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Encyclopedia > Lord Chancellor
United Kingdom

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the United Kingdom
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The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and prior to the Union the Chancellor of England and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom, and its predecessor states. He is a Great Officer of State, and is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister and is, by convention, always a peer, although there is no legal impediment to the appointment of a commoner. The Lord Chancellor's original responsibility was to act as the custodian of the Great Seal. He is a member of the Cabinet and, by law, is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts. Formerly he was also the presiding officer of the House of Lords, and the head of the judiciary in England and Wales, but the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 transferred both of these roles to others. Since 2003, Lord Falconer of Thoroton has served as Lord Chancellor and also Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. ... In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of Parliament. ... The British Monarchy is a shared monarchy. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... This article is about the British House of Lords. ... The Lord Speaker (or Lady Speaker) will be a new position in the British Parliament created once the Constitutional Reform Acts provisions about the Speakership of the House of Lords comes into effect. ... 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Margaret Mary Beckett (born 15 January 1943) is a British Labour Party politician who currently is Member of Parliament (MP) for Derby South and, since May 6, 2006, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; the first woman to hold this position in the British Cabinet and only... The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office and is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). ... John Reid (born 8 May 1947) is a Scottish politician who is Home Secretary and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Scottish constituency of Airdrie and Shotts in the United Kingdom. ... Lord Falconer of Thoroton Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC, QC (born 19 November 1951) is a British barrister and Labour Party politician. ... 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The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In law, the judiciary or judicial is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2005 c. ... Lord Falconer of Thoroton The Right Honourable Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC (born 19 November 1951) is a British lawyer and Labour Party politician. ... The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is a United Kingdom cabinet position. ...


A Lord Keeper of the Great Seal may be appointed instead of a Lord Chancellor. The two offices entail exactly the same duties; the only distinction is in the mode of appointment. Furthermore, the office of Lord Chancellor may be exercised by a committee of individuals known as "Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal". Since the 19th century, however, Lord Chancellors have been exclusively appointed, the other offices aforementioned having fallen into disuse. The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly an officer of the English Crown charged with physical custody of the Great Seal of England. ...

Contents

History

The office of Lord Chancellor may trace its origins to the Carolingian monarchy, in which a Chancellor acted as the keeper of the royal seal. In England, the office dates at least as far back as the Norman Conquest (1066), and possibly earlier. Some give the first Chancellor of England as Angmendus, in 605. Other sources suggest that the first to appoint a Chancellor was Saint Edward the Confessor, who is said to have adopted the practice of sealing documents instead of personally signing them. In any event, the office has been continuously occupied since the Norman Conquest. Also see: France in the Middle Ages. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Bayeux Tapestry depicting events leading to the Battle of Hastings The Norman Conquest of England was the conquest of the Kingdom of England by William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy), in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent Norman control of England. ... Angmendus was the (possible legendary) first Lord Chancellor of England, appointed in AD 605. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Formerly, the Lord Chancellor was almost always an ecclesiastic, as during the Middle Ages the clergy were amongst the few literate men of the realm. The Lord Chancellor performed multiple functions—he was the Keeper of the Great Seal, the chief royal chaplain, and advisor in both spiritual and temporal matters. Thus, the position emerged as one of the most important ones in government. He was only outranked in government by the Justiciar (whose post is now obsolete). Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... A chaplain is typically a member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organized as a mission or church; lay chaplains are also found in some settings such as universities. ... In the medieval England and Scotland, a justiciar was an important legal and political figure. ...

Sir Thomas More, one of the most famous early Lord Chancellors, served and was executed under King Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas More, one of the most famous early Lord Chancellors, served and was executed under King Henry VIII.

As one of the King's ministers, the Lord Chancellor attended the Curia Regis, or Royal Court. If a bishop, the Lord Chancellor received a writ of summons; if an ecclesiastic of a lower degree, or if a layman, he attended without any summons. The Curia Regis would later evolve into Parliament, the Lord Chancellor becoming the prolocutor of its upper house, the House of Lords. As was confirmed by a statute passed during the reign of Henry VIII, a Lord Chancellor could preside over the House of Lords even if not a Lord himself. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x2548, 376 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Thomas More Lord Mayor of London Hans Holbein the Younger Mortification of the flesh Lord Chancellor Frick Collection... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x2548, 376 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Thomas More Lord Mayor of London Hans Holbein the Younger Mortification of the flesh Lord Chancellor Frick Collection... There are also several institutions named Thomas More College. ... Silver groat of Henry VIII, minted c. ... Curia Regis is a Latin term meaning Royal Council or Kings court. The Curia Regis in England was a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics that advised the king of England on legislative matters. ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... Listen to this article (help) Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-06-08, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... The Houses of Parliament, seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... Silver groat of Henry VIII, minted c. ...


The Lord Chancellor's judicial duties also evolved through his role in the Curia Regis. Petitions for justice were normally addressed to the King and the Curia, but in 1280, Edward I instructed his justices to examine and deal with petitions themselves as the Court of King's Bench. Important petitions were to be sent to the Lord Chancellor for his decision; even more significant ones were to be brought to the King's attention. By the reign of Edward III, however, a separate tribunal for the Lord Chancellor had developed. In this body, which became known as the High Court of Chancery, the Lord Chancellor would determine cases according to fairness (or "equity") instead of according to the strict principles of common law. The Lord Chancellor also became known as the "Keeper of the King's Conscience." Ecclesiastics continued to dominate the Chancellorship until the 16th century. In 1529, after Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, who was Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of York, was dismissed for failing to procure the annulment of Henry VIII's first marriage, ecclesiastics fell out of the royal favour, and laymen came to appointed to the office. Ecclesiastics made a brief return during the reign of Mary I, but thereafter, almost all Lord Chancellors have been laymen. Edward I (17 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), popularly known as Longshanks[1] and Hammer of the Scots,[2] achieved fame as the monarch who conquered Wales and who kept Scotland under English domination during his lifetime. ... One of the ancient courts of England, the Kings Bench (or Queens Bench when the monarch is female) is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ... For the play, see Edward III (play). ... One of the courts of equity in England and Wales. ... The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about the concept of equity in the jurisprudence of common law countries. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Thomas Cardinal Wolsey, (circa March 1471-1475 – November 28 or November 29, 1530), born Thomas Wolsey in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, was a powerful English statesman and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Arms of the Archbishop of York The Archbishop of York, Primate of England, is the metropolitan bishop of the Province of York, and is the junior of the two archbishops of the Church of England, after the Archbishop of Canterbury. ... Queen Mary I of England (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 6 July 1553 (de facto) or 19 July 1553 (de jure) until her death. ...


The Office

Formerly, when the office was held by ecclesiastics, a "Keeper of the Great Seal" acted in the Lord Chancellor's absence. Keepers were also appointed when the office of Lord Chancellor fell vacant, and discharged the duties of the office until an appropriate replacement could be found. When Elizabeth I became Queen, Parliament passed an Act providing that a Lord Keeper of the Great Seal would be entitled to "like place, pre-eminence, jurisdiction, execution of laws, and all other customs, commodities, and advantages" as a Lord Chancellor. The only difference between the two offices is the mode of appointment—a Lord Chancellor is appointed by formal letters patent, but a Lord Keeper is appointed by the delivery of the Great Seal into his custody. Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England, Queen of France (in name only), and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ... In Westminster System parliaments, an Act of Parliament is a part of the law passed by the Parliament. ... The Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and later of Great Britain, was formerly an officer of the English Crown charged with physical custody of the Great Seal of England. ... Letters Patent by Queen Victoria creating the office of Governor-General of Australia Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or government granting an office, a right, monopoly, title, or status to someone or some entity such as...


Formerly, it was customary to appoint commoners to the office of Lord Keeper, and peers to the office of Lord Chancellor. A Lord Keeper who acquired a peerage dignity would subsequently be appointed Lord Chancellor. The last Lord Keeper was Robert Henley, who was created a Baron in 1760 and was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1761. Since then, commoners as well as peers have been appointed to the post of Lord Chancellor; however, a commoner would normally be created a peer shortly after his appointment. Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington (c. ...


It is also possible to put the office of Lord Chancellor into commission (that is to say, to entrust the office to a group of individuals rather than a single person). The individuals who exercise the office become known as "Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal." Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal have not been appointed since 1836.


Formerly, there were separate Chancellors of England, Scotland and Ireland. When the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain under the Act of Union 1707 the offices of the Chancellor of England and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland were combined to form a single Lord Chancellor was appointed for the new state. Similar provision was not made when Great Britain and Ireland merged into the United Kingdom under the Act of Union 1800. Thus, the separate office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland continued to exist until the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. The office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland was abolished, and its duties transferred to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Thus, the Lord Chancellor remains "Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain", and not "Lord High Chancellor of the United Kingdom." Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Motto: (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity(English) Wha daur meddle wi me? (Scots)[1] Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots[2] Government  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Jack McConnell MSP Unification    - by Kenneth I... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right)1 Capital Winchester, then London from 11th century. ... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin: No one strikes me with impunity) Capital Edinburgh¹ Language(s) Gaelic, Scots Government Monarchy King/Queen  - 843-860 Kenneth I  - 1587–1625 James VI  - 1702-1714 Anne Legislature Parliament of Scotland History  - United 843  - Union of the Crowns March 24, 1603  - Act of Union... Scotland, England, (Great) Britain and United Kingdom see British Isles (terminology). ... The Acts of Union were twin Acts of Parliament passed in 1707 (taking effect on 26 March) by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. ... The Lord Chancellor of Scotland was a senior pre-Union officer in Scotland. ... A state is a set of institutions that possess the authority to make the rules that govern the people in one or more societies, having internal and external sovereignty over a definite territory. ... The Act of Union 1800 merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a merger of England and Wales and Scotland under the Act of Union 1707) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801. ... The office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland was the highest judicial office in Ireland from earliest times until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. ... Territory of the Irish Free State Capital Dublin Language(s) Irish, English Government Constitutional monarchy Monarch  - 1922–1936 George V  - 1936–1936 George VI President of the Executive Council  - 1922–1932 W.T. Cosgrave  - 1932–1937 Eamon de Valera Legislature Oireachtas  - Upper house Seanad Éireann  - Lower house Dáil Éireann... The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is the British cabinet minister who has responsibility for the government of Northern Ireland. ...


Legislative functions

The Lord Chancellor was originally the Speaker (presiding officer) of the House of Lords by right of prescription. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 devolved this function onto the Lord Speaker. It has been suggested that Speakers of the House be merged into this article or section. ... Time immemorial is time extending beyond the reach of memory, record, or tradition. ... The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2005 c. ... The Lord Speaker (or Lady Speaker) will be a new position in the British Parliament created once the Constitutional Reform Acts provisions about the Speakership of the House of Lords comes into effect. ...


A further historical instance may be mentioned: formerly, when peers had the right to be tried for felonies or for high treason by other peers in the House of Lords (instead of commoners on juries), the Lord High Steward, instead of the Lord Chancellor, would preside. (The office of Lord High Steward has generally remained vacant since 1421. Whenever a peer was to be tried in the House of Lords, a Lord High Steward would be appointed pro hac vice (for this occasion). In many cases, the Lord Chancellor would merely be elevated to the office of Lord High Steward temporarily.) This distinction is obsolete, as trials of peers in the House of Lords were abolished in 1948. For the record label, see Felony Records The term felony is a term used in common law systems for very serious crimes, whereas misdemeanors are considered to be less serious offenses. ... {{main|Treason}} High treason, broadly defined, is an action which is grossly disloyal to ones country or sovereign. ... Trial by Jury is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in one act (the only single-act Savoy Opera). ... The position of Lord High Steward of England, not to be confused with the Lord Steward, a court functionary, is the first of the Great Officers of State. ...


Whenever the Sovereign appoints Lords Commissioners to perform certain actions on his or her behalf (for example, to formally declare in Parliament that the Royal Assent has been granted), the Lord Chancellor serves as the principal or senior Lord Commissioner. The other Lords Commissioners, by convention, are members of the House of Lords who are Privy Counsellors. In this role the Lord Chancellor wears Parliamentary Robes—a full-length scarlet wool gown decorated with miniver fur. The Lord Chancellor wears a tricorne hat, but the other Lords Commissioners wear bicorne hats. The Lords Commissioners are Privy Counsellors appointed by the Monarch of the United Kingdom to exercise, on his or her behalf, certain functions relating to Parliament, including the opening and closing of Parliament, the confirmation of a newly elected Speaker of the House of Commons and the granting of Royal... // The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. ... Binomial name Mustela erminea Linnaeus, 1758 The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel or the wild otter, is a small mammal of the family Mustelidae. ... Peter the Great reenactor wearing a tricorne The tricorne (also tricorn, tri-cornered hat or three-cornered hat) is a style of hat that was popular during the 18th century, falling out of style shortly before the French Revolution. ... Napoléon Bonaparte in his trademark bicorne hat The Bicorne hat is an archaic form of headgear associated with the late 18th and early 19th centuries. ...


Executive functions

The Lord Chancellor is a member of the Privy Council and of the Cabinet. The office he heads was formerly known as the Lord Chancellor's Department. When Lord Falconer of Thoroton was appointed Lord Chancellor in 2003, however, the Department was renamed, becoming the Department for Constitutional Affairs. The Lord Chancellor gained the additional position of Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. Like all other Ministers, the Lord Chancellor must face Question Time, during which he answers the questions of members of his House. A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, especially in a monarchy. ... The Lord Chancellors Department was a United Kingdom government department. ... The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is a United Kingdom government department. ... The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is a United Kingdom cabinet position. ... Question Time is a section of proceedings in the Parliaments of the United Kingdom and several other countries which use the Westminster system, including Australia and New Zealand, and in Canada, where it is called Question Period. ...


The Department headed by the Lord Chancellor has many responsibilities, such as the constitutional reforms (including reforms of the office of Lord Chancellor itself) and the administration of the courts. Furthermore, the Lord Chancellor has a role in nominating many judges in the courts of England and Wales, although they are officially appointed by the Sovereign. The Prime Minister retains the power to nominate senior judges—Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, Lords Justices of Appeal and the Heads of the Divisions of the High Court—but in practice does so after consulting with the Lord Chancellor. Furthermore, for historical reasons, lay magistrates in the Duchy of Lancaster are nominated by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Lord Chancellor also determines which barristers are to be raised to the rank of Queen's Counsel. Schematic of court system for England and Wales The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords above it. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... A magistrate is a judicial officer. ... A not-so-nice duchy. ... The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a sinecure office in the British government. ... English barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions who employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... Cherie Booth QC wearing her ceremonial robes (including full-bottomed wig) as Queens Counsel at the Bar of England and Wales. ...


Custody of the Great Seal of the Realm is entrusted to the Lord Chancellor. Documents to which the Great Seal is affixed include letters patent, writs and royal proclamations. The sealing is actually performed under the supervision of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery (who holds the additional office of Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellor). The Lord Chancellor does not maintain custody of the Great Seal of Scotland (which is kept by the First Minister of Scotland) or of the Great Seal of Northern Ireland (which is kept by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland). The Great Seal of the Realm is a British institution by which the monarch can authorise official documents without having to sign each document individually. ... In law, a writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction. ... Since 1885 the office of Clerk of the Crown in Chancery has been combined with that of Permanent Secretary to the Lord Chancellors Department. ... The Permanent Secretary, in most departments officially titled the Permanent Under-Secretary of State (although the full title is rarely used), is the most senior civil servant of a British Government ministry, charged with running the department on a day-to-day basis. ... The First Minister (First Meinister in Scots; Prìomh Mhinistear in Scots Gaelic) is the leader of Scotlands national devolved government, the Scottish Executive, which was established in 1999 along with the reconvened Scottish Parliament. ...


Judicial functions

The judicial functions of the Lord Chancellor (as opposed to his role in the administration of the court system) were removed by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.


Formerly, the Lord Chancellor performed several different judicial roles. He was able to participate in judicial sessions of the House of Lords, and was a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He was the President of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, and therefore supervised the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the High Court of Justice of England and Wales and the Crown Court of England and Wales. He was also, ex officio, a judge in the Court of Appeal and the President of the Chancery Division. In modern times, these judicial functions were exercised very sparingly. The functions in relation to the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were usually delegated to the Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. The task of presiding over the Chancery Division was delegated to the Vice-Chancellor, a senior judge (now known as the Chancellor of the High Court). The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... Crown Court and County Court in Oxford. ... This page includes English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations such as . ... The Vice-Chancellor is the Lord Chancellors deputy in the British legal system, and the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ...


At the beginning of the legal year, the Lord Chancellor officiates at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey in front of all the judges. The ceremony is followed by a reception known as the Lord Chancellor's breakfast which is held in Westminster Hall. In English law, the legal year is the calendar during which the judges sit in court. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ... The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, in London, England is where the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (the House of Lords and the House of Commons) meet to conduct their business. ...


Ecclesiastical functions

The Lord Chancellor performs various functions relating to the established Church of England. He appoints clergymen in such of the ecclesiastical livings under the patronage of the Crown as are officially listed as being worth less than £20 per annum. Furthermore, he exercises the same prerogative in regard to the less valuable livings in the Duchy of Cornwall when there is no Duke of Cornwall, or when the Duke of Cornwall is a minor. (The heir-apparent to the Crown, if he is the Sovereign's eldest son, is automatically Duke of Cornwall.) Finally, the Lord Chancellor is in some cases the patron of an ecclesiastical living in his own right. Thus, in total, he appoints clergymen in over four hundred parishes and twelve cathedral canonries. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... The Dukedom of Cornwall was the first dukedom created in the peerage of England. ... A parish is a type of administrative subdivision. ... A cathedral is a religious building for worship, specifically of a denomination with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic, Anglican and some Lutheran churches, which serves as a bishops seat, and thus as the central church of a diocese. ... A canon (from the Latin canonicus and Greek κανωνικωσ relating to a rule) is a priest who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to a rule (canon). ...


By law, the Lord Chancellor must be consulted before appointments may be made to certain ecclesiastical courts. Judges of Consistory Courts, the Arches Court of Canterbury, the Chancery Court of York and the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved are appointed only after consultation with the Lord Chancellor. An ecclesiastical court (also called Court Christian) is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. ... The consistory is a type of Ecclesiastical court. ... The Arches Court, presided over by the Dean of Arches is an ecclesiastical court of the Church of England covering the Province of Canterbury. ... The Chancery Court of York is an ecclesiastical court for the Province of York of the Church of England. ... An appellate court of the Church of England. ...


The Lord Chancellor is, ex officio, one of the thirty-three Church Commissioners, who manage the assets of the Church of England. The Church Commissioners are a body managing the historic property assets of the Church of England. ...


Formerly, Roman Catholics were thought to be ineligible for the office of Lord Chancellor, as the office entailed functions relating to the Church of England. Most legal restrictions on Roman Catholics were lifted by the Catholic Relief Act 1829, which, however, provides, "nothing herein contained shall … enable any Person, otherwise than as he is now by Law enabled, to hold or enjoy the Office of Lord High Chancellor, Lord Keeper or Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal". The words "as he is now by Law enabled", however, caused considerable doubt, as it was unclear if Roman Catholics were disqualified from holding the office in the first place. For the removal of all doubt, Parliament passed an Act in 1974, declaring that there was never any impediment to the appointment of a Roman Catholic. The Act nevertheless provided that, if a Roman Catholic were appointed to the office, then the Sovereign may temporarily transfer the Lord Chancellor's ecclesiastical functions to the Prime Minister or another minister. akho manyokeh The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Catholic Emancipation was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the Penal Laws. ...


Other functions

Under the Regency Act 1937, the Lord Chancellor is one of the five persons who participate in determining the capacity of the Sovereign to discharge his or her royal duties—the other individuals so empowered are the Sovereign's spouse, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Master of the Rolls. If any three or more of these individuals, based on evidence that, as required by statute, shall include evidence provided by physicians, determine that the Sovereign suffers from a mental or physical infirmity that prevents him or her from personally discharging the duties of Head of State, the royal functions may be transferred to a Regent. The Regency Acts are Acts of the British Parliament passed at various points in time, to provide a regent if the British monarch were to be incapacited or in minority (under the age of 18). ... The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales was, historically, the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor. ... The Master of the Rolls is the third most senior judge of England, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain traditionally being first and the Lord Chief Justice second. ... Regent, from the Latin, a person selected to administer a state because the ruler is a minor or is not present or debilitated. ...


The Lord Chancellor is also the Keeper of the Queen's Conscience. As Keeper of the Queen's Conscience, the Lord Chancellor was once also the chief judge of the court of Chancery in London, dispensing equity to soften the harshness of the law.


The Lord Chancellor acts as the Visitor of many universities, colleges, schools, hospitals and other charitable organisations throughout the United Kingdom. When the rules of the organisation do not designate a Visitor, or when a vacancy in the office arises, the Sovereign serves as Visitor, but delegates the functions to the Lord Chancellor. Furthermore, some organisations explicitly provide that the Lord Chancellor is to act as Visitor; these bodies include St. George's Chapel, Windsor, the Royal Institution, Newcastle University and three colleges of the University of Oxford (namely St. Antony's College and University College). A Visitor, in United Kingdom law and history, is an overseer of an autonomous ecclesiastical or eleemosynary institution (i. ... St Georges Chapel, Windsor St. ... The Royal Institution of Great Britain was set up in 1799 by the leading British scientists of the age, including Henry Cavendish and its first president George Finch, the 9th Earl of Winchilsea, for diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for... Newcastle University is a British university located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north-east of England. ... The University of Oxford (usually abbreviated as Oxon. ... College name St Antonys College Named after Established 1950 Warden Professor Roger Goodman (acting) Graduates 300 Homepage St Antonys College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. ... College name University College Collegium Magnae Aulae Universitatis Named after Established 1249 Sister College Trinity Hall Master Lord Butler of Brockwell JCR President Peter Surr Undergraduates 420 MCR President Monte MacDiarmid Graduates 144 Homepage Boatclub Crest of University College, Oxford University College (in full, the The Master and Fellows of...


The power to appoint members of certain organisations is vested in the Lord Chancellor. These organisations include the governing bodies of Harrow School, Rugby School and Charterhouse School. It has been suggested that Houses of Harrow School be merged into this article or section. ... A view of Rugby School from The Close, the playing field where according to legend Rugby was invented Rugby School, located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, is one of the oldest public schools in England and is one of the major co-educational boarding schools in the country. ... Charterhouse School (Originally, Suttons Hospital in Charterhouse) is a famous boys English public school, located in Godalming in the county of Surrey. ...


Precedence and privileges

The Lord High Chancellor outranks all other Great Officers of State, with the exception of the Lord High Steward, which office, as aforementioned, has generally been vacant since the 15th century. Under modern conventions, the office of Lord High Steward is only filled on the day of a new monarch's coronation; thus, at all other times, the Lord Chancellor remains the highest ranking Great Officer. The importance of the office is reflected by the Treason Act 1351, which makes it high treason to slay the Lord Chancellor. A Lord High Treasurer would be entitled to the same protection—but the office is now held in commission—as would a judge whilst actually in court, determining a case. In the United Kingdom, the Great Officers of State are officers who either inherit their positions or are appointed by the Crown, and exercise certain ceremonial functions. ... The position of Lord High Steward of England, not to be confused with the Lord Steward, a court functionary, is the first of the Great Officers of State. ... The Treason Act 1351 is an Act of the English Parliament which attempted to codify all existing forms of Treason. ... {{main|Treason}} High treason, broadly defined, is an action which is grossly disloyal to ones country or sovereign. ... The Lord High Treasurer bears a white staff as his symbol of office. ...


The Lord Chancellor's position in the modern order of precedence is an extremely high one; generally, he is outranked only by the Royal Family and high ecclesiastics. In England, the Lord Chancellor precedes all non-royal individuals except the Archbishop of Canterbury. In Scotland, he precedes all non-royal individuals except the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Although Lord Chancellor "of Great Britain", he maintains a position in the order of precedence in Northern Ireland; there, he outranks all non-royal individuals with the exception of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Armagh, the Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Dublin and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Throughout the United Kingdom, the Lord Chancellor technically outranks the Prime Minister, although the latter generally possesses more power. The precedence of a Lord Keeper of the Great Seal is equivalent to that of a Lord Chancellor. The precedence of Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal is much lower (see United Kingdom order of precedence). An order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of people; it is used by many organizations and governments. ... Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony The British Royal Family is a shared royal family. ... The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader and senior clergyman of the Church of England, recognized by convention as the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ... As the Sovereigns personal representative Lord High Commissioners were appointed to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland between 1603 and 1707. ... The Church of Scotland (CofS, known informally as The Kirk, Eaglais na h-Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is the national church of Scotland. ... Primate of All Ireland is the title held by the Archbishop of Armagh. ... Primate of Ireland is a title possessed by the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland (Anglican) Archbishops of Dublin. ... The standard of the Moderator The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is an honorary role, held for 12 months. ... The Order of precedence in the United Kingdom is different for each region. ...


The Lord Chancellor is entitled to an annual emolument of £227,736 and to an annual pension of £106,868. The Lord Chancellor's salary is higher than that of any other public official, including even the Prime Minister. Lord Falconer of Thoroton has chosen to claim only the same amount as is received by other Cabinet ministers in the House of Lords. A pension is a steady income given to a person (usually after retirement). ...


Reform

In the early 21st century the combined executive, legislative and judicial functions of the historical office of Lord Chancellor began to be viewed as untenable, as it infringed on the idea of trias politica (where no one should reside in any more than one of the three branches of government; the Lord Chancellor stood in all three). It was also considered as possibly inconsistent with the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, proposals by the Blair Government simply to abolish the office met with opposition from those who felt that such an official is necessary to speak on the judiciary's behalf in the Cabinet, as well as from those who opposed the sudden abolition of so ancient an office. In 2003, Tony Blair chose his close friend and former flatmate Lord Falconer of Thoroton to be Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs. At the same time, he announced his intention to abolish the office of Lord Chancellor and to make many other constitutional reforms. After much surprise and confusion, it became clear that the ancient office of Lord Chancellor could not be abolished without an Act of Parliament. Lord Falconer of Thoroton duly appeared in the House of Lords to preside from the Woolsack on the next day. The Lord Chancellor's Department, however, was renamed the Department for Constitutional Affairs. Separation of powers is the idea that the powers of a sovereign government should be split between two or more strongly independent entities, preventing any one person or group from gaining too much power. ... The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, also known as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), was adopted under the auspices of the Council of Europe[1] in 1950 to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency... Charles Leslie Falconer, Baron Falconer of Thoroton, PC (born November 19, 1951), is a British lawyer and Labour Party politician. ...


The Government introduced the Constitutional Reform Bill in the House of Lords in February 2004. The Bill sought to abolish the office of Lord Chancellor, and to transfer his functions to other officials: legislative functions to a Speaker of the House of Lords, executive functions to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and judicial functions to the Lord Chief Justice. The Bill also made other constitutional reforms, such as transferring the judicial duties of the House of Lords to a Supreme Court. The Constitutional Reform Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on February 24, 2004, and proposed the following changes: Abolition of the office of “Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain”, generally known as the Lord Chancellor. ...


In March 2004, however, the Lords upset the Government's plans by sending the bill to a Select Committee. Although initially seen as a move to kill the bill, the Government and Opposition agreed to permit the Bill to proceed through the parliamentary process, subject to any amendments made by the Committee. On 13 July 2004, the House amended the Constitutional Reform Bill such that the title of Lord Chancellor would be retained, although the Government's other proposed reforms were left intact. Then, in November 2004, the Government introduced an amendment in the Lords which wholly removed references to the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, changing them to ones about the Lord Chancellor, with the positions of Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor envisaged as being held by the same person. The final Constitutional Reform Act received royal assent on March 24, 2005 and the major transfers of the historical functions of the Lord Chancellor to others (such as the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Speaker) were complete by mid-2006. A Select Committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy. ... July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 171 days remaining. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (2005 c. ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor, and the presiding judge of Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, and of the Queens Bench Division of the High Court. ... The Lord Speaker (or Lady Speaker) will be a new position in the British Parliament created once the Constitutional Reform Acts provisions about the Speakership of the House of Lords comes into effect. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...


Fictional depictions

The most celebrated fictional depiction of a Lord Chancellor occurs in Iolanthe, the operetta by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Identified only by title, not by personal name, the Lord Chancellor wears as stage costume the full court dress that his real-life counterpart adopts. The action of the operetta concerns a group of female fairies who become romantically involved with members of the House of Lords, and the Lord Chancellor is mixed in the heart of the frivolity. The character sings a well-known patter song,"The Nightmare Song", about the mental anguish caused by unrequited love. In dialogue, the Lord Chancellor, in another reference to his distracted mental state, complains "ah, my Lords, it is indeed painful to have to sit upon a Woolsack stuffed with such thorns as these!" Iolanthe, or The Peer and the Peri, is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in two acts. ... Operetta (literally, little opera) is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. ... Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (November 18, 1836 - May 29, 1911) was a British dramatist and librettist best known for his operatic collaborations with the composer Arthur Sullivan. ... Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (May 13, 1842 – November 22, 1900) was an English composer best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert. ... The patter song is a staple of comic opera: a solo, typically for bass or baritone, typically delivered very quickly to a kind of sing-song tune. ... The woolsack in the former Irish House of Lords. ...


William H. Rehnquist, then Chief Justice of the United States, was inspired to add four golden stripes to the sleeves of his judicial robes after seeing the costume of the Lord Chancellor in a production of Iolanthe. The current Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr., has not continued the practice. William H. Rehnquist has served as the Chief Justice of the United States since 1986. ... The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch of the government of the United States, and presides over the Supreme Court of the United States. ... John G. Roberts Jr. ...


A fictional Lord Chancellor also appears in Charles Dickens' novel Bleak House (also identified only by title), presiding over the interminable chancery case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Dickens redirects here. ... Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly parts between March 1852 and September 1853. ... Jarndyce and Jarndyce is a fictional court case in chancery in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens. ...


See also

// Early Chancellors of England Angmendus (605) Cenmora (?) Bosa (?) Swithulplus (?) St. ... William Comyn (1133-1142) William de Malvoisin, Bishop of Glasgow, St Andrews (1199-1211) Robert Kenleith, Abbot of Dunfermline (1249-1251) Gamelin, Bishop of St Andrew’s (1251-1255) Archibald, Bishop of Moray (1255) Richard of Inverkeithing, Bishop of Dunkeld (1255-1257) William Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow (1257... The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is one of the traditional sinecure offices in the British Cabinet. ... Wealth at death of British politicians: based on probate. ... The Alienation Office was a British Government body charged with regulating the alienation or transfer of feudal lands without a licence from the Government. ...

References

  • Campbell, J., 1st Baron. (1868). Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England From the Earliest Times Till the Reign of King George IV, 5th ed. London: John Murray.
  • Davies, M. (2003). Companion to the Standing Orders and guide to the Proceedings of the Lords, 19th ed.
  • Department for Constitutional Affairs. (2003). "Constitutional Reform: Reforming the Office of the Lord Chancellor"
  • House of Lords. (2003–2004). Bill 30 (Constitutional Reform Bill).
  • "Lord High Chancellor" (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. London: Cambridge University Press.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Lord Chancellor's Department - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (135 words)
The Lord Chancellor's Department was a United Kingdom government department.
It was founded in 1885 as the Lord Chancellor's Office, to give the Lord Chancellor a staff answerable to him.
In 2003 the Lord Chancellor's Department was subsumed into the newly created Department for Constitutional Affairs.
Lord Chancellor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4545 words)
The Lord Chancellor is the Speaker (presiding officer) of the House of Lords.
The Lord Chancellor is also involved in the annual ceremony known as the State Opening of Parliament, during which the Sovereign delivers the Speech from the Throne (also known as the King's or Queen's Speech), outlining the agenda of the Government for the upcoming parliamentary session.
The Lord Chancellor is entitled to an annual emolument of £207,736 and to an annual pension of £103,868.
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