Lancaster Duchyand County Palatineof
Lancaster, Duchy and County Palatine of. The ancient honour of Lancaster was by Henry III. made into an earldom and given to his son Edmund. Edmund's grandson Henry was created a duke and earl palatine by Edward III. in 1351. In 1377 these titles passed to John of Gaunt, who had married Henry's daughter and heiress, and were by him handed on to his son, Henry IV. After the attainder of Henry VI. the duchy was united to the Crown by Act of Parliament, the county palatine being incorporated in the duchy at the'same time. This arrangement has been maintained up to the present time. The revenues of the duchy have always formed a distinct item in the royal revenue; they are paid over to the Privy Purse, and an annual account is presented to Parliament, but in other respects they are free from parliamentary control. The administration of justice was assimilated to that of the rest of England in 1873, and the office of Chancellor of the Duchy is now a political appointment with nominal duties, frequently held by a Cabinet Minister.