Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
This Office was instituted by K. James I. for the more solemn and honourable reception of Ambassadors and Strangers of Quality, whom he introduces into the Presence. The Badge of Office is a Gold Chain and Medal, having on one side an Emblem of Peace, with K. James's Motto, and on the reverse the Emblem of War, with Dieu & Mondroit [sic]. He is always suppos'd to be a Person of good Address, and Master of Languages. He is constantly attending at Court, and has under him an Assistant, Master, or Deputy, who holds his Place during the King's Pleasure. There is also a third Officer call'd Marshall of the Ceremonies, whose Business is to [re]cieve and distribute the Master's Orders, or the Deputy's, for the Service; but without their Order can do nothing. (fn. 1)
The offices of master, assistant master and marshal of the ceremonies were in the gift of the Crown, appointments being embodied in letters patent under the great seal. At the Restoration in 1660 Sir Balthazar Gerbier had a grant of the office of master while Sir Charles Cotterell had a grant of that of assistant master together with a reversionary interest in the mastership itself. Gerbier was unable to secure the office and was formally suspended in December 1660. Cotterell was admitted in June 1660 and received a grant by letters patent in the following February. (fn. 2)
Cotterell continued to receive the remuneration attached to the office of assistant master until 1668 when this was revived as a distinct office. Promotion from assistant to master was usual and in three instances assistants received reversionary grants of the principal office. (fn. 3) The office of assistant master was held concurrently with that of marshal of the ceremonies 1710–40, 1745–58 and invariably from 1761.
The master received the aforementioned chain and medal, worth £60, and a salary of £200 to which an allowance of £100 was added in 1686. The assistant was paid 6s 8d a day. The marshal received £100. (fn. 4)
|1660||June||Cotterell, Sir C.|
|1686||30 Dec.||Cotterell, C.L.|
|1710||13 July||Cotterell, C.|
|1758||11 Nov.||Cotterell Dormer, C.|
|1770||Oct.||Cotterell Dormer, C.|
|1796||16 Dec.||Cotterell, S.|
|1818||27 May||Chester, Sir R.|
Assistant Master 1668–1837
Assistant Marshal 1699–?
|1699||15 Sept.||Le Bas, C.S.|