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Hall, chamber, and household
with varying chronologies, in most western European countries.101 The
ﬁfteenth and sixteenth centuries are, however, seen as crucial to this
evolution. In England, it has been said, one legacy of the Yorkist period
(– ) was ‘a complex of ideas and attitudes, as well as social habits
and institutional forms, which had given “the court” a new or at least
an acutely intensifed self-consciousness’.102 Yet it could be argued that
Walter Map’s view of the court in the late twelfth century was nothing if
not self-conscious.103 The self-conscious institutionalization of upper
and lower household departments in ﬁfteenth-century England may
merely represent a formalization of existing structures and procedures.
For example, the very gradual detachment of the ruler’s chamber (camera, chambre) from his hall (aula, salle), reﬂected physically in the division
and distribution of space within his residences, had taken place at a much
earlier date Map .
By the last quarter of the ﬁfteenth century, according to the Black Book
of the English household, the duties of the four household squires for the
body, who were of noble status, lay in service of a personal and intimate
kind to the king in his chamber:
of them alwei ij to be attendaunt uppon the kinges person to aray and unray hym,
to wache day and nyght, to dresse hym in his clothes. And they be callers to the
chaumbrelayn if ony thing lak for his person or plesaunce; theyre business is
many secretes, som sitting in the kinges chaumbre, som in the hall, with persones
of like servyse, wich is called knyghtes service . . . Oftyn tymes thees stond in
stede of kervers and cupberers.104
They were to receive liveries of wine, ale, wax, candles, litter, clothing,
rushes, and so forth, plus wages when present at court. Much of this has
a familiar ring—and the compiler of the Black Book himself reminded his
Thes esquiers of houshold of old be acustumed, wynter and somer, in after nonys
and in evenynges, to drawe to lordez chambrez within courte, there to kepe
honest company aftyr theyre cunyng, in talkyng of cronycles of kinges and of
other polycyez, or in pypyng, or harpyng, synging, or other actez marciablez,
to help occupy the court and acompany straungers, tyll the tym require of
departing . . .105
By, for example, Norbert Elias in The Court Society, –, –; also see A. Maczak,
‘From aristocratic household to princely court: restructuring patronage in the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries’, in Princes, Patronage and the Nobility, –.
Morgan, ‘The house of policy’, .
Map, De Nugis, –, , –.
Household of Edward IV, –.
Ibid. , .
How ‘old’ was ‘of old’? This was not mere reproduction or parroting of
Burgundian practice but rested upon a long-term tendency, and longstanding tradition, at the English court.106 The activities of young squires,
which in effect both reﬂected and shaped ‘court culture’, were by no
means exclusive to the ﬁfteenth century. It is clear that personal services
to the ruler, as well as social and ‘cultural’ activities similar to those of
Edward IV’s squires for the body, were discharged in a broadly similar
manner by their early fourteenth-century predecessors. The chamber
squires of Edward I appear not to have been of ‘noble condition’, but a
rise in their status is discernible over the following decades.107 Edward II’s
reign may have been crucial in this respect.108 But before chamber squires
could play their part in the life of a household, there had to be a chamber
(or chambers, as they served in ‘lordez chambrez within courte’) in which
they could exercise their social, musical, narrative, and conversational
skills. The Renaissance court, with its self-conscious emphasis upon
the cultural and intellectual accomplishments of its members, was not
without precursors. The need for privacy, diversion, and entertainment
among rulers and their families, set apart from the communal hall, made
their chambers a natural setting for ‘courtly’ activities.
Walter Map claimed in his character-assassination of Queen Matilda
that she was a malign inﬂuence upon her son, the young Henry II, telling
him that ‘he ought . . . to be much in his chamber and little in public’.109
Map alleged that Henry put this bad advice into practice: ‘when he makes
a stay anywhere . . . he does not allow himself to be seen as honest men
would have him do, but shuts himself up within, and is only accessible to
those who seem unworthy of such ready access’.110 To retire to one’s
chamber may not have been politically or socially desirable in a prince.
Yet the desire for privacy among twelfth-century—and later—rulers was
entirely understandable. The communal life of the hall allowed very little
opportunity for the prince and his family to retire from its hurly-burly and
enforced sociability. The huge, noisy common table in the hall, and the
constant presence of what, under Edward I, T. F. Tout described as ‘the
Cf. Olivier de la Marche, ‘Estat de la maison du duc Charles de Bourgoigne, dit le
Hardy’, in Mémoires d’Olivier de la Marche, ed. H. Beaune and J. d’Arbaumont, iv (Paris,
), : the sixteen chamber squires of Charles the Bold kept the duke company in his
chamber, where ‘les ungs chantent, les autres lisent romans et nouvelletez, les autres se
devisent d’amours et d’armes, et font le prince passer le temps en gratieuses nouvelles’.
See below, pp. – ; also Table (a).
See Tout, Chapters, ii. – , and below, pp. – .
Map, De Nugis, .
monstrous crowd of riff-raff, the hangers-on of the various [household]
ofﬁces, grooms, pages, boys, Welshmen, archers, messengers, women
of ill-fame, and the rest whose presence made the advent of the royal
household a terror to the countryside’111 made rulers subject to almost
every kind of importunity and unwelcome attention. But this was one
price of personal rule. Walter Map contrasted Henry II unfavourably
with his grand-father, Henry I when he claimed that the latter
would allow access to his presence, either in a great house or in the open, up to
the sixth hour. At that time he would have with him the earls, barons, and noble
vavasours. The young people of his household, however, were not with him
before dinner, nor the seniors after it; except such as might make their way in
at their own choice, either to learn or give instruction. And when this orderly
method became known all over the world, his court was desired as much as
others are shunned, and it was famous and frequented.112
Map’s description, with its stress upon order, discipline, learning, and
instruction at court, put forward a model which was widely inﬂuential.
The part played by the ‘young people’ ( juvenes) of the king’s household
may have made them the twelfth-century equivalents of the ﬁfteenthcentury squires to the king’s body.113
As we have seen, it was in the chamber that the English household
knights and squires were retained and where they served the king. The
chamber (camera regis) had always been the place in which the ruler slept,
and to which he might retire (Pl. ). The very close and intimate proximity of its staff to him meant that it was often considered as his personal
domain, answerable only to the prince.114 Tout pointed out that the English
household ordinance of was ‘absolutely silent as to the king’s
chamber’. It was, he claimed, ‘an excrescence, an eccentric offshoot of
the wardrobe’, at least until the reforming household ordinance of .115
Although Tout’s interpretation of the role of administrative departments
and their associated seals may not command unqualiﬁed support, his
highlighting of the reign of Edward II in the ‘rise’ of the chamber seems
entirely warranted.116 A rise in the status of the king’s chamberlain,
exempliﬁed by the high fees paid to him, was already discernible under
Tout, Chapters, ii. –.
Map, De Nugis, .
Household of Edward IV, .
Edward III exempliﬁed this view by ordering Chamber records to be burnt. See
Given-Wilson, The Royal Household, –; Tout, Chapters, iv. –.
Tout, Chapters, ii. , .
See J. R. Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, – (Oxford, ), –; Tout,
Chapters, ii. – ; also see below, pp. – .
Edward I, while the detailed provisions for the chamber’s functioning in
the ordinance of endorsed its growing importance. The chamberlain was now on a par with the seneschal of the household, often holding
the rank of banneret, with a knight bachelor and three squires attendant
on him, all eating at the common table in the hall.117 Piers Gaveston
had already been camerarius familiarissimus to Edward II when prince of
Wales, and his elevation to the ofﬁce of chamberlain-in-chief clearly put
him in a position of great inﬂuence and power.118 The chamber also was
a place in which the king would eat—served by his squires and valets (or
yeomen), some of whom were from gentry families.119 Sir John Charlton
of Powys, Edward’s chamberlain from to , had risen from the
rank of valet (yeoman) in his household as prince of Wales to squire,
and then knight.120 There appears to have been no social distinction at
this period between a valet and squire of the chamber.
That the chamber provided a refuge from the hall is apparent from the
supply of plate and eating utensils to it from the wardrobe. In March
, for instance, twenty-six plates and two bowls for washing (lavatoria)
were delivered pro servicio aule et camere Regis apud Westmonasterium [‘for
the service of the king’s hall and chamber at Westminster’].121 In January
, the wardrobe delivered a quantity of plate, including twenty-two
silver goblets (ciphi ) for the chamber.122 The chamber also received
consignments of medicines and drugs for the surgeon’s ofﬁce: in , a
substantial quantity was provided by Master Étienne of Paris for the
king’s expedition to Scotland.123 It also acted as a treasury for the king’s
plate and jewels—a function which encroached on the sphere of the
wardrobe.124 For Tout, all this—plus the use of the chamber to receive and
administer the forfeited lands of rebels—constituted a ‘chamber system’,
which was to be wrecked by political crises in the summer of .125 The
lack of chamber accounts—with very few exceptions—does not allow us
to penetrate very far into its working.126 But the chamber had, by , undoubtedly achieved a prominence that it had formerly lacked. Although
they are not mentioned in the ordinance of that year, the existence of
Tout, Place of Edward II, –; Chapters, ii. .
See P. Chaplais, Piers Gaveston: Edward II’s Adoptive Brother (Oxford, ), – .
Tout, Chapters, ii. –.
Tout, Chapters, ii. – .
E.// (Mar. ).
E.// ( Jan. ).
Chaplais, Piers Gaveston, –, and see below, pp. – , .
Tout, Chapters, ii. –.
A daily account for the Chamber survives from – (E.//).
knights of the chamber, beside the squires and valets, is attested by
other evidence. Apart from the chamberlain—Sir John Charlton—Sir
Hugh Despenser the younger (who succeeded him), Sir John Sturmy,
Sir Edmund Darel, and Sir Giles Beauchamp were included among the
chivaliers de la chambre le roy or milites de camera regis.127 Their duties were
not deﬁned in the household ordinance, and they merged for all practical
purposes into the other knights of the household, but there can be little
doubt of their especially privileged status. The chamber provided its
own career structure for the able and ambitious, often from well-born
families: men rose from valet, or yeoman, to knight through their service
An analogy is provided by practice at the court of the nearcontemporary kings of Majorca. In May , James II issued a series
of Leges Palatinae for his household, of which a Latin version was made
by Pedro IV of Aragon in .129 Although the ordinance was concerned
as much with questions of protocol, etiquette, and ceremonial, the practical daily duties of the ofﬁces were also set out. The great chamberlain
(camerlingue) was to be a baron (or banneret), assisted by two knightly
subordinate chamberlains. They held sway over the kitchen and pharmacy; closed the doors of the king’s apartments at night; slept armed
near him; dressed and undressed him; assigned lodgings to the members
of the household (the duties of the fourrière elsewhere); looked after his
garde-robe, adjudicated the procedures to be followed when receiving
guests and strangers, and so on.130 Below them were six esquires of the
chamber, of whom one was to be a baron, who kept watch at night,
and carried the king’s arms and armour behind him. There were also
two cameriers (or valets of the chamber), who took charge of the king’s
plate and jewels, clothing, and footwear. They were also to prepare his
next day’s clothing—the traditional role of the valet or manservant. The
chamber staff also included two barbers, two physicians, two surgeons
See Tout, Place of Edward II, , ; Chapters, ii. .
Tout, Chapters, ii. .
See A. Leỗoy de la Marche, Les Relations politiques de la France avec le royaume de
Majorque ii (Paris, ), –. The text of the Leges Palatinae is printed in Acta Sanctorum,
Junii, III (Antwerp, ), ff.; also Aragonische Hofordnungen, ed. Schwarz, –. For a
recent discussion of the Leges Palatinae, from the standpoint of the organization of space
within royal and princely residences, see G. Kerscher, ‘Die Perspektive des Potentaten:
Differenzierung von “Privattrakt” bzw. Appartement und Zeremonialräumen im spätmittelalterlichen Palastbau’, in W. Paravicini (ed.), Zeremoniell und Raum (Sigmaringen,
For this, and for what follows, see Leỗoy de la Marche, Les Relations politiques, ii. .
and apothecaries, two private secretaries, four ushers, four nuntii virgae
(messengers), eight serjeants-at-arms, an armourer, a tailor, fruitier,
argentier, fourrier (who prepared the king’s lodgings in advance of his
arrival), and a number of other minor ofﬁcers.131 This establishment certainly bore close resemblances to the chambers of the kings of England
and France in the early fourteenth century. Moreover, as a result of their
dissemination via Aragon and (after ) Castile—and the fact that
a contemporary copy, subsequently to be given to Philip the Bold of
Burgundy, passed into Philip VI of France’s hands—the Leges Palatinae
may well have inﬂuenced later Burgundian practice.132
The chamber also provided a context in which rulers attempted to
live a private—or at least less public—life.133 In England, this was demonstrated by the purpose of some large sums paid into it by the treasurer, or
by the keeper of the wardrobe. In December , for example, the king’s
Genoese banker, Antonio di Pessagno, paid out no less than , l.st. in
cash pro privatis expensis camere sue faciendis (‘to meet the private expenses
of his chamber’).134 The English ordinance of tells us something
about the duties of the small body of chamber squires and valets—there
was a carving squire, a squire who attended to (and tasted?) the king’s
food, a cup-bearing squire (the equivalent of an échanson), as well as
two squire ushers, responsible for food and litter in the ofﬁce of the
chamber.135 Below them stood a body of lesser ofﬁcers: cooks, ‘ewerers’,
quarter-masters, four serjeants-at-arms, two trumpeters, two minstrels,
and the administrative staff of clerks.136 This was in effect a kind of ‘lower’
chamber within the greater institution, although there was a signiﬁcant
degree of overlap. But there was no doubt, either in the minds of the
compiler of the treatise known as Fleta under Edward I, or of those who
set out to reform the household under Edward II, that chamber and hall
were distinct entities. As administrative units, the hall was regulated by
the ofﬁcers of the household; the chamber had its own personnel and
rules. As Tout rightly pointed out: ‘the chamber was to the hall as was the
household to the inferior world dwelling outside the verge of the
Leỗoy de la Marche, Les Relations politiques, ii. ; also see Kerscher, ‘Die Perspektive
des Potentaten’, –.
The manuscript is now Brussels, BR, MS . See Paravicini, ‘The Court of the
Dukes of Burgundy’, in Asch and Birke, Princes, Patronage and the Nobility, –.
See below, pp. – .
E.// ( Dec. ). For Pessagno’s role at this time see N. Fryde, ‘Antonio
Pessagno of Genoa, king’s merchant of Edward II of England’, in Studi in memoria de
Federigo Melis, ii (Naples, ), –.
Tout, Chapters, ii. ; Place of Edward II, .
Tout, Chapters, ii. .
court.’137 As we have seen, it formed an elite body of the household, a
nursery in which the distinctive characteristics of courtly culture might
be fostered. Here was one early precursor of the Domus Magniﬁcencie,
where domestic and personal service to the ruler was accompanied by
courtly ceremonial and display.138
The distinction between hall and chamber was also expressed in
architectural terms (Map , Pl. ). The tenth- and eleventh-century castle,
or motte, tended to provide rather minimal domestic accommodation.
Early stone keeps, or donjons, might include a communal hall on one storey,
with chambers and other apartments at higher levels. By the twelfth century, however, the addition of a separate hall, or salle, with communicating passages to the keep and chapel had become common.139 The desire
of the ruler, his immediate family, and some of the senior members of his
household for greater privacy led to the provision of separate chambers,
often clustering at one end of the hall. Access to the chambers from the
dais or raised platform on which the ruler ate when presiding over the hall
was obtained by a door, or doors, leading to passages and staircases which
joined hall to chamber. The Binnenhof of the counts of Holland at the
Hague, built under Floris V (–), furnishes a mid- to late thirteenthcentury example, with a series of chambers appended, as it were, in a
turreted block, to the west end of the count’s great hall (Pl. ).140 This
arrangement was said to resemble that of Westminster Hall before
Richard II’s alterations, and it has been claimed that the Knights’ Hall at
the Hague was ‘inspired’ by Westminster (Pls. , , Map ).141 Given the
close connections—political, dynastic, and economic—between England
and Holland at this time, there may be some truth in this notion, although
there were perhaps other parts of the palace of Westminster (such as the
‘White’ Hall, or the Painted Chamber), which could have inﬂuenced the
Jones, ‘The Court of the Verge’, – , ; Tout, Chapters, ii. .
See above, p. .
For the Gravensteen at Ghent see D. Caillebaut, ‘Le château des Comtes à Gand’
in Château Gaillard: Études de Castellogie médiévale, xi (), –. For the count’s hall
(aula) at Bruges and its communicating passage or gallery see Galbert of Bruges, The
Murder of Charles the Good, ed. and tr. J. B. Ross (Toronto, ), –.
See E. H. ter Kuile, ‘De bouwgeschiedenis van het grafelijk paleis op het Binnenhof ’,
Holland, (), –; and H. M. Brokken, ‘Het Hof in Den Haage: Grafelijke
residentie en centrum van bestuur’, in R. J. van Pelt and M. E. Tiethoff-Spliethoff, Het
Binnenhof: Van grafelijke residentie tot regeringscentrum (Dieren, ), –.
See H. M. Colvin et al. (eds.), The History of the King’s Works, i (), – ,
– , –; E. Kooper, ‘Introduction’, in E. Kooper (ed.), Medieval Dutch Literature
in its European Context (Cambridge, ), n. .
domestic arrangements of the counts of Holland.142 In such structures,
the kitchen, buttery, and so-called ‘screens passage’ were at the other
extremity of the hall, a practice which was to be replicated in countless
examples, including the domestic arrangements favoured by the Valois
dukes of Burgundy. Hence, at the Flemish counts’ castle of Male, near
Bruges, between Wijnendaal and Torhout, the west wing comprised the
great salle, with the alimentary service departments; while the east wing
contained the chapel, almonry, laundry, stables, and forge, as well as
the moated binnenhof (haute court), the count’s and countess’s chambers,
garden, and ‘retreat’.143
The fundamental layout of these buildings was broadly similar to that
of an Oxford or Cambridge college hall, buttery, and chapel today. Thus,
in the thirteenth century, most rulers in north-west Europe possessed
residences whose architectural structuring made a visual distinction
between the ruler’s accommodation—which could be ﬁttingly grand—and
the domestic ofﬁces of provisioning, storage, and supply. In other words,
the administrative and institutional distinctions between hall, household,
and chamber were reﬂected in the organization of physical space around
the ruler. In some instances, however, the ‘private’ apartments could also
possess a ‘public’ dimension. At the palace of Westminster, Henry III’s
( –) great chamber was extensively refashioned after , and
its large ﬁrst-ﬂoor apartment was to become known as the ‘Painted
Chamber’ in the fourteenth century. It served as the state bedchamber,
ﬂanked by a private chapel, but was also used for audiences, meetings of
the council and, in the fourteenth century, even for Parliaments (Pl. ,
Map ).144 The king’s bed of estate was placed at the east end, against the
north wall, and above its head was a large wall painting, executed in
–, depicting the coronation of Henry’s saintly predecessor, Edward
the Confessor.145 The Painted Chamber was, however, quite distinct from
the institutional ofﬁce of the chamber, as a household department, which
had its own premises within the complex of buildings at Westminster
See J. Cherry and N. Stratford, Westminster Kings and the Medieval Palace of
Westminster (British Museum Occasional paper , London, ), –; P. Binski, The
Painted Chamber at Westminster (London, ), –.
See M. Cafmeyer, ‘Het Kasteel van Male’, Annales de la Société d’Émulation de
Bruges, (– ), –, ; AGR, CC, R , .
Binski, Painted Chamber, –, –; Cherry and Stratford, Westminster Kings,
Binski, Painted Chamber, –, –, id., Westminster Abbey and the Plantagenets
(New Haven and London, ), – , and ﬁgs. , .
(Map ). The public and private spheres of an English ruler’s life were not
yet completely divorced. Further chambers and inner rooms were added
at Westminster during the fourteenth century, so that the king could
effectively retire from public view, attended only by his immediate
entourage, largely made up of the chamber staff.
In continental Europe, the evolution of the ruler’s chamber, as an
administrative department of his household, took different courses
according to the region concerned. In royal France, although the sixth
métier of the king’s household was his chamber, its role tended to diverge,
in some respects, from that of its English equivalent. Its personnel
was small in number, comprising the chamberlain and the valets of the
chamber. These rendered personal service to the king—and included
his barber, surgeon, tailor, and épicier.146 The three or so chamberlains
waited upon the king and slept in his chamber by turns, taking (like their
English contemporaries) meals, fees, and livery of robes. They also kept
the registers in which homages performed by the king’s vassals were
recorded.147 One of the chamberlains sat in the Chambre aux Deniers
(the household’s accounting ofﬁce) and oversaw much of the ﬁnancial
business of that department.148 The distinction between ‘public’ and
household ﬁnance in the French kingdom at this time was not always
clearly drawn, a situation echoed in part in England. This was, however,
largely reﬂected in the unique evolution of the wardrobe, rather than the
chamber, as a ‘public’ accounting ofﬁce.
In France, as in England, a detectable rise in the status and political
signiﬁcance of the ofﬁce of chamberlain is apparent during the early
fourteenth century. Its most spectacular manifestation was the career of
Enguerran de Marigny (d.), formerly panetier in the household of the
queen, Joan of Navarre, where he appears in July .149 As the household ofﬁcer responsible for the paneterie (pantry) Marigny’s function was
to supply the basic food requirements of the queen’s entourage. The skills
demanded in this ofﬁce clearly served him well. His ﬁnancial (and, to
some extent, diplomatic) acumen was soon to be put to the test in the
service of Philip the Fair. Joan of Navarre bequeathed him a legacy of
Lalou, ‘Le fonctionnement de l’Hôtel du roi’, –.
See M. Vale, ‘The world of the courts’, in M. Bent and A. Wathey (eds.), Fauvel
Studies: Allegory, Chronicle, Music, and Image in Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS
franỗais (Oxford, ), ; Lehugeur, De hospitio Regis, – ; for the French royal
household ordinances see BN, MS fr. and AN, JJ..
J. Favier, Un conseiller de Philippe le Bel: Enguerran de Marigny (Paris, ), –.
See Vale, ‘The world of the courts’, –; Favier, Un conseiller de Philippe le Bel, –.
livres just before he moved from her household to the king’s, probably
in .150 In that year he succeeded his former patron and fellowNorman, Hugues de Bouville, as chamberlain to the king. This was the
decisive moment in Marigny’s career—as it was in that of Piers Gaveston,
his English contemporary.151 The ofﬁce of chamberlain gave direct and
immediate access to the king. By , Marigny, like Gaveston, had
become principal chamberlain, or chamberlain-in-chief, having successfully secured the king’s favour, displaying his evident competence not
only in the domestic affairs of the household but, by extension, in ﬁnance
and diplomacy.152 The subsequent careers of Marigny and Gaveston bear
some similarities: both fell as spectacularly as they had risen, Gaveston
in and Marigny in .
But in France the function of the chamber as a household department
changed markedly in the early fourteenth century. It became less of a
household métier, or service department, and more of a ﬁnancial and
ceremonial ofﬁce, forming one of six ofﬁces which were distinguished
from the métiers in the ordinances of and .153 These were the
aumônerie (almonry), chapel, chancery, Chambre aux Deniers, and the
ofﬁce of the mtres de l’hơtel. Since Louis IX’s household ordinance of
, in which it had played a signiﬁcant part, the chamber had been
steadily superseded by the fourrière (quarter-master’s ofﬁce) as the
department responsible for the king’s lodgings, and for his ushers,
porters, and messengers. Again, in the early fourteenth century, the
separate department of the argenterie was detached from the chamber.154
By , the keeper of the king’s plate and jewels (garde des joyaux) had
also left the personnel of the chamber. Thus it can be shown that
dès le début du xive siècle, la Chambre, à cause de l’importance prise par ses
membres, de par leur proximité étroite avec la personne royale, n’existe plus en
tant que métier: la Fourrière prend sa place.155
[since the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Chamber, because of its
members’ importance, through their close proximity to the king’s person, ceased
to exist as a household ofﬁce: the Fourrière took its place.]
See Favier, Un conseiller de Philippe le Bel, – .
Cf. Chaplais, Piers Gaveston, –.
Favier, Un conseiller de Philippe le Bel, –.
Lalou, ‘Le fonctionnement de l’hôtel du roi’, .
See L. Douet-d’Arcq (ed.), Recueil des comptes de l’Argenterie des rois de France (Paris,
), and Nouveau recueil des comptes de l’Argenterie des rois de France (Paris, ); Lalou,
‘Le fonctionnement de l’hôtel du roi’, , .
Lalou, ‘Le fonctionnement de l’hôtel du roi’, .
Its function was to furnish ‘le feurre, les coustes et la buche’, also providing a body of ushers and porters, both as permanent staff in certain royal
residences, and as part of the itinerant household.
The pattern followed in the principalities of northern France and
the Low Countries was a variation on this theme. In Flanders, Brabant,
and Hainault, the ‘chamber’ remained essentially part of the domestic
organization of the princely household, acting as a provisioning department whose functions were often parallel to, or merged with, those of
the fourrière. In Flanders, the household accounts reveal the chamber to
be a provisioning department, supplying spices, butter, and so on to the
count, receiving purveyances of supplies, and acting as a quarter-master’s
ofﬁce.156 In – , it accounted for four per cent of total household
expenditure—a very small percentage when compared with the kitchen
and buttery. It appears to have possessed no ceremonial or other role,
unlike that of the chamber in the kingdoms of England and France. But
the hereditary chamberlain of Flanders certainly had ceremonial functions apparently unconnected, by the thirteenth century, with the
household department whose name he bore.157 In Brabant, the evidence
suggests that the duke’s chamber was again essentially responsible for
commissariat and lodgings, including the purchase and hiring of beds for
the maisnie or retinue.158 In Artois, there was no separate entry in the
household accounts for ‘chamber’, as the fourrière (following the model of
royal France) performed all its domestic functions.159 Nor is any speciﬁc
entry for ‘chamber’ found in the Hainault household accounts, although
members of its staff are recorded receiving wages, liveries, and gifts.160
Their importance, however, seems to have grown during the Bavarian
period during the later fourteenth century.161 In both Flanders and
Hainault, moreover, the chamber was also responsible for the custody of
the count’s plate and jewels—as it was in England under Edward II, as well
as Majorca and Aragon, and France before the argenterie and keepership
See the account for – in RAG, Wyffels (Chron. suppl.) , no. bis. Also
see above, pp. –.
See below, pp. –. Also Fig. .
AGR, CC, R , m. (); R , ().
See, for early examples of complete accounts for all six household departments
(, ), ADPC, A. and A.; De Loisne, ‘Une cour féodale’, –, –.
See De rekeningen, ed. Smit, i. –.
AEM, Trésorerie, Recueil , no. (–); Recueil , no. : livery of cottez des