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 chief duty of the equerries was 'to attend the King on Horseback, and on all public Occasions'. In fact, by the reign of George I, they rode in the lead coach. In addition, equerries of the crown stable were 'to superintend the Saddle and Manage Stables;...and to instruct the Pages of Honor in Horsemanship'. (fn. 1) The equerries were appointed by royal warrant. During the reign of Charles II their number was fixed in principle at twelve, eight of whom were designated equerries of the hunting stable and four equerries of the crown, great or courser's stable. (fn. 2) During the reign of James II their number was reduced to six, with no distinction made as to function. The distinction returned under William III, when one was designated of the crown stable (see below). In 1760 the number of regular equerries rose to eight. It was reduced to seven in 1767. (fn. 3) In 1783 the office of chief, or first, equerry was created and united to that of clerk martial. At the same time the number of ordinary equerries was fixed at four. (fn. 4) From 1799 one or two extra equerries served.
In 1664 the remuneration attached to the offices consisted of wages of £20 and board wages of £100 plus diet at the gentlemen waiters' table. (fn. 5) In 1685 the salary was £256. (fn. 6) In 1704 it was increased to £300. (fn. 7) In 1803 it was raised to £445 while in 1812 it was fixed at £322 with an allowance of £250 in lieu of a house. In 1813 the salary was raised to £500 bringing the total remuneration to £750. (fn. 8)
After 1690 there was one equerry of the crown stable. From 1715 two served each with a salary of £256. (fn. 9) In 1765 they were differentiated in rank and designated first and second equerry, with salaries of £256 and £200 respectively. (fn. 10) In 1779 the office of first equerry was abolished. (fn. 11) The salary of the remaining equerry was increased to £322 in 1812 and to £445 in 1823. (fn. 12) Extra equerries of the crown stable were appointed from time to time.
Equerries of the Crown (Great Horse or Coursers') Stable