List of ministers to Elizabeth I

This is a list of the principal government ministers during the reign of Elizabeth I of England, 1558 to 1603. From the outset of her reign, her chief minister was Sir William Cecil, later Lord Burghley. He died in 1598 and was succeeded by his son Sir Robert Cecil.

Lord Burghley was the longest-serving minister to Queen Elizabeth I.
Office Name Date Notes
Lord Chancellor
Lord Keeper of the Great Seal
Sir Nicholas Bacon 1558  
Sir Thomas Bromley 1579  
Sir Christopher Hatton 1587  
in commission 1591  
Sir John Puckering 1592  
Sir Thomas Egerton 1596  
Lord Treasurer The Marquess of Winchester continued in office  
The Lord Burghley 1572  
The Lord Buckhurst 1599  
Lord Privy Seal Sir Nicholas Bacon 1558  
The Lord Burghley 1571  
The Lord Howard of Effingham 1572  
Sir Thomas Smith 1573  
Francis Walsingham 1576 knighted in 1577
The Lord Burghley 1590  
Sir Robert Cecil 1598  
Secretary of State Sir William Cecil 1558  
Sir Thomas Smith 1572  
Sir Thomas Smith
Francis Walsingham
Sir Francis Walsingham
Thomas Wilson
Sir Francis Walsingham 1581  
Sir Francis Walsingham
William Davison
Sir Francis Walsingham 1587  
Sir Robert Cecil 1590  
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Richard Sackville    
Sir Walter Mildmay 1566  
Sir John Fortescue 1589  
Lord High Admiral The Lord Clinton 1558 created Earl of Lincoln in 1572
The Lord Howard of Effingham 1585 created Earl of Nottingham in 1596
Master-General of the Ordnance Sir Richard Southwell continued in office  
The Earl of Warwick 1560  
The Earl of Warwick
Sir Philip Sidney
The Earl of Warwick 1586  
vacant 1590  
The Earl of Essex 1597  
vacant 1601  
Lord Steward The Earl of Arundel continued in office  
The Earl of Pembroke 1568  
vacant 1570  
The Earl of Leicester 1587  
Lord St John of Basing 1588  
Lord Chamberlain The Lord Howard of Effingham continued in office  
The Earl of Sussex 1572  
The 1st Lord Hunsdon 1585  
The 2nd Lord Cobham 1596  
The 2nd Lord Hunsdon 1597  
Cofferer of the Household Sir Henry Cocke by 1572  
Master of the Horse Lord Robert Dudley 1558 created Earl of Leicester in 1564
The Earl of Essex 1588  
The Earl of Worcester 1602  

Other important ministers were Sir Francis Knollys and James Windebank.


  • Haydn's Book of Dignities, 1894