Independent Sub-departments
Great Wardrobe 1660-1782

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

R.O. Bucholz

Year published

2006

Supporting documents

Pages

146-156

Citation Show another format:

'Independent Sub-departments: Great Wardrobe 1660-1782', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (revised): Court Officers, 1660-1837 (2006), pp. 146-156. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43797 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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Great Wardrobe 1660–1782

According to the 1707 edition of Chamberlayne:

This Office is to make Provisions for Coronations, Marriages and Funerals of the Royal Family; to furnish the Court with Beds, Hangings, Clothes of Estate, Carpets, and other Necessaries; to furnish Houses for Ambassadors, at their first arrival here; Presents for Foreign Princes and Ambassadors; Clothes of Estate, and other Furniture for the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord President of Wales; and all her Majesty's Ambassadors abroad; to provide all Robes for foreign Knights of the Garter, Robes for Knights of the Garter at home, and Robes and all other Furniture for the Officers of the Garter, Coats for Kings, Heralds, and Pursuivants at Arms, Robes for the Lord Treasurer, and under Treasurer and Chancellor of the Exchequer, &c. Livery for the Lord Chamberlain, Grooms of her Majesty's Privy-Chamber, Officers of her Majesty's Robes, and diverse other her Majesty's Servants; Rich Liveries for the two Lords Chief Justices; all the Barons of the Exchequer; diverse Officers in those Courts; all Liveries for her Majesties Servants, as Yeomen of the Guard, and Warders of the Tower, Trumpeters, Kettle-Drummers, Drummers and Fifes; the Messengers, and all belonging to the Stables, as Coachmen, Footmen, Littermen, Postillions and Grooms, &c. All Coaches, Chariots, Harnesses, Saddles, Bits, Bridles, &c. The Queen's Watermen, Game-keepers, &c., All Linnen and Laces for her Majesty's Person, &c., As also such embroider'd Tilts and other Furniture for the Barges; Furniture for all Royal Yachts; Furniture of Courts for arraignment of Peers, and very many other Services....since the great fire of London, this Office is kept in York-House Buildings.

The principal officer of the great wardrobe was the master. He was appointed by the Crown by letters patent under the great seal. The grants in 1660 and 1671 in favour of Sir Edward Montagu and Ralph Montagu were for life. Despite this, the latter was displaced on the accession of James II in 1685 by Viscount Preston who was appointed during pleasure. Montagu returned to office in 1689 by virtue of his grant of 1671. His son the second Duke of Montagu received a life grant in reversion in 1705 which did not expire until his death in 1749. Thereafter all grants were during pleasure. In 1674 the Master was granted a fixed salary of £2,000 in lieu of poundage, plus a livery payment of £106 3s 4d. The former was reduced to £800 in 1749, increased again to £2,000 in 1760 and finally fixed at £1,400 in 1775. In fact, the master continued to receive poundage on some goods, yielding at least £300 and “probably much more'. (fn. 2)

The office of deputy was in the gift of the master. His salary, fixed at £200 in 1674, was reduced to £150 in 1761. The assistant to the deputy master was established by 1765 and made £50 per annum. (fn. 3)

The office of clerk of the great wardrobe was appointed by the Crown by letters patent under the great seal. Grants were for life except that of 1706 which was during pleasure. The salary was fixed at £300 in lieu of fees in 1674. In addition, he received livery worth £34 and continued to take poundage on some goods. (fn. 4)

The clerk of the robes and wardrobes, appointed by lord chamberlain's warrant, was under the direction of the great wardrobe. He received a salary of £160. Under Charles II Richard Colinge and his son Richard held the reversion to the office by letters patent. The clerk assistant of the robes and wardrobes made £12 per annum, livery of £40 and £30 for passing accounts. (fn. 5)

The offices of comptroller and surveyor of the great wardrobe were instituted in 1668 with salaries of £300 each. Appointments were made by the Crown by letters patent under the great seal. Both offices lapsed in 1685. The office of comptroller was revived in 1729. Appointments thereafter were made by royal warrant under the sign manual. The salary, originally £500, had been reduced to £300 by 1749. There were two clerks to the surveyor. By 1703, an under clerk had been established; a second was added by 1724. By 1782 these positions were sinecures at £17 10s apiece. (fn. 6)

In addition to the principal officers of the great wardrobe, there were about 60 tradesmen, all in the gift of the master. Only a few of the tradesmen received regular remuneration from household paymasters. Of these the sergeant skinner made £54 3s 4d by 1782; the yeoman arras worker made 2s per diem; the yeoman tailor and portitior, £24 10s and £26 in livery money. The yeoman arras worker and tailor made £91 each by 1782, when they were described as sinecures. The running porter made £30 per annum (as running porter and messenger, £105 by 1782); the porter £20. The housemaid received £20; by 1782 the post was a sinecure. In addition, the embroiderer received £34 1s, the joiner £8 and the coffer maker £8 10s in livery money. (fn. 7)

The great wardrobe was abolished in 1782. (fn. 8) A wardrobes sub-department continued to exist under the lord chamberlain until the early nineteenth century, when it was folded into the office of the robes. Under the new establishment of 1782 the resident clerk of the great wardrobe made £300 per annum in salary, livery, fees and other perquisites. He was assisted by a second clerk until about 1809 and an assistant clerk until 1794 when Henry Browell became resident clerk. In 1836 the messenger to the wardrobe office made £65. (fn. 9)

Master 1660–1782

1660 30 June Montagu, Sir E.
1671 12 Aug. Montagu, R.
1685 11 Dec. Preston, 1st Viscount
1689 Montagu, 3rd Lord
1709 16 Mar. Montagu, 2nd Duke of
1749 23 Dec. Robinson, Sir T.
1754 4 Apr. Barrington, 2nd Viscount
1755 21 Nov. Robinson, Sir T.
1760 27 Nov. Gower, 2nd Earl
1763 4 May Despencer, 14th Lord
1765 23 July Ashburnham, 2nd Earl of
1775 27 Nov. Pelham, 2nd Lord

Deputy Master 1660–1782

1660 Townshend, T.
1680 Nott, R.
1685 Robson, T.
1689 Nott, R.
1695 Bland, C.
By 1707 Dummer, T.
1750 Jan. Robinson, W.
1754 5 Apr. Barrington, Hon. D.
1756 5 Apr. Robinson, W.
1760 25 Oct. Gilbert, T.
1763 May Whitehead, P.
1765 5 July Ashburnham, W.

Assistant to the Deputy Master by 1765–1782

By 1765 Lloyd, D.
By 1780 Fallowfield, J.

Clerk 1660–1782

1660 25 June Rumbold, W.
1667 27 May Townshend, T.
1706 6 June Dummer, E.
By 1707 Elrington, J.
1721 7 Dec. Baynes, J. (joint)
1721 7 Dec. Dummer, T.L. (joint)
1766 22 Mar. Metham, Sir G.M.

Under Clerks by 1703–1782

By 1703 Turpin, W.
By 1721 Hutchinson, G.
1721 15 Dec. Bernard, W.
1724 8 Dec. Dummer, T., jun.(?reps. Elrington)
By 1745 Chamberlayne, J.
By 1755 Lloyd, D.
By 1780 Fallowfield, J.

Clerk of the Robes and Wardrobes 1660–1782

1660 6 June Thornton, L.
1680 26 Sept. Colinge, R. (joint)
1680 26 Sept. Colinge, H. (joint)
1685 12 Mar. Gibbons, J.
1689 Colinge, R.
1697 22 June Flournois, P.
1698 14 July Coling, W.
1722 18 May van Huls, W.C.
1726 6 Nov. Brumpsted, C.
1744 2 July Ryder, M.
1771 29 June Colman, E.
1775 4 Nov. Bartlam, F.
1776 26 Nov. Whitehouse, E.

Clerk of the Robes and Wardrobes in Reversion (Clerk Assistant) 1677–1680

1677 19 May Colinge, R. [sen.]
1677 19 May Colinge, R. [jun.]

Deputy Clerk of the Robes and Wardrobes

1681–1685; 1689–1697; c. 1772–?1780

1681 1 Mar. Gibbons, J.
1685 ?Office vacant
1689 20 Apr. Gibbons, J.
1697 ?Office vacant
By 1772 Lloyd, D.

Clerk Assistant of the Robes and Wardrobes 1670–1680

1670 8 Apr. Colinge, R.

Resident Clerk 1782-c. 1809 (after 1794, Clerk of the Wardrobes)

1782 29 Nov. Fallowfield, J.
By 1795 Browell, H.

Second Clerk 1782-c. 1809

1782 Hutchinson, B.

Assistant Clerk 1782–1794

1782 29 Nov. Browell, H.

Comptrolling and Orderly Clerk to the Wardrobe and Jewel Office by 1806-

By 1806 Hale, J.
1806 22 Jan. Mash, T. B.

Inspector of the Wardrobes 1798-c. 1805

1798 3 Oct. Thomas, J.

Comptroller 1668–1685; 1729–1782

1668 5 Mar. Newport, Hon. A.
1681 17 Nov. Benion, G.
1685 Office vacant
1729 10 June Halls, J.
1754 21 May Draper, N.
1763 6 Apr. Gilbert, T.

Surveyor 1668–1685

1668 5 Mar. Reymes, B.
1673 24 Jan. Darcy, Hon. M.

Clerks to the Surveyor by 1682–?

By 1682 Perkins, E.
By 1682 Bland, C.
By 1694 Turpin, W.

Groom 1660–?

[1660] Forbis, J.

Storekeeper 1689–?

1689 6 May Bland, C.
1704 13 Nov. Portell, W., sen.
1711 10 Nov. Elrington, J.
By 1728 Portell, W., [jun.]

Sergeant Skinner [1689]–1782

By 1687 Nott, R.
1695 2 July Pujolas, M.
1707 29 July Witham, N.
By 1743 Batson, J.
1752 25 Jan. Draper, N.
By 1765 Lloyd, D.
By 1780 Fallowfield, J.

Yeoman Arras Worker 1664–1782

1664 22 July Poyntz, F.
1686 2 Apr. Ayton, T.
1689 27 July Vanderbank, J., sen.
1717 2 Apr. Vanderbank, J., jun.
1729 24 June Ellis, J. (joint)
1729 24 June Vanderbank, M. (joint)
1742 29 June Chillingworth, R.
1757 30 Sept. Saunders, P.
1775 25 Nov. Read, W.
1777 22 Nov. Cosham, T.

Yeoman Tailor and Portitior c. 1668–1782

By 1668 Young
1668 22 Dec. Ferrers, R.
1672 29 June Magenis, A.
By 1687 Nott, R.
1695 2 July De Ritt, E.
1706 20 Nov. Dummer, T.
1715 18 Mar. West, R.
1715 28 July Milles, J.
By 1748 Hayes, -
By 1755 Vanbushel, J.
By 1763 Saunders, P.
By 1777 Sewell, J.
By 1778 Cosham, T.

Embroiderer 1697–?; 1718–?

1697 28 Nov. West, W.
1718 29 Nov. Hawgood, T.
1744 28 Jan. Green, F.
1754 27 Feb. Green, S. [joint]
1754 27 Feb. Baker, J. [joint]
By 1769 Ingall, M.

Joiner (from c. 1760 Joiner and Chair-maker) to the Great Wardrobe 1685–1782

1678 26 Nov. Price, R.
1685 18 May Price, E.
1687 11 Jan. Roberts, T.
1714 23 June Roberts, R.
1730 26 Nov. Williams, H.
By 1760 Naish, C.
By 1776 Russell, J.

Messenger 1671–?1718; 1722–1782

1671 22 Aug. Bates, T.
1686 2 Apr. Banks, J.
By 1691 Bates, T.
1691 22 Apr. Powell, J.
By 1693 Holmes, W.
1722 26 Mar. Norbon, J.
By 1745 Port, R.
By 1761 Henney, E.

Messenger to the Wardrobe 1783–1837

By 1783 Parkin, J.
1810 2 June Nutt, J.F.
1817 9 Jan. Ferguson, D.J.
1827 8 May Hitch, C.

[Deputy] Messenger 1818–1837

1818 6 July Hitch, J.

Porter by 1676–?1702; by 1728–?

By 1676 Gamblin, T.
1676 27 July French, J.
1676 20 Sept. Webster, S.
1689 27 July Bird, E.
By 1693 Pinck, M.
By 1728 Port, R.
By 1745 Spendelow, C.
By 1748 Philopson, B.
By 1755 Lander, W.

Porter of the Wardrobes 1782–?

By 1784 Benton, J.
1804 Nov. Kirkley, R.
1809 13 Dec. Thomlinson, J.

Under Porter by 1765–?

By 1765 Shivers, C.
By 1774 Wilson, J.

Deputy Porter of the Wardrobe 1818–?

1818 6 July Hitch, J.

Running Porter 1691–1782

1691 9 Oct. Serjeant, J.
By 1743 Galloway, H.
By 1759 Coke, F.
By 1761 Henney, E.

House-Maid (afterwards Seamstress and House-Maid) by 1728–1782

By 1728 Port, C.
By 1748 Garlick, L.
By 1755 Stephenson, -
By 1756 Montagu, M.
By 1777 Walton, E.

Footnotes

1 Chamberlayne [1707] III, 439–40; for this office, see also PSBC, pp. 63–4; Beattie, pp. 50–51, 122–3.
2 Beattie, pp. 191, 210; LC 9/179, f. 5; LC 9/182, f. 5; LC 9/186, ff. 27v, 100v. The master's poundage, computed at the rate of 12 1/2%, had yielded about £2,500 per annum prior to its abolition in 1674: Bucholz, p. 314 n. 57. According to Beattie, p. 191, the master's fees probably continued to yield about £1,000 per annum.
3 Beattie, p. 191; T 52/51, pp. 426–30; LC 9/182, f. 31; LC 9/183, f. 5v; CCR [1765], p. 81; Shelburne MSS. 125, p. 369. Early in the period, the deputy master was also entitled to livery worth £30 19s 8d.
4 Beattie, pp. 191, 210. Early in the period the clerk was entitled to livery worth £15 6s 8d.
5 LC 3/24, f. 13; LC 3/4, f. 15; LC 7/1, f. 52v; LC/24, f. 13v.
6 Letters patent 5 Mar. 1668 to Newport (C 66/3101) and Reymes (C 66/3097); CTBP 1729–30, p. 305; LC 9/179, f. 5; Shelburne MSS. 125, p. 369.
7 LC 3/3, f. 15; CCK (1756), p. 123; Shelburne MSS. 125, pp. 213, 369. According to LC 3/4, f. 22 the sergeant skinner also received £4 5s 4d in livery money under Charles II.
8 22 Geo. III, c. 82.
9 Shelburne MSS. 125, p. 213; LC 3/72, p. 624.