Secretary at War

The Secretary at War was a political position in the English and later British government, with some responsibility over the administration and organization of the Army, but not over military policy. The Secretary at War ran the War Office. After 1794 it was occasionally a Cabinet-level position, although it was considered of subordinate rank to the Secretaries of State. The position was combined with that of Secretary of State for War in 1854 and abolished in 1863.[1]

The Hon. Henry Pelham, who served as Secretary at War between 1724 and 1730

Notable holders of the position include Robert Walpole, the Hon. Henry Pelham, Henry Fox, Lord Palmerston and Lord Macaulay.

Secretaries at War, 1661–1854

NameEntered officeLeft office
Sir William Clarke16611666
Matthew Locke16661683
William Blathwayt16831692
George Clarke16921704
Henry St John17041708
Robert Walpole17081710
George Granville17101712
Sir William Wyndham, Bt17121713
Francis Gwyn17131714
William Pulteney17141717
James Craggs the Younger17171718
The Viscount Castlecomer17181718
Robert Pringle17181718
George Treby17181720
Thomas Trevor17201724
Hon. Henry Pelham17241730
Sir William Strickland, Bt17301735
Sir William Yonge, Bt17351741
Thomas Winnington17411746
Henry Fox17461755
The Viscount Barrington17551761
Hon. Charles Townshend17611762
Welbore Ellis17621765
The Viscount Barrington17651778
Charles Jenkinson17781782
Thomas Townshend17821782
Sir George Yonge, Bt17821783
Richard FitzPatrick17831783
Sir George Yonge, Bt17831794
William Windham17941801
Charles Philip Yorke18011803
Charles Bragge18031804
William Dundas18041806
Richard FitzPatrick18061807
Sir James Murray-Pulteney, Bt18071809
Lord Granville Leveson-Gower18091809
The Viscount Palmerston18091828
Sir Henry Hardinge18281830
Lord Francis Leveson-Gower18301830
Charles Williams-Wynn18301831
Sir Henry Parnell, Bt18311832
Sir John Hobhouse, Bt18321833
Edward Ellice18331834
John Charles Herries18341835
Viscount Howick18351839
Thomas Babington Macaulay18391841
Sir Henry Hardinge18411844
Sir Thomas Fremantle, Bt18441845
Hon. Sidney Herbert18451846
Hon. Fox Maule18461852
Robert Vernon Smith18521852
William Beresford18521852
Hon. Sidney Herbert18521854

Secretaries of State for War and Secretaries at War, 1854–1863

NameEntered officeLeft office
The Duke of Newcastle18541855
The Lord Panmure18551858
Jonathan Peel18581859
The Lord Herbert of Lea18591861
Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bt18611863