Regulation Act 1874. The “master of the Temple ” is the title of the priest-in-charge of the Temple Church in London. It was formerly the title of the grand master of the Knights Templars. The priest-in-charge of the Templars' Church was properly styled the custos, and this was preserved by the Knights Hospitallers when they were granted the property of the Templars at the dissolution of that order. The act of 1540 (32 Henry VIII.), which dissolved the order of the Hospitallers, wrongly styled the custos master of the Temple, and the mistake has been continued. The proper title of a bencher of the Inns of Court is “ master of the Bench ” (see INNS or COURT). The title of “ Master-General of the Ordnance ” was revived in 1904 for the head of the Ordnance Department in the British military administration.
“ Master ” is the ordinary word for a teacher, very generally used in the compound “ schoolmaster." The word also is used in a sense transferred from this to express the relation between the founder of a school of religion, philosophy, science, art, &c., and his disciples. It is partly in this sense and partly in that of one whose work serves as a model or type of superlative excellence that such terms as “old masters” are used. In medieval universities magisler was particularly applied to one who had been granted a degree carrying with it the licentia docendi, the licence to teach. In English usage this survives in the faculty of arts. The degree is that of arlium magister, master of arts, abbreviated M.A. In the other faculties the corresponding degree is doctor. Some British universities give a master's degree in surgery, magister chirurgiae, C.M. or M.Ch., and also in science, magister scienliae, M.Sc. The academic use of “ master ” as the title of the head of certain colleges at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge is to be referred to the frequent application of the term to the holder of a presiding office in an institution.
Master was the usual prefix of address to a man's name, though originally confined to people of some social standing. Probably under the influence of “ mistress, ” it was corrupted in sound to “ mister, ” and was abbreviated to “ Mr.” In the case of the puisne judges of the High Court “ Mr Justice ” is still used as the proper ohicial form of written address. The Speaker of the House of Commons is also formally addressed as “ Mr Speaker.” In some Scottish peerages below the rank of earl, “ master ” is used in the courtesy title of the heir, e.g. the “Master of Ruthven.”
MASTER AND SERVANT. These are scarcely to be considered as technical terms in English law. The relationship which they imply is created when one man hires the labour of another for a term. Thus it is not constituted by merely contracting with another for the performance of a definite work, or by sending an article to an artificer to be repaired, or engaging a builder to construct a house. Nor would the employment of a man for one definite act of personal service-e.g. the engagement of a messenger for a single occasion-generally make the one master and the other servant. It was held, however, in relation to the offence of embezzlement, that a drover employed on one occasion to drive cattle home from market was a servant within the statute. On the other hand, there are many decisions limiting the meaning of “ servants ” under wills giving legacies to the class of servants generally. Thus “ a person who was not obliged to give his whole time to the master, but was yet in some sense a servant, ” was held not entitled to share in a legacy to the servants. These cases are, however, interpretations of wills where the intention obviously is to benefit domestic servants only. And so in other Connexions questions may arise as to the exact nature of the relations between the parties whether they are master and servant, or principal and agent, or landlord and tenant, or partners, &c.
The terms of the contract of service are for the most part such as the parties choose to make them, but in the absence of express stipulations terms will be implied by the law. Thus, “ where no time is limited either expressly or by implication for the duration of a contract of hiring and service, the hiring is considered as a general hiring, and in point of law a hiring for a year.” But “ in the case of domestic and menial servants there is a well-known rule, founded solely on custom, 'that their contract of service may be determined at any time by giving a month's warning or paying a month's wages, but a domestic or other yearly servant, wrongfully quitting his master's service, forfeits all claim to wages for that part of the current year during which he has served, and cannot claim the sum to which his wages would have amounted had he kept his contract, merely deducting therefrom one month's wages. Domestic servants have a right by custom to leave their situations at any time on payment of a calendar month's wages in advance, just as a master may discharge them in a similar manner ” (Manley Smith's Law of Master and Servant, chs. ii. and iii.). The following are sufficient grounds for discharging a servant: (1) wilful disobedience of any lawful order; (2) gross moral misconduct; (3) habitual negligence; (4) incompetence or permanent disability caused by illness. A master has a right of action against any person who deprives him of the services of his servant, by enticing him away, harbouring or detaining him after notice, confining or disabling him, or by seducing his female servant. Indeed, the ordinary and only available action for seduction 'in English law is in form of a claim by a parent for the loss of his daughter's services. The death of either master or servant in general puts an end to the contract. A servant wrongfully discharged may either treat the contract as rescinded and sue for services actually rendered, or he may bring a special action for damages for the breach. The common law liabilities of a master towards his servants have been further regulated by the Workmen's Compensation Acts (see EMPLOYER'S LIA-BILITY). Amaster is bound to provide food for a servant living under his roof, and wilful breach of duty in that respect is a misdemeanour under the Offences against the Person Act 1861.
A servant has no right to demand “ a character ” from an employer, and if a character be given it will be deemed a privileged communication, so that the master will not be liable thereon to the servant unless it be false and malicious. A master by knowingly giving a false character of a servant to an intending employer may render himself liable-should the servant for example rob or injure his new master.
Reference may be made to the articles on LABoUR LEGISLATION for the cases in which special terms have been introduced into contracts of service by statute (e.g. Truck Acts).
MASTER OF THE HORSE, in England, an important official of the sovereign's household. The master of the horse is the third dignitary of the court, and is always a member of the ministry (before 1782 the office was of cabinet rank), a peer and a privy councillor. All matters connected with the horses and hounds of the sovereign, as well as the stables and coach houses, the stud, mews and kennels, are within his jurisdiction. The practical management of the royal stables and stud devolves on the chief or crown equerry, formerly called the gentleman of the horse, who is never in personal attendance on the sovereign and whose appointment is permanent. The clerk marshal has the supervision of the accounts of the department before they are submitted to the Board of Green Cloth, and is in waiting on the sovereign on state occasions only. Exclusive of the crown equerry there are seven regular equerries, besides extra and honorary equerries, one of whom is always in attendance on the sovereign and rides at the side of the royal carriage. They are always officers of the army, and each of them is “ on duty ” for about the same time as the lords and grooms in waiting. There are also several pages of honour in the master of the horse's department, who must not be confounded with the pages of various kinds who are in the department of the lord chamberlain. They are youths aged from twelve to sixteen, selected by the sovereign in person, to attend on him at state ceremonies, when two of them, arrayed in an antique costume, assist the groom of the stole in carrying the royal train.
In France the master of the horse (“ Grand Ecuyer," or more usually “ Monsieur le grand ) was one of the seven great officers of the crown from 1617. As well as the superintendence of the royal