Grooms of the chamber present a signed petition

On 12 December 1455 Grooms of the chamber presented a signed petition, signed by King Henry VI, to Council.

Grooms of the Chamber

Grooms of the chamber were the equivalent of a valet today. They ensured the smooth running of the various elements of the Royal Household.

On the lowest level, they were responsible for public-facing rooms within the court and would ensure that they were well maintained and appropriately dressed for any given occasion.


Above this level were Grooms of the chamber who had responsibilities for the Privy Council’s chambers and other official meeting rooms. Again, they dealt with things such as the layout of rooms, décor and ensuring that officials were well looked after.

There were also Grooms of the Bedchamber. These had close contact with the Royal family and were the most trusted of the Grooms. They maintained the monarch’s living quarters and answered to the Lord High Steward and the King himself.

Petition to Council

On 12 December 1455, the Grooms of the Chamber presented a petition signed by the King to his council. At first glance, there appears to be nothing unusual about this. They had access to the royal apartments and could make petitions, or collect ones sent directly to the monarch instead of Parliament.

What makes the petition remarkable is its date. It is during Henry Vis incapacity. There was a Protector, the Duke of York, along with a Council running the country. Reforms were being made at all levels, including reducing the spending of the royal household.

Yet during Henry’s period of not being able to rule, they acquired his signature on a petition.


Miniature of Henry VI in the Talbot Shrewsbury Book, 1444–1445

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