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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a sinecure office in the government of the United Kingdom.

History

Originally he was the chief officer in the daily management of the Duchy of Lancaster (a former county palatine merged into the Crown in 1399), but that estate is now run by a deputy, leaving the position of Chancellor to serve in effect as an alternative Minister without Portfolio. The position has often been given to a junior Cabinet minister with responsibilities in a particular area of policy for which there is no department with an appropriate portfolio.

Until recently, ownership of the title had been combined with serving as one of the Ministers for the Cabinet Officemarker. This was true of Alan Milburn, who was given the title by Labour PM Tony Blair in 2004 and at the same time rejoined the Cabinet.

The post was vacant from 2 November 2005 to 5 May 2006, the longest period that the post has been left unfilled since at least 1687. The current Chancellor is The Baroness Royall, who, unlike her recent predecessors, is the Leader of the House of Lords. Since 2003 the holder of that office had been given the sinecure title of Lord President of the Council while the Chancellorship had been given to the Minister for the Cabinet Office (as discussed above), however in the reshuffle of 5 June 2009 Lord Mandelson was made Lord President and, as the new Cabinet Office Minister Tessa Jowell retained her previous sinecure as Paymaster General, this left the Chancellorship to the Baroness Royall.

In recent times, the Chancellor's duties, administrative, financial and legal, have been said to occupy an average of one day a week. Since 1491 there has been a Vice Chancellor. He is now the Chancery Division Judgemarker in the north-west, and no longer appointed to that position as legal officer of the Duchy.

Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 14th century

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Sir Henry de Haydock 1361 1373
Ralph de Ergham 1373 16 April 1377
Thomas de Thelwall 16 April 1377 1378
Sir John De Yerborough 1378 10 November 1382
Sir Thomas Stanley
(pro term)
10 November 1382 29 November 1382
Sir Thomas Scarle 29 November 1382 October 1383
Sir William Okey October 1383 1400


Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 15th century



Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 16th century



Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 17th century

Name Portrait Entered office Left office
Sir John Fortescue 16 September 1601 1601
In Commission 1601 1601
Sir John Fortescue 1601 1607
Sir Thomas Parry 1607 5 June 1616
Sir John Dacombe
and Sir Thomas Parry
27 May 1615 5 June 1616
Sir John Dacombe 5 June 1616 1618
In commission 1618 23 March 1618
Sir Humphrey May 23 March 1618 16 April 1629
The Lord Barrett of Newburgh 16 April 1629 10 February 1644
The Lord Seymour of Trowbridge
(for the king)
1644 1645
The Lord Grey of Warke
and William Lenthall
(for parliament)

10 February 1644 1648
Sir Gilbert Gerrard 1648 1 August 1649
John Bradshaw 1 August 1649 1653
John Bradshaw
and Thomas Fell
(commissioners)

1653 1654
Thomas Fell 1654 1658
John Bradshaw 1658 1659
William Lenthall 1659 1659
Sir Gilbert Gerrard 14 May 1659 9 July 1659
The Lord Seymour of Trowbridge 9 July 1660 21 July 1664
Sir Thomas Ingram 21 July 1664 22 February 1672
Sir Robert Carr, Bt 22 February 1672 21 November 1682
Sir Thomas Chicheley 21 November 1682 1682
In commission 1687 1687
Robert Phelipps 1687 21 March 1689
The Lord Willoughby of Eresby 21 March 1689 4 May 1697
The Earl of Stamford 4 May 1697 12 May 1702


Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 18th century

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Sir John Leveson-Gower, Bt 12 May 1702 10 June 1706
The Earl of Derby 10 June 1706 21 September 1710
The Lord Berkeley of Stratton 21 September 1710 6 November 1714
The Earl of Aylesford 6 November 1714 12 March 1716
The Earl of Scarborough 12 March 1716 19 June 1717
The Lord Lechmere 19 June 1717 17 July 1727
The Duke of Rutland 17 July 1727 21 May 1735
The Earl of Cholmondeley 21 May 1735 22 December 1742
The Lord Edgcumbe 22 December 1742 27 February 1759
The Earl of Kinnoull 27 February 1759 13 December 1762
Lord Strange 13 December 1762 14 June 1771
The Earl of Clarendon 14 June 1771 17 April 1782
The Lord Ashburton 17 April 1782 29 August 1783
The Earl of Derby 29 August 1783 31 December 1783
The Earl of Clarendon 31 December 1783 6 September 1786
The Lord Hawkesbury 6 September 1786 11 November 1803


Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 19th century

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Lord Pelham 11 November 1803 6 June 1804
The Lord Mulgrave 6 June 1804 14 January 1805
The Earl of Buckinghamshire 14 January 1805 10 July 1805
The Lord Harrowby 10 July 1805 12 February 1806
The Earl of Derby 12 February 1806 30 March 1807
Hon. Spencer Perceval 30 March 1807 23 May 1812
The Earl of Buckinghamshire 23 May 1812 23 June 1812
Charles Bathurst 23 June 1812 13 February 1823
The Lord Bexley 13 February 1823 26 January 1828
The Earl of Aberdeen 26 January 1828 2 June 1828
Charles Arbuthnot 2 June 1828 25 November 1830
The Lord Holland 25 November 1830 14 November 1834
Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn 26 December 1834 8 April 1835
The Lord Holland 23 April 1835 31 October 1840
The Earl of Clarendon 31 October 1840 23 June 1841
Sir George Grey, Bt 23 June 1841 30 August 1841
Lord Granville Somerset 3 September 1841 27 June 1846
The Lord Campbell 6 July 1846 6 March 1850
The Earl of Carlisle 6 March 1850 21 February 1852
Robert Adam Christopher 1 March 1852 17 December 1852
Edward Strutt 3 January 1853 21 June 1854
The Earl Granville 21 June 1854 30 January 1855
The Earl of Harrowby 31 March 1855 7 December 1855
Matthew Talbot Baines 7 December 1855 21 February 1858
The Duke of Montrose 26 February 1858 11 June 1859
Sir George Grey, Bt 22 June 1859 25 July 1861
Edward Cardwell 25 July 1861 7 April 1864
The Earl of Clarendon 7 April 1864 3 November 1865
George Goschen 26 January 1866 26 June 1866
The Earl of Devon 10 July 1866 26 June 1867
John Wilson-Patten 26 June 1867 7 November 1868
Thomas Edward Taylor 7 November 1868 1 December 1868
The Lord Dufferin and Claneboye 12 December 1868 9 August 1872
Hugh Childers 9 August 1872 30 September 1873
John Bright 30 September 1873 17 February 1874
Thomas Edward Taylor 2 March 1874 21 April 1880
John Bright 28 April 1880 25 July 1882
The Earl of Kimberley 25 July 1882 28 December 1882
John George Dodson 28 December 1882 29 October 1884
George Trevelyan 29 October 1884 9 June 1885
Henry Chaplin 24 June 1885 28 January 1886
Edward Heneage 6 February 1886 16 April 1886
Sir Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth, Bt 16 April 1886 20 July 1886
The Viscount Cranbrook 3 August 1886 16 August 1886
Lord John Manners 16 August 1886 11 August 1892
James Bryce 18 August 1892 28 May 1894
The Lord Tweedmouth 28 May 1894 21 June 1895
The Viscount Cross 29 June 1895 4 July 1895
Sir Henry James
(Baron James of Hereford from August 1895)
4 July 1895 8 August 1902


Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 20th century

Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
Sir William Walrond, Bt 8 August 1902 4 December 1905
Sir Henry Fowler 10 December 1905 13 October 1908
The Lord FitzMaurice 13 October 1908 25 June 1909
Herbert Samuel 25 June 1909 14 February 1910
Jack Pease 14 February 1910 23 October 1911
Charles Hobhouse 23 October 1911 11 February 1914
Charles Masterman 11 February 1914 3 February 1915
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu 3 February 1915 25 May 1915
Winston Churchill 25 May 1915 25 November 1915
Herbert Samuel 25 November 1915 11 January 1916
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu 11 January 1916 9 July 1916
Thomas McKinnon Wood 9 July 1916 10 December 1916
Sir Frederick Cawley, Bt 10 December 1916 10 February 1918
The Lord Beaverbrook 10 February 1918 4 November 1918
The Lord Downham 4 November 1918 10 January 1919
The Earl of Crawford 10 January 1919 1 April 1921
The Viscount Peel 1 April 1921 7 April 1922
Sir William Sutherland 7 April 1922 19 October 1922
The Marquess of Salisbury 24 October 1922 25 May 1923
J. C. C. Davidson 25 May 1923 22 January 1924
Josiah Wedgwood 22 January 1924 3 November 1924
The Viscount Cecil of Chelwood 10 November 1924 19 October 1927
The Lord Cushendun 19 October 1927 4 June 1929
Sir Oswald Mosley, Bt 7 June 1929 19 May 1930
Clement Attlee 23 May 1930 13 March 1931
The Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede 13 March 1931 24 August 1931
The Marquess of Lothian 25 August 1931 10 November 1931
J. C. C. Davidson 10 November 1931 28 May 1937
The Earl Winterton 28 May 1937 29 January 1939
William Morrison 29 January 1939 3 April 1940
The Lord Tryon 3 April 1940 14 May 1940
The Lord Hankey 14 May 1940 20 July 1941
Duff Cooper 20 July 1941 11 November 1943
Ernest Brown 11 November 1943 25 May 1945
Sir Arthur Salter 25 May 1945 26 July 1945
John Burns Hynd 4 August 1945 17 April 1947
The Lord Pakenham 17 April 1947 31 May 1948
Hugh Dalton 31 May 1948 28 February 1950
The Viscount Alexander of Hillsborough 28 February 1950 26 October 1951
The Viscount Swinton 31 October 1951 24 November 1952
The Lord Woolton 24 November 1952 20 December 1955
The Earl of Selkirk 20 December 1955 13 January 1957
Charles Hill 13 January 1957 9 October 1961
Iain Macleod 9 October 1961 20 October 1963
The Viscount Blakenham 20 October 1963 16 October 1964
Douglas Houghton 18 October 1964 6 April 1966
George Thomson 6 April 1966 7 January 1967
Frederick Lee 7 January 1967 6 October 1969
Anthony Barber 20 June 1970 28 July 1970
Geoffrey Rippon 28 July 1970 5 November 1972
John Davies 5 November 1972 4 March 1974
Harold Lever 5 March 1974 4 May 1979
Norman St John-Stevas 5 May 1979 5 January 1981
Francis Pym 5 January 1981 14 September 1981
The Baroness Young 14 September 1981 6 April 1982
Cecil Parkinson 6 April 1982 11 June 1983
The Lord Cockfield 11 June 1983 11 September 1984
The Earl of Gowrie 11 September 1984 3 September 1985
Norman Tebbit 3 September 1985 13 June 1987
Kenneth Clarke 13 June 1987 25 July 1988
Tony Newton 25 July 1988 24 July 1989
Kenneth Baker 24 July 1989 28 November 1990
Chris Patten 28 November 1990 10 April 1992
Hon. William Waldegrave 10 April 1992 20 July 1994
David Hunt 20 July 1994 5 July 1995
Roger Freeman 5 July 1995 2 May 1997
David Clark 3 May 1997 27 July 1998
Jack Cunningham 27 July 1998 11 October 1999
Mo Mowlam 11 October 1999 11 June 2001


Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, 21st century



Name Portrait Entered office Left office Political party
The Lord Macdonald of Tradeston 11 June 2001 13 June 2003
Douglas Alexander 13 June 2003 8 September 2004
Alan Milburn 8 September 2004 6 May 2005
John Hutton 6 May 2005 2 November 2005
Vacant 2 November 2005 5 May 2006
Hilary Armstrong 5 May 2006 27 June 2007
Ed Miliband 28 June 2007 3 October 2008
Liam Byrne 3 October 2008 5 June 2009
The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon 5 June 2009


Notes

  1. http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page19517
  2. Created Baron Gower in 1703.
  3. Created Earl of Liverpool in 1796.
  4. Created Earl of Dufferin in 1871.
  5. Created Viscount Woolton in 1953.



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