President
of the Board of Trade
Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Incumbent
Elizabeth Truss

since 24 July 2019
Board of Trade
StyleThe Right Honourable
(Formal prefix)
President of the Board of Trade
Member ofBritish Cabinet
Privy Council
Reports toThe Prime Minister
SeatWestminster, London
AppointerThe British Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthNo fixed term

The president of the Board of Trade is head of the Board of Trade. This is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, first established as a temporary committee of inquiry in the 17th century, that evolved gradually into a government department with a diverse range of functions.[1] The current holder is Elizabeth Truss, the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Since 2020, the President has been deputised by a Deputy President of the Board of Trade.

History

The idea of a Board of Trade was first translated into action by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 when he appointed his son Richard Cromwell to head a body of Lords of the Privy Council, judges and merchants to consider measures to promote trade. Charles II established a Council of Trade on 7 November 1660 followed by a Council of Foreign Plantations on 1 December that year. The two were united on 16 September 1672 as the Board of Trade and Plantations.

After the Board was re-established in 1696, there were 15 (and later 16) members of the Board – the 7 (later 8) great officers of state, and 8 unofficial members, who did the majority of the work. The senior unofficial member of the board was the president of the board, commonly known as the first lord of trade. The board was abolished on 11 July 1782, but a Committee of the Privy Council was established on 5 March 1784 for the same purposes. On 23 August 1786 a new committee was set up, more strongly focused on commercial functions than the previous boards of trade. At first the president of the Board of Trade only occasionally sat in the Cabinet, but from the early 19th century it was usually a cabinet-level position.

List of presidents of the Board of Trade

First Lord of Trade (1672–1782)

Name Portrait Took office Left office
The Earl of Shaftesbury
16 September 1672 1676
The Earl of Bridgewater
16 December 1695 9 June 1699
The Earl of Stamford
9 June 1699 19 June 1702[2]
The Viscount Weymouth
19 June 1702 1705
The Earl of Stamford
1705 12 June 1711
The Earl of Winchilsea
12 June 1711 15 September 1713
The Lord Guilford
15 September 1713 September 1714
The Lord Berkeley of Stratton
September 1714 12 May 1715
The Earl of Suffolk
12 May 1715 31 January 1718
The Earl of Holderness
31 January 1718 11 May 1719
The Earl of Westmorland
11 May 1719 May 1735
The Earl Fitzwalter
May 1735 June 1737
The Lord Monson
June 1737 1 November 1748
The Earl of Halifax
1 November 1748 21 March 1761
The Lord Sandys
21 March 1761 1 March 1763
Hon. Charles Townshend
1 March 1763 20 April 1763
The Earl of Shelburne
20 April 1763 9 September 1763
The Earl of Hillsborough
9 September 1763 20 July 1765
The Earl of Dartmouth
20 July 1765 16 August 1766
The Earl of Hillsborough
16 August 1766 December 1766
The Viscount Clare
19 January 1767 20 January 1768
The Earl of Hillsborough
20 January 1768 31 August 1772
The Earl of Dartmouth
31 August 1772 10 November 1775
Lord George Sackville-Germain
10 November 1775 6 November 1779
The Earl of Carlisle
6 November 1779 9 December 1780
The Lord Grantham
9 December 1780 11 July 1782

President of the Committee on Trade and Foreign Plantations (1784–1786)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
The Lord Sydney
5 March 1784 23 August 1786 Whig William Pitt the Younger

President of the Board of Trade (1786–1900)

Name Portrait Took office Left office1866 Political party Prime Minister
The Earl of Liverpool
23 August 1786 7 June 1804 Tory William Pitt the Younger
Henry Addington
The Duke of Montrose
7 June 1804 5 February 1806 Tory William Pitt the Younger
The Lord Auckland
5 February 1806 31 March 1807 The Lord Grenville
(Ministry of All the Talents)
The Earl Bathurst
31 March 1807 29 September 1812 Tory The Duke of Portland
Spencer Perceval
The Earl of Liverpool
The Earl of Clancarty
29 September 1812 24 January 1818 Tory
F. J. Robinson
24 January 1818 21 February 1823 Tory
William Huskisson
21 February 1823 4 September 1827 Tory
George Canning
Charles Grant
4 September 1827 11 June 1828 Tory The Viscount Goderich
The Duke of Wellington
William Vesey-FitzGerald
11 June 1828 2 February 1830 Tory
John Charles Herries
2 February 1830 22 November 1830 Tory
The Lord Auckland
22 November 1830 5 June 1834 Whig The Earl Grey
The Viscount Melbourne
Charles Poulett Thomson
5 June 1834 14 November 1834 Whig
Alexander Baring
15 December 1834 8 April 1835 Tory The Duke of Wellington
Sir Robert Peel
Charles Poulett Thomson
8 April 1835 29 August 1839 Whig The Viscount Melbourne
Henry Labouchere
29 August 1839 30 August 1841 Whig
The Earl of Ripon
3 September 1841 15 May 1843 Conservative Sir Robert Peel
William Ewart Gladstone
15 May 1843 5 February 1845 Conservative
The Earl of Dalhousie
5 February 1845 27 June 1846 Conservative
The Earl of Clarendon
6 July 1846 22 July 1847 Whig Lord John Russell
Henry Labouchere
22 July 1847 21 February 1852 Whig
J. W. Henley
27 February 1852 17 December 1852 Conservative The Earl of Derby
Edward Cardwell
28 December 1852 31 March 1855 Peelite The Earl of Aberdeen
(Coalition)
The Lord Stanley of Alderley
31 March 1855 21 February 1858 Whig The Viscount Palmerston
J. W. Henley
26 February 1858 3 March 1859 Conservative The Earl of Derby
The Earl of Donoughmore
3 March 1859 11 June 1859 Conservative
Thomas Milner Gibson
6 July 1859 26 June 1866 Liberal The Viscount Palmerston
The Earl Russell
Sir Stafford Northcote, Bt
6 July 1866 8 March 1867 Conservative The Earl of Derby
The Duke of Richmond
8 March 1867 1 December 1868 Conservative
Benjamin Disraeli
John Bright
9 December 1868 14 January 1871 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Chichester Parkinson-Fortescue
14 January 1871 17 February 1874 Liberal
Sir Charles Adderley
21 February 1874 4 April 1878 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
Viscount Sandon
4 April 1878 21 April 1880 Conservative
Joseph Chamberlain
3 May 1880 9 June 1885 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Duke of Richmond
24 June 1885 19 August 1885 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
Edward Stanhope
19 August 1885 28 January 1886 Conservative
A. J. Mundella
17 February 1886 20 July 1886 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Lord Stanley of Preston
3 August 1886 21 February 1888 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt
21 February 1888 11 August 1892 Conservative
A. J. Mundella
18 August 1892 28 May 1894 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
James Bryce
28 May 1894 21 June 1895 Liberal The Earl of Rosebery
Charles Ritchie
29 June 1895 7 November 1900 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury

President of the Board of Trade (1900–1963)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
Gerald Balfour
7 November 1900 12 March 1905 Conservative The 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Arthur Balfour
The Marquess of Salisbury
12 March 1905 4 December 1905 Conservative
David Lloyd George
10 December 1905 12 April 1908 Liberal Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Winston Churchill
12 April 1908 14 February 1910 Liberal H. H. Asquith
Sydney Buxton
14 February 1910 11 February 1914 Liberal
John Burns
11 February 1914 5 August 1914 Liberal
Walter Runciman
5 August 1914 5 December 1916 Liberal
Sir Albert Stanley
10 December 1916 26 May 1919 Conservative David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
Sir Auckland Geddes
26 May 1919 19 March 1920 Conservative
Sir Robert Horne
19 March 1920 1 April 1921 Conservative
Stanley Baldwin
1 April 1921 19 October 1922 Conservative
Sir Philip Lloyd-Greame
24 October 1922 22 January 1924 Conservative Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Sidney Webb
22 January 1924 3 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister
6 November 1924 4 June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
William Graham
7 June 1929 24 August 1931 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister
25 August 1931 5 November 1931 Conservative Ramsay MacDonald
(1st National Min.)
Walter Runciman
5 November 1931 28 May 1937 Liberal National Ramsay MacDonald
(2nd National Min.)
Stanley Baldwin
(3rd National Min.)
Oliver Stanley 28 May 1937 5 January 1940 Conservative Neville Chamberlain
(4th National Min.;
War Coalition)
Sir Andrew Duncan 5 January 1940 3 October 1940 No party
Oliver Lyttelton 3 October 1940 29 June 1941 Conservative Winston Churchill
(War Coalition)
Sir Andrew Duncan 29 June 1941 4 February 1942 No party
John Jestyn Llewellin
4 February 1942 22 February 1942 Conservative
Hugh Dalton
22 February 1942 23 May 1945 Labour
Oliver Lyttelton 25 May 1945 26 July 1945 Conservative Winston Churchill
(Caretaker Min.)
Sir Stafford Cripps
27 July 1945 29 September 1947 Labour Clement Attlee
Harold Wilson
29 September 1947 23 April 1951 Labour
Sir Hartley Shawcross
24 April 1951 26 October 1951 Labour
Peter Thorneycroft
30 October 1951 13 January 1957 Conservative Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Anthony Eden
Sir David Eccles 13 January 1957 14 October 1959 Conservative Harold Macmillan
Reginald Maudling 14 October 1959 9 October 1961 Conservative
Frederick Erroll
9 October 1961 20 October 1963 Conservative

President of the Board of Trade (1963–present)

Name Portrait Took office Left office Political party Prime Minister
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development
Conservative Alec Douglas-Home
Edward Heath
20 October 1963 16 October 1964
President of the Board of Trade Labour Harold Wilson
Douglas Jay
18 October 1964 29 August 1967
Anthony Crosland
29 August 1967 6 October 1969
Roy Mason 6 October 1969 19 June 1970
Michael Noble 20 June 1970 15 October 1970 Conservative Edward Heath
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
John Davies 15 October 1970 5 November 1972
Peter Walker 5 November 1972 4 March 1974
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Trade
Labour Harold Wilson
Peter Shore 5 March 1974 8 April 1976
Edmund Dell 8 April 1976 11 November 1978 Labour James Callaghan
John Smith 11 November 1978 4 May 1979
John Nott
5 May 1979 5 January 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
John Biffen 5 January 1981 6 April 1982
The Lord Cockfield 6 April 1982 12 June 1983
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Cecil Parkinson 12 June 1983 11 October 1983
Norman Tebbit
16 October 1983 2 September 1985
Leon Brittan
2 September 1985 22 January 1986
Paul Channon 24 January 1986 13 June 1987
The Lord Young of Graffham
13 June 1987 24 July 1989
Nicholas Ridley 24 July 1989 13 July 1990
Peter Lilley
14 July 1990 10 April 1992
Conservative John Major
Michael Heseltine
10 April 1992 5 July 1995
Ian Lang
5 July 1995 2 May 1997
Margaret Beckett
2 May 1997 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Peter Mandelson
27 July 1998 23 December 1998
Stephen Byers
23 December 1998 8 June 2001
Patricia Hewitt
8 June 2001 6 May 2005
Alan Johnson
6 May 2005 5 May 2006
Alistair Darling
5 May 2006 28 June 2007
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Labour Gordon Brown
John Hutton
28 June 2007 3 October 2008
The Lord Mandelson
3 October 2008 5 June 2009
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Lord Mandelson
5 June 2009 12 May 2010
Vince Cable
12 May 2010 8 May 2015 Liberal Democrats David Cameron
(Coalition)
Sajid Javid
11 May 2015 15 July 2016 Conservative David Cameron
(II)
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Conservative Theresa May
Greg Clark[α]
15 July 2016 19 July 2016
President of the Board of Trade &
Secretary of State for International Trade
Liam Fox
19 July 2016 24 July 2019[6]
Liz Truss
24 July 2019 Incumbent Conservative Boris Johnson

Notes

  1. ^ Appointed by the Privy Council in error for 4 days before the mistake was rectified.[3][4][5]

References

  1. ^ Olson, Alison G. "The Board of Trade and Colonial Virginia". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 3, Officials of the Boards of Trade 1660-1870 - Council of trade and plantations 1696-1782
  3. ^ May, Callum (22 July 2016). "Minister Greg Clark was briefly given wrong job". BBC News. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ Tilbrook, Richard (15 July 2016). "Business Transacted and Orders Approved at the Privy Council Held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 15th July 2016" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. ^ Tilbrook, Richard (19 July 2016). "Business Transacted and Orders Approved at the Privy Council Held by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 19th July 2016" (PDF). Privy Council Office. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. ^ Liam Fox [@LiamFox] (24 July 2019). "Sadly, I will be leaving the Government. It has been a privilege to have served as Secretary of State for International Trade these past 3 years" (Tweet) – via Twitter.