The rise and fall of William Bassett Chinnery

Michael Scorgie

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this article is to explain how William Bassett Chinnery, who was appointed Agent for New South Wales on 1 May 1787, was enabled to embezzle more than 80,000 pound of Treasury funds prior to his dismissal on 17 March 1812. In this chronicle attention is concentrated on Chinnery s duties and peculation rather than his private life and his love of music which has been exposed elsewhere (Yim, 2004). Attention is paid to accounting and control systems used at the British Treasury and the function and operation of the Audit Office which was established in 1785. In conclusion, it is argued that Chinnery was able to avoid detection because contemporary charge and discharge reporting, cash control and auditing were inadequate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)76 - 93
    Number of pages18
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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