From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Supernumerary is an additional member of an
organization. A supernumerary is also a non-regular member of a
staff, a member of the staff or an employee who works in a public
office who is not part of the manpower complement. Thus, a
supernumerary could be an extra member or a temporary employee in
addition to the permanent staff, or permanent members of a
There are supernumerary actors, knights, ladies, professors,
police, ministers, judges, military personnel, and writers.
This use of the word supernumerary and its counterpart,
numerary, is in
common use in Spanish and Latin American academy and government,
and it is now also used in countries all over the world, like
Britain, France, Italy, the US, etc.
In the Roman army, supernumerarii were
either public officers who attended on several of the Roman
magistrates or a kind of soldier who served to fill the places of
those who were killed or disabled by their wounds, or otherwise
bring up the ranks to strength.
Supernumerary is distinguished from numerary
which is a civil designation for persons who are incorporated in a
fixed or permanent way to a society or group, meaning a regular
member of the working staff; permanent staff or member.
The term usually refers then to a type of employment which has a
There are many types of supernumeraries, depending on the
society where they belong:
- supernumerary actors. The term's
original use, from the Latin
supernumerarius, meant someone paid to appear on stage in
crowd scenes or in the case of opera as non-singing small parts. Supernumeraries
are usually amateur character artists who train under professional
direction to create a believable scene.
- In maritime context, the supernumeraries were the complement of
persons attached to a voyage but having no shipboard
responsibilities; for example, the scientists attached to a voyage
of scientific exploration, or the merchant during a trade
- supernumerary professors
- supernumerary accountants,
- supernumerary judges or magistrates. See Federal Court (Canada).
- supernumerary members of a Council of the Royal Academy of
- supernumerary minister
- supernumerary members of the Catholic prelature Opus Dei. Having the vocation
to become a saint by sanctifying their ordinary circumstances and
work, they are generally married men or women who live in their own
homes and who perform their normal jobs with a strong sense of
commitment. They help in the apostolic tasks of the prelature as
their circumstances permit. These members are not fully available
to work on the apostolic and formational tasks of the
- supernumerary ministers, e.g. in British Methodist churches,
these are ministers who have retired and are local preachers.
- supernumerary Knights and Ladies. These are members of the British
Royal Family and foreign monarchs, who are extra members of the Most
Noble Order of the Garter, the world's oldest national order of
- supernumerary watch-standers in military. These are designated
substitutes for any of a group of scheduled watch-standers who
might be absent due to various causes such as illness or
Pigafetta, the chronicler who provided the most vivid and
detailed account of Magellan's circumnavigational voyage, was
independently wealthy but enlisted on the voyage as a lowly
sobrasaliente or supernumerary.
- Thomas Paine,
whose work Common Sense, became the most widely read work in the
18th century America, and later led to the Declaration of
Independence. He worked as a supernumerary officer in 1761.
d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale - The act of exception passed in 1883
deprived all members of families that had reigned in France of
their military positions; consequently the duc d'Aumale was placed
on the unemployed supernumerary list.
Herbert, M.P., (1880- September 26, 1923) was a British
diplomat, traveller and intelligence officer, associated with
Albanian independence - served in a supernumerary position for the
- A. C.
Grayling MA, DPhil (Oxon) FRSA (born 3 April 1949) is a British
philosopher and author. He is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck
College, University of London and a supernumerary fellow of St
Anne's College, Oxford.
Walter Heath Pulford, Air Vice Marshal - supernumerary, HQ
Coastal Area in 1925 August 17
- Constantin Floros (Greek:
Κωνσταντίνος Φλόρος) is a Greek musicologist. In 1967 he became
supernumerary professor, in 1972 professor of musicology and in
1995 professor emeritus at the University of Hamburg.
Middleton is a physical geographer and supernumerary fellow of
St Anne's College, Oxford. He specialises in desertification.
- Moshe Dayan,
Israeli general and defense minister, was a uniformed member of the
British Supernumerary Police during the Emergency of
- Jay Zeamer,
Jr., awarded the Medal of Honor in 1943, was a
supernumerary of the 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), a group that
flew the four-engined B-17 Flying Fortress.
- Guillermo Meneses, winner of the
National Prize for Literature was supernumerary writer of the
Ministry of Outer Relations and at that time was named first
secretary of the Embassy of Venezuela in Brussels (1953-1957) and
soon with the same position in the Embassy of Venezuela in Paris
- Lee Kuan Yew
is presently supernumerary minister, appointed as Minister Mentor
for the cabinet ministers of Singapore.
- Ruth Kelly,
British Secretary of State for
Transport, is a supernumerary member of the Opus Dei prelature.
She belongs to the Labour Party, a centre-left political
- Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Edward, Earl of
Wessex and Prince Andrew, Duke of York
are supernumerary members of the Most
Noble Order of the Garter.