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The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the
commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commission (art), the purchase or the creation of a piece of art most often on behalf of another ...
exercising the ancient office of
Lord High Treasurer The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a British government position since the Acts of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third-highest-ranked Great Officers of State (Un ...
in the United Kingdom, and is by convention also the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. This office is not equivalent to the usual position of the "
treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executi ...
" in other governments; the closer equivalent of a treasurer in the United Kingdom is
chancellor of the exchequer The chancellor of the Exchequer, often abbreviated to the chancellor, is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and the chief executive officer of HM Treasury, Her Majesty's Treasury. As one of the four Grea ...
, who is the second lord of the Treasury.


Lords of the Treasury

As of the beginning of the 17th century, the running of the
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be State ownership, state or roy ...
was frequently entrusted to a commission, rather than to a single individual. Since 1714, it has permanently been in commission. The commissioners have always since that date been referred to as
Lords Commissioners of the Treasury In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to ...
, and adopted
ordinal numbers In set theory Set theory is the branch of that studies , which can be informally described as collections of objects. Although objects of any kind can be collected into a set, set theory, as a branch of , is mostly concerned with those that ...
to describe their seniority. Eventually in the middle of the same century, the first lord of the Treasury came to be seen as the natural head of the overall ministry running the country, and, as of the time of
Robert Walpole Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, (26 August 1676 – 18 March 1745; known between 1725 and 1742 as Sir Robert Walpole) was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the Unit ...

Robert Walpole
(
Whig Whig or Whigs may refer to: Parties and factions In the British Isles * A pejorative nickname for the Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presbyterian faction of the Scotland, Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. ...
), began to be known, unofficially, as the
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. The term prime minister was initially, but decreasingly, used as a term of derogation; it was first used officially in a royal warrant only in 1905.
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
said the prime minister "ought to be the person at the head of the finances"—though Pitt also served as
chancellor of the exchequer The chancellor of the Exchequer, often abbreviated to the chancellor, is a senior minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom, and the chief executive officer of HM Treasury, Her Majesty's Treasury. As one of the four Grea ...
for the entirety of his time as prime minister, so his linkage of the finance portfolio to the premiership was wider than merely proposing the occupation of the first lordship by the prime minister. Prior to 1841 the first lord of the Treasury also held the office of chancellor of the exchequer unless he was a peer and thus barred from that office; in this case, the
second lord of the Treasury The Chancellor of the Exchequer, often abbreviated to the Chancellor, is a high ranking Minister of the Crown Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister of the reigning sovereign ...
usually served as chancellor. As of 1841, the chancellor has always been second lord of the Treasury when he was not also prime minister. By convention, the other Lords Commissioners of the Treasury are also Government
Whips A whip is a tool designed to strike humans or other animals to exert control through pain compliance Pain compliance is the use of painful stimulus to control or direct an organism. The stimulus can be manual (brute force, placing pressure on ...
in the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
.


Official residence

10 Downing Street 10 Downing Street in London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ...

10 Downing Street
is the official residence of the first lord of the Treasury, not the office of prime minister.
Chequers Chequers, or Chequers Court, is the country house An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a Townhouse (Great Britain), town house. This ...

Chequers
, a
country house An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a Townhouse (Great Britain), town house. This allowed them to spend time in the country and in the cit ...

country house
in
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire (), abbreviated Bucks, is a ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are areas of Eng ...

Buckinghamshire
, is the official country residence of the prime minister, used as a weekend and holiday home, although the residence has also been used by other senior members of government.


List of first lords (1714–1905)

Much of this list overlaps with the
list of prime ministers of the United Kingdom#REDIRECT List of prime ministers of the United Kingdom {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
, but there are some notable differences, principally concerning
Lord Salisbury Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (; 3 February 183022 August 1903) was a British statesman and Conservative Conservatism is a Political philosophy, political and social philosophy promoting traditional soci ...
, who was prime minister but not first lord in 1885–86, 1887–92 and 1895–1902. Those first lords who were simultaneously prime minister are indicated in bold; those who were considered prime minister only during part of their term are indicated in ''bold italic''. Thereafter the posts of first lord and prime minister have continually been held by the same person .


See also

*
Chief Baron of the Exchequer The Chief Baron of the Exchequer was the first "baron" (i.e., judge A judge is a person who presides over court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governi ...
*
List of Lords Commissioners of the Treasury This is a list of Lord High Treasurer, Lords Commissioners of the Treasury of Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain. In modern times, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury are the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister (who is als ...
*
Minister for the Civil Service In the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick , image = HM Government logo.svg , image_size=220px, date_established = , state = United Kingdom The United Kingdom ...
, by convention also the Prime Minister *
Secretary to the Treasury In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure a ...


Notes


References


Sources

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:First Lord Of The Treasury
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be State ownership, state or roy ...
Ministerial offices in the United Kingdom British Prime Minister's Office 1714 establishments in Great Britain