Lords Commissioners of the Treasury
In the United Kingdom there are at least six Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, serving as a commission for the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer. The board consists of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Second Lord of the Treasury, and four or more junior lords to whom this title is usually applied.
Strictly they are commissioners for exercising the office of Lord High Treasurer (similar to the status of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty exercising the office of Lord High Admiral until 1964, when the Queen resumed the office). This office has continually been in commission since the resignation in 1714 of Charles, Duke of Shrewsbury, who was appointed to the office by Queen Anne on her deathbed.
Until the 19th century, this commission made most of the economic decisions of Great Britain (England, before the Act of Union 1707). However, starting during the 19th century, these positions became sinecure positions, with the First Lord serving almost invariably as Prime Minister, the Second Lord invariably as Chancellor of the Exchequer (the exchequer being the modern treasury of the United Kingdom), and the junior lords serving as assistant whips in Parliament.
Currently, there are eight Lords Commissioners of the Treasury:
- Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury – The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP (appointed 13 July 2016)
- Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury – The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP (appointed 13 July 2016)
- Junior Lords:
- Secretary to the Treasury
- HM Treasury
- List of British ministries
- List of Lord Treasurers includes a list of former Lords Commissioners of the Treasury until 1714.
- List of Lords Commissioners of the Treasury since 1714
- Stuart Handley, ‘Talbot, Charles, duke of Shrewsbury (1660–1718)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008), accessed 19 Aug 2008.
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- 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.
- 'Treasurers and Commissioners of the Treasury 1660—1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 1: Treasury Officials 1660-1870 (1972), pp. 16-25.