D. L.

A Deputy Lieutenant (denoted frequently by the addition of the letters D.L. after a person's name) is a deputy of a lord lieutenant of a county.

His appointment and qualifications previous to 1908 were regulated by the Militia Act 1882.
By section 5, paragraph 30 of that act the lieutenant of each county was required from time to time to appoint such properly qualified persons as bethought fit, living within the county, to be deputy lieutenants. At least twenty had to be appointed for each county, if there were so many qualified; if less than that number were qualified, then all the duly qualified persons in the county were to be appointed.
The appointments were subject to the sovereign's approval, and a return of all appointments to, and removals from, the office had to be laid before parliament annually. To qualify for the appointment of deputy lieutenant a person had to be
(a) a peer of the realm, or the heir-apparent of such a peer, having a place of residence within the county; or
(b) have in possession an estate in land in the United Kingdom of the yearly value of not less than 200; or
(c) be the heir-apparent of such a person; or
(d) have a clear yearly income from personalty within the United Kingdom of not less than 200 (s. 33).

If the lieutenant were absent from the United Kingdom, or through illness or other cause were unable to act, the sovereign might authorize any three deputy lieutenants to act as lieutenant (s. 31), or might appoint a deputy lieutenant to act as vice-lieutenant.
Otherwise, the duties of the office were practically nominal, except that a deputy lieutenant might attest militia recruits and administer the oath of allegiance to them.
The reorganization in 1907 of the forces of the British crown, and the formation of county associations to administer the territorial army, placed increased duties on deputy lieutenants, and it was publicly announced that the king's approval of appointments to that position would only be given in the case of gentlemen who had served for ten years in some force of the crown, or had rendered eminent service in connexion with a county association.

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