High Steward of Sutton Coldfield
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Prior to the Royal Charter of 1528, Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley held the office of under the Crown. He also held office as Bailiff of the Manor, Keeper of the Rolls and Keeper of Coldfield Walk. The salaries for these posts, under a grant of 1525 were to be paid at the rate of £16 a year to him and his son Henry for life.
On the granting of the Charter the town was to be held by a Warden and Society (roughly equivalent to Mayor and Corporation) and the inhabitants of the town. The Charter granted the right to appoint a High Steward although this right was not exercised until 1547. The High Stewards were appointed for life and were to be entitled to a Deputy to assist in the High Steward's duty of holding courts. At least in the 16th century the High Steward was expected to have a knowledge of English law but the role soon became symbolic, the duties largely ceremonial and latterly the work was done entirely by Deputies.
The High Stewards were all persons of standing and mostly members of aristocratic Warwickshire and Staffordshire families.
In 1974 the Corporation of Sutton Coldfield merged with that of Birmingham and the office of High Steward became extinct.
List of High Stewards
- 1547 John Throckmorton.
- 1582 Henry Goodere.
- 1595 Richard Repington.
- 1612 Robert Devereux (later Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex).
- 1646 Richard Newdigate, 1st Baronet St Vincent.
- 1679 Thomas Thynne (later Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth).
- 1714 Thomas Willoughby, 1st Baron Middleton.
- 1729 Francis Willoughby, 2nd Baron Middleton.
- 1758 Francis Willoughby, 3rd Baron Middleton.
- 1774 Thomas Willoughby, 4th Baron Middleton.
- 1781 Thomas Thynne ( later Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath).
- 1796 Heneage Finch ( later Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford ).
- 1812 Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton.
- 1835 Heneage Finch ( later Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Aylesford)
- 1859 William Henry Leigh, 2nd Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh
- 1905 Sir John Benjamin Stone
- 1925 Sir Francis Alexander Newdigate-Newdegate
- 1936 Sir Henry Ramsay Cameron Fairfax-Lucy
- 1944 Vacant
- 1951 Rupert William Dudley Leigh, 4th Baron Leigh