The Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts is the chief administrator of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, by appointment of the school's Board of Governors. 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, with the exception of the Hogwarts Board of Governors[1], and during a brief period in 1996, the "High Inquisitor"[2]. As such, the Headmaster is only person exempt from usual restrictions placed upon those found inside the school, such as being the only (human) inhabitant capable of Apparating and Disapparating on school grounds.[3]

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

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


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)

BrianGagwilde.png Brian Gagwilde
Heliotrope Wilkins.jpg Heliotrope Wilkins


PhyllidaSpore2.jpg Phyllida Spore

(c. 1408)[5]

Eoessa.jpg Edessa Skandenberg

(c. 1503)[4]

FytherleyUndercliffe.JPG Fytherley Undercliffe

(c. 1531)[6]

AntoniaCreaseworthy2.jpg Antonia Creaseworthy

(c. 1624)[6]

Elizabeth Burke full.jpg Elizabeth Burke


Vulpus.JPG Vulpus


VindictusViridian3.jpg Vindictus Viridian

(c. 1703)[8]

Amberose.jpg Amrose Swott

(c. 1724)[6]

Dilys Derwent


Everard 1.jpg Everard

(18th/19th century)[9]

Eupraxia Mole


Professor Quentin Trimble.jpg Quentin Trimble


Limebert.jpg Limebert


Dexter Fortescue
Basil Fronsac Old.png Basil Fronsac


Walter Aragon.JPG Walter Aragon


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)[11]

Albus Dumbledore (HBP promo) 1.jpg Albus Dumbledore

(Between 1965–1971 or before[11] to 1997)

Suspended in 1993, later reinstated; assumed to have been sacked in 1996 after escaping a Ministry attempt to arrest him, reinstated later that year.
PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall


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.
PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall


Severus Snape.jpg Severus Snape


PromoHP1 Minerva McGonagall 2.jpg Minerva McGonagall

(1998 to at least 2020)

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 an Alternative Timeline, Dolores Umbridge became Headmistress of Hogwarts after Snape.


See also

Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15 (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor)
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) DVD (Disc 2 - Dumbledore's Office)
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 21 (The Pensieve)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter Limited Edition - The Paintings of Hogwarts: Masterpieces from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Sets
  7. This portrait has only appeared in the Headmaster's Office in the opening to the game Harry Potter for Kinect
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  9. Assumption based on clothing.
  10. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  11. 11.0 11.1 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.

Hogwarts Faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Edessa Skandenberg | 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 | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching Staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Charity Burbage | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | 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 professor (?–1998) | Unidentified DADA professor (1998–?) | Unidentified DADA professor (21st-century) | Unidentified Potions professor (21st-century)
Support Staff Boil-ridden house-elf | Rancorous Carpe | Dobby | Argus Filch | Gimkey | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hogwarts house-elves | Hankerton Humble | Krafty | Kreacher | Ogg | Irma Pince | Pitts | Poppy Pomfrey | Prendergast | Apollyon Pringle | Retch | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Vekey | Wainscott | Winky
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