Page images

the Lord Steward, and Lord Chamberlain ; in royal processions he accompanies the Queen in the same carriage.

The Chief EQUERRY.—This officer is next in order to the Master of the Horse, in whose absence he controls and directs all matters affecting the royal stables. His salary is £1000 per annum; and there are four other equerries, with salaries of £750 each. It is their duty always to accompany the sovereign on horseback in processions, visits, taking exercise, &c.

The DEAN OF THE CHAPEL ROYAL.—This appointment, which is usually bestowed on the Bishop of London for the time being, is in the immediate gift of the Crown. The chapel royal and all its officials are exempt from the jurisdiction of any bishop, just as the royal palace and its officers are relieved from the control of any extraneous temporal jurisdiction. It is considered as a "royal peculiar,” reserved for the immediate government of the sovereign. The appointment of sub-dean and of the gentlemen of the chapel royal are all made by the dean, and he distributes among the poor the offerings made by the king or queen at the altar on the twelve principal feasts of the year-viz. Christmas, Easter, Whitsundav, All Saints, New Year's day and Twelfthday, Candlemas, Annunciation, Ascension, Trinity Sunday, St. John the Baptist, and Michaelmas-day.

The CLERK OF THE Closet attends at the right hand of the sovereign in the royal closet during divine service. It is an appointment usually conferred upon one of the bench of bishops.

THE ROYAL CHAPLAINS.—The Queen's chaplains are all appointed by the Lord Chamberlain ; and, as they do not receive any salary, they are generally presented to some preferment in the immediate gift of the sovereign, or else the office is conferred upon those already in possession of livings. They are forty-eight in number, four for each month. On Sundays they preach in the chapel royal, and in the morning before the household ; they read divine service in the private oratory to the sovereign twice a-day, and say grace at dinner in the absence of the Clerk of the Closet.

The Mistress of the Robes has the charge of the royal state robes, as the name of the office expresses ; and at all coronations and other public ceremonies, she attends to the proper robing of the Queen. This, however, is merely done by superintending the arrangements, for the mistress of the robes is always a person of very high station, and seldom below the rank of a duchess *. Though an office somewhat incongruous in name, that of “Groom of the Stole" is usually combined with the duties of the Mistress of the Robes when a female sovereign is on the throne, as was the case in the reign of queen Anne. The stole is a narrow vest lined with crimson sarcenet, and was formerly em

The Mistress of the Robes to a Queen Consort is seldom of so much political importance as to a Queen Regnant.

broidered with roses, fleurs-de-lis, and crowns, but the office of groom is a sinecure. The Mistress of the Robes walks immediately after the Queen in all processions, and rides in the same carriage with her Majesty and the Master of the Horse.

LADIES OF THE BED-CHAMBER have the immediate superintendance of the royal sleeping and dressing apartments, so far as relates to the personal apparel and decorations of her Majesty.

THE BED-CHAMBER WOMEN are seven in number, and are in attendance upon the Ladies of the Bedchamber, whom they assist at the Queen's toilet.

The Maids Of Honour are eight in number, and attend by turns, according to a roll drawn up each year. They have a salary of £300 per annum, and are in close attendance upon her Majesty's person.

Thx LICENSER OF Plays is the deputy of the Lord Chamberlain in the control of dramatic representations. Every play, song, or other theatrical entertaigment must be submitted to this censor before it is publicly delivered, and a fee is paid for the issuing of every licence. The office was instituted in 1736. The salary is £400 per annum, without including the fees, which are variable.

THE HISTORIOGRAPHER Royal holds an office which was established by Charles II., or, according to some authorities, was revived by him, having previously existed in Henry VII.'s reign. It is conferred by patent, and occasionally combined with that of Poet Laureate : his duties consist in describing and recording the occurrences of the time, but it is almost a sinecure, and usually conferred as the reward of literary eminence.

The Poet LAUREATE.—This is likewise an office now conferred more as a mark of royal favour, and a tribute to poetical distinction, than for any duties necessarily annexed to it. Formerly, every important event about the court was chronicled “in high immortal verse.” The present Poet Laureate, however, stipulated when he entered on his office, that he should be confined to no stated periods or occasions, but,

“ Though his advice be good, his counsel wise,

Yet length still loses opportunities.”

Besides the offices already enumerated, the sovereign has a private secretary, grooms of the privy chamber, pages of honour, lords in waiting, physicians, surgeons, &c.

All the members of the royal family have households varying in their numbers and importance, but formed upon the same model as the household of the Queen.




" It most behoves the honourable race

Of mighty Peers true wisdom to sustain,
And with their noble countenance to grace

The learned foreheads without gift or gain.
Or rather learn’d themselves behoves to be,
That is the girlond of nobility.”


The peerage of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland may be described as consisting of the six following parts, although each individual title has a special locality, which does not necessarily belong to the portion of the empire with which its possessor may be connected, and although the whole body take rank and precedence, inter se, according to the years in which their respective dignities were created, under the limitations already noticed in the article on that subject. There are

1st, THE PEERS OF ENGLAND, whose titles were created antecedent to 1707.

2nd, The Peers of Scotland, created antecedent to the union of England with that kingdom, viz. previous to 1707.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »