A Postmaster General, in many countries, is the chief executive officer of the postal service of that country, responsible for oversight over 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 Tuke as master of the posts in February 1512. 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 Henry VIII. In 1609 it was decreed that letters could only be carried and delivered by persons authorised by the Postmaster General.
Other examples include:
- Postmaster General of Canada, beginning in 1867
- Postmaster-General's Department, Australia, beginning in 1901
- Postmaster-General of New Zealand, 1858–1989
- Postmaster General of Sri Lanka, beginning in 1815
- Postmasters General of Ireland, 1784–1831
- Postmaster General for Scotland, 1616–1707 then as Deputy Postmaster General for Scotland, 1710–1831
- United States Postmaster General, beginning in 1775
- Postmaster General of Hong Kong, beginning in 1860
- Postmaster General of Army of the Republic of Nicaragua, beginning February in 1856, Colonel Alex P. Jones
- Brewer, J.S.; Brewer, John Sherren; Brodie, Robert Henry; Gairdner, James (1864). Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII. London: Longman, Green, Longman, & Roberts. p. 1454.
- Walker (1938), p. 37
- "Division No. 1 (Postal Services Bill) [15 Jun 2000] – Column 1782". Volume No. 613 – Part No. 104. Hansard. 15 Jun 2000. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
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