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The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a
British government 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 of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
position since the Acts of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third-highest-ranked
Great Officer of State 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 prefe ...
in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
, below the
Lord High Steward The position of Lord High Steward is the first of the Great Officers of State in England, nominally ranking above the Lord Chancellor and the Prime Minister. The office has generally remained vacant since 1421, and is now an ''ad hoc'' offic ...
and the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. The Lord High Treasurer functions as the head of
Her Majesty's Treasury Her Majesty's Treasury (HM Treasury), sometimes referred to as the Exchequer, or more informally the Treasury, is the Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for develop ...
. The office has, since the resignation of
Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury, Order of the Garter, KG, Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, PC (24 July 16601 February 1718) was an England, English politician who was part of the Immortal Seven group that invited William III of ...
in 1714, been vacant. Although the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some f ...

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
was created in 1801, it was not until the Consolidated Fund Act 1816 that the separate offices of 'Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain' and
Lord High Treasurer of Ireland The Lord High Treasurer of Ireland was the head of the Exchequer of Ireland, chief financial officer of the Kingdom of Ireland. The designation ''High'' was added in 1695. After the Acts of Union 1800 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and ...
were united into one office as the 'Lord High Treasurer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' on 5 January 1817. Section 2 of the Consolidated Fund Act 1816 also provides that "whenever there shall not be Lord High Treasurer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland it shall... be lawful for His Majesty, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, to appoint Commissioners for executing the Offices of Treasurer of the Exchequer of Great Britain and Lord High Treasurer of Ireland". These are the
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 ...
. In modern times, by convention, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury include the
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a ...
, usually serving as the 'First Lord of the Treasury', and the
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 ...
, serving as the 'Second Lord of the Treasury'. Other members of the government, usually
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 ...
, are appointed to serve as the junior Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.


Origins

The English Treasury seems to have come into existence around 1126, during the reign of
Henry IHenry I may refer to: 876–1366 * Henry I the Fowler, King of Germany (876–936) * Henry I, Duke of Bavaria (died 955) * Henry I of Austria, Margrave of Austria (died 1018) * Henry I of France (1008–1060) * Henry I the Long, Margrave of the Nord ...

Henry I
, as the financial responsibilities were separated from the rest of the job that evolved into
Lord Great Chamberlain The Lord Great Chamberlain of England is the sixth of the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inherit their positions or are appointed to exercise cert ...
. 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 Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London ...
. The Treasurer was also an officer of the
Exchequer In the civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transi ...
, and supervised the royal accounts. It was in the 16th century, the office's title of 'King's Treasurer' developed into 'Lord High Treasurer'. By
Tudor Tudor most commonly refers to: * House of Tudor, English royal house of Welsh origins ** Tudor period, a historical era in England coinciding with the rule of the Tudor dynasty Tudor may also refer to: Architecture * Tudor architecture, the fi ...
times, the Lord High Treasurer had achieved a place among the Great Officers of State, behind the
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the Great Officers of State In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are traditional ministers of The Crown who either inheri ...
and above the
Master of the Horse The Master of the Horse was (and in some cases, still is) a position of varying importance in several European nations. Magister Equitum (Ancient Rome) The original Master of the Horse (Latin ''Magister Equitum'') in the Roman Republic The ...
. Under the
Treason Act 1351 The Treason Act 1351 is an Act of the Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assem ...
it was
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
to kill him. The Lord High Treasurer was also Treasurer of the Exchequer – two distinct offices. The Lord High Treasurer was appointed by the delivery of a white staff to the appointee, and the Treasurer of the Exchequer was appointed by letters patent. It is the office of Treasurer of the Exchequer that is put into commission, not the office of Lord High Treasurer. When the office of Treasurer of the Exchequer is put into commission, the office of Lord High Treasurer is left vacant. 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 William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (13 September 15204 August 1598) was an English statesman, the chief adviser of Queen Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga ...
, who served in the post from 1572 to 1598. During his tenure, he dominated the administration under
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
.Loades, D., ''The Cecils: Privilege and Power behind the throne'', The National Archives, 2007.


List


System

A system exists which has hardly varied. The
First Lord of the Treasury The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, and is by convention also the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, pri ...
is 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 ...
, and 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 ...
is the
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 has inherited most of the functional financial responsibilities. Next 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 The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury is a senior ministerial position in the British Government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdo ...
(
Chief Whip The Chief Whip is a political leader whose task is to ensure the Whip (politics), whipping system that tries to ensure that members of the Political party, party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. United Kingdom In Politics of ...
).


See also

*
List of Lord High Treasurers This is a list of Lord High Treasurer The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an Lord High Treasurers of England, English government position and has been a British government position since the Acts of Union of 1707. A holder ...
*
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 ...


References


Citations


Sources

* {{Admiralty and Marine Affairs Office