Lord Chamberlain

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Lord Chamberlain of the Household
Incumbent
The Earl Peel

since 16 October 2006
Nominator Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Appointer Sovereign of the United Kingdom

The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is one of the chief officers of the Royal Household in the United Kingdom and is to be distinguished from the Lord Great Chamberlain, one of the Great Officers of State.

The Lord Chamberlain is always sworn of the Privy Council, is usually a peer and before 1782 the post was of Cabinet rank. Until 1924, the position was a political one. The Lord Chamberlain is the chief functionary of the court and is generally responsible for organising all court functions. He is considered the "senior official" of the Royal Household.1

The office dates from the Middle Ages, when the King’s Chamberlain often acted as the King's spokesman in Council and Parliament.1

The current Lord Chamberlain is The Earl Peel, who has been in office since 16 October 2006.2

Duties

The Earl of Dorset, Lord Chamberlain from 1689 to 1697, holding the white staff of office. (Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt; c. 1697.)

The Lord Chamberlain is the senior official of the Royal Household and oversees its business, including liaising with the other senior officers of the Household, chairing Heads of Department meetings, and advising in the appointment of senior Household officials.13 The Lord Chamberlain also undertakes ceremonial duties and serves as the channel of communication between the Sovereign and the House of Lords.1

The Lord Chamberlain's Office is a department of the Royal Household and is headed by the Comptroller. It is responsible for organising ceremonial activities including state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, weddings and funerals.1

He also regulates the design and the wearing of court uniform and dress and how insignia are worn.

Theatre censorship

The Licensing Act 1737 gave the Lord Chamberlain the statutory authority to veto the performance of any new plays: he could prevent any new play, or any modification to an existing play, from being performed for any reason, and theatre owners could be prosecuted for staging a play (or part of a play) that had not received prior approval. This act was replaced by the Theatres Act 1843, which restricted the powers of the Lord Chamberlain so that he could only prohibit the performance of plays where he was of the opinion that "it is fitting for the preservation of good manners, decorum or of the public peace so to do". This duty was abolished under the Theatres Act 1968; the first London performance of the musical Hair was delayed until the act was passed after a licence had been refused.4

List of Lords Chamberlain of the Household

Lords Chamberlain since 1399 to the present:

Name Entered office Left office Notes Reference
Thomas Erpingham, from 1400 Sir Thomas 1399 1404 5
The Lord Grey of Codnor 1404 1413 5
The Lord FitzHugh 1413 1425 5
The Lord Cromwell c. 1425 1432 First period in office 5
The Lord Bardolf 1432 1441 5
Sir Ralph Boteler, from 1441 The Lord Sudeley 1441 1447 5
The Lord Saye and Sele 1447 1450 5
The Lord Cromwell 1450 1455 Second period in office 5
Thomas Stanley, from 1456 The Lord Stanley 1455 1459 5
The Earl of Salisbury 1460 1460 5
The Lord Hastings 1461 1470 First period in office 5
Unknown 1470 1471 Second reign of Henry VI
The Lord Hastings 1471 1483 Second period in office 5
The Viscount Lovell 1483 1485 5
Sir William Stanley 1485 1494 5
The Lord Daubeny 1494 1508 5
The Lord Herbert, from 1514 The Earl of Worcester 1509 1526 5
The Earl of Arundel 1526 1530
The Lord Sandys 1530 1540 5
Vacant 1540 1543 5
The Lord St John 1543 1545 Created The Earl of Wiltshire in 1550 and The Marquess of Winchester in 1551 5
Unknown 1545 1546
The Earl of Arundel 1546 1550 5
The Lord Wentworth 1550 1551 5
The Lord Darcy of Chiche 1551 1553 5
Sir John Gage 1553 1556 5
Unknown 1556 1557
Sir Edward Hastings, from 1558 The Lord Hastings of Loughborough 1557 1558 5
The Lord Howard of Effingham 1558 1572 5
The Earl of Sussex 1572 1583 5
Unknown 1583 1585
The Lord Hunsdon 1585 1596 5
The Lord Cobham 1596 1597 5
The Lord Hunsdon 1597 1603 5
Lord Thomas Howard, from 1603 The Earl of Suffolk 1603 1614 5
The Earl of Somerset 1614 1615 5
The Earl of Pembroke 1615 1626 5
The Earl of Montgomery, from 1630 The Earl of Pembroke 1626 1641 5
The Earl of Essex 1641 1642 5
Unknown 1642 1644
The Earl of Dorset 1644 1649 5
Vacant due to The Commonwealth and The Protectorate 1649 1655
Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bt 1655 1659 Lord Chamberlain during The Protectorate 5
The Earl of Manchester 1660 1671 5
The Earl of St Albans 1672 1674 5
The Earl of Arlington 1674 1685 5
The Earl of Elgin and Earl of Ailesbury 1685 1685 5
The Earl of Mulgrave 1685 1688 Created The Marquess of Normanby in 1694 and The Duke of Buckingham and Normanby in 1703 5
The Earl of Dorset 1689 1697 5
The Earl of Sunderland 1697 1697 5
Vacant 1697 1699 The King did not accept the resignation of the Earl of Sunderland
The Duke of Shrewsbury 1699 1700 5
The Earl of Jersey 1700 1704 5
The Earl of Kent, from 1706 The Marquess of Kent 1704 1710 Created The Duke of Kent in 1710 and The Marquess Grey in 1740 5
The Duke of Shrewsbury 1710 1715 5
The Duke of Bolton 1715 1717 5
The Duke of Newcastle 1717 1724 5
The Duke of Grafton 1724 1757 5
The Duke of Devonshire 1757 1762 5
The Duke of Marlborough 1762 1763 5
The Earl Gower 1763 1765 Created The Marquess of Stafford in 1786 5
The Duke of Portland 1765 1766 5
The Earl of Hertford 1766 1782 First period in office; created The Marquess of Hertford in 1793 5
The Duke of Manchester 1782 1783 5
The Earl of Hertford 1783 1783 Second period in office; created The Marquess of Hertford in 1793 56
The Earl of Salisbury, from 1789 The Marquess of Salisbury 1783 1804
The Earl of Dartmouth 1804 1810 5
Vacant 1810 1812
The Marquess of Hertford 1812 1821 57
The Duke of Montrose 1821 1827 First period in office 58
The Duke of Devonshire 1827 1828 First period in office 5
The Duke of Montrose 1828 1830 Second period in office 5
The Earl of Jersey 1830 1830 First period in office 5
The Duke of Devonshire 1830 1834 Second period in office 5
The Earl of Jersey 1834 1835 Second period in office 59
The Marquess Wellesley 1835 1835 5
The Marquess Conyngham 1835 1839
Earl of Uxbridge 1839 1841 Succeeded as The Marquess of Anglesey in 1854
The Earl De La Warr 1841 1846 First period in office 5
The Earl Spencer 1846 1848 510
The Marquess of Breadalbane 1848 1852 First period in office 511
The Marquess of Exeter 1852 1852 12
The Marquess of Breadalbane 1853 1858 Second period in office 513
The Earl De La Warr 1858 1859 Second period in office 514
The Viscount Sydney 1859 1866 First period in office 15
The Earl of Bradford 1866 1868 16
The Viscount Sydney 1868 1874 Second period in office; created The Earl Sydney in 1874 17
The Marquess of Hertford 1874 1879 18
The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe 1879 1880 19
The Earl of Kenmare 1880 1885 First period in office 20
The Earl of Lathom 1885 1886 First period in office 21
The Earl of Kenmare 1886 1886 Second period in office 22
The Earl of Lathom 1886 1892 Second period in office 23
The Lord Carrington 1892 1895 Created The Earl Carrington in 1895 and The Marquess of Lincolnshire in 1912 5
The Earl of Lathom 1895 1898 Third period in office 24
The Earl of Hopetoun 1898 1900 Created The Marquess of Linlithgow in 1902 5
The Earl of Clarendon 1900 1905 25
The Viscount Althorp, from 1910 The Earl Spencer 1905 1912 26
The Lord Sandhurst, from 1917 The Viscount Sandhurst 1912 1921 27
The Duke of Atholl 1921 1922 528
The Earl of Cromer 1922 1938 5
The Earl of Clarendon 1938 1952 5
The Earl of Scarbrough 1952 1963 5
The Lord Cobbold 29 January 1963 30 November 1971 529
The Lord Maclean 1 December 1971 30 November 1984 530
The Earl of Airlie 1 December 1984 31 December 1997 31
The Lord Camoys 1 January 1998 31 May 2000
The Lord Luce 1 October 2000 15 October 2006
The Earl Peel 16 October 2006 present 2

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Lord Chamberlain". Monarchy of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Appointment of Lord Chamberlain at the Royal Household official website, 2006
  3. ^ "Great Officers of the Household". Debrett's. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Anthony. "Londoners Cool To Hair's Nudity: Four Letter Words Shock Few at Musical's Debut", The New York Times, 29 September 1968
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca "Lord chamberlains of the royal household in the Oxford DNB". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 February 2011.  (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 12430. p. 1. 8 April 1783. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16581. p. 450. 7 March 1812. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 17772. p. 2405. 11 December 1821. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19221. p. 2266. 16 December 1834. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20621. p. 2533. 10 July 1846. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20894. p. 3275. 5 September 1848. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21297. p. 670. 2 March 1852. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21403. p. 137. 18 January 1853. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22106. p. 1207. 2 March 1858. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22279. p. 2471. 24 June 1859. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23137. p. 3984. 13 July 1866. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23450. p. 6654. 15 December 1868. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24071. p. 1452. 3 March 1874. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24721. p. 3311. 13 May 1879. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24841. p. 2836. 4 May 1880. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25485. p. 3000. 30 June 1885. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25558. p. 677. 12 February 1886. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25615. p. 3853. 10 August 1886. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26644. p. 4022. 16 July 1895. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27232. p. 5891. 25 September 1900. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27866. p. 9171. 22 December 1905. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28581. p. 1169. 16 February 1912. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: no. 32525. p. 9245. 22 November 1921. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  29. ^ The London Gazette: no. 42909. p. 979. 1 February 1963. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  30. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45536. p. 13243. 3 December 1971. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  31. ^ The London Gazette: no. 49948. p. 16413. 4 December 1984. Retrieved 28 May 2011.

Further reading

  • J.R. Stephens: The Censorship of English Drama 1824–1901 (Cambridge University Press, 1981).
  • John Johnston, The Lord Chamberlain's Blue Pencil (Hodder & Stoughton, 1990. ISBN 0-340-52529-0)
  • Nicholas de Jongh, Politics, Prudery and Perversions: The Censoring of the English Stage 1901–1968 (Methuen, 2000. ISBN 0-413-70620-6. Winner of Society for Theatre Research Theatre Book Prize, 2000).
  • Dominic Shellard, Steve Nicholson and Miriam Handley: The Lord Chamberlain Regrets ... A History of British Theatre Censorship (British Library: 2004) (ISBN 0-7123-4865-4).

External links








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