First Commissioner of Works

The First Commissioner of Works and Public Buildings was a position within the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It took over some of the functions of the First Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1851 when the portfolio of Crown holdings was divided into the public and the commercial. The position was frequently of cabinet level. The office was renamed Minister of Works and Buildings and First Commissioner of Works in 1940, Minister of Works and Planning in 1942, Minister of Works in 1943 and finally Minister of Public Buildings and Works in 1962. On 15 October 1970 the Ministry was amalgamated in the Department of the Environment.

Lord John Manners, later 7th Duke of Rutland, who served thrice as First Commissioner of Works in the 1850s and 1860s

List of Works Commissioners and MinistersEdit

First Commissioners of Works (1851–1940)Edit

First Commissioner of Works
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  Edward Seymour
Lord Seymour

MP for Totnes
(1804–1885)
1 August
1851
21 February
1852
Whig Russell I
  Lord John Manners
MP for Colchester
(1818–1906)
4 March
1852
17 December
1852
Conservative Who? Who?
  Sir William Molesworth, Bt
MP for Southwark
(1810–1855)
5 January
1853
21 July
1855
Radical Aberdeen
(PeeliteWhig)
  Sir Benjamin Hall, Bt
MP for Marylebone
(1802–1867)
21 July
1855
21 February
1858
Whig Palmerston I
  Lord John Manners
MP for Leicestershire North
(1818–1906)
26 February
1858
11 June
1859
Conservative Derby–Disraeli II
  Henry FitzRoy
MP for Lewes
(1807–1859)
18 June
1859
17 December
1859
Liberal Palmerston II
  William Cowper
MP for Hertford
(1811–1888)
9 February
1860
26 June
1866
Liberal
Russell II
  Lord John Manners
MP for Leicestershire North
(1818–1906)
6 July
1866
1 December
1868
Conservative Derby–Disraeli III
  Austen Henry Layard
MP for Southwark
(1817–1894)
9 December
1868
26 October
1869
Liberal Gladstone I
  Acton Smee Ayrton
MP for Tower Hamlets
(1816–1886)
26 October
1869
11 August
1873
Liberal
  William Patrick Adam
MP for Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire
(1823–1881)
11 August
1873
17 February
1874
Liberal
  Lord Henry Lennox
MP for Chichester
(1821–1886)
21 March
1874
14 August
1876
Conservative Disraeli II
  Gerard Noel
MP for Rutland
(1823–1911)
14 August
1876
21 April
1880
Conservative
  William Patrick Adam
MP for Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire
(1823–1881)
3 May
1880
1880 Liberal Gladstone II
  George Shaw-Lefevre
MP for Reading
(1831–1928)
29 November
1881
13 February
1885
Liberal
  Archibald Primrose
5th Earl of Rosebery

(1847–1929)
13 February
1885
9 June
1885
Liberal
  David Plunket
MP for Dublin University
(1838–1919)
24 June
1885
28 January
1886
Conservative Salisbury I
  Albert Parker
3rd Earl of Morley

(1843–1905)
17 February
1886
16 April
1886
Liberal Gladstone III
  Victor Bruce
9th Earl of Elgin

(1849–1917)
16 April
1886
20 July
1886
Liberal
  David Plunket
MP for Dublin University
(1838–1919)
5 August
1886
11 August
1892
Conservative Salisbury II
  George Shaw-Lefevre
MP for Bradford Central
(1831–1928)
18 August
1892
10 March
1894
Liberal Gladstone IV
  Herbert Gladstone
MP for Leeds West
(1854–1930)
10 March
1894
21 June
1895
Liberal Rosebery
  Aretas Akers-Douglas
MP for St Augustine's
(1851–1926)
4 July
1895
11 August
1902
Conservative Salisbury
(III & IV)

(Con.Lib.U.)
  Robert Windsor-Clive
14th Baron Windsor

(1857–1923)
11 August
1902
4 December
1905
Conservative Balfour
(Con.Lib.U.)
  Lewis Vernon Harcourt
MP for Rossendale
(1863–1922)
10 December
1905
3 November
1910
Liberal  
Campbell-Bannerman
 
Asquith
(I–III)
  William Lygon
7th Earl Beauchamp

(1872–1938)
3 November
1910
6 August
1914
Liberal
  Alfred Emmott
1st Baron Emmott

(1858–1926)
6 August
1914
25 May
1915
Liberal
  Lewis Vernon Harcourt
MP for Rossendale
(1863–1922)
25 May
1915
10 December
1916
Liberal Asquith Coalition
(Lib.Con.Lab.)
  Sir Alfred Mond, Bt
MP for Swansea West
(1868–1930)
[a]
10 December
1916
1 April
1921
Liberal Lloyd George
(I & II)

(Lib.Con.Lab.)
  David Lindsay
27th Earl of Crawford

(1871–1940)
1 April
1921
19 October
1922
Conservative
  Sir John Baird, Bt
MP for Ayr Burghs
(1874–1941)
31 October
1922
22 January
1924
Conservative Law
Baldwin I
  Fred Jowett
MP for Bradford East
(1864–1944)
22 January
1924
3 November
1924
Labour MacDonald I
  William Wellesley Peel
2nd Viscount Peel

(1867–1937)
10 November
1924
18 October
1928
Conservative Baldwin II
  Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart
7th Marquess of Londonderry

(1878–1949)
18 October
1928
4 June
1929
Conservative
  George Lansbury
MP for Bow and Bromley
(1859–1940)
7 June
1929
24 August
1931
Labour MacDonald II
  Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart
7th Marquess of Londonderry

(1878–1949)
25 August
1931
5 November
1931
Conservative National I
(N.Lab.Con.Lib.N.Lib.)
  William Ormsby-Gore
MP for Stafford
(1885–1964)
5 November
1931
16 June
1936
Conservative National II
(N.Lab.Con.Lib.N.Lib.)
National III
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
  James Stanhope
7th Earl Stanhope

(1880–1967)
16 June
1936
27 May
1937
Conservative
  Sir Philip Sassoon, Bt
MP for Hythe
(1888–1939)
27 May
1937
7 June
1939
Conservative National IV
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
  Herwald Ramsbotham
MP for Lancaster
(1887–1971)
7 June
1939
3 April
1940
Conservative
Chamberlain War
(Con.N.Lab.Lib.N.)
  Herbrand Sackville
9th Earl De La Warr

(1900–1976)
3 April
1940
18 May
1940
National Labour
  George Tryon
1st Baron Tryon

(1871–1940)
18 May
1940
3 October
1940
Conservative Churchill War
(All parties)

Ministers of Works & Buildings and First Commissioner of Works (1940–1942)Edit

Minister of Works & Buildings and First Commissioner of Works
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  John Reith
1st Baron Reith

(1889–1971) [b]
3 October
1940
11 February
1942
Independent
(National)
Churchill War
(All parties)

Ministers of Works and Planning (1942–1943)Edit

Minister of Works and Planning
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  John Reith
1st Baron Reith

(1889–1971)
3 October
1940
11 February
1942
Independent
(National)
Churchill War
(All parties)
  Wyndham Portal
1st Baron Portal

(1885–1949)
22 February
1942
February
1943
Conservative

Ministers of Works (1943–1962)Edit

Minister of Works
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  Wyndham Portal
1st Baron Portal

(1885–1949)
February
1943
21 November
1944
Conservative Churchill War
(All parties)
  Duncan Sandys
MP for Norwood
(1908–1987)
21 November
1944
26 July
1945
Conservative
Churchill Caretaker
(Con.N.Lib.)
  George Tomlinson
MP for Farnworth
(1890–1952)
4 August
1945
10 February
1947
Labour Attlee
(I & II)
  Charles Key
MP for Bow and Bromley
(1883–1964)
10 February
1947
28 February
1950
Labour
  Richard Stokes
MP for Ipswich
(1897–1957)
28 February
1950
26 April
1951
Labour
  George Brown
MP for Belper
(1914–1985)
26 April
1951
26 October
1951
Labour
  Sir David Eccles
MP for Chippenham
(1904–1999)
1 November
1951
18 October
1954
Conservative Churchill III
  Nigel Birch
MP for West Flintshire
(1906–1981)
18 October
1954
20 December
1955
Conservative
  Patrick Buchan-Hepburn
MP for Beckenham
(1901–1974)
20 December
1955
16 January
1957
Conservative Eden
  Hugh Molson
MP for High Peak
(1903–1991)
16 January
1957
22 October
1959
Conservative Macmillan
(I & II)
  Lord John Hope
MP for Edinburgh Pentlands
(1912–1996)
22 October
1959
16 July
1962
Conservative

Ministers of Public Buildings and Works (1962–1970)Edit

Minister of Public Buildings and Works
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  Geoffrey Rippon
MP for Norwich South
(1924–1997)
16 July
1962
10 October
1964
Conservative Macmillan
(I & II)
Douglas-Home
  Charles Pannell
MP for Leeds West
(1902–1980)
19 October
1964
6 April
1966
Labour Wilson
(I & II)
  Reg Prentice
MP for East Ham North
(1923–2001)
6 April
1966
29 August
1967
Labour
  Bob Mellish
MP for Bermondsey
(1913–1998)
29 August
1967
30 April
1969
Labour
  John Silkin
MP for Deptford
(1923–1987)
30 April
1969
19 June
1970
Labour
  Julian Amery
MP for Brighton Pavilion
(1919–1996)
23 June
1970
15 October
1970
Conservative Heath

NotesEdit

  1. ^ MP for Swansea until 1918; MP for Swansea West thereafter
  2. ^ MP for Southampton until 21 October 1940; elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Reith thereafter

ReferencesEdit