The royal sign-manual is the signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive act (for example, an appointment to an office), or an authority for affixing the Great Seal of the pertinent realm. The sign-manual is also used to give power to make and ratify treaties. Sign manual, with or without hyphen, is an old term for a hand-written signature in general. It is also referred to as sign manual and signet.
The royal sign-manual usually consists of the sovereign's regnal name (without number, if otherwise used), followed by the letter R for Rex (king) or Regina (queen). Thus, the signs-manual of both Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II read Elizabeth R. When the British monarch was also Emperor or Empress of India, the sign manual ended with R I, for Rex Imperator or Regina Imperatrix (king-emperor/queen-empress).
When the future George IV, then the Prince of Wales, became regent on behalf of his incapacitated father, George III, the Regency Act 1811 expressly directed that the prince should sign "George P R", the initials standing for Princeps Regens meaning prince regent.
Some letters patent are not signed by the monarch in person. Instead, the monarch signs a warrant authorizing the preparation of the letters patent (traditionally written in ceremonial calligraphy on vellum) and approving the draft text of the letters patent. Then, once the letters patent are prepared, they are sealed with the Great Seal without the need for the signature of the monarch, because royal authority for issuing the letters patent had already been given by means of the warrant. Those letters patent finish with the words "By warrant under the King/Queen's Sign Manual," to signify that they do not bear the sign-manual themselves, having already been approved by warrant signed by the sovereign.
Other letters patent, due to the nature of their contents (such as those that authorise the expenditure of money, or those that signify Royal Assent to Acts of Parliament), require the royal sign-manual to be affixed directly to them. Such letters patent contain, at the bottom, the words: "By the King/Queen Him/Herself, Signed with His/Her own hand." The royal sign-manual is usually placed by the sovereign at the top of the document. These papers usually must be countersigned by a principal secretary of state or other responsible minister.
In some cases, the use of the sign-manual has been dispensed with and a stamp affixed in lieu thereof, as in the case of George IV, whose bodily infirmity made the act of signing difficult and painful during the last weeks of his life. The Royal Signature by Commission Act 1830 (11 Geo. IV & 1 Will. IV c. 23) was passed providing that a stamp might be affixed in lieu of the sign-manual, but the sovereign had to express his consent to each separate use of the stamp, the stamped document being attested by a confidential servant and several officers of State.
According to article 47 of the constitution of the Netherlands, all Acts of Parliament and Royal Decrees have to be signed by the King and by one or more Ministers or State Secretaries (called a countersign). No-one else can sign on behalf of the King. When he is abroad, he can sign using a tablet computer, but will still sign the paper original upon his return.
The Bayntun-Sandys Baronetcy, of Miserden Castle in the County of Gloucester and of Chadlington Hall in the County of Oxford, was a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 26 September 1809 for Edwin Bayntun-Sandys. Born Edwin Sandys, he had assumed the additional surname of Bayntun by Royal sign manual in 1807. His eldest son Edwin Windsor Bayntun-Sandys was knighted in 1825 but predeceased his father in 1838, as did his only brother Miles Allen Bayntun-Sandys (d. 1813). Consequently, the title became extinct on Bayntun-Sandys's death in 1848.Clerk of the Crown in Chancery
In the Government of the United Kingdom, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery is a senior civil servant who is the head of the Crown Office.
The Crown Office, a section of the Ministry of Justice, has custody of the Great Seal of the Realm, and has certain administrative functions in connection with the courts and the judicial process, as well as functions relating to the electoral process for House of Commons elections, to the keeping of the Roll of the Peerage, and to the preparation of royal documents such as warrants required to pass under the royal sign-manual, fiats, letters patent, etc.Clerk of the Signet
The Clerks of the Signet were English officials who played an intermediate role in the passage of letters patent through the seals. For most of the history of the position, four clerks were in office simultaneously.
Letters patent prepared by the Clerk of the Patents were engrossed at the Patent Office and then sent by the Secretary of State to receive the royal sign-manual. The duty of the Clerks of the Signet was to compare the signed bills with a transcript prepared by the Clerk of the Patents, and then to rewrite the transcript as a bill of privy signet, which was returned to the Secretary of State to be signed with that instrument.By the end of the seventeenth centuries, many of the Clerks of the Signet performed their work through deputies, with the office itself becoming a sinecure. The Treasury was given the authority to reduce the number of clerkships in 1832, abolishing one in 1833 and another in 1846. The two remaining posts were done away with in 1851.Cotton-Sheppard baronets
The Sheppard, later Cotton-Sheppard Baronetcy, of Thornton Hall in the County of Buckingham, was a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 29 September 1808 for Thomas Sheppard. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Reverend William Cotton, through which marriage Thornton Hall came into the Sheppard family. Their son, the second Baronet, assumed by Royal sign manual the additional surname of Cotton in 1806. The title became extinct on his death in 1848.Forgery Act 1830
The Forgery Act 1830 (11 Geo 4 & 1 Will 4 c 66) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It consolidated into one Act all legislation imposing the death penalty for forgery (except for counterfeiting coins). (It did not apply to Scotland or Ireland.) Two years later the death penalty was abolished for most of these offences, and for the remaining offences in 1837.Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons
Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons is the head of HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the senior inspector of prisons, young offender institutions and immigration service detention and removal centres in England and Wales. The current Chief Inspector is Peter Clarke; he took over from Nick Hardwick in 2016.
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons is appointed by the British Justice Secretary from outside the prison service for a period of five years. The post was created by Royal Sign Manual on 1 January 1981 and established by the Criminal Justice Act 1982 on the recommendation of a Committee of Inquiry into the UK Prison Service under Mr Justice May.
The Chief Inspector provides independent scrutiny of detention in England and Wales through carrying out announced and unannounced inspections of detention facilities. Their remit includes prisons, young offenders institutions, police cells and immigration service detention centres. They are also called upon to inspect prison facilities in Commonwealth dependencies and to assist with the monitoring of Northern Ireland prison facilities.
The Chief Inspector is not operationally part of HM Prison Service or the Ministry of Justice, and both have been criticised at times in the reports issued by the Chief Inspector after prison visits, or in their Annual Report, delivered to the Justice Secretary and presented to Parliament. The Inspectorate's independence has been interpreted differently by the different holders of the post. From the inspectorate of Stephen Tumim onwards, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons has been more willing to speak critically in public of Government penal policy.
There is also a separate post of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland, and a HM Inspectorate of Probation.Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917
The Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917 was one of the principal constitutional instruments of Hong Kong when it was a British Crown colony and dependent territory; the other principal constitutional instruments were the Hong Kong Letters Patent 1917, the Hong Kong Letters Patent 1960, the Hong Kong Letters Patent 1982, and the Hong Kong Letters Patent 1991 (No. 1). The Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917 has been amended many times since its coming into force by instruments titled 'Hong Kong Additional Instructions [year]'.
The Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917 superseded the royal instructions issued on 6 April 1843, all additional instructions amending the 1843 royal instructions, the 1888 royal instructions (replacing the 1843 royal instructions and all additional instructions amending the 1843 royal instructions), and all additional instructions amending the 1888 royal instructions. The royal instructions issued on 14 February 1917, as amended from time to time, formed part of the basis for Hong Kong's system of government until the transfer of the territory's sovereignty on 1 July 1997 to the People's Republic of China.
Issued under the royal prerogative, and subordinated to the Hong Kong Letters Patent 1917, the Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917 set out such matters as the constitution of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council, and in particular made provision for the latter's procedures, and for the enactment of laws.
After the transfer of sovereignty to China, the Hong Kong Royal Instructions 1917 ceased to have legal effect, being superseded by the new Basic Law.List of New Zealand Wars Victoria Cross recipients
The Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to 15 recipients for action during the New Zealand Wars. The VC is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals; it may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The award was officially constituted when Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856, which was gazetted on 5 February 1856. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War.Originally, the VC was not available to colonial troops, even if under British command, but this changed in 1867. The extension was made following a recommendation for gallantry regarding colonial soldier Major Charles Heaphy for action in the land wars in 1864. He was operating under British command and the VC was gazetted in 1867. Later that year, the Government of New Zealand assumed full responsibility for operations but no further recommendations for the Victoria Cross were raised for local troops who distinguished themselves in action. Following gallant actions by three New Zealand soldiers in November 1868 and January 1869 during the land wars, an Order in Council on 10 March 1869 created a “Distinctive Decoration” for members of the local forces without seeking permission from the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Although the Governor was chided for exceeding his authority, the Order in Council was ratified by the Queen. The title “Distinctive Decoration” was later replaced by the title New Zealand Cross.The New Zealand Wars were a series of conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872. The two conflicts where soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross were the First Taranaki War of 1860–1861 and the Waikato-Hauhau Māori War of 1863–1866. The First Taranaki War was fought over land rights on New Zealand's North Island. The local Colonial Governor had set up a policy whereby the British Government could buy local land, and anyone refusing to sell their land would be committing treason against the Crown. When the Te Atiawa refused to sell their land, the British Army attacked on 17 March 1860, starting the First Taranaki War. After a series of sieges by the British, a truce was signed with the Māori people in March 1861; the disputed land became British-owned territory but it remained in possession of the Māori people. The First Taranaki War ended in a stalemate over the one area of disputed land. By 1863 the influx of settlers and consequent demand for land led to further conflict. In July 1863, the British Army and the Auckland Militia launched the Invasion of Waikato against the forces of Tāwhiao and the Māori King Movement. The British expelled the Māori people from their lands, swiftly moving south, culminating in the defeat and flight of Tāwhiao at Ōrākau in March 1864. The British pursued him across the country as far as the fourth Waikato defensive line, which later became the border of King Country.List of living Victoria Cross recipients
As of 2018, there are five living recipients of the Victoria Cross, three living recipients of the Victoria Cross for Australia and one living recipient of the Victoria Cross for New Zealand.The VC is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other Orders, decorations and medals; it may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The award was officially constituted when Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856. (gazetted 5 February 1856) The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857 where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park.The Victoria Cross has been awarded 1358 times to 1355 individual recipients. The first citations of the VC, particularly those in the initial gazette of 24 February 1857, varied in the details of each action; some specify one date, some date ranges, some the name of the battle and others have both sets of information. The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1859 and 1901, notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In an exception to policy in 1902, six soldiers were posthumously awarded the VC for gallantry during the Boer War 1899–1902. In 1907, the posthumous policy was reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six officers and men who had been listed in the London Gazette for actions prior to the South African War. The Victoria Cross warrant was officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards in 1920. One quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous.Since 1991, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have created gallantry awards for operational service in their own honours systems. The highest awards are the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand. One New Zealand and four Australian Victoria Crosses have so far been awarded, with all but one of the Australian recipients surviving to receive their medals. Of the living recipients, Willie Apiata received the Victoria Cross for New Zealand on 26 July 2007; Mark Donaldson received the Victoria Cross for Australia on 16 January 2009 and Ben Roberts-Smith received the Victoria Cross for Australia on 23 January 2011, all for actions in Afghanistan. Daniel Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his actions in a fire fight with insurgents in Oruzgan Province as part of Operation Slipper on 24 August 2010Monarchy of Papua New Guinea
The monarchy of Papua New Guinea is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Papua New Guinea. The current monarch, since 16 September 1975, is Queen Elizabeth II. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled the Queen of Papua New Guinea and, in this capacity, she, her consort, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Papua New Guinean state. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The Queen lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Papua New Guinea are carried out by the Queen's representative, the governor-general.
The responsibilities of the sovereign, and of the governor-general, under the Papua New Guinean constitution, include summoning and dismissing parliament, calling elections, and appointing governments. Further, Royal Assent or the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council. But the authority for these acts stems from the country's populace, in which sovereignty is vested, and the monarch's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown drawn from amongst them, and judges.Monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The monarchy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, forming the core of the country's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. The Crown is thus is the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Vincentian government. While Royal Assent and the royal sign-manual are required to enact laws, letters patent, and orders in council, the authority for these acts stems from the Vincentian populace, and, within the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected and appointed parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from amongst them, and the judges and Justices of the Peace.The Vincentian monarchy has its roots in the French and British crowns, from which it has evolved over numerous centuries to become a distinctly Vincentian institution represented by unique symbols. The Vincentian monarch – since 27 October 1979, Queen Elizabeth II – is today shared equally with fifteen other countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, all being independent and the monarchy of each legally distinct. For Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the monarch is officially titled Queen of Vincent and the Grenadines, and she, her consort, and other members of the Royal Family undertake various public and private functions across the country. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. While several powers are the sovereign's alone, because she lives predominantly in the United Kingdom, most of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are carried out by the Queen's representative, the Governor-General.Mostyn-Champneys baronets
The Champneys, later Mostyn-Champneys Baronetcy, of Orchardleigh in the County of Somerset, was a title in the Baronetage of Great Britain. It was created on 12 January 1767 for Thomas Champneys, subsequently High Sheriff of Somerset from 1775 to 1776. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Thomas, the second Baronet. He married Charlotte Margaret Mostyn, daughter of Sir Roger Mostyn, 5th Baronet (see Mostyn baronets). In 1821 Sir Thomas assumed by Royal Sign Manual the additional surname of Mostyn. He was childless and the title became extinct on his death in 1839.
The Champneys family had been settled at Orchardleigh in Somerset since the Norman conquest. The first Baronet's grandfather, John Champneys, was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1695, and the first Baronet's father, Richard Champneys, in 1728.
The name is now used for a large shopping development in Llandudno - Mostyn Champneys Retail Park. Google Maps (53.3195,-3.8177)Painter and Limner
The Painter and Limner is a member of the Royal Household in Scotland. Appointments of Court Painters are recorded from 1581 onwards, and the post of Painter and Limner was created in 1702 for George Ogilvie. The duties included "drawing pictures of our [the Monarch's] person or of our successors or others of our royal family for the decorment of our houses and palaces". From 1723 to 1823 the office was a sinecure held by members of the Abercrombie family, not necessarily connected with artistic ability. The appointment of Sir Henry Raeburn in 1823, a few months before his death marked a return to conferring the post on a distinguished Scottish artist. He was succeeded by David Wilkie.
From 1841 until 1932, the salary attached to the office was £100. Since 1932 the appointment has been unpaid and there has been no requirement for the holder to produce works for either the monarch or the state. Until 1864 appointments were made by commission under the Privy Seal. Since 1908 appointments have been by warrant under the royal sign manual.
The post has been held since 2001 by Elizabeth Blackadder.Regius Professor of Engineering (Edinburgh)
The Regius Chair of Engineering is a royal professorship in engineering, established since 1868 in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The chair is attached to the University's College of Science and Engineering, based in the King's Buildings in Edinburgh. Appointment to the Regius Chair is by Royal Warrant from the British monarch, on the recommendation of Scotland's First Minister.Rycroft baronets
The Rycroft Baronetcy, of Calton in the County of York, is a title in the Baronetage of Great Britain. It was created on 22 January 1784 for Reverend Richard Rycroft. Born Richard Nelson, he was the only surviving son of John Nelson, and had assumed by Royal sign-manual the surname of Rycroft in lieu of his patronymic in 1758. The fifth Baronet was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1899. The sixth Baronet was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1938.
Two other members of the family may also be mentioned. Sir William Henry Rycroft, second son of the fourth Baronet, was a Major-General in the British Army. Charles Rycroft, second son of the fifth Baronet, was the psychoanalyst, Charles RycroftSmith-Marriott baronets
The Smith, later Smith-Marriott Baronetcy, of Sydling St Nicholas in the County of Dorset, is a title in the Baronetage of Great Britain. It was created on 1 June 1774 for John Smith, High Sheriff of Dorset in 1772. The second Baronet married Elizabeth Anne, daughter of Reverend James Marriott. The fourth Baronet assumed by Royal sign-manual the additional surname of Marriott. The fifth Baronet was High Sheriff of Dorset in 1873.
Sir Edmund Charles Wyldbore Smith (1877–1938), son of Reverend Francis Smith, fourth son of the second Baronet, was a civil servant, diplomat, and businessman.Treason Act 1535
The Treason Act 1535 (27 Hen.8 c. 2) was an Act passed by the English Parliament during the reign of King Henry VIII of England in 1535.
It made it high treason to counterfeit the King's privy seal, signet ring or royal sign manual.
The Act was repealed by the Treason Act 1553, but another Act passed later in the same year recreated the offence.Warrant (law)
A warrant is generally an order that serves as a specific type of authorization, that is, a writ issued by a competent officer, usually a judge or magistrate, which permits an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and affords the person executing the writ protection from damages if the act is performed.
A warrant is usually issued by a court and is directed to a sheriff, a constable, or a police officer. Warrants normally issued by a court include search warrants, arrest warrants, and execution warrants.William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn
William Cunningham, 9th Earl of Glencairn (1610–1664), was a Scottish nobleman, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and a cavalier. He was also the chief of Clan Cunningham.
The eldest son of William Cunningham, 8th Earl of Glencairn, on 21 July 1637 this William obtained a ratification from King Charles 1st, under the Royal Sign Manual, of the original Glencairn Letters Patent of 1488.
He was sworn a member of the Privy Council of Scotland and in 1641 was appointed a Commissioner of the Treasury.