- Lord Lieutenant
The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British
monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post honorarily. Both men and women are eligible for the post. The office can be considered viceregal, but not equivalent to that of a Governor-General, as Lord Lieutenants have virtually no role in local government, nor are they responsible for promulgating local ordinances in the monarch's name.
England and Wales
In England and Wales and in Ireland, the lord lieutenant was the principal officer of his county. His creation dates from the Tudors.
Lieutenants were first appointed to a number of English historic counties by Henry VIII in the 1540s, when the military functions of the
sheriffwere handed over to him. He raised and was responsible for the efficiency of the local militiaunits of the county, and afterwards of the yeomanry, and volunteers. He was commander of these forces, whose officers he appointed. These commissions were originally of temporary duration, and only when the situation required the local militia to be specially supervised and well prepared — often where invasion by Scotlandor Francemight be expected.
Lieutenancies became more organised soon, probably in the reign of his successor Edward VI, their establishment being approved by the English parliament in 1550. However, it was not until the threat of invasion by the forces of
Spainin 1585 that lieutenants were appointed to all counties and counties corporate and became in effect permanent. Although some counties were left without lieutenants during the 1590s, following the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the office continued to exist, and was retained by James I even after the end of the war against Spain in 1604.
The official title of the office at this time was His or Her Majesty's lieutenant for the county of x, but as almost all office-holders were peers they were referred to as "lord lieutenant".
An Act to make the Militia of this Kingdom more useful (Geo 2, C.9) was passed by the
Parliament of Irelandin 1715. This provided for the issuing of commissions to appoint persons as "his Majesty's lieutenant or lieutenants, governor or governors, and commissioners of array for the several and respective counties, cities, and places of Ireland". The lieutenants were empowered to embody militia regiments.
Although lieutenants were appointed to a few counties from about 1715, it was not until 1794 that permanent lieutenancies were established by
Royal Warrant. By the Militia Act 1797, [Militia Act 1797 (37 Geo.3, C.103)] the lieutenants appointed "for the Counties, Stewartries, Cities, and Places" were given powers to raise and command county militia units.
While in their Lieutenancies, Lord Lieutenants are among some of the few individuals in Scotland officially permitted to fly the banner of the
Royal Arms of Scotland, or Lion Rampantas it is more commonly known.
Militia Act 1802[Militia Act 1802 (1802 c.90)] provided for the appointment of lieutenants to "Lieutenants for the Counties, Ridings, and Places" in England and Wales, and gave them command of the county militia. In the case of towns or cities which were counties of themselves, the "chief magistrate" (meaning the mayor, chief bailiff or other head of the corporation) had the authority to appoint deputy lieutenants in the absence of an appointment of a lieutenant by the crown. The Regulation of the Forces Act 1871[Regulation of the Forces Act 1871 (1871 c.86) section 6] removed the lord-lieutenant as head of the county militia, as the jurisdiction, duties and command exercised by the lord lieutenant were revested in the crown, but the power of recommending for first appointments was reserved to the lord lieutenant.
Militia Act 1882[Militia Act 1882 (1881 c.49) section 5] revested the jurisdiction of the lieutenants in the crown.
The lieutenancies were reestablished on a new basis by Section 29 of the 1882 Act which stated that "Her Majesty shall from time to time appoint lieutenants for the several counties in the United Kingdom". Counties for lieutenancy purposes were also redefined as "a county at large, with the exception that each riding of the county of York shall be a separate county". This meant that the lieutenancies for the majority of counties corporate in
Englandwere henceforth to be held jointly with their associated county - for example a lieutenant was now appointed for "the County of Gloucester, and the City and County of Gloucester, and the City and County of City of Bristol". These lieutenancies had previously been generally held by the mayor of the city or borough corporation. The one exception was Haverfordwest, to which a lieutenant was appointed until 1974.
Constable of the Tower of Londonand the Warden of the Cinque Portswere to continue to be the lord-lieutenants for the Tower Hamlets and Cinque Portsrespectively, which were to be regarded as counties for lieutenancy purposes.
From 1889 lieutenancy counties in
Englandand Waleswere to correspond to groupings of administrative counties and county boroughsestablished by the Local Government Act 1888. The creation of a new County of Londonalso led to the ending of the Tower Hamlets lieutenancy. The Act also extinguished the lieutenancy of the Cinque Ports.
Section 69 of the
Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898realigned the lieutenancy counties with the new administrative counties created by the Act. The one exception was County Tipperary, which although administered by two county councils, was to remain united for lieutenancy. In contrast to the legislation in England and Wales, each county boroughwas to have its own lieutenant, and those counties corporate not made county boroughs were abolished. The effect of this was to create a Lord Lieutenant for the county boroughs of Belfast and Londonderry, and to abolish those for the City of Kilkenny, borough of Droghedaand town of Galway.
The office of lord lieutenant was honorary, and held during the royal pleasure, but virtually for life. Appointment to the office is by letters-patent under the
great seal. Usually, though not necessarily, the person appointed lord lieutenant was also appointed custos rotulorumor keeper of the rolls. Appointments to the county benchof magistrates were usually made on the recommendation of the lord lieutenant.
Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907[Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907(7 Edw.7 C.9)] established County Territorial Force Associations, of which the lord-lieutenant was to be head, styled president of the county association. It restated the combination of counties and county corporates as lieutenancy counties.
In 1921, with the establishment of
Northern Ireland, lord-lieutenants continued to be appointed through the Governor of Northern Irelandto the six counties and two county boroughs. The creation of the Irish Free Statein the following year saw the remaining county lieutenancies in Irelandabolished. In 1973 the counties and county boroughs were abolished as local government units in Northern Ireland, and Lord-lieutenants are now appointed directly by the Queen to "counties and county boroughs... as defined for local government purposes immediately before 1 October 1973". In 1975 the term lord-lieutenant officially replaced that of lieutenant. [ Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 (1973 c.36) section 36(5)] [The Northern Ireland (Lieutenancy) Order 1975 S.I. 1975/156]
Local Government reform in
Englandin 1965 led to the appointment of lord-lieutenants to Greater London[ Administration of Justice Act 1964 (1964 c.2) section 18 ] and Huntingdon and Peterborough, and the abolition of those of the County of London, Middlesexand Huntingdonshire.
A more fundamental reform of local government throughout
Englandand Wales(outside Greater London) created a new structure of metropolitan, non-metroplitan and Welsh counties in 1974. Section 218 of the Local Government Act 1972that established the new system stated: "Her Majesty shall appoint a lord-lieutenant for each county in England and Wales and for Greater London..." The Act appears to be the first statutory use of the term "lord-lieutenant" for lieutenants to counties.
Existing lord lieutenants were assigned to one of the corresponding new counties wherever possible. Where this could not be done, the existing office-holder became a lieutenant of a county, junior to the lord-lieutenant. For example, the
Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshirewas appointed Lord Lieutenant of Powys, with those of Breconshire and Radnorshire each being designated as simply "Lieutenant of Powys". This measure was temporary, and no lieutenants have been appointed in this way since 1974, although the power still exists.
In 1975 counties ceased to be used for local government purposes in
Scotland. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973replaced the counties with regions, and each region was to have one or more lord-lieutenants appointed. [The Lord-Lieutenants Order 1975 (1975/428)] The areas to which they were appointed approximated to the counties and were based and were defined in terms of the new local government districts.
In 1996 Scottish regions and districts were abolished on further local government reorganisation, and since that date lord-lieutenants have been appointed to lieutenancy areas. [ [http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1996/Uksi_19960731_en_1.htm The Lord-Lieutenants (Scotland) Order 1996, Statutory Instrument 1996 No. 731 (S.83).] ]
Partial reform of local government in
Englandsince 1995 has led to the creation of so-called ceremonial counties to which lord-lieutenants are now appointed. The Lieutenancies Act 1997is the most recent piece of primary legislation dealing with Lieutenancies in England and includes the definitive list of the current areas used. Ceremonial counties may comprise combinations of county council areas and unitary authorities. [ [http://www.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts1997/1997023.htm Lieutenancies Act 1997 (1997 c.23)] ]
Since the local government re-organisation of 1996 in
Wales, lord-lieutenants are now appointed to preserved counties. [ [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/wales/wsi2003/20030974e.htm Preserved Counties (Amendment to Boundaries) (Wales) Order 2003] ]
City of Londonwas unaffected by changes introduced since 1882. It has a Commission of Lieutenancy rather than a single Lord-Lieutenant. The Head of the Commission is the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Lord-lieutenants are the monarch's representatives in their lieutenancy. It is their foremost duty to uphold the dignity of the Crown, and in so doing they seek to promote a spirit of co-operation and good atmosphere by the time they give to voluntary and benevolent organisations and by the interest they take in the business and social life of their counties.
The modern responsibilities of lord-lieutenants include:
* Arranging visits of members of the Royal family and escorting Royal visitors;
* Presentation of medals and awards on behalf of the Sovereign, and advising on Honours nominations;
* Participation in civic, voluntary and social activities with the Lieutenancy;
* Liaison with local units of the
Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army, Royal Air Forceand their associated cadet forces;
* Leading the local magistracy as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Justices of the Peace; and
* Chairing the local Advisory Committee for the Appointment of the General Commissioners of
Income Tax, a tribunal which hears appeals against decisions made by the HM Revenue and Customson a variety of different tax related matters.
As the sovereign's representative in his or her county, the Lord-Lieutenant remains non-political nor holds office in any political party. The customary age of retirement is 75. They are appointed for life, although the sovereign may remove them.
The Lord-Lieutenant is supported by a Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants which he or she appoints. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant takes over when the Lord-Lieutenant is abroad, ill or otherwise incapacitated. The Lord-Lieutenant appoints between 30 to 40 Deputy Lieutenants depending on the county's population size.
They are unpaid, but receive minimal allowances for secretarial help, mileage allowance and a driver. Male Lord-Lieutenants receive an allowance for the ceremonial uniform, worn when receiving members of the royal family and on other formal occasions.
There is no uniform for a female Lord-Lieutenant, but there is a badge which can be worn on ceremonial occasions. Male Lord-Lieutenants wear a dark blue uniform in the style of an along with a cap and sword with a steel scabbard. The uniform for a male Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants is of a similar style, but with features to distinguish it from a Lord-Lieutenant.
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
Lord Lieutenant of Irelandwas the head of the British administration in Irelanduntil the foundation of the Irish Free Statein 1922.
Correct forms of address for the Lord-Lieutenant
*Written: '(Title and name), Lord-Lieutenant'
*Salutation: 'Dear Lord-Lieutenant'
*In a Speech: 'My Lord-Lieutenant'
*In conversation: '(Title and name)' or 'Lord-Lieutenant'.
Ceremonial counties of England
Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
Preserved counties of Wales
Lists of Lord Lieutenancies
List of Lord Lieutenants of the United Kingdom
References and external links
* [http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page4867.asp Royal website on Lord-Lieutenant]
* [http://www.nickrobinson.info/clients/lordlt/ Website of the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire]
* [http://www.greaterlondonlieutenancy.org.uk/about-us/the-lord-imbert.cfm Website of the Greater London Lord-Lieutenant]
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