Lord High Treasurer

The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a British government position since the Acts of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third-highest-ranked Great Officer of State, below the Lord High Steward and the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

The Lord High Treasurer bears a white staff as his symbol of office. This is William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley.

The Lord High Treasurer functions as the head of Her Majesty's Treasury. Since the 18th century, the office has often been held, not by a single person, but placed in commission, so that a board of individuals jointly exercise the powers of the Lord High Treasurer. Such persons are known as Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. The office has been in commission continuously since the resignation of Charles Talbot, 1st Duke of Shrewsbury in 1714.

Although the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created in 1801, it was not until the Consolidated Fund Act 1816 that the separate offices of 'Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain' and Lord High Treasurer of Ireland were united into one office as the 'Lord High Treasurer of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' on 5 January 1817.[1] The office continued in commission and the commissioners of the old office of 'Lord High Treasurer of Great Britain' continued as the commissioners of the new combined office.[1]

In modern times, by convention, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury include the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, usually serving as the 'First Lord of the Treasury', and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, serving as the 'Second Lord of the Treasury'. Other members of the government, usually whips in the House of Commons, are appointed to serve as the junior Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.