Serjeanty, viz. carrying a white wand

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robert.the...@gmail.com

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Nov 7, 2022, 7:03:49 AM11/7/22
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Has anyone seen this serjeanty before connected to a family,
viz. carrying a white wand before the king on Christmas Day when in his presence?

if so what does the white want represent?

Robert

robert.the...@gmail.com

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Nov 7, 2022, 7:07:22 AM11/7/22
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Bondby, Lincolnshire 1264: Geoffrey Costentin.
Writ (missing). Inq. The morrow of the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, 48 Hen. III.
John Costentin, his brother, aged 29, is his heir.
Lincoln. Bondeby. 1 toft and 7 bovates land in demesne, and 30 bovates and 3 parts of a bovate land, with 5 tofts, &c. in villenage, held of the king in chief by serjeanty, viz. carrying a white wand before the king on Christmas Day when in his presence.

Robert

Vance Mead

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Nov 7, 2022, 2:10:17 PM11/7/22
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There's a book that might explain more. I read this many years ago and can only remember a little. The "payment"
for a serjeanty tenure was often symbolic of the original service. For example, the descendants of the keeper of the
horse might have to give a pair of spurs once a year. A white wand is a symbol of office, for example a steward or chamberlain,
so some ancestor most have been an officer in the royal household and was rewarded with a serjeanty tenure.

https://books.google.fi/books/about/Serjeanty_Tenure_in_Medieval_England.html?id=TPLSAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

robert.the...@gmail.com

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Nov 7, 2022, 2:55:09 PM11/7/22
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It would appear that this older post by Chris Perkins has a similar story regarding the white wand, being refered to as a white rod.

See here: https://groups.google.com/g/soc.genealogy.medieval/c/m5cpTB4iVYw/m/iH93VH_XQE4J

Saxeby, Bondeby, Richard de Grey and Matilda/Maud de Serland' and Geoffrey
Costentin hold [?should be "tenent" for plural, I should have thought] the
whole vill of Saxeby, Bondeby of William de Solers for the service of
crossing with him to his "custum" in Normandy for 40 days, and William de
Solers holds of the lord king in chief of the "constel'" of Normandy for a
certain white rod to be carried before the same on the day of the birth of
the Lord for all service "de conquestu"

Robert


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Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2022, 6:01:04 PM11/7/22
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On 08-Nov-22 8:10 AM, robert.the...@gmail.com wrote:
> GEOFFREY COSTENTIN . Writ ( missing ) . Inq . The morrow of the translation of St. Thomas the Martyr , 48 Hen . III .
> John Costentin , his brother , aged 29 , is his heir . LINCOLN . Bondeby . 1 toft and 7 bovates land in demesne
>
> https://www.google.ca/books/edition/Calendar_of_Inquisitions_Post_Mortem_and/f8zLX1oNCXkC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=costentin++bondeby&pg=PA179&printsec=frontcover
> 48 Hen. III [1264] this entry names John as Geoffrey's heir and it talks about the white wand again.
> Page 179, # 574
>
> From research the White Wand is this context is perhaps a symbol of the office of the Lord Chamberlain of the Kings Household.

I think the white wand was probably more connected to a marshal's duties
than to a chamberlain's. In Ireland and Scotland a white rod was
presented to the ruler as a symbol of sovereignty, in England it was
carried by a serjeant (i.e. royal attendant) to clear the way and
maintain order before the king at court on crown-wearing occasions
(Easter, Pentecost and Christmas day).

Peter Stewart


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robert.the...@gmail.com

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Nov 7, 2022, 7:40:45 PM11/7/22
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Thank you Peter, you are likely correct in this case as the passage seems to relate Geoffrey de Costentin at only specific days of the year such as Christmas,
but curiously, I find that at the link below regarding articles in the Monthly review “ an English Coronation", the rules / customs seem to change in regards to who carries the white wands.

https://www.google.ca/books/edition/The_Monthly_Review/nqY_AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=normandy+carrying+a+white+wand&pg=PA31&printsec=frontcover

#61 Duke of Ancaster, Lord Hugh Chamberlain of England, carries a long white wand, this being his mark of office.

# 42, The Duke of Grafton, Lord High Chamberlain of the Kings Household, walked alone in front of all the other Dukes, and carried in his other hand his long white wand of his office.

The wands here are described as "long" ...Are some white wands longer than others? Was Geoffrey's wand smaller? Did size really matter??

Robert


Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2022, 9:51:23 PM11/7/22
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As far as I recall the white of the wand symbolises purity and the
straightness justice - and I think the ones carried today may be shorter
than in medieval ceremonial usage, as I vaguely remember a measurement
over 11 feet recorded somewhere. The white wand evidently travelled with
the king and was taken up by the local serjeant wherever he held court,
so perhaps in origin it was part of the regalia as in Scotland where
there used to be an officer called Usher of the White Rod.

Peter Stewart

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Nov 7, 2022, 9:55:22 PM11/7/22
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On 08-Nov-22 11:40 AM, robert.the...@gmail.com wrote:
> Thank you Peter, you are likely correct in this case as the passage seems to relate Geoffrey de Costentin at only specific days of the year such as Christmas,
> but curiously, I find that at the link below regarding articles in the Monthly review “ an English Coronation", the rules / customs seem to change in regards to who carries the white wands.
>
> https://www.google.ca/books/edition/The_Monthly_Review/nqY_AQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=normandy+carrying+a+white+wand&pg=PA31&printsec=frontcover
>
> #61 Duke of Ancaster, Lord Hugh Chamberlain of England, carries a long white wand, this being his mark of office.
>
> # 42, The Duke of Grafton, Lord High Chamberlain of the Kings Household, walked alone in front of all the other Dukes, and carried in his other hand his long white wand of his office.

I wasn't paying much attention to the queen's endless funeral but I do
recall the new lord high chamberlain carrying a long(ish) white wand, as
his predecessor always did on state occasions. I don't recall what (if
anything) the earl marshal was carrying.

Peter Howarth

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Nov 8, 2022, 6:15:07 AM11/8/22
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The Duke of Norfolk, as Earl Marshal, carries a gold(-coloured) rod.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Marshal#/media/File:Duke_of_Norfolk_(Norman_Porch)_2022.jpg

Peter Howarth

Wibs

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Nov 8, 2022, 8:59:02 AM11/8/22
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This serjeanty connected to Bonby in Lincolnshire was described by Elisabeth Guernsey Kimball in her "Serjeanty Tenure in Medieval England", p. 59
Wibs

robert.the...@gmail.com

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Nov 8, 2022, 10:22:52 AM11/8/22
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staff_of_office

A staff of office is a staff, the carrying of which often denotes an official's position, a social rank or a degree of social prestige

White Staves
Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Grafton by William Hoare
Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Grafton (d. 1757), carrying the thin white staff of the Lord Chamberlain
A thin white staff or "wand" is the traditional emblem of certain Great Officers of State and high-ranking officials of the Royal Household in the United Kingdom, namely:

Great Officers of State:

The Lord High Steward
The Lord Great Chamberlain
Senior Officers of the Household:

The Lord Steward
The Lord Chamberlain
Treasurer of the Household
Comptroller of the Household
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
The "wand", which is around 5 feet 6 inches (1.68 m) in length, is made of white wood and has a silver plate at its base on which is engraved the name of the office to which it pertains.[5] The wands are carried by their holders when on duty on State or other royal occasions, such as State Banquets, Jubilee Services and Royal Weddings, as well as at the State Opening of Parliament (when the Lord Great Chamberlain raises his white staff to signal to the King's messenger, Black Rod, to summon the Commons).[6]

Apart from the Lord High Steward (an office which is only now filled for Coronations), all the above-listed officials were seen carrying their white staves during the State funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.[7] The Lord Chamberlain, as executive head of the Royal Household, ceremonially breaks his white staff at the monarch's state funeral, when he automatically loses office; it is then buried with the sovereign

Robert

Wibs

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Nov 8, 2022, 10:37:57 AM11/8/22
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All true Robert, but remember, while officials of the royal household held serjeanties, not all holders of serjeanties were officials of the royal household.
Wibs
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