The Serjeant-at-Arms

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The name Serjeant-at-Arms derives from the latin serviens or servant.

In the United Kingdom in medieval times, monarchs used people who provided services like the provision of arrows, fodder and waiting upon the King at table, who were called serjeanties.

Later people who were permanently retained by the Sovereign became known more particularly as serjeants. These officers were required to be in immediate attendance on the Monarch's person to arrest traitors and other offenders.

In medieval times: The activities of the King's Serjeant-at-Arms included collecting loans and impressing men and ships, serving on local administration and in all sorts of ways interfering with local administration and justice.

By 1415, a specific officer was appointed 'AS SERJEANT-AT-ARMS FOR THE COMMONS' (Nicholas Maundit) to be attendant upon the House of Commons or the Speaker.

When Henry VIII left the Palace of Westminster, two Serjeants, though still officers of the court, continued to attend upon the parliament - one serving the House of Lords and the other the House of Commons.

Today the Common's Serjeant is warranted to attend upon Her Majesty's person when there is no parliament; and at-the time of every parliament to attend upon the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Information was taken from the UK Parliament Website.

Last Updated: 2007-08-14