Although Lieutenants were appointed to a few counties in Scotland from about 1715, it was not until 1794 that permanent lieutenancies were established by Royal Warrant. The warrant ordered the development of volunteer forces for the defence of the country. Forces were based in each County and led by a Lord Lieutenant who was directly appointed by the sovereign. The Lord Lieutenant in turn appointed deputies. The duties of Lieutenants included provision for the protection of their counties in the event of invasion, threat or civil uprising. They directed volunteer forces and, after the 1797 Militia Act, were empowered to raise and command county militia units.
After 1802 only a landholder who held or was heir to property worth £400 Scots was eligible to serve in the lieutenancy. The Lord Lieutenant was ex officio a member of the police committee and the local authority under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts but the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 abolished these functions and the role of lieutenancies gradually became largely ceremonial.
The traditional links with the military have been preserved in a modern form in the association of the Lord Lieutenant with the armed forces, the Territorial Army and other reserve and cadet forces. The Lord Lieutenant is an ex officio member of The Reserve Forces and Cadets Association. In recent years the links between the Lord Lieutenant and the uniformed organisations have also led to links with a wide spectrum of voluntary organisations.
Lord Lieutenants of Berwickshire
- Alexander Ramsey-Home, 10th Earl of Home 17 March 1794 – 20 October 1841
- James Maitland, 9th Earl of Lauderdale 2 November 1841 – 22 August 1860
- David Robertson, 1st Baron Marjoribanks 10 December 1860 – 19 June 1873
- James Innes-Ker, 6th Duke of Roxburghe 9 July 1873 – 23 April 1879
- Charles Douglas-Home, 12th Earl of Home 20 June 1879–1890
- Frederick Maitland, 13th Earl of Lauderdale 4 March 1890–1901
- Lt-Col. George Baillie-Hamilton, Lord Binning 5 January 1901 – 12 January 1917
- Capt. Charles Barrington Balfour 30 May 1917 – 31 August 1921
- Col. Charles Hope 23 January 1922 – 25 August 1930
- Charles Douglas-Home, 13th Earl of Home 8 December 1930 – 11 July 1951
- George Baillie-Hamilton, 12th Earl of Haddington 11 January 1952–1969
- Lt-Col. Sir William Bertram Swan 13 October 1969–1989
- Maj-Gen. Sir John Swinton 10 October 1989–2000
- Maj. Alexander Richard Trotter 20 September 2000 – 20 February 2014