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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.
A peerage is a legal system historically comprising various hereditary titles in a number of countries, and composed of assorted noble ranks.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
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.
Until the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999, all Peers of England could sit in the House of Lords. (Women peers of England were only granted seats with the Peerage Act 1963.)
The House of Lords Act 1999 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was given Royal Assent on 11 November 1999. The Act reformed the House of Lords, one of the chambers of Parliament. For centuries, the House of Lords had included several hundred members who inherited their seats; the Act removed such a right. However, as part of a compromise, the Act did permit ninety-two hereditary peers to remain in the House on an interim basis. Another ten were created life peers to enable them to remain in the House.
The Peerage Act 1963 is the Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that permitted women peers and all Scottish hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, and which allows newly inherited hereditary peerages to be disclaimed.
The ranks of the English peerage are, in descending order, Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. While most newer English peerages descend only in the male line, many of the older ones (particularly older baronies) can descend through females. Under English inheritance law all daughters are co-heirs, so many older English peerage titles have fallen into abeyance between various female co-heirs.
A duke (male) or duchess (female) can either be a monarch ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank, and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province.
A marquess is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The term is also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in Imperial China and Imperial Japan.
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon in origin, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced by duke (hertig/hertug/hertog). In later medieval Britain, it became the equivalent of the continental count. However, earlier in Scandinavia, jarl could also mean a sovereign prince. For example, the rulers of several of the petty kingdoms of Norway had the title of jarl and in many cases they had no less power than their neighbours who had the title of king. Alternative names for the rank equivalent to "earl/count" in the nobility structure are used in other countries, such as the hakushaku of the post-restoration Japanese Imperial era.
Baronets, while holders of hereditary titles, are not peers and not entitled to sit in the House of Lords (unless they also hold a peerage). Knights, Dames, and holders of other non-hereditary orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom are also not peers.
A baronet or the rare female equivalent, a baronetess, is the holder of a baronetcy, a hereditary title awarded by the British Crown. The practice of awarding baronetcies was originally introduced in England in the 14th century and was used by James I of England in 1611 as a means of raising funds.
In the following table, each peer is listed only by his or her highest English title (with the exception of the Duke of Norfolk/Earl of Arundel) showing higher or equal titles in the other peerages. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.
The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the county of Norfolk. The current duke is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk. The dukes have historically been Catholic, a state of affairs known as recusancy in England.
Earl of Arundel is an earldom and the oldest extant peerage in the Peerage of England. It is currently held by the Duke of Norfolk, and is used by his heir apparent as a courtesy title. It was created c. 1138 for the Norman baron Sir William d'Aubigny. Its origin was the earlier grant by Henry I to his second wife Adeliza of the forfeited "honour" of Arundel, which included the castle and a large portion of Sussex. After his death she married William, who thus became master of the lands, and who from about the year 1141 is variously styled earl of Sussex, of Chichester, or of Arundel. His first known appearance as earl is at Christmas 1141. Until the mid-13th century, the earls were also frequently known as Earl of Sussex, until this title fell into disuse. At about the same time, the earldom fell to the originally Breton FitzAlan Family, a younger branch of which went on to become the Stuart Family, which later ruled Scotland.
|Title||Creation||Other Dukedom or higher titles|
|The Duke of Cornwall||1337||Usually Prince of Wales as the heir to the throne|
Duke of Rothesay in the Peerage of Scotland.
|The Duke of Norfolk||1483|
|The Duke of Somerset||1547|
|The Duke of Richmond||1675|| Duke of Lennox in the Peerage of Scotland;|
Duke of Gordon in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.
|The Duke of Grafton||1675|
|The Duke of Beaufort||1682|
|The Duke of St Albans||1684|
|The Duke of Bedford||1694|
|The Duke of Devonshire||1694|
|The Duke of Marlborough||1702|
|The Duke of Rutland||1703|
|Title||Creation||Other Marquisette or higher titles|
|The Marquess of Winchester||1551|
|Title||Creation||Other Earldom or higher titles|
|The Earl of Arundel||1138 |
Oldest Extant Earldom;
Oldest Extant Peerage
| Duke of Norfolk in the Peerage of England;|
Earl Marshal .
|The Earl of Shrewsbury||1442|| Earl Talbot in the Peerage of Great Britain;|
Earl of Waterford in the Peerage of Ireland.
|The Earl of Derby||1485|
|The Earl of Huntingdon||1529|
|The Earl of Pembroke||1551||Earl of Montgomery in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Devon||1553|
|The Earl of Lincoln||1572|
|The Earl of Suffolk||1603||Earl of Berkshire in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Exeter||1605||Marquess of Exeter in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Earl of Salisbury||1605||Marquess of Salisbury in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Earl of Montgomery||1605||Held with the Earl of Pembroke in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Northampton||1618||Marquess of Northampton in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Earl of Denbigh||1622?||Earl of Desmond in the Peerage of Ireland.|
|The Earl of Westmorland||1624|
|The Earl of Manchester||1626||Duke of Manchester in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Earl of Berkshire||1626||Held with the Earl of Suffolk in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Lindsey||1626||Earl of Abingdon in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Winchilsea||1628||Earl of Nottingham in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Sandwich||1660|
|The Earl of Essex||1661|
|The Earl of Carlisle||1661|
|The Earl of Doncaster||1663||Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry in the Peerage of Scotland .|
|The Earl of Shaftesbury||1672|
|The Earl of Nottingham||1681||Held with the Earl of Winchilsea in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Abingdon||1682||Held with the Earl of Lindsey in Peerage of England.|
|The Earl of Portland||1689|
|The Earl of Scarbrough||1690|
|The Earl of Albemarle||1697|
|The Earl of Coventry||1697|
|The Earl of Jersey||1697?|
|The Earl of Cholmondeley||1706||Marquess of Cholmondeley in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|Title||Creation||Other Viscountcy or higher titles|
|The Viscount Hereford||1550|
|The Viscount Townshend||1682||Marquess Townshend in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Viscount Weymouth||1682||Marquess of Bath in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|Title||Creation||Other Barony or higher titles|
|The Baron de Ros||1264|
|The Baron le Despencer||1264||Viscount Falmouth in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Mowbray||1283||Baron Segrave and Baron Stourton in Peerage of England.|
|The Baron Hastings||1295|
|The Baron FitzWalter||1295|
|The Baron Segrave||1295||Baron Mowbray and Baron Stourton in Peerage of England.|
|The Baron Clinton||1299|
|The Baron De La Warr||1299||Earl De La Warr in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron de Clifford||1299|
|The Baron Strange||1299|| Viscount St Davids in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.|
Held with Baron Hungerford and Baron de Moleyns in Peerage of England.
|The Baron Zouche||1308|
|The Baroness Willoughby de Eresby||1313|
|The Baron Strabolgi||1318|
|The Baroness Dacre||1321|
|The Baron Darcy de Knayth||1332|
|The Baron Cromwell||1375|
|The Baron Camoys||1383|
|The Baron Grey of Codnor||1397|
|The Baron Berkeley||1421||Lord Gueterbock for Life in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.|
|The Baron Hungerford||1426|| Viscount St Davids in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
Held with Baron Stange and Baron de Moleyns in Peerage of England.
|The Baron Latymer||1432|
|The Baron Dudley||1440|
|The Baron de Moleyns||1445|| Viscount St Davids in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
Held with Baron Stange and Baron Hungerford in Peerage of England.
|The Baron Saye and Sele||1447|
|The Baron Stourton||1448||Baron Mowbray and Baron Segrave in Peerage of England.|
|The Baroness Berners||1455|
|The Baron Herbert||1461|
|The Baron Willoughby de Broke||1491|
|The Baron Vaux of Harrowden||1523|
|The Baroness Braye||1529|
|The Baron Windsor||1529||Earl of Plymouth in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Baron Burgh||1529|
|The Baron Wharton||1544|
|The Baron Howard of Effingham||1554||Earl of Effingham in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Baron St John of Bletso||1559|
|The Baroness Howard de Walden||1597|
|The Baron Petre||1603|
|The Baron Clifton||1608||Earl of Darnley in the Peerage of Ireland .|
|The Baron Dormer||1615|
|The Baron Teynham||1616|
|The Baron Brooke||1621||Earl Brooke and of Warwick in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Craven||1626||Earl of Craven in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Strange||1628|
|The Baron Stafford||1640|
|The Baron Byron||1643|
|The Baron Ward||1644||Earl of Dudley in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Baron Lucas||1663||Lord Dingwall in the Peerage of Scotland.|
|The Baroness Arlington||1665|
|The Baron Clifford of Chudleigh||1672|
|The Baron Guilford||1683||Earl of Guilford in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Waldegrave||1683||Earl Waldegrave in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Barnard||1698|
|The Baron Guernsey||1703||Earl of Aylesford in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Gower||1703||Duke of Sutherland in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
|The Baron Conway||1703||Marquess of Hertford in the Peerage of Great Britain .|
|The Baron Hervey||1703||Marquess of Bristol in the Peerage of the United Kingdom .|
The British nobility is the peerage of the United Kingdom. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although in the present day they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights in the House of Lords, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles, and the right to an audience with the monarch. Still, more than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.
Forms of address used in the United Kingdom are given below. For further information on Courtesy Titles see Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom.
Gentry are "well-born, genteel and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past. In the United Kingdom, the term gentry refers to the landed gentry, the majority of the land-owning social class who were typically armigerous, but did not have titles of nobility. Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, and "gentle" families of long descent who never obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms. The historical term gentry by itself, so Peter Coss argues, is a construct that historians have applied loosely to rather different societies. Any particular model may not fit a specific society, yet a single definition nevertheless remains desirable. Linguistically, the word gentry arose to identify the social stratum created by the very small number, by the standards of Continental Europe, of the Peerage of England, and of the parts of Britain, where nobility and titles are inherited by a single person, rather than the family, as usual in Europe.
Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, in the County of Aberdeen, in the County of Meath and in the County of Argyll, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 4 January 1916 for John Hamilton-Gordon, 7th Earl of Aberdeen.
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.
A courtesy title is a form of address in systems of nobility used for children, former wives and other close relatives of a peer, as well as certain officials such as some judges and members of the Scottish gentry. These styles are used 'by courtesy' in the sense that the relatives, officials and others do not themselves hold substantive titles. There are several different kinds of courtesy titles in the British peerage.
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:
Earl of Lichfield is a title that has been created three times, twice in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom (1831). The third creation is extant and is held by a member of the Anson family.
Marquess of Huntly is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created on 17 April 1599 for George Gordon, 6th Earl of Huntly. It is the oldest existing marquessate in Scotland, and the second-oldest in the British Isles, only the English marquessate of Winchester being older. The Marquess holds the following subsidiary titles: Lord Gordon of Strathaven and Glenlivet and Earl of Aboyne, and Baron Meldrum, of Morven in the County of Aberdeen
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 until it 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.
Marquess of Headfort is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1800 for Thomas Taylour, 2nd Earl of Bective.
Marquess of Cholmondeley is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1815 for George Cholmondeley, 4th Earl of Cholmondeley.
Marquess of Ailesbury, in the County of Buckingham, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 17 July 1821 for Charles Brudenell-Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury.
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.
The hereditary peers form part of the peerage in the United Kingdom. As of 2019 there are 814 hereditary peers. The numbers of peers – of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the UK – whose titles are the highest they hold are: dukes, 24 ; marquesses, 34; earls, 193; viscounts, 112; barons, 444.
The history of the British peerage, a system of nobility found in the United Kingdom, stretches over the last thousand years. The origins of the British peerage are obscure but while the ranks of baron and earl perhaps 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.
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.
Marquess is a rank of nobility in the peerages of the United Kingdom.