First Commissioner of Works

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Lord John Manners, later 7th Duke of Rutland, who served thrice as First Commissioner of Works in the 1850s and 1860s

The First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings was a position within the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It took over some of the functions of the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1851 when the portfolio of Crown holdings was divided into the public and the commercial. The position was frequently of cabinet level. The office was renamed Minister of Works and Buildings and First Commissioner of Works in 1940, Minister of Works and Planning in 1942, Minister of Works in 1943 and finally Minister of Public Buildings and Works in 1962. On 15 October 1970 the Ministry was amalgamated in the Department of the Environment.

First Commissioners of Works, 1851–1940[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
Lord Seymour 1 August 1851 21 February 1852
Lord John Manners 4 March 1852 17 December 1852
Sir William Molesworth, Bt 5 January 1853 21 July 1855
Sir Benjamin Hall, Bt 21 July 1855 21 February 1858
Lord John Manners 26 February 1858 11 June 1859
Henry FitzRoy 18 June 1859 9 February 1860
Hon. William Cowper 9 February 1860 26 June 1866
Lord John Manners 6 July 1866 1 December 1868
Austen Henry Layard 9 December 1868 26 October 1869
Acton Smee Ayrton 26 October 1869 11 August 1873
William Patrick Adam 11 August 1873 17 February 1874
Lord Henry Lennox 21 March 1874 14 August 1876
Gerard Noel 14 August 1876 21 April 1880
William Patrick Adam 3 May 1880 1880
George Shaw-Lefevre 29 November 1881 13 February 1885
The Earl of Rosebery 13 February 1885 9 June 1885
Hon. David Plunket 24 June 1885 28 January 1886
The Earl of Morley 17 February 1886 16 April 1886
The Earl of Elgin 16 April 1886 20 July 1886
Hon. David Plunket 5 August 1886 11 August 1892
George Shaw-Lefevre 18 August 1892 10 March 1894
Herbert Gladstone 10 March 1894 21 June 1895
Aretas Akers-Douglas 4 July 1895 8 August 1902
The Lord Windsor 8 August 1902 4 December 1905
Lewis Vernon Harcourt 10 December 1905 3 November 1910
The Earl Beauchamp 3 November 1910 6 August 1914
The Lord Emmott 6 August 1914 25 May 1915
Lewis Vernon Harcourt 25 May 1915 10 December 1916
Sir Alfred Mond, Bt 10 December 1916 1 April 1921
The Earl of Crawford 1 April 1921 19 October 1922
Sir John Baird, Bt 31 October 1922 22 January 1924
Fred Jowett 22 January 1924 3 November 1924
The Viscount Peel 10 November 1924 18 October 1928
The Marquess of Londonderry 18 October 1928 4 June 1929
George Lansbury 7 June 1929 24 August 1931
The Marquess of Londonderry 25 August 1931 5 November 1931
Hon. William Ormsby-Gore 5 November 1931 16 June 1936
The Earl Stanhope 16 June 1936 27 May 1937
Sir Philip Sassoon, Bt 27 May 1937 7 June 1939
Herwald Ramsbotham 7 June 1939 3 April 1940
The Earl De La Warr 3 April 1940 18 May 1940
The Lord Tryon 18 May 1940 3 October 1940

Minister of Works & Buildings and First Commissioner of Works, 1940–1942[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
Sir John Reith
(Baron Reith from 21 October 1940)
3 October 1940 11 February 1942

Minister of Works and Planning, 1942–1943[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Lord Reith 11 February 1942 22 February 1942
The Lord Portal 22 February 1942 February 1943

Minister of Works, 1943–1962[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Lord Portal February 1943 21 November 1944
Duncan Sandys 21 November 1944 26 July 1945
George Tomlinson 4 August 1945 10 February 1947
Charles Key 10 February 1947 28 February 1950
Richard Stokes 28 February 1950 26 April 1951
George Brown 26 April 1951 26 October 1951
David Eccles 1 November 1951 18 October 1954
Nigel Birch 18 October 1954 20 December 1955
Patrick Buchan-Hepburn 20 December 1955 16 January 1957
Hugh Molson 16 January 1957 22 October 1959
Lord John Hope 22 October 1959 16 July 1962

Minister of Public Buildings and Works, 1962–1970[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
Geoffrey Rippon 16 July 1962 10 October 1964
Charles Pannell 19 October 1964 6 April 1966
Reginald Prentice 6 April 1966 29 August 1967
Bob Mellish 29 August 1967 30 April 1969
Hon. John Silkin 30 April 1969 19 June 1970
Julian Amery 23 June 1970 15 October 1970