Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


County, in England the equivalent of the old English shire - a division of the country for purposes of judicial and local government, and ranking next above the hundred, but often in modern times subdivided for parliamentary and other purposes. Of old the earl was the head of the county in many respects, while the Crown was represented by the sheriff, who presided at the shire moot. At present the principal county officers are eight in kind - Lord Lieutenant, Custos Rotulorum, Sheriff, Coroner, Justices of the Peace, Clerk of the Peace, County Treasurer, County Surveyor; and the earldom is quite dissociated from the idea of county government. Under an Act of 1888 County Councils have been formed for the local government of sixty administrative counties. There are special county rates, County Boroughs which are exempt from the Council's authority, and County Courts for small civil cases.