Chancellor - Historical Uses

Historical Uses

  • The Chancellor of China was the second highest rank after the Emperor of China.
  • There are two ancient Egyptian titles sometimes translated as chancellor. There is the "royal sealer" (xtmtj-bity or xtmw-bity), a title attested since the First Dynasty (about 3000 BC). People holding the post include Imhotep and Hemaka.
The other title translated as chancellor is "Keeper of the Royal Seal" (or overseer of the seal or treasurer—imy-r xtmt). Officials holding the post include Bay or Irsu, Khety Meketre, and Nakhti.
The first title (royal sealer) announced a certain rank at the royal court, the second (supervisor of the sealed goods, i.e. treasurer) was responsible for the state's income. This position appears around 2000 BC.
  • For centuries, the King of France appointed a chancellor or Chancelier de France, a Great Officer of the Crown, as an office associated with that of keeper of the seals. The chancelier was responsible for some judicial proceedings. During the reigns of Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe, the Chancellor of France presided over the Chamber of Peers, the upper house of the royal French parliament.
  • In the Kingdom of Poland from the 14th century, there was a royal chancellor. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795), the four chancellors were among the ten highest officials of the state. Poland and Lithuania each had a Grand Chancellor and a Deputy Chancellor, each entitled to a senatorial seat, responsible for the affairs of the whole Kingdom, each with his own chancery. See Offices in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
For more details on this topic, see kanclerz.
  • In the Russian Empire, the chancellor was the highest rank of civil service as defined by the Table of Ranks and on the same grade as field marshal and General Admiral. Only the most distinguished government officials were promoted to this grade, such as foreign ministers Alexander Gorchakov and Alexey Bestuzhev-Ryumin.

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