Aristocratic Titles

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  Finally!  The contemporary proposals are sitting on various desks in New York City. Our wenchly brainstorming session has been processed, resulting in reams of ideas.  Outlines for the next two historicals are slowly developing.  And I can research again!!

Currently, I’m buried under books on Bermuda for a new idea that’s been niggling at the back of my mind.  I can see right now that I’m going to wish I’d actually been to Bermuda to pull this off.  Maybe, if miracles happen, we’ll find time in the fall.

But in the meantime, after a long time away from the proper world of Regency England, I’m dipping my toe in again, if only for the opening chapters.  And to my dismay, I’ve forgotten many of the tangled complications of titled aristocracy.  Did you know that in 1812, there were only seventeen dukes in England?  And most of them were probably crusty old fellows moldering away in their clubs and country homes and nowhere near as dashing as we make them out to be. (photo of 12th duke of Norfolk)Norfolk

There were only a dozen marquesses (and just spelling that is one of the reasons I prefer not to use that title, unless I’m feeling masochistic), although during the Regency, the title was still marquis.  Which looks even worse in today’s dialogues, sort of sounding like a Regency theater with flashing candlebra, maybe.

Fortunately, there were 94 earls, and earl is a good Anglo-saxon title that sounds as nice on the modern ear as duke. If I’m pulling titles out of a hat, I tend to choose earl because it’s easy. And the heroine gets to be a countess, which I like even better.  But in the case of my current project, the new earl is dead.  And his brother before him. And the earl before that.  Messy situation.  Anyway, I want a distant cousin to inherit the title.  But any old cousin won’t Sinkingyacht
do.  According to my research, he has to be the eldest surviving male of a direct descendant of the title, or some such rot.  So I have to draw a blamed family tree to figure out where I can find this guy.  And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…  And I gave up for the day.

What I want to know is…who made up these rules? And for pity’s sake, why?   It must have been  Etiquette
headache-inducing memorizing everyone’s titles and ancestors just so guests knew in what order they should go into a society dinner!  No wonder they frowned on divorce and ostracized the scandalous.  Who would know where to place them at the dinner table? (link to etiquette book)

It’s bad enough that people try to figure out their position on the human family tree by condemning other races to the bottom and walking over their neighbors to clamber to the top, but why on earth go out of the way to create an artificial hierarchy? 

Apparently, I’m not done with revolution. I see an American historical coming on.

What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy, if only because our father was born three minutes earlier? Or our ancestors arrived on a Norman war ship instead of an Irish potato boat?  Can I join the committee that makes these rules?

145 thoughts on “Aristocratic Titles”

  1. Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!
    But boy, we really like reading about all the ones you and the other ladies there conjure up for us!!
    I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live at that time, I would have been transported or hung for the radical(by those standards) views I hold regarding equality, feminism and workers rights!
    Must be why I like the feisty heroines best!
    Cheers

    Reply
  2. Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!
    But boy, we really like reading about all the ones you and the other ladies there conjure up for us!!
    I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live at that time, I would have been transported or hung for the radical(by those standards) views I hold regarding equality, feminism and workers rights!
    Must be why I like the feisty heroines best!
    Cheers

    Reply
  3. Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!
    But boy, we really like reading about all the ones you and the other ladies there conjure up for us!!
    I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live at that time, I would have been transported or hung for the radical(by those standards) views I hold regarding equality, feminism and workers rights!
    Must be why I like the feisty heroines best!
    Cheers

    Reply
  4. Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!
    But boy, we really like reading about all the ones you and the other ladies there conjure up for us!!
    I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live at that time, I would have been transported or hung for the radical(by those standards) views I hold regarding equality, feminism and workers rights!
    Must be why I like the feisty heroines best!
    Cheers

    Reply
  5. Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!
    But boy, we really like reading about all the ones you and the other ladies there conjure up for us!!
    I have to admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to live at that time, I would have been transported or hung for the radical(by those standards) views I hold regarding equality, feminism and workers rights!
    Must be why I like the feisty heroines best!
    Cheers

    Reply
  6. Interesting post. How were those people able to keep track of who was who and how to address all of them? I’m afraid I would not be able to remember. Were you ostracized if you addressed someone by the wrong name? Sir instead of your grace, to say nothing of when to us surnames and titles and first names.

    Reply
  7. Interesting post. How were those people able to keep track of who was who and how to address all of them? I’m afraid I would not be able to remember. Were you ostracized if you addressed someone by the wrong name? Sir instead of your grace, to say nothing of when to us surnames and titles and first names.

    Reply
  8. Interesting post. How were those people able to keep track of who was who and how to address all of them? I’m afraid I would not be able to remember. Were you ostracized if you addressed someone by the wrong name? Sir instead of your grace, to say nothing of when to us surnames and titles and first names.

    Reply
  9. Interesting post. How were those people able to keep track of who was who and how to address all of them? I’m afraid I would not be able to remember. Were you ostracized if you addressed someone by the wrong name? Sir instead of your grace, to say nothing of when to us surnames and titles and first names.

    Reply
  10. Interesting post. How were those people able to keep track of who was who and how to address all of them? I’m afraid I would not be able to remember. Were you ostracized if you addressed someone by the wrong name? Sir instead of your grace, to say nothing of when to us surnames and titles and first names.

    Reply
  11. ” And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…”
    Nope. Only the heir apparent–i.e, son of current title holder–would hold a courtesy title like viscount. The heir presumptive wouldn’t, the presumption being that no matter how old and dottering a duke is, he might still sire a son to carry on the title. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  12. ” And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…”
    Nope. Only the heir apparent–i.e, son of current title holder–would hold a courtesy title like viscount. The heir presumptive wouldn’t, the presumption being that no matter how old and dottering a duke is, he might still sire a son to carry on the title. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  13. ” And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…”
    Nope. Only the heir apparent–i.e, son of current title holder–would hold a courtesy title like viscount. The heir presumptive wouldn’t, the presumption being that no matter how old and dottering a duke is, he might still sire a son to carry on the title. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  14. ” And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…”
    Nope. Only the heir apparent–i.e, son of current title holder–would hold a courtesy title like viscount. The heir presumptive wouldn’t, the presumption being that no matter how old and dottering a duke is, he might still sire a son to carry on the title. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  15. ” And then I started wondering if this gormless heir might have been called viscount before the last earl sank to the bottom of the sea…”
    Nope. Only the heir apparent–i.e, son of current title holder–would hold a courtesy title like viscount. The heir presumptive wouldn’t, the presumption being that no matter how old and dottering a duke is, he might still sire a son to carry on the title. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  16. “Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!”
    It’s probably scary that I know this off the top of my head, but not in 1812–I’m pretty sure he was a marquess at that point. He was awarded his dukedom in 1814.
    (Feel free to point and stare at the geek. I won’t mind.)

    Reply
  17. “Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!”
    It’s probably scary that I know this off the top of my head, but not in 1812–I’m pretty sure he was a marquess at that point. He was awarded his dukedom in 1814.
    (Feel free to point and stare at the geek. I won’t mind.)

    Reply
  18. “Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!”
    It’s probably scary that I know this off the top of my head, but not in 1812–I’m pretty sure he was a marquess at that point. He was awarded his dukedom in 1814.
    (Feel free to point and stare at the geek. I won’t mind.)

    Reply
  19. “Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!”
    It’s probably scary that I know this off the top of my head, but not in 1812–I’m pretty sure he was a marquess at that point. He was awarded his dukedom in 1814.
    (Feel free to point and stare at the geek. I won’t mind.)

    Reply
  20. “Really interesting post, gosh not many dukes then were there!,and one of them was Wellington!”
    It’s probably scary that I know this off the top of my head, but not in 1812–I’m pretty sure he was a marquess at that point. He was awarded his dukedom in 1814.
    (Feel free to point and stare at the geek. I won’t mind.)

    Reply
  21. There has definitely been title inflation in historical romances — used to be a baron or viscount was good enough, but now dukes proliferate like dandelions. It’s rather like the inflation from millionaire to billionaire in category romances. I actually prefer the lower level titles, in part because the upper echelons were so rare on the ground that it’s a little harder to suspend my disbelief (if one removes Wellington, Devonshire –unavailable because famously married to Georgiana — and the royal dukes, there just aren’t many left). Of course, one of my favorite romances is Ms. Beverley’s very own “An Unwilling Bride”, in part because Lucien is so very ducal.

    Reply
  22. There has definitely been title inflation in historical romances — used to be a baron or viscount was good enough, but now dukes proliferate like dandelions. It’s rather like the inflation from millionaire to billionaire in category romances. I actually prefer the lower level titles, in part because the upper echelons were so rare on the ground that it’s a little harder to suspend my disbelief (if one removes Wellington, Devonshire –unavailable because famously married to Georgiana — and the royal dukes, there just aren’t many left). Of course, one of my favorite romances is Ms. Beverley’s very own “An Unwilling Bride”, in part because Lucien is so very ducal.

    Reply
  23. There has definitely been title inflation in historical romances — used to be a baron or viscount was good enough, but now dukes proliferate like dandelions. It’s rather like the inflation from millionaire to billionaire in category romances. I actually prefer the lower level titles, in part because the upper echelons were so rare on the ground that it’s a little harder to suspend my disbelief (if one removes Wellington, Devonshire –unavailable because famously married to Georgiana — and the royal dukes, there just aren’t many left). Of course, one of my favorite romances is Ms. Beverley’s very own “An Unwilling Bride”, in part because Lucien is so very ducal.

    Reply
  24. There has definitely been title inflation in historical romances — used to be a baron or viscount was good enough, but now dukes proliferate like dandelions. It’s rather like the inflation from millionaire to billionaire in category romances. I actually prefer the lower level titles, in part because the upper echelons were so rare on the ground that it’s a little harder to suspend my disbelief (if one removes Wellington, Devonshire –unavailable because famously married to Georgiana — and the royal dukes, there just aren’t many left). Of course, one of my favorite romances is Ms. Beverley’s very own “An Unwilling Bride”, in part because Lucien is so very ducal.

    Reply
  25. There has definitely been title inflation in historical romances — used to be a baron or viscount was good enough, but now dukes proliferate like dandelions. It’s rather like the inflation from millionaire to billionaire in category romances. I actually prefer the lower level titles, in part because the upper echelons were so rare on the ground that it’s a little harder to suspend my disbelief (if one removes Wellington, Devonshire –unavailable because famously married to Georgiana — and the royal dukes, there just aren’t many left). Of course, one of my favorite romances is Ms. Beverley’s very own “An Unwilling Bride”, in part because Lucien is so very ducal.

    Reply
  26. Too many Dooks? Ah, but Fiction is Fantasy!
    As to: “What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy>>
    Because, deep down, we know we are. All of us.
    🙂

    Reply
  27. Too many Dooks? Ah, but Fiction is Fantasy!
    As to: “What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy>>
    Because, deep down, we know we are. All of us.
    🙂

    Reply
  28. Too many Dooks? Ah, but Fiction is Fantasy!
    As to: “What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy>>
    Because, deep down, we know we are. All of us.
    🙂

    Reply
  29. Too many Dooks? Ah, but Fiction is Fantasy!
    As to: “What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy>>
    Because, deep down, we know we are. All of us.
    🙂

    Reply
  30. Too many Dooks? Ah, but Fiction is Fantasy!
    As to: “What is it in human nature that makes us want to know we’re better than the next guy>>
    Because, deep down, we know we are. All of us.
    🙂

    Reply
  31. I just realized how dreadfully pedantic my earlier post sounds! Sorry about that–I really wasn’t trying to show off or anything, it’s just that I’ve read so much about Wellington in research for my WIP that I’ve turned into something of a walking, talking (and perhaps too talkative!) encyclopedia on the man’s life!

    Reply
  32. I just realized how dreadfully pedantic my earlier post sounds! Sorry about that–I really wasn’t trying to show off or anything, it’s just that I’ve read so much about Wellington in research for my WIP that I’ve turned into something of a walking, talking (and perhaps too talkative!) encyclopedia on the man’s life!

    Reply
  33. I just realized how dreadfully pedantic my earlier post sounds! Sorry about that–I really wasn’t trying to show off or anything, it’s just that I’ve read so much about Wellington in research for my WIP that I’ve turned into something of a walking, talking (and perhaps too talkative!) encyclopedia on the man’s life!

    Reply
  34. I just realized how dreadfully pedantic my earlier post sounds! Sorry about that–I really wasn’t trying to show off or anything, it’s just that I’ve read so much about Wellington in research for my WIP that I’ve turned into something of a walking, talking (and perhaps too talkative!) encyclopedia on the man’s life!

    Reply
  35. I just realized how dreadfully pedantic my earlier post sounds! Sorry about that–I really wasn’t trying to show off or anything, it’s just that I’ve read so much about Wellington in research for my WIP that I’ve turned into something of a walking, talking (and perhaps too talkative!) encyclopedia on the man’s life!

    Reply
  36. Susan, you did not sound the least pedantic (my current hero keeps calling his 7-yr old offspring a pedant as if it’s an insult) but politely prevented me from concurring about Wellington since my memory for dates (and as MJ points out, titles) is nonexistent. It would be sooooo much easier if I could just use wrong titles so people could keep up with a viscount instead of a bland “Charles.” Maybe that’s part of our fascination with “dooks”–they’re easier to keep track of “G”
    Kay, I believe studying peerages and etiquette was part of a good upbringing, right along with embroidery for women. Although one assumes most dinner parties were fortunate to have a baron or two about, and the hostess knew who outranked whom. Makes one wonder if all the dukes ever got together in one room, though.
    Ahhh, peace-keeping Edith, we are all better than all the rest. Makes perfect sense!

    Reply
  37. Susan, you did not sound the least pedantic (my current hero keeps calling his 7-yr old offspring a pedant as if it’s an insult) but politely prevented me from concurring about Wellington since my memory for dates (and as MJ points out, titles) is nonexistent. It would be sooooo much easier if I could just use wrong titles so people could keep up with a viscount instead of a bland “Charles.” Maybe that’s part of our fascination with “dooks”–they’re easier to keep track of “G”
    Kay, I believe studying peerages and etiquette was part of a good upbringing, right along with embroidery for women. Although one assumes most dinner parties were fortunate to have a baron or two about, and the hostess knew who outranked whom. Makes one wonder if all the dukes ever got together in one room, though.
    Ahhh, peace-keeping Edith, we are all better than all the rest. Makes perfect sense!

    Reply
  38. Susan, you did not sound the least pedantic (my current hero keeps calling his 7-yr old offspring a pedant as if it’s an insult) but politely prevented me from concurring about Wellington since my memory for dates (and as MJ points out, titles) is nonexistent. It would be sooooo much easier if I could just use wrong titles so people could keep up with a viscount instead of a bland “Charles.” Maybe that’s part of our fascination with “dooks”–they’re easier to keep track of “G”
    Kay, I believe studying peerages and etiquette was part of a good upbringing, right along with embroidery for women. Although one assumes most dinner parties were fortunate to have a baron or two about, and the hostess knew who outranked whom. Makes one wonder if all the dukes ever got together in one room, though.
    Ahhh, peace-keeping Edith, we are all better than all the rest. Makes perfect sense!

    Reply
  39. Susan, you did not sound the least pedantic (my current hero keeps calling his 7-yr old offspring a pedant as if it’s an insult) but politely prevented me from concurring about Wellington since my memory for dates (and as MJ points out, titles) is nonexistent. It would be sooooo much easier if I could just use wrong titles so people could keep up with a viscount instead of a bland “Charles.” Maybe that’s part of our fascination with “dooks”–they’re easier to keep track of “G”
    Kay, I believe studying peerages and etiquette was part of a good upbringing, right along with embroidery for women. Although one assumes most dinner parties were fortunate to have a baron or two about, and the hostess knew who outranked whom. Makes one wonder if all the dukes ever got together in one room, though.
    Ahhh, peace-keeping Edith, we are all better than all the rest. Makes perfect sense!

    Reply
  40. Susan, you did not sound the least pedantic (my current hero keeps calling his 7-yr old offspring a pedant as if it’s an insult) but politely prevented me from concurring about Wellington since my memory for dates (and as MJ points out, titles) is nonexistent. It would be sooooo much easier if I could just use wrong titles so people could keep up with a viscount instead of a bland “Charles.” Maybe that’s part of our fascination with “dooks”–they’re easier to keep track of “G”
    Kay, I believe studying peerages and etiquette was part of a good upbringing, right along with embroidery for women. Although one assumes most dinner parties were fortunate to have a baron or two about, and the hostess knew who outranked whom. Makes one wonder if all the dukes ever got together in one room, though.
    Ahhh, peace-keeping Edith, we are all better than all the rest. Makes perfect sense!

    Reply
  41. Oh dear. In my latest Regency-era WIP, I have a marquess and I just cannot possibly make him a marquis. Perhaps it’s time to rethink and do a “find and replace” before I founder further. But when I hear “earl,” I think pickup trucks and coon dogs…and then that oldie song the Duke of Earl. Darcy was a plain mister, but today Austen’s editors would probably kick him up the peer tree.

    Reply
  42. Oh dear. In my latest Regency-era WIP, I have a marquess and I just cannot possibly make him a marquis. Perhaps it’s time to rethink and do a “find and replace” before I founder further. But when I hear “earl,” I think pickup trucks and coon dogs…and then that oldie song the Duke of Earl. Darcy was a plain mister, but today Austen’s editors would probably kick him up the peer tree.

    Reply
  43. Oh dear. In my latest Regency-era WIP, I have a marquess and I just cannot possibly make him a marquis. Perhaps it’s time to rethink and do a “find and replace” before I founder further. But when I hear “earl,” I think pickup trucks and coon dogs…and then that oldie song the Duke of Earl. Darcy was a plain mister, but today Austen’s editors would probably kick him up the peer tree.

    Reply
  44. Oh dear. In my latest Regency-era WIP, I have a marquess and I just cannot possibly make him a marquis. Perhaps it’s time to rethink and do a “find and replace” before I founder further. But when I hear “earl,” I think pickup trucks and coon dogs…and then that oldie song the Duke of Earl. Darcy was a plain mister, but today Austen’s editors would probably kick him up the peer tree.

    Reply
  45. Oh dear. In my latest Regency-era WIP, I have a marquess and I just cannot possibly make him a marquis. Perhaps it’s time to rethink and do a “find and replace” before I founder further. But when I hear “earl,” I think pickup trucks and coon dogs…and then that oldie song the Duke of Earl. Darcy was a plain mister, but today Austen’s editors would probably kick him up the peer tree.

    Reply
  46. Not to worry, Maggie. I named an entire book “The Marquess” and no one cared. “G” And while I love the Duke of Earl, that song never once came to mind when thinking of my earls!
    I regret the loss of barons and baronets and knights. Much more practical, really, but we do like all our “lord” and “lady” titles and it gets pretty tricky the further down the tree we crawl. Pity that.
    I still want to make up my own rules! Why Industrialist Major? Merchant Minor? Forget the lord and lady business and just call people by their titles, “my countess,” “My Duchess…” Got to be a better way.

    Reply
  47. Not to worry, Maggie. I named an entire book “The Marquess” and no one cared. “G” And while I love the Duke of Earl, that song never once came to mind when thinking of my earls!
    I regret the loss of barons and baronets and knights. Much more practical, really, but we do like all our “lord” and “lady” titles and it gets pretty tricky the further down the tree we crawl. Pity that.
    I still want to make up my own rules! Why Industrialist Major? Merchant Minor? Forget the lord and lady business and just call people by their titles, “my countess,” “My Duchess…” Got to be a better way.

    Reply
  48. Not to worry, Maggie. I named an entire book “The Marquess” and no one cared. “G” And while I love the Duke of Earl, that song never once came to mind when thinking of my earls!
    I regret the loss of barons and baronets and knights. Much more practical, really, but we do like all our “lord” and “lady” titles and it gets pretty tricky the further down the tree we crawl. Pity that.
    I still want to make up my own rules! Why Industrialist Major? Merchant Minor? Forget the lord and lady business and just call people by their titles, “my countess,” “My Duchess…” Got to be a better way.

    Reply
  49. Not to worry, Maggie. I named an entire book “The Marquess” and no one cared. “G” And while I love the Duke of Earl, that song never once came to mind when thinking of my earls!
    I regret the loss of barons and baronets and knights. Much more practical, really, but we do like all our “lord” and “lady” titles and it gets pretty tricky the further down the tree we crawl. Pity that.
    I still want to make up my own rules! Why Industrialist Major? Merchant Minor? Forget the lord and lady business and just call people by their titles, “my countess,” “My Duchess…” Got to be a better way.

    Reply
  50. Not to worry, Maggie. I named an entire book “The Marquess” and no one cared. “G” And while I love the Duke of Earl, that song never once came to mind when thinking of my earls!
    I regret the loss of barons and baronets and knights. Much more practical, really, but we do like all our “lord” and “lady” titles and it gets pretty tricky the further down the tree we crawl. Pity that.
    I still want to make up my own rules! Why Industrialist Major? Merchant Minor? Forget the lord and lady business and just call people by their titles, “my countess,” “My Duchess…” Got to be a better way.

    Reply
  51. There are lists of aristocratic titles on line–I think the Debrett’s site has one–and somewhere I have one that tells you how to address everyone from the Holy Roman Emperor on down–if I could only find the CD it’s on.
    So, how DO you address the second son of a marquess? I somehow don’t think that “Hey! You in the hat!” is going to cut it.
    As to spelling, courtesy titles, and inheritance through the female line, there is an amusing book called THE WIMSEY FAMILY by Dorothy L. Sayers and C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. It’s a game rather like the Baker Street Irregulars, taking elements mentioned in the book and explaining them and giving them backstories. It has a lot of technical stuff on first and second creations of titles, rules of inheritance, and the like. As well as the story behind the murrain of mice that afflicted a medieval Wimsey, and how a later one came to marry a hosier’s widow.

    Reply
  52. There are lists of aristocratic titles on line–I think the Debrett’s site has one–and somewhere I have one that tells you how to address everyone from the Holy Roman Emperor on down–if I could only find the CD it’s on.
    So, how DO you address the second son of a marquess? I somehow don’t think that “Hey! You in the hat!” is going to cut it.
    As to spelling, courtesy titles, and inheritance through the female line, there is an amusing book called THE WIMSEY FAMILY by Dorothy L. Sayers and C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. It’s a game rather like the Baker Street Irregulars, taking elements mentioned in the book and explaining them and giving them backstories. It has a lot of technical stuff on first and second creations of titles, rules of inheritance, and the like. As well as the story behind the murrain of mice that afflicted a medieval Wimsey, and how a later one came to marry a hosier’s widow.

    Reply
  53. There are lists of aristocratic titles on line–I think the Debrett’s site has one–and somewhere I have one that tells you how to address everyone from the Holy Roman Emperor on down–if I could only find the CD it’s on.
    So, how DO you address the second son of a marquess? I somehow don’t think that “Hey! You in the hat!” is going to cut it.
    As to spelling, courtesy titles, and inheritance through the female line, there is an amusing book called THE WIMSEY FAMILY by Dorothy L. Sayers and C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. It’s a game rather like the Baker Street Irregulars, taking elements mentioned in the book and explaining them and giving them backstories. It has a lot of technical stuff on first and second creations of titles, rules of inheritance, and the like. As well as the story behind the murrain of mice that afflicted a medieval Wimsey, and how a later one came to marry a hosier’s widow.

    Reply
  54. There are lists of aristocratic titles on line–I think the Debrett’s site has one–and somewhere I have one that tells you how to address everyone from the Holy Roman Emperor on down–if I could only find the CD it’s on.
    So, how DO you address the second son of a marquess? I somehow don’t think that “Hey! You in the hat!” is going to cut it.
    As to spelling, courtesy titles, and inheritance through the female line, there is an amusing book called THE WIMSEY FAMILY by Dorothy L. Sayers and C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. It’s a game rather like the Baker Street Irregulars, taking elements mentioned in the book and explaining them and giving them backstories. It has a lot of technical stuff on first and second creations of titles, rules of inheritance, and the like. As well as the story behind the murrain of mice that afflicted a medieval Wimsey, and how a later one came to marry a hosier’s widow.

    Reply
  55. There are lists of aristocratic titles on line–I think the Debrett’s site has one–and somewhere I have one that tells you how to address everyone from the Holy Roman Emperor on down–if I could only find the CD it’s on.
    So, how DO you address the second son of a marquess? I somehow don’t think that “Hey! You in the hat!” is going to cut it.
    As to spelling, courtesy titles, and inheritance through the female line, there is an amusing book called THE WIMSEY FAMILY by Dorothy L. Sayers and C.W. Scott-Giles, Fitzalan Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary. It’s a game rather like the Baker Street Irregulars, taking elements mentioned in the book and explaining them and giving them backstories. It has a lot of technical stuff on first and second creations of titles, rules of inheritance, and the like. As well as the story behind the murrain of mice that afflicted a medieval Wimsey, and how a later one came to marry a hosier’s widow.

    Reply
  56. Argh, titles. They can make one’s head spin.
    But, if I recall correctly, the rule for addressing younger sons of dukes and marquesses is “Lord (Christian Name) (Surname)”. Daughters–all the way down to the rank of earl–would be “Lady (Christian Name) (Surname)”.

    Reply
  57. Argh, titles. They can make one’s head spin.
    But, if I recall correctly, the rule for addressing younger sons of dukes and marquesses is “Lord (Christian Name) (Surname)”. Daughters–all the way down to the rank of earl–would be “Lady (Christian Name) (Surname)”.

    Reply
  58. Argh, titles. They can make one’s head spin.
    But, if I recall correctly, the rule for addressing younger sons of dukes and marquesses is “Lord (Christian Name) (Surname)”. Daughters–all the way down to the rank of earl–would be “Lady (Christian Name) (Surname)”.

    Reply
  59. Argh, titles. They can make one’s head spin.
    But, if I recall correctly, the rule for addressing younger sons of dukes and marquesses is “Lord (Christian Name) (Surname)”. Daughters–all the way down to the rank of earl–would be “Lady (Christian Name) (Surname)”.

    Reply
  60. Argh, titles. They can make one’s head spin.
    But, if I recall correctly, the rule for addressing younger sons of dukes and marquesses is “Lord (Christian Name) (Surname)”. Daughters–all the way down to the rank of earl–would be “Lady (Christian Name) (Surname)”.

    Reply
  61. No offence taken at all Susan…
    If Arthur was still a Marquess in 1812 then that is an historical fact! sorry for my error!
    Naming these people seems even more tricky if thay have a military rank as well!
    Cheers

    Reply
  62. No offence taken at all Susan…
    If Arthur was still a Marquess in 1812 then that is an historical fact! sorry for my error!
    Naming these people seems even more tricky if thay have a military rank as well!
    Cheers

    Reply
  63. No offence taken at all Susan…
    If Arthur was still a Marquess in 1812 then that is an historical fact! sorry for my error!
    Naming these people seems even more tricky if thay have a military rank as well!
    Cheers

    Reply
  64. No offence taken at all Susan…
    If Arthur was still a Marquess in 1812 then that is an historical fact! sorry for my error!
    Naming these people seems even more tricky if thay have a military rank as well!
    Cheers

    Reply
  65. No offence taken at all Susan…
    If Arthur was still a Marquess in 1812 then that is an historical fact! sorry for my error!
    Naming these people seems even more tricky if thay have a military rank as well!
    Cheers

    Reply
  66. I absolutely LOVED the ‘gormless’ comment! My coffee flew everywhere! 😆
    I have a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school. Since that time, they don’t really teach it anymore though of course, the materials are still available that they used.
    I prefer not to use titles if possible, rather leaving it to the tavern owners and such to use the terms m’lord or m’lady since they tended to address those who were clothed finely as such whether they really were or not. Well, except for the occasional ‘lady’ who was really a madam….

    Reply
  67. I absolutely LOVED the ‘gormless’ comment! My coffee flew everywhere! 😆
    I have a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school. Since that time, they don’t really teach it anymore though of course, the materials are still available that they used.
    I prefer not to use titles if possible, rather leaving it to the tavern owners and such to use the terms m’lord or m’lady since they tended to address those who were clothed finely as such whether they really were or not. Well, except for the occasional ‘lady’ who was really a madam….

    Reply
  68. I absolutely LOVED the ‘gormless’ comment! My coffee flew everywhere! 😆
    I have a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school. Since that time, they don’t really teach it anymore though of course, the materials are still available that they used.
    I prefer not to use titles if possible, rather leaving it to the tavern owners and such to use the terms m’lord or m’lady since they tended to address those who were clothed finely as such whether they really were or not. Well, except for the occasional ‘lady’ who was really a madam….

    Reply
  69. I absolutely LOVED the ‘gormless’ comment! My coffee flew everywhere! 😆
    I have a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school. Since that time, they don’t really teach it anymore though of course, the materials are still available that they used.
    I prefer not to use titles if possible, rather leaving it to the tavern owners and such to use the terms m’lord or m’lady since they tended to address those who were clothed finely as such whether they really were or not. Well, except for the occasional ‘lady’ who was really a madam….

    Reply
  70. I absolutely LOVED the ‘gormless’ comment! My coffee flew everywhere! 😆
    I have a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school. Since that time, they don’t really teach it anymore though of course, the materials are still available that they used.
    I prefer not to use titles if possible, rather leaving it to the tavern owners and such to use the terms m’lord or m’lady since they tended to address those who were clothed finely as such whether they really were or not. Well, except for the occasional ‘lady’ who was really a madam….

    Reply
  71. A murrain of mice, Tal? That’s almost as good as a surplus of dukes! Steph, I believe you’re right. If we stick to the upper upper classes, Lord First Name works nicely for most everyone but the heir.
    And slapping hand to head–of course they taught this junk in school! Always so valuable in case one is invited to a royal tea party. The challenge of keeping it all straight is kind of fun, but really, kids are probably better of learning geometry.

    Reply
  72. A murrain of mice, Tal? That’s almost as good as a surplus of dukes! Steph, I believe you’re right. If we stick to the upper upper classes, Lord First Name works nicely for most everyone but the heir.
    And slapping hand to head–of course they taught this junk in school! Always so valuable in case one is invited to a royal tea party. The challenge of keeping it all straight is kind of fun, but really, kids are probably better of learning geometry.

    Reply
  73. A murrain of mice, Tal? That’s almost as good as a surplus of dukes! Steph, I believe you’re right. If we stick to the upper upper classes, Lord First Name works nicely for most everyone but the heir.
    And slapping hand to head–of course they taught this junk in school! Always so valuable in case one is invited to a royal tea party. The challenge of keeping it all straight is kind of fun, but really, kids are probably better of learning geometry.

    Reply
  74. A murrain of mice, Tal? That’s almost as good as a surplus of dukes! Steph, I believe you’re right. If we stick to the upper upper classes, Lord First Name works nicely for most everyone but the heir.
    And slapping hand to head–of course they taught this junk in school! Always so valuable in case one is invited to a royal tea party. The challenge of keeping it all straight is kind of fun, but really, kids are probably better of learning geometry.

    Reply
  75. A murrain of mice, Tal? That’s almost as good as a surplus of dukes! Steph, I believe you’re right. If we stick to the upper upper classes, Lord First Name works nicely for most everyone but the heir.
    And slapping hand to head–of course they taught this junk in school! Always so valuable in case one is invited to a royal tea party. The challenge of keeping it all straight is kind of fun, but really, kids are probably better of learning geometry.

    Reply
  76. I know the younger sons of dukes are “Lord Percy” or whatever; but I’m not at all sure about the younger sons of marquesses. I think that depends on what “creation” they are, or perhaps whether the title is Scottish, English, or British. Lady Diana Cooper was a duke’s daughter, but the famous Mitford sisters were the daughters of a baron, and Honorables.
    Edith obviously grew up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.
    And Pat, the murrain of mice came from a Wimsey offending the wrong witch, IIRC; and it’s behind the presence of a cat on the family crest.

    Reply
  77. I know the younger sons of dukes are “Lord Percy” or whatever; but I’m not at all sure about the younger sons of marquesses. I think that depends on what “creation” they are, or perhaps whether the title is Scottish, English, or British. Lady Diana Cooper was a duke’s daughter, but the famous Mitford sisters were the daughters of a baron, and Honorables.
    Edith obviously grew up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.
    And Pat, the murrain of mice came from a Wimsey offending the wrong witch, IIRC; and it’s behind the presence of a cat on the family crest.

    Reply
  78. I know the younger sons of dukes are “Lord Percy” or whatever; but I’m not at all sure about the younger sons of marquesses. I think that depends on what “creation” they are, or perhaps whether the title is Scottish, English, or British. Lady Diana Cooper was a duke’s daughter, but the famous Mitford sisters were the daughters of a baron, and Honorables.
    Edith obviously grew up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.
    And Pat, the murrain of mice came from a Wimsey offending the wrong witch, IIRC; and it’s behind the presence of a cat on the family crest.

    Reply
  79. I know the younger sons of dukes are “Lord Percy” or whatever; but I’m not at all sure about the younger sons of marquesses. I think that depends on what “creation” they are, or perhaps whether the title is Scottish, English, or British. Lady Diana Cooper was a duke’s daughter, but the famous Mitford sisters were the daughters of a baron, and Honorables.
    Edith obviously grew up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.
    And Pat, the murrain of mice came from a Wimsey offending the wrong witch, IIRC; and it’s behind the presence of a cat on the family crest.

    Reply
  80. I know the younger sons of dukes are “Lord Percy” or whatever; but I’m not at all sure about the younger sons of marquesses. I think that depends on what “creation” they are, or perhaps whether the title is Scottish, English, or British. Lady Diana Cooper was a duke’s daughter, but the famous Mitford sisters were the daughters of a baron, and Honorables.
    Edith obviously grew up in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.
    And Pat, the murrain of mice came from a Wimsey offending the wrong witch, IIRC; and it’s behind the presence of a cat on the family crest.

    Reply
  81. Just checked Wikipedia, and they have an entry for “marquess,” which is the preferred form:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess
    The title has an interesting history and is fairly uncommon in the UK. Younger sons are “Lord Firstname,” by the way.
    The only woman ever to be created a marchioness in her own right was Anne Boleyn. And look how THAT worked out….

    Reply
  82. Just checked Wikipedia, and they have an entry for “marquess,” which is the preferred form:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess
    The title has an interesting history and is fairly uncommon in the UK. Younger sons are “Lord Firstname,” by the way.
    The only woman ever to be created a marchioness in her own right was Anne Boleyn. And look how THAT worked out….

    Reply
  83. Just checked Wikipedia, and they have an entry for “marquess,” which is the preferred form:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess
    The title has an interesting history and is fairly uncommon in the UK. Younger sons are “Lord Firstname,” by the way.
    The only woman ever to be created a marchioness in her own right was Anne Boleyn. And look how THAT worked out….

    Reply
  84. Just checked Wikipedia, and they have an entry for “marquess,” which is the preferred form:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess
    The title has an interesting history and is fairly uncommon in the UK. Younger sons are “Lord Firstname,” by the way.
    The only woman ever to be created a marchioness in her own right was Anne Boleyn. And look how THAT worked out….

    Reply
  85. Just checked Wikipedia, and they have an entry for “marquess,” which is the preferred form:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquess
    The title has an interesting history and is fairly uncommon in the UK. Younger sons are “Lord Firstname,” by the way.
    The only woman ever to be created a marchioness in her own right was Anne Boleyn. And look how THAT worked out….

    Reply
  86. “…a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school.”
    Not true, I’m afraid – not ‘to everyone’. I went to a very traditional, academic girls’ secondary school, where a good deal of attention was paid to manners, behaviour and social conventions, but we were *not* formally taught about degrees of nobility. This was more than 50 years ago.

    Reply
  87. “…a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school.”
    Not true, I’m afraid – not ‘to everyone’. I went to a very traditional, academic girls’ secondary school, where a good deal of attention was paid to manners, behaviour and social conventions, but we were *not* formally taught about degrees of nobility. This was more than 50 years ago.

    Reply
  88. “…a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school.”
    Not true, I’m afraid – not ‘to everyone’. I went to a very traditional, academic girls’ secondary school, where a good deal of attention was paid to manners, behaviour and social conventions, but we were *not* formally taught about degrees of nobility. This was more than 50 years ago.

    Reply
  89. “…a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school.”
    Not true, I’m afraid – not ‘to everyone’. I went to a very traditional, academic girls’ secondary school, where a good deal of attention was paid to manners, behaviour and social conventions, but we were *not* formally taught about degrees of nobility. This was more than 50 years ago.

    Reply
  90. “…a dear friend in England who tells me that up to oh, maybe 30 years ago, title and lineage was still taught to everyone in school.”
    Not true, I’m afraid – not ‘to everyone’. I went to a very traditional, academic girls’ secondary school, where a good deal of attention was paid to manners, behaviour and social conventions, but we were *not* formally taught about degrees of nobility. This was more than 50 years ago.

    Reply
  91. I have just learned how exceedingly spoiled I am by broadband after it went kaplooey today. I haven’t used dial-up in years and it’s taken me over an hour to get connected, through AOL, which makes me insane on a good day. So I’m afraid I can’t check out Theo’s nifty site, but I shall endeavor to remember it whenever this confounded wind stops blowing and service returns.
    I really need to reseach that marquis/marquess bit. I know marquess is preferred now, but the old Debretts I found gave me the info on marquis. No research without broadband! Those of you on dial-up, I send my sincere sympathies.

    Reply
  92. I have just learned how exceedingly spoiled I am by broadband after it went kaplooey today. I haven’t used dial-up in years and it’s taken me over an hour to get connected, through AOL, which makes me insane on a good day. So I’m afraid I can’t check out Theo’s nifty site, but I shall endeavor to remember it whenever this confounded wind stops blowing and service returns.
    I really need to reseach that marquis/marquess bit. I know marquess is preferred now, but the old Debretts I found gave me the info on marquis. No research without broadband! Those of you on dial-up, I send my sincere sympathies.

    Reply
  93. I have just learned how exceedingly spoiled I am by broadband after it went kaplooey today. I haven’t used dial-up in years and it’s taken me over an hour to get connected, through AOL, which makes me insane on a good day. So I’m afraid I can’t check out Theo’s nifty site, but I shall endeavor to remember it whenever this confounded wind stops blowing and service returns.
    I really need to reseach that marquis/marquess bit. I know marquess is preferred now, but the old Debretts I found gave me the info on marquis. No research without broadband! Those of you on dial-up, I send my sincere sympathies.

    Reply
  94. I have just learned how exceedingly spoiled I am by broadband after it went kaplooey today. I haven’t used dial-up in years and it’s taken me over an hour to get connected, through AOL, which makes me insane on a good day. So I’m afraid I can’t check out Theo’s nifty site, but I shall endeavor to remember it whenever this confounded wind stops blowing and service returns.
    I really need to reseach that marquis/marquess bit. I know marquess is preferred now, but the old Debretts I found gave me the info on marquis. No research without broadband! Those of you on dial-up, I send my sincere sympathies.

    Reply
  95. I have just learned how exceedingly spoiled I am by broadband after it went kaplooey today. I haven’t used dial-up in years and it’s taken me over an hour to get connected, through AOL, which makes me insane on a good day. So I’m afraid I can’t check out Theo’s nifty site, but I shall endeavor to remember it whenever this confounded wind stops blowing and service returns.
    I really need to reseach that marquis/marquess bit. I know marquess is preferred now, but the old Debretts I found gave me the info on marquis. No research without broadband! Those of you on dial-up, I send my sincere sympathies.

    Reply
  96. Patricia! You might want to check here:
    http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html
    She has a ton of info on Correct Forms of Address, including a chart that breaks it all down.
    And I feel your pain with the dial-up. I rarely stay at hotels that don’t have wireless but occasionally, I’ll get the little, out of the way place and the dial-up makes it so frustrating, it’s almost not worth trying to get online. Hope it’s back up soon!
    Tigress, I really doubt my friend was trying to steer me wrong and since she’s about my age, a tad over 50 in body but 27 inside, and she learned it in school, I’m only guessing she took it that yes, everyone was taught the peerage. I’m sorry your school was lax in that department.

    Reply
  97. Patricia! You might want to check here:
    http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html
    She has a ton of info on Correct Forms of Address, including a chart that breaks it all down.
    And I feel your pain with the dial-up. I rarely stay at hotels that don’t have wireless but occasionally, I’ll get the little, out of the way place and the dial-up makes it so frustrating, it’s almost not worth trying to get online. Hope it’s back up soon!
    Tigress, I really doubt my friend was trying to steer me wrong and since she’s about my age, a tad over 50 in body but 27 inside, and she learned it in school, I’m only guessing she took it that yes, everyone was taught the peerage. I’m sorry your school was lax in that department.

    Reply
  98. Patricia! You might want to check here:
    http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html
    She has a ton of info on Correct Forms of Address, including a chart that breaks it all down.
    And I feel your pain with the dial-up. I rarely stay at hotels that don’t have wireless but occasionally, I’ll get the little, out of the way place and the dial-up makes it so frustrating, it’s almost not worth trying to get online. Hope it’s back up soon!
    Tigress, I really doubt my friend was trying to steer me wrong and since she’s about my age, a tad over 50 in body but 27 inside, and she learned it in school, I’m only guessing she took it that yes, everyone was taught the peerage. I’m sorry your school was lax in that department.

    Reply
  99. Patricia! You might want to check here:
    http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html
    She has a ton of info on Correct Forms of Address, including a chart that breaks it all down.
    And I feel your pain with the dial-up. I rarely stay at hotels that don’t have wireless but occasionally, I’ll get the little, out of the way place and the dial-up makes it so frustrating, it’s almost not worth trying to get online. Hope it’s back up soon!
    Tigress, I really doubt my friend was trying to steer me wrong and since she’s about my age, a tad over 50 in body but 27 inside, and she learned it in school, I’m only guessing she took it that yes, everyone was taught the peerage. I’m sorry your school was lax in that department.

    Reply
  100. Patricia! You might want to check here:
    http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html
    She has a ton of info on Correct Forms of Address, including a chart that breaks it all down.
    And I feel your pain with the dial-up. I rarely stay at hotels that don’t have wireless but occasionally, I’ll get the little, out of the way place and the dial-up makes it so frustrating, it’s almost not worth trying to get online. Hope it’s back up soon!
    Tigress, I really doubt my friend was trying to steer me wrong and since she’s about my age, a tad over 50 in body but 27 inside, and she learned it in school, I’m only guessing she took it that yes, everyone was taught the peerage. I’m sorry your school was lax in that department.

    Reply
  101. My cable is back and I just started playing around, looking for my original source for the statistics, and before I knew it, I got sucked into Google Books and half the day is gone! I can’t find my original source. I did find some “snippets” stating “marquess” was preferred before the Victorian era, but I can’t find a really good site besides wikipedia. Theo’s Victorian site doesn’t even list “marquess.” The chinet.com is Victorian also, using a source from 1932. It’s amazing how anything listed “Regency” in Google almost automatically comes up with romance authors! I even found an Australian site that gives dictionary definitions that say the term “marquis” has become outdated and the preference is for “marquess.” Forget the date on that book but I believe it was in late 19th century. Since DeBretts and Burkes came along slightly after or toward the end of the Regency, I wonder if they had some influence over how the titles were styled?

    Reply
  102. My cable is back and I just started playing around, looking for my original source for the statistics, and before I knew it, I got sucked into Google Books and half the day is gone! I can’t find my original source. I did find some “snippets” stating “marquess” was preferred before the Victorian era, but I can’t find a really good site besides wikipedia. Theo’s Victorian site doesn’t even list “marquess.” The chinet.com is Victorian also, using a source from 1932. It’s amazing how anything listed “Regency” in Google almost automatically comes up with romance authors! I even found an Australian site that gives dictionary definitions that say the term “marquis” has become outdated and the preference is for “marquess.” Forget the date on that book but I believe it was in late 19th century. Since DeBretts and Burkes came along slightly after or toward the end of the Regency, I wonder if they had some influence over how the titles were styled?

    Reply
  103. My cable is back and I just started playing around, looking for my original source for the statistics, and before I knew it, I got sucked into Google Books and half the day is gone! I can’t find my original source. I did find some “snippets” stating “marquess” was preferred before the Victorian era, but I can’t find a really good site besides wikipedia. Theo’s Victorian site doesn’t even list “marquess.” The chinet.com is Victorian also, using a source from 1932. It’s amazing how anything listed “Regency” in Google almost automatically comes up with romance authors! I even found an Australian site that gives dictionary definitions that say the term “marquis” has become outdated and the preference is for “marquess.” Forget the date on that book but I believe it was in late 19th century. Since DeBretts and Burkes came along slightly after or toward the end of the Regency, I wonder if they had some influence over how the titles were styled?

    Reply
  104. My cable is back and I just started playing around, looking for my original source for the statistics, and before I knew it, I got sucked into Google Books and half the day is gone! I can’t find my original source. I did find some “snippets” stating “marquess” was preferred before the Victorian era, but I can’t find a really good site besides wikipedia. Theo’s Victorian site doesn’t even list “marquess.” The chinet.com is Victorian also, using a source from 1932. It’s amazing how anything listed “Regency” in Google almost automatically comes up with romance authors! I even found an Australian site that gives dictionary definitions that say the term “marquis” has become outdated and the preference is for “marquess.” Forget the date on that book but I believe it was in late 19th century. Since DeBretts and Burkes came along slightly after or toward the end of the Regency, I wonder if they had some influence over how the titles were styled?

    Reply
  105. My cable is back and I just started playing around, looking for my original source for the statistics, and before I knew it, I got sucked into Google Books and half the day is gone! I can’t find my original source. I did find some “snippets” stating “marquess” was preferred before the Victorian era, but I can’t find a really good site besides wikipedia. Theo’s Victorian site doesn’t even list “marquess.” The chinet.com is Victorian also, using a source from 1932. It’s amazing how anything listed “Regency” in Google almost automatically comes up with romance authors! I even found an Australian site that gives dictionary definitions that say the term “marquis” has become outdated and the preference is for “marquess.” Forget the date on that book but I believe it was in late 19th century. Since DeBretts and Burkes came along slightly after or toward the end of the Regency, I wonder if they had some influence over how the titles were styled?

    Reply
  106. Theo, you are a wicked, wicked person. I started playing around in Burke and almost didn’t come out. But it looks to me from one of those references that even way back in the 14th century–when the title was Marquys–the English weren’t real happy with the spelling. So maybe what happened over the years was that those with a patent for marquis (which is French and probably dated to the Norman) petitioned to have the spelling changed to marquess, so that nowadays, marquess is prevalent.

    Reply
  107. Theo, you are a wicked, wicked person. I started playing around in Burke and almost didn’t come out. But it looks to me from one of those references that even way back in the 14th century–when the title was Marquys–the English weren’t real happy with the spelling. So maybe what happened over the years was that those with a patent for marquis (which is French and probably dated to the Norman) petitioned to have the spelling changed to marquess, so that nowadays, marquess is prevalent.

    Reply
  108. Theo, you are a wicked, wicked person. I started playing around in Burke and almost didn’t come out. But it looks to me from one of those references that even way back in the 14th century–when the title was Marquys–the English weren’t real happy with the spelling. So maybe what happened over the years was that those with a patent for marquis (which is French and probably dated to the Norman) petitioned to have the spelling changed to marquess, so that nowadays, marquess is prevalent.

    Reply
  109. Theo, you are a wicked, wicked person. I started playing around in Burke and almost didn’t come out. But it looks to me from one of those references that even way back in the 14th century–when the title was Marquys–the English weren’t real happy with the spelling. So maybe what happened over the years was that those with a patent for marquis (which is French and probably dated to the Norman) petitioned to have the spelling changed to marquess, so that nowadays, marquess is prevalent.

    Reply
  110. Theo, you are a wicked, wicked person. I started playing around in Burke and almost didn’t come out. But it looks to me from one of those references that even way back in the 14th century–when the title was Marquys–the English weren’t real happy with the spelling. So maybe what happened over the years was that those with a patent for marquis (which is French and probably dated to the Norman) petitioned to have the spelling changed to marquess, so that nowadays, marquess is prevalent.

    Reply
  111. You’re welcomed? 😉 And life is much more fun when you’re wicked!
    Pamela is teaching all of this now to her ‘year 9’s’ which are thirteen year olds, so it was a timely question for me to ask her as well. This is what she sent me:
    “I know Marquess/Marquis is that the latter spelling is the French way and it was adopted in Scotland to show the ‘Old Alliance’ with France and to cock a snook at the English monarchy.
    I seem to remember something about Scottish Marquises keeping to that spelling, especially if their lands/title preceded the Act of Union (1707) when Scotland officially became part of the UK.
    I know that the title (both spellings) comes from ‘March Lord’ meaning the leader of a March/Mark/Border kingdom.”
    And I LOVE the research. I do that too, get lost. But if it helped at all, then I’m glad. 🙂 However, you’re the one who will have to come up for air occasionally 😉

    Reply
  112. You’re welcomed? 😉 And life is much more fun when you’re wicked!
    Pamela is teaching all of this now to her ‘year 9’s’ which are thirteen year olds, so it was a timely question for me to ask her as well. This is what she sent me:
    “I know Marquess/Marquis is that the latter spelling is the French way and it was adopted in Scotland to show the ‘Old Alliance’ with France and to cock a snook at the English monarchy.
    I seem to remember something about Scottish Marquises keeping to that spelling, especially if their lands/title preceded the Act of Union (1707) when Scotland officially became part of the UK.
    I know that the title (both spellings) comes from ‘March Lord’ meaning the leader of a March/Mark/Border kingdom.”
    And I LOVE the research. I do that too, get lost. But if it helped at all, then I’m glad. 🙂 However, you’re the one who will have to come up for air occasionally 😉

    Reply
  113. You’re welcomed? 😉 And life is much more fun when you’re wicked!
    Pamela is teaching all of this now to her ‘year 9’s’ which are thirteen year olds, so it was a timely question for me to ask her as well. This is what she sent me:
    “I know Marquess/Marquis is that the latter spelling is the French way and it was adopted in Scotland to show the ‘Old Alliance’ with France and to cock a snook at the English monarchy.
    I seem to remember something about Scottish Marquises keeping to that spelling, especially if their lands/title preceded the Act of Union (1707) when Scotland officially became part of the UK.
    I know that the title (both spellings) comes from ‘March Lord’ meaning the leader of a March/Mark/Border kingdom.”
    And I LOVE the research. I do that too, get lost. But if it helped at all, then I’m glad. 🙂 However, you’re the one who will have to come up for air occasionally 😉

    Reply
  114. You’re welcomed? 😉 And life is much more fun when you’re wicked!
    Pamela is teaching all of this now to her ‘year 9’s’ which are thirteen year olds, so it was a timely question for me to ask her as well. This is what she sent me:
    “I know Marquess/Marquis is that the latter spelling is the French way and it was adopted in Scotland to show the ‘Old Alliance’ with France and to cock a snook at the English monarchy.
    I seem to remember something about Scottish Marquises keeping to that spelling, especially if their lands/title preceded the Act of Union (1707) when Scotland officially became part of the UK.
    I know that the title (both spellings) comes from ‘March Lord’ meaning the leader of a March/Mark/Border kingdom.”
    And I LOVE the research. I do that too, get lost. But if it helped at all, then I’m glad. 🙂 However, you’re the one who will have to come up for air occasionally 😉

    Reply
  115. You’re welcomed? 😉 And life is much more fun when you’re wicked!
    Pamela is teaching all of this now to her ‘year 9’s’ which are thirteen year olds, so it was a timely question for me to ask her as well. This is what she sent me:
    “I know Marquess/Marquis is that the latter spelling is the French way and it was adopted in Scotland to show the ‘Old Alliance’ with France and to cock a snook at the English monarchy.
    I seem to remember something about Scottish Marquises keeping to that spelling, especially if their lands/title preceded the Act of Union (1707) when Scotland officially became part of the UK.
    I know that the title (both spellings) comes from ‘March Lord’ meaning the leader of a March/Mark/Border kingdom.”
    And I LOVE the research. I do that too, get lost. But if it helped at all, then I’m glad. 🙂 However, you’re the one who will have to come up for air occasionally 😉

    Reply
  116. Although too late for the Elizabethans and two early for the Regency, one very interesting collection is: Arthur Searle, ed., Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 (Camden Fourth Series Voume 28) (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1983).
    The women in this family, even when writing to one another or to their mother, referred to those who had married as “my sister (married family name or title)” rather than by their given names.
    Robert Barrington consistently introduced his letters to his mother with “Madam” (no saluation such as “Dear”). He referred to his sister’s husband as “Masham” (surname) and his sister as “my sister Masham”). It was also “my niece Mews” for a married woman, but “my son Will” for a child.
    The use of given names was often perceived as from adult to child, from superior to inferior. However, Thomas Barrington called his brother “Robert” both directly and in references to him, while Lady Elizabeth Masham wrote to “Deare Mother” and so did John Barrington. So to some extent, at least within a family, it was not a matter of rigid rules, but rather of personal temperament and preference.

    Reply
  117. Although too late for the Elizabethans and two early for the Regency, one very interesting collection is: Arthur Searle, ed., Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 (Camden Fourth Series Voume 28) (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1983).
    The women in this family, even when writing to one another or to their mother, referred to those who had married as “my sister (married family name or title)” rather than by their given names.
    Robert Barrington consistently introduced his letters to his mother with “Madam” (no saluation such as “Dear”). He referred to his sister’s husband as “Masham” (surname) and his sister as “my sister Masham”). It was also “my niece Mews” for a married woman, but “my son Will” for a child.
    The use of given names was often perceived as from adult to child, from superior to inferior. However, Thomas Barrington called his brother “Robert” both directly and in references to him, while Lady Elizabeth Masham wrote to “Deare Mother” and so did John Barrington. So to some extent, at least within a family, it was not a matter of rigid rules, but rather of personal temperament and preference.

    Reply
  118. Although too late for the Elizabethans and two early for the Regency, one very interesting collection is: Arthur Searle, ed., Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 (Camden Fourth Series Voume 28) (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1983).
    The women in this family, even when writing to one another or to their mother, referred to those who had married as “my sister (married family name or title)” rather than by their given names.
    Robert Barrington consistently introduced his letters to his mother with “Madam” (no saluation such as “Dear”). He referred to his sister’s husband as “Masham” (surname) and his sister as “my sister Masham”). It was also “my niece Mews” for a married woman, but “my son Will” for a child.
    The use of given names was often perceived as from adult to child, from superior to inferior. However, Thomas Barrington called his brother “Robert” both directly and in references to him, while Lady Elizabeth Masham wrote to “Deare Mother” and so did John Barrington. So to some extent, at least within a family, it was not a matter of rigid rules, but rather of personal temperament and preference.

    Reply
  119. Although too late for the Elizabethans and two early for the Regency, one very interesting collection is: Arthur Searle, ed., Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 (Camden Fourth Series Voume 28) (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1983).
    The women in this family, even when writing to one another or to their mother, referred to those who had married as “my sister (married family name or title)” rather than by their given names.
    Robert Barrington consistently introduced his letters to his mother with “Madam” (no saluation such as “Dear”). He referred to his sister’s husband as “Masham” (surname) and his sister as “my sister Masham”). It was also “my niece Mews” for a married woman, but “my son Will” for a child.
    The use of given names was often perceived as from adult to child, from superior to inferior. However, Thomas Barrington called his brother “Robert” both directly and in references to him, while Lady Elizabeth Masham wrote to “Deare Mother” and so did John Barrington. So to some extent, at least within a family, it was not a matter of rigid rules, but rather of personal temperament and preference.

    Reply
  120. Although too late for the Elizabethans and two early for the Regency, one very interesting collection is: Arthur Searle, ed., Barrington Family Letters 1628-1632 (Camden Fourth Series Voume 28) (London: Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1983).
    The women in this family, even when writing to one another or to their mother, referred to those who had married as “my sister (married family name or title)” rather than by their given names.
    Robert Barrington consistently introduced his letters to his mother with “Madam” (no saluation such as “Dear”). He referred to his sister’s husband as “Masham” (surname) and his sister as “my sister Masham”). It was also “my niece Mews” for a married woman, but “my son Will” for a child.
    The use of given names was often perceived as from adult to child, from superior to inferior. However, Thomas Barrington called his brother “Robert” both directly and in references to him, while Lady Elizabeth Masham wrote to “Deare Mother” and so did John Barrington. So to some extent, at least within a family, it was not a matter of rigid rules, but rather of personal temperament and preference.

    Reply

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