Written By: Placer County Sheriff's Office
The office of the sheriff is one of the oldest in known history. One of the first mentions of the word “sheriff” was around 600 BC in Babylonia. . Fourteen English sheriffs and past sheriffs played a major role in the creation of the Magna Carta and were present when King John signed the document in 1215 AD. The Magna Carta has been called, “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.” 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘧, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦, 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦. . The sheriff eventually came to the New World colonies in North America. The office of the sheriff, and the men elected to the position, moved into the frontiers of the Old West with westward migration. Some believe that the name “America” itself was derived from a historical sheriff; High Sheriff of Bristol, England: Richard Amerycke who was elected in 1503. . Our founding fathers also mentioned the role of the sheriff in their writings. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The office of the sheriff is the most important of all the executive offices of the county.” . In Part Two, we'll discuss how these historical beginnings shaped and formed the office of the sheriff for modern times.
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