General chancellor

Image - Hetman Pavlo Teteria Image - A portrait of Pylyp Orlyk.

General chancellor (heneralnyi pysar). The title of a senior member of the General Officer Staff in the Hetman state who managed the General Military Chancellery and supervised the hetman's domestic and foreign correspondence. The office was filled by an educated person who knew several languages and diplomatic protocol and had administrative experience, usually as a scribe or a regimental chancellor. He performed many senior diplomatic functions, guarded the state seal (see Seals) , supervised the state archives, and signed the hetman's decrees in his absence. He also supervised the preparation of all decrees, charters, and land grants by his many subordinates, prepared the agenda of meetings of the council of the General Officer Staff, and performed other tasks assigned to him by the hetman. The general chancellors Ivan Vyhovsky (1648–57), Pavlo Teteria (1660–3), and Pylyp Orlyk (1706–9) later became hetmans.

The title was revived in 1917 under the Central Rada to designate the state functionary who, in a ministerial capacity, guarded the state seal and documents. The post was held by Pavlo Khrystiuk (28 June–3 September 1917), Oleksander Lototsky (3 September–November 1917), and Ivan Mirny (November 1917–22 January 1918). Thereafter the post was called state secretary.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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