Lord High Steward

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Not to be confused with Lord Steward.
Great Steward redirects here. For the Scottish title, see mormaer.

The position of Lord High Steward of England is the first of the Great Officers of State. The office has generally remained vacant since 1421, except at coronations, when the Lord High Steward bears St. Edward's Crown, and during the trials of peers in the House of Lords, when the Lord High Steward presides. In general, but not invariably, the Lord Chancellor was appointed to act as Lord High Steward in the latter situation. The trial of peers by their peers in the House of Lords was abolished in 1948, although impeachment trials have not been abolished. There was a "Court of the Lord High Steward" which served this purpose when Parliament was not in session.

Although initially the position was largely an honorary one, over time it grew in importance until its holder became one of the most powerful men of the kingdom. From the late 12th century, the office was considered to be bound with the Earldom of Leicester. When the House of Lancaster ascended the throne in 1399, Henry IV made his second son, Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence, Lord High Steward. He held the post until his death in 1421.

The Lord High Steward of Ireland in contrast is a hereditary title, also known as the Hereditary Great Seneschal, vested in the Earl of Shrewsbury, Waterford and Talbot, who is the Premier Earl of Ireland, Chetwynd-Talbot.

Lord High Stewards of England, 1154–1421[edit]

Lord High Stewards of England, 1422–present[edit]

Incomplete before 1660.


  1. ^ "Suffolk 1448", Cracroft's Peerage, UK .
  2. ^ The Peerage 
  3. ^ a b c d e f http://www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk/online/content/Norfolk1483.htm
  4. ^ "Suffolk 1514", Cracroft's Peerage, UK .
  5. ^ a b Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, Winchester, Marquess of (E, 1551). Accessed 19 July 2014.
  6. ^ "The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth". History Today. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, Coventry, Baron (E, 1628 – 1719). Accessed 29 January 2012.