Two Sheriffs are elected annually for the City of London by the Liverymen of the City Livery Companies. Today Sheriffs have only nominal duties, but previously had important judicial responsibilities. They have attended the Justices at the Central Criminal Court Old Bailey since its original role as the Court for the City and Middlesex. The Sheriffs actually live in the court house complex during their year of service, so that one of them can always be attendant on the judges. In Court No 1 the principal chairs on the bench are reserved for their and the Lord Mayor's use, with the Sword of the City hanging behind the bench. It is an invariable custom that the Lord Mayor of London must previously have served as a Sheriff.
By a "custom of immemorial usage in the City", the two Sheriffs are elected at the Midsummer Common Hall by the Liverymen by acclamation, unless a ballot is demanded from the floor, which takes place within fourteen days. The returning officers at the Common Hall are the Recorder of London (senior Judge of the 'Old Bailey') and the outgoing Sheriffs. As of September 2012, the current Sheriffs are Alderman the Hon Jeffrey Evans and Nigel Pullman.
The Sheriffs' jurisdiction covers only the square mile of the City of London. The High Sheriff of Greater London covers areas of London outside of the City, which today incorporates parts of several old counties, most notably Middlesex.
We were exremely honoured to to have two of our Liverymen, The Honourable Jeffrey Evans MAMICS and Mr Nigel Pullman, elected to the office for the year 2012-2013. By tradition their chains and badges of office are funded by contributions from other members of the Livery Movement. Descriptions of their insignia can be found below.
The Arms date from 1945 when Jeffrey's grandfather was created Admiral Lord Mountevans, and were designed by Sir Arthur Cochrane, Clarenceux King of Arms. They are blazoned:
Argent two Bars wavy Azure between three Boar's heads Sable. Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Azure Between two Cross Crosslets fitchy Sable a demi Lion erased reguardant Or Holding between the paws a Boar's Head erased also Sable.
The Badge was designed and made by Grant Macdonald, a former Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths Company. The coat of arms is mounted on an anchor and is framed by a traditional anchor chain, reflecting Jeffrey's career in Shipping and his many maritime affiliations. Attached are shields from The Nautical College Pangbourne, Pembroke College Cambridge, the Baltic Exchange and his longtime employer, Shipbroker Clarksons, together with his three Livery Companies, The Shipwrights, The Goldsmiths and The World Traders.
The anchor hangs from the badge of the Ward of Cheap. Most of the ward is in the parish of St Vedast, to which the small bird's nest from above the altar is a reference. The other church in the ward is St Lawrence Jewry. The anchor in the badge is a reminder of that in the St Katherine window of the church. The family motto 'Libertas' (Freedom) is engraved on the crown (base) of the anchor.
The Chain has kindly been lent to Jeffrey by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and was that of John Hart, Sheriff in 1979-1980. It featured in this summer's successful Butcher Baker Candlestick Maker exhibition, which showcased important art and history from the Livery. The two epaulettes depict 'fleurs de lys', the symbol of his Norwegian family.
The Coat of Arms were designed by the Windsor Herald, William Hunt, and are described thus: Carnation two Pallets Argent over all a Roebuck passant reguardant Gules attired and unguled Sable resting the dexter forehoof on a Ship's Wheel Azure.
The Badge and Chain were designed and made by Past Prime Warden Goldsmith, Grant Macdonald.
The central roebuck is that of the Leathersellers' Company, and also of Colfe's School. The ship's wheel is from his ketch Philomare, but as a Katharine Wheel it also represents his patronage of the church of that saint in Bath & Wells, and the London docks of the same name which were the founding home of the World Traders.
The inverted sword represents the City of London; the law, by his long service on the City bench; and the Army, his early career and TA service. It is held by the Dolphin,to reflect the Piscean birth sign ofhis daughter Laura, and consort Elizabeth.
The main shield is striped in salmon pink, the colour of the Financial Times, where he worked for l8 years. The shields around the perimeter of the wheel are those of the World Traders, the Inns of Court & City Yeomanry, the Bishopsgate Ward Club, and the Leathersellers.
The badge is connected to the chain by Mercury, messenger of the Gods, and cap badge ofthe Royal Signals. The shoulder pieces display the burgees of the Little Ship Club and the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Their background symbolizes the Admiralty charts of the Rivers Thames and Beaulieu.
The Motto: CONIUNCTI FORTIORES translates as "Together, we're a good team".