The position of Lord High Steward is the first of the Great Officers of State in England, nominally ranking above the Lord Chancellor and the Prime Minister.
The office has generally remained vacant since 1421, and is now an ad hoc office that is primarily ceremonial and is filled only for a coronation.
At coronations of the British monarch, the Lord High Steward bears St Edward's Crown. The Lord High Steward has the sole legal power to preside over impeachment trials of peers (which last happened in 1806). The trial of peers by their peers (a law which applied for felonies) was abolished in 1948. In general, but not invariably, the Lord Chancellor was deputised (to act as Lord High Steward) in the felony trials. There was a "Court of the Lord High Steward" which served this purpose when Parliament was not in session.
Initially the position was largely an honorary one. 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 equivalent offices in Scotland and Ireland respectively are the Great Steward of Scotland (always held by the heir to the throne, known in Scotland as the Duke of Rothesay) and the Lord High Steward of Ireland (held by the Earls of Shrewsbury, who are also Earls of Waterford in the Peerage of Ireland).
Incomplete before 1660.
|Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester||1429||Coronation of King Henry VI (Humphrey's nephew)|
|Thomas de Courtenay, 5th/13th Earl of Devon||1445||Coronation of Margaret of Anjou||[ citation needed ]|
|John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk||1461||Coronation of King Edward IV (brother of Pole's wife, Elizabeth of York)||[ citation needed ]|
|George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence||1465||Coronation of Elizabeth Woodville (wife of George's brother, Edward IV)|
|John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk||1483||Coronation of King Richard III (Howard's close friend) and his wife Anne Neville||[ citation needed ]|
|John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford||1485||Coronation of King Henry VII (Vere was commander of Henry's army at the Battle of Bosworth Field)|
|Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford||1487||Coronation of Elizabeth of York (Tudor was half-brother to the late Henry VI and paternal uncle to Henry VII)|
|Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham||1509||Coronation of King Henry VIII and his wife Queen Catherine|
|The Duke of Suffolk||1533||Coronation of Queen Anne|
|The Baron Russell||1547||Coronation of King Edward VI|
|The Earl of Derby||1553||Coronation of Queen Mary I|
|The Earl of Arundel||1559||Coronation of Queen Elizabeth I|
|The Earl of Nottingham||1603||Coronation of King James I and his wife Queen Anne|
|The Duke of Buckingham||1626||Coronation of King Charles I|
|The Duke of Ormond||1661||Coronation of King Charles II|
|1685||Coronation of King James II and his wife Queen Mary|
|The Earl of Devonshire||1689||Coronation of King William III and Queen Mary II|
|The Duke of Devonshire||1702||Coronation of Queen Anne|
|The Duke of Grafton||1714||Coronation of King George I|
|The Duke of Dorset||1727||Coronation of King George II and his wife Queen Caroline|
|The Earl Talbot||1761||Coronation of King George III and his wife Queen Charlotte|
|The Marquess of Anglesey||1821||Coronation of King George IV|
|The Duke of Hamilton and Brandon||1831||Coronation of King William IV and his wife Queen Adelaide|
|1838||Coronation of Queen Victoria|
|The Duke of Marlborough||1902||Coronation of King Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandra|
|The Duke of Northumberland||1911||Coronation of King George V and his wife Queen Mary|
|The Marquess of Salisbury||1937||Coronation of King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth|
|The Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope||1953||Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II|
|Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham||1478||Trial of George, Duke of Clarence (brother of Edward IV, whose ward Stafford was)|
|John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford||1499||Trial of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick (the last male-line Yorkist)|
|Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk||1503||Trial of Edward Sutton, 2nd Baron Dudley||[ citation needed ]|
|Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk||1521||Trial of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham||[ citation needed ]|
|Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk||1534||Trial of William Dacre, 3rd Baron Dacre||[ citation needed ]|
|1536||Trial of Anne Boleyn (Howard's niece)||[ citation needed ]|
|Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter||1537||Trial of Thomas Darcy, 1st Baron Darcy de Darcy (Courtenay was a first-cousin to Henry VIII)|
|Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden||1538||Trial of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu and Henry Courtenay, 1st Marquess of Exeter (cousins; scions of the House of York)|
|1541||Trial of Thomas Fiennes, 9th Baron Dacre|
|William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester||1551||Trial of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset (fallen Lord Protector, regent and uncle of Edward VI; Paulet was one of the 16 executors)|
|Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk||1553||Trial of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland (fallen regent)||[ citation needed ]|
|Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel||1557||Trial of Lord Stourton (FitzAlan was a godson of Henry VIII; Stourton a nephew of Dudley)|
|William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton||1559||Trial of Thomas Wentworth, 2nd Baron Wentworth (Parr was brother to the late queen Catherine; Wentworth a cousin of Seymour)|
|George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury||1571||Trial of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk|
|William Paulet, 3rd Marquess of Winchester||1587||Funeral of Mary, Queen of Scots (Paulet was a judge at her trial)||[ citation needed ]|
|Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby||1589||Trial of Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel|
|Thomas Sackville, 1st Baron Buckhurst||1601||Trial of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex (a favourite of Elizabeth I)|
|Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry||1631||Trial of Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven (Coventry was Lord Keeper)||[ citation needed ]|
|Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel||1641||Trial of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (Howard was the Earl Marshal; Wentworth the former Deputy of Ireland)|
| Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon |
|1666||Trial of Thomas Park, 15th Baron Morley (Hyde was a member of Charles' exile court)|
| Heneage Finch, 1st Baron Finch |
|1676||Trial of Charles Cornwallis, 3rd Baron Cornwallis|
|Trial of Philip Herbert, 7th Earl of Pembroke|
|1679||Trial of Thomas Osborne, 1st Earl of Danby (later 1st Duke of Leeds)|
|1679||Trial of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis; William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford; Henry Arundell, 3rd Baron Arundell of Wardour; William Petre, 4th Baron Petre; and John Belasyse, 1st Baron Belasyse|
|1680||Trial of William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford,|
| George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys |
|1686||Trial of Henry Booth, 2nd Baron Delamere|
|Thomas Osborne, 1st Marquess of Carmarthen (later 1st Duke of Leeds)|
(Lord President of the Council)
|1693||Trial of Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun|
| John Somers, 1st Baron Somers |
|1699||Trial of Edward Rich, 6th Earl of Warwick; and of Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun|
| William Cowper, 1st Baron Cowper |
|1716||Trial of James Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater; William Widdrington, 4th Baron Widdrington; William Maxwell, 5th Earl of Nithsdale; Robert Dalzell, 5th Earl of Carnwath; William Gordon, 6th Viscount of Kenmure; and William Murray, 2nd Lord Nairne|
|1716||Trial of George Seton, 5th Earl of Winton|
|1717||Trial of Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer|
| Peter King, 1st Baron King |
|1725||Trial of Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of Macclesfield|
| Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke |
|1746||Trial of William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock; George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie; and Arthur Elphinstone, 6th Lord Balmerino|
|1747||Trial of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat|
| Robert Henley, 1st Baron Henley |
|1760||Trial of Laurence Shirley, 4th Earl Ferrers|
| Robert Henley, 1st Earl of Northington |
|1765||Trial of William Byron, 5th Baron Byron|
| Henry Bathurst, 2nd Earl Bathurst |
|1776||Trial of Elizabeth Pierrepont, Duchess of Kingston-upon-Hull|
| Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow |
(Lord Chancellor; until 1793)
|1788–1795||Trial of Warren Hastings|
| Alexander Wedderburn, 1st Baron Loughborough |
(Lord Chancellor; from 1793)
| Thomas Erskine, 1st Baron Erskine |
|1806||Trial of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville|
| Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman |
(Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench)
|1841||Trial of James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan|
| Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury |
|1901||Trial of Frank Russell, 2nd Earl Russell|
|John Lambton, 3rd Earl of Durham||1911–1912||Lord High Steward to George V during his visit to India from 1911 to 1912|
| Douglas Hogg, 1st Viscount Hailsham |
|1935||Trial of Edward Russell, 26th Baron de Clifford (last trial of a peer in the Lords)|
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the county of Norfolk. The current duke is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk. The dukes have historically been Catholic, a state of affairs known as recusancy in England.
The Duke of Lancaster is the titular owner of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster and head of the County Palatine of Lancaster. It is also an ancient title that is informally used within Lancaster to describe Elizabeth II, the monarch of the United Kingdom. The Duchy of Lancaster exists as a separate entity from the Crown Estate and currently provides income for the British monarch. The title merged with the crown as a result of the House of Lancaster's participation in the Wars of the Roses.
The House of Lancaster was a cadet branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when King Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had already been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War. When Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, who was also called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.
Earl of Derby is a title in the Peerage of England. The title was first adopted by Robert de Ferrers, 1st Earl of Derby, under a creation of 1139. It continued with the Ferrers family until the 6th Earl forfeited his property toward the end of the reign of Henry III and died in 1279. Most of the Ferrers property and the Derby title were then held by the family of Henry III. The title merged in the Crown upon Henry IV's accession to the throne in 1399.
Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, KG was the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Like many medieval English princes, Edmund gained his nickname from his birthplace: Kings Langley Palace in Hertfordshire. He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, to Anne de Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Edmund's elder brother Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, that the House of York made its claim to the English throne in the Wars of the Roses. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the incumbent House of Lancaster, was formed from descendants of Edmund's elder brother John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Edward III's third son.
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of WestmorlandEarl Marshal, was an English nobleman of the House of Neville.
John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, KG, of Dartington Hall in Devon, was a half-brother of King Richard II (1377–1399), to whom he remained strongly loyal. He is primarily remembered for being suspected of assisting in the downfall of King Richard's uncle Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1355–1397) and then for conspiring against King Richard's first cousin and eventual deposer, Henry Bolingbroke, later King Henry IV (1399–1413).
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 Lord Steward or Lord Steward of the Household is an important official of the Royal Household in England. He is always a peer. Until 1924, he was always a member of the Government. Until 1782, the office was one of considerable political importance and carried Cabinet rank.
Earl of Leicester is a title that has been created seven times. The first title was granted during the 12th century in the Peerage of England. The current title is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and was created in 1837.
Duke of Hereford was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1397 for Richard II's cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, due to his support for the King in his struggle against their uncle Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. It merged in the crown on Henry's usurpation two years later, and has never since been recreated.
The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is a ceremonial official in the United Kingdom. The post dates from at least the 12th century, when the title was Keeper of the Coast, but may be older. The Lord Warden was originally in charge of the Cinque Ports, a group of five port towns on the southeast coast of England that was formed to collectively supply ships for The Crown in the absence at the time of a formal navy. Today the role is a sinecure and an honorary title, and fourteen towns belong to the Cinque Ports confederation. The title is one of the higher honours bestowed by the Sovereign; it has often been held by members of the Royal Family or prime ministers, especially those who have been influential in defending Britain at times of war.
The title of Earl of Lancaster was created in the Peerage of England in 1267. It was succeeded by the title Duke of Lancaster in 1351, which expired in 1361.
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, also styled as Henry of Lancaster and Lord Lancaster, of Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, was a member of the English royal family and a prominent English diplomat, politician, and soldier. He was the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm. The son and heir of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, and Maud Chaworth, he became one of King Edward III's most trusted captains in the early phases of the Hundred Years' War and distinguished himself with victory in the Battle of Auberoche. He was a founding member and the second Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348, and in 1351 was created Duke of Lancaster. An intelligent and reflective man, Grosmont taught himself to write and was the author of the book Livre de seyntz medicines, a highly personal devotional treatise. He is remembered as one of the founders and early patrons of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which was established by two guilds of the town in 1352.
Sir Thomas Erpingham was an English soldier and administrator who loyally served three generations of the House of Lancaster including English kings Henry IV and Henry V, and whose military career spanned four decades. After the Lancastrian usurpation of the English throne in 1399, his career in their service was transformed as he rose to national prominence, and through his access to royal patronage he acquired great wealth and influence.
Thomas Chaucer was an English courtier and politician. The son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his wife Philippa Roet, Thomas was linked socially and by family to senior members of the English nobility, though he was himself a commoner. Elected fifteen times to the Parliament of England, he was Speaker of the House of Commons for five parliaments in the early 15th century.
Blanche of Lancaster was a member of the English royal House of Plantagenet and the daughter of the kingdom's wealthiest and most powerful peer, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. She was the first wife of John of Gaunt, the mother of King Henry IV, and the grandmother of King Henry V of England.
Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon, KG was the eldest son of George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon and Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon, the ex-mistress of Henry VIII.
Events from the 1390s in England.