A HISTORIC role held by the same man for 45 years has passed to his daughter.

John White stood down as Lord of the Manor at the annual law day of Taunton Borough Court Leet in the Old Municipal Buildings on Friday, when Jennifer Lewis took up the post.

He was presented with a picture painted by junior bailiff Michael Blackwell.

Senior bailiff Henry Besley presided over the ancient ceremony, when 23 jurors were appointed and sworn in by the steward, Bill Morris, who outlined the history of the court, particularly the role of the recorder.

The court's history dates from the 8th Century and for hundreds of years it was responsible for the maintenance of the criminal and civil law in the borough.

Its significance has passed into history, by the annual law day is still upheld to this day.

The court's guests included Taunton Deane Mayor Cllr Catherine Herbert, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Colin Drummond, Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow, Somerset County Council chairman Nigel Taylor, Helen Walker and treasurer of Taunton Magistrates.

Following the proceedings, the officers of the court and guests retired to the Castle Hotel for a traditional roast beef lunch.