in macintosh dictionary, you’ll find the third definition of the word ‘chancery’ as:
(chiefly Brit.) an office attached to an embassy or consulate
it is a diplomatic term, and i first encountered the word in a diplomatic environment.
so some diplomat explains the origin of the word as the following. in the beginning, there was only a person who represented a country in another country. the person is called ambassador. and his house is called embassy. as the Mission got bigger and more persons coming into the country as representatives, or diplomats, the ambassador set another building as his office. perhaps, at this time the ambassador’s residence was called Embassy Residence, which is to me kinda weird. but at the same time i thought that this shows how an ambassador cannot be separated from his or her job. ambassadors works 24-7. his personal life is mixed with his professional life. his buddies for hanging out are also his colleague.
as the ambassador’s job is piling up, the office for work must also do some management. making divisions. employ and maintain human resources. maintain assets. arrange money. and this household finally requires a head, which we now know as Head of Chancery, or shortly, HOC.
well in an embassy, HOC’s job has a very large scope. almost everybody, especially local staff, must ask for his or her approval for almost everything. starting from passing every bill payment, arrangement of room or seat for staff, to installing a doorknob.
i imagine how his or her desk is always full of maps waiting to be signed. everytime the HOC clears (does) the documents, passing the documents to the next party to be processed, the desk will soon be full with them again. hehe.