Duke of Normandy
In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles III in 911. In 924 and again in 933, Normandy was expanded by royal grant. Rollo's male-line descendants continued to rule it down to 1135. In 1202 the French king Philip II declared Normandy a forfeited fief and by 1204 his army had conquered it, it remained a French royal province thereafter, still called the Duchy of Normandy, but only granted to a duke of the royal house as an apanage. There is no record of Rollo using any title, his son and grandson, William I and Richard I, used the titles "count" and "prince". Prior to 1066, the most common title of the ruler of Normandy was "Count of Normandy" or "Count of the Normans"; the title Count of Rouen was never used in any official document, but it was used of William I and his son by the anonymous author of a lament on his death. Defying Norman pretensions to the ducal title, Adhemar of Chabannes was still referring to the Norman ruler as "Count of Rouen" as late as the 1020s.
In the 12th century, the Icelandic historian Ari Thorgilsson in his Landnámabók referred to Rollo as Ruðu jarl, the only attested form in Old Norse, although too late to be evidence for 10th-century practice. The late 11th-century Norman historian William of Poitiers used the title "Count of Rouen" for the Norman rulers down to Richard II. Although references to the Norman rulers as counts of Rouen are sparse and confined to narrative sources, there is a lack of documentary evidence about Norman titles before the late 10th century; the first recorded use of the title duke is in an act in favour of the Abbey of Fécamp in 1006 by Richard II. Earlier, the writer Richer of Reims had called Richard I a dux pyratorum, but which only means "leader of pirates" and was not a title. During the reign of Richard II, the French king's chancery began to call the Norman ruler "Duke of the Normans" for the first time; as late as the reign of William II, the ruler of Normandy could style himself "prince and duke, count of Normandy" as if unsure what his title should be.
The literal Latin equivalent of "Duke of Normandy", dux Normanniae, was in use by 1066, but it did not supplant dux Normannorum until the Angevin period, at a time when Norman identity was fading. Richard I experimented with the title "marquis" as early as 966, when it was used in a diploma of King Lothair. Richard II used it, but he seems to have preferred the title duke, it is his preference for the ducal title in his own charters that has led historians to believe that it was the chosen title of the Norman rulers. It was not granted to them by the French king. In the twelfth century, the Abbey of Fécamp spread the legend that it had been granted to Richard II by Pope Benedict VIII; the French chancery did not employ it until after 1204, when the duchy had been seized by the crown and Normandy lost its autonomy and its native rulers. The actual reason for the adoption of a higher title than that of count was that the rulers of Normandy began to grant the comital title to members of their own family.
The creation of Norman counts subject to the ruler of Normandy necessitated the latter taking a higher title. The same process was at work in other principalities of France in the eleventh century, as the comital title came into wider use and thus depreciated; the Normans kept the title of count for the ducal family and no non-family member was granted a county until Helias of Saint-Saens was made Count of Arques by Henry I in 1106. From 1066, when William II conquered England, becoming King William I, the title Duke of Normandy was held by the King of England. In 1087, William died and the title passed to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, while his second surviving son, William Rufus, inherited England. In 1096, Robert mortgaged Normandy to William, succeeded by another brother, Henry I, in 1100. In 1106, Henry conquered Normandy, it remained with the King of England down to 1144, during the civil war known as the Anarchy, it was conquered by Geoffrey Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou. Geoffrey's son, Henry II, inherited Normandy and England, reuniting the two titles.
In 1202, King Philip II of France, as feudal suzerain, declared Normandy forfeit and by 1204 his armies had conquered it. Henry III renounced the English claim in the Treaty of Paris. Thereafter, the duchy formed an integral part of the French royal demesne; the kings of the House of Valois started a tradition of granting the title to their heirs apparent. The title was granted four times between the French conquest of Normandy and the dissolution of the French monarchy in 1792; the French Revolution brought an end to the Duchy of Normandy as a political entity, by a province of France, it was replaced by several départements. Kings of England indicated by an asterisk Rollo, 911–927 William I Longsword, 927–942 Richard I the Fearless, 942–996 Richard II the Good, 996–1027 Richard III, 1026–1027 Robert I the Magnificent, 1027–1035 William II the Conqueror*, 1035–1087 Robert II Curthose, 1087–1106 William Rufus*, as regent 1096–1100 William Clito, as claimant 1106–1134 Henry I Beauclerc*, 1106–1135 William III Atheling Stephen of Blois*, 1135–1144 House of PlantagenetGeoffrey Plantagenet, 1144–1150 Henry II*, 1150–1189 Henry the Young King*, as junior duke 1170–1183 Richard IV Lionheart*, 1189–1199 John I Lackland*
Henry I of England
Henry I known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England from 1100 to his death in 1135. Henry was educated in Latin and the liberal arts. On William's death in 1087, Henry's elder brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus inherited Normandy and England but Henry was left landless. Henry purchased the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from Robert, but William and Robert deposed him in 1091. Henry rebuilt his power base in the Cotentin and allied himself with William against Robert. Henry was present when William died in a hunting accident in 1100, he seized the English throne, promising at his coronation to correct many of William's less popular policies. Henry married Matilda of Scotland but continued to have a large number of mistresses by whom he had many illegitimate children. Robert, who invaded in 1101, disputed Henry's control of England; the peace was short-lived, Henry invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105 and 1106 defeating Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray. Henry kept Robert imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Henry's control of Normandy was challenged by Louis VI of France, Baldwin VII of Flanders and Fulk V of Anjou, who promoted the rival claims of Robert's son, William Clito, supported a major rebellion in the Duchy between 1116 and 1119. Following Henry's victory at the Battle of Brémule, a favourable peace settlement was agreed with Louis in 1120. Considered by contemporaries to be a harsh but effective ruler, Henry skilfully manipulated the barons in England and Normandy. In England, he drew on the existing Anglo-Saxon system of justice, local government and taxation, but strengthened it with additional institutions, including the royal exchequer and itinerant justices. Normandy was governed through a growing system of justices and an exchequer. Many of the officials who ran Henry's system were "new men" of obscure backgrounds rather than from families of high status, who rose through the ranks as administrators. Henry encouraged ecclesiastical reform, but became embroiled in a serious dispute in 1101 with Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, resolved through a compromise solution in 1105.
He supported the Cluniac order and played a major role in the selection of the senior clergy in England and Normandy. Henry's only legitimate son and heir, William Adelin, drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120, throwing the royal succession into doubt. Henry took a second wife, Adeliza of Louvain, in the hope of having another son, but their marriage was childless. In response to this, Henry declared his daughter, Empress Matilda, his heir and married her to Geoffrey of Anjou; the relationship between Henry and the couple became strained, fighting broke out along the border with Anjou. Henry died on 1 December 1135 after a week of illness. Despite his plans for Matilda, the King was succeeded by his nephew, Stephen of Blois, resulting in a period of civil war known as the Anarchy. Henry was born in England in 1068, in either the summer or the last weeks of the year in the town of Selby in Yorkshire, his father was William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy who had invaded England in 1066 to become the King of England, establishing lands stretching into Wales.
The invasion had created an Anglo-Norman elite, many with estates spread across both sides of the English Channel. These Anglo-Norman barons had close links to the kingdom of France, a loose collection of counties and smaller polities, under only the minimal control of the king. Henry's mother, Matilda of Flanders, was the granddaughter of Robert II of France, she named Henry after her uncle, King Henry I of France. Henry was the youngest of Matilda's four sons. Physically he resembled his older brothers Robert Curthose and William Rufus, being, as historian David Carpenter describes, "short and barrel-chested," with black hair; as a result of their age differences and Richard's early death, Henry would have seen little of his older brothers. He knew his sister Adela well, as the two were close in age. There is little documentary evidence for his early years, he was educated by the Church by Bishop Osmund, the King's chancellor, at Salisbury Cathedral. It is uncertain how far Henry's education extended, but he was able to read Latin and had some background in the liberal arts.
He was given military training by an instructor called Robert Achard, Henry was knighted by his father on 24 May 1086. In 1087, William was fatally injured during a campaign in the Vexin. Henry joined his dying father near Rouen in September, where the King partitioned his possessions among his sons; the rules of succession in western Europe at the time were uncertain. In other parts of Europe, including Normandy and England, the tradition was for lands to be divided up, with the eldest son taking patrimonial lands – considered to be the most valuable – and younger sons given smaller, or more acquired, partitions or estates. In dividing his lands, William appears to have followed the Norman tradition, distinguishing between Normandy, which he had inherited, England, which he had acquired through war. William's second son, had died in a hunting accident, leaving
In the civil service of the United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Exchequer, or just the Exchequer, is the accounting process of central government and the government's current account i.e. money held from taxation and other government revenues in the Consolidated Fund. It can be found used in various financial documents including the latest departmental and agency annual accounts, it was the name of a British government department originating in the Anglo-Saxon period of England and responsible for the collection and the management of taxes and revenues. It developed a judicial role along with its accountancy responsibilities and tried legal cases relating to revenue. Similar offices were created in Scotland around 1200 and in Ireland in 1210; the Exchequer was named after a table used to perform calculations for taxes and goods in the medieval period. According to the Dialogue concerning the Exchequer, an early medieval work describing the practice of the Exchequer, the table was large, 10 feet by 5 feet with a raised edge or "lip" on all sides of about the height of four fingers to ensure that nothing fell off it, upon which counters were placed representing various values.
The name Exchequer referred to the resemblance of the table to a chess board as it was covered by a black cloth bearing green stripes of about the breadth of a human hand, in a chequer-pattern. The spaces represented pounds and pence; the term "Exchequer" came to refer to the twice yearly meetings held at Easter and Michaelmas, at which government financial business was transacted and an audit held of sheriffs' returns. According to the Dialogue concerning the Exchequer, in the late twelfth century there were competing views as to the origins of the English Exchequer, with some arguing that it was an Anglo-Saxon institution and other that it post-dated the Norman conquest, but none arguing that it originated in Normandy. By the time of the Dialogue, there was an exchequer in Normandy, it is unknown when the Exchequer was established, however it is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is recorded that £132,000 left the Exchequer between the years 991–1012 as payment to the Scandinavian attackers.
It survived the Norman conquest of England as William the Conqueror consolidated control of his new Kingdom. The earliest surviving record of the Exchequer is from 1130, in the reign of King Henry I, in the first surviving Pipe Roll for that year, which shows continuity from previous years. Pipe Rolls form a continuous record of royal revenues and taxation. Under Henry I, a procedure adopted for the audit involved the Treasurer drawing up a summons to be sent to each Sheriff, required to answer with an account of the income in his shire both from royal demesne lands and from the county farm; the Chancellor of the Exchequer questioned him concerning debts owed by private individuals. By 1176, the 23rd year of the Reign of Henry II, the date of the Dialogue concerning the Exchequer, the Exchequer was split into two components: the purely administrative Exchequer of Receipt, which collected revenue, the Exchequer of Pleas, a law court concerned with the King's revenue. Appeals were to the Court of Exchequer Chamber.
Following the proclamation of Magna Carta, legislation was enacted whereby the Exchequer would maintain the realm's prototypes for the yard and pound. These nominal standards were, only infrequently enforced on the localities around the kingdom. From the late 1190s to the expulsion of the Jews in 1290, there was a separate division for taxation of Jews and the law-cases arising between Jews and Christians, called Exchequer of the Jews. Through most of the 1600s, goldsmiths would deposit their reserve of treasure with the Exchequer, sanctioned by the government. Charles II "shut up" the Exchequer in 1672, forbidding payments from it, in what Walter Bagehot described as "one of those monstrous frauds... this monstrous robbery". This ruined the credit of the Stuart Government, which would never recover it. In 1694, the credit of William III of England's government was so bad in London that it could not borrow, which led to the foundation of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England; the records of the Exchequer were kept in the Pell Office, adjacent to Westminster Hall, until the 19th century.
The office was named after the skins. In the 19th century, a number of reforms reduced the role of the Exchequer, with some functions moved to other departments; the Exchequer became unnecessary as a revenue collecting department in 1834 with the reforms of Prime Minister William Pitt, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The government departments collecting revenue paid it directly to the Bank of England, with all money paid to the Exchequer being credited to the Consolidated Fund. In 1866, the Standards Department of the Board of Trade took over metrological responsibilities and audit functions were combined with those of the Commissioners for auditing the Public Accounts under the new post of Comptroller and Auditor General; the name continued as the Exchequer and Audit Department from 1866 until 1983 when the new National Audit Office was created. In modern times, "Exchequer" has come to mean the Treasury and, pecuniary possessions in general; the Scottish Exchequer dates to around 1200, with a similar role in auditing and royal revenues as in England.
The Scottish Exchequer was slower to develop a separate judicial
The Witenaġemot known as the Witan was a political institution in Anglo-Saxon England which operated from before the 7th century until the 11th century. The Witenagemot was an assembly of the tribe whose primary function was to advise the king and whose membership was composed of the most important noblemen in England, both ecclesiastic and secular; the institution is thought to represent an aristocratic development of the ancient Germanic general assemblies, or folkmoots. In England, by the 7th century, these ancient folkmoots had developed into convocations of the land's most powerful and important people, including ealdormen and senior clergy, to discuss matters of both national and local significance; the terms witan and witenagemot are avoided by modern historians, although few would go as far as Geoffrey Hindley, who described witenagemot as an "essentially Victorian" coinage. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England prefers'King's Council', but adds that it was known in Old English as the witan.
John Maddicott regarded the word witan with suspicion though it is used in sources such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: But the word carries with it, however unjustifiably, a fustian air of decayed scholarship, and, in addition, its use may seem to prejudge the answer to an important question: do we have here an institution, a capitalized'Witan', as it were, or a lower-case ad hoc gathering of the wise men who were the king's councillors? For these reasons, in his study of the origins of the English parliament, he preferred the more neutral word'assembly', he described witena gemot as a rare 11th-century usage, with only 9 pre-Conquest examples in the crisis of 1051–52. Patrick Wormald was sceptical, describing witena-gemot as "a word always rare and unattested before 1035"; the exact nature of the witenagemot remains "essentially vague and incoherent." There is much direct evidence of the witan's various activities. Knowledge about who made up the witan and, present at their meetings is provided by lists of witnesses to charters, or grants of land, which were concocted at the witenagemots.
Reference to the witan's acta or official decisions are preserved in law codes. The first recorded act of a witenagemot was the law code issued by King Æthelberht of Kent ca. A. D. 600, the earliest document which survives in sustained Old English prose. Altogether, about 2,000 charters and 40 law codes survive which attest to the workings of the various meetings of the witan, of which there are around 300 recorded; these documents indicate that the witan was composed of the nation's highest echelon of both ecclesiastical and secular officers. Present on the ecclesiastical side were archbishops and abbots, also abbesses and priests. Members of the royal family were present, the king presided over the entire body. In his investigation into Anglo-Saxon institutions, H. M. Chadwick wrote: I have not thought it necessary to discuss at length the nature of the powers possessed by the council, for... There can be little hope of arriving at any definite conclusions on this subject. Indeed it seems at least doubtful whether the functions of the council were properly defined.
In his study of the witenagemots, Felix Liebermann stated that "its functions and power differ... at various times." Still, he was able to give a detailed description of its constitution:From the time of Ine the Witan was composed of the aristocratic élite created by monarchy. The king indeed advised by the existing nobility, conferred prelatures and ealdormanries, with both of which a seat in the national assembly was or connected. Members of the royal family, ladies not excepted, were present at many gemots; the king alone raised a man to the position of a gesith, a thane, a provincial or local reeve, a court officer or a royal chaplain, one of which titles seems to have been the indispensable qualification for a vote.... as no periodicity of the assembly was fixed, the king determined when and where it was to meet, for the most part choosing places under his immediate control. The witan was noted by contemporary sources as having the singular power to ceosan to cyninge,'to choose the king' from amongst the royal family.
At least until the 11th century, royal succession followed the "ordinary system of primogeniture." The historian Chadwick interpreted these facts as proof that the so-called election of the king by the witan amounted to formal recognition of the deceased king's natural successor. But Liebermann was less willing than Chadwick to see the witan's significance as buried under the weight of the royal prerogative:The influence of the king, or at least of kingship, on the constitution of the assembly seems, therefore, to have been immense, but on the other hand he was elected by the witan.... He could not depose the prelates or ealdormen, who held their office for life, nor indeed the hereditary thanes.... At any rate, the king had to get on with the highest statesmen appointed by his predecessor, though disliked by him, until death made a post vacant that he could fill with a relation or a favourite, however, without having a certain regard to the wishes of the
A parlement, in the Ancien Régime of France, was a provincial appellate court. In 1789, France had 13 parlements, the most important of, the Parlement of Paris. While the English word parliament derives from this French term, parlements were not legislative bodies, they consisted of about 1,100 judges nationwide. They were the court of final appeal of the judicial system, wielded much power over a wide range of subject matter taxation. Laws and edicts issued by the Crown were not official in their respective jurisdictions until the parlements gave their assent by publishing them; the members were aristocrats called nobles of the gown who had bought or inherited their offices, were independent of the King. From 1770 to 1774 the Lord Chancellor, tried to abolish the Parlement of Paris in order to strengthen the Crown; the parlements spearheaded the aristocracy's resistance to the absolutism and centralization of the Crown, but they worked for the benefit of their own class, the French nobility. Alfred Cobban argues that the parlements were the chief obstacles to any reform before the Revolution, as well as the most formidable enemies of the French Crown.
He concludes that the Parlement of Paris, though no more in fact than a small, selfish and venal oligarchy, regarded itself, was regarded by public opinion, as the guardian of the constitutional liberties of France. In November 1789, early in the French Revolution, all parlements were suspended, they were formally abolished in September 1790; the political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the King's Council, enjoyed ancient, customary consultative and deliberative prerogatives. In the 13th century, the parlements acquired judicial functions the right of remonstrance against the king; the parlement judges were of the opinion that their role included active participation in the legislative process, which brought them into increasing conflict with the increasing monarchical absolutism of the Ancien Régime, as the Court of Justice evolved during the 16th century from a constitutional forum to a royal weapon, used to force registration of edicts. Since c. 1250, there was only the Parlement of Paris, severed from the King's Council in 1307, with sessions held inside the medieval royal palace on the Île de la Cité, still the site of the Paris Hall of Justice.
The Paris parlement's jurisdiction covered the entire kingdom as it was in the 14th century, but did not automatically advance in step with the Crown's expanding realm. In 1443, following the turmoil of the Hundred Years' War, King Charles VII of France granted Languedoc its own parlement by establishing the Parlement of Toulouse, the first parlement outside Paris; the Parlement of Paris played a major role in stimulating the nobility to resist the expansion of royal power by military force in the Fronde, 1643-1652. In the end, the King won out and the nobility was humiliated; the parlements could withhold their assent by formulating remonstrances against the king's edicts, forcing the king to react, sometimes resulting in repeated resistance by the parlements, which the king could only terminate in his favour by issuing a Lettre de jussion, and, in case of continued resistance, appearing in person in the parlement: the Lit de justice. In such a case, the parlement's powers were suspended for the duration of this royal session.
King Louis XIV moved to centralize authority into his own hands, imposing certain restrictions on the parlements. In 1665, he ordained that a Lit de justice could be held without the king having to appear in person. In 1667, he limited the number of remonstrances to only one. In 1671–1673, the parlements resisted the taxes occasioned by the Dutch War. In 1673, the king imposed additional restrictions that stripped the parlements of any influence upon new laws by ordaining that remonstrances could only be issued after registration of the edicts. After Louis' death in 1715, all the restrictions were discontinued by the regent, although some of the judges of the Parlement of Paris accepted royal bribes to restrain that body until the 1750s. From 1443 until the French Revolution, several other parlements were created all over France, until at the end of the Ancien Régime there were provincial parlements in: Douai, Metz, Colmar, Besançon, Aix, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Rouen; these locations were provincial capitals of those provinces with strong historical traditions of independence before they were annexed to France.
Assembled in the parlements, the hereditary members, the provincial nobles of the gown were the strongest decentralizing force in a France, more multifarious in its legal systems and custom than it might have seemed under the apparent unifying rule of its kings. The Parlement of Paris had the largest jurisdiction of all the parlements, covering the major part of northern and central France, was known as "the Parlement". In some regions provincial States-General continued to meet and legislate with a measure of self-governance and control over taxation within their jurisdiction. All the parlements could issue regulatory decrees for the application of royal edicts or of customary practices, they could refuse to register laws that they adjudged as either untimely or contrary to the local customary law. Tenure on the court was bought from the
Hundred (county division)
A hundred is an administrative division, geographically part of a larger region. It was used in England, some parts of the United States, Southern Schleswig, Finland and Norway, it is still used in other places, including South Australia, The Northern Territory. Other terms for the hundred in English and other languages include wapentake, herad, hérað, härad or hundare, Satakunta or kihlakunta and cantref. In Ireland, a similar subdivision of counties is referred to as a barony, a hundred is a subdivision of a large townland; the use of "hundred" for a division of a county has what the OED describes as an "exceedingly obscure" etymology. It may once have referred to an area of 100 hides, though a "hide" is not a specific area: instead it was conceptually the amount of land required to support a family. Alternatively it may have been based on the area liable to provide 100 men under arms, or because it was an area settled by 100 men at arms. There was an equivalent traditional Germanic system, in Old High German a huntari, a division of a gau, but the OED believes that the link between the two is not established.
In England a hundred was the division of a shire for military and judicial purposes under the common law, which could have varying extent of common feudal ownership, from complete suzerainty to minor royal or ecclesiastical prerogatives and rights of ownership. Until the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894, hundreds were the only used assessment unit intermediate in size between the parish, with its various administrative functions, the county, with its formal, ceremonial functions; the term "hundred" is first recorded in the laws of Edmund I as a measure of land and the area served by a hundred court. In the Midlands, they covered an area of about 100 hides, but this did not apply in the south; the Hundred Ordinance, which dates to the middle of the century, provided that the court was to meet monthly, thieves were to be pursued by all the leading men of the district. The name of the hundred was that of its meeting-place. During Norman times, the hundred would pay geld based on the number of hides.
To assess how much everyone had to pay, a clerk and a knight were sent by the king to each county. There would be two knights from each hundred. After it was determined what geld had to be paid, the bailiff and knights of the hundred were responsible for getting the money to the sheriff, the sheriff for getting it to the Exchequer. Above the hundred was the shire, under the control of a sheriff. Hundred boundaries were independent of both parish and county boundaries, although aligned, meaning that a hundred could be split between counties, or a parish could be split between hundreds. Exceptionally, in the counties of Kent and Sussex, there was a sub-division intermediate in size between the hundred and the shire: several hundreds were grouped together to form lathes in Kent and rapes in Sussex. At the time of the Norman conquest of England, Kent was divided into seven lathes and Sussex into four rapes; the system of hundreds was not as stable as the system of counties being established at the time, lists differ on how many hundreds a county had.
In many parts of the country, the Domesday Book contained a radically different set of hundreds from that which became established. The numbers of hundreds in each county varied widely. Leicestershire had six, whereas Devon, nearly three times the size, had 32. Over time, the principal functions of the hundred became the administration of law and the keeping of the peace. By the 12th century, the hundred court was held twelve times a year; this was increased to fortnightly, although an ordinance of 1234 reduced the frequency to once every three weeks. In some hundreds, courts were held at a fixed place; the main duty of the hundred court was the maintenance of the frankpledge system. The court was formed of freemen. According to a 13th-century statute, freeholders did not have to attend their lord's manorial courts, thus any suits involving them would be heard in a hundred court. For serious crimes, the hundred was under the jurisdiction of the Crown. However, many hundreds came into private hands, with the lordship of the hundred being attached to the principal manor of the area and becoming hereditary.
Helen Cam estimated that before the Conquest, over 130 hundreds were in private hands. Where a hundred was under a lord, a steward, acting as a judge and the chief official of the lord of the manor, was appointed in place of a sheriff; the importance of the hundred courts declined from the 17th century, most of their powers were extinguished with the establishment of county courts in 1867. The remaining duty of the inhabitants of a hundred to make good damages caused by riot was ended by the Riot Act 1886, when the cost was transferred to the county police rate
A court is an extended royal household in a monarchy, including all those who attend on a monarch, or another central figure. Hence the word court may be applied to the coterie of a senior member of the nobility. Royal courts may have their seat in a designated place, several specific places, or be a mobile, itinerant court. In the largest courts, the royal households, many thousands of individuals comprised the court; these courtiers included the monarch or noble's camarilla and retinue, nobility, those with court appointments and may include emissaries from other kingdoms or visitors to the court. Foreign princes and foreign nobility in exile may seek refuge at a court. Near Eastern and Eastern courts included the harem and concubines as well as eunuchs who fulfilled a variety of functions. At times, the harem was separate from the rest of the residence of the monarch. In Asia, concubines were a more visible part of the court. Lower ranking servants and bodyguards were not properly called courtiers, though they might be included as part of the court or royal household in the broadest definition.
Entertainers and others may have been counted as part of the court. A royal household is the highest-ranking example of patronage. A regent or viceroy may hold court during the minority or absence of the hereditary ruler, an elected head of state may develop a court-like entourage of unofficial, personally-chosen advisors and "companions"; the French word compagnon and its English derivation "companion" connote a "sharer of the bread" at table, a court is an extension of the great individual's household. Wherever members of the household and bureaucrats of the administration overlap in personnel, it is reasonable to speak of a "court", for example in Achaemenid Persia, Ming China, Norman Sicily, the Papacy before 1870, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A group of individuals dependent on the patronage of a great man, classically in ancient Rome, forms part of the system of "clientage", discussed under vassal. Individual rulers differed in tastes and interests, as well as in political skills and in constitutional situations.
Accordingly, some founded elaborate courts based on new palaces, only to have their successors retreat to remote castles or to practical administrative centers. Personal retreats might arise far away from official court centres. Etiquette and hierarchy flourish in structured court settings, may leave conservative traces over generations. Most courts featured a strict order of precedence involving royal and noble ranks, orders of chivalry, nobility; some courts featured court uniforms. One of the major markers of a court is ceremony. Most monarchal courts included ceremonies concerning the investiture or coronation of the monarch and audiences with the monarch; some courts had ceremonies around the sleeping of the monarch, called a levée. Orders of chivalry as honorific orders became an important part of court culture starting in the 15th century, they were the right of the monarch, as the fount of honour, to grant. The earliest developed courts were in the Akkadian Empire, in Ancient Egypt, in Asia in China during the Shang dynasty, but we find evidence of courts as described in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and in Asia in the Zhou Dynasty.
Two of the earliest titles referring to the concept of a courtier were the ša rēsi and mazzāz pāni of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In Ancient Egypt we find a title translated as high great overseer of the house; the royal courts influenced by the court of the Neo-Assyrian Empire such as those of the Median Empire and the Achaemenid Empire would have identifiable developed courts with court appointments and other features associated with courts. The imperial court of the Achaemenid Empire at Persepolis and Pasargadae is the earliest identifiable complex court with all of the definitive features of a royal court such as a household, court appointments and court ceremony. Though Alexander the Great had an entourage and the rudimentary elements of a court it was not until after he conquered Persia that he took many of the more complex Achaemenid court customs back to the Kingdom of Macedonia to develop a royal court which would influence the courts of Hellenistic Greece and the Roman Empire; the Sasanian Empire adopting and developing the earlier court culture and customs of the Achaemenid Empire would influence again the development of the complex court and court customs of the Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire.
The imperial court of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople would contain at least a thousand courtiers. The court's systems became prevalent in other courts such as those in the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire, Russia. Byzantinism is a term, coined for this spread of the Byzantine system in the 19th century; the courts of Chinese Emperors were among the most complex of all. The Han Dynasty, Western Jin Dynasty, Tang Dynasty occupied the large palace complex at Weiyang Palace located near Chang'an, the Manchu dynasty occupied the whole Forbidden City and other parts of Beijing, the present capital city of China. However, by the Sui Dynasty the functions of the royal household and the imperial government were divided. During the Heian period, Japanese Emperors and their families developed an exquisitely refined court that played an important role in their culture. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, a true court culture can be recognized in the entourage of the Ostrogoth Theodoric the Great and in the court of Charlemagne.
In the Roman East, a brilliant court continued to surround the Byzantine emperors. In