Little is known about the structure of the Scottish royal court in the period before the coming of the Normans to Scotland, before the reign of David I. A little more is known about the court of the later 12th and 13th centuries. In the words of Geoffrey Barrow, this court "was emphatically feudal, Frankish, non-Celtic in character". Some of the offices were Gaelic in origin, such as the Hostarius (later Usher or "Doorward"), the man in charge of the royal bodyguard, and the rannaire, the Gaelic-speaking member of the court whose job was to divide the food.
In the 13th century, all the other offices tended to be hereditary, with the exception of the Chancellor. The royal household of course came with numerous other offices. The most important was probably the aforementioned hostarius, but there were others such as the royal hunters, the royal foresters and the cooks (dispensa or spence).