High Sheriff of Lancashire

The High Sheriff of Lancashire is an ancient officer, now largely ceremonial, granted to Lancashire, a county in North West England. High Shrievalties are the oldest secular titles under the Crown, in England and Wales. The High Sheriff of Lancashire is the representative of the monarch in the county, and is the "Keeper of The Queen's Peace" in the county, executing judgements of the High Court through an Under Sheriff.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the High Sheriff was a powerful political position; the sheriffs were responsible for the maintenance of law and order and various other roles. Some of its powers were relinquished in 1547 as the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire was instated to deal with military duties. It was in 1908 under King Edward VII of the United Kingdom that the Lord Lieutenant position became more senior than the High Sheriff. Since that time the High Sheriff has broadly become an honorific title, with many of its previous roles been taken up by High Court judges, magistrates, coroners, local authorities, and the police.

The sheriff conventionally serves for a term of a year, with the term of office starting in March. Unlike other counties, the honour in Lancashire is bestowed by the monarch in their role as Duke of Lancaster, by pricking the Lites. This page lists persons to have held the position, and is divided by sovereign state and Royal house. Another list of sheriffs of Lancashire from 1087 to 1886 is compiled in Edward Baines's "History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster". This names many other individuals for the earliest years of the office.

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