Southern Department

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Southern Department
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
Department overview
Formed1660
Dissolved1782
Superseding department
JurisdictionKingdom of Great Britain
Minister responsible
  • Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Parent DepartmentHM Government

The Southern Department was a department of the government of the Kingdom of England and later the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1660 until 1782 when its functions were merged within the new Foreign Office.[1]

History

The Department was initially established in 1660. It had a variety of responsibilities, including domestic and Irish policy, colonial policy and foreign affairs concerning southern European powers such as France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and the Ottoman Empire. It was administered by the Secretary of State for the Southern Department. The Southern Department's opposite number within government was the Northern Department, responsible for government dealings in northern Europe. In 1782, the Northern and Southern Departments were reorganised, with the Foreign Office taking over their foreign affairs responsibilities and Home Office taking over their domestic affairs responsibilities.[2]

Head of Department

Secretary of State for the Southern Department

The Secretary of State for the Southern Department was a position in the cabinet of the government of Kingdom of Great Britain up to 1782, when the Southern Department became the Foreign Office. Before 1782, the responsibilities of the two British Secretaries of State for the Northern and the Southern departments were divided not based on the principles of modern ministerial divisions, but geographically. The Secretary of State for the Southern Department, the more senior, was responsible for Southern England, Wales, Ireland, the American colonies (until 1768 when the charge was given to the Secretary of State for the Colonies), and relations with the Roman Catholic and Muslim states of Europe. The Secretary of State for the Northern Department, the more junior, was responsible for Northern England, Scotland, and relations with the Protestant states of northern Europe. In 1782, the two Secretaries of State were reformed as the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.[3]

Included:[4]
  1. Sir Edward Nicholas: 1 June 1660 – 20 October 1662
  2. Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington: 20 October 1662 – 11 September 1674
  3. Henry Coventry MP: 11 September 1674 – 26 April 1680
  4. Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland: 26 April 1680 – 2 February 1681
  5. Sir Leoline Jenkins MP till 28 March 1681: 2 February 1681 – 14 April 1684
  6. Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland: 14 April 1684 – 28 October 1688
  7. Charles Middleton, 2nd Earl of Middleton: 28 October - 2 December 1688
  8. Charles Talbot, 12th Earl of Shrewsbury: 14 February 1689 – 2 June 1690
  9. Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham: 2 June 1690 - November 1693
  10. Sir John Trenchard MP: November 1693 - 27 April 1695
  11. Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury: 27 April 1695 – 12 December 1698
  12. James Vernon MP: 12 December 1698 – 14 May 1699
  13. Edward Villiers, 1st Earl of Jersey: 14 May 1699 – 27 June 1700
  14. James Vernon MP: 27 June 1700 – 4 January 1702
  15. Charles Montagu, 4th Earl of Manchester 4 January - 1 May 1702
  16. Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham: 2 May 1702 – 22 April 1704
  17. Sir Charles Hedges MP: 18 May 1704 – 3 December 1706
  18. Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland: 3 December 1706 – 13 June 1710
  19. William Legge, 1st Earl of Dartmouth: 15 June 1710 – 6 August 1713
  20. Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke: 17 August 1713 – 31 August 1714
  21. James Stanhope MP: 27 September 1714 – 22 June 1716
  22. Paul Methuen MP: 22 June 1716 – 10 April 1717
  23. Joseph Addison MP: 12 April 1717 – 14 March 1718
  24. James Craggs the Younger MP: 16 March 1718 – 16 February 1721
  25. John Carteret, 3rd Lord Carteret: 4 March 1721 – 31 March 1724
  26. Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle: 6 April 1724 – January 1746
  27. John Carteret, 2nd Earl of Granville: February 1746 – April 1746 - as sole Secretary
  28. Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle: April 1746 – 12 February 1748
  29. John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford: 12 February 1748 – 13 June 1751
  30. Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holdernesse: 18 June 1751 – 23 March 1754
  31. Sir Thomas Robinson MP: 23 March 1754 - October 1754
  32. Henry Fox MP: 14 November 1754 – 13 November 1756
  33. William Pitt the Elder MP: 4 December 1756 – 6 April 1757
  34. Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holdernesse: 6 April - 27 June 1757 as sole Secretary
  35. William Pitt the Elder MP: 27 June 1757 – 5 October 1761
  36. Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont: 9 October 1761 – 21 August 1763
  37. George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax: 9 September 1763 – 10 July 1765
  38. Henry Seymour Conway MP: 12 July 1765 – 23 May 1766
  39. Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and Lennox: 23 May - 29 July 1766
  40. William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne: 30 July 1766 – 20 October 1768
  41. Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth: 21 October 1768 – 12 December 1770
  42. William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford: 19 December 1770 – 9 November 1775
  43. Thomas Thynne, 3rd Viscount Weymouth: 9 November 1775 – 24 November 1779
  44. Wills Hill, 1st Earl of Hillsborough: 24 November 1779 – 27 March 1782

Footnotes

  1. Sainty, J. C. (1973). "Lists of appointments: British History Online". www.british-history.ac.uk. University of London. pp. 22–58. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. Sainty.
  3. Sainty.
  4. Sainty.

Bibliography

  1. 'Lists of appointments', in Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 2, Officials of the Secretaries of State 1660-1782, ed. J C Sainty (London, 1973), pp. 22-58. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/office-holders/vol2/pp22-58 [accessed 13 September 2019].