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. Under Henry III it developed its scope of action, having more moneys paid into it and thus providing an easily accessible source of funds for the king, enabling him to bypass the Chancery
. 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, receiving war funds from the Exchequer as well as directly from other sources of royal income, and paying soldiers' wages. In the 1320s there were attempts to curb the independence of the wardrobe and to place it more firmly under Exchequer control. 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. The great wardrobe was abolished in 1782 and its duties concerning the royal household transferred to the lord chamberlain
a large, tall cabinet in which clothes may be hung or stored.
a person's entire collection of clothes:
her wardrobe is extensive.
the costume department or costumes of a theater or movie company:
a wardrobe assistant.
a department of a royal or noble household in charge of clothing.
†room in which wearing apparel was kept XIV (movable closed cupboard for this XVIII); department of a great household charged with the keeping of this XV; person's stock of this. — ONF. warderobe
, var. of (O)F. garderobe
, f. garder
, enrobe, globe, Job, lobe, probe, robe, strobe
•Anglophobe • technophobe
•homophobe • xenophobe • earlobe
•bathrobe • microbe • wardrobe
Room or cupboard for storing clothes, also called garderobe