Cornwall Lieutenancy

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You will find information here about the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, his role and responsibilities, together with links to related websites and wider information.

Current Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall

edward bolitho head and shoulders pic_v_Variation_1.jpg

Edward Bolitho OBE

Address: Chyandour Office, Penzance, TR18 3LW


Telephone: 01736 363021

For general enquiries on Lieutenancy or related matters please contact:

The Cornwall Lieutenancy Office, County Hall, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3AY

Telephone: (01872) 322100

Links to further information:

Role and Responsibilities of the Lord-Lieutenant

The Lord-Lieutenant is Her Majesty The Queen's personal representative in the county. The appointment is made by The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord-Lieutenant normally serves until retirement at 75 years of age. Although the role is historic, the Lord-Lieutenants have a modern and practical role. They co-ordinate Royal visits. They present certain honours and awards on behalf of The Queen, promote the honours system and assess certain nominations. They encourage the voluntary and charitable sectors. Many Lord-Lieutenants participate in citizenship ceremonies and chair the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committees which appoint magistrates.  The specific role and functions performed by each Lord-Lieutenant vary widely depending on the Lieutenancy itself, the geography (i.e. physical size), population density, number of Royal visits and Lieutenancy engagements, economy and other factors.

The Isles of Scilly are regarded as part of the Cornwall Lieutenancy by virtue of the Lieutenancies Act 1997.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants

The Lord-Lieutenant is supported by a Vice Lord-Lieutenant and by Deputy Lieutenants, whom he appoints from people who have rendered particular service to the county in a variety of ways.  The number of deputies depends on the size of the population.  At present the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall is allowed up to 37 deputies.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Cornwall is Peter Davies, MBE, DL

Address:  Arundell, 1 Moresk Gardens, Truro, TR1 1BJ


Telephone: 01872 274764

Press release with details of appointment, September 2017

The Lord-Lieutenant is also supported administratively by the Clerk to the Lieutenancy, which is a role often taken on by the office of the Chief Executive of the Local County Council or in Cornwall's case, the unitary authority, Cornwall Council.

The Clerk to the Lieutenancy is Kate Kennally

Address: Cornwall Lieutenancy Office, County Hall, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3AY

Tel: (01872) 322100

The Lieutenancy Support Team (based in the same office as above) are:

The High Sheriff of Cornwall

The High Sheriff for 2017/18 is Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Coryton of Pentillie Castle, St Mellion, Cornwall, PL12 6QD.

Tel: (01579) 350044


The Under Sheriff of Cornwall is Philip Reed

Address: Office of the Under Sheriff, 1 High Cross Street, St Austell, PL25 4AB

Tel: (01726) 74433

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year.

Whilst the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector. In recent years High Sheriffs in many parts of England and Wales have been particularly active in encouraging crime reduction initiatives, especially amongst young people. Many High Sheriffs also assist Community Foundations and local charities working with vulnerable and other people both in endorsing and helping to raise the profile of their valuable work. The High Sheriff Association adopted DebtCred and Crimebeat in recent years in response to specific areas of need.

High Sheriffs receive no remuneration and no part of the expense of a High Sheriff’s year falls on the public purse. The High Sheriff's role is an annual appointment, commencing in March each year.

History of the Cornwall Lieutenancy

The office of Her (or His) Majesty’s Lieutenants for Counties was established in England by the Tudors in the sixteenth century when France and Spain threatened the country’s safety.  County Lieutenants were appointed for ‘suppressing commotions, rebellions or unlawful assemblies’.

The Lieutenant’s supporters  - the local gentry – were at first an informal group who could help when needed, but they gradually became formally appointed as Deputies. Cornwall was one of the first counties to have officially commissioned Deputy Lieutenants, in 1569.

The Lieutenancy was responsible for organising and training the local militia  -  the able-bodied men of the county -  who were expected to provide their own armour and weapons. Pitchforks and pikes were apparently much in evidence. Gunpowder was sometimes stored in the local church, as the safest building in the parish, with occasional predictable consequences.

During the Civil War and Commonwealth in the seventeenth century the office of Lord Lieutenant lapsed, but was reinstated by Charles II at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

Many ‘disturbances of the peace’ at that time in Cornwall led to the formation of local militia regiments under the command of the local gentry: Edgcumbe, Coryton, Trelawny, Trevanion, Vyvyan, Arundel, Godolphin. It was the Deputies’ task to make sure that all the parishes collected a local rate to pay for arms, powder and bullets.

By the eighteenth century the County Lieutenants had acquired another duty and another title, that of ‘custos rotulorum’ or ‘Keeper of the Rolls’. It was their responsibility to appoint magistrates: local Justices of the Peace who were charged with the smooth running of the county’s business, at their quarterly meetings or ‘Sessions’. Maintenance of roads and bridges, the county gaol, supervising the work of parishes in caring for the poor, licensing pedlars and meting houses, and dealing with minor misdemeanours, all  generated a good deal of business, recorded on long pieces of parchment which were rolled up for storage. The Lord-Lieutenant represented the Crown and the Lord Chancellor and was therefore responsible for the ‘good management’ of the records.

Most of the eighteenth century was peaceful at home, the only threats being in 1715 and 1745 when the Scots attempted to put the Stuarts back on the throne. But from the 1780s into the early years of the nineteenth century there was a real danger that the French might invade. The records from this time read like a script of ‘Dad’s Army’ – would the elaborate plans for defending the Cornish coast  really have worked? Some of the Deputies feared the local population, armed with their pikes, as being more formidable than the French.

In 1871 responsibility for the local militia was removed from the Lord-Lieutenant’s jurisdiction, but until 1921 he (as they all were then) could still call up able bodied men ‘in real case of need’.

After the Militia Act of 1882 Deputy Lieutenants had no military duties at all, but still had to be commissioned military officers, and this qualification lasted until the 1960s when ‘civil qualifications’ were accepted.

Royal Visits

It is the duty of the Lord-Lieutenant to meet and attend The Queen and members of the Royal family on visits to Cornwall (and the Isles of Scilly) unless the visit is a private one.

A member of the public who wishes to issue an invitation to a member of the Royal family may submit the invitation direct to the Household concerned, but Households much prefer the invitation to be submitted through the Lord-Lieutenant.  This allows the Lord-Lieutenant to offer an opinion on the merits of the proposal considered in the context of other invitations and visits.

Cornwall enjoys visits from most members of the Royal family on a regular basis.  There are approximately 10 visits a year to all parts of Cornwall, and usually the Lieutenancy can arrange these to meet the expectations of the hosts.  The Lord-Lieutenant welcomes early enquiries about potential invitations so that he can build up a sensible pattern of visits throughout the year and contact the relevant Households with comprehensive information.

Charles and Camilla

The Lord-Lieutenant expects to take the lead in coordinating arrangements for the visit, and all enquiries should be directed through the Lieutenancy Office.

Guidance notes are available to help you plan for a royal visit, either by downloading from the link here or by requesting a leaflet from the Lieutenancy Office



Messages from Her Majesty The Queen

A message from The Queen is automatically sent on a person's 100th, 105th and subsequent birthdays.

You can also request that The Queen sends her congratulations on Diamond (60th), 65th and Platinum (70th) wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter.

The delivery of these congratulatory messages is arranged by the Anniversaries Office at Buckingham Palace.  Application forms are available online or you can write to the Lieutenancy Office who can make the application on your behalf.


Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have many people who deserve an honour. However, they won't get one unless someone nominates them.  Anyone can make a nomination for any exceptional individual and it's simpler than you think. Please download our honours leaflet for further information on how to go about it.

Honours nomination forms can be downloaded direct from the Cabinet Office website   

Royal Garden Parties

Every year Her Majesty The Queen hosts a number of royal garden parties at Buckingham Palace. Over the years these have evolved into a way of rewarding and recognising public service.  Approximately 30,000 people attend each year from all walks of life.  The Lord-Lieutenant has a small number of invitations allocated to Cornwall each year and these go to people that have been nominated for some form of recognition for the contribution they have made in their local communities.

Queen's Awards

Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to volunteer groups across the UK for outstanding work done in their local communities. Information about what work the award is given for, who decides on the nominations, and when the announcement of winners is made can be found online using the link above.  Nomination forms are also available to download, together will full guidance and detailed information about the Award.

Queen's Award for Enterprise

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development. The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion is awarded to individuals who encourage entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in others.

The awards are made annually by Her Majesty The Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence. They are judged to a demanding level and winners receive a number of benefits and worldwide recognition.

Previous corporate winners have come from a diverse selection of business sectors and have included large and small businesses. Recipients of the individual award have been from varied social and professional backgrounds.

The closing date for entries is the last working day of September each year and the winners are announced on 21st April the following year.

For more information including the links to the online application and nomination forms visit For further enquiries call The Queen’s Awards Office helpline on 020 7215 6880 or email

Lord-Lieutenant's Fund for Youth

In 2005 the Lord-Lieutenant's Fund for Youth was launched by Lady Mary Holborow and the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Michael Galsworthy. The Fund aims to support achievement and inspire exceptional ability wherever it's found amongst youth in Cornwall.  The intention is to help youngsters who have demonstrated an outstanding talent and aptitude in one way or another - whether in the field of sport, the arts, voluntary service, science or enterprise, amongst many other possibilities - but who cannot progress their chosen career or ambition because of personal or family hardship, or disability.

The Lord-Lieutenant's Trust Fund is supported by donations from individuals, the business community in Cornwall and further afield. Any applications for funding should be made direct to the Cornwall Community Foundation.

If you feel able to support this important project by making a donation, then please contact the Lord-Lieutenant via the Cornwall Community Foundation, Suite 1, Sheers Barton, Lawhitton, Launceston, PL15 9NJ or telephone: 01566 779333.  Website address:

The Trelawny Plate Award

This award is a living memorial to the Rt Revd Sir Jonathan Trelawny and his place in the affections of the Cornish.

Bishop Trelawny, 3rd Baronet of Trelawne, was incarcerated in the Tower of London with six fellow Bishops in 1688 accused of seditious libel.  They had petitioned against the order of King James II that they should support his Declaration of Indulgence, which seemed to promise toleration for Protestant dissenters but which was actually intended to win them to Roman Catholicism.   The Declaration was strongly opposed, particularly in Cornwall.  They were found not guilty and released on 30 June 1688, a date that he always celebrated.  On his return to Cornwall bonfires were lit from hilltop to hilltop and people lined the turnpikes to welcome him back.

His incarceration in the Tower was immortalised in the Cornish Anthem, 'The Song of the Western Men', better known simply as 'Trelawny', written over a century later by Parson Robert Stephen Hawker, vicar of Morwenstow.

And shall Trelawny live?
Or shall Trelawny die!
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why!

The Trelawny Plate Award is presented every two years to an individual who is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to providing inspiration for the Cornish and evoking pride in Cornwall.  The plate itself, which was the personal property of the Bishop, is presented by the Trelawny family in Pelynt, the Bishop’s home parish, on the 30th June, the anniversary of the Bishop’s release from the Tower.  This date is still celebrated as Trelawny Day in Pelynt.

List of previous winners:

  • 2017 - Gareth Churcher
  • 2015 - Mike Shepherd (View the citation made by Bert Biscoe)
  • 2013 - Professor Alan Livingston CBE DL
  • 2011 - Lady Mary Holborow DCVO
  • 2009 - Tom Henderson OBE
  • 2007 - Bishop Bill Ind