Financial institution. As its name suggests, the wardrobe was originally the place in which the king's robes were placed for safe keeping, and where cash was held from which the king's personal expenses might be paid. The keeper of the wardrobe was also the treasurer of the household; he received moneys for its upkeep, checked the accounts of its departments, and rendered them to the Exchequer. The wars of Edward I and his successors boosted the wardrobe's significance further by making it the equivalent of a war treasury which travelled with the campaigning king. Subsequent rulers, however, continued to use the wardrobe for both regular household and military expenses although the Yorkist and early Tudor kings placed greater emphasis on the chamber for their private and ‘secret’ expenses.
Subjects: British History.