MERRILL, John (d.1734), of Lainston, Hants.
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Family and Education
m. Susanna, da. of Hugh Chudleigh of Westminster (yr. bro. of Sir George Chudleigh, 3rd Bt., of Atherington, Devon), 1s.1
Chief clerk to William Pulteney as sec. at war 1715-17; dep. to Pulteney as cofferer of the Household 1723-5; director, S. Sea Co. 1724-7.
Merrill was probably the clerk in the pay office who became deputy to John Howe, M.P., the paymaster general, by 1710.2 After the Hanoverian succession he was attached to William Pulteney, to whom he presumably owed his return for Tregony in succession to Daniel Pulteney. In 1725 Walpole received an anonymous letter alleging that Pulteney, who had recently gone into opposition, had been getting accounts of Treasury transactions ‘as to application of money. Mr. Clayton and Mr. Merrill are the machines that he works by’.3 Losing both his place and his seat, he did not re-enter Parliament till 1733, when he was returned for St. Albans by the Duchess of Marlborough on Pulteney’s recommendation.4 On his death, of gout, 19 Dec. 1734, Pulteney wrote:
I have lost ... the truest friend, I may almost say servant, that ever man had in Mr. Merrill. He understood the ... revenues ... as well, perhaps better than any man in it. It is utterly impossible for me to go through the drudgery by myself, which I used to do easily with his assistance, and herein it is that opposition galls the most.5