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The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts was the chief administrator of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, by appointment of the school's Board of Governors.[1] They were responsible for major decisions regarding the safety and the day-to-day functioning of the school, and acted as the school's primary authority on the school grounds,[2] with the possible exception of the "High Inquisitor" during the 1995–1996 school year.[3]

As such, the headmaster or mistress of the day was also chiefly responsible for the security of Hogwarts Castle, and would upon their appointment to the post assume the control and be tasked with the maintenance of the magical defences around the school, and hence was the only person exempt from usual restrictions placed upon its denizens, including the ability to lift pre-existing defensive charms when necessary,[4] such as opening a window in the Anti-Disapparition Jinx and the Anti-Apparition Charms covering the school, be it for their own purposes,[5][6] or academic ones (such as the annual exception made in the Great Hall to allow an instructor from the Department of Magical Transportation to teach students that were of age to Apparate),[7] or to lift the Muggle-Repelling Charms in the area to enable non-magical people to enter the school, such as when Armando Dippet invited the parents of Myrtle Warren to the school to collect their daughter's body after she fell victim to the monster in the Chamber of Secrets.[8]

Hogwarts also had one or multiple Deputy Heads that assisted the Headmaster in his duties and who, in the event of a headmaster's incapacitation or unavailability, would serve as acting head of the school until a new one was appointed.

The four founders of Hogwarts (Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin), however, never held this title, despite effectively being in charge of the school during their time.[9]


Identified Headmasters of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:

Portrait Headmaster
(term of office or period)
1st Headmaster.jpg First Headmaster of Hogwarts

(Early 11th century)

In addition to being the first official headteacher of the school, he was also the first to ever carry the title of "Headmaster", as neither of the four founders ever held the position before him.[9]
BrianGagwilde.png Brian Gagwilde
Heliotrope Wilkins.jpg Heliotrope Wilkins[10]
PhyllidaSpore2.jpg Phyllida Spore

(c. 1408)[11]

Eoessa.jpg Edessa Sakndenberg

(c. 1503)[10]

FytherleyUndercliffe.JPG Fytherley Undercliffe

(c. 1531)[12]

AntoniaCreaseworthy2.jpg Antonia Creaseworthy

(c. 1624)[12]

Elizabeth Burke full.jpg Elizabeth Burke[13]
GiffardAbbott2.jpg Giffard Abbott[13]
Vulpus.JPG Vulpus[10]
VindictusViridian3.jpg Vindictus Viridian

(c. 1703)[14]

Amberose.jpg Amrose Swott

(c. 1724)[12]

Dilys Derwent HM.png Dilys Derwent


One of the most celebrated heads in the history of Hogwarts.[15]
Everard 1.jpg Everard

(18th/19th century)[16]

One of the most celebrated heads in the history of Hogwarts.[15]
Eupraxia Mole


Professor Quentin Trimble.jpg Quentin Trimble[14]
Limebert.jpg Limebert[10]
Dexter Fortescue
Basil Fronsac Old.png Basil Fronsac[10]
Walter Aragon.JPG Walter Aragon[17]
MordicusEggOlder.jpg Mordicus Egg
Brutus Scrimgeour crop.png Brutus Scrimgeour
PhineasNBlack.jpg Phineas Nigellus Black


Dippet Portrait.jpg Armando Dippet

(Sometime after 1925 to between 1965 and 1971)[18]

Famously accomplished headmaster.
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore

(Between 1965–1971 or before[18] to 1993)

Suspended in 1993, later reinstated.
PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall


Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore


Assumed to have been sacked in 1996 after escaping a Ministry attempt to arrest him, reinstated later that year.
Dolores Umbridge.PNG Dolores Umbridge


Though Umbridge was proclaimed headmistress, she was not acknowledged as such by the headmaster's office, which shut her out for the remainder of the year.
Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore


PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall


Severus Snape.jpg Severus Snape


PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall

(1998 to at least 2020)

Inspirational headmistress.[19]
Dolores Umbridge.PNG Dolores Umbridge

(At least 2020) (alternate timeline)

Unidentified Headmasters


Unknown name and portrait:

Behind the scenes

Albus Dumbledore's portrait

  • Hogwarts is the only school confirmed to have Deputy Headmasters and Headmistresses. It's unknown if this position exists in other wizarding schools.
  • Dolores Umbridge was not considered an official Hogwarts Headmistress by most. The headmaster's office did not open to her. Also, Phineas Nigellus Black told Severus Snape that he was the first Headmaster from Slytherin since himself, although Professor Umbridge was also a Slytherin.
  • Phineas Nigellus Black was considered to be the least popular Headmaster of Hogwarts if one discounts the unofficial Headmistress Umbridge.
  • It's unknown if there can be more than one Hogwarts Headmaster at a time, however, a portrait seen in the Headmaster's office depicting a couple wizards playing Wizard's Chess together, suggesting that it may be possible. The Carrow siblings were also both Deputy Headmaster and Headmistress.
  • When Dumbledore was suspended in 1993 for the second opening of the Chamber of Secrets, Draco Malfoy suggested that Snape applies for Headmaster due to his liking for the teacher at the time. Eventually, Snape indeed became Headmaster, five years after the suggestion, though at that time Draco lost his liking for Severus.
  • In Jack Thorne's original version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Headmaster of Hogwarts was a professor named Marazion, but after reading it Rowling sent him an e-mail saying she doesn't think Marazion fits and that they need McGonagall.[20]
  • Most Headmasters and Headmistresses have had previous teaching jobs at Hogwarts, but some Heads of Hogwarts are appointed without working at Hogwarts such as Phineas Nigellus Black. So it isn't a requirement to have worked in Hogwarts before becoming Head.


See also

Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  4. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Hogwarts Express" at Wizarding World (Some rode broomsticks (a difficult feat when carrying trunks and pets); others commandeered enchanted carts and, later, carriages; some attempted to Apparate (often with disastrous effects, as the castle and grounds have always been protected with Anti-Apparition Charms), others rode a variety of magical creatures.)
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  6. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 18 (Birthday Surprises)
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening June 18: Details About Hogwarts Emerge at The Leaky Cauldron
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) DVD (Disc 2 - Dumbledore's Office)
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 21 (The Pensieve)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Harry Potter Limited Edition - The Paintings of Hogwarts: Masterpieces from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Sets
  13. 13.0 13.1 This portrait has only appeared in the Headmaster's Office in the opening to the game Harry Potter for Kinect
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  16. Assumption based on clothing.
  17. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs) - Remus Lupin says "I was a very small boy when I received the bite...But then Dumbledore became Headmaster, and he was sympathetic." Lupin was attacked shortly before his fifth birthday and visited by Headmaster Dumbledore shortly before his eleventh birthday. This makes the date Dippet left and Dumbledore became Headmaster between March 1965 - March 1971 or before.
  19. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Professor McGonagall" at Wizarding World
  20. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey
Hogwarts faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Edessa Sakndenberg | Amrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Neville Longbottom | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Brindlemore | Charity Burbage | Camelia | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Jakub Gorski | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Mazoni | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Quirinus Quirrell | Patricia Rakepick | Arif Sikander | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Dolores Umbridge | Septima Vector | Unidentified Potions professor (16th-century) | Unidentified Herbology professor (19th-century) | Unidentified Potions professor (19th-century) | Unidentified DADA professor (1984–1985) | Unidentified DADA professor (1985–1986) | Unidentified DADA professor (1986–1987) | Unidentified DADA professor (1987–1988) | Unidentified DADA professor (1989–1990) | Unidentified Muggle Studies professor (1990s) | Unidentified DADA professor (1998–?) | Unidentified Potions professor (21st-century)
Hogwarts house-elves Bilm | Boil-ridden house-elf | Dobby | Filk | Gimkey | Krafty | Kreacher | Pitts | Retch | Vekey | Wegby | Winky
Support staff Rancorous Carpe | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Ogg | Irma Pince | Poppy Pomfrey | Prendergast | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Wainscott | Unidentified Healers