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The Lord High Constable of England is the seventh of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Great Chamberlain and above the Earl Marshal. His office is now called out of abeyance only for coronations. The Lord High Constable was originally the commander of the royal armies and the Master of the Horse. He was also, in conjunction with the Earl Marshal, president of the Court of Chivalry or Court of Honour. In feudal times, martial law was administered in the court of the Lord High Constable.
The constableship was granted as a grand serjeanty with the Earldom of Hereford by the Empress Matilda to Miles of Gloucester, and was carried by his heiress to the Bohuns, Earls of Hereford and Essex. They had a surviving male heir, and still have heirs male, but due to the power of the monarchy the constableship was irregularly given to the Staffords, Dukes of Buckingham; and on the attainder of Edward Stafford, the third Duke, in the reign of King Henry VIII, it became merged into the Crown. Since that point it has not existed as a separate office, except as a temporary appointment for the Coronation of a monarch; in other circumstances the Earl Marshal exercises the traditional duties of the office.
The Lacys and Verduns were hereditary constables of Ireland from the 12th to the 14th century; and the Hays, Earls of Erroll, have been hereditary Lord High Constables of Scotland from early in the 14th century.
Lords High Constable of England, 1139–1521
- 1139–1143: Miles de Gloucester, 1st Earl of Hereford
- 1143–1155: Roger Fitzmiles, 2nd Earl of Hereford
- 1155–1159: Walter de Gloucester or Walter de Hereford
- 1159–1164: Henry de Gloucester or Henry Fitzmiles
- 1164–1176: Humphrey III de Bohun
- 1176–1220: Henry de Bohun, 1st Earl of Hereford
- 1220–1275: Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford and 1st Earl of Essex
- 1275–1298: Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex
- 1298–1321: Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and 3rd Earl of Essex
- 1321–1335: John de Bohun, 5th Earl of Hereford and 4th Earl of Essex
- 1335–1361: Humphrey de Bohun, 6th Earl of Hereford and 5th Earl of Essex
- 1361–1372: Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford, 6th Earl of Essex and 2nd Earl of Northampton
A cousin was alive who was not granted the titles due to him and his heirs: Gilbert de Bohun, 8th Earl of Hereford, 7th Earl of Essex and 3rd Earl of Northampton, died 1381
- 1372–1397: Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester
- 1397–1399: Humphrey, 2nd Earl of Buckingham
- 1399–1403: Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland
- 1403-?: John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford (died 1435)
- ?-1455: Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham
- 1455–1456: Richard, Duke of York
- 1456–1460: Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham
- 1461–1467: John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester
- 1467–1469: Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers
- 1469–1470: Richard, Duke of Gloucester
- 1470–1471: John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford
- 1471–1483: Richard, Duke of Gloucester
- 1483: Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
- 1483–1504: Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley
- 1504–1521: Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham
Lords High Constable of England, 1522–present
|The Marquess of Dorset||1547||coronation of Edward VI|
|The Earl of Arundel||1553||coronation of Mary I|
|1559||coronation of Elizabeth I|
|The Earl of Worcester||1603||coronation of James I|
|The Duke of Buckingham||1626||coronation of Charles I|
|The Earl of Northumberland||1661||coronation of Charles II|
|The Duke of Grafton||1685||coronation of James II|
|The Duke of Ormonde||1689||coronation of William III and Mary II|
|The Duke of Bedford||1702||coronation of Anne|
|The Duke of Montagu||1714||coronation of George I|
|The Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox||1727||coronation of George II|
|The Duke of Bedford||1761||coronation of George III|
|Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington||1821||coronation of King George IV|
|1831||coronation of King William IV and Queen Adelaide|
|1838||coronation of Queen Victoria|
|The Duke of Fife||1902||coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra|
|1911||coronation of King George V and Queen Mary|
|The Marquess of Crewe||1937||coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth|
|Field Marshal The Viscount Alanbrooke||1953||coronation of Queen Elizabeth II|
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lord High Constable". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Slater, Stephen (2002). The Complete Book of Heraldry. Anness Publishing. p. 172. ISBN 0-7548-1062-3.
- Alistair, Bruce (2002). Keepers of the Kingdom. Cassell. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-304-36201-8.