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President of the Board of Trade

The Board of Trade and Plantations was created in Britain on May 15, 1696 in order to promote British trade and improve "our plantations in America and elsewhere. There were 15 (and later 16) members of the Board - 7 (later 8) Great officers of state, and 8 unofficial members, who did the majority of the work. The senior unofficial member of the board was the President of the Board of Trade. The board was abolished on July 11, 1782, but reestablished on March 5, 1784, and more strongly focused on commercial functions than the previous board of trade. At first the President of the Board of Trade only occasionally sat in the cabinet, but from the early 19th century it was usually a cabinet level position.

Since 1970 President of the Board of Trade has been a secondary title of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1970-1974 and 1983-date) or Secretary of State for Trade (1974-83), though Michael Heseltine preferred to be known by the older title during his time in office in the mid-1990s. The office is currently held by Patricia Hewitt[?].

Presidents of the First Board of Trade, 1696-1782

  • John Egerton, 3rd Earl of Bridgwater 1696-1699
  • Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford 1699-1702
  • Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth 1702-1707
  • Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford 1707-1711
  • Charles Finch, 4th Earl of Winchilsea 1711-1713
  • Francis North, 3rd Lord Guildford 1713-1714
  • William Berkeley, 4th Lord Berkeley of Stratton 1714-1715
  • Henry Howard, 6th Earl of Suffolk 1715-1718
  • Robert Darcy, 3rd Earl of Holdernesse 1718-1719
  • Thomas Fane, 6th Earl of Westmorland 1719-1735
  • Benjamin Mildmay, 1st Earl Fitzwalter 1735-1737
  • John Monson, 1st Lord Monson 1737-1748
  • George Montague, 2nd Earl of Halifax 1748-1761
  • Samuel Sandys, 1st Lord Sandys 1761-1763
  • Charles Townshend[?] 1763
  • William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne[?] 1763
  • Wills Hill, 1st Earl of Hillsborough 1763-1765
  • William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth 1765-1766
  • Wills Hill, 1st Earl of Hillsborough 1766
  • Robert Nugent, 1st Viscount Clare (1767) 1766-1768
  • Wills Hill, 1st Earl of Hillsborough 1768-1772 (also Secretary of State for the Colonies)
  • William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth 1772-1775 (also Secretary of State for the Colonies)
  • Lord George Sackville-Germain 1775-1779 (also Secretary of State for the Colonies)
  • Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle 1779-1780
  • Thomas Robinson, 2nd Lord Grantham 1780-1782

Presidents of the Board of Trade, 1784-Present



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