custos regni

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested in the plural in October 1644 and in the singular in 1683; Latin: cūstōs (guard”, “protector”; “guardian”; “keeper”, “custodian) + rēgnī (“of royal power”; genitive singular of rēgnum, “royal power”, “kingdom”) = “custodian of royal power” ≈ “guardian of the realm”.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

custos regni (plural custodes regni)

  1. A kind of viceregal locum tenens appointed, either alone or jointly, to execute the political duties of a monarch during his or her absence from the seat of government.
    • 1644 October 7th, Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex: The Law and the Prince, page 148
      If the King be absent, and taken captive, the People may give the Royal power to one, or to some few to exercise it as custodes regni.
    • 1683, John Nalson, An Impartial Collection of the Great Affairs of State II, page 412
      It was resolved…[to] Petition…His Majesty, to appoint a Custos Regni, or Locum tenens during his absence out of this Kingdom; and amongst other things, in special to give him Power, to give the Royal Assent in Parliament, and to do such things as the King might do if he were present. [It was] resolved…that His Majeſty be likewise Petitioned, That an Act of Parliament may pass to this Effect, That such Commission shall not be repealed, until His Majesties return from Scotland to the City of London or Westminster, or be present in full Parliament.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see the citations page.

Related terms[edit]