Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 7 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LORD STEWARD, in England, an important official of the king's household. He is always a member of the government, a peer and a privy councillor. Up to 1782, the office was one of considerable political importance and carried cabinet rank. The lord steward receives his appointment from the sovereign in person, and bears a white staff as the emblem and warrant of his authority. He is the first dignitary of the court. In the Statutes of Eltham he is called " the lord great master," but in the Household Book of Queen Elizabeth " the lord steward," as before and since. In an act of Henry VIII. (1539) " for placing of the lords," he is described as " the grand master or lord steward of the king's most honourable household." He presides at the Board of Green Cloth.' In his department are the treasurer and comptroller of the household, who rank next to him. These officials are usually peers or the sons of peers and privy councillors. They sit at the Board of Green Cloth, carry white staves, and belong to the ministry. But the duties which in theory belong to the lord steward, treasurer and comptroller of the household are in practice performed by the master of the household, who is a permanent officer and resides in the palace. He is a white-staff officer and a member of the Board of Green Cloth but not of the ministry, and among other things he pre-sides at the daily dinners of the suite in waiting on the sovereign. In his case history repeats itself. He is not named in the Black Book of Edward IV. or in the Statutes of Henry VIII., and is entered as " master of the household and clerk of the green cloth " in the Household Book of Queen Elizabeth. But he has superseded the lord steward of the household, as the lord steward of the household at one time superseded the lord high steward of England. In the lord steward's department are the officials of the Board of Green Cloth, the coroner (" coroner of the verge " ), and pay-master of the household, and the officers of the almonry (see ALMONER). Other offices in the department were those of the cofferer of the household, the treasurer of the chamber, and the paymaster of pensions, but these, with six clerks of the Board of Green Cloth, were abolished in 1782. The lord steward had formerly three courts besides the Board of Green Cloth under him. First, the lord steward's court, superseded (1541) bysecond—the Marshalsea court, a court of record having jurisdiction, both civil and criminal within the verge (the area within a radius of 12 M. from where the sovereign is resident), and originally held for the purpose of administering justice between the domestic servants of the sovereign, " that they might not be drawn into other courts and their service lost." Its criminal ' A committee of the king's household, consisting of the lord steward and his subordinates, charged with the duty of examining and passing all the accounts of the household. The board had also power to punish all offenders within the verge or jurisdiction of the palace, which extended in every direction for 200 yds. from the gates of the court yard. The name is derived from the green-covered table at which the transactions of the board were originally conducted. operas and even tragedies, which are enumerated by Dr Hermann Seeliger in his Loreleysage in Dichlung and Musik (Leipzig-Reudnitz, 1898). The favourite poem with composers was Heine's, set to music by some twenty-five musicians, the settings by Friedrich Silcher (from an old folk-song) and by Liszt being the most famous.
End of Article: LORD STEWARD
JOHN LORD (1810-1894)

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