Postmaster General

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A Postmaster General,[1] in Anglosphere countries, is the chief executive officer of the postal service of that country, a ministerial office responsible for overseeing all other postmasters. The practice of having a government official responsible for overseeing the delivery of mail throughout the nation originated in England, where a 'Master of the Posts' is mentioned in the King's Book of Payments, with a payment of £100 being authorised for Sir Brian Tuke as 'Master of the King's Post'[1] in February 1512.[2] Belatedly, in 1517, he was officially appointed to the office of 'Governor of the King's Posts', a precursor to the office of Postmaster General of the United Kingdom, by King Henry VIII.[3] In 1609, it was decreed that letters could only be carried and delivered by persons authorised by the Postmaster General.[1]

In the United Kingdom, the office of Postmaster General was abolished in 1969, being replaced by the Minister of Posts and Communications. In turn, its functions were subsequently transferred to the Secretary of State at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).[1]

Other examples include:

jurisdiction official title years
Scotland Postmaster General for Scotland 1616–1707
United States of America United States Postmaster General 1775–present
Ireland Postmaster-General of Ireland 1784–1831
Sri Lanka Postmaster General of Sri Lanka 1815–present
New Zealand Postmaster-General of New Zealand 1858–1989
Hong Kong Postmaster General of Hong Kong 1860–present
Canada Postmaster General of Canada 1867–1981
Australia Postmaster-General of Australia 1901–1975


  1. ^ a b c d Baroness Miller of Hendon (15 June 2000). "Division No. 1 (Postal Services Bill)". Lords Hansard text for 15 June 2000 (22615-08). Volume No. 613 – Part No. 104. Hansard. col. 1782. Retrieved 17 August 2013. |volume= has extra text (help)
  2. ^ Brewer, J.S.; Brewer, John Sherren; Brodie, Robert Henry; Gairdner, James (1864). Letters and papers, foreign and domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII. Preserved in the Public Record Office, the British Museum, and elsewhere in England. vol. II, pt. II. Public Record Office, London: Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts. p. 1454. |volume= has extra text (help)
  3. ^ Walker (1938), p. 37[clarification needed]