Chancellor of the Order of the Garter

The Chancellor of the Order of the Garter is an officer of the Order of the Garter.

Officers of the Order of the Garter (left to right): Secretary (barely visible), Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Garter Principal King of Arms, Register, Prelate, Chancellor

History of the officeEdit

When the Order of the Garter was founded in 1348 at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, by Edward III of England three officers were initially appointed to serve them, the Prelate, the Register and the Usher. In 1477 Edward IV decreed that the further position of Chancellor should be created to be responsible for the seal and its use. Accommodation was to be provided in what came to be called the Chancellor's Tower. The position of Chancellor was to be second in seniority to the Prelate and was granted to Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, and his successors in that position. At that time Windsor Chapel lay geographically in the See of Salisbury, although as a royal chapel it did not come under the direct jurisdiction of the Bishop.[1]

The unbroken succession of Bishops of Salisbury came to an end in 1551 when Sir William Cecil was made Chancellor by Edward VI, after which a succession of lay Chancellors were appointed.[1]

Following a number of petitions by successive Bishops of Salisbury, their right to hold the position was conceded in 1669 and on the death of Henry de Vic the honour reverted to the Bishops of Salisbury.[1]

In 1837 boundary changes made Windsor Castle fall in the diocese of Oxford and the Chancellorship was transferred to the Bishop of Oxford. A century later, the Bishop of Salisbury again challenged the loss of the office on the grounds that the Chancellorship had been attached to his office regardless of the diocese in which the chapel of the order lay and that, in any event, St George's Chapel, as a Royal Peculiar, was not under diocesan jurisdiction. The office of Chancellor was removed from the Bishop of Oxford (the outgoing bishop, Thomas Banks Strong, had been outspoken in the abdication crisis of Edward VIII), and withheld from his successors.

The office has since been held by one of the Knights Companion.

Chancellors of the Order of the GarterEdit

Bishops of SalisburyEdit

Lay ChancellorsEdit

Bishops of SalisburyEdit

Bishops of OxfordEdit

Knights Companion ChancellorsEdit


  1. ^ a b c Ashmole, Elias. The history of the most noble Order of the Garter. p. 189.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Ashmole, Elias. The history of the most noble Order of the Garter. p. 543.
  3. ^ "No. 53843". The London Gazette. 8 November 1994. p. 15625.
  4. ^ a b "No. 60301". The London Gazette. 17 October 2012. p. 19937.