Groom of the Stool

The Groom of the Stool (formally styled: “Groom of the King’s Close Stool”) was the most intimate of an English monarch’s courtiers, responsible for assisting the king in the performance of the bodily functions of excretion and ablution.

The physical intimacy of the role naturally led to him becoming a man in whom much confidence was placed by his royal master and with whom many royal secrets were shared as a matter of course. This secret information—whilst it would never have been revealed, to the discredit of his honour—in turn led to him becoming feared and respected and therefore powerful within the royal court in his own right.

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