The office of Lord-Lieutenant for a county or area within the United Kingdom has existed for over four centuries. Today it provides a ceremonial presence for the Monarcy on a local basis, spreading a spirit of goodwill and the encouragement of benevolent activity. But in the past it constituted a powerful device by which the Monarch governed the country by means of indirect rule. In particular it was the Lieutenants who controilled the militias, the local defence forces which existed variously as military reserves, as police, and as forces of national unity. This militia was particularly significant in a country which was unusually late in acquiring a regular army. For much of their history the Lord-Lieutenants have also acted as Chief Magistrates, supervising the Justices of the Peace. These lay Justices, like the Lieutenants themselves, have never been salaried officials, serving without emoluments for the maintenance of law and order, albeit for long on a class-restricted basis. Through them the Lieutenants greatly influenced the political direction of their counties, steering their way between local pressures and the demands of national government. In this lively history, the first full-length work on its subject, Miles Jebb has traced the development of the Lieutenancies and their adapation towards the requirements of today, a story of progressive loss of real power but retention of social purpose. He has embellished it with numerous anecdotes about the aristocrats who held the office of Lieutenant together with their Deputies. A comprehensive list of all the Lieutenants in history, compiled by Sir John Sainty, is included as an appendix.