Court officials of the Kingdom of Navarre

Court officials of the Kingdom of Navarre

The court officials of the Kingdom of Navarre, five in number, were in charge of the smooth functioning of various aspects of the royal court at Pamplona. In the tenth and eleventh centuries these officials were often the youthful sons of the high nobility, for whom a period at court served as an education. Officials were often rotated, but rarely can their dates of appointment be determined precisely. Rather they are known from the official Latin titles by which they were known in royal charters, to which they often appeared as witnesses. While earlier officials tended to move on to inherit lordships and leave court, in the late eleventh century individuals appear in the same office for longer periods of time and may have been appointed for life.

The chronological lists below are not exhaustive, since there exist large gaps in the historical record. The Latin title connected to an office could vary. Instances where the same official bore a different title are noted, as are the dates of the atypical charters.

In 1362 the court officials of Charles II were the butler (botellero), herald (maestro de escudería), chamberlain (chambarlen), chamber clerk (clérigo de cámara), majordomo (maestre hostal), chaplains (capellanes), chef (maestro de cocina), forrero, escudero de la forrería, cup-bearer (chanzón del hostal), treasurer (cambradineros or tesorero), butcher (escudero trinchant), confessor (confesor), pages (pajes), equerry (paloafrenero mayor y guarda de los caballos mayores), and grooms (palafreneros). The office of constable (condestable, from connestable, originally comte d'estable) was brought over from France.[1]



The majordomo (Latin maior domus) was the chief officer of the court, who oversaw all the other officers. The office may have been held on a rotational basis, since several officials appear in and out of office. One majordomo held the post of butler simultaneously, as evidenced by a charter of 1072.

Name First record in office Final record in office Title(s)
Gómez Auréliez 952 959 Maior domus
Gómez 992 992 Maior domus
García Sánchez 996 996 Maior domus
Lope Sánchez 1011 1024 Maior domus
Lope López 1015 1015 Maior domus
Gómez Sánchez 1018 1033 Maior domus
Álvaro Fortúnez 1040 1042 Maior domus
Galindo Iñíguez 1042 1042 Maior domus, Maior quoquorum
Fortún Velásquez 1047 1047 Maior domus
Jimeno Manciónez 1054 1060 Maior domus
Íñigo Sánchez 1056 1066 Maior domus
García Iñíguez 1063 1064 Maior domus
García Fortúnez 1071 1073 Maior domus
Lope Velásquez 1072 1076 Maior domus, also Botellarius
Velasco García 1078 1087 Maior domus


The cup-bearer (Latin pincerna, architriclinus, or propinator) was the official in charge of keeping the royal court fed. Like the office of majordomo this one may have been rotational.

Name First record in office Final record in office Title(s)
Fortún Jiménez 956 956 Pincerna
Sancho Fortúnez 997 997 Architriclinus
Aurelio Sánchez 1018 1031 Architriclinus
García Sánchez 1024 1024 Architriclinus
Galindo López 1040 1040 Pincerna
Íñigo López 1042 1042 Architriclinus
Fortún Iñíguez 1063 1066 Pincerna
Lope Iñíguez 1063 1063 Pincerna
Sancho Aznárez 1068 1072 Pincerna, Propinator (1072)
García Fortúnez 1071 1071 Pincerna


The butler (Latin botellarius or botecarius) was the official in charge of the wine cellar, much like a modern wine steward. One butler held the post of majordomo simultaneously, as evidenced by a charter of 1072. There is no direct evidence in the charter record of rotation of this office, but several individuals appear to have been both butler and cup-bearer at different times.

Name First record in office Final record in office Title(s)
Lope Iñíguez 1011 1020 Botellarius
Aznar Fortúnez 1015 1015 Botellarius
Sancho Jiménez 1033 1033 Botellarius
Jimeno Sánchez 1040 1040 Botellarius
Velasco García 1056 1064 Botellarius
Lope Muñoz 1066 1072 Botellarius
Lope Velásquez 1072 1072 Botellarius, Botecarius, also Maior domus
Sancho Sánchez 1078 1087 Botellarius


The armour-bearer (Latin armiger or armentarius) was in charge of the royal armoury and possibly also the king's guard. The connexion with weaponry is visible in the list of synonyms for this term, all of which contain the Latin root fer-, signifying iron: alferiz, fertorarius, inferartis, and offertor. This office changed hands with higher frequencey than the others, and there is also evidence of rotation. It is the only office for which two officers are cited in the same charter: Fortún Jiménez and Ortí Ortiz were both inferartes in a charter of 1043.

Name First record in office Final record in office Title(s)
Fortún Jiménez 959 959 Armiger
Galindo Gómez 1030 1030 Armentarius
Fortún Jiménez 1043 1043 Inferartis
Ortí Ortiz 1043 1043 Inferartis
Galindo López 1044 1044 Offertor
Lope García 1058 1058 Alferiz
Lope García 1060 1060 Armiger
Jimeno García 1062 1064 Armiger
Fortún Iñíguez 1063 1063 Fertorarius
Lope Iñíguez 1063 1064 Fertorarius
Fortún Iñíguez 1063 1063 Fertorarius
García Fortúnez 1065 1071 Offertor, Fertorarius (1068), Tallator (1068–69)
Pedro García 1066 1072 Armiger
Lope Iñíguez 1066 1066 Offertor
Íñigo Sánchez 1072 1072 Alferiz
Fortún Iñíguez 1072 1087 Armiger
Íñigo Sánchez 1072 1076 Armiger
Sancho García 1072 1075 Offertor


The marshal (Latin stabularius) had charge of the royal stables. While there is no direct evidence of rotation in this office, no individual held it for more than three years.

Name First record in office Final record in office Title(s)
García Auréliez 957 959 Stabularius
Fortún Jiménez 992 992 Stabularius
Lope Iñíguez 996 996 Stabularius
García Sánchez 997 997 Stabularius
Jimeno Fortúnez 1020 1020 Stabularius
Sancho Datiz 1042 1043 Stabularius
García García 1058 1062 Stabularius
García Sánchez 1063 1064 Stabularius
Fortún Álvarez 1066 1066 Stabularius
Lope Sánchez 1068 1070 Stabularius
Lope Vélaz 1071 1072 Stabularius
García Fortúnez 1072 1072 Stabularius
Lope Iñíguez 1072 1075 Stabularius
Sancho García 1087 1090 Stabularius


  1. ^ Carlos Sánchez-Marco (2005), Medieval History of the Kingdom of Navarre, ch. 17.4 n6. Cf. María Narbona Cárceles (2006), La corte de Carlos III el Noble, rey de Navarra: espacio doméstico y escenario de poder, 1376–1415 (Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra) and Pedro de Madrazo (1886), Navarra y Logroño (D. Cortezo y ca.), vol. 1.


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