Leader of the House of Lords

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United Kingdom
Leader of the House of Lords
House of Lords.svg
Natalie Evans, Baroness Evans.jpg
Incumbent
The Baroness Evans of Bowes Park

since 14 July 2016
Office of the Leader of the House
Deputy Frederick Curzon, 7th Earl Howe[1]
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The Leader of the House of Lords is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Lords, the role is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, usually one of the sinecure offices of Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal or Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Unless the Leader is also a departmental minister, being Leader constitutes the bulk of his or her government responsibilities, but it has never been an independent salaried office, the Office of the Leader of the House of Lords is a ministerial department.[2]

Though the Leader of the House is a member of the cabinet and remains a partisan figure, he or she also has responsibilities to the House as a whole; in contrast to the House of Commons, where proceedings are controlled by the Speaker, proceedings in the Lords are controlled by peers themselves, under the rules set out in the Standing Orders. The Leader of the House has the responsibility of reminding the House of these rules and facilitating the Lords' self-regulation, though any member may draw attention to breaches of order or failure to observe customs, the Leader is often called upon to advise on procedures and points of order, and is required to determine the order of speakers on Supplementary Questions, subject to the wishes of the House. However, like the Lord Speaker, the Leader of the House has no power to rule on points of order or to intervene during an inappropriate speech.

Until the election of the first Lord Speaker on 4 July 2006, the Leader of the House had responsibility for making preliminary decisions on requests for Private Notice Questions, and for waiving the sub judice rule in certain cases, those functions were transferred to the Lord Speaker.

History[edit]

The title seems to have come into use some time after 1800, as a formal way of referring to the peer who managed government business in the upper House, irrespective of which salaried position they held in the cabinet. However, it may have been used as early as 1689, applied to George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax, when he was Speaker of the House of Lords during the Convention Parliament of that year.

The role developed during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, at the same time as the role of Prime Minister and the system of Cabinet government; in the wake of the English Civil War, the Glorious Revolution and the succession of the Hanoverians to the throne, Britain evolved a system of government where ministers were sustained in office by their ability to carry legislation through Parliament. It was therefore necessary for a member of the government to take responsibility for steering government legislation through each House.

The Earl of Sunderland, initiated aspects of the role during the Whig Junta under Queen Anne. Sunderland and the other Whigs were dismissed from office in reaction to their co-ordination of government matters, which was taken as a threat to the power of the monarch. Sunderland returned to power under George I, as Lord Privy Seal, the first documentary evidence of the existence of the role comes from 1717, when Sunderland became Secretary of State for the Northern Department: in the form of lists of peers invited to the office of the Northern Secretary immediately before sessions of Parliament.

When the Prime Minister sat in the House of Lords, which was common until the beginning of the twentieth century, he usually held the position of Leader of the House of Lords. When the Prime Minister sat in the Commons, the position of Leader of the Lords was often held by the Foreign Secretary or Colonial Secretary; in some coalition governments, it was held by the party leader who was not Prime Minister.

Since the end of the Marquess of Salisbury's last government, in 1902, the position clearly exists in its own right as a member of the cabinet, since 1966 it has only been combined with sinecure positions and the holder has not been a departmental minister though some have held additional responsibilities such as Viscount Hailsham also being designated "Minister for Science" or Baroness Jay also being "Minister for Women".

The first female Leader of the Lords was Janet Young, Baroness Young in 1981–1983.

Families[edit]

Leaders of the House of Lords[edit]

Because the post is a parliamentary one and not a ministerial office in its own right, it is not always included in official lists of government offices, especially for earlier periods. This can make it difficult to determine who the Leader of the House of Lords was in a particular ministry.

Portrait Name Term of office Other ministerial offices held as Leader of the House of Lords Political party Prime Minister
Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (2).jpg Charles Townshend
The Viscount Townshend
1721 1730 Secretary of State for the Northern Department Whig Robert Walpole
 ? 1730 1742
John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville by William Hoare.jpg John Carteret
The Earl Granville

Baron Carteret until 1744
Earl Granville from 1744'
12 February
1742
24 November
1744
Secretary of State for the Northern Department Whig Earl of Wilmington (until July 1743)
Henry Pelham (from 27 August 1743)
1stDukeOfNewcastleOld.jpg Thomas Pelham-Holles
The Duke of Newcastle
1744 16 November
1756
Prime Minister from March 1754 Whig
Himself
4th Duke of Devonshire after Hudson.jpg William Cavendish
The Duke of Devonshire
16 November
1756
25 June
1757
Prime Minister Whig Himself
1stDukeOfNewcastleOld.jpg Thomas Pelham-Holles
The Duke of Newcastle
2 July
1757
26 May
1762
Prime Minister Whig Himself
John Stuart, Earl of Bute.jpg John Stuart
The Earl of Bute
26 May
1762
8 April
1763
Prime Minister Tory Himself
 ? 1763 1765 George Grenville
2nd Marquess of Rockingham cropped.jpg Charles Watson-Wentworth
The Marquess of Rockingham
13 July
1765
30 July
1766
Prime Minister Whig
(Rockingham)
Himself
Grafton3.JPG Augustus FitzRoy
The Duke of Grafton
1766 28 January
1770
Prime Minister from October 1768 Whig
(Chathamite)
Earl of Chatham (William Pitt the Elder)
(until October 1768)
Himself (from 14 October 1768)
 ? 1770 1782 Lord North
William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne by JL Mosnier crop.jpg William Petty
The Earl of Shelburne
March
1782
April
1783
Secretary of State for the Home Department until July 1782
Prime Minister from July 1782
Whig
(Rockingham)
Marquess of Rockingham (until 1 July 1782)
Himself (from 4 July 1782)
3rd Duke of Portland crop.jpg William Cavendish-Bentinck
The Duke of Portland
2 April
1783
December
1783
Prime Minister Whig
(Foxite)
Himself
(figurehead)
1stMarquessOfBuckingham.jpg George Nugent-Temple-Grenville
The Earl Temple
[3]
December
1783
December
1783
– Secretary of State William Pitt the Younger
Viscount Sydney by Gilbert Stuart.jpg Thomas Townshend
The Lord Sydney
[3]
December
1783
June
1789
Secretary of State for the Home Department Whig
Francis Osborne cropped.jpg Francis Osborne
The Duke of Leeds
[3]
1789 1790 Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Tory
1st Baron Grenville-cropped.jpg William Grenville
The Lord Grenville
[3]
November
1790
February
1801
Secretary of State for the Home Department until June 1791
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from June 1791
Tory
4thEarlOfBuckinghamshire.jpg Robert Hobart
The Lord Hobart
[4]
March
1801
October
1801
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies Tory Henry Addington
2ndEarlOfChichester.jpg Thomas Pelham
The Lord Pelham
[3]
October
1801
August
1803
Secretary of State for the Home Department Tory
Earl jenkinson.jpg Robert Jenkinson
The Lord Hawkesbury
[3]
November
1803
February
1806
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs until May 1804
Secretary of State for the Home Department from May 1804
Tory
William Pitt the Younger
1st Baron Grenville-cropped.jpg William Grenville
The Lord Grenville
[3]
11 February
1806
March
1807
Prime Minister Whig Himself
(Ministry of All the Talents)
Earl jenkinson.jpg Robert Jenkinson
The Earl of Liverpool
[3]
Baron Hawkesbury until 1808
Earl of Liverpool from 1808
25 March
1807
April
1827
Secretary of State for the Home Department until November 1809
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies November 1809 – June 1812
Prime Minister from June 1812
Tory 3rd Duke of Portland
Spencer Perceval
Himself
Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon by Sir Thomas Lawrence cropped.jpg F. J. Robinson
The Viscount Goderich
[3]
30 April
1827
January
1828
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies until September 1827
Prime Minister from August 1827
Tory George Canning
Himself
Sir Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington.jpg Arthur Wellesley
The Duke of Wellington
[3]
January
1828
November
1830
Prime Minister Tory Himself
Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey by Sir Thomas Lawrence copy.jpg Charles Grey
The Earl Grey
22 November
1830
9 July
1834
Prime Minister Whig Himself
2nd V Melbourne.jpg William Lamb
The Viscount Melbourne
16 July
1834
14 November
1834
Prime Minister Whig Himself
Sir Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington.jpg Arthur Wellesley
The Duke of Wellington
17 November
1834
8 April
1835
Prime Minister until December 1834
Secretary of State for the Home Department until December 1834
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies until December 1834
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Tory Himself
(Caretaker)
Robert Peel
2nd V Melbourne.jpg William Lamb
The Viscount Melbourne
18 April
1835
30 August
1841
Prime Minister Whig Himself
Sir Arthur Wellesley Duke of Wellington.jpg Arthur Wellesley
The Duke of Wellington
3 September
1841
27 June
1846
Minister without portfolio Conservative Robert Peel
Lord Henry Petty.jpg Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
The Marquess of Lansdowne
6 July
1846
21 February
1852
Lord President of the Council Whig Lord John Russell
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby-1865.jpg Edward Smith-Stanley
The Earl of Derby
23 February
1852
17 December
1852
Prime Minister Conservative Himself
Earlofaberdeen.jpg George Hamilton-Gordon
The Earl of Aberdeen
19 December
1852
30 January
1855
Prime Minister Peelite Himself
(Coalition)
Second Earl Granville.jpg Granville Leveson-Gower
The Earl Granville
8 February
1855
21 February
1858
Lord President of the Council Whig Viscount Palmerston
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby-1865.jpg Edward Smith-Stanley
The Earl of Derby
21 February
1858
11 June
1859
Prime Minister Conservative Himself
Second Earl Granville.jpg Granville Leveson-Gower
The Earl Granville
18 June
1859
29 October
1865
Lord President of the Council Liberal Viscount Palmerston
Lord john russell.jpg John Russell
The Earl Russell
29 October
1865
26 June
1866
Prime Minister Liberal Himself
Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby-1865.jpg Edward Smith-Stanley
The Earl of Derby
28 June
1866
25 February
1868
Prime Minister Conservative Himself
JH Harris 3rd Earl of Malmesbury by JG Middleton crop.jpg James Harris
The Earl of Malmesbury
27 February
1868
1 December
1868
Lord Privy Seal Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
Second Earl Granville.jpg Granville Leveson-Gower
The Earl Granville
9 December
1868
17 February
1874
Secretary of State for the Colonies until July 1870
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from July 1870
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox, 6th Duke of Richmond, 6th Duke of Lennox, and 1st Duke of Gordon.jpg Charles Gordon-Lennox
The Duke of Richmond
21 February
1874
21 August
1876
Lord President of the Council Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
Disraeli.jpg Benjamin Disraeli
The Earl of Beaconsfield
21 August
1876
21 April
1880
Prime Minister Conservative
Second Earl Granville.jpg Granville Leveson-Gower
The Earl Granville
28 April
1880
9 June
1885
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Robert cecil.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
The Marquess of Salisbury
23 June
1885
28 January
1886
Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Conservative Himself
Second Earl Granville.jpg Granville Leveson-Gower
The Earl Granville
6 February
1886
20 July
1886
Secretary of State for the Colonies Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Robert cecil.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
The Marquess of Salisbury
25 July
1886
11 August
1892
Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from January 1887
Conservative Himself
1st Earl of Kimberley 1897.jpg John Wodehouse
The Earl of Kimberley
18 August
1892
5 March
1894
Lord President of the Council Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery - 1890s.jpg Archibald Primrose
The Earl of Rosebery
5 March
1894
21 June
1895
Prime Minister Liberal Himself
Robert cecil.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
The Marquess of Salisbury
25 June
1895
11 July
1902
Prime Minister
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs until November 1900
Lord Privy Seal from 12 November 1900
Conservative Himself
Picture of Spencer Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire.jpg Spencer Cavendish
The Duke of Devonshire
12 July
1902
13 October
1903
Lord President of the Council Liberal Unionist Arthur Balfour
(Conservative)
Marquess of Lansdowne crop.jpg Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice
The Marquess of Lansdowne
13 October
1903
4 December
1905
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Liberal Unionist
George Robinson 1st Marquess of Ripon.jpg George Robinson
The Marquess of Ripon
10 December
1905
14 April
1908
Lord Privy Seal Liberal Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Portrait of Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe.jpg Robert Crewe-Milnes
The Marquess of Crewe

Earl of Crewe until 1911
Marquess of Crewe from 1911
14 April
1908
10 December
1916
Secretary of State for the Colonies May 1908– November 1910
Lord Privy Seal October 1908 – October 1911; February 1912 – May 1915
Secretary of State for India November 1910 – March 1911; May 1911 – May 1915
Lord President of the Council from May 1915
President of the Board of Education from August 1916
Liberal H. H. Asquith
George Curzon2.jpg George Curzon
The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston

Earl Curzon of Kedleston until 1921
Marquess Curzon of Kedleston from 1921
10 December
1916
22 January
1924
Lord President of the Council until October 1919
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from October 1919
Conservative David Lloyd George
Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Portrait of Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane.jpg Richard Haldane
The Viscount Haldane
22 January
1924
3 November
1924
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain Labour Ramsay MacDonald
George Curzon2.jpg George Curzon
The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
3 November
1924
20 March
1925
Lord President of the Council Conservative Stanley Baldwin
James Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of Salisbury.jpg James Gascoyne-Cecil
The Marquess of Salisbury
27 April
1925
4 June
1929
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
Lord Parmoor - 19221128.jpg Charles Cripps
The Lord Parmoor
7 June
1929
24 August
1931
Lord President of the Council Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Rufus Isaacs.jpg Rufus Isaacs
The Marquess of Reading
24 August
1931
5 November
1931
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Liberal Ramsay MacDonald
(Nat. Govts: I & II)
Hailsham1.JPG Douglas Hogg
The Viscount Hailsham
5 November
1931
7 June
1935
Secretary of State for War Conservative
Charles (Charlie) Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry.jpg Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart
The Marquess of Londonderry
7 June
1935
22 November
1935
Lord Privy Seal Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(Nat. Govt)
Lord Halifax 1937.jpg Edward Wood
The Viscount Halifax
22 November
1935
21 February
1938
Lord Privy Seal until May 1937
Lord President of the Council from 28 May 1937
Conservative
Neville Chamberlain
(Nat. Govt)
Stanhope7.JPG James Stanhope
The Earl Stanhope
21 February
1938
14 May
1940
President of the Board of Education until October 1938
First Lord of the Admiralty October 1938– September 1939
Lord President of the Council from September 1939
Conservative
Neville Chamberlain
(War coalition)
Thomas Inskip.jpg Thomas Inskip
The Viscount Caldecote
14 May
1940
3 October
1940
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs Conservative Winston Churchill
(War coalition)
Lord Halifax 1937.jpg Edward Wood
The Viscount Halifax
3 October
1940
22 December
1940
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Conservative
Lord Lloyd.JPG George Lloyd
The Lord Lloyd
22 December
1940
4 February
1941
Secretary of State for the Colonies Conservative
Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne.jpg Walter Guinness
The Lord Moyne
8 February
1941
21 February
1942
Secretary of State for the Colonies Conservative
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 1947.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
Viscount Cranborne
21 February
1942
26 July
1945
Secretary of State for the Colonies until November 1942
Lord Privy Seal November 1942– September 1943
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs from September 1943– 1945
Conservative
Winston Churchill
(Caretaker coalition)
Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison.jpg Christopher Addison
The Viscount Addison
3 August
1945
26 October
1951
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs until July 1947
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations July 1947 – October 1947
Lord Privy Seal October 1947 – March 1951
Paymaster General July 1948– April 1949
Lord President of the Council from March 1951
Labour Clement Attlee
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 1947.jpg Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
The Marquess of Salisbury
28 October
1951
29 March
1957
Lord Privy Seal until May 1952
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations March 1952– November 1952
Lord President of the Council from November 1952
Conservative Winston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Alec Douglas-Home (c1963).jpg Alec Douglas-Home
The Earl of Home
29 March
1957
27 July
1960
Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations
Lord President of the Council until September 1957; from October 1959
Conservative Harold Macmillan
Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham Allan Warren.jpg Quintin Hogg
The Viscount Hailsham
27 July
1960
20 October
1963
Lord President of the Council
– Minister for Science
Conservative
Peter Carington 1984.jpg Peter Carington
The Lord Carrington
[5]
20 October
1963
16 October
1964
Minister without portfolio Conservative Alec Douglas-Home
Lord Longford 4 Allan Warren.jpg Frank Pakenham
The Earl of Longford
[5]
18 October
1964
16 January
1968
Lord Privy Seal until December 1965; from April 1966
Secretary of State for the Colonies December 1965 – April 1966
Labour Harold Wilson
Edward Shackleton
The Lord Shackleton
[5]
16 January
1968
19 June
1970
Lord Privy Seal until April 1968; from October 1968
Paymaster-General April 1968–November 1968
Labour
George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe.jpg George Jellicoe
The Earl Jellicoe
[5]
20 June
1970
23 May
1973
Lord Privy Seal Conservative Edward Heath
David Hennessy
The Lord Windlesham
[5]
5 June
1973
4 March
1974
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
Malcolm Shepherd
The Lord Shepherd
[5]
7 March
1974
10 September
1976
Lord Privy Seal Labour Harold Wilson
James Callaghan
Fred Peart
The Lord Peart
[5]
10 September
1976
4 May
1979
Lord Privy Seal Labour
Christopher Soames
The Lord Soames
[5]
5 May
1979
14 September
1981
Lord President of the Council Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Janet Young
The Baroness Young
[5]
14 September
1981
11 June
1983
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster until April 1982
Lord Privy Seal from April 1982
Conservative
William Whitelaw
The Viscount Whitelaw
[5]
11 June
1983
10 January
1988
Lord President of the Council Conservative
John Ganzoni
The Lord Belstead
[5]
10 January
1988
28 November
1990
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
David Waddington
The Lord Waddington
[5]
28 November
1990
11 April
1992
Lord Privy Seal Conservative John Major
John Wakeham
The Lord Wakeham
[5]
11 April
1992
20 July
1994
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil 2013.JPG Robert Gascoyne-Cecil
Viscount Cranborne
[5]
20 July
1994
2 May
1997
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
Ivor Richard
The Lord Richard
[5]
2 May
1997
27 July
1998
Lord Privy Seal Labour Tony Blair
Baroness Jay of Paddington.jpg Margaret Jay
The Baroness Jay of Paddington
[5]
27 July
1998
8 June
2001
Lord Privy Seal Labour
No image.svg Gareth Williams
The Lord Williams of Mostyn
[5]
8 June
2001
20 September
2003
Lord Privy Seal Labour
Baroness Valerie Ann Amos.jpg Valerie Amos
The Baroness Amos
[5]
6 October
2003
27 June
2007
Lord President of the Council Labour
Baroness Ashton headshot.jpg Catherine Ashton
The Baroness Ashton of Upholland
[5]
27 June
2007
2 October
2008
Lord President of the Council Labour Gordon Brown
BaronessRoyallPortrait.jpg Janet Royall
The Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
[5]
2 October
2008
11 May
2010
Lord President of the Council until June 2009
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster from June 2009
Labour
Lord Strathclyde.jpg Thomas Galbraith
The Lord Strathclyde
[5]
12 May
2010
7 January
2013
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)
Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford.jpg Jonathan Hill
The Lord Hill of Oareford
[5]
7 January
2013
15 July
2014
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Conservative
Baroness Stowell.jpg Tina Stowell
The Baroness Stowell of Beeston
[5]
15 July
2014
14 July
2016
Lord Privy Seal Conservative
David Cameron
(II)
Natalie Evans, Baroness Evans.jpg Natalie Evans
The Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
[5]
14 July
2016
Incumbent Lord Privy Seal Conservative Theresa May

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Rt Hon Earl Howe". UK Government. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chris Cook and John Stevenson, British Historical Facts 1760–1830 (1980) pp. 50–51.
  4. ^ M. W. McCahill, The House of Lords in the Age of George III (1760-1811) (2009) p. 242.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Matthew Purvis, Leader of the House of Lords: Holders of the Post. House of Lords Library, 15 July 2016. Accessed 21 November 2016.

External links[edit]