Master of the Rolls of the Court of Chancery

The title of the office derives from the fact that originally, the office-holder was a clerk responsible for keeping the "Rolls," or records, of the Chancery court. The post eventually evolved into a judicial one.

The Master of the Rolls is the third most senior judge of England, the Lord Chancellor being first and the Lord Chief Justice being second. The Master of the Rolls is the presiding officer of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal is the second most senior court in the English Legal System (with only the judges of the House of Lords above it). The senior judge is the Master of the Rolls, who also has a function in the registration of every solicitor in England and Wales. The Court also includes the Lord Chief Justice, who is at the same time the head of the High Court of Justice, and thirty-five Lords Justices of Appeal.

Office Holder


John De Langton 1286-1295
Adam De Osgodeby 1295-1316
William De Ayremynne 1316-1324
Richard De Ayremynne 1324-1325
Henry De Clyff 1325-1334
Michael De Wath 1334-1337
John De St Paul 1337-1341
Thomas De Evesham 1341-1346
David De Wollore 1346-1371
William Burstall 1371-1381
John De Waltham 1381-1386
John De Burton 1386-1394
John De Scarle  1394-1397
Thomas Stanley 1397-1402
Nicholas De Bubbewyth  1402-1405
John De Wakering  1405-1415
Simon De Gauntsede  1415-1423
John Fraunke 1423-1438
John Stopynden 1438-1447
Thomas De Kirkeby 1447-1461
Robert Kirkeham 1461-1471
William Morland 1471
John Alcock, Bishop of Worcester and Ely 1471-1472
John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury 1472-1479
Robert Morton 1479-1483
Thomas Barrow 1483-1485
Robert Morton 1485-1487
David William 1487-1492
John Blyth 1492-1494
William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury 1494-1502
William Barnes 1502-1504
Christopher Bainbridge, Archbishop of York 1504-1508
John Yonge 1508-1516
Cuthbert Tunstal, Bishop of London 1516-1522
John Clarke 1522-1523
Thomas Hannibal 1523-1527
John Taylor 1527-1534
Thomas Cromwell 1534-1536
Christopher Hales 1536-1541
Sir Robert Southwell 1541-1550
John De Beaumont 1550-1552
Sir Robert Bowes 1552-1553
Sir Nicholas Hare 1553-1557
Sir William Cordell 1557-1581
Sir Gilbert Gerrard 1581-1594
Sir Thomas Egerton, 1st Baron Ellesmere 1594-1603
Edward Bruce, 1st Earl of Elgin 1603-1611
Sir Edward Phelips 1611-1614
Sir Julius Caesar 1614-1636
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