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Sir Laurence Howard to be made an Honorary Freeman of Rutland

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A special ceremony will be held at Oakham Castle on Monday (June 27) to appoint a new Honorary Freeman.

Sir Laurence Howard accepted the appointment following his proposal in February and will receive his title during a ceremony in the castle's Great Hall.

Sir Laurence is a Rutland resident of almost 50 years.

Sir Laurence and Lady Christine Howard on the day he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Michael Crabtree
Sir Laurence and Lady Christine Howard on the day he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace. Photo: Michael Crabtree

He worked in medical research at the University of Leicester for more than three decades and was part of a group that set up a scholarship for Rutland students.

Sir Laurence’s most notable service to the county came in 2003 when he was appointed Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland – the monarch’s representative in the county. He held this position for 15 years until his retirement in 2018 and was appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Sir Laurence also served as a magistrate on the Leicestershire bench from 1979 to 2003, including a term as chairman of the Central Council of Magistrates’ Courts Committees.

In addition to these formal appointments Sir Laurence has been involved with numerous charitable causes and organisations in Rutland.

The title of Honorary Freeman is given to people who have provided eminent services to their county and its residents.

Coun Lucy Stephenson, leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Sir Laurence is an esteemed public figure who commands the trust, respect and admiration of the entire county.

"He has dedicated much of his life to public service and the betterment of others – particularly young people who have benefitted greatly through scholarships with the University of Leicester.

"To receive the title of Freeman is a tremendous honour and I can think of no one more deserving than Sir Laurence, in recognition of his incredible commitment and contribution to Rutland.”

No other reports or council business will be discussed and the ceremony, which takes the form of a special meeting of Rutland County Council starting at 2pm. It is open to the public but space is limited and there is no parking at the castle.

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