1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Custos Rotulorum

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CUSTOS ROTULORUM, the keeper of the English county records, and by virtue of that office the highest civil officer in the county. The appointment until 1545 lay with the lord chancellor, but is now exercised by the crown under the royal sign-manual, and is usually held by a person of rank, most frequently the lord-lieutenant of the county. He is one of the justices of the peace. In practice the records are in the custody of the clerk of the peace. This latter official was, until 1888, appointed by the custos rotulorum, but since the passing of the Local Government Act of that year, the appointment is made by the standing joint-committee of the county council. Lambarde described the custos rotulorum as a “man for the most part especially picked out either for wisdom, countenance or credit.”