In Edward IV.'s reign the elections of mayor, sheriffs and other officers and members of parliament were transferred to liverymen.
In1226-1227when it belonged to Hugh Despenser he obtained various privileges for himself and his men and tenants there, among which were quittance from suits at the county and hundred courts, of sheriffs' aids and of view of frankpledge, and also a market every Thursday and a fair on the vigil, day and morrow of St Peter ad vincula.
The island received a foreign governor (Earl, Hirdstjori or Stiptamtsmadr as he was successively called), and was parcelled out into counties (syslur), administered by sheriffs (s-jislumadr) appointed by the king.
The view of frankpledge (visus franciplegii), or the duty of ascertaining that the law with regard to frankpledges was complied with, was in the hands of the sheriffs, who held an itinerant court called the "sheriff's tourn" for this and other purposes.
In this speech, moreover, and in the only less powerful one of the preceding year upon American taxation, as well as in the Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol in 1777, we see the all-important truth conspicuously illustrated that half of his eloquence always comes of the thoroughness with which he gets up his case.