Lord Privy Seal
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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, ranking beneath the
Lord President of the Council The lord president of the Council is the presiding officer of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom The Privy Council (PC), officially His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the sovereign of th ...
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, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable of England, Lord Hi ...
. 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 1707, Treaty of Union of 1707 as the Great Seal of England; and from then until the Acts of Union 1800, Union of 1801 as the Great Seal of Grea ...
, which is in the care of the
Lord Chancellor The lord chancellor, formally the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State (United Kingdom), Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, no ...
) until the use of such a seal became obsolete. 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; it may be regarded as a traditional
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from the Latin , 'without', and , '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 medieval chu ...
, but 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 the senior decision-making body of His Majesty's Government. A committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Council, it is chaired by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, prime minister a ...
, and is sometimes referred to as a
Minister without Portfolio A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from the Latin , 'without', and , 'care') is an office, carr ...
. 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 from 1945 to 1951 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 t ...
, the position of Lord Privy Seal has frequently been combined with that of Leader of the House of Lords or
Leader of the House of Commons The leader of the House of Commons is a minister of the Crown of the Government of the United Kingdom whose main role is organising government business in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, House of Commons. The leader is generally a m ...
. 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, also known as the House of Peers, is the Bicameralism, upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by Life peer, appointment, Hereditary peer, heredity or Lords Spiritual, official function. Like the ...
, leading to
Ernest Bevin Ernest Bevin (9 March 1881 – 14 April 1951) was a British statesman, trade union leader, and Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician. He co-founded and served as General Secretary of the powerful Transport and General Workers' Union in th ...
'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, chief, or ruler. The appellation can also denote certain persons who hold a title of the Peerage ...
, nor a 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, semiaquatic, mostly marine mammal, mar ...
". 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 Requests 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 of France * Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan *
Keeper of the Rulers' Seal The Keeper of the Rulers' Seal ( ms, Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja, Jawi script, Jawi: ڤنڽيمڤن موهور بسر راج٢) is the government official in Malaysia charged with custody and use of the Rulers' Seal of Malaysia on behalf of the ...
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 position is the second highest ranking minister in the Cabinet Office, immediately after the Prime Minister, and senior to the Minist ...
* Keeper of the seals * Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland * Lord Keeper of the Great Seal * Lord Privy Seal (term), as used in the television news business


Citations


References

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