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The Lord Privy Seal (or, more formally, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal) is the fifth 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 certain largely ceremonial functions or to operate as members of the government. This cite ...
in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the
Lord President of the Council The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal. ...
and above the
Lord Great Chamberlain The Lord Great Chamberlain of England is the sixth of the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable of England, Lord High Constable. The Lord Great Ch ...
. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal (privy) seal (as opposed to the
Great Seal of the Realm The Great Seal of the Realm or Great Seal of the United Kingdom (known prior to the Treaty of Union of 1707 as the Great Seal of England; and from then until the Union of 1801 as the Great Seal of Great Britain) is a seal Seal may refer to ...
, which is in the care of 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 ...
) until the use of such a seal became obsolete. The office is currently one of the traditional
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin ''sine'' 'without' and ''cura'' 'care') is an office, carrying a salary or otherwise generating income, that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service. The term originated in the medi ...
offices of state or may be referred to as
Minister without Portfolio A minister without portfolio is either a government minister A minister is a politician who heads a ministry (government department), ministry, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some juris ...
. Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the
Cabinet of the United Kingdom The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown Minister of the Crown is a formal constitutional term used in Commonwealth realms to describe a minister of the reigning sovereign or viceroy A vic ...
. Though one of the oldest offices in European governments, it has no particular function today because the use of a privy seal has been obsolete for centuries; thus the office has generally been used as a kind of
minister without portfolio A minister without portfolio is either a government minister A minister is a politician who heads a ministry (government department), ministry, making and implementing decisions on policies in conjunction with the other ministers. In some juris ...
. Since the premiership of
Clement Attlee Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, (3 January 18838 October 1967) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head o ...

Clement Attlee
, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of
Leader of the House of Lords The Leader of the House of Lords is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown in the government of the United Kingdom. A committee of the Privy C ...
or
Leader of the House of Commons The Leader of the House of Commons is generally a member or attendee of the cabinet of the United Kingdom. The House of Commons devotes approximately three-quarters of its time to debating and explaining government business, such as Bill (law), b ...
. The office of Lord Privy Seal, unlike those of Leader of the Lords or Commons, is eligible for a ministerial salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975. The office does not confer membership of the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
, leading to
Ernest Bevin Ernest Bevin (9 March 1881 – 14 April 1951) was a British statesman, trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. ...

Ernest Bevin
's remark on holding this office that he was "neither a
Lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief, or a ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peera ...
, nor a
Privy
Privy
, nor a
Seal Seal may refer to any of the following: Common uses * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely range (biology), distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, List of semiaquatic tetrapods, semiaqu ...
". During the reign of Edward I, prior to 1307, the Privy Seal was kept by the Controller of the Wardrobe. The Lord Privy Seal was the president of the
Court of RequestsThe Court of Requests was a minor equity court in England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United Kingdom. England and Wales forms the c ...
during its existence.


List of Lord Keepers of the Privy Seal


Lord Keepers of the Privy Seal (c. 1307–1714)


Lord Keepers of the Privy Seal (1714–present)

;Notes


Other countries

*
Keeper of the seals The title keeper of the seals or equivalent is used in several contexts, denoting the person entitled to keep and authorize use of the great seal of a given country. The title may or may not be linked to a particular Cabinet (government), cabinet or ...
of France *
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan The was an administrative post not of Cabinet rank in the government of the Empire of Japan, responsible for keeping the Privy Seal of Japan and State Seal of Japan. The modern office of the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal was identical with the ol ...
*
Keeper of the Rulers' Seal The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal ( ms, Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja, Jawi: ڤنڽيمڤن موهور بسر راج٢) is the government official in Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutiona ...
of Malaysia


See also

*
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a ministerial office in the Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United ...
*
Keeper of the seals The title keeper of the seals or equivalent is used in several contexts, denoting the person entitled to keep and authorize use of the great seal of a given country. The title may or may not be linked to a particular Cabinet (government), cabinet or ...
*
Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland The office of Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland, one of the Great Officers of State, first appears in the reign of David II of Scotland, David II. After the Act of Union 1707 its holder was normally a peerage, peer, like the Great Seal of Sco ...
*
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal File:Toilet Service at Weston Park, Staffs DSCF1061 10.jpg, Ceremonial purse at Weston Park, used by Sir Orlando as Lord Keeper and shown in his portrait above The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly a ...
* Lord Privy Seal (term), as used in the television news business


Citations


References

* {{English Monarchy Household Lists of government ministers of the United Kingdom Ministerial offices in the United Kingdom Lists of British people 1307 establishments in England