access to royal and ministerial favour, and an insatiable capacity for taking risks.6

In the 1691–2 session, Narcissus Luttrell’s parliamentary diary reveals that Neale made extensive contributions to supply debates. On 6 Nov. 1691, in the first meeting of the committee of supply, he moved for an immediate settlement of the sum, at ‘not exceeding four millions’, before opposition Members could insist upon a scrutiny of estimates, and later, on 15 Dec., when the committee was discussing the army establishment, he seconded a Court motion for an increase in the number of officers. His own pet scheme for raising revenue was a salt tax, a proposal which was almost certainly not of his originating, for in 1695 one John Draper complained to the Treasury that Neale had stolen the idea from him, after promising to ‘keep it secret’. It was aired first in ways and means on 6 Jan. 1692, and reiterated six days later, but without attracting sufficient support. Though Neale was careful to prescribe a differential rate for imported salt, he regarded as the principal virtue of the tax the fact that it would be paid by the entire population and could therefore be spread thinly: it would ‘raise a great sum and not be felt’. He spoke three times in the lengthy debate in ways and means on 18 Jan.: first, for adding a clause to the bill establishing a commission of accounts in order to empower the commissioners to take an account of the bankers’ debt, which, he was convinced, would turn out to be ‘not half so much as is pretended’; secondly, to propose a tax of ‘two per cent on all money out at interest and in stock’; and finally to oppose Henry Goldwell’s motion for an excise to be levied on commodities either at their place of manufacture or point of importation, which, he said, would be ‘a downright excise’. During debates on the poll tax bill on 19 Jan. he supported the suggestion made by Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. II, for raising a fund for a ‘perpetual interest’, declaring it to be ‘a very good project’, and repeatedly sought to bring small tradesmen within the scope of the bill, a reflection of what appear to be two consistent principles in his approaches to taxation: that the burden should be spread as far as possible across the social order, and that land should not bear a disproportionate share. To begin with he moved ‘that all who have trades and hang out signs shall pay 20s. as a gentleman’. This was subsequently modified to a proposal that ‘every tradesman, shopkeeper and artificer having an estate of the clear value of £300 or upwards do pay the sum of 10s. quarterly’, with a proviso implicitly excluding ‘farmers’. When, in another committee on the bill on 21 Jan., Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Bt., put forward the motion that peers might be subjected to higher rates according to their titles, Neale joined Sir Robert Sawyer in advocating a compromise, whereby ‘everyone of the degree of baron or above should pay £10 a quarter’: ‘this is but proportionable’, they argued, for there was no differentiation to be made between commoners, ‘a plain gentleman’ paying no less than ‘a baronet of great estate’. Two days later, at the report, he made a last effort to secure a clause ‘that all money out on interest might be charged in the bill’, but this was ‘not ordered’. The other speeches reported by Luttrell dealt with commercial issues, though in general in Commons business he interested himself less in trade and industry than in taxation and public credit. On 16 Jan. he spoke against the bill to suppress hawkers and pedlars, which he opposed with free-trade arguments that accorded ill with his own record as a would-be monopolist, and he intervened several times in debates relating to the East India trade. Although he had long since disposed of his stock, he remained at the outset of this session sympathetic to the East India Company position, and indeed spoke on its behalf on 18 Dec. But his principal concern was the contribution the company could make to the public purse. In committee of the whole on 27 Nov. 1691, to consider the trade, he ‘moved to go on to regulate a company, whether old or new, and then to propose it to those that will give most for it and apply it to the public service’, observing that ‘it may raise £200,000 or £300,000’; and on 2 Dec. he spoke forcibly against the proposal to ‘fix a stock’. By February 1692 his opinion had swung decisively against the company, and when the directors refused to give security, as demanded by the House, until they could obtain legislative confirmation of their privileges, he angrily seconded a motion for an address to dissolve the company and establish a new one in its place, ‘for though I always was for the old company, yet now, seeing their designs and intended delay, I am for such an address’. It is no surprise that he was included in two lists of placemen compiled after the prorogation.7

After having moved successfully on 4 Nov. 1692 for the printing of the Commons’ votes, Neale made the motion on 10 Nov. for taking into consideration the King’s Speech. According to Luttrell, his first major contributions to this session’s debates were against the East India Company: on 17 Nov., when the King’s message and the company’s reply had both been read, he ‘moved that since the company had refused all regulations, this House would vote to have a new company’; and at the report of the committee on the trade he spoke against the resolution for a new subscription on the customary terms, suggesting instead a method which would make the financing of the trade more closely accountable to Parliament and more directly beneficial to ‘the public’. By his scheme, the management would be entrusted to a committee of 40, chosen by the Commons and under parliamentary supervision. They were to be empowered to borrow money on the security of the profits of the trade, supported by ‘a tax . . . of £70,000 per mensem for one month’. To the principle of anticipating revenue, Neale added an interesting touch, presumably designed to make the proposal more attractive to Country Members, but consonant with his previous tenderness towards the landed interest: ‘when the principal and interest is paid, then the profit [is] to be divided among the contributors to the £70,000 land tax’. He ended with the remark, ‘this is what I collect at present, but if you please to postpone this head for a day or two I will offer you something further to it’, hinting that he derived his ideas from others rather than generating them himself. Undaunted by the Commons’ preference for the committee’s resolution, he intervened again a week later to propose, unsuccessfully, that the East India trade be ‘carried . . . on by a general stock of the nation, and for public good’. After a speech on 14 Dec. in favour of committing the abjuration bill, he made another contribution to the debate on credit in a committee of ways and means the next day. Once again his theme was the establishment of a ‘perpetual fund’, this time to pay the interest on a loan of £2 million, the sum (which he computed at £120,000 p.a.) to be raised by a salt duty: ‘I shall propose the fund to be on the hereditary excise and to lay 1s. a bushel on all salt made at the pan and 2s. a bushel on all foreign salt, and you may for further security give a clause of credit as you did on the Poll Act.’ With the proposed salt tax very much in mind, he spoke on 9 Jan. 1693 against another private bill, to settle rights to a process for desalinating sea water, which he unselfconsciously denounced as ‘a monopoly, and no new invention’. A speech on 20 Jan., against the royal mines bill, may have been dictated by his own vested interest in the exploitation of mines, since later in the year he was to be named a deputy-governor in the newly chartered Mines Company, but on 2 Feb. he made another attack on the reintroduced bill to suppress hawkers and pedlars on the basis that this measure constituted an unwarrantable restraint on commerce: ‘it takes away a conveniency gentlemen have by buying things at home and will have this inconvenience – to hinder the expense of several commodities’. In general, however, where he was not personally concerned, he adopted a fiscal perspective on commercial prosperity, as is suggested by his renewed determination, in ways and means on 3 Feb., to persuade the House to accept ‘a tax upon tradesmen, who have borne but little of the war. I would lay a tax upon all they bought the last year, about the two hundredth penny, which will be very easy to them and so much ready money for you.’ At the meeting of the committee the following day he was particularly vociferous. First he proposed ‘a tax on all parchment, paper, etc. used for deeds, bonds, mortgages, recognizances etc.’ (an idea he floated again on the 6th); then ‘an imposition upon all persons that marry, according to their several qualities, as also upon all who shall have legacies given them, unless it be of what would have come to them by descent; as also upon burials’; and finally he told against adjourning. Surprisingly, for one who was to be included in 1693 in no less than three separate lists of placemen, and who was to be classified by Samuel Grascome in his list of 1693–5 as a Court supporter and place-holder, he was a consistent advocate of the triennial bill, speaking for the measure on 2 and 10 Feb. His remarks on the latter occasion, though apparently laboured in style, none the less gave a convincing answer to the more prominent ministerial arguments:

It is the interest of the King that the bill pass, as well as that the subject will thereby be well pleased, since it will show them that their Majesties intend to govern by law. It is objected, ‘that it came from the Lords’. A good thing sometimes may come. I cannot think that passing this bill will impair our credit, as is told us, nor that it can gratify our enemies. We are told, ‘this is not a proper time’, but I think that, in so good a reign, such a good law is to be gained.

He did, however, object to the clause providing for annual sessions of Parliament, opposing it in committee on 7 Feb., and at the report on the 10th, when he offered a rider ‘to explain what [was] meant by the words “holding a Parliament”’, which the House ‘refused’.8

During the summer of 1693 Neale hit upon the expedient which was to be his particular contribution to the development of deficit financing and the mobilization of public credit in the 1690s: the government lottery, a scheme that appealed to his gambler’s mentality, and also offered the prospect of exploiting a hitherto unmined seam of national wealth, by enticing investment from those ‘who have small sums, and cannot now bring them into the public’. His first venture was a private affair, modelled on Venetian precedent, which he advertised in the London Gazette in August 1693. It proved a striking success. Rapidly completed, its subscribers including Queen Mary, it had been drawn by November, leaving Neale with a clear profit of £2,500 and the conviction that he was on to a winner. He was in due course to follow this ‘profitable adventure’ with others, in which he met with variable fortune, sometimes losing money, but the confidence engendered by his first triumph led him to devise a similar scheme for government, linked to the revived idea of a salt duty. Details were submitted to the Treasury in early December 1693, and, in typical fashion, published in broadsheet form some two months later. A million pounds was to be raised by settling a fund of £140,000 p.a. secured on a salt duty, the attraction to the investor being a combination of interest (on a moderate scale) and participation in a lottery. The provision of interest and ultimate repayment also answered the objection regularly voiced against private lotteries, that they tempted servants and the poorer classes in general to risk, and lose, their savings. Ministers and Parliament were convinced, and in March 1694 the Million Fund was set up, though with Neale’s proposed salt duty providing merely the first four years’ security, the remainder being supplied by additional duties on beer. Neale was not only installed as chief manager of the fund (with a salary of £1,200 p.a.); he was specifically exempted from the disqualification imposed by statute on the employment of Members in the administration of the salt tax. The session had been in general an active one for him. Having assisted his business associate Anthony Rowe* in an attempt at a by-election in Stockbridge, to the extent of sending his own ‘servant’ to the borough with a recommendation and various promises to would-be voters, he told for Rowe’s election on 20 Dec. 1693. As master of the Mint, he was naturally concerned with the continuing shortage of specie. In 1693 he had published a pamphlet, For Encouraging the Coining . . ., which had repeated his arguments from 1690 in favour of a devaluation, and on 3 Feb. 1694 he was appointed to the Commons’ committee on the bill to prevent the export of bullion. Simultaneously he was making proposals to the Treasury for a new copper coinage, and requesting a licence to coin dollars at the Mint for the Levant trade, though these projects may have been intended for his own private advantage. Although his energies were now more occupied with official duties and plans for lotteries, he had not abandoned other avenues to profit, and in January 1694, for example, petitioned for the crown rents from the New River scheme in lieu of a previous grant (of the right to prosecute the East India Company for prizes) which had proved a failure. He also published A Proposal for Raising a Million on a Fund of Interest, which attacked William Paterson’s idea for a national bank, and set out his own alternative. When Paterson’s scheme was eventually realized as the Bank of England, Neale’s name was noticeably absent from the list of subscribers.9

There is evidence that the years 1694–6 were a period of confusion and uncertainty in Neale’s financial and, to some degree, political affairs. On 12 Jan. 1695 he was sent for into custody after being discovered absent at a call of the House two days previously, being discharged on 14 Jan. He may perhaps have been canvassing for his son, Thomas, for a by-election at Ludgershall on 16 Jan. In February Neale was obliged to give evidence on behalf of the Mint to the Lords’ committee of inquiry into the state of the coinage and subsequently published a tract of his own on the subject: A Proposal, Showing How Clipped Money May Pass (1695). He was also listed as a ‘friend’ by Henry Guy* in connexion with the Commons’ investigation of Guy for corruption in the 1694–5 session. A lampoon published in 1695 called him ‘Bankrupt Neale’ and dwelt on what it claimed were his present embarrassments:

          [Neale] who long since threw his lands away,
          His wife’s exchequer, prince’s boons, at play;
          Has been his own executor and heir,
          And sunk his desperate ruins past repair.

Certainly his second lottery, in 1694, had proved an expensive failure, and some of his other projects, such as the American postal service, were losing rather than making money. More serious still, perhaps, was his miscalculation, as it appears, over the Bank of England, which forfeited the reputation among Treasury ministers that the success of the Million Fund had brought him. When, in December 1694, he set forth another lottery project in ways and means, this time involving a fund on the security of coal and tobacco duties, it was firmly rejected. And during 1695 he issued a series of other proposals, none of which found a receptive audience. In one of them, a broadsheet entitled To Preserve the East India Trade . . ., he went back to his earlier idea for the management of that trade by a fund secured on taxation, to be administered by the East India Company but with profits divided between shareholders and taxpayers, and a dividend paid to landowners in proportion to their land tax rate. In this way, he wrote, the trade would be preserved to the benefit of the nation as a whole, and both the mercantile and landed classes would be happy. Politically, this approach was closer to the opposition’s line on questions of public finance than the government’s, and it is thus of a piece with Neale’s endorsement of the land banks. At the launch of Briscoe’s land bank in September 1695, Neale’s name headed the list of nominated directors, and later he published a pamphlet of his own, The National Land Bank . . ., which supported this kind of institution as an alternative to the Bank of England. He made his own distinctive contribution to public discussion on the coinage issue in February 1696 with a broadsheet proposing a lottery to encourage the bringing in of clipped money. Significantly he was forecast as likely to support the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, and in ways and means on 10 Feb. he put forward an idiosyncratic rather than a partisan motion, to raise the required sum of £2 million not on the Bank of England, nor the Country party’s land bank, but on the Exchequer, ‘which should be the bank’. For all his evident dislike of the Bank of England, he did not identify himself with the opposition in this instance. He signed the Association, and was listed as voting with the ministry in March in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s., though in a later pamphlet he pressed for an increase in the standard in order to settle a parity between gold and silver and thereby remove the practical incentive to currency speculators to export one at the expense of the other. As master of the Mint, he was heavily involved in the work of the recoinage, and, despite the criticism levelled at him by his distinguished subordinate, Isaac Newton*, must be allowed some of the credit for the operation, if only for suggesting the establishment of provisional mints to facilitate the work.10

With his contribution to the weathering of the monetary crisis, and with the simultaneous resolution of the ‘battle of the banks’, Neale’s connexion with the Whig ministry became closer and more settled. He voted on 25 Nov. 1696 in favour of the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, and in October produced yet another fiscal expedient, designed to raise money and restore credit through the issue of numbered bills bearing interest secured on a malt tax, which was eventually adopted by Charles Montagu* and served as the basis for the Exchequer bills: a rare instance of Neale the plagiarizer being for once out-plagiarized. In December 1696, Neale was joined in the Commons by Henry Neale, making their parliamentary activity sometimes difficult to distinguish. During this session, the attempts of Sir Henry Dutton Colt* and other malcontents to embarrass the administration by bringing forward informants with tales of corruption and abuses at the Mint led to a parliamentary inquiry in April 1697 to which Neale and Newton were obliged to give evidence, and in which they were supported by ministerial Whigs. Neale probably secured Court backing, too, for his project for a second official lottery, attached to the malt duty, which was established by a clause added to the malt duty bill in April, on his own motion. He was then named as manager, but this did not prove as successful as the Million Fund had been, and a further scheme to issue payments from the Navy Board in the form of lottery tickets did not get off the ground. At about this time, possibly during a severe bout of illness in May 1697, Neale purchased the reversion of his own place as groom porter for his son Thomas, and in the succeeding summer he was awarded a grant of coal mines in county Durham. In the 1697–8 session he appeared twice in reports of the debates on supply as one of the Treasury spokesmen: on 14 Dec. 1697 on the estimates, and on 13 May in ways and means, when he successfully proposed an additional duty on sugar. He was also forced to defend himself anew against allegations of maladministration at the Mint, and finally moved that the informant William Chaloner be prosecuted. He also, in June 1698, assisted in the management of a private bill on behalf of a member of the Cecil family, no doubt undertaken in the hope of advancing his determined but fruitless courtship of the dowager Countess of Salisbury. By this time his financial situation may well have been becoming precarious. Despite his various official salaries, amounting to at least £3,000 p.a. besides perquisites, he was still accumulating debts as a result of his extravagant style of living and a disastrous run of investments. Some indication of the state of his fortunes is given by an episode in April 1698, when he complained to the House of a breach of privilege committed against him by an under-sheriff of Middlesex in forcibly entering on his property to distrain for arrears of taxes amounting to just over £30. Neale had offered to pay in Exchequer bills, but their credit was no better than his and they had been refused. In the end he paid off the arrears before the Commons judged his claim. Given these circumstances, he could hardly afford to lose his parliamentary seat, and he reacted to opposition at Ludgershall in July 1698 with the desperate and dangerous ploy of buying promises of votes. This secured his return, but equally ensured that the defeated candidate, John Richmond Webb*, would mount a strong campaign in support of his petition. Neale also put up unsuccessfully at the notoriously venal borough of Great Bedwyn. Named as a placeman in lists from July and September 1698, he was listed as a Court placeman in a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments, and was blacklisted as having voted against the third reading of the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. His parliamentary career did not last much longer, however, for on 11 Feb. the Ludgershall petition was reported and he was unseated for bribery.11

Such was the mountain of debt now facing Neale, estimated by one biographer at over £13,000, that in the aftermath of losing his place in Parliament he evidently contemplated flight to Holland to escape his creditors. In deciding to stay, he seems to have pinned his faith in one last private lottery to revive his fortunes. Originally promoted in November 1698, this was readvertised in February 1699, and resurrected again in the following November, when he promised that it would prove his last and his best ‘adventure’. In this he was half-right. Already weak after a dangerous illness during the summer he died on 17 Dec. 1699, whispering ‘Salisbury’, or so it was reported, with his last breath. He had previously requested to be buried with the Countess’s picture in his coffin, and his will honoured her with appointment as executrix and with nomination as residuary legatee. He left his surviving son, Thomas, £1,000 still owing from the accounts of the recoinage, and the Shadwell estate; his surviving daughter £500 and certain properties; and further bequests amounting to some £500. The sum of £10,000 was to be made over to Lady Salisbury in the event of her declining to act as executrix. But so involved were Neale’s affairs that it is unclear whether these legacies could have been paid. A later petition to Parliament claimed, indeed, that he had died ‘insolvent’. In any case Thomas jnr. was himself dead within a few months. Aside perhaps from those living within the neighbourhoods Neale had provided with street-lights and piped water, few contemporaries had reason to lament the passing of the ‘Projector-General’, and the cruel obituary of an ‘elegiack essay’ composed soon afterwards was perhaps typical of the general response:

          Great Neale, the lord of lotteries is gone . . .
          His lady Gold, of the consumption spent,
          Was gone long since: and when fates called, he went;
          Having done the work for which he here was sent;
          That is, to teach the great ones and the small,
          How to get money, and to spend it all.
          Two such extremes ne’er met in man, but he,
          As avarice and prodigality.
          None more solicitous to hook it in,
          Or let it plentifully out again . . .
          Consider! This is he wh’obliged the crown
          Opposed th’audaciousness of petty duns,
          And answered public debts by Million funds.
          His loyalty deserves to be rewarded,
          And in the rolls of endless fame recorded.

In fact, there was no such formal tribute, but the very day after Neale’s decease the King and his courtiers engaged in an evening of gaming in ‘the great gallery’ at Kensington, a gesture that, though presumably unconscious, was in its own way eloquent.12

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


Unless otherwise stated, this article is based on J. H. Thomas, ‘Thomas Neale, a 17th-Cent. projector’ (Southampton Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1979).

  • 1. Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 149; Surr. Arch. Colls. iii. 129; London Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. xcii), 101; Misc. Gen. et Her. ii. 108.
  • 2. Cal. Ct. Mins. E.I. Co. ed. Sainsbury, vii. 224; Sel. Charters, 226, 238–9; CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 544; 1691–2, p. 3; 1693, p. 207.
  • 3. Hants RO, Winchester corp. assembly bk. 6, f. 29; C. St. Barbe, Lymington Recs. 9; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 359.
  • 4. HMC Lindsey, 164–74; Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 986; ix. 1324, 1426–8; x. 552–3, 626; xii. 126, 279; xiv. 178; xv. 140, 257; CSP Col. 1693–6, p. 637.
  • 5. Info. from Mrs Z. Cowan; CSP Dom. 1690–1, pp. 128, 515, 555; Portledge Pprs. 38; HMC Downshire, i. 335.
  • 6. Locke on Money ed. Kelly, i. 17, 19, 314; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 832, 844, 917, 1125, 1195, 1217, 1258, 1304, 1314–15, 1343, 1444, 1511, 1585, 1618, 1656, 1665, 1707, 1717–18, 1760, 1840; x. 50; CSP Dom. 1690–1, pp. 128, 325, 445, 467, 470, 477, 484, 497–500, 502, 515, 523, 535, 541, 555; 1691–2, pp. 92, 98, 297, 298, 386, 401, 405, 457, 503; 1693, pp. 183, 227; CJ, xiii. 194–6; xiv. 155.
  • 7. Luttrell Diary, 3, 44, 56, 80, 88, 112, 123, 132, 135–6, 138–40, 143, 148, 151, 173; Ranke, vi. 163; PRO NI, De Ros mss D638/13/94, John Pulteney* to Thomas Coningsby*, 12 Jan. 1691–2; CSP Dom. 1695, pp. 106–7.
  • 8. Luttrell Diary, 214–15, 233, 308, 316, 321, 355, 371, 396, 398–401, 403, 406, 416; Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Bentinck) mss PwA 2386, notes on debate, 24 Nov. [1692]; Grey, x. 307.
  • 9. Bodl. Carte 180, f. 103; C. L. Ewen, Lotteries and Sweepstakes, 124–5, 127–9, 164–6; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 160, 210, 213, 219, 221, 289, 380; P. G. M. Dickson, Financial Revol. 52; E. Hughes, Studies in Admin. and Finance, 176–7; CSP Dom. 1695, p. 239; 1690–1, pp. 449–500; 1691–2, p. 386; Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 346, 449, 626; Add. 17677 OO, f. 211; CJ, xi. 36–37, 133; Statutes, vi. 461; CSP Col. 1696–7, p. 251; DZA, Bonet despatch 6/16 July 1694; Locke on Money, 22–23; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1557–1696, p. 366.
  • 10. Poems on Affairs of State ed. Ellis, v. 491, 493; Carte 79, f. 645; Egerton 920, ff. 79–80; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiv. 216; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1697–1702, pp. 289–90; Add. 17677 OO, f. 413; CSP Dom. 1695, pp. 291–2; T. Neale, To Preserve the East India Trade (1695); HMC Lords, n.s. i. 510–11; Som. RO, Sanford mss DD/SF 4512, A New Ballad upon the Land Bank; Luttrell, iv. 16, 58; T. N[eale], A Proposal Concerning the Coin [1696].
  • 11. CSP Dom. 1696, p. 427; 1697, pp. 289, 350–1, 512; 1698, pp. 195, 243; Sanford mss DD/SF 4512; Luttrell, iv. 207; BL, Dept. of Printed Bks. 1890. e.4 (23), broadsheet, 1697; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 46/63, 104, James Vernon I* to Shrewsbury, 4 Feb. 1696[–7], 20 May 1697; Add. 17677 RR, f. 291; Ewen, 129; Cal. Treas. Bks. xii. 290; Newton Corresp. iv. 261; Yale Univ. Beinecke Lib. Osborn coll. Biscoe-Maunsell newsletter 16 Apr. 1698.
  • 12. Carte 228, f. 285; Luttrell, iv. 449, 479, 543; Ewen, 173; Post Boy, 12–24 July, 25–28 Nov., 16–19, 19–21 Dec. 1699; London Post, 26–28 July 1699; 7th Duke of Manchester, Court and Soc. Eliz. to Anne, ii. 55; CJ, xiii. 409; An Elegiack Essay upon the Decease of the Groom Porter and the Lotteries (1700), 3–4.