History & Duties

History of the Office of Lord Lieutenant
The Office of Lord Lieutenant is military in origin and can be said to date from the reign of Henry VIII when its holder took over responsibility for the maintenance of order and for all military measures necessary for local defence. By 1569 provision was made for the appointment of deputies.

The Regulation of the Forces Act 1871 removed the Militia from the Lord Lieutenant’s direct control but it was not until 1921 that Lord Lieutenants finally lost the power to call on all able-bodied men of a county to fight in case of need.

The traditional links with the armed forces have been preserved in a modern form in the association of the Office of Lord Lieutenant with the Volunteer Reserve Forces and with other uniformed organisations such as the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services and many voluntary bodies such as the Red Cross, the Cadet Forces and other national and local Youth organisations

In recent years the sphere within which the Lord Lieutenant’s leadership role is exercised has come to include a wide range of matters, civil and defence, professional and voluntary. Lord Lieutenants are effective in such work largely because of their links to the Crown and the essentially voluntary and apolitical nature of their role.

From the earliest days the Office of Lord Lieutenant has been closely associated with the Magistracy and until the nineteenth century the Lord Lieutenant was appointed Clerk of the Peace.

Since at least the eighteenth century a military-style uniform has been worn by male Lieutenants (appropriate to the military origins of the post).
The office is unpaid and the age of retirement is 75.

The Lord-Lieutenant will be interested in all aspects of life within the County – both voluntary and statutory as well as business, social and cultural including nominations for the National Honours List.

Lord-Lieutenants are required to appoint Deputy Lieutenants within an establishment that varies according to the population of a county. They are appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant, subject only to Her Majesty not disapproving the Commission. The letters ‘DL’ appear after their names. The Vice Lord-Lieutenant is appointed by the Lord -Lieutenant from among the Deputies.

The traditional links with the military have been preserved in the modern form in the association of the Lord-Lieutenant with the Territorial Army and other reserve forces. In recent years, the links between Lord-Lieutenants and the uniformed organisations have also led to support being given to a wide spectrum of voluntary groups.

From the earliest days the Lord-Lieutenant has also been closely associated with the Magistracy, and until the nineteenth century he was appointed the Clerk of the Peace. Today the Lord-Lieutenant usually holds the office of Keeper of the Rolls.

Past Lord Lieutenants

Past Lord Lieutenants of Gwent (formally Monmouthshire)

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1587 – Henry Herbert
Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
24 February 1587 – 19 January 1601
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1602 – Edward Somerset
Edward Somerset, 4th Earl of Worcester
17 July 1602 – 3 March 1628
Position held jointly with Henry Somerset
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1626 – Henry Somerset
Henry Somerset, 5th Earl of Worcester
3 December 1626 – 9 May 1629
Position held jointly with Edward Somerset
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1630 – William Compton
William Compton, 1st Earl of Northampton
9 May 1629 – 24 June 1630
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1631 – John Egerton
John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater
11 July 1631 – 1642
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1660 – Henry Somerset
Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort
30 July 1660 – 22 March 1689
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1689 – Charles Gerard
Charles Gerard, 1st Earl of Macclesfield
22 March 1689 – 7 January 1694
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1694 – Thomas Herbert
Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke
11 May 1694 – 7 October 1715
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1715 – John Morgan
John Morgan
7 October 1715 – 7 March 1720
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1720 – Sir William Morgan
Sir William Morgan
21 June 1720 – 24 April 1731
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1731 – Thomas Morgan
Thomas Morgan
18 June 1731 – 12 April 1769
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1770 – Thomas Morgan
Thomas Morgan
27 January 1770 – 15 May 1771
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1771 – Henry Somerset
Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort
23 December 1771 – 11 October 1803
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1803 – Henry Somerset
Henry Somerset, 6th Duke of Beaufort
4 November 1803 – 2 December 1835
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1835 – Capel Hanbury Leigh
Capel Hanbury Leigh
24 December 1835 – 28 September 1861
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1861 – Benjamin Hall
Benjamin Hall, 1st Baron Llanover
9 November 1861 – 27 April 1867
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1867 – Henry Somerset
Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort
21 May 1867 – 30 April 1899
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1899 – Godfrey Morgan
Godfrey Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar
23 June 1899 – 11 March 1913
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1913 – Ivor Herbert
Ivor Herbert, 1st Baron Treowen
4 April 1913 – 18 October 1933
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1933 – Courtenay Morgan
Courtenay Morgan, 1st Viscount Tredegar
4 December 1933 – 3 May 1934
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1934 – Sir Henry Mather-Jackson
Sir Henry Mather-Jackson, 3rd Baronet
1 June 1934 – 23 March 1942
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1942 – FitzRoy Somerset
FitzRoy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan
27 April 1942 – 14 September 1964
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1965 – Edward Roderick Hill
Edward Roderick Hill 15 February
1965 – 31 March 1974
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1974 – Col. Edward Roderick Hill
Col. Edward Roderick Hill
1 April 1974 – 24th June 1979
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1979 – Sir Richard Hanbury-Tenison
Sir Richard Hanbury-Tenison, of Clytha Park
25 June 1979 – 22 October 2001
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2001 – Sir Simon Boyle
Sir Simon Boyle
22 October 2001 – 23 March 2016
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2016 – Brigadier Robert Aitken
Brigadier Robert Aitken
24 March 2016