The Office of the High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old having its roots in Saxon times before the Norman Conquest. It is the oldest continuous secular Office under the Crown.
Originally the Office held many powers now invested in Lord Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and even the Inland Revenue.
The Office of the High Sheriff remained first in the precedence in the Counties until the reign of Edward VII when an Order in Council in 1908 gave the Lord Lieutenant the prime Office under the Crown as the Sovereign’s personal representative. Lord Lieutenants were created in 1547 for military duties in the Shires. The High Sheriff remains the Sovereign’s representative in the County for all matters relating to Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.
Modern precedence is defined by a Royal Warrant in 1904, as amplified by a Home Office Memorandum of 1928, whereby the High Sheriff takes precedence in the County immediately after the Lord Lieutenant except where the precedence is deferred to a Lord Mayor, Mayor or Chairman of the Local Authority when they are undertaking municipal business in their own district.
For more information, visit www.highsheriffofwarwickshire.co.uk