Hereford Cathedral School Morning Assembly – 4th February 2019

I was honoured to be asked by the Hereford Cathedral School (HCS) to address a morning assembly about the history of the shrievalty and its present day role. The HCS is lucky enough to have Hereford Cathedral as its Assembly Hall or Chapel.

The office of Sheriff dates from about 900AD whereas the current Cathedral dates from 1079AD so I could claim that the office predated the building. Previously, there had been two other cathedrals on the site. The See of Hereford dates from 676AD and a stone cathedral was started 20 years later in 696AD. This was rebuilt around 200 years later, around the time Sheriffs came onto the scene so sheriffs of Herefordshire would have seen such a building. They must have been asleep on the job because the second building was burnt down in 1056AD by Welsh and Irish soldiers.

The scholars of the school were subjected to a whistle stop history lesson on the development of British institutions mostly taken away from the sheriffs.