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Gentleman of the Bedchamber was a title in the royal household of the Kingdom of England from the 11th century, later used also in the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Contents

Description and functionsEdit

There were always several holders of the office, who were invariably gentlemen and almost invariably peers, often important ones, as the regular access to the monarch which the role brought was the most valuable commodity of the courtier.[1]

The duties of the office involved waiting on the King when he ate in private, helping him to dress, guarding the bedchamber and water closet, and providing companionship.[1]

From 1660 the office of first gentleman of the bedchamber was invariably combined with that of Groom of the Stool.[1]

On average the number of Gentlemen varied around 12 but fluctuated from time to time. During the reign of James II there were only eight and none was appointed during the reign of Queen Anne.

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King James I (1603–1625)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King Charles I (1625–1649)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King Charles II (1660–1685)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to James, Duke of York, later King James II (1685–1688)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King William III (1689–1702)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to Prince George of Denmark (1702–1708)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King George I (1714–1727)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to George, Prince of Wales, later King George II (1714–1760)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales (1729–1751)Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to George, Prince of Wales and later King George III (1751–1820)[2]Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV (1780–1830)[3]Edit

Gentlemen of the Bedchamber to King William IV (1830–1837)Edit

FranceEdit

The term 'gentleman of the bedchamber' is generally used to translate the French Gentilhomme de la Chambre, who would perform the duties of the Grand Chamberlain of France during his absence from court. He would oversee the King's entertainments and physicians.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c R. O. Bucholz, "The bedchamber: Gentlemen of the Bedchamber", Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 11 (revised): Court Officers, 1660-1837 (2006), pp. 14–19 accessed 13 October 2018.
  2. ^ A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain and Ireland
  3. ^ A Political Index to the Histories of Great Britain & Ireland
  4. ^ Velde, François R. (2004-08-24). "La Maison du Roi (The King's Household)". French Heraldry and Related Topics. Heraldica.org. Retrieved 2007-11-22.