British Titles of Nobility

Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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Dr Richard Hamling

Feudal Titles: please be advised that Kevin Charles Norris, aka Sir Kevin, the 17the Earl of…has been known to attempt the sale of Feudal Properties ,(Hollacombe, Devon, Tamworth, (Nottinghamshire, Staff. Warwickshire), owned by me. Please be advised these titles were purchased by me through Private Treaty and proper Conveyances. The said Feudal Titles are not for sale; they are owned by me or my estate. Carefully inspect any attempt of sale. Richard Arthur Hamling

I think your site is excellent!


Fascinating! How did you know that just yesterday I was thinking about looking up all the various British titles and trying to untangle them in my mind? You’ve saved me a bunch of trouble not to mention that there are bits here that I probably never would have discovered. I’ll be keeping this post and referring to it often whenever I find myself facing stories about various titled characters. Many many thanks!


Several books on titles say that one never refers to a baron as such except in a peerage or as to his seat in Parliament. he is always Lord Title and everyone knows he is a baron. Older books and lists printed in the regency peerage list widows of peers as dowagers no matter the status of their sons, or even if they have a son. AS you have noted, the subject is more complex than it first appears and not even all English authors get the titles of characters correct.
Between 1800 and the establishment of the separate nation of Ireland, a number of Irish peers were elected by their peers to have a seat in the UK House of Lords. They held their seats for life. The Scottish representative peers were only elected to serve the six years of one parliament. In both cases the peers who were eligible were those without a peerage from England, Great Britain, or U K.
The tables of precedence takes the five different peerages into consideration as there is also precedence within each rank according to the kingdom in which their peerage was conferred- England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and United Kingdom This isn’t much of a problem among the dukes but can lead to some jostling among the barons. It was also how seats were assigned in Parliament.
Irish peers who weren’t elected as representative peers could be elected to the House of Commons but Scottish peers couldn’t. From the reformation until the late1820’s /1830’s no Roman catholic could serve in Parliament either in the House of Commons or House of Lords though Catholics could be peers. Big changes in the 1830’s in parliament and then in the 20th century with Life Peers , It is sometimes difficult to find the way things were in the past.
Thank you for an informative blog.

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