1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Warden
WARDEN, a custodian, defender, guardian (see Guardian, a word with which it is etymologically identical). The word is frequently employed in the ordinary sense of a watchman or guardian, but more usually in England in the sense of a chief or head official. The lords wardens of the marches, for example, were powerful nobles appointed to guard the borders of Scotland and of Wales; they held their lands per baroniam, the king's writ not running against them, and they had extensive rights of administrating justice. The chief officer of the ancient stannaries of Cornwall has the title of lord warden (see Stannaries), as has also the governor of Dover Castle (see Cinque Ports). Warden was until 1870 the alternative title of the master of the mint, and “warden of the standards” the title of the head of the Standards office (see Standards). The principal or head of several of the colleges of Oxford University is also termed warden.