Southern Department (Great Britain)

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

Southern Department
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
Department overview
Superseding agency
JurisdictionKingdom of England,
Kingdom of Great Britain
Minister responsible


The Department was initially established in 1660. It had a variety of responsibilities, including domestic and Irish policy, colonial policy and foreign affairs concerning southern European powers such as France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Italian states, Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

It was administered by the Secretary of State for the Southern Department. The Southern Department's opposite number within government was the Northern Department, responsible for government dealings in northern Europe. In 1782, the Northern and Southern Departments were reorganised, with the Foreign Office taking over their foreign affairs responsibilities and Home Office taking over their domestic, military affairs, and colonial responsibilities. (Military and colonial affairs were later transferred to a new offices).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sainty, J. C. "Lists of appointments British History Online". Originally published by University of London, London, 1973. Retrieved 12 March 2017.