3 Annotations

First Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Sir Edward (rechte Richard) Bishop. Serjeant-at-Arms to the King.
(L&M Companion)

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sergeants at Arms 1660–1837

The sergeants at arms to the court generally waited in the presence chamber, carrying the maces before the King when he processed to the chapel or the House of Lords. As this implies, they assisted in providing security in the public rooms, and might be required to arrest or detain malefactors. They were appointed by lord chamberlain's warrant. As a general rule their appointments were embodied in letters patent under the great seal. They included a corps of sergeants attached to the court, designated in the lists below simply `sergeants at arms' and individual sergeants serving particular officers.

They all enjoyed the same basic remuneration. This originally consisted of a salary of 12d a day and an allowance in lieu of diet of 15d a day.
In 1663 these sums were raised to 3s and 2s 6d respectively amounting to an annual total of £100 7s 6d. This was paid at the Exchequer except in the cases of the lord chancellor's sergeant who was paid at the hanaper and the city sergeant who was paid from the revenues of London and Middlesex. The sergeants at arms were provided with maces and collars and were also allowed riding wages, fees of honour and fees on the commitment of prisoners.

Originally numbering 16, the court sergeants were reduced to eight in 1685.

These offices were granted for life until 1677 and during pleasure thereafter with the exception of Edmund Williamson who was appointed for life in 1698.

The sergeant at arms attending the lord chancellor was appointed for life until 1713 and during good behavior thereafter. He was regarded as an officer of the House of Lords and from 1693 received an allowance of 10s a day for every day for which the House sat.

The office of sergeant at arms attending the speaker of the House of Commons was held for life until 1693 and during good behavior thereafter. The position was complicated by the interest which the House of Commons took in the identity of the individual whom they regarded as their own officer.

At the Restoration in 1660 four individuals, Michael Crake, Edward Birkhead, Richard Bishop and William Bishop, were living and in possession of letters patent from Charles I granting the office to them successively. Ignoring their interests, the House of its own motion appointed James Norfolk to the post on 25 April 1660.

By letters patent of 7 May 1661 the Crown suspended the previous grantees from the execution of the office and granted the reversion to Norfolk who was formally admitted on 23 May following.

The sergeant at arms to the Treasury held office for life until 1684 and during pleasure thereafter.

The office of sergeant at arms to the city of London was held on a life tenure until 1672 and during pleasure thereafter.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Sergeants at Arms at Court 1660–1837
1660 08 June Bulstrode, H.
1660 09 June Topham, J.
1660 11 June Harsnet, R.
1660 12 June Blaney, T.
1660 12 June Skynner, W.
1660 12 June Thorne, R.
1660 14 June Charnock, G.
1660 16 June Bettenson, J.
1660 19 June Bishop, R.
1660 20 June Turst, S.
1660 20 June Barton, J.
1660 22 June Langston, F.
1660 23 June Ward, J.
1660 25 June Bull, M.
1660 25 June Seale, G.
1660 29 June Beck, J.
1660 30 June Middleton, J.
1660 02 July Barcroft, J.
1660 20 July Haddon, A.
1660 22 Nov. Williamson, E.
1661 24 Sept. Gyde, R.
1662 08 Feb. Fitzsimmons, O.
1662 31 Dec. Harrington, B.
1663 21 Feb. Payne, T.
1664 14 Mar. Houlker, W.
1666 15 Oct. Kent, R.
1667 23 Dec. Smith, G.
1669 07 Aug. Charnock, R.

Sergeant at Arms in Ordinary w/o Fee 1666–1676; 1681–1682
n.d. Meux, -
1666 16 Oct. Barcroft, J.
1670 01 Apr. Kent, R.
1676 09 Aug. Deerham, H. (in Extraordinary)
1681 18 May Gardiner, T. (in Extraordinary)

Sergeant at Arms to the Lord Chancellor 1660–1837
1660 Leigh, H.
1673 10 July Charnock, Sir G. (joint)
1673 10 July Charnock, R. (joint)

Sergeant at Arms to the Lord Chancellor in Extraordinary 1668–73
1668 14 Apr. Wood, E.
1671 21 Feb. Charnock, Sir G.

Sergeant at Arms to the Speaker 1660–1837
1660 25 Apr. Norfolk, J.
1675 08 Oct. Bishop, W.

Sergeant at Arms to the Treasury 1660–1832
[1660] Dandy, E., sen.
1660 13 July Warner, T.
1663 27 June Stephens, F.
1673 12 June Ramsey, J.

Sergeant at Arms to the City of London 1660–1782
1660 Barker, M.
1672 21 Aug. Mann, W.

The above is excerpted to cover the Diary period:

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Dec