Secretary at War

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The Hon. Henry Pelham, who served as Secretary at War between 1724 and 1730

The Secretary at War was a political position in the English and later British government, with some responsibility over the administration and organization of the Army, but not over military policy. The Secretary at War ran the War Office. It was occasionally a cabinet level position, although it was considered of subordinate rank to the Secretaries of State. The position was combined with that of Secretary of State for War in 1854 and abolished in 1863.

Notable holders of the position include Robert Walpole, the Hon. Henry Pelham, Henry Fox, Lord Palmerston and Lord Macaulay.

Secretaries at War, 1661-1854[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
Sir William Clarke 1661 1666
Matthew Locke 1666 1683
William Blathwayt 1683 1692
George Clarke 1692 1704
Henry St John 1704 1708
Robert Walpole 1708 1710
George Granville 1710 1712
Sir William Wyndham, Bt 1712 1713
Francis Gwyn 1713 1714
William Pulteney 1714 1717
James Craggs the Younger 1717 1718
The Viscount Castlecomer 1718 1718
Robert Pringle 1718 1718
George Treby 1718 1720
Thomas Trevor 1720 1724
Hon. Henry Pelham 1724 1730
Sir William Strickland, Bt 1730 1735
Sir William Yonge, Bt 1735 1741
Thomas Winnington 1741 1746
Henry Fox 1746 1755
The Viscount Barrington 1755 1761
Hon. Charles Townshend 1761 1762
Welbore Ellis 1762 1765
The Viscount Barrington 1765 1778
Charles Jenkinson 1778 1782
Thomas Townshend 1782 1782
Sir George Yonge, Bt 1782 1783
Richard Fitzpatrick 1783 1783
Sir George Yonge, Bt 1783 1794
William Windham 1794 1801
Charles Philip Yorke 1801 1803
Charles Bragge 1803 1804
William Dundas 1804 1806
Richard Fitzpatrick 1806 1807
Sir James Murray-Pulteney, Bt 1807 1809
Lord Granville Leveson-Gower 1809 1809
The Viscount Palmerston 1809 1828
Sir Henry Hardinge 1828 1830
Lord Francis Leveson-Gower 1830 1830
Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn 1830 1831
Sir Henry Parnell, Bt 1831 1832
Sir John Hobhouse, Bt 1832 1833
Edward Ellice 1833 1834
John Charles Herries 1834 1835
Viscount Howick 1835 1839
Thomas Babington Macaulay 1839 1841
Sir Henry Hardinge 1841 1844
Sir Thomas Fremantle, Bt 1844 1845
Hon. Sidney Herbert 1845 1846
Hon. Fox Maule 1846 1852
Robert Vernon Smith 1852 1852
William Beresford 1852 1852
Hon. Sidney Herbert 1852 1854

Secretaries of State for War and Secretaries at War, 1854-1863[edit]

Name Entered office Left office
The Duke of Newcastle 1854 1855
The Lord Panmure 1855 1858
Jonathan Peel 1858 1859
The Lord Herbert of Lea 1859 1861
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt 1861 1863