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The College of Chaplains of the Ecclesiastical Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom is under the Clerk of the Closet, an office dating from 1437. It is normally held by a diocesan bishop, who may, however, remain in office after leaving his see. The current Clerk is James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle.

The Clerk of the Closet is responsible for advising the Private Secretary to the Sovereign on the names for candidates to fill vacancies in the Roll of Chaplains to the Sovereign. He presents bishops for homage to the Sovereign, examines any theological books to be presented to the Sovereign, and preaches annually in the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace. He receives a salary of £7 a year.

The Deputy Clerk of the Closet, an office dating from 1677, is the Domestic Chaplain to the Sovereign, and Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal, and is the sole full-time clerical member of the Household.

Other members of the royal family may also have their own Clerk of the Closet.

List of Clerks of the Closet of the Sovereign's Household

Clerks of the Closet in other Royal Households


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  2. ^ McCullough, Peter. Sermons at Court. p. 10.
  3. ^ "The Participants, clerical and lay, in Candlemas 1541". The Court Historian. 2: 2–4. doi:10.1179/cou.Supplement.1997.2.1.002.
  4. ^ "Leicester Square, North Side", and "Lisle Street Area: Leicester Estate: Lisle Street", Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho (1966), pp. 472–476. Date accessed: 10 June 2009.
  5. ^ a b The Literary Panorama, and National Register, Volume 4