Lord High Treasurer

Lord High Treasurer

The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer is an old English (after 1707, British) government position. The holder of the post is third highest of the Great Officers of State, ranking below the Lord High Chancellor and above the Lord President of the Council. The Lord High Treasurer functions as the head of Her Majesty's Treasury.

Since the 17th century the office has been often held not by a single person but by a board of several individuals known as Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, a practice that become permanent after the resignation of Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury in 1714.

In modern times, by convention, the Prime Minister serves as the "First Lord of the Treasury," and the Chancellor of the Exchequer serves as the "Second Lord of the Treasury." Other members of the Government (usually whips in the House of Commons) are appointed to serve as the junior Lords Commissioner.

Origins

The English Treasury seems to have come into existence around 1126, during the reign of Henry I, as the financial responsibilities were separated from the rest of the job that evolved into Lord Great Chamberlain. The Treasury was originally a section of the Royal Household with custody of the King's money. In 1216, a Treasurer was appointed to take control of the Treasury in Winchester. The Treasurer was also an officer of the Exchequer, and supervised the royal accounts. By Tudor times, the Lord High Treasurer had achieved a place among the Great Officers of State, behind the Lord Chancellor and above the Master of the Horse.

During the sixteenth century, the Lord High Treasurer was often considered the most important official of the government, and became a "de facto" Prime Minister. Exemplifying the power of the Lord High Treasurer is William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, who served in the post from 1572 to 1598. During his tenure, he dominated the administration under Elizabeth I.

The modern commissioners

A rarely-varied system has evolved since then. Today, the First Lord of the Treasury is as a rule the Prime Minister, and the Second Lord of the Treasury is the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has inherited most of the functional financial responsibilities.

The next highest ranking commissioners are the Secretaries to the Treasury. They are The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who is also of Cabinet rank and is the senior deputy to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; "The Financial Secretary to the Treasury", who ranks alongside Ministers of State; the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who rank alongside Parliamentary Under-Secretaries; the "Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury" who doesn't actually have any responsibilities in the Treasury but is instead the Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons and finally the "Permanent Secretary to the Treasury" who must be distinguished from the other secretaries, as he is not a politician but the department's senior civil servant, considered second in rank among all civil servants to the Secretary to the Cabinet.

After the secretaries rank the "Junior Lords of the Treasury" who, though theoretically members of the Treasury Board, in practice serve as Government Whips under the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip).

ee also

*List of Lord High Treasurers
*List of Lords Commissioners of the Treasury


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  • Lord High Treasurer — William Cecil, 1. Baron Burghley mit weißem Stab als Insignium der Macht Das Amt des Lord High Treasurer oder Lord Treasurer ist ein altes englisches (nach 1707 britisches) Regierungsamt. Der Inhaber dieses Postens fungiert als Oberhaupt der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lord High Treasurer — Lord High Treasurer, (formerly) a high officer of the British Crown who was in charge of the government s revenue …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lord High Treasurer — noun see treasurer …   English new terms dictionary

  • Lord High Treasurer — Formerly the chief treasurer of England, who had charge of the moneys in the exchequer, the chancellor of the exchequer being under him. He appointed all revenue officers and escheaters, and leased crown lands. The office is obsolete, and his… …   Black's law dictionary

  • lord high treasurer — An officer who was formerly the chief treasurer of England …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • lord high treasurer — An officer formerly existing in England, who had the charge of the royal revenues and customs duties, and of leasing the crown lands. His functions are now vested in the lords commissioners of the treasury …   Black's law dictionary

  • lord high treasurer — An officer formerly existing in England, who had the charge of the royal revenues and customs duties, and of leasing the crown lands. His functions are now vested in the lords commissioners of the treasury …   Black's law dictionary

  • Lord high treasurer of England — Treasurer Treas ur*er, n. [OE. tresourer, F. tr[ e]sorier.] One who has the care of a treasure or treasure or treasury; an officer who receives the public money arising from taxes and duties, or other sources of revenue, takes charge of the same …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lord High Treasurer of Ireland — The Lord High Treasurer of Ireland was the chief financial officer of that kingdom until the treasuries of Great Britain and Ireland were united in 1817. The designation High was added in 1695.Lord Treasurers of Ireland 1217 1695*1217 ndash;1232 …   Wikipedia

  • lord high treasurer of england — Usage: capitalized E : the former third great officer of the crown whose duties are now executed by the Treasury Board …   Useful english dictionary

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