Nat and Laura Hone (photo by Sally Corrick Photography)
I am very honoured to have been asked to be High Sheriff for the year 2018-19. The office of High Sheriff dates from the 9th century and is the second oldest secular office after the Monarchy. The first King of England was Egbert in 827. The first Bishop of Hereford was Putta in 676 so even older.
The earliest sheriff whose name we know is Ralph de Bernai in the 11th century. Since then, there have been well over 600 different holders of the office in Herefordshire. Back then, the Sheriff had great powers that they practised, some for good and some not so good. The modern High Sheriff has no practical power but hopes to use the prestige of this ancient office for the good of our County.
I was born and brought up in Bosbury. My family have a connection with the house where we now live since the 1830’s. I have a degree in engineering and worked for 5 years in agricultural machinery in Ludlow, just next door. I then took an MBA from the business school at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. My career since then has been in private equity, much of it in London. My interest has always been in smaller companies with high growth potential, in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors. I have worked with and on the board of a number of such companies.
Since moving back to Herefordshire, I have been involved with various County based institutions. I was Treasurer and am now lay chair of Bosbury PCC; member of the Ledbury Deanery Synod and its standing committee and a member of Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Board of Finance where I chair its Investment Advisory Group.
I am chair of the Bosbury Parish Hall committee and chair of Governors of The Elms School in Colwall on the edge of the County.
I am very pleased to be following my late Mother in the office of High Sheriff. She held it in 2000-2001. I am very honoured that her Chaplin, The Rev Ros Trafford Roberts, has agreed to be my Chaplin. I am also very pleased that Jeremy Wilding of Gabb & Co. has agreed to be Undersheriff during my year. Jeremy has been held this office for the last 6 High Sheriffs.
I shall be working as a team with my wife, Laura and assistant, Julia Savagar. Laura and I have three children, all girls now all grown up but may accompany their aged parents from time to time.
Although Herefordshire Sheriffs at the time of Magna Carta (1215) may have been somewhat suspect, I am conscious that I am following in the footsteps of some formidable holders of the office in the recent past.
The duties of the holders of this office can be summarises as follows (courtesy of the High Sheriff Association where more interesting information on the office can be found http://www.highsheriffs.com/Index.htm)
- To uphold and enhance the ancient Office of High Sheriff and to make a meaningful contribution to the High Sheriff’s County during the year of Office.
- To lend active support to the principal organs of the Constitution within their County – the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, and church and faith groups.
- To ensure the welfare of visiting High Court Judges, to attend on them at Court and to offer them hospitality.
- To support the Lord-Lieutenant on royal visits and on other occasions as appropriate.
- To take an active part in supporting and promoting the voluntary sector and giving all possible encouragement to the voluntary organisations within a County.
During my year in office, I hope to bring some focus on to those voluntary organisations that work with the social services of our County. In particular, I would like to ensure the organisations, together with the individuals involved with them, have the recognition they deserve.