Keeper of the Queen's Swans

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The Keeper of the King's/Queen's Swans was an ancient office in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of England, later Great Britain and ultimately the United Kingdom. He was earlier called the King's/Queen's Swanmaster.


The keeper's office dates from the 13th century; he was supported by three swanherdsmen, and their principal duties related to the annual Swan-Upping on the River Thames.[1]

It was abolished in 1993, when it was replaced by two new offices, the Warden of the Swans and the Marker of the Swans.

List of Keepers of the King's and Queen's Swans[edit]

  • Captain Frederick John (known as John) Turk, MVO 1963–1993
  • Frederick Thomas Turk, MVO 1923-1963
  • Thomas R Abnett 1893-


  1. ^ Wheals, Brian Brenchley (1984). Theirs Were But Human Hearts: A Local History of Three Thameside Parishes. H.S. Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 0-9509053-0-5.