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Letters Patent from Her Majesty the Queen

The Letters Patent

letters patent 2

ELIZABETH THE SECOND by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Norther Ireland and of Our other Realms and Territories Queen Head of the Commnwealth Defender of the Faith To the Right Reverend Father in God Our right trusty and well beloved Alan Gregory Clayton by Divine Permission Lord Bishop of St Albans or in his absence to his Vicar-General in Spirituals or to any other person or persons having or that shall have sufficient authority in this behalf Greting We present unto you by these Presents Our beloved in Christ James Edmond Alexander Mustard Clerk in Holy Orders Master of Arts to the Rectory of East Barnet in Greater London and in you Diocese now legally void by the resignation of the last Incumbent thereof and to Our presentation in full right Commanding and Requiring you so far as relates to you to admit the said James Edmond Alexander Mustard to the Rectory of East Barnet aforesaid and him there to institute induct and invest with all and every the rights members and appurtenances thereunto belonging and to do all and singular other matters and things in anywise touching or concerning the admission institution and induction aforesaid which to your pastoral office belongeth or appertaineth  In Testimony whereof We cause these Our Letters to be made Patent Witness Ourself at Westminster the twenty-third day of March in the sixty-first year of Our Reign



You can see a scan of the original document HERE


great sealThe Letters Patent carry the Great Seal of the Realm, which historically has been in the safe keeping of the Lord Chancellor.

The origin of the Office of the Lord Chancellor was as secretary to the medieval Kings of England. In this role the Chancellor was responsible for the supervision, preparation and dispatch of the King’s letters, which entailed the use of the Sovereign’s seal. In due course the Chancellor took on further administrative functions on behalf of the Sovereign. Although the Lord Chancellor has fulfilled a variety of different roles throughout history, it has consistently been his duty to hold the Great Seal of the Realm, which has come to symbolise his office.

The Great Seal is used to signify the Royal will and authenticate acts of the Sovereign or the Government acting in the name of the monarch. Documents which are normally passed under the Great Seal include Royal Proclamations, Writs and Letters Patent. These can be used, for example, to confer peerages. The Great Seal may be used to put into Commission various powers inherent in the Crown, such as when The Queen authorises commissioners to open Parliament. The Great Seal Act 1884, and rules made thereunder, govern the procedure for passing Instruments under the Great Seal. The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery is an independent Officer of the Crown as well as being an Officer of the Chancellor by virtue of the latter’s role as Keeper of the Great Seal.

In view of the importance of the Great Seal it has to be kept in safe custody and always available for use. By virtue of his role as the Keeper of the Great Seal the Lord Chancellor has been regarded as one of the most senior of the Ministers of the Crown.

For more information consult the website of the Ministry of Justice, particularly with reference to the changing role of the Lord Chancellor.