The Royal Household - Early Modern History

Details about the set up of the Royal Household under Henry VIII, as is relevant to the Early Modern History AS Level course.

Please rate and comment on my work, so I can improve it! Thanks, and good luck in your exams.

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  • Created by: Tiula
  • Created on: 13-03-11 12:09

The Structure of the Royal Household

There was no civil service, police force, or even a regular army, so the Royal Household, which, in a way, encompassed all three, was the largest expenditure. It was made up of three main departments:

  • The Household
    • confusingly, this also refers to all three elements together. This was the largest section of court.
  • The Chamber
    • a smaller, more elect group of courtiers, closer to the king
  • The Privy Chamber
    • the smallest of the three departments containing the king's friends

These three departments had two main jobs:

  • to service the king's needs and desires
  • to provide magnificence and hospitality to visitors
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The Household

  • This dealt with the service side, and its main job was to arrange food, lodgings, and comfort for the king.
  • Contained many people, from the lowest servants who would carry out the tasks, to fairly important nobility who were to run it.
  • It was governed by the Board of Green Cloth, and the head was called the Lord Steward.
  • For newcomers, it was the ideal place to gain the king's favour and climb the royal ladder.
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The Chamber

  • Dealt with the magnificence side of the court -- the balls, the jousts, and the entertainment laid on for ambassadors, friends, and foreign visitors.
  • Presided over by the Lord Chamberlain, whose job it also was to receive and entertain diplomats/ambassadors.
  • Smaller than the household, but still contained many people, with opportunities for the king's favour if things were done well.
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The Privy Chamber

  • Smallest and most elite group at court, which gave the king a certain amount of privacy. Made up of the king's friends.
  • Staffed by the Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber only -- no servants. They had the privilege of intimate and daily access to the king, which gave them:
    • political influence -- channels of communications
    • valued position
    • For a female monarch, these became the Ladies of the Chamber.
  • Headed by the Groom of the Stool, who also attended to the king's close-stool (the king's portable, closeable toilet).
  • Privy Chamber ALWAYS moved with the king (the others did mostly, but not always).
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Comments

Get Revising Moderator 2

Brillaint work- well done!

Tiula

Thanks :)

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