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Tower of London - Master of the Jewel Office and Resident Governors

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// British Crown Jewels
Master of the Jewel Office and Resident Governors

Tower of London

The Master of the Jewel Office was a position in the Royal Households of England, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United Kingdom. The office holder was responsible for running the Jewel House, which houses the Crown Jewels. This role has, at various points in history, been called

  • Master or Treasurer of the Jewel House,
  • Master or Keeper of the Crown Jewels,
  • Master or Keeper of the Regalia, and
  • Keeper of the Jewel House.

On 6 May 1671 Colonel Thomas Blood  attempted to steal the Crown Jewels.

The former Keeper of the Jewels, Mr Talbot Edwards, reported that Blood, disguised as a parson, first visited the Tower three weeks before the robbery, with his ‘wife’. Edwards showed his guests the Crown Jewels and invited them into his apartments.

A few days later Blood and his wife returned with a present of gloves for Mrs Edwards and a friendship developed. On the 6 May, Blood and three friends arrived for dinner and Edwards was persuaded to show them the Crown Jewels.

Edwards was attacked, bound and gagged. Blood and his associates made off but the alarm was sounded and the thieves captured.

Blood would only confess to Charles II who pardoned him and even granted him Irish estates worth £500 a year. - Read more at:

The purpose of this project is to link as many of the names listed below to profiles and trees on Geni.

In 1967, the role was combined with Resident Governor of the Tower of London.

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Names with Bold links are to Geni sub projects where profiles sourced to this publication can be linked. Other links take you to external biographical web pages.

1042: Abbot and monks of Westminster Abbey

1216: First official Keeper of the Regalia appointed by Henry III

  • 1230: Bishop of Carlisle
  • 1337: John de Flete
  • 1347: Robert de Mildenhall
  • 1378–84: John Bacon
  • 1382: John of Salisbury (probably Clerk)
  • 1384: Sir John Beauchamp
  • 1387: Sir John Golafre
  • 1387: Lambert Fernier
  • 1391: Guy Mone
  • 1398: John Lowick of Luftwyke
  • 1399: John Eluet (or Elvet)
  • 1401: John Legburn
  • 1403: William Pilton
  • 1407: Simon Flete
  • 1408–13: Thomas Ryngewood
  • 1415: Richard Courtenay, Bishop of Norwich
  • 1417: Thomas Chitterne
  • 1421: Nicholas Merbury
  • 1422: Thomas Rokes
  • 1424: John Merston
  • 1453: Richard Merston
  • 1458–60: William Grymesby
  • 1462: William Porthe
  • 1465: Sir Thomas Vaughan
  • 1483: Edmund Chaderton
  • 1485–90: Sir William Tyler

// Henry Wyatt// // Cromwell// John Astley Keeper of the Jewel House

  • 1486: Sir Henry Wyatt
  • 1524: Robert Amadas
  • 1532: Thomas Cromwell 1st Earl of Essex
  • 1536: Sir John Williams
  • 1544: Sir Anthony Rous
  • 1545: Sir Anthony Aucher
  • 1554: Richard Wilbraham
  • 1557: Sir Francis Jobson
  • 1558: John Astley (see image above)
  • 1595: Sir Edward Cary
  • 1603: Sir Henry Cary
  • 1618: Sir Henry Mildmay
  • 1643: Sir Robert Howard (at Oxford)
  • Sir Robert Howard died during the English Civil War (1642–51). A successor was appointed at the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660.
  • 1660: (June) Sir Gilbert Talbot
  • 1665: Talbot Edwards
  • 1674: Wythe Edwards
  • 1676: Sir Martin Beckman
  • 1690: Sir Francis Lawley
  • 1697: Heneage Montagu
  • 1698: Colonel Charles Godfrey
  • 1702: Talbot Edwards (Jnr)
  • 1704: John Charlton
  • 1711: Heneage Finch
  • 1716: James Brudenell
  • 1719: Thomas Rowley
  • 1730: Charles Townshend
  • 1736: Hugh Heny
  • 1739: William Neville
  • 1744: Henry Pelham-Clinton
  • 1748: John Campbell
  • 1758: Sir Robert Lyttleton
  • 1763: Henry Vane
  • 1768: George Hoare
  • In 1782, the office was closed and its duties were transferred to the Lord Chamberlain. It was revived in the 19th century.
  • 1814: Edmund L. Swifte
  • 1852: Lieut.-Colonel Charles Wyndham
  • 1872: Colonel John Cox Gawler
  • 1882: Lieut.-General George Dean-Pitt
  • 1883: Captain Arthur John Loftus
  • 1891: Lieut.-General Sir Michael Biddulph
  • 1896: Lieut.-General Sir Frederick Middleton
  • 1898: General Sir Hugh Gough
  • 1909: General Sir Robert Lowe
  • 1911: General Sir Arthur Wynne
  • 1917–44: Major-General Sir George Younghusband (after his death in 1944, the post was vacant for eight years)
  • 1952–67: Major-General Harvey Degge Wilmot Sitwell

Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Tower of London.

The Constable of the Tower (Project to follow) is the most senior appointment at the Tower of London. Under the Queen's Regulations for the Army, the office of constable is conferred on a field marshal or retired general officer for a five-year term. At the conclusion of the Constable's installation ceremony, the Lord Chamberlain symbolically hands the palace over to the Constable. He in turn entrusts it to the Resident Governor.

The offices of Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House were amalgamated in 1967.

List of combined office holders:

  • 1967: Colonel Sir Thomas Pierce Butler
  • 1971: Major-General Sir Digby Raeburn
  • 1979: Major-General Giles Mills
  • 1984: Major-General Andrew Patrick Withy MacLellan
  • 1989: Major-General Christopher Tyler
  • 1994: Major-General Geoffrey Field
  • 2006: Major-General Keith Cima
  • 2011: Colonel Richard Harrold

References, Sources and Further Reading