Lord Privy Seal

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Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
The current Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
Incumbent
The Baroness Evans of Bowes Park

since 15 July 2016
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Monarch of the United Kingdom
on advice of the Prime Minister
Inaugural holder William Melton
Formation 1307
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United Kingdom

The Lord Privy Seal (or, more formally, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal) is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal (privy) seal (as opposed to the Great Seal of the Realm, which is in the care of the Lord Chancellor). Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.

Though one of the oldest offices in government anywhere, it has no particular function today because the use of a privy seal has been obsolete for centuries; thus the office has generally been used as a kind of Minister without Portfolio. Since the premiership of Clement Attlee, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of Leader of the House of Lords or Leader of the House of Commons. The office of Lord Privy Seal, unlike those of Leader of the Lords or Commons, is eligible for a ministerial salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975.[1] The office does not confer membership of the House of Lords, leading to Ernest Bevin's remark on holding this office that he was "neither a Lord, nor a Privy, nor a Seal".[2]

During the reign of Edward I, prior to 1307, the Privy Seal was kept by the Keeper of the Wardrobe.[3] The Lord Privy Seal was the president of the Court of Requests during its existence.

English Lords Privy Seal, 1307–1707[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

British Lords Privy Seal, 1707–present[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

Name Portrait Concurrent title(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth Henry Addington by Beechey.jpg 5 February 1806 15 October 1806 Tory Lord Grenville
Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland Henry Richard Vassall Fox, 3rd Baron Holland by Sir George Hayter.jpg 15 October 1806 25 March 1807 Whig
John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland Detail of a mezzotint portrait by John Jones (circa 1745-1797) after George Romney of John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland, 1796.jpg 25 March 1807 30 April 1827 Tory Duke of Portland
Spencer Perceval
Earl of Liverpool
William Henry Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland 30 April 1827 16 July 1827 Tory George Canning
George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle 16 July 1827 26 January 1828 Whig
Viscount Goderich
Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough 1stEarlOfEllenborough.jpg President of the Board of Control (from 19 September 1828) 26 January 1828 10 June 1829 Tory Duke of Wellington
James St Clair-Erskine, 2nd Earl of Rosslyn Rosslyn2.JPG 10 June 1829 22 November 1830 Tory
John George Lambton, 1st Baron Durham John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham by Thomas Phillips.jpg 22 November 1830 3 April 1833 Whig Earl Grey
Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon by Sir Thomas Lawrence.jpg 3 April 1833 5 June 1834 Whig
George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle 5 June 1834 30 July 1834 Whigs
Constantine Henry Phipps, 2nd Earl of Mulgrave 1stMarquessOfNormanby.jpg 30 July 1834 14 November 1834 Whig Viscount Melbourne
James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe 1stLordWharncliffe.jpg 15 December 1834 8 April 1835 Conservative Sir Robert Peel, Bt
John William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Duncannon, commonly called Viscount Duncannon Bessborough4.JPG First Commissioner of Woods and Forests 23 April 1835 15 January 1840 Whig Viscount Melbourne
George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon 4thEarlOfClarendon.jpg Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (31 October 1840 – 23 June 1841) 15 January 1840 30 August 1841 Whig
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos 2ndDukeOfBuckinghamAndChandos.JPG 3 September 1841 2 February 1842 Conservative Sir Robert Peel, Bt
Walter Francis Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch and 7th Duke of Queensberry 5th Duke of Buccleuch.jpg 2 February 1842 21 January 1846 Conservative
Thomas Hamilton, 9th Earl of Haddington Thomas Hamilton.jpg 21 January 1846 27 June 1846 Conservative
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 2nd Earl of Minto 2ndEarlOfMinto.jpg 6 July 1846 21 February 1852 Whig Lord John Russell
James Brownlow William Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury James Brownlow William Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury Eddis.jpg 27 February 1852 17 December 1852 Conservative Earl of Derby
George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll by George Frederic Watts.jpg 4 January 1853 7 December 1855 Peelite Earl of Aberdeen
Viscount Palmerston
Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby.jpg 7 December 1855 3 February 1858 Whig
Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde Clanricarde1.JPG 3 February 1858 21 February 1858 Whig
Charles Philip Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke 4thEarlOfHardwicke.jpg 26 February 1858 11 June 1859 Conservative Earl of Derby
George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll by George Frederic Watts.jpg 18 June 1859 26 June 1866 Liberal Viscount Palmerston
Earl Russell
James Howard Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury 3rd Earl of Malmesbury.jpg 6 July 1866 1 December 1868 Conservative Earl of Derby
Benjamin Disraeli
John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley 1st Earl of Kimberley 1868.jpg 9 December 1868 6 July 1870 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax 1stViscountHalifax.jpg 6 July 1870 17 February 1874 Liberal
James Howard Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury 3rd Earl of Malmesbury.jpg 21 February 1874 12 August 1876 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli (Earl of Beaconsfield from 1876)
Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield Benjamin Disraeli by Cornelius Jabez Hughes, 1878.jpg Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury 12 August 1876 4 February 1878 Conservative
Algernon GEorge Percy, 6th Duke of Northumberland 6th Duke of Northumberland.png 4 February 1878 21 April 1880 Conservative
George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll by George Frederic Watts.jpg 28 April 1880 2 May 1881 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford 1st Baron Carlingford.jpg 2 May 1881 5 March 1885 Liberal
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg First Commissioner of Works 5 March 1885 9 June 1885 Liberal
Dudley Francis Stuart Ryder, 3rd Earl of Harrowby DFS Ryder 3rd Earl of Harrowby, Lock & Whitfield.jpg 24 June 1885 28 January 1886 Conservative Marquess of Salisbury
William Ewart Gladstone 1271754717 william-e.-gladstone.jpg Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Leader of the House of Commons 17 February 1886 20 July 1886 Liberal Himself
George Henry Cadogan, 5th Earl Cadogan George Cadogan, 5th Earl Cadogan.jpg 3 August 1886 11 August 1892 Conservative Marquess of Salisbury
William Ewart Gladstone 1271754717 william-e.-gladstone.jpg Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Leader of the House of Commons 20 August 1892 10 March 1894 Liberal Himself
Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth Portrait of Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth.jpg Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (from 28 May 1894) 10 March 1894 21 June 1895 Liberal Earl of Rosebery
Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross Portrait of Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross.jpg 29 June 1895 12 November 1900 Conservative Marquess of Salisbury

Edwardian and war-time[edit]

Name Portrait Concurrent title(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury Robert cecil.jpg Prime Minister
Leader of the House of Lords
12 November 1900 – July 1902 Conservative Himself
(Coalition)
Arthur Balfour Gws balfour 02.jpg Prime Minister
Leader of the House of Commons
14 July 1902 – October 1903 Arthur Balfour
(Coalition)
James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury.jpg President of the Board of Trade (from 14 March 1905) 17 October 1903 – December 1905
George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon George Robinson 1st Marquess of Ripon.jpg Leader of the House of Lords (until April 1908) 10 December 1905 – October 1908 Liberal Henry Campbell-Bannerman
  H. H. Asquith
Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Earl of Crewe
(created 1st Marquess of Crewe, 3 July 1911)
Robert Crewe-Milnes portrait.jpg Leader of the House of Lords
Colonial Secretary (until November 1910)
India Secretary (3 November 1910 – 7 March 1911; from 25 May 1911)
9 October 1908 – October 1911
Charles Wynn-Carington, 1st Earl Carrington 1stMarquessOfLincolnshire.jpg 23 October 1911 – February 1912
Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe Robert Crewe-Milnes portrait.jpg Leader of the House of Lords
India Secretary
13 February 1912 – May 1915
George Curzon, 1st Earl Curzon of Kedleston George Curzon2.jpg President of the Air Board (from May 1916) 25 May 1915 – December 1916 Conservative H. H. Asquith
(War coalition)
David Lindsay, 27th Earl of Crawford Crawford27.JPG 15 December 1916 – January 1919 David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
Bonar Law Andrew Bonar Law 02.jpg Leader of the House of Commons 10 January 1919 – March 1921
Austen Chamberlain Laszlo - The Rt. Hon. Sir Austen Chamberlain.jpg 23 March 1921 – October 1922
vacant October 1922 – May 1923 Bonar Law
Lord Robert Cecil
(created 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, 28 December 1923)
Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood cph.3b29913.jpg 28 May 1923 – January 1924 Stanley Baldwin
J. R. Clynes Jrclynes.jpg Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 22 January – November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury.jpg Leader of the House of Lords (from 27 April 1925) 6 November 1924 – June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Jimmy Thomas JH Thomas cigarette card.jpg responsibility for employment 7 June 1929 – June 1930 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Vernon Hartshorn 5 June 1930 – March 1931
Tom Johnston 24 March – August 1931
William Peel, 1st Earl Peel Earl Peel cropped.jpg August – November 1931 Conservative Ramsay MacDonald
(1st Nat. coalition)
Philip Snowden
(created 1st Viscount Snowden, 26 November 1931)
Philip Snowden, 1st Viscount Snowden.jpg 5 November 1931 – September 1932 National Labour Ramsay MacDonald
(2nd Nat. coalition)
Stanley Baldwin Stanley Baldwin ggbain.35233.jpg 29 September 1932 – December 1933 Conservative
Anthony Eden Sir Anthony-Eden number 10 Official.jpg 31 December 1933 – June 1935
Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry Charles (Charlie) Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry.jpg Leader of the House of Lords 7 June – November 1935 Stanley Baldwin
(3rd Nat. coalition)
Edward Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax Lord Halifax 1937.jpg 22 November 1935 – May 1937
Herbrand Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr 28 May 1937 – October 1938 National Labour Neville Chamberlain
(4th Nat. coalition)
John Anderson John Anderson cropped.jpg 31 October 1938 – September 1939 National
Samuel Hoare Sir Samuel Hoare GGBain.jpg 3 September 1939 – April 1940 Conservative Neville Chamberlain
(War coalition)
Kingsley Wood Kingsley Wood cropped.jpg 3 April – May 1940
Clement Attlee Attlee BW cropped.jpg Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 11 May 1940 – February 1942 Labour Winston Churchill
(War coalition)
Stafford Cripps Stafford Cripps 1947.jpg Leader of the House of Commons 19 February – November 1942
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 1947.jpg Leader of the House of Lords 22 November 1942 – September 1943 Conservative
Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook Lord Beaverbrook 1947b.jpg 24 September 1943 – July 1945
Winston Churchill
(Caretaker coalition)

Post-War[edit]

Name Portrait Concurrent title(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Arthur Greenwood ArthurGreenwood2.jpg Paymaster General (9 July 1946 – 5 March 1947) 27 July 1945 – 17 April 1947 Labour Clement Attlee
Philip Inman, 1st Baron Inman 17 April – 7 October 1947
Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison.jpg Leader of the House of Lords
Paymaster General (2 July 1948 – 1 April 1949)
7 October 1947 – 9 March 1951
Ernest Bevin Ernest Bevin cph.3b17494.jpg 9 March – 14 April 1951
Richard Stokes Minister of Materials (from 6 July) 26 April – October 1951
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 1947.jpg Leader of the House of Lords
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (from 12 March 1952)
28 October 1951 – 7 May 1952 Conservative Winston Churchill
Harry Crookshank Crookshank1932.png Leader of the House of Commons 7 May 1952 – 20 December 1955
Anthony Eden
Rab Butler Leader of the House of Commons
Home Secretary (from 13 January 1957)
20 December 1955 – October 1959
Harold Macmillan
Quintin Hogg, 2nd Viscount Hailsham Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham Allan Warren.jpg Minister of Science 14 October 1959 – July 1960
Edward Heath Sir Edward Heath Allan Warren.jpg 27 July 1960 – October 1963
Selwyn Lloyd Leader of the House of Commons 20 October 1963 – October 1964 Alec Douglas-Home
Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford Lord Longford 4 Allan Warren.jpg Leader of the House of Lords 18 October 1964 – December 1965 Labour Harold Wilson
Sir Frank Soskice 23 December 1965 – April 1966
Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford Lord Longford 4 Allan Warren.jpg Leader of the House of Lords 6 April 1966 – January 1968
Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton 16 January – April 1968
Fred Peart 6 April – October 1968
Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton Leader of the House of Lords 18 October 1968 – June 1970
George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe.jpg 20 June 1970 – May/June 1973 Conservative Edward Heath
David Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham 5 June 1973 – March 1974
Malcolm Shepherd, 2nd Baron Shepherd 7 March 1974 – September 1976 Labour Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Fred Peart
(created Baron Peart, 23 September 1976)
10 September 1976 – May 1979
Sir Ian Gilmour, Bt. 5 May 1979 – September 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Humphrey Atkins 14 September 1981 – April 1982
Janet Young, Baroness Young Leader of the House of Lords 6 April 1982 – June 1983
John Biffen Leader of the House of Commons 11 June 1983 – June 1987
John Wakeham 13 June 1987 – 10 January 1988
John Ganzoni, 2nd Baron Belstead Leader of the House of Lords 10 January 1988 – 28 November 1990
David Waddington
(created Baron Waddington, 4 December 1990)
28 November 1990 – 11 April 1992
John Wakeham
(created Baron Wakeham, 24 April 1992)
11 April 1992 – 20 July 1994 Conservative John Major
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 2013.JPG 20 July 1994 – 2 May 1997
Ivor Richard, Baron Richard 2 May 1997 – 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington Baroness Jay of Paddington.jpg 27 July 1998 – 8 June 2001

21st century[edit]

Name Portrait Concurrent title(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Gareth Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn Leader of the House of Lords 8 June 2001 – 13 June 2003 Labour Tony Blair
Peter Hain Peter Hain.png Leader of the House of Commons 13 June 2003 – 6 May 2005 Labour
Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Headshot.jpg 6 May 2005 – 5 May 2006 Labour
Jack Straw Jack Straw 2.jpg 5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007 Labour
Harriet Harman Harriet Harman, 2014.jpg Leader of the House of Commons
& Minister for Women and Equality
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown
Sir George Young, 6th Baronet George Young Minister.jpg Leader of the House of Commons 12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012 Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)
Andrew Lansley Andrew Lansley Official.jpg 4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014 Conservative
Tina Stowell, Baroness Stowell of Beeston The Baroness Stowell.jpg Leader of the House of Lords 15 July 2014 – 14 July 2016 Conservative
David Cameron
(II)
Natalie Evans, Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Natalie Evans, Baroness Evans.jpg 14 July 2016 – present Conservative Theresa May

Other countries[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/27
  2. ^ Francis Beckett, Clem Attlee (London: Richard Cohen Books, 1997), p. 285
  3. ^ Sayers, Jane. "The English Royal Chancery" (PDF). Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 5463. p. 1. 25–28 August 1716.
  5. ^ VERNON, James II (1677–1756), of Westminster, Mdx. at The History of Parliament Online. Accessed 14 June 2014.
  6. ^ VERNON, James (1646–1727), of Frith Street, Westminster. at The History of Parliament Online. Accessed 14 June 2014.