Victorian London - Organisations - Government Departments - Treasury

TREASURY (THE), WHITEHALL. A large range of building, between the Horse Guards on one side and Downing-street on the other, and so called from its being the office of the Lord High Treasurer; an office of great importance, first put into commission in 1612, on Lord Salisbury's death, and so continued with very few exceptions till the present time. The last Lord Treasurer was the Duke of Shrewsbury, in the reign of Queen Anne, but the last acting Lord Treasurer was the duke's predecessor, Harley, Earl of Oxford, the friend of Pope and Swift. The prime minister of the country is always First Lord of the Treasury. The Lord High Treasurer used formerly to carry a white staff, as the mark of his office. The royal throne still remains at the head of the Treasury table. The present façade towards the street was built, (l846-7) by Charles Barry, R.A., to replace a heavy and somewhat dowdy front with two colonnades, the work of Sir John Soane. The shell of the building is of an earlier date, ranging from Ripley's time, in the reign of George I., to the times of Kent and Sir John Soane. The building called the Treasury includes the Board of Trade, the Home and Privy Council offices.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

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Treasury, Whitehall, S.W., and Treasury-chambers, Whitehall.—Hours 11 to 5. NEAREST Railway Station, Westminster-bridge; Omnibus Routes, Whitehall and Strand; Cab Rank, Horse Guards. The office of Parliamentary Counsel is at 18, Queen Anne’s-gate, Westminster; of the Receiver of Fines and Penalties at 2, St. Martin’s-place; and of the Examiner of Criminal Law Accounts and Sheriffs’ Accounts, at 109, Victoria-street, Westminster. 

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Treasury, Whitehall

The Treasury, Whitehall - photograph


In the broadest part of Whitehall, just south of the Horse Guards, is the Treasury which was originally built by Sir John Soane, but has been altered and provided with a new façade by Sir Charles Barry, the designer of the Houses of Parliament. It is a handsome, substantial pile, and is a hundred yards in length. Within are the offices of several Government departments, including the Privy Council and the Treasury (of which the Prime Minister for the time being is usually, though not invariably, First Lord). The street seen to the left in our view is Downing Street, which leads to the house that Mr. Gladstone and other Premiers have successively occupied.