RETINUE (O. Fr. retenue, from retenir, Lat. retenere, hold back, retain), a body of persons " retained " in the service of a noble or royal personage, a suite of " retainers." Such retainers were not in the domestic service of their lord, but were his " livery " and claimed his protection. They were a source of trouble and abuse in the 15th and early 16th century (see LIVERY and MAINTENANCE).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)