High Sheriffs Installed Across The County Palatine
Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster has appointed Her new High Sheriffs for the County Palatine. Mrs Amanda Jane Parker JP will serve as High Sheriff of Lancashire, Mrs Sharman Birtles JP DL is installed as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and Mr Robert Owen JP DL takes up the post for Merseyside. Each will serve for a 12-month period until April 2016 and all three will be supported by the new Under-Sheriff for the County Palatine, Mr David Cam DL.
The office of High Sheriff is Britain’s oldest, continuous secular dignitary under The Crown, dating back to Saxon times (circa 600 AD). At this time, the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the King for the maintenance of law and order within the county, as well as the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today the role is largely ceremonial and focused on support for local good causes through charitable work. High Sheriffs are responsible for supporting and entertaining visiting High Court Judges. , but do not receive any remuneration from the Duchy of Lancaster or the Privy Purse. All expenses are borne by the individual.
The selection of High Sheriffs for the historic County Palatine is carried out by the Monarch as Duke of Lancaster. As tradition dictates, it entails the pricking of a parchment with a silver bodkin next to the name of the successful candidate.