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Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Kings of England


English Parliament

While the Anglo-Saxon kings of England had the Witenagemot (or Witan) council to advise them on major decisions, the old system was swept away by the Norman conquerors of 1066. William I brought the system of Curia Regis with him, whereby the king would sometimes seek advice from a council of tenants-in-chiefs and church members on proposed laws.

With the level of bureaucracy rising in the medieval court (a traditional feature of all Anglo-Saxon governments), around 1126 the king split control of the treasury away from all other duties. The new head of the king's treasury, the Lord High Treasurer, held the third-highest position in the land. This was the post which later became the 'First Lord of the Treasury' and then 'Prime Minister'. The other duties came to be controlled by the 'Lord Great Chamberlain'.

c.1126 - 1136

Nigel Poor

Nephew, Bishop Roger of Salisbury. First Lord High Treasurer.

c.1126 - 1133

Nigel Poor (or Nigel of Ely as he is later known after becoming the bishop of Ely) is appointed Lord High Treasurer by the Norman king, Henry I. He controls the royal treasury for both England and the duchy of Normandy. In 1133 the vacant bishopric of Ely is secured for him by his uncle, Roger of Salisbury, and he is consecrated by Archbishop William de Corbeil. He holds onto his treasury post until 1136 when he is removed by King Stephen.

Henry I
Henry I was responsible for appointing the first Lord High Treasurer of England - Nigel Poor, later the bishop of Ely, who gained the position around AD 1126, and again around 1154

c.1136 - 1139


Cousin. Nephew of Roger, bishop of Salisbury.

1139 - 1154

There is no recorded treasurer for the period of the Anarchy or civil war between Stephen and Matilda in Norman England. Nigel is reconciled with Stephen in 1145, and from 1147 he witnesses charters for the king on an occasional basis. There is no record of him being involved in treasury affairs, but he does witness the charter that leaves England to the son of Matilda, Henry Plantagenet.

Plantagenet Parliament

A century and-a-half of monarchical dominance saw little reform until the reign of the Plantagenet King John (1199-1216). When the barons rebelled in 1215 and forced John to sign Magna Carta, they set the founding principles for parliament and constitution, even though at the time they were merely guarding their own interests. Magna Carta defined rights, legal practices, and 'good lordship' - what subjects could expect from their monarch and superiors.

When Edward I summoned his Model Parliament in 1295 he set the pattern for the rule of kings for the next four centuries. These early Parliaments were not merely at the monarch's disposal, and would not always enact the legislation set before them.

c.1154 - 1158

Nigel Poor

Second term.

c.1154 - 1158

Nigel is present at the coronation of Henry II Plantagenet and is then summoned to reorganise the exchequer. In about 1158 Nigel pays the king to appoint his son in his place.

Henry II Plantagenet
Henry II of England and Normandy died having added half of France to his possessions, making him one of the most powerful rulers in Western Europe

c.1158 - 1196

Richard FitzNeal

Son. Dean of Lincoln and bishop of London (1189).

1189 - 1196

FeatureRichard is appointed bishop of London in 1189, but continues to serve as the king's treasurer until he is removed in 1196 and replaced with William of Ely, another relative. It is during the later part of this period and into the early 1200s that William de Briwere serves three successive Norman kings as justiciar and sheriff of Devon (and many other places in separate terms of office). The vast wealth he accrues pays for the construction of Bridgwater Castle in Somerset (see feature link).

1196 - 1215

William of Ely

Archdeacon of Cleveland (1201-1215?).

1215 - 1217

John returns to England after being defeated at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214 and is forced to sign Magna Carta by the disaffected barons on 15 June 1215. There is no first lord for two years after this, but following the appointment of Eustace of Fauconberg in 1217, the post becomes a more permanent one.

1217 - 1228

Eustace of Fauconberg

Bishop of London (1221-1228).

1228 - 1233

Walter Mauclerk

Bishop of Carlisle (1223-1246).

1233 - 1234

Peter des Rivaux

Canon of St Paul's.

1234 - 1240

Hugh de Pateshull

Canon of St Paul's & Bishop of Coventry (1239-1241).

1240 - 1252

William Haverhill

Canon of Lichfield.

1252 - 1258

Philip Lovel

Archdeacon of Coventry.


Despairing over Henry III Plantagenet's increasingly autocratic rule, seven leading barons force him to swear an oath on the Provisions of Oxford. This serves to abolish absolutist Anglo-Norman monarchy. Instead, a council of fifteen barons deals with the government's business.

1258 - 1260

John Crakehall

Archdeacon of Bedford.

1260 - 1263

John of Caux

Abbot of Petersborough.


Nicholas of Ely

Held the post 6 May-19 July. Bishop of Worcester (1266).



Prior of St Radegund. Held the post July-November.


John Chishull

Acting First Lord High Treasurer. Held the post in November.

1263 - 1264

Roger de la Leye

Acting First Lord High Treasurer. Held the post 30 Nov-3 Nov.

1264 - 1265


Second term.

1265 - 1270

Thomas Wymondham

Preceptor of Lichfield.

1270 - 1271

John Chishull

Second term. Bishop of London (1273-1280).

1271 - 1273

Philip of Eye

Canon of St Paul's.

1273 - 1280

Sir Joseph Chauncy

Prior of the Knights of St John in England.

1280 - 1283

Richard Ware

Abbot of Westminster.

1284 - 1290

John Kirkby

Bishop of Ely (1286-1290).

Kirkby is probably the architect of reforms to the treasury which include updated book-keeping methods, improved debt collection, and information on sources of income.

1290 - 1295

William of March

Bishop of Bath & Wells (1293-1302). Dismissed.


John Droxford

Acting First Lord High Treasurer.

1295 - 1307

Walter Langton

Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield.


Just a little over five weeks after Walter Langton becomes First Lord High Treasurer, Edward I Plantagenet summons the Model Parliament on 13 November, generally regarded as the first representative assembly.

Edward I
King Edward I (1239-1307), one of the most effective English kings, Edward was also one of Scotland's greatest adversaries - through his campaigns against Scotland he would come to be known after his death as Scottorum malleus, 'Hammer of the Scots'

1307 - 1310

Walter Reynolds

Bishop of Worcester. Later in Canterbury (1314-27).

1310 - 1311

John Sandall / Sandale

Provost of Wells. Later Bishop of Winchester (1316-1319).

1311 - 1312

Walter Norwich

Acting First Lord High Treasurer.


Walter Langton

Second term. Held the post 23 Jan-17 May.


Walter Norwich

Second term. Held the post 17 May-4 Oct.

1312 - 1314

John Sandall

Second term.

1314 - 1317

Walter Norwich

Third term.

1317 - 1318

John Hotham

Bishop of Ely (1316-1337).


John Walwayn

Canon of St Paul's & Hereford. Held the post 10 Jun-16 Nov.

1318 - 1319

John Sandall

Bishop of Winchester. Third term.

1319 - 1320

Walter Norwich

Acting First Lord High Treasurer. Fourth term.

1320 - 1321

Walter de Stapledon

Bishop of Exeter (1308-1326).

1321 - 1322

Walter Norwich

Acting First Lord High Treasurer. Fifth term.

1322 - 1325

Walter de Stapledon

Second term. Murdered.

1326 - 1330

Stapledon is associated in the popular mind with the misdeeds of Edward II Plantagenet. After the king flees before the advancing troops of Queen Isabella, Stapledon is murdered in London on 15 October 1326. The subsequent period is an unstable one as Edward II is mysteriously killed and Edward III overthrows Isabella.

1325 - 1326

William Melton

Archbishop of York (1317-1340).

1326 - 1327

John de Stratford

Bishop of Winchester. Later at Canterbury (1333-48).


Adam Orleton

Bishop of Hereford (1333-1345). Held the post 28 Jan-28 Mar.

1327 - 1328

Henry Burghersh

Bishop of Lincoln (1320-1340).

1328 - 1329

Thomas Charlton

Bishop of Hereford (1327-1344).

1329 - 1330

Robert Wodehouse

Archdeacon of Richmond.


Edward III Plantagenet overthrows Isabella and her lover, Roger Mortimer, and gains the throne.

Guildhall stone shield
This stone shield from the Guildhall in London shows the royal arms of Edward III after he laid claim to the French throne (around 1340), with the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field alongside the three lions of England on a red field

1330 - 1331

William Melton

Second term.

1331 - 1332

William Ayermin

Bishop of Norwich (1325-1336).

1332 - 1334

Robert Ayleston

Archdeacon of Berkshire.


Richard Bury / Richard Aungerville

Resigned. Bishop of Durham (1333-1345).

1334 - 1337

Henry Burghersh

Second term.

1337 - 1338

William de la Zouche

Dean of York. Later archbishop of York (1342-1352).


Robert Wodehouse

Second term.

1338 - 1340

William de la Zouche

Second term.


Sir Robert Sadington

Held the post 5 May-26 Jun.


Roger Northburgh

Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield (1321). In office 26 Jun-1 Dec.


Sir Robert Parning

Held the post 15 Jan-20 Oct.


The separation of Edward III Plantagenet's Parliament into two 'houses' or chambers occurs when the Commons meet separately from the Lords for the first time. By now the treasury is under great strain due to the costs of the early part of the Hundred Years' War.

1341 - 1344

William Cusance

1344 - 1356

William Edington

Bishop of Winchester (1346-1366).

1356 - 1360

John Sheppey

Bishop of Rochester (1352-1360).

1360 - 1363

Simon Langham

Bishop of Ely. Later archbishop of Canterbury (1366-1368).

1363 - 1369

John Barnet

Bishop of Bath & Wells (1363-66). Later bishop of Ely (1366).


Former First Lord High Treasurer William Edington is elected archbishop of Canterbury by Edward III Plantagenet, but he declines due to ill health.

1369 - 1371

Thomas Brantingham

Bishop of Exeter (1370-1394).

1371 - 1375

Richard le Scrope

First Baron Scrope of Bolton.


Having left the office of lord chancellor in this year, Richard le Scrope, Baron Scrope of Bolton, goes on to construct Bolton Castle between 1379-1399. The magnificent structure he erects is today a fine surviving example of a quadrangular castle.

1375 - 1377

Sir Robert Ashton


Henry Wakefield

Bishop of Worcester (1375-1395). In office 14 Jan-19 Jul.

1377 - 1381

Thomas Brantingham

Bishop of Exeter.


Sir Robert Hales

Prior of the Order of St John in England.


Responsible for the much-hated poll tax, Hales is beheaded on 14 June on Tower Hill during the Peasants Revolt, along with Simon Sudbury, the archbishop of Canterbury.

Murders on Tower Hill during the Peasants Revolt
Responsible for collecting the much-loathed (First) Poll Tax, Sir Robert Hales (on the left here) was executed on Tower Hill during the Peasants Revolt, with Archbishop Simon Sudbury of Canterbury (right) joining him

1381 - 1386

Sir Hugh Segrave


John Fordham

Bishop of Durham (1382-1388). Held the post 17 Jan-24 Oct.

1386 - 1389

John Gilbert

Bishop of Hereford (1375-1389).


Thomas Brantingham

Second term. Held the post 4 May-20 Aug.

1389 - 1391

John Gilbert

Bishop of St David's (1389-1397). Second term.

1391 - 1395

John Waltham

Bishop of Salisbury (1388-1395).

1395 - 1398

Roger Walden

Became archbishop of Canterbury in 1398.


Guy Mone

Bishop of St David's (1397-1407).

1398 - 1399

William Scrope

Son of Richard Scrope. First Earl of Wiltshire.


Closely involved with Richard II Plantagenet, and effective head of his government during the king's absence, William Scrope is executed by Henry IV of Lancaster after his successful invasion of England.

Lancastrian Parliament

With the accession of the censorial and oppressive king Henry IV of Lancaster, the post of Lord High Treasurer continued its recent high turnover rate. No less than twenty-four incumbents held the post in the fifty-six years between Henry's coup in 1399 to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses in 1455.

1399 - 1401

Sir John Norbury

1401 - 1402

Laurence Allerthorp

Canon of London.


Henry Bowet

Bishop of Bath & Wells. Held the post 27 Feb-25 Oct.

1402 - 1403

Guy Mone

Second term.

1403 - 1404

William de Ros

Seventh Baron de Ros.

1404 - 1407

Thomas Nevill

Fifth Baron Furnivall.


The Commons are given power over taxation, and is usually called only when the monarch needs to raise money through taxes.

1407 - 1408

Nicholas Bubwith

Bishop of London.

1408 - 1410

Sir John Tiptoft

1410 - 1411

Henry Scrope

Third Baron Scrope of Masham. Executed for treason.

1411 - 1413

Sir John Pelham

1413 - 1415

Thomas Fitzalan

Twelfth Earl of Arundel.

1414 - 1415

Full equality of the Commons and Lords is established, and the following year the First Serjeant at Arms, Nicholas Maudit, is appointed. King Henry's much smaller army wins a startling victory at Agincourt in 1415, despite being outnumbered by the 'flower of French chivalry'.

Battle of Agincourt
The overwhelming victory for the forces of Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt destroyed the flower of French chivalry and gave all of France to a Plantagenet king


Sir Hugh Mortimer

Held the post 10 Jan-13 Apr.


Sir Robert Leche

Held the post 17 Apr-23 Nov.

1416 - 1421

Henry FitzHugh

Third Baron FitzHugh.

1421 - 1422

William Kinwolmarsh

Dean of St Martin's le-Grand.

1422 - 1426

John Stafford

Bishop of Bath and Wells.

1426 - 1432

Walter Hungerford

First Baron Hungerford.

1432 - 1433

John Scrope

Fourth Baron Scrope of Masham.

1433 - 1443

Ralph de Cromwell

Third Baron Cromwell.

1443 - 1446

Ralph Boteler

First Baron Sudeley.

1446 - 1449

Marmaduke Lumley

Bishop of Carlisle.

1449 - 1450

James Fiennes

First Baron Saye and Sele.

1450 - 1452

John Beauchamp

First Baron Beauchamp of Powick.

1452 - 1455

John Tiptoft

Son of Sir John Tiptoft (1408). First Earl of Worcester.

1455 - 1485

The Wars of the Roses begin with Richard, Duke of York's victory at the Battle of St Albans. Lancastrians are pitched against Yorkists in England for the next thirty years.


James Butler

Earl of Ormond & Wiltshire. Held post 15 Mar-29 May.

1455 - 1456

Henry Bourchier

First Viscount Bourchier. Great-grandson of Edward III.

1456 - 1458

John Talbot

Second Earl of Shrewsbury.

1458 - 1460

James Butler

Second term.

1460 - 1461

Henry Bourchier

Second term. Now also First Earl of Essex.


The change in regime in England between the houses of Lancaster and York witnesses a more peaceful handover of power in Parliament than previously.

Yorkist & Lancastrian Parliaments

The first High Treasurer of the Yorkist reign, John Tiptoft, returned from pilgrimage to England in 1461 and received the Order of the Garter from Edward IV of York. However, he presided over the executions of Lancastrians with exceptional cruelty, having them beheaded, quartered, and impaled.

1462 - 1463

John Tiptoft

Second term.

1463 - 1464

Edmund Grey

First Baron Grey de Ruthin.

1464 - 1465

Walter Blount

First Baron Mountjoy.

1466 - 1469

Richard Woodville

First Earl Rivers.


Sir John Langstrother

Held the post 16 Aug-25 Oct.

1469 - 1470

William Grey

Bishop of Ely.


John Tiptoft

Third term. Held the post 10 Jul-18 Oct.

1470 - 1471

Sir John Langstrother

Second term.

1471 - 1483

Henry Bourchier

Third term.

1483 - 1484

Sir John Wood

1484 - 1485

John Tuchet

Eighth Baron Audley.

Tudor Parliament

The Wars of the Roses came to an end in 1485 with the accession of Henry VIII (although there would be occasional flare-ups until 1499). The old order was swept away and a new series of powerful and influential High Treasurers involved themselves freely in the monarch's affairs, playing powerful political games and increasing their own influence and position in the Tudor court. One of the best known, Thomas Howard, third duke of Norfolk, was uncle to Henry VIII's wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and he used both of them to increase his own influence at court. He also played a role in securing the throne for the Catholic Mary Tudor.

1486 - 1501

John Dynham

First Baron Dynham.

1501 - 1524

Thomas Howard

Second Duke of Norfolk.


The Lords meet in the Parliament chamber. By this time, the Tudor monarchs are consolidating a state of affairs whereby they call and close Parliament as and when they need it, primarily for raising taxes.


For the first time (as far as is known) the Speaker, Thomas More, requests free speech.

1524 - 1546

Thomas Howard

Son. Third Duke of Norfolk.


Wales is represented in the House of Commons for the first time as part of the stipulation of the first of two Acts of Union.


The second of the Acts of Union is passed whereby the legal system in use in Wales is annexed to that of England. English law prevails in Wales as part of the intended creation of a single state.


The term 'House of Lords' is first used to describe the Upper Chamber. The Lower Chamber becomes known as the Commons. In 1548 the House of Commons is granted a regular meeting place by Henry VIII Tudor in the form of St Stephen's Chapel, which had previously been a royal chapel. The chapel remains in use (albeit in greatly altered form) until it is destroyed by fire in 1834, but the tradition of sitting on the chapel's choir stalls is established and is still in force today.

1547 - 1549

Edward Seymour

First Duke of Somerset.

1550 - 1572

William Paulet

First Marquess of Winchester.

1553 - 1554

In her first Parliament, Mary Tudor passes legislation declaring the marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon valid and herself legitimate (incidentally bastardising younger sister Elizabeth for the second time in her life). A year later, the English Papal legate, Reginald Pole, addresses Parliament in the presence of Mary and her Spanish husband. He counsels the English on the error they have made in embracing Protestantism and welcomes them back to Catholicism with open arms. Just two years later he is created archbishop of Canterbury.

Elizabeth I in Parliament
An engraving showing Elizabeth I in Parliament, which was held in St Stephen's Chapel, one of the earliest parts of the modern Houses of Parliament

1572 - 1598

William Cecil

First Baron Burghley.


FeatureThe pilgrims of the Mayflower are not the first English settlers in the New World, but they are among the first to survive the ordeal. Sir Humphrey Gilbert claims the first English base in Newfoundland, comprising mainly Portuguese and French fishing villages, but he sinks with his ship in a storm before making it home.

1599 - 1608

Thomas Sackville

First Earl of Dorset.

Stuart Parliament

FeatureAlmost straight away, the tensions between Catholics and Protestants in England made themselves known in the boldest possible way. In 1605, Catholic plotters, unhappy with Stuart King James' unsympathetic attitude towards their faith (which he also shared) decided to try and blow up Parliament at the state opening, thereby leaving the way open for a Catholic takeover of Britain. The plot was uncovered well in advance, the protagonists tracked, and the attempt foiled, but the event is still celebrated every year at Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, on 5 November.

1608 - 1612

Robert Cecil

Son of William Cecil. First Earl of Salisbury.


From this point forwards, the running of the treasury is frequently entrusted to a commission instead of a single individual. The commissioners are referred to as 'Lords Commissioners of the Treasury', and are given a number based on their seniority. The most senior of them is still the First Lord.

1612 - 1613

Henry Howard

First Earl Northampton. First Lord Treasury Commissioner.

1613 - 1614

Thomas Egerton

First Baron Ellesmere.

1614 - 1618

Thomas Howard

First Earl of Suffolk.

1618 - 1620

George Abbot

Archbishop of Canterbury (1611-1633).

1620 - 1621

Henry Montagu

First Viscount Mandeville.

1621 - 1624

Lionel Cranfield

First Earl of Middlesex.

1624 - 1628

James Ley

First Earl of Marlborough.

1628 - 1635

Richard Weston

First Earl of Portland.

1635 - 1636

William Laud

1636 - 1641

William Juxon

Bishop of London.


Battling against Parliament's attempts to reign in his vision of absolute monarchy, Charles I Stuart, desperate to raise funds, is still forced to summon Parliament after an eleven year gap. The acrimonious 'Short Parliament' lasts for just three weeks in April before it is dismissed by the king. By November, the king's position has worsened after defeat by the Scots in the Second Bishops' War, and this time the 'Long Parliament' remains in sitting.

1641 - 1643

Edward Littleton

First Baron Lyttleton of Mounslow.

1643 - 1646

Francis Cottington

First Baron Cottington.

1642 - 1651

FeatureIn 1642, Charles I Stuart attempts to arrest five leading Members of the Commons for treason, and the Speaker voices his allegiance to Parliament rather than the monarch. Parliament's cause against Charles has simmered for years while it has continually blocked his attempts to rule absolutely as he believes is his divine right. Now Charles raises his standard, declaring war on a Parliament which is determined to force a confrontation. In 1645 the Royalists are routed at the Battle of Philiphaugh, defeating Charles I's cause in Scotland, and the archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, is executed at Tower Hill.

When Parliament finally wins the war, it realises it doesn't know what kind of rule to offer the country, even going so far as to offer Oliver Cromwell the crown, as the Puritan (extreme Protestant) forces turn Britain into a kind of police state. It also abolishes the House of Lords during the Commonwealth period.

Stuart Parliament (Restored)

In 1557 Parliament offered the Protector Oliver Cromwell the title of king in the 'Humble Petition and Advice'. He rejected it. On 8 May 1660, the year after Cromwell's death, Parliament was proclaiming Charles II the new Stuart king of England. When he returned from exile, the House of Lords also resumed, as did a full Commons, almost as if nothing had happened.


Sir Edward Hyde

Also Lord Chancellor.

1660 - 1667

Thomas Wriothesley

Fourth Earl of Southampton.

1667 - 1670

George Monck

First Duke of Albemarle. Died in office.

1670 - 1672

The Commission of the Treasury continues to function without the First Lord for the remainder of its full term.

1672 - 1673

Thomas Clifford

First Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.


The Roman Catholic Thomas Clifford finds himself unable to comply with the Test Act of 1673, which places restrictions on Catholics holding high office, and resigns. A few months later he commits suicide.

1673 - 1679

Thomas Osborne

First Viscount Latimer.


Arthur Capell

First Earl of Essex. Held the post 26 Mar-21 Nov.

1679 - 1684

Laurence Hyde

Son of Sir Edward Hyde (1660). First Earl of Rochester.

1679 - 1681

Between 1679-1681, Charles II's Lord Chancellor, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, First Earl Shaftesbury, leads the fight to get Parliament to pass an Act of Exclusion which will exclude the Catholic James from gaining the throne. Shaftesbury and his 'Country' supporters organise petitions and fight three elections in intense campaigning which is very well organised. It is this organisation which changes the nature of politics. Shaftesbury has created the first political party in English history: the liberalist Whigs. The gentry, in opposition to him and supporting the king's right to absolute power, become known as the Tories. In fact each party labels the other; Whigs originating with Whiggamores, 'sour, bigoted, money-grubbing' Scotsmen who had marched on Edinburgh just a few years earlier; Tories, or Toraidhe, describes Irish papist bands who had recently ravaged estates and manor houses in Ireland.

At the end of this period, in 1681, Parliament meets in Oxford for one week, the last time it meets outside London. Charles II Stuart dissolves it and rules without it for four years until his death, a result of the disagreements between them.

1684 - 1685

Sidney Godolphin

First Baron Godolphin.

1685 - 1686

Laurence Hyde

Second term.

1687 - 1689

John Belasyse

First Baron Belasyse.

1688 - 1689

The Glorious Revolution which sweeps William III of Orange and Mary II Stuart to power also establishes a Declaration of Rights which is read before Parliament and the joint monarchs on 13 February 1689. This creates a constitutional monarchy and limits the power of the sovereign over Parliament.

1689 - 1690

Charles Mordaunt

First Earl of Monmouth.


Sir John Lowther

Held the post 18 Mar-15 Nov.

1690 - 1697

Sidney Godolphin

Second term.

1697 - 1699

Charles Montagu

Also Chancellor of the Exchequer.

1699 - 1700

Ford Grey

First Earl of Tankerville.

1700 - 1701

Sidney Godolphin

Third term.

1701 - 1702

Charles Howard

Third Earl of Carlisle.

1702 - 1710

Sidney Godolphin

Fourth term.


The last use of a royal veto occurs when Queen Anne refuses to give Royal Assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. Later in the same year, the Union of England and Scotland sees the old parliaments of both nations dissolved and a new, single Parliament formed (1707-2000), meeting for the first time in Great Britain.

1710 - 1711

John Poulett

First Earl Poulett.

1711 - 1714

Robert Harley

First Earl of Oxford & Mortimer.


Charles Talbot

First Duke of Shrewsbury. Held the post 30 Jul-13 Oct.


The Treasury Commission is made permanent, with the most senior member occupying the position of head of any ministry which governs in the king's name.

First Lords of the Treasury (United Kingdom)

Following the Union of England and Scotland in 1707, the joint kingdoms were to be ruled from a single Parliament at Westminster in London. This arrangement lasted until 2000, when devolution gave Scotland back a parliament of its own. Already standing as possibly the earliest law-making body in the world, the British Parliament came to be known as the 'Mother of all Parliaments'.

The post of First Lord of the Treasury had been entrusted to the most senior member of the commission of treasury lords from 1612 onwards. From 1714 this commission was made permanent, with the first lord being viewed as the natural head of any ministry. In later years, while the post of Prime Minister was usually held by the same individual as the treasury post, this wasn't always the case. The division was especially noticeable in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, but after 1905 the two posts were united as one.

1714 - 1715

Earl of Halifax



Earl of Carlisle


1715 - 1717

Robert Walpole



The Septennial Act extends the length of Parliaments to seven years.

1717 - 1718

Earl Stanhope


1718 - 1721

Earl of Sunderland



Sunderland is replaced by Sir Robert Walpole who, while not actually recognising the term 'Prime Minister' himself, fulfils the duties of one.

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