The High Sheriff of Yorkshire was an ancient High Sheriff title originating in the time of the Angles, not long after the invasion of the Kingdom of England, which was in existence for around a thousand years. A list of the sheriffs from the Norman conquest onwards can be found below. The High Shrievalties are the oldest secular titles under the Crown in England and Wales, their purpose being to represent the monarch at a local level, historically in the shires.
The office was a powerful position in earlier times, especially in the case of Yorkshire which covers a very large area. The sheriffs were responsible for the maintenance of law and order and various other roles. Some of their powers in Yorkshire were relinquished in 1547 as the Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire was instated to deal with military duties. It was only in 1908 under Edward VII of the United Kingdom that the Lord Lieutenant became more senior than the High Sheriff. Since then the position of High Sheriff has become more ceremonial, with many of its previous responsibilities transferred to High Court judges, magistrates, coroners, local authorities and the police.
In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the single Yorkshire shrievalty was abolished, with sheriffs appointed to each of the new metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. Today the position of High Sheriff in Yorkshire is represented at a more local level in the form of four titles; the High Sheriff of the East Riding of Yorkshire, High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, High Sheriff of South Yorkshire and High Sheriff of West Yorkshire.
Famous quotes containing the words high and/or sheriff:
“They talk about their Pilgrim blood,
Their birthright high and holy!
A mountain-stream that ends in mud
Methinks is melancholy.”
—James Russell Lowell (18191891)
“The mans an M.D., like you. Hes entitled to his opinion. Or do you want me to charge him with confusing a country doctor?”
—Robert M. Fresco. Jack Arnold. Sheriff Jack Andrews (Nestor Paiva)