The office of Lord-Lieutenant is military in origin and dates from the reign of Henry VIII who appointed the first ‘Lieutenants’ in the 1540s to maintain local order and loyalty by controlling the military forces of the Crown. They also appointed and managed magistrates and were responsible for looking after state documents in the county and informing the King of what was going on locally. In 1662 Lieutenants were given control of the entire militia that lasted until 1871 when the Forces Act transferred command back to the Crown. Over subsequent years the emphasis shifted towards today’s ceremonial role and wider involvement with local communities. It was not until 1921 that Lord-Lieutenants finally lost the power to call on all able-bodied men of a county to fight in case of need
Since then the Lord-Lieutenant’s work has expanded. As well as a ceremonial role she also plays a wider part in the life of the county, offering leadership and guidance in a range of areas both civil and defence, professional and voluntary.
The first Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex was Henry Fitzalan, the 12th Earl of Arundel (pictured right) who was appointed in 1559. Although the county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974. Separate Lord-Lieutenants were then appointed for East and West Sussex.
Lord-Lieutenants of West Sussex
Dame Susan Pyper, DCVO
Mr Hugh Wyatt, CVO
Major General Sir Philip Ward, KCVO, CBE
Charles Lennox, 10th Duke of Richmond and Gordon
Lavinia Fitzalan Howard, Duchess of Norfolk
The first female Lord-Lieutenant to be appointed in the UK (pictured right)
Bernard Fitzalan Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk
Appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex in 1949
Click here for a list of all the Lord-Lieutenants of Sussex before 1974.