Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.
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The cupbearers, carvers and sewers were ancient offices whose duties were to serve the king on bended knee when he dined in public. As the Sovereign gradually abandoned this practice between 1685 and 1727, these positions became sinecures. The cupbearers were appointed by lord chamberlain's warrant. In 1660 they were five in number. On the death of Sir William Fleetwood in 1674 they were reduced to four. Three cupbearers were appointed during the reign of James II. From 1689 the number was fixed in principle at four. (fn. 1) The offices were abolished in 1782. (fn. 2) The cupbearers each received wages of £33 6s 8d plus riding wages. (fn. 3)