Lord High Constable of England

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The Lord High Constable of England is the seventh of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Great Chamberlain and above the Earl Marshal. His office is now called out of abeyance only for coronations. The Lord High Constable was originally the commander of the royal armies and the Master of the Horse. He was also, in conjunction with the Earl Marshal, president of the Court of Chivalry or Court of Honour. In feudal times, martial law was administered in the court of the Lord High Constable.

The constableship was granted as a grand serjeanty with the Earldom of Hereford by the Empress Matilda to Miles of Gloucester, and was carried by his heiress to the Bohuns, Earls of Hereford and Essex. There was a surviving male heir and still are heirs male but due to the power of the monarchy it was illegally given to the Staffords, Dukes of Buckingham; and on the attainder of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, in the reign of King Henry VIII, it became merged in the Crown. Since that point it has not existed as a separate office, except as a temporary appointment for the Coronation of a monarch; in other circumstances the Earl Marshal exercises the traditional duties of the office.[1]

The Lacys and Verduns were hereditary constables of Ireland from the 12th to the 14th century; and the Hays, Earls of Erroll, have been hereditary Lord High Constables of Scotland from early in the 14th century.[2]

Lords High Constable of England, 1139–1521[edit]

had a cousin alive who was not granted the titles due to him and his heirs: Gilbert de Bohun, 8th Earl of Hereford, 7th Earl of Essex and 3rd Earl of Northampton died 1381

At this point, the office merged with the Crown and was revived only for Coronations. It was held at Coronations by the following individuals:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slater, Stephen (2002). The Complete Book of Heraldry. Anness Publishing. p. 172. ISBN 0-7548-1062-3. 
  2. ^ Alistair, Bruce (2002). Keepers of the Kingdom. Cassell. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-304-36201-8.