The chief officers of state in whom the administrative government is vested. It contains the First Lord of the Treasury (the Premier), the Lord High Chancellor, Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, six Secretaries of State, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, President of the Board of Trade, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the President of the Board of Agriculture. The five Secretaries of State are those of the Home Department, Foreign Affairs, Colonies, War, India, and Chief-Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Sometimes other members of the Government are included, and sometimes one or two of the above left out of the Cabinet. These Ministers are privileged to consult the Sovereign in the private cabinet of the palace.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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