Chamber Administration: Private Secretary 1805-22; 1830-7

Pages 12-13

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.

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Private Secretary 1805–22; 1830–7

The first individual to be appointed private secretary to the Sovereign was Herbert Taylor, who was engaged in 1805. This appointment was not envisaged as a permanent addition to the household but was due to George III's infirmity. However, the office of private secretary formed a regular part of the household of the Regent as established in 1812 and was filled successively by John McMahon and Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, who both combined it with the office of keeper of the privy purse. In 1822 the office was abolished although its duties were in part carried out until the end of the reign by Sir William Knighton, the keeper of the privy purse. The office was revived in 1830 in the person of Sir Herbert Taylor who served as a regular private secretary throughout the reign of William IV. (fn. 1) McMahon received a salary of £3,000 for executing the two offices of private secretary and keeper of the privy purse. (fn. 2)

1805 13 June Taylor, H.
1812 17 Mar. McMahon, J.
1817 14 July Bloomfield, Sir B.
1822 Mar. Office vacant
1830 24 July Taylor, Sir H.


  • 1. P.H. Emden, Behind the Throne (1934), p. 14; G. Curry, `The Sovereign's Private Secretary', History Today IX (1959), 122-31; R. Mackworth-Young, `The Royal Archives, Windsor Castle', Archives XIII (1978), 115–30; Letters of George IV II, nos. 1017, 1021, 1022.
  • 2. HP 1790–1820 IV, 511.