George R Anson
George Anson was born in Canada in 1960 to a Canadian mother and British father. He spent most of his formative years in Iowa in the American Midwest. He went to the University of Iowa where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance in 1982.
In 1984 he moved to the United Kingdom and started his career in The City working initially for GT Management, before moving to Hancock Venture Partners (later HarbourVest Partners) in 1990 where he was a founder and partner for 27 years overseeing their European and Asian activities. George retired from HarbourVest Partners in June 2017.
He has been married to Kirsty for 33 years, and they have three grown children; Josceline (31), Douglas (28) and Peter (23). They have lived in north Buckinghamshire since 1990, and in Weedon since 1999.
George is involved with a number of charitable and not-for-profit organisations, and is a keen golfer and sportsman.
What is a High Sheriff?
The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the “Shire Reeve” was responsible to the King for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown. Today there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales.
High Sheriffs receive no remuneration, and expenses are not funded by the public purse. Each High Sheriff will approach their year differently depending on their skills and experience, and their own areas of interest. The High Sheriff ceremonial uniform dates back to the late seventeenth century.
The role of the modern High Sheriff is “to uphold and lend active support to the principal organs of the Constitution – the Royal Family, the Judiciary, the Police, the Prison services and other law enforcement agencies, the emergency services, local authorities, and all recognised church and faith groups.”
History of High Sheriffs
The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular Office in the UK and has existed for over 1,000 years.
During the 11th and 12th centuries their powers were very extensive. The High Sheriff judged court cases, collected taxes, and could raise the “hue and cry” in pursuit of felons. The High Sheriff was the representative of the Crown.
The Sheriff’s powers were gradually reduced over succeeding centuries. Under the Tudors, Lord-Lieutenants were created as personal representatives of the Sovereign. The Sheriffs were responsible for issuing Court writs until relatively recently, and the relationship with Judges has continued to this day.
Every year the Sovereign pricks the High Sheriff names on vellum with a bodkin on the Sheriffs’ Roll, a practice that goes back to Henry VII to ensure the name cannot be changed! The High Sheriff is responsible for reading the Proclamation in his/her County on the accession of a new Sovereign.