Royal Household Staff 1526-1924
Search for your ancestors in more than 75,000 records of Royal Household employees for the period 1526-1924.
The records fall into two main sections: Royal Household establishment lists and Royal Household index sheets.
Royal Household establishment lists
The Royal Household establishment lists, or staff lists, contain extensive details of a range of people who worked in the Royal Household from 1526 to 1924.
You can search the following establishment lists on findmypast.co.uk:
- Royal Household Establishment Lists 1854-1924 (Royal Archives reference PERSO EB): 19,851 records
- Royal Household Establishment Books 1526-1920 (Royal Archives reference EB EB): 12,361 records
- Establishment Lists for Lord Chamberlain's Department 1837-1924 (Royal Archives reference LC LCO EB): 4,223 records
- Establishment Lists for Master of the Household's Department 1835-1924 (Royal Archives reference MRH MRH EB): 7,158 records
- Establishment Lists for the Royal Mews 1717-1924 (Royal Archives reference MEWS EB): 18,281 records
The records offer an excellent source of information on each employee's service, although there are some gaps.
See a sample establishment list record on the right – click on the image to enlarge it. Note the extensive information it provides about each employee's service.
Royal Household index sheets
The Royal Archives holds an index of household employees from 1660 to 1901, known as the Household Index, which contains 13,756 records. The Royal Archives reference for these records is GB.
You will usually be able to discover your ancestor's name, the post they held, their dates of employment and The National Archives' (TNA), printed or Royal Archives' references.
This index is compiled from the records of the Lord Chamberlain's and Lord Steward's Departments from 1660 to 1837 and from various printed sources, such as The Court & City Register and The Royal Kalendar.
Information from sources in the Royal Archives, and sometimes from elsewhere, such as the British Library or the Bodleian Library has also been added.
At present the index sheets cover all women mentioned in TNA records and all the men with surnames A to Dox only. For surnames from Dr to Z, only some of the male employees in the Royal Household are recorded on index sheets.
All salaries, pensions etc. on the sheets are per annum, unless otherwise stated.
See a sample index sheet on the right – click on the image to enlarge it. You can see a list of explanations for the abbreviations used lower down this page and in your search results.
Married women are normally recorded under their maiden name, with a cross-reference from the married name.
Peers are shown under their family names with a cross-reference from their titles.
On the original index sheets, those whose name may be spelt in a variety of ways, e.g., Binks or Binckes, appear under one spelling with cross-references from the other. If the variation is very slight, e.g., Bishop or Bishopp, no cross-reference is given and the entry is contained upon a single sheet. All possible spellings of the name have been indexed, however, so you should find the entry you are looking for under any of its known variants.
Other useful information
Further reading (PDF)
Begin with the basics
The name of the person you are searching for may not be recorded in the way you expect. Henry John Davies, for example, may have been recorded as Henry Davies, Henry J Davies, H Davies, or even H J Davies. We would therefore suggest that you initially search using their last name only. If you receive too many results, you can then add a first name to narrow them down.
First name variations
If you don’t find the result you want first time, it is worth trying every possible variation in the first name field. If you’ve included a middle name in your search, try searching the first name only.
Your ancestor might have used a different first name in everyday life from the one that appears on official records. For example, your great-uncle Jack’s birth name might have been John. If you can’t find someone recorded under the name you expect, try variations of that name. If you still can’t find your ancestor using their full first name, try entering their first initial instead.
Last name variants
We’ve added an ‘Include variants’ tickbox next to the ‘Last name’ field to allow for common differences in spelling or incorrect spelling. For example, if you search for the name ‘Foakes’ while ticking the variants option, you may also get results for ‘Folks’, ‘Fookes’, ‘Forkes’, ‘Foukes’, ‘Foulkes’ and ‘Fowkes’.
To search successfully for titled individuals, you need to understand how these have been captured in the Royal Archives Collection.
Simple titles have been captured in the first names field. For example, if you are looking for Lady Augusta Bruce, you can search for her by typing ‘Lady Augusta‘ in first names field and ‘Bruce‘ in the last name field.
You can also search for ‘Lady Augusta‘ in the first names field without a last name and the search will return all the individuals with that combination of title and first name.
You can also search for ‘Prince‘ in the first names field (again without a last name) and the search will return all entries with the word ‘Prince‘ anywhere in that field.
Compound titles have been captured using the first names field and the last name field. For example, if you are looking for Hugh Lupus Duke of Westminster, you can search for him by entering ‘Hugh Lupus Duke of‘ in the first names field and ‘Westminster‘ in the last name field.
Similarly, you can search for Orlando George Charles Earl of Bradford by entering ‘Orlando George Charles Earl of‘ in the first names field and ‘Bradford‘ in the last name field.
This also means that you can search for all entries for all the Earls of Bradford by searching under ‘Bradford‘ as a last name.
Please note, however, that names and titles have not been standardised. We have indexed the names as they appear in the original text. It is possible that, taking Orlando George Charles Earl of Bradford as an example, there may be other references to him as, say, The Rt Hon Earl of Bradford, or under his actual last name (Bridgeman) or under another title (he was also known as Viscount Newport).