c. 1400, "an official entrusted with the power and the duty to protect the interests or rights of someone else or some thing," from Anglo-French conservatour, from Latin conservator "keeper, preserver, defender," agent noun of conservare "to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + servare "keep watch, maintain" (from PIE root *ser- (1) "to protect").
General sense of "a preserver" (from injury, violation, etc.) is from mid-15c. Fem. form conservatrice was used mid-15c. in reference to the Virgin.
word-forming element meaning "quality, condition; act, power, skill; office, position; relation between," Middle English -schipe, from Old English -sciepe, Anglian -scip "state, condition of being," from Proto-Germanic *-skepi- (cognates: Old Norse -skapr, Danish -skab, Old Frisian -skip, Dutch -schap, German -schaft), from *skap- "to create, ordain, appoint," from PIE root *(s)kep-, forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see shape (v.)). It often forms abstracts to go with corresponding concretes (friend/friendship, etc.).