Latin cancellarius.

The word chancellor occurs only once (HEF 1,46) in Domesday Book, interlined above the name of Reinbald of Cirencester. The entry is of some historical interest since the origins of the Chancery and of the office of chancellor of England have long been debated. In particular, were the chancellor and his office Anglo-Saxon institutions, or were they innovations introduced by William the Conqueror? Though not conclusive, this entry tips the balance in favour of an Anglo-Saxon origin since Reinbald, a Lorrainer in the service of Edward the Confessor, is described as chancellor before 1066 in a number of charters of dubious authenticity which this entry tends to validate.

For the debate over the origins of the office, see Pierre Chaplais, 'The royal Anglo-Saxon "Chancery" of the tenth century revisited', Studies in medieval history presented to R.H.C. Davis, edited by Henry Mayr-Harting and R.I. Moore (1985), pages 41-51; Simon Keynes, 'Regenbald the chancellor [sic]', Anglo-Norman Studies, vol. 10 (1988), pages 185-222; and Simon Keynes, 'Royal government and the written word in late Anglo-Saxon England', The uses of literacy in early medieval Europe, edited by Rosamund McKitterick (1990), pages 226-57.