The pre-eminent position which the chancery occupied among the administrative departments, and its functions as the source of formal executive power to the other departments suggest an amount of final authority which it had not. Though there was a growing tendency towards independence on the part of the officials of chancery, the king had well maintained his position as the source of executive authority. The powers of chancery were still very limited. The great seal itself could be completely regulated by the king1 ; and by the use of the privy and secret seals, informal warrants and verbal orders the normal and forrriahsed use of the great seal was dictated or checked.