The historic origins of the modern Toastmaster are a mystery as there is no real reference or documentation.  There are, however, many writings as to its origin; dating from the times of Noah to the Middle Ages, the later referring to the keeper of the wine known as the Master of the Toast. The Master of the Toast would toast small pieces of bread before a fire, dipping them into herbs and spices before stirring them into a bowl of wine to enhance its flavour.  This is said to have originated in the reign of Charles II.

In England the Master of the Toast was the butler who would announce the guests who would be greeted by the host and hostess.  Some of these butlers were also employed for private functions.

The red coat originated in the 1920s when Mr William Knight Smith who was a Toastmaster between the two World Wars.  He expressed to his wife his concern at being dressed like a butler or headwaiter at this remark his wife suggested he wore a red coat, and from that day forward it has been recognised as a dress of the modern Toastmaster.

It is uniquely recognised that the occupation of a Toastmaster as practised in the United Kingdom is steeped in history and is supremely British.  No other countries in the world have a recognised profession as a Toastmaster.  There are MCs but they do not have the knowledge and expertise of a trained British Toastmaster

Michael Bowdrey - Toastmaster