Pauline • Link
PRIVY SEAL, a seal of the United Kingdom, next in importance to the great seal, and occupying an intermediate position between it and the signet. The authority of the privy seal was principally of a two-fold nature. It was a warrant to the lord chancellor to affix the ‘great seal to such patents, charters, &c., as must necessarily pass the great seal (more particularly letters patent (q.v.). It was also the authority required for the issue of money from the exchequer, and was appended to documents of minor importance which did not require the great seal. Previous to the Great Seal Act 1884, all letters patent conferring any dignity, office, monopoly, franchise or other privilege were always passed under the privy seal before passing under the great seal.
Lord Privy Seal is the title of the officer who had the custody of the privy seal. He was originally known as the “keeper of the privy seal.” The importance of the office was due to the desire of the privy council and the parliament in the I4th and 15th centuries to place some check on the issue of public money, as well as to prevent the use of the great seal by the sovereign without any intermediary except the lord chancellor. The lord privy seal first appears as a minister of state in the reign of Edward III. Until 1537 he was always an ecclesiastic, but is now more usually a temporal lord. He is the fifth great officer of state, and takes rank next after the president of the council and before all dukes.
vincent • Link
men in charge :
Baron, Hartgill 1660-1673
Castle, John 1638-; 1660-1664
Montagu, Edward (created Earl of Sandwich 12 July 1660) 1660-1672
Watkins, William 1643-; 1660-1662
http://www.history.ac.uk/office/privyseal.htmlC... of the Privy Seal c. 1537-1851
"The four Clerks of the Privy Seal were appointed by the crown by letters patent under the great seal from 1537. the Tenure was for life until 1814 ...."
Paul Brewster • Link
According to an L&M footnote “the clerks of the Privy Seal took duty for a month at a time.” SP describes the first such changeover in the entry for 31 July 1660. http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/07/31/
The L&M companion says that the clerkship “called for Pepys’s attendance only one month in each quarter and then only at sealing days and for a few hours during the work week.” The phrase one month in each quarter may be in error. With 4 clerks it would seem that it would be one month in every four.
vincent • Link
It appears the Actual Signet Ring is held by the Lord Chancellor: see Hyde for reference:
David Quidnunc • Link
The "clerks" heading up Privy Seal Office
Dr. John Castle
Edward Mountagu, Pepys's patron
dirk • Link
The 4 Royal Seals
"The *signet* was the smallest of the four royal seals, and being smallest, was used for the most routine business. The *Great Seal* would be used for charters, treaties, grants of land, commissions to high officers of the Crown and other major state documents; the *privy or secret seal* was originally used for royal orders or brieves, but later came to be used for such things as grants of moveable property and grants of minor officer the *quarter seal* was used for more routine administrative documents and warrants for the use of the Great Seal, in fact for much the same purposes as the privy seal had been originally used, and the *signet* was used simply for the private letters and order by the king to his "sheriffs in that pairt" ordering them to carry out a specific function; it was thus used to authenticate orders by the king's court to its functionaries for the administration of the law, in summoning people to court or in carrying out one of the legal diligences against them. Such letters were prepared by writers to the signet."
Susanne M. Stewart • Link
I have a privy seal and can't seem to find out information as to it's age or value. I can supply a picture if anyone is interested in this item.
Cumgranissalis • Link
More on gov jobs here on [of interest be? Latin and French] : http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?com...
Privy Seal Office, Whitehall. An office under the government of the Lord Privy Seal, a great officer, next in dignity to the Lord President of the Council, who keeps the King's privy seal, which is set to such grants as pass the great seal of England. The Lord Privy Seal has a salary of 3000l. per annum. Under him are three Deputies, a Secretary, and three Clerks; but these Clerks have no salaries; they have however considerable fees, and 30l. a year board wages.
---London and Its Environs Described. R. Dodsley, 1761.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.