Title:
High Sheriffs' record book
Level: Category
Shrievalty records
Level: Fonds
SHRIEVALTY OF ESSEX
Level: Sub-Fonds
MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
Level: Series
High Sheriffs' record books
Scope and Content:
Comprises:

printed list of sheriffs of Essex, 1770-1881, continued in manuscript to 1943/4;

subject index (pp. 1, 2);

preface (pp. 3, 5, 7) by Andrew Johnston the retiring sheriff, March 1881, regretting the winding up of the Essex 'Sheriffs Fund' established in 1823 and consequent temptation to useless expense; but 'something might be done, by starting a memorandum book of this kind, to hand down a healthy tradition from one sheriff to another on the subject of expenditure; and ... by accumulating the experience of successive sheriffs, much trouble might be saved future holders of the office'; successive sheriffs were requested, at the end of their term of office, to 'note their experiences where they differ from mine on the space left blank'; in July 1888 Johnston added a request that the volume be 'sent to the gentleman first on the list as published in November';

memoranda by Johnston, some [but rarely after c.1895] with comments by his successors or newscuttings (pasted in), on
appointment of the under sheriff (pp. 9, 11), Johnston's recommendation of 'Mr Gepp' being endorsed by several later sheriffs, especially in view of the judges' lodgings [Maynetrees, New Street, Chelmsford] being also the Gepp family home;
death of sheriff (p. 13);
chaplain (p. 15), with a note by a Roman Catholic sheriff [1885] (p. 17)
swearing in (pp. 17, 19);
Parliamentary elections (pp. 21, 23, 25), with notes by later sheriffs on the elections of 1885 and1886 (pp. 21-26, 201, 202);
Assizes (pp. 27, 29, 31), with a newscutting reporting a judge's charge on the Midland Circuit, 1880, proposing grouping of counties for assize purposes and greater co-ordination with quarter sessions (p. 28);
incomplete list of commission days for the South Eastern Assize, 1879-1902 (pp. 33, 34);
sheriff's dress (pp. 37, 39);
sheriff's lodgings (p. 41);
judge's carriage (pp. 43, 45);
horses (pp. 49, 51);
bill for judges' lodgings [note by Joseph F. Lescher, High Sheriff 1885/6] (p. 53);
'marshall, servants &c.' (pp. 55, 57);
'liveries, staves &c.' (pp. 61, 63);
summoning of the grand jury (pp. 67, 69, 71);
entertainments (pp. 75, 77, 79);
costs of defending prisoners without the means to engage counsel (p. 83);
arranging executions (p. 87), with later notes on the executions of [William] Gouldstone, 1883, and James Manson alias Lee alias Adams, 1885, and newscuttings (pasted in) relating to the latter and to William Wright [c.(1880-1881)];
nomination of succeeding sheriffs (pp. 91, 93, 95, 97, 99);
Treasury repayments to the sheriff ('bill of cravings') (p. 103);

summary annual accounts from 1880/1 onwards (pp. 105 ff.). From about 1890 (p. 119) the sheriffs' footnotes to their accounts expand to include general remarks on their year of office, commenting briefly on the formal processes of the assizes, notable cases, executions, elections, dinners, official engagements etc.
Includes letter of advice (pasted in) from Charles B.O. Gepp [under sheriff] to R.B. [later Brigadier General Sir Richard B.] Colvin of Kelvedon on his taking office, 31 March 1890 (p. 122);
note by T. Courtenay T. Warner of Highams (High Sheriff 1891/2) of his having given a dinner for the County Council, 'to bring the old institutions and the new into closer connection' (p. 123);
votes missing at the count in the Romford Division at the election of 1895 (p. 134);
death of Queen Victoria and proclamation of King Edward VII, 1901 (p. 155);
admission by Samuel H. Dougal of guilt in Moat Farm murder, 1903 (pp. 163, 164);
comment on speedy and workmanlike executioner William Billington, 1903/4 (p. 164);
grand jury's complimenting judge Sir William Grantham on his effort 'to provide cheap dwellings for the working classes', 1905 (pp. 172, 173);
copy of sheriff's expenses and related resolution of grand jury, 1822 (pp. 181, 182);
death of King Edward VII and proclamation of King George V, 1910 (pp. 205-208);
resignation of sheriff through ill health, 1912 (p. 215);
attempt to stimulate [military] recruitment, August 1914 (p. 224);
first use of motor car to meet judge, 1915 (p. 226);
other effects of war, including difficulty in recruiting grand jurors and need for economy (pp. 232-234, 236);
reduction of duties at elections, 1918 (p. 238);
ceremony of proclamation of peace, 4 July 1919 (p. 243);
unveiling of police war memorial at Shire Hall, 1920 (p. 248);
comment on female jurors, 1921/22 (p. 251);
revival of grand jury after its suspension during the war, 1922 (p. 252);
comparatively detailed account by Lieutenant Colonel Francis H.D.C. Whitmore, sheriff 1922/3 (pp. 253-261), including complaint of grand jurymen not wearing morning dress (one borrowed a black coat from 'Mr Spalding the photographer in Chelmsford'), pencil sketch signed 'F.W.' of a barrister (p. 256), account of Whitmore's car breaking down while carrying himself and his chaplain, with 3 sketches in ink and watercolour of the imagined alternative means of transport by bicycle, scooter and horse and cart, entitled 'The pleasures of being High Sheriff' and illegibly signed (p. 257);
grand jury summoned for the last time, 1933 (p. 312);
letter (pasted in) from 'Beale' [Brigadier General Sir Richard B. Colvin, Lord Lieutenant] to Major Herbert Leslie M. Tritton, High Sheriff, advising him to insist on his proper precedence at the Colchester Oyster Feast, 10 October 1933 (p. 315);
comment on the sheriff's lack of a clear role at royal events, 1934/5 (pp. 316, 317);
proclamation of accession of King Edward VIII, 1936 (pp. 323, 324), with copy of address of condolence and of the King's reply (p. 327);
proclamation of accession of King George VI, 1936 (pp. 331-333);
typescript copy, 1938, of memorandum by under sheriff, 1905 (from book of 'circuit notes' kept by Justice Grantham), describing reforms of 1823 intended to limit sheriffs' expenses and discussing ceremonial entrance of judges (p. 340);
request from Lord Lieutenant to 'take over the welfare of the troops in Essex', 1939 (p. 348);
circular from Privy Council Office prescribing economies for the duration of the war, 1941 (p. 363);
death of judge at judges' lodgings, 1941 (p. 366);
dispute with Mayor of Chelmsford over precedence in court, 1943 (pp. 377, 381-387);
comment on difficulties caused by arrival of American troops, 1944 (pp. 379, 380).

newscuttings (some parts loose) on the office of sheriff, 1879-1884, 1928 (pp. 350-355).

Pasted at front:
circular from the Council Office urging sheriffs to nominate for future office only those able to serve, 1886;
pamphlet on 'Grand Juries by one of His Majesty's judges' (11 pp.) [c.1921], the author said by manuscript inscription to have been Mr Justice Rowlatt [Sir Sidney A.T. Rowlatt];
printed account, 1852, of meetings of committee of grand jury, 1823-1848, seeking to limit the sheriff's expenditure and establishing and regulating the sheriff's fund.

Loose at front:
4 letters from Thomas J. Spitty of Billericay [High Sheriff 1881/2] to his predecessor and successor [Andrew Johnston and Hector J.G. Rebow respectively] relating to the present volume etc., 1881-1882;
fragmentary letter from the office of the Lord Chief Justice relating to the dates of assizes, 18[?88];
2 letters from George Courtauld of Halstead [High Sheriff 1896/7] to his successor [Edward M. Ind of Great Warley] relating to the entry of his accounts in the present volume, 1897;
memorandum on fixing of polling day for the Walthamstow by-election by Ralph F. Bury [of Nazeing], High Sheriff, 1910.
Dates of Creation:
1881-1945
Extent:
1 volume
Physical Characteristics:
Manuscript. Original leather binding with stamped decoration and title 'The High Sheriff of Essex. Private'; brass Bramah lock with key. Original stamped pagination; some pages left blank. Red velvet bag [?2010], marked 'Volume I'.
Volume 250 x 205 x 55 mm.
Not Available:
Use digital image(s).

Key terms

TypeKey termsDescription
Subjects Art Watercolour sketches of broken-down car with High Sheriff etc., 1923
Subjects Assizes High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Cars High Sheriffs' record book notes use of cars for ceremonial purposes, 1915-
Subjects Cars High Sheriffs' record book notes use of cars for ceremonial purposes, 1915-
Subjects Clergy High Sheriffs' record book discusses sheriff's chaplain, 1881-1945
Subjects Clothing High Sheriffs' record book discusses ceremonial dress, 1881-1945
Subjects Clothing High Sheriffs' record book discusses ceremonial dress, 1881-1945
Subjects Crime High Sheriffs' record book discusses notable trials and executions, 1881-1945
Subjects Executioners High Sheriff commends executioner, 1903/4
Subjects Executions High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects First World War High Sheriffs' record book notes economies etc.
Subjects First World War High Sheriffs' record book notes economies etc.
Subjects Food High Sheriffs' record book discusses ceremonial and social events, 1881-1945
Subjects Grand juries High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Humour Watercolour sketches of broken-down car with High Sheriff etc., 1923
Subjects Judges High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Law High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Military forces High Sheriffs' record book discusses arrrival of American forces, 1944
Subjects Parliamentary elections High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Roman Catholics High Sheriffs' record book notes Catholic sheriffs and judges, 1881-1945
Subjects Roman Catholics High Sheriffs' record book notes Catholic sheriffs and judges, 1881-1945
Subjects Royalty High Sheriffs' record book discusses royal events and visits, 1881-1945
Subjects Second World War High Sheriffs' record book notes economies etc.
Subjects Servants High Sheriffs' record book discusses liveried servants for assizes, 1881-1945
Subjects Sheriffs High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Sheriffs High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Subjects Transport High Sheriffs' record book discusses ceremonial transport for judges, 1881-1945
Subjects War memorials Police memorial at Shire Hall, Chelmsford, 1920
Personal Names Andrew
Johnston
High Sheriff of Essex, 1880/81
Personal Names Charles B.O.
Gepp
under sheriff, 1890
Personal Names Frederick
Spalding
photographer, Chelmsford, c.(1922-1923)
Personal Names George
Courtauld
High Sheriff, Halstead, 1896/7
Personal Names James
Manson alias Lee alias Adams
executed, 1885
Personal Names Joseph Francis
Lescher
High Sheriff of Essex, Brentwood, 1885/6
Personal Names Ralph Frederic
Bury
High Sheriff, Nazeing, 1910
Personal Names Samuel H.
Dougal
executed, 1903
Personal Names T. Courtenay T.
Warner
High Sheriff, 1891/2
Personal Names Thomas Jenner
Spitty
High Sheriff, Billericay, 1881/2
Personal Names William
Billington
executioner, 1903/4
Personal Names William
Gouldstone
executed, 1883
Personal Names William
Wright
executed, c.(1880-1881)
Personal Names Brigadier General Sir
Richard Beale
Colvin
High Sheriff, 1890, Lord Lieutenant, 1933
Personal Names Colonel Sir
Francis Henry Douglas Charlton
Whitmore
High Sheriff of Essex, 1922/3
Personal Names King
Edward VII
King of Great Britain and Ireland; accession and death noted in High Sheriffs' record book, 1901, 1910
Personal Names King
Edward VIII
King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; accession noted in High Sheriffs' record book, 1936
Personal Names King
George V
King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; accession noted in High Sheriffs' record book, 1910
Personal Names King
George VI
King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; accession noted in High Sheriffs' record book, 1936
Personal Names Major
Herbert Leslie Melville
Tritton
High Sheriff, 1933
Personal Names Queen
Victoria
Queen of Great Britain and Ireland; death noted in High Sheriffs' record book, 1901
Personal Names Sir
Sidney Arthur Taylor
Rowlatt
judge, c.1921
Personal Names Sir
William
Grantham
knight; complimented by grand jury, 1905
Place Names Chelmsford High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Place Names Colchester Lord Lieutenant advises High Sheriff on precedence at Colchester Oyster Feast, 1933
Place Names Walthamstow High Sheriff's memorandum on fixing of polling day for by-election, 1910
Place Names Walthamstow High Sheriff's memorandum on fixing of polling day for by-election, 1910
Place Names Chelmsford Prison
Springfield
High Sheriffs' record book notes executions, 1881-1945
Place Names New Street
Maynetrees
Chelmsford
High Sheriffs' record book relates to judges' lodgings, 1881-1945
Place Names Tindal Square
Shire Hall
Chelmsford
Police war memorial unveiled, 1920
Document Types Circular letter Privy Council Office letter prescribing economies in shrievalty, 1941
Document Types Newscutting Office and duties of High Sheriffs, 1879-?1928
Document Types Sketch Barrister (pencil), and broken-down car with High Sheriff etc. (ink and watercolour), 1923
Institutions Borough of Chelmsford Dispute between Mayor and High Sheriff over precedence in court, 1943
Institutions Colchester Borough Council Lord Lieutenant advises High Sheriff on precedence at Colchester Oyster Feast, 1933
Institutions Colchester Oyster Feast Question of precedence of Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff, 1933
Institutions Essex Assizes High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Institutions Essex County Council Entertained by High Sheriff, c.(1891-1892)
Institutions Gepp and Sons solicitors and under sheriffs of Essex, 1881-1945
Institutions Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Privy Council Office Circular prescribing economies for shrievalty, 1941
Institutions HMP Chelmsford High Sheriffs' record book notes executions, 1881-1945
Institutions Shrievalty of Essex High Sheriffs' record book, 1881-1945
Institutions United States of America, Army High Sheriff comments on difficulties caused by American troops, 1944