Constable of France

Constable Of France

Constable of France

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The Constable of France (, from Latin comes stabuli for 'count of the stables'), as the First Officer of the Crown, was one of the original five Great Officers of the Crown of France (along with seneschal, chamberlain, butler, and chancellor) and Commander in Chief of the army. He, theoretically, as Lieutenant-general of the King, outranked all the nobles and was second-in-command only to the King. He was also responsible for military justice and served to regulate the Chivalry. His jurisdiction was called the connestablie. The office was established by King Philip I in 1060 with Alberic becoming the first Constable. The office was abolished in 1627 in accordance with the Edict of January 1627 by Cardinal Richelieu, upon the death of François de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguières, after his conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1622. The position was replaced by the Dean of Marshals (Doyen des maréchaux), in reality the most senior Marshal of France in a strictly ceremonial role. A few constables died in battle or were executed for treason, mostly for political intrigue.

Badge of Office

The badge of office was a highly elaborate sword called the 'Royal Sword' (Fr. de Charlemagne) surnamed 'Joyous'. This sword dated from the 14th century and was contained in a blue scabbard embellished with fleur-de-lis in column from hilt to point. Traditionally, the constable was presented with the sword on taking his office.p172, Slater, Stephen, The Complete Book of......
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