Andrew Williams has been sworn in as the new High Sheriff of Cornwall, taking up the reins from Mark Thomas who has held the office for the last year.
The swearing-in took place this weekend with a small ceremony at his home in Lanhydrock. The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest Royal appointment, with each county in England and Wales having an appointed High Sheriff. In Cornwall the appointment is made by HRH The Duke of Cornwall.
The history and tradition of The High Sheriff goes back to before the Norman Conquest when the original ‘Shire Reeves’ were Royal officials appointed to enforce the King’s interests in a county, in particular the collection of revenues and the enforcement of law and order.
The modern-day High Sheriff has a very different role and function to that of our ancient ancestors. Today the key responsibility of the High Sheriff is to support the work of the judiciary, the police and emergency services, the prison and probation services and various other agencies in Cornwall involved in crime prevention. The Office of High Sheriff is an honorary, independent and non-political role.
“It’s a huge honour and a privilege to be offered the chance to serve and give something back to Cornwall,” said Williams. “I am keen to take an active part in giving support and encouragement to the crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector, all of whom do such pivotal charitable and voluntary work in our communities.”
“I will specifically be championing the work of two charities – Kreslu, the Cornwall Police charity supporting officers affected both mentally and physically in the line of duty and The National Coastwatch Institution, the charity headquartered in Cornwall which through its volunteers, assists in the protection and preservation of life at sea and along the UK coastline.”
Williams, who lives at Lanhydrock with his wife Clare, is also a Falmouth Harbour Commissioner, and an ambassador as well as a member of the advisory board on the Cornwall Place Board, having served on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Board for the past six years.
He runs, with his wife, The Lanhdyrock Estate Company, a multi-faceted estate which owns or manages some 2,000 acres in the heart of Cornwall.