Master of Requests

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Master of Requests, from the Latin Requestarum Magister, is an office that developed in several European systems of law and government in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. Holders of the title had the responsibility of presenting petitions, requests and appeals for clemency to a higher court of law, a royal council, or directly to a monarch or other ruler.[1] In origin they were not clearly separate from royal secretaries, carrying out the presentation of petitions as part of the administration of the royal household but gaining influence through their ability to provide access to the ruler.[2] In several jurisdictions they came to have an important legal role as assessors or arbiters of requests, attached to specific executive or judicial bodies, and in France even exercised royal oversight over the law courts.[3] Although the title is now largely historical, in France there is still a body of maîtres des requêtes responsible for preparing cases for trial in the highest administrative court, the Conseil d'État.

Specific offices include the following:

See also



  1. ^ Faramerz Dabhoiwala, "Writing Petitions in Early Modern England", in Suffering and Happiness in England, 1550–1850, edited by Michael J. Braddick and Joanna Innes (Oxford, 2017), p. 130.
  2. ^ Jan Dumolyn, Staatsvorming en vorstelijke ambtenaren in het graafschap Vlaanderen, 1419–1477 (Antwerp and Apeldoorn, 2003), pp. 65-67.
  3. ^ Gwilym Dodd and Sophie Petit-Renaud, "Grace and Favour: The Petition and its Mechanisms", in Government and Political Life in England and France, c. 1300–c. 1500, edited by Christopher Fletcher, Jean-Philippe Genet and John Watts (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 254-256.