County History

The county was established in 1182 and later than many other counties. In the Domesday Book, its lands between the Ribble and the Mersey were known as “Inter Ripam et Mersam” and were included in the returns for Cheshire. Although some have taken this to mean that south Lancashire was, at that time, part of Cheshire, it cannot be said clearly to have been part of Cheshire. It is also claimed that the territory to the north formed, at that time, part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. The county was divided into the six hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, Lonsdale, Salford and West Derby. Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, which was the detached part north of Morecambe Bay (also known as Furness), and Lonsdale South.

In 1889 an administrative county of Lancashire was created, covering the historical county except for county boroughs such as Blackburn, Burnley, Barrow-in-Furness, Preston, Liverpool and Manchester. The area covered by the Lord-Lieutenant continued to cover the entirety of the administrative county along with the county boroughs, and thus was expanded slightly whenever boroughs annexed areas in other neighbouring counties.

By the census of 1971 the population of Lancashire (including all its associated county boroughs) had reached 5 million, making it then the most populous geographic county in the UK.

The High Sheriff of Lancashire is an ancient officer, now largely ceremonial, granted to Lancashire, a county in North West England. High Shrievalties are the oldest secular titles under the Crown, in England and Wales. The High Sheriff of Lancashire is the representative of the monarch in the county, and is the “Keeper of The Queen’s Peace” in the county, executing judgements of the High Court through an Under Sheriff.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the High Sheriff was a powerful political position; the sheriffs were responsible for the maintenance of law and order and various other roles. The sheriff conventionally serves for a term of a year, with the term of office starting in March.

Unlike other counties, the honour in Lancashire is bestowed by the monarch in their role as Duke of Lancaster, by pricking the Lites.