Friday, February 26, 2016

Question from Arthur - Grooms and Ushers in the reign of Henry VII

Hi I am researching a novel set in 1495. In it my MC and his son are Grooms and Ushers to the King which would be Henry 7th. Its a fictional story and the fictional characters, but I have to questions if you are able to help....

How much freedom would they have? For instance is it likely that the King would dismiss them from court to go home at regular intervals or if they requested the need to or would they have certain times they are allowed home, they live in Somerset so I am estimating it will take them a few days to get home and a few more to get back.

Also the father is an Earl the Son a Viscount. How much interference is there likely to in their estates and families from the King who is slightly suspicious of them because of some family allegiances. He is suspicious but cannot directly prove their involvement in anything, of keeping them close rather than letting them do as they please. If any of that makes sense. I realise its fiction, but I like to be as credible as possible.


Marilyn Roberts said...

I can't say much about your actual question, but viscounts were very rare at that time, so you might like to see what Debretts says:

As a rank in the British peerage it was first recorded in 1440, during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1450). King Henry VI, crowned King of England and France, sought to consolidate the titles of the two countries, and therefore created John Lord Beaumont both Viscount Beaumont in England and Viscount Beaumont in France.

This new peerage title received precedence above all barons, but it did not become popular until the 17th century. Viscounts were always created by letters patent under the Great Seal, which represents the Sovereign's authority.

At the present time there are 115 viscounts (not including courtesy viscounts).

The premier viscount of England is Viscount Hereford (created 1550).

The premier viscount of Scotland on the Roll is Viscount Falkland (created 1620), and the premier viscount of Ireland is Viscount Gormanston (created 1478).

- See more at:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the information, that can be changed easy enough it makes no real difference to the story. :)