The king’s armiger was originally just what the Latin world literally means, the bearer of the king’s arms. On ceremonial occasions in the eleventh and later centuries [C.E.] the armiger continued to be the royal servant whose duty and privilege it was to carry the king’s sword, lance and shield. But by [King] Sancho II’s [d. 1072] day the responsibilities of this officer were far wider than the merely domestic or ceremonial. The armiger was responsible for overseeing the king’s household militia, the body of troops who formed the king’s escort and were the nucleus of the royal army. While we do not possess any contemporary description of the duties of the armiger, it is likely that he was responsible for recruiting, training and keeping order among these often unruly young men; perhaps for supervising the arrangements for their payment too. He had to have an eye for potential talent, to be demanding in his appraisal of mounts and equipment, to be firm and tactful in sorting out the scrapes his subordinates landed themselves in. He was also one of the king’s principal military advisors. Thus the armiger had to be at once staff-officer, adjutant, regimental sergeant-major—and something of a counselor. It was a demanding job. Usually held by fairly young men, it equipped them for independent command.