Lord Chancellor of Scotland

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The Lord Chancellor of Scotland was a Great Officer of State in the Kingdom of Scotland.

Holders of the office are known from 1123 onwards, but its duties were occasionally performed by an official of lower status with the title of Keeper of the Great Seal. From the 15th century, the Chancellor was normally a Bishop or a Peer.

At the Union, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England became the first Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, but the Earl of Seafield continued as Lord Chancellor of Scotland until 1708. He was re-appointed in 1713 and sat as an Extraordinary Lord of Session in that capacity until his death in 1730.

It has been argued that the office is only in abeyance and could potentially be revived. In the event of Scottish independence, the Scottish National Party proposes that the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament become Chancellor of Scotland, with additional constitutional powers during the absence of the Monarch from Scotland. In this respect, the Chancellor would hold a role similar to that of a Governor-General in the Commonwealth realms.[1]

List of Lords Chancellors of ScotlandEdit

David IEdit

Malcolm IVEdit

William IEdit

Alexander IIEdit

Alexander IIIEdit

English Appointees during the InterregnumEdit

Robert IEdit

David IIEdit

Robert IIEdit

Robert IIIEdit

James IEdit

James IIEdit

James IIIEdit

James IVEdit

James VEdit

Mary IEdit

James VIEdit

Charles IEdit

Charles IIEdit

James VIIEdit

William III and Mary IIEdit


See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Principles of the Constitution, at constitutionalcommission.org (.pdf file)
  2. ^ Cowan, p. 70
  3. ^ Cowan, p159