New High Sheriff takes on the role with ‘enthusiasm and trepidation’

The new High Sheriff of Northumberland, Michael Orde, with Issy Maxwell, his piper for his shrieval year.
The new High Sheriff of Northumberland, Michael Orde, with Issy Maxwell, his piper for his shrieval year.

The new High Sheriff of Northumberland has been appointed, continuing a proud and historic family tradition dating back to the 17th century.

Michael Orde, from Nunnykirk, near Morpeth, was formally installed into the role in St Giles Church, Netherwitton, at the weekend.

During the ceremony, he appointed the Venerable Geoff Miller as his chaplain and Issy Maxwell as piper for his year in office.

The role of High Sheriff is an unpaid voluntary role appointed by t,he Queen, which today concentrates on upholding and supporting the judiciary, police and law enforcement agencies, emergency services, local authorities and all recognised church and faith groups, as well as supporting and encouraging the voluntary sector. The first recorded High Sheriff of Northumberland was appointed in 1076 by King William I.

Michael was born and raised in Northumberland, where he works as a director of Savills in the rural division of the Corbridge and Wooler offices, as well as farming sheep and cattle in partnership with his wife, Samantha.

The Orde family has held office as High Sheriffs of Northumberland over several centuries – the first being Michael’s nine times great grandfather, William Orde, who was appointed by King Charles I in 1638.

Michael is the sixth member of the family to take on the role, following in his father, David Orde’s, footsteps. He was High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1970.

Michael said: “It is with enthusiasm and trepidation that I embark upon my year in office, humbled by the weight of history.

“I expect to learn a lot about a county that I think I already know and hope that I can support and encourage the many people who work tirelessly to make Northumberland a much more pleasant place to live.”

Over the last 25 years, the High Sheriff of Northumberland has used a fund, administered by The Community Foundation, to support voluntary and community groups which cater for young people.

Michael said: “A total of £42,250 was given to 61 groups last year. It’s part of my challenge to raise funds in a similar way to support young people.”