Secretary to the Treasury

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In the United Kingdom, there are several Secretaries to the Treasury, who are Treasury ministers nominally acting as secretaries to HM Treasury. The origins of the office are unclear, although it probably originated during Lord Burghley's tenure as Lord Treasurer in the 16th century. The number of secretaries was expanded to two by 1714 at the latest. The Treasury ministers together discharge all the former functions of the Lord Treasurer, which are nowadays nominally vested in the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Of the Commissioners, only the Second Lord of the Treasury, who is also the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is a Treasury minister (the others are the Prime Minister and the government whips).


The Chancellor is the senior Treasury minister, followed by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who also attends Cabinet and has particular responsibilities for public expenditure. In order of seniority, the junior Treasury ministers are: the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (currently not in use).

One of the present-day secretaries, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, formerly known as the Patronage Secretary, is not a Treasury minister but the government whip in the House of Commons. The office can be seen as a sinecure, allowing the Chief Whip to draw a government salary, attend Cabinet, and use a Downing Street residence.

Current Secretaries to the Treasury

Tom Scholar KCB , the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, is the Civil Service head of the department.

Secretaries to the Treasury


YearSenior SecretaryJunior Secretary
11 June 1711 William Lowndes Thomas Harley
November 1714John Taylor
12 October 1715 Horatio Walpole
April 1717 Charles Stanhope
April 1721 Horatio Walpole
January 1724 John Scrope
24 June 1730 Edward Walpole
1 June 1739 Stephen Fox
30 April 1741 Henry Legge
15 July 1742 Henry Furnese
30 November 1742 John Jeffreys
1 May 1746 James West
9 April 1752 James West Nicholas Hardinge
18 November 1756 Nicholas Hardinge Samuel Martin
5 July 1757 James West
9 April 1758 James West  
31 May 1758 Samuel Martin
29 May 1762 Samuel Martin Jeremiah Dyson
18 April 1763 Jeremiah Dyson Charles Jenkinson
24 August 1763 Charles Jenkinson Thomas Whateley
30 September 1765 William Mellish Charles Lowndes
18 August 1766 Sir Grey Cooper, Bt Thomas Bradshaw
16 October 1770 John Robinson
29 March 1782 Henry Strachey Edward Chamberlain [1]
6 April 1782 Richard Burke
15 July 1782 Thomas Orde George Rose
5 April 1783 Richard Burke Richard Brinsley Sheridan
27 December 1783 George Rose Thomas Steele
26 February 1791 Charles Long
24 March 1801 John Hiley Addington
9 April 1801 Nicholas Vansittart
8 July 1802 Nicholas Vansittart John Sargent
21 May 1804 William Huskisson William Sturges Bourne
10 February 1806 Nicholas Vansittart John King
2 September 1806 William Henry Fremantle
1 April 1807 Hon. Henry Wellesley William Huskisson
5 April 1809 Charles Arbuthnot
8 December 1809 Richard Wharton
7 January 1814 Stephen Rumbold Lushington
7 February 1823 Stephen Rumbold Lushington John Charles Herries
19 April 1827 Joseph Planta Thomas Frankland Lewis
28 January 1828 George Robert Dawson


See also

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  1. Died before being called to the Board