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Chapter 21. Administration

In the twelfth century Scotland was divided into sheriffdoms, and the sheriffs were the servants of the Crown. Of Banffshire sheriffs, one of the earliest recorded was Richard de Strathewan. The Comyns were the hereditary sheriffs of the county previous to their overthrow by Bruce in 1308. For five years short of two centuries the Castle of Banff and the hereditary office of Sheriff belonged to the Earls of Buchan; and, when Buchan disposed of the Castle to Archbishop Sharp's family, he resigned the heritable sheriff-ship in favour of Baird of Auchmedden, in whose family it continued till 168 t. Then it was conveyed to the Earl of Findlater. After the Forty-five heritable jurisdictions were abolished, and justice was then administered by sheriffs and sheriff-substitutes, nominated by the Crown. The counties of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine form one sheriffdom, while there is a resident sheriff -substitute in Banff.

At the head of the official county lists stand the Lord-Lieutenant, the Vice-Lieutenant, and Deputy-Lieutenants. Banffshire returns one member to the House of Commons.

The county has the two royal burghs of Banff and Cullen and the nine police burghs of Macduff, Portsoy, Buckie, Keith, Dufftown, Aberchirder, Aberlour, Portknockie and Findochty. Each of these has its own local administration save in the matter of police, in which the county is a single unit. The administration of county affairs is in the hands of the County Council, appointed by thirty-three electoral divisions, and divided into two Local Government Districts, the Lower District with twenty members and the Upper District with thirteen members. To these are added representatives of parish councils and royal burghs.

Besides the twenty-two civil parishes mentioned on page 50, there are eleven quoad sacra—Buckie, Enzie, Gardenstown, Glenlivet, Glenrinnes, Macduff, Newmill, Ord, Portsoy, Seafield, Tomintoul.

By the Education Act of 1872, School Boards in every parish had the charge of education; but the Education Act of 1918 has now established an Education Authority, of thirty members, for the whole county to control both primary and secondary schools.

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