Northern Department

The Northern Department was a department of the government of the Kingdom of England from 1660 to 1707 and later the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 until 1782 when its functions were reorganised into the new Home Office and Foreign Office.[1]

Northern Department
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
Department overview
Superseding agency
JurisdictionKingdom of Great Britain
Minister responsible


The Northern Department, was, together with the Southern Department, responsible for both foreign and domestic affairs. Foreign affairs were split between the two departments on a geographical basis, with the Northern Department taking responsibility for Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, and the German Holy Roman Empire. Responsibility for domestic affairs was shared between the two departments. After England united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the two departments also split responsibility for Scottish affairs, except during those times when there was an appointed Secretary of State for Scotland.[2] Responsibility for overseas military strategy was also shared between the two departments.

It was administered by the Secretary of State for the Northern Department.

In 1782, the Northern and Southern Departments were reorganized, with the Foreign Office taking over their foreign responsibilities and the Home Office taking over their domestic responsibilities.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sainty, J. C. "Lists of appointments British History Online". Originally published by University of London, London, 1973. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  2. ^ Thomson, Mark A. (1932). The Secretaries of State: 1681-1782. London: Frank Cass. pp. 2–3.