Department for Constitutional AffairsThe Department

| The Department | Department overview | Ministers | Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor | Other Ministers | Lord Chancellors:
past and present
| Ministerial speeches | Parliamentary statements
| Concordats | Contact | Your rights - DCA | Complaints procedures | Procurement

|© Crown Copyright & Disclaimer

Home > The Department > Ministers > Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers: past and present

Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers: past and present

The list of historical Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers below is as accurate as possible. Certain medieval texts differ on the names, dates and spellings of those Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers in office. In addition, it should be noted that the nature of the historical office of Lord Chancellor is very different from that of today, and it would be misleading to suggest the roles are the same. The only similarity between the post-Norman Conquest 'Chancellor' and today's 'Lord Chancellor' is that both are custodian of the Great Seal. However, the offices of 'Chancellor' and 'Keeper of the Great Seal' have not always been held by the same person. The titles given are those held by both Lord Chancellors and Lord Keeper at the time they held the Great Seal.

Year
of
appointment
Office Holder
1068 Herfast
1070 Osmund
1078 Maurice, archdeacon of Le Mans
1085-86 Gerard, precentor of Rouen
1092 Robert Bloet
1094 William Giffard, bishop of Wincester
1101 Roger, bishop of Salisbury
1102 Waldric
1107 Ranulf
1123 Geoffrey Rufus
1133 Robert de Sigillo, keeper of the seal
1135 Roger le Poer
1139 Philip de Harcourt, dean of Lincoln
1140 Robert of Ghent, dean of York
1141 William Fitz Gilbert
1142 William de Vere
1150 Richard de Bohun, dean of Bayeux
1151 William
1155 Thomas Becket, archdeacon of Canterbury
1162 Geoffrey Ridel, archdeacon of Canterbury
1173 Ralph de Warneville, treasurer of York
1181 Geoffrey Plantagenet,
1189 William Longchamp, bishop of Ely
1197 Eustace, vice-chancellor 1194-97, dean of Salisbury, keeper of the seal, 1198 chancellor
1199 Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury
1205 Walter de Gray
1214-1216 Richard Marsh, archdeacon of Northumberland, remained chancellor
1226 Ralph Neville
1240 Richard de Gras, abbot of Evesham, keeper of the seal
1244 Silvester de Everdon (keeper of the seal in England 1242-43) archdeacon of Chester
1246 John Mansel, chancellor of St Paul's
1247 John Lexington
1248 John Mansel
1249 John Lexington
1250 William of Kilkenny, archdeacon of Coventry
1255 Henry Wingham, dean of St Martin's-le-Grand, bishop of London 1259-62.
1260 Nicholas of Ely, archdeacon of Ely
1261 Walter de Merton (temporary keep of the seal 1259-60), archdeacon of Bath
1263 19 July Nicholas of Ely
1263 Nov John Chishull, archdeacon of London
1264 Thomas Cantilupe, archdeacon of Stafford
1265 Ralph of Sandwich, temporary keeper of the seal
1265 Walter Gifford
1266 Godfrey Gifford,archdeacon of Wells and York
1268 John Chishull
1269 Richard Middleton, archdeacon of Northumberland
1272 Walter Merton
1274 Robert Burnell, archdeacon of York
1292 John Langton, canon of Lincoln
1302 William Greenfield, dean of Chichester
1305 William of Hamilton, dean of York
1307 Ralph Baldock, bishop of London
1307 John Langton,
1310 Walter Reynolds, bishop of Worcester From early in 1312 usually called keeper of the great seal
1314 John Sandall, bishop of Winchester
1318 John Hotham, bishop of Ely
1320 John Salmon, bishop of Norwich
1323 Robert Baldock
1326 William Airmyn, bishop of Norwich, acting keeper of the seal, jointly with Henry Cliff
1327 John Hotham
1328 Henry Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln
1330 John Stratford, bishop of Winchester, archbishop of Canterbury
1334 Richard Bury, bishop of Durham
1335 John Stratford
1337 Robert Stratford, bishop of Chichester
1338 Richard Bintworth, bishop of London
1340 John Stratford
1340 Robert Stratford
1340 Robert Bourchier,
1341 Robert Parving,
1343 Robert Sadington,
1345 John Offord, dean of Lincoln
1349 John Thoresby, bishop of St David's
1356 William Edington, bishop of Winchester
1363 Simon Langham, bishop of Ely
1367 William Wykeham, bishop of Winchester
1371 Robert Thorpe
1372 John Knyvet
1377 Adam Houghton, bishop of St David's
1378 Richard Scrope, lord Scrope of Bolton
1380 Simon Sudbury, bishop of London, archbishop of Canterbury
1381 Hugh Segrave temporary keeper
1381 William Courtenay bishop of London
1381 Richard Scrope
1382 Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London
1383 Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk 1385
1386 Thomas Arundel [or Fitzalan], bishop of Ely
1389 William Wykeham
1391 Thomas Arundel
1396 Edmund Stafford, bishop of Exeter
1399 Thomas Arundel
1399 John Scarle, archdeacon of Lincoln
1401 Edmund Stafford
1403 Henry Beaufort, bishop of Lincoln
1405 Thomas Langley, dean of York
1407 Thomas Arundel
1410 Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset
1412 Thomas Arundel
1413 Henry Beaufort
1417 Thomas Langley
1424 Henry Beaufort
1426 John Kemp, archbishop of York
1432 John Stafford, bishop of Bath and Wells
1450 John Kemp,
1454 Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury
1455 Thomas Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury
1456 William Waynflete, bishop of Winchester
1460 George Neville, bishop of Exeter
1467 Robert Stillington, bishop of Bath and Wells
1470 George Neville
1473 Laurence Booth, bishop of Durham
1474 Thomas Rotherham, bishop of Rochester
1475 John Alcock, bishop of Rochester
1475 Thomas Rotherham
1483 John Russell, bishop of Lincoln
1485 Thomas Rotherham
1485 John Alcock
1487 John Morton, archbishop of Canterbury
1504 William Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, keeper of the seal
1515 Thomas Wolsey, archbishop of York
1529 Sir Thomas More
1533 Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Audley, keeper of the seal 1538
1544 Thomas Wriothesley, Lord Wriothesley 1544, keeper of the seal
1547 William Paulet, Lord of St John, keeper of the seal
1547 Richard Rich, Lord Rich
1551 Thomas Goodrich (Goodrick), bishop of Ely keeper of the seal from 1551
1553 Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester
1555 The seal in commission
1556 Nicholas Heath, archbishop of York
1558 Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper
1579 Sir Thomas Bromley
1587 Sir Christopher Hatton
1591 The seal in commission
1592 Sir John Puckering, lord keeper
1596 Sir Thomas Egerton, lord keeper, created Lord Ellesmere lord chancellor 1603
1617 Sir Francis Bacon, lord keeper, Lord Verulam, created lord chancellor 1618
1621 John Williams, lord keeper, bishop of Lincoln
1625 Sir Thomas Coventry, lord keeper, Lord Coventry 1628
1640 Sir John Finch, lord keeper, Lord Finch 1640
1641 Sir Edward Littleton, Lord Lyttleton of Mounslow 1641
1642-60 The parliamentary and protectorate great seal was in the hands of various commissioners who were neither chancellors nor keepers
1645 Sir Richard Lane, lord keeper
1653 Sir Edward Herbert
1658 Sir Edward Hyde, Lord Hyde 1660
1660 Lord Hyde, Earl of Clarendon 1661
1667 Sir Orlando Bridgeman, lord keeper
1672 Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury 1672
1673 Sir Heneage Finch, lord keeper, created chancellor, 1675 Lord Finch 1674
1682 Sir Francis North, lord keeper, Lord Guildford 1683
1685 George Jeffreys, Lord Jeffreys 1685
1689-93 The seal in commission
1693 Sir John Somers, lord keeper, created chancellor 1697, Lord Somers 1697
1700 Sir Nathan Wright, lord keeper
1705 William Cowper, lord keeper, created chancellor1707, (1st lord chancellor of Great Britain, the Act of Union), Lord Cowper 1706
1708 The seal in commission
1710 Sir Simon Harcourt, lord keeper, created chancellor 1713, Lord Harcourt, 1711
1714 Lord Cowper
1718 Thomas Parker, Earl of Macclesfield 1721
1725 The seal in commission
1725 Peter King, Lord King 1725
1733 Charles Talbot, Lord Talbot of Hensol
1737 Philip Yorke, Lord Hardwicke
1756 The seal in commission
1757 Sir Robert Henley, lord keeper, Lord Henley 1760, created chancellor 1761
1766 Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden 1786
1770 Charles Yorke
1770 The seal in commission
1771 Henry Bathurst, Lord Apsley
1778 Edward Thurlow, Lord Thurlow
1783 The seal in commission
1783 Lord Thurlow
1792 The seal in commission
1793 Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Loughborough
1801 John Scott, Lord Eldon
1806 Thomas Erskine, Lord Erskine
1807 Lord Eldon
1827 John Singleton Copley, Lord Lyndhurst
1830 Henry Brougham, Lord Brougham and Vaux
1834 Lord Lyndhurst
1835 The seal in commission
1836 Sir Charles Pepys, Lord Cottenham
1841 Lord Lyndhurst
1846 Lord Cottenham
1850 Sir Thomas Wilde, Lord Truro
1852 Sir Edward Burtenshaw Sugden, Lord St Leonards
1852 Robert Rolfe, Lord Cranworth
1858 Sir Frederic Thesiger, Lord Chelmsford
1859 John Campbell, Lord Campbell
1861 Sir Richard Bethell, Lord Westbury
1865 Lord Cranworth
1866 Lord Chelmsford
1868 Hugh Cairns, Lord Cairns
1868 Sir William Page Wood, Lord Hatherley
1872 Roundell Palmer, Lord Selborne
1874 Lord Cairns
1880 Lord Selbourne
1885 Sir Hardinge Giffard, Lord Halsbury
1886 Sir Farrer Herschell, Lord Herschell
1886 Lord Halsbury
1892 Lord Herschell
1895 Lord Halsbury
1905 Sir Robert Reid, Lord of Loreburn
1912 Richard Haldane, Viscount Haldane
1915 Sir Stanley Buckmaster, Lord Buckmaster
1916 Sir Robert Finlay, Lord Finlay,
1919 Sir Frederick Smith, (FE Smith), Lord Birkenhead
1922 George Cave, Viscount Cave
1924 Viscount Haldane
1924 Viscount Cave
1928 Sir Douglas Hogg, Lord Hailsham (later Viscount Hailsham)
1929 Sir John Sankey, Lord Sankey (later Viscount Sankey)
1935 Viscount Hailsham
1938 Frederick Maugham, Lord Maugham (later Viscount Maugham)
1939 Thomas Inskip, Viscount Caldecote
1940 John Simon, Viscount Simon
1945 William Jowitt, Lord Jowitt (later Viscount Jowitt)
1951 Gavin Simonds, Lord Simonds 1952 (later Viscount Simonds)
1954 David Fyfe, Viscount Kilmuir
1962 Reginald Manningham-Buller, Lord Dilhorne (later Viscount Dilhorne)
1964 Gerald Gardiner, Lord Gardiner
1970 Quintin Hogg, Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
1974 Frederick Elwyn-Jones, Lord Elwyn-Jones
1979 Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone
1987 Sir Michael Havers, Lord Havers
1987 James Mackay, Lord Mackay of Clashfern
1997 Derry Irvine, Lord Irvine of Lairg
2003 - present Charles Falconer, Lord Falconer of Thoroton



© Crown Copyright