The Database of Court Officers 1660-1837

R. O. Bucholz, Project Director

The Database of Court Officers is an online computer database providing the career histories of every remunerated officer and servant of the English royal household from the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.


History of the Database:

The DCO extends, corrects and completes the data on the royal household first set forth in Officials of the Royal Household 1660-1837, compiled by Sir John Sainty, KCB and Robert Bucholz, 2 vols., published by the Institute of Historical Research, London in 1997-98, as volumes eleven and twelve of the on-going series "Officeholders in Modern Britain" (available on the Institute's online bookshop at http://www.history.ac.uk/bookshop/officeholders.html). The object of this work was to provide authoritative chronological lists of the holders of the principal household offices.


At one point, these volumes were intended to include every officer and servant in the royal household. Sadly - but perhaps inevitably given the current realities of scholarly publishing - that intention proved to be impractical. As published, Officials of the Royal Household lists only holders of offices suitable to be held by peers and most offices suitable to be held by those of gentle birth - less than half of the positions in the household.


Nevertheless, a nearly complete record of household appointments and emoluments for the period 1660-1901 can be assembled from official documents housed in the Public Record Office, London, the Royal Archives, Windsor, the Chapel Royal, St. James's and other archives. Using the information contained in household establishments, warrants of appointment and certificates of swearing in, it is possible to know the name, gender, office, date of entry, date and reason for departure of any officer or servant of the royal household for the period in question. At first independently, then in concert, Sir John Sainty and Robert Bucholz have, beginning in the 1980s, compiled many lists for offices that were not included in the final publication. Out of the opportunity afforded by the unused lists, the frustration borne of their disuse, and the conviction that only by knowing all of the officers and servants of the household can the full life of the institution be understood in all its variety, has grown the Database of Court Officers.


Scope of the Project:

For purposes of the DCO, the royal household consists of officers in the monarch's household under the supervision, direct or indirect, of the lord chamberlain (including those in the Bedchamber, Chapel Royal, Great Wardrobe, Jewel Office, Robes, and, prior to 1685, the Tents and Toils; the gentlemen pensioners and yeomen of the guard; keeper of the Privy Purse; lord almoner and sub-almoner), lord steward or master of the horse which involved swearing-in and a regular form of remuneration, such as wages, boardwages or diet. Unpaid gentlemen of the privy chamber, officers in the Works, the heralds and purveyors, craftsmen and tradesmen paid entirely via bills have, for the time being, been excluded.


A Courtier's Promise:

The DCO is a work in progress and it is hoped that, in time, it will grow to encompass:

  • Officers and servants of Queen Victoria's household 1837-1901

  • Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber 1660-1901

  • Unpaid craftsmen, tradesmen and suppliers holding the royal warrant.

  • Officers and servants of ancillary members of the royal household 1660-1901 (In the meantime, many such lists, compiled by Sir John Sainty, can now be found on the web-site of the Institute of Historical Research: http://www.history.ac.uk/office)


...all coordinated by a proper search engine.


How to Use the DCO:

In the meantime, the linked .pdf files noted below contain all the material contained in the Officeholders volumes, including an introduction explaining the parameters of office-holding and giving a brief survey of the history and cost of the court for this period.

To open these files, you will need Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. The latter can be obtained free of charge at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.


Scholars seeking the history, duties, emoluments and successive holders of a particular office (the lord chamberlain; the master of the musick; the grooms of the privy chamber, stables's footmen, etc.) or staff of a department (for example, the Bedchamber) or sub-department (say, the Pantry) should consult the chronological lists (Chamber-1, Chamber-2, etc.).


Those interested in the career of a particular officer should use the [Find] and [Bookmark] functions on Adobe Acrobat/Reader to consult The Master Index or the constuent parts of the Index as broken up alphabetically (Index-A, Index-B, etc.)

 


The Database of Court Officers 1660-1837

Front Matter:

The Lists:

Chamber List 1
(Lord Chamberlain's Office; Privy Purse; Bedchamber)

Chamber List 2
(Privy Chamber, Presence Chamber, Guard Chamber, Messengers)

Chamber List 3
(Ceremonies, Revels, Removing Wardrobe, House and Wardrobe Keepers, Robes, Jewel Office, Great Wardrobe, Tents and Toyles)

Chamber List 4
(Medical personnel; Artistic personnel [including Musicians])

Chamber List 5
(Sporting and Transportation [including Barges])

Chamber List 6

(Ecclesiastical Establishments [including Choirs])

Chamber List 7

(Military Establishment [Gentlemen pensioners; Yeomen of the Guard])

Chamber List 8
(Paid tradesmen and Menial servants above stairs])

Household Below Stairs List 1
(Board of Greencloth, Accompting House, Acatry, Almonry, Bakehouse, Boiling House, Buttery, Cartakers, Cellar, Chandry, Confectionary, Ewry, Hall, Harbingers)

Household Below Stairs List 2
(Kitchens, Larder, Laundry, Knight Marshal and Marshal's men, Pantry, Pastry, Pitcher House)

Household Below Stairs List 3
(Porters, Poultry, Scalding House, Scullery, Spicery, Verge, Woodyard [later Coalyard], Menial servants below stairs)

Stables List

Household of Mary II (1689-1694) compiled by Ms. Annah Hackett

THE MASTER INDEX OF COURT OFFICERS

Index-A

Index-B

Index-C

Index-D

Index-E

Index-F

Index-G

Index-H

Index-I

Index-J

Index-K

Index-L

Index-M

Index-N

Index-O

Index-P

Index-Q

Index-R

Index-S

Index-T

Index-U

Index-V

Index-W

Index-Y

Index-Z


Household of Mary II (1689-1694) Index compiled by Ms. Annah Hackett



Links:

Institute of Historical Research, London, Officeholders in Modern Britain site: http://www.history.ac.uk/office

The SOCIETY FOR COURT STUDIES:
http://webhost.ua.ac.be/bscs/info.htm
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The North American branch of the SOCIETY FOR COURT STUDIES:
http://www.courtstudies.umb.edu

Dr. Patrick Woodland's genealogiocal and historical resrearch service, DEVON ANCESTRY:
http://www.devonancestry.com

The SEMINAR ON COURTS HOUSEHOLDS and LINEAGES at the Newberry Library, Chicago:
http://www.newberry.org/renaissance/seminars/courtstudies 200506.html

 

Enquiries, Corrections, Complaints:

Prof. Robert Bucholz
Department of History
Loyola University of Chicago
6526 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, Il 60626

rbuchol@luc.edu


Copyright Robert Bucholz, 2005

 

 

 


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