The Exchequer in Britain is the department of government which has control of public funds, analogous to the Department of the Treasury in the United States. It began under the early Norman and Plantagenet kings as a department for the collection and management of royal revenue. Its name derives from the fact that the Court of Exchequer met around a checkered table.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the principal members of the British cabinet. At times, the Prime Minister has also served in this office.