The climax of the administrative revolution was apparently soon passed. How long this group of counties held together is unknown. But Aubrey de Vere before the next Michaelmas agreed to give a hundred marks to be permitted to withdraw from the shrievalties of Essex and Hertfordshire. Fulk seems again to have been sheriff of Huntingdonshire after 1133, and Robert fitz Walter, as Mr. Round has shown, was certainly sheriff in East Anglia until a decidedly later period. The new curial control over sheriffs, which largely repaired the chief defect in the Norman plan of local government in England, of course broke down in Stephen's reign. A few baronial heads of shires who survived from King Henry's time were destined sometimes to aid, more often to plague, his successor. The changes in the personnel of the office during the first third of the twelfth century none the less show convincingly a steady approach towards conditions of the Angevin period, and, as individual cases prove, follow a corresponding trend in the selection of the king's central administrative staff.
W. A. Morris.
- Pipe Roll, p. 53.
- Ramsey Chartul., Rolls Series, i. 152; cf. iii. 176.
- Ante, xxxv. 483–6.
- Through the kindness of Dr. Curtis H. Walker, the writer, after this article was written, was enabled to read in proof the article 'Sheriffs in the Pipe Roll of 31 Henry I' (ante, xxxvii. 67). Dr. Walker's chronology of the shrievalties was in several instances more exact than that of the writer, and acknowledgement of the debt is gratefully made.