Returning after an absence, with a week of miscellaneous words.
seneschal - the steward or major-domo of a medieval great house [from a compound of words meaning 'old' and 'servant'. Akin to "senile"]
My brother ... seldom visited his paternal castle, which was chiefly occupied by a seneschal, a man so obnoxious to the vassals of the family that, but for the protection afforded by my near residence and relationship with his lord, he would have been plucked out of the Vulture's Nest, and treated with as little ceremony as if he had been the vulture himself. - Walter Scott, Anne of Geierstein