12:00pm Tuesday 16th November 2004
Ref. 73397-9A MAGISTRATE and retired farmer is to become Wiltshire's next High Sheriff. David Margesson, 68, will be following in the footsteps of brewery boss James Arkell when he takes over the role next year.
He will be performing ceremonial duties across the county once he formally takes up the post on April 1, having been on the shortlist for the past four years.
Mr Margesson, who lives in Burderop, between Chiseldon and Wroughton, will be the second High Sheriff to come from the hamlet, which consists of just one manor, two houses and six cottages. The first was a Thomas Cawley, who was High Sheriff in 1807.
Retired farmer Mr Margesson received the MBE two years ago for his work with the Wroughton Prospect Hospice, of which he is vice-president.
He is also chairman at the Norland Nanny College in Bath.
A magistrate for 33 years, he is married to Ruth and has two sons, one daughter and seven grandchildren.
He said his mother, who is in her 90s and lives in Ogbourne St George, was very proud of his new appointment.
He said: "Next year is going to be a very interesting year for me and I am looking forward to being able to pick up the telephone and say 'I am the High Sheriff, and I would like to come and see you' and see those places and people that I would not normally get to.
"I am particularly looking forward to working with the new Lord Lieutenant, John Bush, and the new Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Martin Richards."
Mr Margesson is also interested in bolstering the relationships of the county's ethnic minorities, as well as supporting charities, particularly those improving the wildlife and countryside of Wiltshire. In addition, he wants to continue Mr Arkell's work in pushing forward the efforts of the Swindon Cares charity initiative.
He will also be getting involved in national initiatives including Crimebeat, which seeks to keep young children from going into crime and the new DebtCred scheme, which aims to improve financial literacy and reduce debt.
A 1,000 year old job
The High Sheriff's post is nominated in a 1,000-year-old ceremony which dates back to before the Norman Conquest.
There is a High Sheriff for each and every county in England and Wales and each is nominated in the country's finest courtroom, the Lord Chief Justice's court in the Royal Courts of Justice.
High Sheriffs would once have been the most disliked men in the county because of their role, acting as a tax collector for the monarch.
They were also High Court Judge, magistrate, coroners and the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the county.
Although the post remains as the oldest secular office in the land, the role is now purely ceremonial although they must provide hospitality to High Court judges when on 'circuit', as well as attend royal visits and even act as returning officers in Parliamentary elections.
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