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The High Sheriff

The Lord-Lieutenant and The High Sheriff

Although the office of Lord-Lieutenant has precedence over that of the High Sheriff, the office of High Sheriff is of great antiquity and the office originated with the sir reeve in the Anglo-Saxon times. The Normans continued with Sheriff and Under-Sheriffs after the conquest. They are specifically mentioned in the Inquest of Sheriffs 1164. The first names recorded for Northamptonshire in 1129 were Richard Basset and Aubrey de Vere, although there is one name of an earlier but uncertain date, Hugh de Legecestria. By the 13th century the office had become known as High Sheriff. Many of the families which provided members to serve as High Sheriff did so through many generations and still continue to do so.

The Wakes can still probably sustain claim to have provided them longest, having served on seventeen occasions since 1329.

Today the position of High Sheriff holds a largely ceremonial role, with each High Sheriff holding office for one year. The current High Sheriff for 2018/19 is Mr James Saunders Watson.

For more information on the Northamptonshire High Sheriff, please see the website: www.highsheriffnorthamptonshire.com

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