BHO

Hunting, sporting and gaming: Groom Porters and Masters of the Tennis Courts

Pages 224-225

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (Revised), Court Officers, 1660-1837. Originally published by University of London, London, 2006.

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Groom Porter 16601782

The groom porter `Has the Inspection of the King's Lodgings, and takes care that they are provided with Tables, Chairs, Firing, &c. As also to provide Cards, Dice, &c. when there is playing at Court: To decide Disputes which arise in Gaming.' He was appointed by royal warrant. Appointments were subsequently embodied in letters patent under the great seal. (fn. 1) The office was abolished in 1782. (fn. 2) In 1660 the remuneration consisted of wages of 2 13s 4d, board wages of 127 15s, lodgings, and fees from the `oversight of common Billiards Tables, common Bowling Grounds, Dicing Houses, Gaming Houses and Common tennis Courts and power of Licensing the same within the Citys of London and Westminster or Borough of Southwark.' (fn. 3) In 1702 the groom porter's fixed remuneration was raised to 550 from the treasurer of the chamber and 130 8s 4d from the cofferer. (fn. 4)

1660 4 July Hubbert, Sir R.
1665 18 Feb. Offley, T.
1678 2 Feb. Neale, T.
1700 21 Jan. Rowley, W.
1705 7 Feb. Archer, T.
1743 8 May Fitzroy, C.
1763 15 Dec. Buller, F.
1764 29 Oct. Wood, R.
1765 23 Dec. Powlett, G.

Master of the Tennis Courts c.16751837

The early history of this office is obscure. In 1675 when Thomas Cooke held it the reversion was granted to Horatio Moore who did not come into possession until Cooke's death in 1697. In 1689 Henry Villiers received a grant for the remainder of Cooke's life. (fn. 5) Appointments were embodied in letters patent under the great seal which granted the office during pleasure from 1708. The remuneration consisted of a salary of 120 and an allowance of 8d a day making a total of 132 3s 4d. (fn. 6)

By 1675 Cooke, T.
1689 15 Sept. Villiers, H.
1697 14 Dec. Moore, H.
1708 9 Feb. Chaplin, T.
1727 12 Sept. Fitzroy, C.
1762 10 June Beresford, R.
1764 30 May Chetwynd, W.
1765 4 Nov. Beresford, R.
1791 14 July Meynell, C.
1816 22 Feb. Beresford, W.M.J.

Footnotes

  • 1. PSBC, p. 37; LC 3/24 f. 9. See also Beattie, p. 52 n. 1.
  • 2. LS 13/117 pp. 723.
  • 3. LC 3/24, f. 9; LC 5/156, p. 49 quoted in Beattie, p. 52 n. 1; ibid., p. 210.
  • 4. CTB XVII, 1918; LC 3/4, f. 9.
  • 5. CSPD 16756, p. 111; C 66/3330, gt. to Henry Villiers 15 Sept. 1689; CTB XIV, 208.
  • 6. CSPD 16756, p. 111.