Earl Marschal (or Marischal) is an ancient chivalric title used separately in England, Scotland and Ireland.
The Earl Marshal of England is a hereditary Royal officeholder under the King or Queen. The title was "Marshal" until William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, whose titles of "Earl" and "Marshal" were separate (although he is often referred to now as "Earl Marshal") made it stand for something. After it came into the family of the Dukes of Norfolk, it evolved into "Earl Marshal". The Earl Marshal is the eighth of the Great Officers of State, with the Lord High Constable above him and only the Lord High Admiral beneath him.
In the Middle Ages, the Earl Marshal and the Lord High Constable were the officers of the King's horses and stables. When chivalry declined in importance, the Constable's post disappeared, and the Earl Marshal became the head of the College of Arms, the body concerned with all matters of genealogy and heraldry, although the Earl Marshal's connection with heraldry came about almost accidentally. In conjunction with the Lord High Constable he had held a court, known as the Court of Chivalry, for the administration of justice in accordance with the law of arms, which was concerned with many subjects relating to military matters, such as ransom, booty and soldiers' wages, and including the misuse of armorial bearings. The Marshal, as eighth Officer of State, has to organise coronations and the State Opening of Parliament.
In a declaration made on the 16th June 1673 by the Earl of Anglesey, in reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms the powers of the Earl Marshal were stated as "to have power to order, judge, and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility, honour, and chivalry; to make laws, ordinances, and statutes for the good government of the Officers of Arms; to nominate Officers to fill vacancies in the College of Arms; to punish and correct Officers of Arms for misbehaviour in the execution of their places". Additionally it was also declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal.
Among the men who have held the title of Earl Marshal of Ireland are William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, and Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex (1539-1576).
Lord Marshals of England, 1135-1397
|Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke||1135-1149|
|Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke||1149-1176|
|William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke||1199-1219|
|William Marshal, 2nd Earl of Pembroke||1219-1231|
|Richard Marshal, 3rd Earl of Pembroke||1231-1234|
|Gilbert Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke||1234-1242|
|Walter Marshal, 5th Earl of Pembroke||1242-1245|
|Anselm Marshal, 6th Earl of Pembroke||1245|
|Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk||1245-1269|
|Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk||1269-1307|
|Robert de Clifford||1307-1308|
|Nicholas Segrave, Lord Segrave||1308-1315|
|Thomas Plantagenet of Brotherton, Earl of Norfolk||1315-1338|
|Margaret of Norfolk||1338-1377|
|Henry Percy, Lord Percy||1377|
|John Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers||1377-1383|
|Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham||1383-1397|
Earls Marshals of England, 1397-1646
|Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk||1397-1398|
|Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey||1398-1399|
|Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland||1400-1412|
|John Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk||1412-1432|
|John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk||1432-1461|
|John Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk||1461-1476|
|Richard Plantagenet,Duke of York||1476-1483|
|John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk||1483-1485|
|William Berkeley, 1st Earl of Nottingham||1486-1497|
|Henry Tudor, Duke of York||1497-1509|
|Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk||1509-1524|
|Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk||1524-1547|
|Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset||1547-1549|
|John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland||1549-1553|
|Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk||restored 1553-1554|
|Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk||1554-1572|
|George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury||1572-1590|
|Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex||1597-1601|
|Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester||1603|
|Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey||1622-1646|
Today the duties of the Earl Marshal would likely be handled by several different military and defense department officials. There are many decisions to be made about which weapons the military will purchase for their personnel to use. Just determining whether to purchase a Springfield Hellcat for sale or other pistol is likely to take a long time due to the levels of government bureaucracy.
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