About this site
David Langford was appointed High Sheriff for the Isle of Wight for the year 2007/2008.
This site is an archive of an eventful year - for information on the current High Sheriff, please visit www.highsheriff-iow.org.uk.
The Office of High Sheriff - summary
- The Office of High Sheriff in England and Wales began over one thousand years ago and is the oldest continuous secular Office under the Crown
- High Sheriffs were originally the main tax collectors for the King; they "farmed" their bailiwicks which were based on the Domesday survey
- The High Sheriff is the Sovereign's representative on all matters appertaining to civil law and order
- The High Sheriff comes second in precedence to the County's Lord-Lieutenant.
The High Sheriff:
- Attends Royal visits to the Isle of Wight
- Provides hospitality and looks after the well-being of High Court Judges visiting the Isle of Wight
- Acts as the Returning Officer for parliamentary elections
- Is responsible for the proclamation of the accession of a new Sovereign
- Maintains the loyalty of subjects to the Crown.
In addition to those functions listed above, the High Sheriff:
- Undertakes duties to support and encourage voluntary and statutory organisations engaged in all aspects of civil law and order
- Works with organisations involved with young people, particularly those that seek to keep them from drifting into crime
- Makes awards to those who, in the opinion of the Judges at a criminal trial, have been active in the apprehension of certain offenders
- Participates in Citizenship Ceremonies
- Is advised and assisted by a legally trained Under-Sheriff.
Appointment of High Sheriffs
- The Office is a Royal appointment. It is made at a meeting of the Privy Council, where the custom of HM The Queen literally pricking a hole through the nominee's name on the Roll with a bodkin is perpetuated
- The Office of High Sheriff is non-political and unpaid, and no part of the High Sheriff's expenses falls on the public purse
- The Appointment runs for one year starting in April
- Any citizen of good character owning property within the Isle of Wight may be appointed.
- The High Sheriff's Court Dress dates from Victorian times and is a modification of an eighteenth-century costume.
Further information on the Office of the High Sheriff.