Chancellor of the Order of the Garter

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Employment.png Chancellor of the Order of the Garter 
Officers of the Order of the Garter.JPG
Officers of the Order of the Garter (left to right): Secretary (barely visible), Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, Garter Principal King of Arms, Register, Prelate, Chancellor

An officer of the English chivalric Order of the Garter

The Chancellor of the Order of the Garter is an officer of the Order of the Garter, an order of chivalry founded by Edward III of England in 1348. It is the most senior order of knighthood in the British honours system, outranked in precedence only by the Victoria Cross and the George Cross.

The position of Chancellor was to be second in seniority to the Prelate and was granted to Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, and his successors in that position. The unbroken succession of Bishops of Salisbury came to an end in 1551 when Sir William Cecil was made Chancellor by Edward VI, after which a succession of lay Chancellors were appointed.

Following a number of petitions by successive Bishops of Salisbury, their right to hold the position was conceded in 1669 and on the death of Henry de Vic the honour reverted to the Bishops of Salisbury.

1837-1937, the office of Chancellor belonged to the Bishop of Oxford (but that year the outgoing bishop, Thomas Banks Strong, had been outspoken in the abdication crisis of Edward VIII), and the title was withheld from his successors.

Knights Companion Chancellors