Surrey’s new Lord Lieutenant may not quite be following in his famous ancestor and namesake’s footsteps but will hope he can use his financial and engineering background to benefit the county.

Richard Whittington, a distant relative of the 14th century Lord Mayor of London, and later Sheriff of London, who spawned the myth of Dick Whittington, was installed as the High Sheriff of Surrey for 2016-17 on Friday at Guildford Cathedral.

The role, which has been in existence for 1,000 years, will see him act as the Queen’s representative of the judiciary.

In the unpaid role, Mr Whittington will work to support all organisations that uphold law and order, including the courts, police, prisons, emergency services and voluntary bodies.

He is a governor of Gordon’s School, Chobham, non-executive director of the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, honorary treasurer of the Community Foundation for Surrey and sits on the Finance and Investment Group.

The former financial sector worker, has also stated he hopes to promote opportunities for Surrey’s youth in science, technology and engineering by reaching out to the business community and establishing apprenticeships, internships and work experience.

He said: “Through my position at Gordon’s School, which has a strong emphasis on STEM subjects, I have seen the importance of working with businesses to promote these skills and give our young people the best chance of entering and succeeding in the workplace.”

Mr Whittington, from Chobham, previously worked for KPMG, where he was partner-in-charge of the infrastructure, government and healthcare group and simultaneously global head of building and construction, based in London.

Originally from Berkshire, the 66-year-old has lived in Surrey for more than 30 years.

Making his declaration of allegiance to the Queen to a congregation of civic dignitaries at the close of choral evensong he assumed office from Elizabeth Kennedy and began his duties with a couple of school visits in Woking and Godalming this week.