TIPSTAFF (Mid. Enp. tipped staf), a staff of office mounted with a tip or cap of metal, or with a crown, carried by a constable or sheriff's officer, the term being hence applied to such an officer. Tipstaffs are attached to the king's bench and chancery divisions of the High Court of Justice in England; their duty is to arrest or take into custody any person on an order of committal, if within the precincts of the court, and convey him to the king's prison at Holloway. The tipstaff for the common law courts was originally appointed by the marshal of the king's bench, and the tipstaff of the lord chancellor by the marshal of the Fleet prison. Since the abolition of these prisons the tipstaffs have been appointed by the lord chancellor and lord chief justice respectively.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)