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Custos rotulorum (pl. custodes rotulorum), Latin for "keeper of the rolls", the keeper of the Englishmarker county records, is by virtue of that office the highest civil officer in the county. The position is now largely ceremonial.

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. (The appointment has been united with that of the lord-lieutenancy throughout England since 1836.) The custos rotulorum of Lancashiremarker was formerly appointed by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and that of Durhammarker vested in the Bishop of Durham until the abolition of its palatine rights. Traditionally he was one of the justices of the peace.

In practice the records were in the custody of the clerk of the peace. This latter official was, until 1888, appointed by the custos rotulorum, but following the passing of the Local Government Act of that year, the appointment was made by the standing joint-committee of the county council. The post of clerk of the peace was abolished by the Courts Act 1971.

Lambarde described the custos rotulorum as a man for the most part especially picked out either for wisdom, countenance or credit.

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