His Majesty's Own Chancery

His Majesty’s Own Chancery


the highest state institution in the Russian Empire. His Majesty’s Own Chancery originated in the late 18th century as the personal chancery of Emperor Pavel I; it acquired state functions in 1812.

His Majesty’s Own Chancery had six sections, each in charge of a certain area of administration. The First Section, which was founded in 1826, was concerned with appointments, awards, dismissals, and pensions of high government officials. The Second Section, which existed from 1826 to 1882, worked on codification of the laws. The Third Section was an organ of political investigation. The Fourth Section, which existed from 1828 to 1880, was in charge of charitable institutions and women’s educational institutions; it was given separate status as the Department of Institutions of Empress Mariia. The Fifth Section, which existed from 1836 to 1856, drew up a plan for reform concerning the state peasants and followed the reform through to its completion. The Sixth Section, founded in 1842 and abolished three years later, prepared the reform of the administration in the Caucasus.

The First Section, which remained in existence until 1882 and which itself came to be known as His Majesty’s Own Chancery, was concerned mainly with questions regarding the service careers of high government officials. Within the chancery, the Department of Inspection (1846–58) and the Division of Inspection (1894–1917) supervised civil service. In 1894 a committee on the service of civil ranks and on awards was established within the chancery, and in 1898, a commission for preliminary review of questions and proposals relating to the uniforms of civil service officials. His Majesty’s Own Chancery and its various agencies were abolished in April 1917 after the overthrow of the autocracy.


Stroev, V. N. Stoletie sobstvennoi ego imperatorskogo velichestva kantseliarii. ... St. Petersburg, 1912.
Eroshkin, N. P. Istoriia gosudarstvennykh uchrezhdenii dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Tsentral’nyi gosudarstvennyi istoricheskii arkhiv SSSR v Leningrade: Putevoditel’. Leningrad, 1956. Pages 307–16.