List of Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers

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The following is a list of Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers of the Great Seal of England and Great Britain. It also includes a list of Commissioners of Parliament's Great Seal during the English Civil War and Interregnum.

Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers of England, 1068–1707[edit]

11th century[edit]

12th century[edit]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

1500–1654[edit]

Image Name Tenure Monarch
Henry Deane, Archbishop of Canterbury, Keeper 1500–1502 Henry VII
1485–1509
Hans Holbein d. J. 066.jpg William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, Keeper to 1504 1502–1515
Henry VIII
1509–1547
Cardinal Wolsey Christ Church.jpg Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal Archbishop of York 1515–1529
Hans Holbein, the Younger - Sir Thomas More - Google Art Project.jpg Sir Thomas More 1529–1532
Thomas Audley (c.1488–1544), Lord Audley, 1569.jpg Sir Thomas Audley
(Lord Audley of Walden from 1538)
1532–1544
Thomas Wriothesley, 1st Earl of Southampton by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg Lord Wriothesley 1544–1547
Edward VI
1547–1553
William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester from NPG.jpg Lord St John, Keeper 1547
Hans Holbein the Younger - Sir Richard Rich, later 1st Baron Rich RL 12238.jpg Lord Rich 1547–1551
ThomasGoodrich.jpg Thomas Goodrich, Bishop of Ely 1552–1553
Stephen Gardiner.jpg Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester 1553–1555 Mary I
1553–1558
(with Philip
1558–1558)
Nicholas Heath by Hans Eworth.jpg Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York 1555–1558
Sir Nicholas Bacon.jpeg Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper 1558–1579 Elizabeth I
1558–1603
ThomasBromley.jpg Sir Thomas Bromley 1579–1587
Sir Christopher Hatton from NPG (2) cropped.jpg Sir Christopher Hatton 1587–1591
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1591–1592
Sir John Puckering WeissGallery.jpg Sir John Puckering, Lord Keeper 1592–1596
Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley from NPG.jpg Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper to 19 July 1603
(Lord Ellesmere from 1603
Viscount Brackley from 1616)
6 May 1596 – 5 March 1617
James I
1603–1625
William Larkin Francis Bacon.jpg Lord Verulam, Lord Keeper to 1618 1617–1621
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1621
Archbishop John Williams 1582 - 1650 portrait.jpg John Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, Lord Keeper 1621–1625
1stLordCoventry.jpg Sir Thomas Coventry, Lord Keeper
(Lord Coventry from 1628)
1625–1640 Charles I
1625–1649
John Finch, 1st Baron Finch by Sir Anthony Van Dyck lowres color.jpg Lord Finch, Lord Keeper 1640–1641
Edward Littleton, Baron Littleton by Sir Anthony Van Dyck.jpg Lord Lyttleton of Mounslow, Lord Keeper
(Took Great Seal to the King in 1642)
1641–1645
Sir Richard Lane, Lord Keeper 1645–1650
Charles II
Court in exile
from 1649
Vacant 1650–1653
Sir Edward Herbert, Lord Keeper 1653–1654

The Great Seal was captured and destroyed by Parliament on 11 August 1646

Commissioners of Parliament's Great Seal 1643-1660[edit]

Image Name[1] Term (From – To)
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: Nov 1643 – Oct 1646
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1646 – 1648
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1648 – 1649
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1649 – 1654
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1654 – 1656
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1656 – 1659
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: January – June 1659
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: June 1659 – 1660
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 1660-1660

From the Restoration, 1660, to the Act of Union, 1707[edit]

Portrait Name Term of office
WH 1st Earl of Clarendon.png Sir Edward Hyde
(Lord Hyde from 1660,
Earl of Clarendon from 1661)
13 January 1658 – 30 August 1667
SirOrlandoBridgemanLC.jpg Sir Orlando Bridgeman (Lord Keeper) 31 August 1667 – 17 November 1672
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury.jpg Earl of Shaftesbury 17 November 1672 – 9 November 1673
Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg Sir Heneage Finch (Lord Keeper until 1675)
(Lord Finch from 1673,
Earl of Nottingham from 1681)
9 November 1673 – 18 December 1682
Francis North, 1st Baron Guilford by John Riley lowres color.jpg Sir Francis North (Lord Keeper)
(Lord Guilford from 1683)
20 December 1682 – 5 September 1685
George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys of Wem by William Wolfgang Claret.jpg Lord Jeffreys 28 September 1685 – December 1688
In Commission: 4 March 1689 – 14 May 1690
In Commission: 14 May 1690 – 22 March 1693
John Somers, Baron Somers by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt lowres color.jpg Sir John Somers (Lord Keeper until 1697)
(Lord Somers from 1697)
23 March 1693 – 27 April 1700
In Commission: 27 April 1700 – 31 May 1700
Sir Nathan Wright LC by JB Closterman.jpg Sir Nathan Wright (Lord Keeper) 31 May 1700 – 11 October 1705
William Earl Cowper LC by Jonathan Richardson.jpg William Cowper (Lord Keeper)
(Lord Cowper from 1706)
11 October 1705 – 4 May 1707

Lord High Chancellors and Lord Keepers of Great Britain, from 1707 to the present[edit]

Portrait Name Tenure Political party
William Earl Cowper LC by Jonathan Richardson.jpg Lord Cowper 4 May 1707 23 September 1710[2]
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 26 September 1710 19 October 1710
Simon Viscount Harcourt LC by Godfrey Kneller.jpg Sir Simon Harcourt (Lord Keeper until 1713)
(Lord Harcourt from 1711)
19 October 1710 21 September 1714 Tory
William Earl Cowper LC by Jonathan Richardson.jpg Lord Cowper 21 September 1714 15 April 1718
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 18 April 1718 12 May 1718
The Rt. Honble. Thomas Ld. Parker Barn. of Macclesfield and Ld. High Chancelor of Great Britain etc NYPL Hades-286750-1253707) crop.jpg Lord Parker
(Earl of Macclesfield from 1721)
12 May 1718 7 January 1725 Whig
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 7 January 1725 1 June 1725
Lord King LC.jpg Lord King 1 June 1725 29 November 1733
Charles Talbot, 1st Baron Talbot of Hensol by John Vanderbank.jpg Lord Talbot 29 November 1733 14 February 1737
Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764) by William Hoare of Bath.jpg Lord Hardwicke
(Earl of Hardwicke from 1754)
21 February 1737 19 November 1756 Whig
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 19 November 1756 30 June 1757
Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington by Thomas Hudson.jpg Sir Robert Henley (Lord Keeper until 1761)
(Lord Henley from 1760,
Earl of Northington from 1764)
30 June 1757 30 July 1766 Whig
Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden by Nathaniel Dance, (later Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, Bt).jpg Lord Camden 30 July 1766 17 January 1770 Whig
Charles Yorke by Thomas Hudson.jpg Charles Yorke[3] 17 January 1770 20 January 1770 Whig
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 21 January 1770 23 January 1771
2ndEarlBathurst.jpg Lord Apsley
(Earl Bathurst from 1775)
23 January 1771 3 June 1778 Tory
Edward Thurlow.jpg Lord Thurlow 3 June 1778 7 April 1783 Tory
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 9 April 1783 23 December 1783
Edward Thurlow.jpg Lord Thurlow 23 December 1783 June 1792 Tory
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 15 June 1792 28 January 1793
Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Earl of Rosslyn (Lord Loughborough) by William Owen.jpg Lord Loughborough 28 January 1793 14 April 1801
John Scott Lord High Chancellor of England 1801–1806 by William Cowen.jpg Lord Eldon 14 April 1801 7 February 1806 Tory
Lord Erskine LC.jpg Lord Erskine 7 February 1806 1 April 1807 Whig
John Scott Lord High Chancellor of England 1801–1806 by William Cowen.jpg Lord Eldon
(Earl of Eldon from 1821)
1 April 1807 12 April 1827 Tory
Lord Lyndhurst LC by HW Pickersgill.jpg Lord Lyndhurst 2 May 1827 24 November 1830 Tory
Lord Brougham & Vaux mezzotint.jpg Lord Brougham and Vaux 24 November 1830 9 July 1834 Whig
Lord Lyndhurst LC by HW Pickersgill.jpg Lord Lyndhurst 21 November 1834 8 April 1835 Conservative
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 23 April 1835 16 January 1836
Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham by Charles Robert Leslie cropped.jpg Lord Cottenham 16 January 1836 30 August 1841 Whig
Lord Lyndhurst LC by HW Pickersgill.jpg Lord Lyndhurst 3 September 1841 27 June 1846 Conservative
Charles Pepys, 1st Earl of Cottenham by Charles Robert Leslie cropped.jpg Lord Cottenham 6 July 1846 19 June 1850 Whig
Fond blanc.svg In Commission: 19 June 1850 15 July 1850
Thomas Wilde, 1st Baron Truro by Thomas Youngman Gooderson.jpg Lord Truro 15 July 1850 21 February 1852 Whig
1stLordStLeonards.jpg Lord St Leonards 27 February 1852 17 December 1852 Conservative
Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth by George Richmond.jpg Lord Cranworth 28 December 1852 21 February 1858 Whig
Lord Chelmsford LC by EU Eddis (crop).jpg Lord Chelmsford 26 February 1858 11 June 1859 Conservative
Lord Campbell LC by GF Watts.jpg Lord Campbell 18 June 1859 24 June 1861 Liberal
Lord Westbury LC.jpg Lord Westbury 26 June 1861 7 July 1865 Liberal
Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth by George Richmond.jpg Lord Cranworth 7 July 1865 26 June 1866 Liberal
Lord Chelmsford LC by EU Eddis (crop).jpg Lord Chelmsford 6 July 1866 29 February 1868 Conservative
Lord Cairns LC by LC Dickinson.jpg Lord Cairns 29 February 1868 1 December 1868 Conservative
Lord Hatherley LC by George Richmond.jpg Lord Hatherley 9 December 1868 15 October 1872 Liberal
Lord Selborne LC by Bassano.jpg Lord Selborne 15 October 1872 17 February 1874 Liberal
Lord Cairns LC by LC Dickinson.jpg Lord Cairns
(Earl Cairns from 1878)
21 February 1874 21 April 1880 Conservative
Lord Selborne LC by Bassano.jpg Lord Selborne
(Earl of Selborne from 1882)
28 April 1880 9 June 1885 Liberal
Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury.jpg Lord Halsbury 24 June 1885 28 January 1886 Conservative
Farrer Lord Herschell LC by Hubert von Herkomer.jpg Lord Herschell 6 February 1886 20 July 1886 Liberal
Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury.jpg Lord Halsbury 3 August 1886 11 August 1892 Conservative
Farrer Lord Herschell LC by Hubert von Herkomer.jpg Lord Herschell 18 August 1892 21 June 1895 Liberal
Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury.jpg Lord Halsbury
(Earl of Halsbury from 1898)
29 June 1895 4 December 1905 Conservative
1stEarlLoreburn crop.jpg Lord Loreburn
(Earl Loreburn from 1911)
10 December 1905 10 June 1912 Liberal
Viscount Haldane LC by Vandyk.jpg Viscount Haldane 10 June 1912 25 May 1915 Liberal
1stViscountBuckmaster.jpg Lord Buckmaster 25 May 1915 5 December 1916 Liberal
1stViscountFinlay.jpg Lord Finlay 10 December 1916 10 January 1919 Conservative
FE Smith Earl of Birkenhead LC.jpg Lord Birkenhead
(Viscount Birkenhead from 1921,
Earl of Birkenhead from 1922)
10 January 1919 19 October 1922 Conservative
1stViscountCave.jpg Viscount Cave 24 October 1922 22 January 1924 Conservative
Viscount Haldane LC by Vandyk.jpg Viscount Haldane 22 January 1924 6 November 1924 Labour
1stViscountCave.jpg Viscount Cave 6 November 1924 28 March 1928 Conservative
Hailsham1.JPG Lord Hailsham 28 March 1928 4 June 1929 Conservative
1stViscountSankey.jpg Lord Sankey
(Viscount Sankey from 1932)
7 June 1929 7 June 1935 Labour
Hailsham1.JPG Viscount Hailsham 7 June 1935 9 March 1938 Conservative
Lord Maugham LC.jpg Lord Maugham 9 March 1938 3 September 1939 Conservative
Viscount Caldecote LC.jpg Viscount Caldecote 3 September 1939 12 May 1940 Conservative
Sir John Simon 1-3-16.jpg Viscount Simon 10 May 1940 27 July 1945 National Liberal
William Allen Jowitt c1945.jpg Lord Jowitt
(Viscount Jowitt from 1947)
27 July 1945 26 October 1951 Labour
Lord Simonds 30 October 1951 18 October 1954 Conservative
David Maxwell Fyfe.jpg Viscount Kilmuir 18 October 1954 13 July 1962 Conservative
Lord Dilhorne 13 July 1962 16 October 1964 Conservative
Lord Gardiner 16 October 1964 19 June 1970 Labour
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham Allan Warren.jpg Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone 20 June 1970 4 March 1974 Conservative
Elwyn Jones in Romania (cropped).jpg Lord Elwyn-Jones 5 March 1974 4 May 1979 Labour
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham Allan Warren.jpg Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone 4 May 1979 13 June 1987 Conservative
Fond blanc.svg Lord Havers 13 June 1987 26 October 1987 Conservative
James Mackay.jpg Lord Mackay of Clashfern 28 October 1987 2 May 1997 Conservative
Fond blanc.svg Lord Irvine of Lairg 2 May 1997 12 June 2003 Labour

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs[edit]

Following the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the position of Lord Chancellor
was held jointly with the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs,
and since 2007, it has been held with the Secretary of State for Justice.

Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, May 2009.jpg Lord Falconer of Thoroton 12 June 2003 8 May 2007 Labour

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice[edit]

Charles Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, May 2009.jpg Lord Falconer of Thoroton 9 May 2007 27 June 2007 Labour
Jack Straw 2.jpg Jack Straw[4] 28 June 2007 11 May 2010 Labour
Ken Clarke 2010.jpg Kenneth Clarke 12 May 2010 4 September 2012 Conservative
Chris Grayling Official.jpg Chris Grayling 4 September 2012 9 May 2015 Conservative
Michael Gove Minister.jpg Michael Gove 9 May 2015 14 July 2016 Conservative
Elizabeth Truss 2016.jpg Elizabeth Truss 14 July 2016 Incumbent Conservative

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cook and Wroughton, English Historical Facts, 1603–1688, PP 8–9
  2. ^ Geoffrey Treasure, ‘Cowper, William, first Earl Cowper (1665–1723)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, January 2009 accessed 27 March 2009
  3. ^ Yorke, who had been associated with the opposition, was persuaded to accept appointment as Lord Chancellor and was to have been created Baron Morden. However on meeting with his erstwhile opposition colleagues he became ashamed of his action. He refused to sign the patent conferring the peerage on himself and then committed suicide.
  4. ^ First non-peer to serve as Lord Chancellor since Sir Robert Henley as Lord Keeper of the Seal in 1760.
  • John Haydn and Horace Ockerby, The Book of Dignities, third edition, W.H. Allen and Co. Ltd, London 1894, reprinted Firecrest Publishing Limited, Bath 1969, p. 352–358
  • John Lord Campbell (1845) Lives of the Lords Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England. 5th ed. (1868) London: Murray, vol. 10
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 

External links[edit]