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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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Under-Secretary of State

Under-Secretary of State

Chapter:
(p.533) Chapter 36 Under-Secretary of State
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0036

David Hume belonged to a long line of men of letters who, during the course of the eighteenth century, relaxed as Under-Secretaries of State; however, there was no salary. The Under-Secretaries and the chief clerks divided among themselves, in an unknown proportion, certain fees, gratuities, and post-office rights. The reward was perhaps sufficient, as the duties, though responsible, were hardly arduous. The description of the duties of the Under-Secretary is necessarily vague because the relations of the two departments of state were not clearly defined. In general, however, the Northern Department handled diplomacy with those European powers to the north of France, including Russia. United States affairs were handled by the Southern Department until 1768, at which time a separate department was established. Home affairs, as well as foreign affairs, were divided between the two departments of state, those of Scotland coming under the Northern Department.

Keywords:   David Hume, men of letters, Under-Secretary, Northern Department, diplomacy, France, Russia, United States, Southern Department, Scotland

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