Imperial Household of the Holy Roman Emperor

The emperor was entitled to have a Household, a real one as well as one "for show" composed of the High Offices of the Empire (Erzämter, archiofficia). The four High Offices appear under the Ottonian dynasty: at the coronation of Otto I in 936, each of the Stammherzöge held one of the functions. The Golden Bull of 1356 assigned them to the lay electors (in fact, some electors may have become so because they were High Officers).

After a new electorate was created for the count Palatine, a new office of Arch-Treasurer was created for him, in 1652. In 1706, after Bavaria was banned, the elector palatine resumed his office of Arch-Steward, and the office of Arch-Treasurer passed in 1710 to the newly created elector of Hanover. In 1714, Bavaria was reinstated, and the elector palatine resumed the office of Treasurer, but Hanover continued to use the title and augmentation of arms until the merger of the Bavarian and Palatine electorates in 1777 allowed Hanover to exercise the office. New offices were planned but never chosen for the electors created in 1803.


Officers of the Empire Erzamt Holder Augment.
High Chancelor of Germany  Erzkanzler durch Germanien Mainz (none)
High Chancelor in Italy Erzkanzler durch Italien Cologne (none)
High Chancelor in Gaul and Arles (or Burgundy) Erzkanzler durch Gallien und Arelat (Burgund) Trier (none)
Grand Cup-bearer (Butler) Erzschenk Bohemia -
High Steward Erztruchseß Palatinate (to 1623, 1706-14)
Bavaria (1623-1706, from 1714)
gules an orb or
Grand Marshal Erzmarschall Saxony per fess sable and argent, two swords per saltire gules
High Chamberlain Erzkämmerer Brandenburg Azure a scepter per pale or
High Treasurer Erzschatzmeister Palatinate (1648-1706, 1714-77)
Hanover (1710-14, from 1777)
gules plain/gules the crown of  Charlemagne or


In the exercise of these functions outside of the coronations, the lay electors were represented by the holders of corresponding hereditary offices (Erbämter), and some were themselves represented in everyday activities by holders of hereditary offices (Hofämter: Obrist-Hofmeister, Obrist-Kämmerer, Obrist-Hofmarschall, Obrist-Stallmeister).

The hereditary lands of Austria (Upper and Lower Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Krain, Tirol, Salzburg, Bohemia) each had their own hereditary officers of the household as well: in the following table, the names of the officer-holders for Austria and their heraldic augmentation, if known, are listed as well. The corresponding offices in the French Royal household were distinguished by external ornaments rather than augmentations to the coat of arms.


 Hereditary Offices
of the Household (Erbämte)
Imperial  Austrian
English German French Latin Holder Augment. Holder Augment.
Butler  Mundschenk bouteiller-échanson buticularius Limburg (to 1714), Althann cup or en surtout Barth v. Barthenheim azure a covered cup or
Steward Truchseß sénéchal dapifer Waldburg gules an orb or Schönborn-Buchheim ermine an imperial orb oron a cushion gules fringed of the second
Chamberlain  Kämmerer chambellan camerarius Hohenzollern gules two scepters per saltire or Lamberg  
Marshal Marschall maréchal   Pappenheim per fess sable and argent, two swords per saltire gules Starhemberg  
Treasurer Schatzmeister trésorier aerarius Sinzendorf gules plain/gules the crown of Charlemagne or ---  
Other offices (Reichsämte)
Standard-Bearer Bannerherr     Württemberg azure the Imperial banner in bend proper    
Postmaster Postmeister     Taxis      
Usher Erbtürhüter capitaine de la porte   Werthern sable a stick in bend sinister or, two leaves issuant in chief and one in base Chotek  
Master of the Hounds Jägermeister veneur   Urach or a bugle-horn gules garnished argent stringed azure Lamberg  
Master of the Horses Stallmeister palefrenier equorum magister Schwarzburg, Leutenberg or a pitchfork and beneath a horsecomb both fesseways gules Harrach  
  Teichmeister     Oldenburg      
  Fischmeister     Wernigerode      
  Feuerherr & Schwertträger     Lorraine      
Falconer Falkenmeister fauconnier       Thürheim  
      protovestiarius Geldern      
  Hofmeister grand maître praefectus aulae Bayern    Ungnad-Weißenwolff  
  Küchenmeister queux       Stiebar  
  Panier panetier       Abensperg und Traun  
  Stäbelmeister   magister stabuli     Fuchs  
  Vorschneider  écuyer-tranchant       Althann