The Office of High Sheriff is at least 1,000 years old
having its roots in Saxon times before the Norman Conquest. Originally the
office (Shire Reeve) held many of the powers now vested in Police,
Lords-Lieutenant, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners
and even the Inland Revenue.
The High Sheriff of Lincolnshire for 2005-2006 – Nigel Brown and listed for 2006-2007 Roger Douglas. The High Sheriff can be contacted through the Under Sheriff's Office (see below).
The Shrievalty in Lincolnshire was
interrupted in 1974 when the County of Humberside took over the complete
northern part of the county and 8 High Sheriffs of Humberside were in office for
the whole of that county. This was abolished in 1996 and the northern bailiwicks
reverted to Lincolnshire once more.
|Further historical references can be found at www.ccspd.org/nsa.html|
Great Grimsby Constituency
Returning Officer - The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire
Acting Returning Officer – George Krawiec
The Elections Officer - Mrs Jenny Fenton
Returning Officer - High Sheriff of Lincolnshire
Acting Returning Officer - George Krawiec
The Elections Officer - Mrs Jenny Fenton
Mr Andrew R Wylde, Under Sheriff of
views expressed in this site are personal and intended to give an informal
The foundations of Anglo-Saxon society rested on an unstable economy. Famines, plagues and pestilence were frequent and death from starvation was not uncommon.
The cause lay in primitive methods of animal husbandry, the scarcity of arable land, hard winters.
The peasants scratched the soil from dawn to dusk and were frequently attacked by bandits and rapacious neighbours!
No man worked harder than the reeve, who had been chosen by a free peasant community to organize and supervise its communal activities.
An agreement was made between the peasants and the nearest lord for the lord to offer his protection and the peasants to give their land to him and rent it back either in money, service or kind. (The Start of the leasehold system)
Their reeve became the lord's reeve and was placed in authority over all the peasants and lands in the lord's area of influence.
The reeves' first duty was to ensure that both sides kept their bargains.
Over a period the most important reeves were appointed as Kings or High Reeves and from this came his influence in the legal system.
The name High Reeve was still in use in 1001 and the title "Sheriff" (Shire Reeve) does not occur until 1055.
Originally the office held many of the powers now vested in Lord Lieutenants, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and even the Inland Revenue.
The Office of High Sheriff remained first in precedence in the Counties until 1908 when an Order in Council gave the Lord Lieutenant the prime office under the Crown as the Sovereign's personal representative. The High Sheriff remains the Sovereign's representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order.
From "The Sheriff The Man and his Office" et al
High Sheriff on appointment swears an oath, which instructs the holder to
"take command of the said County", and should they see anything
untoward happening to inform "The Queen or Her Majesties Judges
Therefore the post fits into our unwritten constitution as there is a person in each county that is a non-political appointment made by the Privy Council that only last for one year, is unpaid and therefore cannot be influenced for future benefit.
As the only person in the civic circle that is non-party political they are well placed to keep an eye on the county to ensure that corruption and wrong practice can be identified and stamped out.
High Sheriff's Functions of Office are conferred by the Crown through Warrant
from the Privy Council including :-
Attendence at Royal visits to the County
The wellbeing and protection of Her Majesty's High Court Judges when on Circuit in the County and attending them in Court during the legal terms.
The execution of High Court Writs and Orders (through the Under Sheriff whose annual appointment is by the High Sheriff alone)
Acting as the Returning Officer for Parliamentary Elections in County constituencies.
Responsibility for the proclamation of the accession of a new Sovereign.
The maintenance of the loyalty of subjects to the Crown.
The Warrant of Appointment as High Sheriff remains valid even on the death of the Sovereign. In practice some of these responsibilities are delegated to the professional services, for example the protection of the Judges and the mainenance of law and order are in the hands of the Chief Constable of Police.
(acknowledgement to the Shrievalty Association for the above and other information)
Monarch selects the names of the High Sheriff for each county from a list that
is presented to her by the Privy Council.
common use is the term "to read the riot act", this is in fact a
formal legal term that is still in use - if seldom used.
The Police had not the authority to break down the door and clear the building until the High Sheriff had read The Riot Act.
With some trepidation Mr Fisher was driven to the University and stood exposed on the steps reading the Riot Act. As soon as he had finished the police rushed past him and broke down the door ending the occupation peacefully!
current Monarch is Her Majesty Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of Windsor, the elder
daughter of King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Married to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on
The Sovereign personifies the state
and is an integral part of the legislature
- Head of the executive,
- Head of the judiciary,
- The commander in chief of all armed forces of the Crown
- and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Although the powers of the monarchy are often seen as very limited, because the holder has the titles and positions above, it stops the tenant of No 10 Downing Street - The Prime Minister, from having the power that these positions contain.
This often-underrated situation of negative power is of vital importance in our Constitutional Democracy as it ensures that politicians of all parties are operating under certain constraints not evident in many other countries.