A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles (and sometimes non-hereditary titles) in a number of countries, and composed of assorted noble ranks.
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A marquess is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The German language equivalent is Markgraf (Margrave). A woman with the rank of a marquess or the wife of a marquess is a marchioness or marquise. These titles are also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in Imperial China and Imperial Japan.
The peerage in the United Kingdom is a legal system comprising both hereditary and lifetime titles, composed of various noble ranks, and forming a constituent part of the British honours system. The term peerage can be used both collectively to refer to the entire body of nobles, and individually to refer to a specific title. British peerage title holders are termed peers of the Realm. The peerage's fundamental roles are ones of government, peers being eligible to a seat in the House of Lords, and of meritocracy, the receiving of any peerage being the highest of British honours.
A viscount or viscountess is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status.
Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical. The female equivalent is baroness. Typically, the title denotes an aristocrat who ranks higher than a lord or knight, but lower than a viscount or count. Often, barons hold their fief — their lands and income — directly from the monarch. Barons are less often the vassals of other nobles. In many kingdoms, they were entitled to wear a smaller form of a crown called a coronet.
The Peerage of Ireland consists of those titles of nobility created by the English monarchs in their capacity as Lord or King of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron. As of 2016, there were 135 titles in the Peerage of Ireland extant: two dukedoms, ten marquessates, 43 earldoms, 28 viscountcies, and 52 baronies. The Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland continues to exercise jurisdiction over the Peerage of Ireland, including those peers whose titles derive from places located in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Article 40.2 of the Constitution of Ireland forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and an Irish citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Irish government. This issue has not arisen in respect of the Peerage of Ireland because no creation of titles in it has been made since the constitution came into force.
The order of precedence in the United Kingdom is the sequential hierarchy for Peers of the Realm, officers of state, senior members of the clergy, holders of the various Orders of Chivalry and other persons in the three legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom:
The Peerage Act 1963 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that permitted women peeresses and all Scottish hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, and which allows newly inherited hereditary peerages to be disclaimed.
The Peerage of Scotland is the section of the Peerage of the British Isles for those peers created by the King of Scots before 1707. Following that year's Treaty of Union, the Kingdom of Scots and the Kingdom of England were combined under the name of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was introduced in which subsequent titles were created.
The Peerage of England comprises all peerages created in the Kingdom of England before the Act of Union in 1707. In that year, the Peerages of England and Scotland were replaced by one Peerage of Great Britain.
The Peerage of Great Britain comprises all extant peerages created in the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Acts of Union 1707 but before the Acts of Union 1800. It replaced the Peerage of England and the Peerage of Scotland, but was itself replaced by the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1801.
The Peerage of the United Kingdom comprises most peerages created in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the Acts of Union in 1801, when it replaced the Peerage of Great Britain. New peers continued to be created in the Peerage of Ireland until 1898.
A Lord of Parliament was the holder of the lowest form of peerage, entitled as of right to take part in sessions of the pre-Union Parliament of Scotland. Since that Union in 1707, it has been the lowest rank of the Peerage of Scotland, ranking below a viscount. A Lord of Parliament is said to hold a Lordship of Parliament.
Baron Carrington is a title that has been created three times, once in the Peerage of England, once in the Peerage of Ireland and once in the Peerage of Great Britain. The first creation came in the Peerage of England in 1643 in favour of Sir Charles Smyth. Only a few days later he was created Viscount Carrington in the Peerage of Ireland. For more information, see this title.
The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of 2021 there are 810 hereditary peers: 30 dukes, 34 marquesses, 191 earls, 112 viscounts, and 443 barons.
The history of the British peerage, a system of nobility found in the United Kingdom, stretches over the last thousand years. The current form of the British peerage has been a process of evolution. While the ranks of baron and earl predate the British peerage itself, the ranks of duke and marquess were introduced to England in the 14th century. The rank of viscount came later, in the mid-15th century. Peers were summoned to Parliament, forming the House of Lords.
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the peerage whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers. In modern times, life peerages, always created at the rank of baron, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as age and citizenship. The legitimate children of a life peer are entitled to style themselves with the prefix "The Honourable", although they cannot inherit the peerage itself.
This is an index of Welsh peers and baronets whose primary peerage, life peerage, and baronetcy titles include a Welsh place-name origin or its territorial qualification is within the historic counties of Wales.
The British nobility is made up of the peerage and the landed gentry. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although now they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights there, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles, and the right to an audience with the monarch. More than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.
Marquess is a rank of nobility in the peerages of the United Kingdom.
Duke, in the United Kingdom, is the highest-ranking hereditary title in all four peerages of the British Isles. A duke thus outranks all other holders of titles of nobility.