"You are blinded by the love of the office you hold, Cornelius!"
--Albus Dumbledore (GF36)
The Minister for Magic is the executive head of the government for the British Wizarding world. The Minister enjoys a position of great prominence and prestige. He or she represents the British magical community in international affairs and sets the tone for the policies of the Ministry of Magic. In addition to this, the Minister for Magic is known to the Muggle Prime Minister, and the two leaders communicate when necessary. The Minister for Magic also presides over the Wizengamot.
The post of Minister for Magic was established with the creation of the Ministry of Magic after the International Statute of Secrecy went into effect. The first Minister, Ulick Gamp, took office in 1707.
Many people thought Albus Dumbledore would make a good Minister for Magic, but he was not interested in having the job.
Ministers for Magic
- 1707-1718: Ulick Gamp (Pm, HBP1)
- 1718-1726: Damocles Rowe (Pm)
- 1726-1733: Perseus Parkinson (Pm)
- 1733-1747: Eldritch Diggory (Pm: Ministers for Magic, Pm: Wand woods)
- 1747-1752: Albert Boot (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1752-1752: Basil Flack (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1752-1770: Hesphasestus Gore (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1770-1781: Maximillian Crowdy (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1781-1789: Porteus Knatchbull (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1789-1798: Unctuous Osbert - said by many to be simply a puppet of powerful Septimus Malfoy (Pm: The Malfoy Family, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1798-1811: Artemisia Lufkin, first witch to become Minister for Magic (fw, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1811-1819: Grogan Stump, who came up with the Being/Beast/Spirit divisions of the Wizarding World (FB, fw, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1819-1827: Josephina Flint (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1827-1835: Ottaline Gambol (Pm: Ministers for Magic, Pm: Hogwarts Express) instituted the Hogwarts Express
- 1835-1841: Radolphus Lestrange - tried to shut down the Department of Mysteries (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1841-1849: Hortensia Milliphutt (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1849-1855: Evangeline Orpington, created the concealed platform at the newly built King's Cross Station (Pm: Platform 9 and 3/4, Pm: Wand woods, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1855-1858: Priscilla Dupont (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1858-1865: Dugald McPhail (Pm: Hufflepuff House intro, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1865-1903: Faris "Spout-Hole" Spavin (JKR, (Pm: Ministers for Magic), was 147 when he left office
- 1903-1912: Venusia Crickerly - ex-Auror, died of freak gardening accident (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1912-1923: Archer Evermonde (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1923-1925: Lorcan McLaird (Pm: Ravenclaw House intro, Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1925-1939: Hector Fawley (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1939-1948: Leonard Spencer-Moon (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1948-1959: Wilhemina Tuft (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1959-1962: Ignatius Tuft (Pm: Ministers for Magic) son of the previous Minister
- 1962-1968: Nobby Leach (JKR) The first Muggle-born Minister for Magic, Leach left office prematurely in 1968, many believe due to a shady plot involving Abraxas Malfoy (Pm: The Malfoy Family) (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1968-1975: Eugenia Jenkins (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1975-1980: Harold Minchum (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1980-1990: Millicent Bagnold (Pm: Ministers for Magic)
- 1990-1996: Cornelius Oswald Fudge
- 1996-1997: Rufus Scrimgeour
- 1997-1998: Pius Thicknesse (under the Imperius Curse and controlled by Death Eaters throughout his tenure)
- 1998-present: Kingsley Shacklebolt (ushered in a new era of accountability for the Ministry)
An ugly portrait of the first Minister for Magic, Ulick Gamp, is stuck - magically and permanently - to a wall in the Muggle Prime Minister's office and acts as a messenger between the two leaders (HBP1).
The meetings between the Minister for Magic and the Muggle Prime Minister tend to be uneasy. The Prime Minister with whom Cornelius Fudge speaks in HBP1 is still struggling with the idea of magic being real, and Fudge remembers how the Prime Minister before this one tried to throw him out a window.
"Minister for ___" is a title commonly used within the bureaucracy of the real-life Muggle government of the United Kingdom for the top authority in a particular area of government activity (e.g. defense, transportation, etc.).
Rowling is a strong supporter of the Labour Party (source: Wikipedia). The opposing Conservative Party was in power when Rowling began writing the first book and all throughout Harry's life up to May 2nd, 1997 (exactly one year before the Battle of Hogwarts, as it happens). Rowling's frustration with her country's government through most of the 1990s may be reflected in her harsh, critical portrayal of Cornelius Fudge and other Ministry personnel. -BB