New High Sheriff of Northumberland
Northumberland's new High Sheriff is Michael Orde, from Nunnykirk, near Morpeth, whose formal installation took place in St Giles Church on Saturday.
Michael, pictured with his piper for the year Issy Maxwell, is the sixth member of his family to receive the honour, an unpaid voluntary role appointed by the Queen.
Michael works as a director of Savills in the rural division of its Corbridge and Wooler offices, as well as farming sheep and cattle in partnership with his wife, Samantha.
During the ceremony, he appointed the Venerable Geoff Miller as his chaplain and Issy Maxwell as his piper for his year in office.
The role of High Sheriff concentrates on upholding and supporting the judiciary, police and law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups as well as supporting and encouraging the voluntary sector.
The role dates back to Saxon times when the Shire Reeve, or Sheriff, was appointed to maintain law and order in the shires, initially further south more than 1,000 years ago. When the Normans invaded, they recognised the benefits of ruling through Shire Reeves and retained the role, with the first recorded High Sheriff of Northumberland being appointed in 1076 by King William I. Michael was appointed by the Queen for one year by pricking his name from a list of nominations.
The Orde family have held office as High Sheriffs of Northumberland over several centuries. The first being Michael’s nine times great grandfather, William Orde, who was appointed by King Charles I in 1638, with Michael being the sixth member of the family following also in his father, David Orde’s footsteps, who was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1970.
Michael said: “It is with both enthusiasm and some trepidation that I embark upon my year in office, humbled by the weight of history. I expect to learn a lot about a county that I think I already know and hope that I can support and encourage the many people who work tirelessly to make Northumberland a much more pleasant place to live, than it was in 1076 when the first recorded Northumbrian Shire Reeve was appointed.”
“Northumberland is fortunate to have a fund, administered by The Community Foundation, which was set up 25 years ago and through which successive High Sheriffs of Northumberland have raised monies to give out in awards to voluntary and community groups across the county who encourage young people to engage in useful and beneficial activities, hopefully helping them to become upstanding members of society and avoiding crime. A total of about £500,000 has been awarded to such groups over the life of the fund, with £42,250 given to 61 groups last year. It will be part of my challenge to raise funds in a similar way to fund awards in my year to support young people.”