THE next Queen’s representative in North Yorkshire’s legal circles will come from a family with a tradition of royal service.

Richard Compton, owner of Newby Hall, near Ripon, has been nominated to succeed magistrate Francesca Horsfield, of Ampleforth, next Spring as High Sheriff of North Yorkshire.

He is descended from Sir Richard Vyner, the jeweller who replaced the crown jewels when Charles II returned from exile in 1660, and in 2002, the year of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, the Compton family put a replica of the crown jewels on display.

The replicas were made, with royal permission, in 1972. His father, Robin Compton, who died recently, also served as High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, representing the Queen in legal matters in 1978/9.

Robin was also deputy lieutenant of North Yorkshire, helping the Lord Lieutenant of North York-shire in representing the Queen in civilian matters in the county.

The role of High Sheriff includes acting as returning officer during a General Election. He or she is also expected to attend on any royal visit to the county, look after the well being and protection of High Court Judges when sitting in the county and attend at court sittings.

Holders are usually active in local and national schemes such as the National Crimebeat charity that seeks to keep young people from going into crime.

Mr Compton was nominated for the role in one of the most ancient official ceremonies still practised in this country, dating back more than 1,000 years.

At the High Court in London, senior judges and court officials in court robes gathered for the naming of all the country’s forthcoming High Sheriffs. A second ceremony will follow later at the Privy Council when the Queen will formally “prick” the names of the High Sheriffs for the coming year on a parchment list with a silver bodkin (needle) to give the appointments the Royal seal of approval.

Mrs Horsfield was sworn in at a ceremony at York Crown Court last Spring watched by many magistrates and others of the legal community, and Mr Compton will be sworn in at a similar ceremony next Spring.