Lord Privy Seal

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Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
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Baroness Stowell of Beeston

since 15 July 2014
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer The Sovereign
on advice of the Prime Minister
Inaugural holder William Melton
Formation 1307
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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]

During the reign of Edward I, prior to 1307, the Privy Seal was kept by the Keeper of the Wardrobe.[2] 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]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

Other countries[edit]

See also[edit]


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