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Vice Great Seneschal of Ireland

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Title: Vice Great Seneschal of Ireland  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lord High Steward of Ireland, History of Ireland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Vice Great Seneschal of Ireland

Vice Great Seneschal of Ireland, is not a formal title of office, but describes a functional role under the aegis of the Hereditary Great Seneschal or Lord High Steward of Ireland, the latter acting under royal authority dating back several centuries.[1] The function was assigned to the Hereditary Seneschal or Lord Steward for Tyrconnell,[2] Patrick Denis O'Donnell (1922–2005).[3]

The precedent for the Lord High Steward/Great Seneschal to appoint a deputy through an appointment as Seneschal or Lord Steward of a County is found in the case of the appointment,[4] of John Penyngton as Steward[5] of the Liberty of Wexford.[6] Appointments by the Lords Shrewsbury of deputies to serve as Stewards of Counties in Ireland were upheld by the House of Lords as proof of the exercise of the prerogatives of the Lord High Steward of Ireland.[7]

The functional role as deputy consists of acting in the place of the Lord High Steward,[8] if required, to bear the Curtana,[9] a Sword of State, and/or a White Wand at State ceremonials, including Royal Coronations, a responsibility confirmed by grant of Queen Victoria on 15 September 1871, and formerly to act as President of the Court by which a Peer may have been tried by his Peers in the Peerage of Ireland.

Notwithstanding that the island of Ireland now comprises a sovereign country, Ireland, and a province of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Vice Great Seneschal of Ireland role is still fulfilled in the United Kingdom.

Deputised Lords High Stewards or Great Seneschals of Ireland

The following were appointed to preside in the trials by the Irish House of Lords of Peers indicted for various crimes, and their ceremonial roles were limited to those appertaining to their temporary judicial role.


  1. ^ Royal Grant of 17 July 1446 (Patent Roll, T.K. 24 Henry 6)
  2. ^ Letters Patent issued by the Lord High Steward of Ireland, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot, on 4 July 2002 at the House of Lords in London, England
  3. ^ Registry of Deeds, Dublin, Book 12, referring to Letters Patent issued
  4. ^ Letters patent on 27 August 1450, the 28th year of the reign of Henry VI of England by John, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, Great Seneschal and Lord High Steward
  5. ^ House of Lords, Printed Evidence, 7 August 1855, no. 6, page 11
  6. ^ acknowledged in evidence in a case of the House of Lords on 1 August 1862
  7. ^ Case on Behalf of Henry John Earl of Shrewsbury and Waterford and Earl Talbot on his claim to the office of the Lord Steward of Ireland, lodged pursuant to the order of this Right Honourable House on the 1st Day of August, 1862, and based on favourable report to Queen Victoria by William Atherton, Attorney-General, on March 11, 1862 (see especially pages 8 and 9), and sections on Proofs, page 12-13
  8. ^ The precedent for appointment of a deputy for an honorary hereditary officer of the Crown in Ireland is found in the license from King John in 1220 for John Marshall to appoint a deputy to him as Lord Marshall
  9. ^ Preparing the Coronation, chapter by Sir Gerald W. Wollaston, K.C.B., K.C.V.O., Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, in Elizabeth Crowned Queen - The Pictorial record of the Coronation, published by Odhams Press Limited, Long Acre, London, 1953
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