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A postmaster general, in Anglosphere countries, is the chief executive officer of the postal service of that country, responsible for overseeing all other postmasters. The practice of having a government official responsible for overseeing the delivery of mail throughout the nation originated in England, where a Master of the Posts is mentioned in the King's Book of Payments, with a payment of £100 being authorized for Tuke as master of the posts in February 1512. Belatedly, in 1517, he was officially appointed to the office of Governor of the King's Posts, a precursor to the office of Postmaster General of the United Kingdom, by Henry VIII. In 1609 it was decreed that letters could only be carried and delivered by persons authorized by the postmaster general.Other examples include: Postmaster-General of Australia, 1901–1975 Postmaster General of Canada, 1867–1981 Postmaster General of Hong Kong, 1860–present Postmaster-General of Ireland, 1784–1831 Postmaster-General of New Zealand, 1858–1989 Postmaster General for Scotland, 1616–1707 Postmaster General of Sri Lanka, 1815–present United States Postmaster General, 1775–present

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