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The Office of High Sheriff of Lancashire

The High Sheriff of Lancashire has ancient origins and is personally appointed by the King in his Right as Duke of Lancaster. The office, as Keeper of the Kings Peace, is unpaid and held for one year.


The Roles of The High Sheriff

The High Sheriff is the King’s representative in the County for all matters relating to the Judiciary and the maintenance of law and order; much of the High Sheriff’s year is therefore spent supporting and encouraging the voluntary and statutory organisations who work in this area. In Lancashire this means involvement with the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, the Police, Prison and Probation Services.

Traditionally High Sheriffs look after High Court Judges visiting the county. The High Sheriff can also make awards to those who, in the opinion of the Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of certain offenders.

The Office of High Sheriff is apolitical and as such the High Sheriff is in a unique position to bring people together within the county and to support the enormous contribution made by the emergency services, the armed forces, local authorities, church and faith groups as well as the charity sector and the many volunteers across the county.

In a ceremonial capacity the High Sheriff assists the Lord Lieutenant of the county with royal visits, is the Official Returning Officer for parliamentary elections and has responsibility for proclaiming the accession of a new Sovereign.

High Sheriffs are volunteers and meet the costs of their year in office themselves. No part of their expenses fall on the public purse.


Each High Sheriff’s year is characterised by his or her particular skills, experience and areas of interest, although all share key objectives for the role which are:

  • to uphold and enhance the ancient Office of High Sheriff and to make a meaningful contribution to the High Sheriff’s county during the year of office
  • to uphold and lend active support to the principal organs of the constitution – the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups
  • to assure the welfare of visiting High Court judges, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality
  • to support and encourage the voluntary sector
  • to support the Lord Lieutenant on royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate.