H&P has prepared a glossary to explain historical terms that are not in common use today. This is designed for readers of H&P's policy papers, opinion articles and Number 10 guest historian features, as well as students, journalists and policy makers.

All entries have been prepared by the editors of H&P's Number 10 guest historian series: Whitfield prize-winner Dr Ben Griffin and Dr Andrew Thompson of Cambridge University and Dr Andrew Blick, of King's College London.


Leader of the House of Commons

The member of the government responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons, including organising the schedule for the legislation that the government wishes to introduce. Before the Second World War, if the Prime Minister was not a member of the House of Lords, it was common for the Prime Minister also to be Leader of the House of Commons.

Liberal Party

This entry will follow soon.

Lord Chamberlain

A senior official within the royal household with responsibility for organising ceremonial affairs. In the eighteenth century, it was still common for senior politicians to combine roles within the government and the royal household.

Lord Lieutenant

The monarch's personal representative in an English or Welsh county. Dating from the sixteenth century, the Lord Lieutenant was frequently a member of the local nobility and had responsibility for organising the local militia in times of crisis. Many Tories were replaced as Lord Lieutenants by Whigs after 1714. In Ireland, the Lord Lieutenant, also known as the Viceroy, was the monarch's official representative and head of the Irish executive.

Lord Privy Seal

One of the great officers of state, along with the Lord President of the Council. Traditionally, the keeper of the monarch's personal seal but now often used as the official title for a minister without portfolio, frequently the Leader of the House of Lords or Commons.

About Us

H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, the Open University, and the University of Sheffield.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

Read More