Lord Privy Seal
John Evelyn's Diary 1685 February. Lord Godolphin made Chamberlaine to ye Queene; Lord Peterborow Groome of ye Stole in place of the Earle of Bath; the Treasurer's staff to the Earle of Rochester; and his brother the Earle of Clarendon Lord Privie Seale in place of the Marquis of Halifax, who was made President of the Council; the Secretarys of State remaining as before.
In 1316 Thomas Charleton Bishop of Hereford -1344 was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
In 1347 Simon Islip Archbishop of Canterbury -1366 was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
In Jun 1363 William of Wykeham Chancellor Bishop Winchester 1320-1404 (43) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
On 14 Nov 1397 Richard Boteville Bishop of Bath and Wells, Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London -1421 was appointed Lord Privy Seal ; he resigned on 04 Nov 1401.
In 1467 Thomas Rotherham Archbishop of York 1423-1500 (43) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
In 1530 Thomas Boleyn 1st Earl Wiltshire and Ormonde 1477-1539 (53) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
In 1540 William Fitzwilliam 1st Earl of Southampton 1490-1542 (50) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
On 29 Apr 1605 Henry Howard 1st Earl of Northampton 1540-1614 (65) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
John Evelyn's Diary 1687 June. 02 Jun 1687. I went to London, it having pleased his Majesty to grant me a Privy Seal for £6,000, for discharge of the debt I had been so many years persecuted for, it being indeed for money drawn over by my father-in-law, Sir R. Browne, during his residence in the Court of France, and so with a much greater sum due to Sir Richard from his Majesty; and now this part of the arrear being paid, there remains yet due to me, as executor of Sir Richard, above £6,500 more; but this determining an expensive Chancery suit has been so great a mercy and providence to me (through the kindness and friendship to me of Lord Godolphin (41), one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury,) that I do acknowledge it with all imaginable thanks to my gracious God.
John Evelyn's Diary 1687 June. 23 Jun 1687. The Privy Seal for £6,000 was passed to me, so that this tedious affair was dispatched. Hitherto, a very windy and tempestuous summer. The French sermons to the refugees were continued at Greenwich Church.
John Evelyn's Diary 1689 February. 21 Feb 1689. Dr. Burnet (45) preached at St. James's on the obligation to walk worthy of God's particular and signal deliverance of the nation and church.
I saw the new Queen (26) and King (38), with great acclamation and general good reception. Bonfires, bells, guns, etc. It was believed that both, especially the Princess (26), would have shown some (seeming) reluctance at least, of assuming her father's (55) crown, and made some apology, testifying by her regret that he should by his mismanagement necessitate the nation to so extraordinary a proceeding, which would have shown very handsomely to the world, and according to the character given of her piety; consonant also to her husband's (38) first declaration, that there was no intention of deposing the King (55), but of succoring the nation; but nothing of all this appeared; she (26) came into Whitehall laughing and jolly, as to a wedding, so as to seem quite transported. She (26) rose early the next morning, and in her undress, as it was reported, before her women were up, went about from room to room to see the convenience of Whitehall; lay in the same bed and apartment where the late Queen (30) lay, and within a night or two sat down to play at basset, as the Queen (30), her predecessor used to do. She smiled upon and talked to everybody, so that no change seemed to have taken place at Court since her last going away, save that infinite crowds of people thronged to see her, and that she went to our prayers. This carriage was censured by many. She seems to be of a good nature, and that she takes nothing to heart: while the Prince (38), her husband, has a thoughtful countenance, is wonderfully serious and silent, and seems to treat all persons alike gravely, and to be very intent on affairs: Holland, Ireland, and France calling for his care.
Divers Bishops and Noblemen are not at all satisfied with this so sudden assumption of the Crown, without any previous sending, and offering some conditions to the absent King; or on his not returning, or not assenting to those conditions, to have proclaimed him Regent; but the major part of both Houses prevailed to make them King and Queen immediately, and a crown was tempting. This was opposed and spoken against with such vehemence by Lord Clarendon (her own uncle), that it put him by all preferment, which must doubtless have been as great as could have been given him. My Lord of Rochester (46), his brother, overshot himself, by the same carriage and stiffness, which their friends thought they might have well spared when they saw how it was like to be overruled, and that it had been sufficient to have declared their dissent with less passion, acquiescing in due time.
The Archbishop of Canterbury (72) and some of the rest, on scruple of conscience and to salve the oaths they had taken, entered their protests and hung off, especially the Archbishop, who had not all this while so much as appeared out of Lambeth. This occasioned the wonder of many who observed with what zeal they contributed to the Prince's (38) expedition, and all the while also rejecting any proposals of sending again to the absent King (55); that they should now raise scruples, and such as created much division among the people, greatly rejoicing the old courtiers, and especially the Papists.
Another objection was, the invalidity of what was done by a convention only, and the as yet unabrogated laws; this drew them to make themselves on the 22d a Parliament, the new King (38) passing the act with the crown on his head. The lawyers disputed, but necessity prevailed, the government requiring a speedy settlement.
Innumerable were the crowds, who solicited for, and expected offices; most of the old ones were turned out. Two or three white staves were disposed of some days before, as Lord Steward, to the Earl of Devonshire (49); Treasurer of the household, to Lord Newport; Lord Chamberlain to the King, to my Lord of Dorset (46); but there were as yet none in offices of the civil government save the Marquis of Halifax (55) as Privy Seal. A council of thirty was chosen, Lord Derby (34) president, but neither Chancellor nor Judges were yet declared, the new Great Seal not yet finished.
John Evelyn's Diary 1690 February. 02 Feb 1690. The Parliament was dissolved by proclamation, and another called to meet the 20th of March. This was a second surprise to the former members; and now the Court party, or, as they call themselves, Church of England, are making their interests in the country. The Marquis of Halifax (56) lays down his office of Privy Seal, and pretends to retire.
John Evelyn's Diary 1690 February. 19 Feb 1690. I dined with the Marquis of Carmarthen (57) (late Lord Danby), where was Lieutenant-General Douglas (45), a very considerate and sober commander, going for Ireland. He related to us the exceeding neglect of the English soldiers, suffering severely for want of clothes and necessaries this winter, exceedingly magnifying their courage and bravery during all their hardships. There dined also Lord Lucas, Lieutenant of the Tower (40), and the Bishop of St. Asaph (62). The Privy Seal was again put in commission, Mr. Cheny (who married my kinswoman, Mrs. Pierrepoint), Sir Thomas Knatchbull (54), and Sir P. W. Pultney. The imprudence of both sexes was now become so great and universal, persons of all ranks keeping their courtesans publicly, that the King had lately directed a letter to the Bishops to order their clergy to preach against that sin, swearing, etc., and to put the ecclesiastical laws in execution without any indulgence.
John Evelyn's Diary 1696 June. 11 Jun 1696. Dined at Lord Pembroke's (40), Lord Privy Seal, a very worthy gentleman. He showed me divers rare pictures of very many of the old and best masters, especially one of M. Angelo of a man gathering fruit to give to a woman, and a large book of the best drawings of the old masters. Sir John Fenwick (51), one of the conspirators, was taken. Great subscriptions in Scotland to their East India Company. Want of current money to carry on the smallest concerns, even for daily provisions in the markets. Guineas lowered to twenty-two shillings, and great sums daily transported to Holland, where it yields more, with other treasure sent to pay the armies, and nothing considerable coined of the new and now only current stamp, cause such a scarcity that tumults are every day feared, nobody paying or receiving money; so imprudent was the late Parliament to condemn the old though clipped and corrupted, till they had provided supplies. To this add the fraud of the bankers and goldsmiths, who having gotten immense riches by extortion, keep up their treasure in expectation of enhancing its value. Duncombe, not long since a mean goldsmith, having made a purchase of the late Duke of Buckingham's estate at nearly £90,000, and reputed to have nearly as much in cash. Banks and lotteries every day set up.
In 1699 Thomas Herbert 8th Earl Pembroke, 5th Earl Montgomery 1656-1733 (43) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
John Evelyn's Diary 1700. 24 Apr 1700. This week there was a great change of State officers. The Duke of Shrewsbury (39) resigned his Lord Chamberlainship to the Earl of Jersey (44), the Duke's indisposition requiring his retreat. Mr. Vernon (54), Secretary of State, was put out. The Seal was taken from the Lord Chancellor Somers (49), though he had been acquitted by a great majority of votes for what was charged against him in the House of Commons. This being in term time, put some stop to business, many eminent lawyers refusing to accept the office, considering the uncertainty of things in this fluctuating conjuncture. It is certain that this Chancellor was a most excellent lawyer, very learned in all polite literature, a superior pen, master of a handsome style, and of easy conversation; but he is said to make too much haste to be rich, as his predecessor, and most in place in this age did, to a more prodigious excess than was ever known. But the Commons had now so mortified the Court party, and property and liberty were so much invaded in all the neighboring kingdoms, that their jealousy made them cautious, and every day strengthened the law which protected the people from tyranny.
A most glorious spring, with hope of abundance of fruit of all kinds, and a propitious year.
In 1726 Thomas Trevor 1st Baron Trevor Bromham 1658-1730 (67) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
On 14 May 1735 Francis Godolphin 2nd Earl Godolphin 1678-1766 (56) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.
In 1755 Charles Spencer 3rd Duke Marlborough 1706-1758 (48) was appointed Lord Privy Seal.