The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 1. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1797.
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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.
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, anno 1597.
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.
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.
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.
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 aforesaid.
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.