List of Chief Secretaries for Ireland

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The Chief Secretary's office in Dublin Castle.
The Chief Secretary's residence was the Chief Secretary's Lodge in the Phoenix Park, next to the Viceregal Lodge.

The following contains a list of Chief Secretaries of Ireland.The list includes holders of a key political office in the British administration in Ireland. Nominally subordinate to the Lord Lieutenant, from the late 18th century until the end of British rule he was effectively the government minister with responsibility for governing Ireland; usually it was the Chief Secretary, rather than the Lord Lieutenant, who sat in the British Cabinet.[1]

British rule over much of Ireland came to an end as the result of the Irish War of Independence, which culminated in the establishment of the Irish Free State. In consequence the office of Chief Secretary was abolished, as well as that of Lord Lieutenant. Executive responsibility within the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland was effectively transferred to the President of the Executive Council (i.e. the prime minister) and the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland respectively.

Chief Secretaries for Ireland, 1660-1701[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Served under
Matthew Locke No image.svg 1660 1660
Sir Thomas Page No image.svg 1662 1669 The Duke of Ormonde:
The Earl of Ossory
Sir Henry Ford No image.svg 1669 1670 The Lord Robartes
Sir Ellis Leighton No image.svg 1670 1672 The Lord Berkeley of Stratton
Sir Henry Ford No image.svg 1672 1673 The Earl of Essex
William Harbord No image.svg 1673 1676 The Earl of Essex
Sir Cyril Wyche SirCyrilWyche.jpg 1677 1682 The Duke of Ormonde
Sir William Ellis No image.svg 1682 1685 The Duke of Ormonde
Sir Paul Rycaut Sir Paul Rycaut by Sir Peter Lely.jpg 1686 1687 The Earl of Clarendon
Thomas Sheridan No image.svg 1687 1688 [2] The Earl of Tyrconnell
Bishop Patrick Tyrrell No image.svg 1688 1689
John Davis No image.svg 1690 1692
Sir Cyril Wyche SirCyrilWyche.jpg 1692 1693 [3] The Viscount Sydney
Sir Richard Aldworth No image.svg 1693 1696 The Lord Capell
William Palmer No image.svg 1696 1697
Matthew Prior Matthew Prior by Thomas Hudson.jpg 1697 1699
Humphrey May No image.svg 1699 1701

Chief Secretaries for Ireland, 1701-1750[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office
Francis Gwyn No image.svg 1701 1703 The Earl of Rochester
Edward Southwell No image.svg 1703 1707 The Duke of Ormonde
George Dodington No image.svg 1707 1708 The Earl of Pembroke
Joseph Addison Joseph Addison by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg 1708 1710 The Earl of Wharton
Edward Southwell No image.svg 1710 1713 The Duke of Ormonde
Sir John Stanley, Bt No image.svg 1713 1714 The Duke of Shrewsbury
Joseph Addison Joseph Addison by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg 1714 1715 The Earl of Sunderland
Martin Bladen and Charles Delafaye No image.svg 1715 1717
Edward Webster No image.svg 1717 1720 The Duke of Bolton:
Horatio Walpole Horacy Walpole (1678 –1757) - brat Sir Roberta.jpg 1720 1721 The Duke of Grafton
Edward Hopkins No image.svg 1721 1724 The Duke of Grafton
Thomas Clutterbuck No image.svg 1724 1730 The Lord Carteret
Walter Cary (also spelt 'Carey') No image.svg 1730 1737 The Duke of Dorset
Sir Edward Walpole SirEdwardWalpole.jpg 1737 1739 The Duke of Devonshire
Thomas Townshend No image.svg 1739 1739 The Duke of Devonshire
Hon. Henry Bilson Legge HenryBilsonLegge.jpg 1739 1741 The Duke of Devonshire
Viscount Duncannon Joshua Reynolds, Portrait of William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough (c. 1760).jpg 1741 1745 The Duke of Devonshire
Richard Liddell No image.svg 1745 1746 The Earl of Chesterfield
Sewallis Shirley No image.svg 1746 1746 The Earl of Chesterfield
Edward Weston No image.svg 1746 1750 The Earl of Harrington

Chief Secretaries for Ireland 1750-1801[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office
Lord George Sackville Lord george germaine.jpg 1750 1755 The Duke of Dorset
Hon. Henry Seymour Conway Field Marshal Conway.jpg 1755 1757 The Duke of Devonshire
Richard Rigby No image.svg 1757 1761 The Duke of Bedford
William Gerard Hamilton No image.svg 1761 1764 The Earl of Halifax;
The Earl of Northumberland
The Earl of Drogheda No image.svg 1764 1765 The Earl of Northumberland
Sir Charles Bunbury No image.svg 1765 1765 The Viscount Weymouth
Viscount Conway No image.svg 1765 1766 The Earl of Hertford
Hon. Augustus Hervey Augustus John Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol by Sir Joshua Reynolds.jpg 1766 1767 [4] The Earl of Bristol
Theophilus Jones No image.svg 1767 1767 The Earl of Bristol
Lord Frederick Campbell No image.svg 1767 1768 The Viscount Townshend
Sir George Macartney George Macartney, 1st Earl Macartney by Lemuel Francis Abbott.jpg 1769 1772 The Viscount Townshend
Sir John Blaquiere 1stLordDeBlaquiere.jpg 1772 1776 The Earl Harcourt
Sir Richard Heron No image.svg 1776 1780 The Earl of Buckinghamshire
William Eden William Eden 1. baron Auckland.jpg 1780 1782 The Earl of Carlisle
Hon. Richard FitzPatrick No image.svg 1782 1782 The Duke of Portland
William Grenville William Wyndham Grenville.jpg 1782 1783 The Earl Temple
William Windham WilliamWindham.jpg 1783 1783 The Earl of Northington
Hon. Thomas Pelham 2ndEarlOfChichester.jpg 1783 1784 The Earl of Northington
Thomas Orde Thomas Orde-Powlett 1st Baron Bolton.jpg 1784 1787 The Duke of Rutland
Alleyne FitzHerbert Alleyne FitzHerbert04738.jpg 1787 1789 The Marquess of Buckingham
Hon. Robert Hobart 4thEarlOfBuckinghamshire.jpg 1789 1793 The Marquess of Buckingham;
The Earl of Westmorland
Sylvester Douglas 1stLordGlenbervie.jpg 1793 1794 The Earl of Westmorland
Viscount Milton No image.svg 1794 1795 The Earl FitzWilliam
Hon. Thomas Pelham 2ndEarlOfChichester.jpg 1795 1798 The Earl Camden
Viscount Castlereagh Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh.PNG 1798 1801 The Marquess Cornwallis

Chief Secretaries for Ireland, 1801-1852[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Charles Abbot Charles Abbot, 1st Baron Colchester by John Hoppner.jpg 1801 1802 Tory
William Wickham No image.svg 1802 1804 Tory
Sir Evan Nepean, Bt SirEvanNepean.JPG 1804 1805 Tory
Nicholas Vansittart Nicholas Vansittart, 1st Baron Bexley.jpg 1805 1805 Tory
Charles Long 1stLordFarnborough.jpg 1805 1806 Tory
William Elliot No image.svg 1806 1807 Whig
Hon. Sir Arthur Wellesley Lord Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington.jpg 1807 1809 Tory
Hon. Robert Dundas Melville2.JPG 1809 1809 Tory
Hon. William Wellesley-Pole No image.svg 1809 1812 Tory
Robert Peel Robert Peel - Project Gutenberg etext 13103.jpg 1812 1818 Tory
Charles Grant Lord-glenelg.jpg 1818 1821 Tory
Henry Goulburn Henry Goulburn.JPG 1821 1827 Tory
Hon. William Lamb 2nd V Melbourne.jpg 29 April 1827 21 June 1828 Whig
Lord Francis Leveson-Gower Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere by Edwin Longsden Long.jpg 21 June 1828 30 July 1830 Tory
Sir Henry Hardinge Henryhardinge.jpg 30 July 1830 15 November 1830 Tory
Hon. Edward Smith-Stanley 14th Earl of Derby.jpg 29 November 1830 29 March 1833 Whig
Sir John Hobhouse, Bt John Cam Hobhouse.jpg 29 March 1833 May 1833 Whig
Edward Littleton Edward John Littleton, 1st Baron Hatherton by Sir George Hayter.jpg May 1833 14 November 1834 Whig
Sir Henry Hardinge Henryhardinge.jpg 16 December 1834 8 April 1835 Conservative
Viscount Morpeth 7th Earl of Carlisle.jpg 22 April 1835 30 August 1841 Whig
Lord Eliot No image.svg 6 February 1841 1 February 1845 Conservative
Sir Thomas Fremantle, Bt No image.svg 1 February 1845 14 February 1846 Conservative
The Earl of Lincoln 5thDukeOfNewcastle.jpg 14 February 1846 June 1846 Conservative
Henry Labouchere Portrait of Henry Labouchere, Baron Taunton by Charles Baugniet.jpg 6 July 1846 22 July 1847 Whig
Sir William Somerville, Bt No image.svg 22 July 1847 21 February 1852 Whig

Chief Secretaries for Ireland, 1852-1900[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Lord Naas 6th Earl of Mayo.jpg 1 March 1852 17 December 1852 Conservative
Sir John Young, Bt John Young, 1st Baron Lisgar.png 6 January 1853 30 January 1855
Edward Horsman Horsman, Edward (1807-1876), by Southwell Brothers, c.1862-4.jpg 1 March 1855 27 May 1857 Whig
Henry Arthur Herbert No image.svg 27 May 1857 21 February 1858 Whig
Lord Naas 6th Earl of Mayo.jpg 4 March 1858 11 June 1859 Conservative
Edward Cardwell 1stViscountCardwell.jpg 24 June 1859 29 July 1861 Liberal
Sir Robert Peel, Bt Peel, Sir Robert, third baronet (1822-1895), by Camille Silvy.jpg 29 July 1861 7 December 1865 Liberal
Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue 1st Baron Carlingford.jpg 7 December 1865 26 June 1866 Liberal
The Earl of Mayo 6th Earl of Mayo.jpg 10 July 1866 29 September 1868 Conservative
John Wilson-Patten No image.svg 29 September 1868 1 December 1868 Conservative
Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue 1st Baron Carlingford.jpg 16 December 1868 12 January 1871 Liberal
Marquess of Hartington 8thDukeOfDevonshire.jpg 12 January 1871 17 February 1874 Liberal
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Bt St Aldwyn Michael Edward Hicks-Beach (1st Earl).jpg 27 February 1874 15 February 1878 Conservative
James Lowther James Lowther Vanity Fair 8 December 1877.jpg 15 February 1878 21 April 1880 Conservative
William Edward Forster William Edward Forster - Project Gutenberg eText 13789.jpg 30 April 1880 6 May 1882 Liberal
Lord Frederick Cavendish Cavendish, Lord Frederick Charles (1836-1882), by John D. Miller, pubd 1883 (after Sir William Blake Richmond, exh. RA 1874).jpg 6 May 1882 6 May 1882 Liberal
George Trevelyan George Otto Trevelyan portrait early career.jpg 9 May 1882 23 October 1884 Liberal
Henry Campbell-Bannerman Henry Campbell-Bannerman photo.jpg 23 October 1884 9 June 1885 Liberal
Sir William Hart Dyke, Bt William Hart Dyke by George W Baldry.jpg 25 June 1885 23 January 1886 Conservative
William Henry Smith 23 January 1886 28 January 1886 Conservative
John Morley John Morley.jpg 6 February 1886 20 July 1886 Liberal
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Bt St Aldwyn Michael Edward Hicks-Beach (1st Earl).jpg 5 August 1886 7 March 1887 Conservative
Arthur Balfour Arthur Balfour, photo portrait facing left.jpg 7 March 1887 9 November 1891 Conservative
William Jackson No image.svg 9 November 1891 11 August 1892 Conservative
John Morley John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn by Walter William Ouless.jpg 22 August 1892 21 June 1895 Liberal
Gerald Balfour GeraldBalfour.jpg 4 July 1895 9 November 1900 Conservative

Chief Secretaries for Ireland, 1900-1922[edit]

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
George Wyndham George Wyndham.jpg 9 November 1900 12 March 1905 Conservative
Walter Long Walter Hume Long, 1st Viscount Long portrait.jpg 12 March 1905 4 December 1905 Conservative
James Bryce 1st Viscount Bryce 1902b.jpg 10 December 1905 23 January 1907 Liberal
Augustine Birrell Augustine Birrell.jpg 23 January 1907 3 May 1916 Liberal
Henry Duke 1stLordMerrivale.jpg 31 July 1916 5 May 1918 Conservative
Edward Shortt Edward Shortt.jpg 5 May 1918 10 January 1919 Liberal
Ian Macpherson 1923 Ian Macpherson.jpg 10 January 1919 2 April 1920 Liberal
Sir Hamar Greenwood, Bt Hamar Greenwood (Bain Collection).jpg 2 April 1920 19 October 1922 Liberal

References[edit]

  • British Historical Facts 1760-1830, by Chris Cook and John Stevenson (The Macmillan Press 1980) ISBN 0-333-21512-5 (includes list of Chief Secretaries on page 31)
  • British Historical Facts 1830-1900, by Chris Cook and Brendan Keith (The Macmillan Press 1975) ISBN 0-333-13220-3 (includes list of Chief Secretaries on pages 52–53)
  • Twentieth-Century British Political Facts 1900-2000, by David Butler and Gareth Butler (Macmillan Press, Eighth edition 2000) ISBN 0-333-77222-9 paperback (includes list of Chief Secretaries on page 61)