Our neighbouring High Sheriffs from Gloucestershire, Powys, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Warwickshire (a broad definition of neighbours but sadly missing Gwent) spent much of the day in Herefordshire. The morning and lunch (very good) was spent at a military camp. In the afternoon we went into Hereford to the Cathedral where we were shown Hereford Cathedral’s 1217 copy of Magna Carta and, even more unusual, the only extant copy of the King’s Writ, sent by King John from Runnymede in 1215 to all sheriffs to warn them of the soon-to-be distributed 1215 original version of Magna Carta. Chris Pullin, the Chancellor of the Cathedral, an expert on Magna Carta, gave us a lecture on these documents with a focus on their implications for the sheriffs of the time.
The job of High Sheriff in Herefordshire, with its population of 188,000 contrast somewhat with that of West Midland with 2.5m people. However, there is much that is shared, including a camaraderie that was much appreciated from our neck of the woods.