A sinecure (from Latin "sine", without, and "cura", care) means an office which requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. Sinecures have historically provided a potent tool for governments or monarchs to distribute
patronage, while recipients are able to store up titles and easy salaries.
A sinecure is not necessarily a figurehead, which generally requires active participation in government, albeit with a lack of power. A sinecure, by contrast, has no real day-to-day responsibilities, but may have
A sinecure can also be given to an individual whose primary job is in another office, but requires a sinecure title to perform that job well. For example, the Government House Leader in Canada is often given a sinecure ministry position so that they may become a member of the Cabinet. Similar examples are the
Lord Privy Sealand the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancasterin the British cabinet. Other sinecures operate as legal fictions, such as the British office of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds, used as a legal excuse for resigning from Parliament.
List of sinecures
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Lord President of the Council
Lord Privy Seal
First Secretary of State
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Lord Clerk Register
President of the Privy Council(Canada)
* Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds
* Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead
Minister without Portfolio
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.