IT seems acknowledged, that the kings of this
realm, in antient times, appointed persons of eminent
degree to be their Lieutenants in different counties, in
case of domestic insurrections, or the prospect of foreign invasions. Thus ROGER DE LEYBORNE was
made lieutenant of this whole shire in the latter end of
the reign of king Henry III. as Lambarde tells us. (fn. 1)
These temporary lieutenants continued till the reign
of king. Henry VIII. when lord lieutenants began to be
introduced as standing representatives of the crown,
to keep the counties in military order; and accordingly we find them mentioned as known officers in
the statute of 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, (fn. 2) though they
had not then been long in use; for Camden speaks
of them, in the time of queen Elizabeth, as extraor
dinary magistrates, constituted only in times of difficulty and danger.
The first permanent lord-lieutenant that has come to
my knowledge is—
SIR WILLIAM BROOKE, lord Cobham, knight of
the Garter, &c. who was Lord-lieutenant from the 1st
year of queen Elizabeth, 1559, to the time of his
death, which happened in the 40th year of that reign,
HENRY BROOKE, lord Cobham, succeeded his father in 1598, and continued in this office till his attaint, anno 1 James I. (fn. 3)
EDWARD, lord Wotton, in the 6th year of king
James I. He is mentioned in the charter to the city
of Canterbury, dated that year. Sir Edward Hoby,
knt. was Custos Rotulorum in 1596, and died in the
16th of that reign.
JAMES, duke of Lenox, was appointed Lord-lieutenant by commission under the Great Seal, June 8,
anno 18 James I.
PHILIP HERBERT, earl of Montgomery, was
Lord-lieutenaut in 1626, being the 2d year of king
HENEAGE FINCH, earl of Winchelsea, was constituted Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum on
July 10, 1616, and was so in 1667.
CHARLES STUART, duke of Richmond and Lenox,
was Lord-lieutenant in 1672, and died the end of
CHRISTOPHER ROPER, lord Teynham, was constituted and appointed Lord Lieutenant and Custos
Rotulorum on January 1687, anno 3 James II.
VERE FANE, earl of Westmorland, and HENRY,
lord viscount Sidney, were joint Lord Lieutenants,
being so constituted in 1692. The former died the
DANIEL FINCH, earl of Nottingham, was constituted Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum in
May 1702, being the 1st year of queen Anne, and
resigned the same on the 17th of April, 1704.
CHARLES FINCH, earl of Winchelsea, was made
Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum in 1704. He
resigned this office in 1705.
LEWIS WATSON, lord, afterwards created earl of
Rockingham, was constituted Lord Lieutenant in
1705, in the room of Charles earl of Winchelsea, the
doquet for that purpose bearing date the 16th of
April that year. He continued in this office till his
death, which happened on March 19, 1724.
JOHN SIDNEY, earl of Leicester, was constituted
Lord Lieutenant on May 5, 1724, and at the same
time Lionel Cranfield Sackville, duke of Dorset, was
appointed Custos Rotulorum. The earl continued in
this office till his death, which happened on the 27th
of September 1737.
LEWIS WATSON, earl of Rockingham, was sworn
in Lord Lieutenant on the 12th of January 1737,
and was likewife Custos Rotulorum. He died in December 1745.
THOMAS WATSON, earl of Rockingham, brother
to the last mentioned earl was, in his room, made
Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum, and died
possessed of this office in the February following,
LIONEL CRANFIELD SAKVILLE, duke of Dorset,
was made Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotnlorum in
July 1746, and continued so till his death, which
happened on the 9th of October 1765.
CHARLES SACKVILLE, duke of Dorset, son of the
former duke, was made Lord Lieutenant and Custos
Rotulorum on the 10th of February following, 1766,
and continued in these offices till his death, on January 6, 1769.
JOHN FREDERICK SACKVILLE, duke of Dorset,
was constituted Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum
in the room of his uncle, the last duke above-mentioned, and still continues to hold these offices.
In anno 13 and 14 of king Charles II. the king's
power of issuing these commissions of lieutenancy for
the several counties of this realm was confirmed by
parliament; and the lieutenants were enabled to arm
and array persons within their jurisdictions, as well to
suppress insurrections as to repel invasions, in manner
as the king should direct, and to give commissions to
the officers, and that they might present to the king
the names of such as they should think fit to be deputy lieutenants, and upon his approbation of them,
should give them deputations; any two of whom, in
the absence of the lord lieutenant, or by his direction,
might exercise and conduct the persons so armed as
These commissions of deputy lieutenancy were given
to but few, and those of the first consideration, till
the second year of George II. when, on the new establishment of militia throughout England, they were
granted, for the better execution of that service to
most of the principal gentlemen of the county.