Royal Charter of 1154 requires Sherriff to pay 30 shillings
Drapers Clerk-Jan Boyd watches as Sherriff-Christine Holmes hands the 30 shillings to Master Draper-Gordon Crofts
Whilst looking through historical documents kept by the Shrewsbury Drapers Company the Clerk to the Company, Jan Boyd, came across a Royal Charter granted by Henry II in 1154 requiring the High Sheriff to pay 30 shillings for the benefit of the St Giles Almshouses, almshouses which Shrewsbury Drapers Company looks after today. Further investigation has shown that the 30 shillings has not been paid since 1632 and the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Mrs Christine Holmes, was therefore invited to Drapers Hall, Shrewsbury on 24 November to make good the debt.
Over 50 people were at Drapers Hall to witness the High Sheriff giving 30 shillings (£1.50) to the Master of the Shrewsbury Drapers Company. Guests included four former High Sheriffs, Hugh Trevor-Jones DL, Anne Gee JP, Julian Morgan JP and John Abram JP.
Mrs Holmes said " The Sheriffs Act 1887 makes it very unlikely that a Sheriff could today be held personally liable for a debt raised in the 12th century. However I recognize that some of my predecessors may not have paid their dues to St Giles and I am here today to make amends for any non-payment with clear recognition that I am not making any binding commitment to my successors as High Sheriff. In my year as High Sheriff I am celebrating Shropshire and in particular its volunteers and charitable organizations. The Drapers Company is a superb example of both and has been doing sterling work in providing Almshouses for well over 500 years.''