Skip to main content


solicitor-general. The ‘junior’ of the two law officers of the crown. The precursor of this office was the ‘king's solicitor’ first mentioned in 1461 and the title ‘solicitor-general’ was first used in 1515. From 1525 onwards the office of solicitor-general was a ‘stepping stone’ to the office of attorney-general, whose deputy and subordinate he was. The solicitor-general was accepted without controversy as a member of the House of Commons and although, like the attorney-general, he was a law officer of the crown, he did not incur the same odium politically as he did not prosecute for criminal libel. The solicitor-general was more familiar with Chancery than his colleague and for that reason, on at least one occasion, in 1733, the solicitor-general was created lord chancellor, whereas the attorney-general became lord chief justice. Despite the title, the solicitor-general is a barrister. There is a separate solicitor-general for Scotland, who acts as deputy to the lord advocate.

Maureen Mulholland

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"solicitor-general." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"solicitor-general." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (February 20, 2019).

"solicitor-general." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.