Southern Department (Great Britain)

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Southern Department
Coat of Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801).svg
Department overview
Formed 1660
Dissolved 1782
Superseding agency
Jurisdiction Kingdom of England,
Kingdom of Great Britain
Minister responsible

The Southern Department [1] 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 merged within the new Foreign Office.


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, Italy, 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 reorganized, with the Foreign Office taking over their foreign affairs responsibilities and Home Office taking over their domestic affairs responsibilities.

See also


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

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