Lord Privy Seal

Lord Privy Seal

Infobox minister office
border = parliamentary
minister = not_prime
office = Leader of the House of Commons

incumbent = Harriet Harman QC MP
tookoffice = 28 June 2007
appointed_by = Gordon Brown
governor = Prime Minister
first_minister = John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle
(of Great Britain)
date = 1707

The Lord Privy Seal or 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 State, which is in the care of the Lord Chancellor). Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet.

Though one of the oldest offices in government anywhere, it has no particular function today; 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 jocular clarification that the office holder is "neither a lord, nor a privy, nor a seal", though sometimes credited to Edward Heath, was attributed by him to Ernest Bevin.

Television industry term

The term "Lord Privy Seal" (as in "not bad, but it's a bit Lord Privy Seal") is used in the British television industry as shorthand for associating pictures too closely and literally with every element of the accompanying spoken script. The origin is a TV comedy sketch in "The Frost Report" taking the practice to an extreme, which backed a "news report" mention of the Lord Privy Seal with images, in quick succession, of a lord, an outdoor toilet, and a seal balancing a ball on its nose.

English Lords Privy Seal, 1307–1707

*William Melton (1307–1312)
*Roger Northburgh (1312–1316)
*Thomas Charlton (1316–1320)
*Robert Baldock (1320–1323)
*Robert Wodehouse (1323)
*Robert Ayleston (1323–1324)
*William Ayermin (1324–1325)
*Henry Cliff (1325)
*William Herlaston (1325–1326)
*Robert Wyvil (1326–1327)
*Richard Airmyn (1327–1328)
*Adam Lymbergh (1328–1329)
*Richard Bury, Bishop of Durham (1329–1334)
*Robert Ayleston (1334)
*Robert Tawton (1334–1335)
*William de la Zouch (1335–1337)
*Richard Bintworth (1337–1338)
*William Kilsby (1338–1342)
*John de Ufford (1342–1344)
*Thomas Hatfield (1344–1345)
*John Thoresby (1345–1347)
*Simon Islip, Archbishop of Canterbury (1347–1350)
*Michael Northburgh (1350–1354)
*Thomas Bramber (1354–1355)
*John Winwick (1355–1360)
*John Buckingham, Bishop of Lincoln (1360–1363)
*William of Wykeham (1363–1367)
*Peter Lacy (1367–1371)
*Nicholas Carew (1371–1377)
*John Fordham (1377–1381)
*William Dighton (1381–1382)
*Walter Skirclaw, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (1382–1386)
*John Waltham, Bishop of Salisbury (1386–1389)
*Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter (1389–1396)
*Guy Mone (1396–1397)
*Richard Clifford (1397–1401)
*Thomas Langley (1401–1405)
*Nicholas Bubwith (1405–1406)
*John Prophet (1406–1415)
*John Wakering, Bishop of Norwich (1415–1416)
*Henry Ware (1416–1418)
*John Kemp, Bishop of Rochester (1418–1421)
*John Stafford (1421–1422)
*William Alnwick, Bishop of Norwich (1422–1432)
*William Lyndwood, Bishop of St David's (1432–1443)
*Thomas Beckington, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1443–1444)
*Adam Moleyns, Bishop of Chichester (1444–1450)
*Andrew Holes (1450–1452)
*Thomas Lisieux (1452–1456)
*Laurence Booth, Bishop of Durham (1456–1460)
*Robert Stillington, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1460–1467)
*Thomas Rotheram, Bishop of Rochester (1467–1470)
*John Hales, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (1470–1471)
*Thomas Rotheram, Bishop of Rochester (1471–1474)
*John Russell, Bishop of Rochester, later Bishop of Lincoln (1473–1483)
*John Gunthorp (1483–1485)
*Peter Courtenay, Bishop of Exeter (1485–1487)
*Richard Foxe, Bishop of Exeter, later Bishop of Bath and Wells, Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Winchester (1487–1516)
*Thomas Ruthall, Bishop of Durham (1516–1523)
*Henry Marney, 1st Baron Marney (1523)
*Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of London (1523–1530)
*Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire (1530–1536)
*Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex 1536–1540)
*William Fitzwilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton (1540–1542)
*John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford (1542–1555)
*William Paget, 1st Baron Paget (1555–1558)
*William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (1571–1572)
*William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham (1572–1573)
*Sir Thomas Smith (1573–1576)
*Francis Walsingham (1576–1590)
*William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (1590–1598)
*Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury (1598–1608)
*Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton (1608–1614)
*Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset (1614–1616)
*Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester (1616–1625)
*Sir John Coke (1625–1628)
*Sir Robert Naunton (1628)
*Henry Montagu, 1st Earl of Manchester (1628–1642)
*Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (1643)
*Sir Edward Nicholas (1643–1644)
*Henry Bourchier, 5th Earl of Bath (1644–1654)
*John Robartes, 2nd Baron Robartes (1661–1673)
*Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey (1673–1682)
*George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1682–1685)
*Henry Hyde, 2nd Earl of Clarendon (1685–1687)
*Henry Arundell, 3rd Baron Arundell of Wardour (1687–1688)
*George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1689–1690)
*"In Commission 1690–1692"
*Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke (1692–1699)
*John Lowther, 1st Viscount Lonsdale (1699–1700)
*Ford Grey, 1st Earl of Tankerville (1700–1701)
*"In Commission 1701–1702"
*John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby (1702–1705)
*John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1705–1707)

British Lords Privy Seal, 1707–present

*John Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1707–1711)
*John Robinson, Bishop of Bristol (1711–1713)
*William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth (1713–1714)
*Thomas Wharton, 1st Marquess of Wharton (1714–1715)
*"In Commission 1715"
*Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1715–1716)
*Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston (1716–1718)
*Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent (1718–1719)
*Evelyn Pierrepont, 1st Duke of Kingston (1720–1726)
*Thomas Trevor, 1st Baron Trevor (1726–1730)
*Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington (1730–1731)
*"In Commission 1731"
*William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire (1731–1733)
*Henry Lowther, 3rd Viscount Lonsdale (1733–1735)
*Francis Godolphin, 2nd Earl of Godolphin (1735–1740)
*John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey (1740–1742)
*John Leveson-Gower, 2nd Baron Gower (1742–1743)
*George Cholmondeley, 3rd Earl of Cholmondeley (1743–1744)
*John Leveson-Gower, 1st Earl Gower (1744–1755)
*Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough (1755)
*Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Gower (1755–1757)
*Richard Grenville-Temple, 2nd Earl Temple (1757–1761)
*"In Commission 1761"
*John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford (1761–1763)
*George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (1763–1765)
*Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1765–1766)
*William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham (1766–1768)
*George William Hervey, 5th Earl of Bristol (1768–1770)
*George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax (1770–1771)
*Henry Howard, 12th Earl of Suffolk (1771)
*Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Grafton (1771–1775)
*William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth (1775–1782)
*Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton (1782–1783)
*Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle (1783)
*Charles Manners, 4th Duke of Rutland (1783–1784)
*"In Commission 1784"
*Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford (1784–1794)
*George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1794)
*John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (1794–1798)
*John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland (1798–1806)
*Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth (1806)
*Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland (1806–1807)
*John Fane, 10th Earl of Westmorland (1807–1827)
*William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland (1827)
*George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle (1827–1828)
*Edward Law, 2nd Baron Ellenborough (1828–1829)
*James St Clair-Erskine, 2nd Earl of Rosslyn (1829–1830)
*John George Lambton, 1st Baron Durham (1830–1833)
*Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon (1833–1834)
*George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle (1834)
*Constantine Henry Phipps, 2nd Earl of Mulgrave (1834)
*James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe (1834–1835)
*John William Ponsonby, Viscount Duncannon (1835–1840)
*George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon (1840–1841)
*Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1841–1842)
*Walter Francis Montagu-Douglas-Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch (1842–1846)
*Thomas Hamilton, 9th Earl of Haddington (1846)
*Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 2nd Earl of Minto (1846–1852)
*James Brownlow William Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury (1852)
*George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll (1853–1855)
*Dudley Ryder, 2nd Earl of Harrowby (1855–1858)
*Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde (1858)
*Charles Philip Yorke, 4th Earl of Hardwicke (1858–1859)
*George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll (1859–1866)
*James Howard Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury (1866–1868)
*John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley (1868–1870)
*Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax (1870–1874)
*James Howard Harris, 3rd Earl of Malmesbury (1874–1876)
*Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1876–1878)
*Algernon George Percy, 6th Duke of Northumberland (1878–1880)
*George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll (1880–1881)
*Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue, 1st Baron Carlingford (1881–1885)
*Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1885)
*Dudley Ryder, 3rd Earl of Harrowby (1885–1886)
*William Ewart Gladstone (1886)
*George Henry Cadogan, 5th Earl Cadogan (1886–1892)
*William Ewart Gladstone (1892–1894)
*Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth (1894–1895)
*Richard Assheton Cross, 1st Viscount Cross (1895–1900)
*Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (1900–1902)
*Arthur Balfour (1902–1903)
*James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury (1903–1905)
*George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon (1905–1908)
*Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Earl of Crewe (1908–1911)
*Charles Robert Wynn Carrington, 1st Earl Carrington (1911–1912)
*Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (1912–1915)
*George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Earl Curzon (1915–1916)
*David Lindsay, 27th Earl of Crawford (1916–1919)
*Andrew Bonar Law (1919–1921)
*Austen Chamberlain (1921–1922)
*Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood (1922–1924)
*John Robert Clynes (1924)
*James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury (1924–1929)
*James Henry Thomas (1929–1930)
*Vernon Hartshorn (1930–1931)
*Thomas Johnston (1931)
*William Wellesley Peel, 1st Earl Peel (1931)
*Philip Snowden, 1st Viscount Snowden (1931–1932)
*Stanley Baldwin (1932–1934)
*Anthony Eden (1934–1935)
*Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry (1935)
*Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax (1935–1937)
*Herbrand Sackville, 9th Earl De La Warr (1937–1938)
*Sir John Anderson (1938–1939)
*Sir Samuel Hoare (1939–1940)
*Sir Kingsley Wood (1940)
*Clement Attlee (1940–1942)
*Sir Stafford Cripps (1942)
*Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne (1942–1943)
*William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook (1943–1945)
*Arthur Greenwood (1945–1947)
*Philip Inman, 1st Baron Inman (1947)
*Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison (1947–1951)
*Ernest Bevin (1951)
*Richard Stokes (1951)
*Robert Arthur James Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury (1951–1952)
*Harry Crookshank (1952–1955)
*Rab Butler (1955–1959)
*Quintin McGarel Hogg, 2nd Viscount Hailsham (1959–1960)
*Edward Heath (1960–1963)
*Selwyn Lloyd (1963–1964)
*Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford (1964–1965)
*Sir Frank Soskice (1965–1966)
*Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford (1966–1968)
*Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton (1968)
*Fred Peart (1968)
*Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton (1968–1970)
*George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe (1970–1973)
*David Hennessy, 3rd Baron Windlesham (1973–1974)
*Malcolm Shepherd, 2nd Baron Shepherd (1974–1976)
*Fred Peart, Baron Peart (1976–1979)
*Sir Ian Gilmour (1979–1981)
*Humphrey Atkins (1981–1982)
*Janet Young, Baroness Young (1982–1983)
*John Biffen (1983–1987)
*John Wakeham (1987–1988)
*John Ganzoni, 2nd Baron Belstead (1988–1990)
*David Waddington, Baron Waddington (1990–1992)
*John Wakeham, Baron Wakeham (1992–1994)
*Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Viscount Cranborne (1994–1997)
*Ivor Richard, Baron Richard (1997–1998)
*Margaret Jay, Baroness Jay of Paddington (1998–2001)
*Gareth Wyn Williams, Baron Williams of Mostyn (2001–2003)
*Peter Hain (2003–2005)
*Geoff Hoon (2005–2006)
*Jack Straw (2006–2007)
*Harriet Harman (2007– )

Other countries

*Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan
*Keeper of the Rulers' Seal of Malaysia

ee also

*Keeper of the seals
*Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland
*Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
*Vice President of the United States



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  • Lord privy seal — Lord du sceau privé Le Lord du sceau privé, en anglais Lord Privy Seal, est le cinquième des plus grands officiers d’État du Royaume Uni, derrière le Lord président du conseil (Lord President of the Council) et devant le Lord grand chambellan… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lord Privy Seal —   [lɔːd prɪvɪ siːl], Lord Geheimsiegelbewahrer, Lordsiegelbewahrer, ursprünglich in England der Bewahrer des königlichen Privatsiegels, heute ein Mitglied des britischen Kabinetts ohne Ressort …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lord Privy Seal — ► NOUN ▪ (in the UK) a senior cabinet minister without specified official duties …   English terms dictionary

  • Lord Privy Seal — noun the senior cabinet minister in the British Cabinet who has no official duties • Hypernyms: ↑cabinet minister • Member Holonyms: ↑British Cabinet * * * noun : a British officer of state who has only nominal official duties as custodian of the …   Useful english dictionary

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