The Office of Lord-Lieutenant is steeped in history. The office had its origins in the needs of the Tudor monarchs to strengthen their military forces against possible invasion from France or Spain and to guard against internal revolt.


Lieutenants were first created by Henry VIII in 1545 to muster the county militias for the defence of the realm. They had powers to lead the militia in the field and to raise forces locally. The Lord-Lieutenant’s role was literally to ‘stand in for’ The King, in the battlefield and elsewhere. Important parts of the role were to act as an unpaid recruiting sergeant for The King and·to play a major part in keeping law and order by both appointing and managing magistrates.


The Lord-Lieutenant was also responsible for looking after state documents in his county and informing The King of what was going on. From 1569 Lord-Lieutenants could appoint Deputy Lieutenants to assist them in this role. However it was not until 1586 when Queen Elizabeth I, in the light of invasion threats from Spain, appointed Lord-Lieutenants more widely. By the time the Spanish Armada arrived on our shores in 1588, Lord-Lieutenants had been appointed in almost every County.

There has been a Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire almost continuously since the position was created by King Henry VIII. The only exception to this was the English Civil War and English Interregnum between 1643 and 1660 when there was no king to support the Lieutenancy. The following list consists of all known holders of the position: earlier records (prior to 1607) have been lost and so a complete list is not possible. 

History of the Buckinghamshire Lieutenancy

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Lieutenancy Office

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