The term ‘Bailiff’, derives from the Latin bailus – a legal officer to whom some degree of authority, care or jurisdiction was committed. Today, Bailiffs are of various kinds and their offices and duties vary greatly.
In the Water Conservators’ Company, each new Warden is entitled to appoint a Bailiff from among Liverymen not on the Court, who retains that office until the Warden has been Master. To a great extent, what the Bailiff does rather depends on the Warden. One task is usually to look out for guests of the Company at formal events, and ensure that they are introduced to their host for the day.
The Bailiff may work with the Warden to plan his/her year as Master, especially with regard to the planning of informal, social events, but may also act as a sounding board for ideas about the aims and objectives that the future Master hopes to achieve. During the Master’s year, the Bailiff may assist in the organization and running of the planned informal events. The current bailiffs are:
Master’s Bailiff, Mr Andrew Williamson & Thames Warden’s Bailiff, Mr Ian Noble