Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title?

Are there any British peers whose surname matches their title?

Is it possible for a British peer to have the same surname and title? As in William Podunk, Duke of Podunk?

I had been quite sure of the thing's impossibility till I thought of a counterexample: there was a Richard (of) York, Duke of York.

On the other hand, is "of York" even a proper surname? I feel I am a bit out of my depth here.


As @Pieter pointed out, the counterexample is wrong. It's Richard Plantagenet.

It is very common to have titles based on the surname such as Barry Jones, Baron Jones or with a location so as to reduce ambiguity such as Nigel Jones, Baron Jones of Cheltenham

There are others with minor spelling differences such as Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington (note the extra r) who renounced his hereditary peerage but was later awarded a life peerage as Baron Carington of Upton (single r)

But in the comments you seem to be looking for of X examples. I am not aware of any dukes (David Somerset is Duke of Beaufort, while the Duke of Somerset has the surname Seymour, going back to the family of Henry VIII's third wife). There are some earls and countesses, such as Elizabeth Sutherland, 24th Countess of Sutherland and Benjamin Craven, 9th Earl of Craven and Rupert Onslow, 8th Earl of Onslow, as well as the slightly odder example where the surname includes of namely Margaret of Mar, 31st Countess of Mar

There have been several dukes whose titles match their surnames.

These include Frederick Schomberg, a German-born general who, at various times, commanded forces for France, Brandenburg and Portugal. In 1673 he was invited to England to plan and lead an invasion of Holland, which was cancelled. He later did the opposite, accompanying William III in the Dutch "invasion" of England and was killed at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. In 1689 he was created Duke of Schomberg, in the peerage of England.

Phillip Wharton was created Duke of Wharton, in the peerage of Great Britain, at the age of 19, in 1718.

Charles Lennox, the natural son of Charles II, was created Duke of Lennox, in the Scottish peerage, in 1675.

In Scotland, if a name and title are the same the phrase "of that ilk", meaning of the same name or place, is sometimes used. Sir Iain Moncrieffe, baron of East Moncrieffe, for example, was known as Moncrieffe of that Ilk.

Yes, it is possible for a British peer to have the same surname and title. Although it depends on what period you're considering. In more recent times, not every title is based on giving title to land and, therefore, the title isn't tied to an actual place (and not every title, therefore, has 'of' in it).

For example, the first Baron Kenyon was Lloyd Kenyon. One of his contemporaries was John Campbell, 1st Baron Campbell. Another was the naval commander Sir George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baronet who became the 1st Baron Rodney.

Extinct Peers and Baronial Families.

Carew, speaking of the several degrees of its inhabitants, says, "for noblemen, I may deliver in a word, that Cornwall, at this present (1602), enjoyeth the residence of none at all, the occasion whereof groweth partly, because their issuefemale have carried away the inhabitance, together with the inheritance, to gentlemen of the eastern parts and partly for that their issue-male, little affecting so remote a corner, liked better to transplant their possessions to the heart of the realm. Elder times were not so barren, for besides the Lord Tregoyes in William the Conqueror's days, Bottreaux Castle vaunted his baron of that title, both now descended to the Earls of Huntingdon. The Lord Bonville his house was at Trelawney the Lord Bray dwelt at - - - - the Lord Brooke at Callington the Lord Marney at Kolquite the Lord Denham at Cardinham Boconnoc also appertained to the Earls of Devon." The Lord Tregoyes of William the Conqueror's days, if there was any such person, does not appear to have had any connection with this county, nor does Lord Bray appear to have had any property or residence in it. Robert Willoughby, Lord Brooke, had the manor of Callington (fn. n1), and occasionally resided at the manor-house, where he died, in or about the year 1502: his chief seat was at Bere-Ferrers, on the opposite side of the Tamer.

Valletort, of Trematon Castle, and of Harberton, near Totness, which was the head of their Devonshire barony. — Reginald de Valletort, held the honor of Trematon under Robert Earl of Cornwall, in the reign of William the Conqueror. This ancient baronial family became extinct, in the year 1289, when Roger de Valletort gave the honor of Trematon to his Lord-paramount, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to the prejudice of his next heirs, Henry de Pomerai, and Roger Corbet.

Arms: — Arg. three bendlets G., on a border Sab., eight bezants.

Pomerai or Pomeroy, of Berry-Pomeroy, in Devonshire, and of Tregony Castle, in Cornwall. This baronial family was seated at the former place in the reign of William the Conqueror. At an early period, one of their seats was at Tregony Castle, which continued to be the residence of the family in the reign of Edward IV. (fn. n2) The family do not appear to have been summoned to parliament as barons after the reign of Henry III. The Cornish branch of the Pomeroys became extinct in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when the heiress is said to have married Penkevil.

Arms of Pomeroy: — Or, a lion rampant, Gules a border invecked of the second.

Cardinan and Dinan, or Dinham. — Robert de Cardinan, who possessed the honor of Cardinan in the reign of Richard I., by marriage with the heiress of Fitz-William, is styled by Sir William Pole, Baron of Cardinan. The heiress of this opulent, and, as it appears, baronial family, married Tracy (fn. n3), and, in her widowhood, conveyed Cardinan Castle and manor, in or about the year 1259, to Oliver de Dinan. It is probable that this Oliver was of the same family with the Cardinans Leland seems to have been of that opinion, for, speaking of Robert de Cardinan as founder of Tywardreth priory, he calls him "quidam ex Dinamiis" we cannot find any thing in the writings of Sir William Dugdale or Sir William Pole, two very industrious genealogists, to support the conjecture, although the latter speaks very frequently of the Dinham family, and gives some account of the Cardinans, yet, from the similarity of the arms (fn. n4), and other circumstances, it seems very probable (fn. n5).

Ancient Seals of the Families of Cardinan, Dynham, and Arundell.
1. Seal appendant to a grant, without date, from Robert de Cardinan, who flourished in the reign of King Richard II., of his mill of Cardinam to the Priory of Tywardreth.
2. Seal appendant to a grant, without date, from Isolda de Cardinan to Henry de Campo Arunlphi (Champernowne), of her manors of Tywardreth and Ludwon. On the seal is a coat of arms, Three Bendlets, with this inscription, "S Isoute de Cardinan." It is probable that the coat of arms on this seal was that of Tracy, the husband of Isolda de Cardinan, one of the coats commonly ascribed to the family of Tracy being Two Bendlets.
3. Seal appendant to an indenture dated 9 Richard II., whereby John de Dynham, Knight, conveys certain lands to Roger Umssrey of Lostwythiel, and Joan his wife. On the seal are the arms of Dynham, with this inscription, "Sigillum Johannis Dynham militis."
4. Seal appendant to an indenture dated 4 Henry VI., containing a conveyance from Sir John Arundell to John Luky, of a tenement in the town of Truro. The arms of Arundell are here seen, with the helmet, crest, and lamberquin between the martlets, a wolf is introduced, being the arms of Trembleigh, in consequence of one of the Arundell's having married the heiress of that family. The inscription runs thus: "Sigillu: Johis Arundell: milit."
5. Seal appendant to a deed dated 45 Edward III., whereby Sir John Arundell conveys the manor of Lanhern, &c. to Trustees. On the seal are the arms of Arundell, with this inscription, "Sigillum Johannis de Arundel."

The family of Dinan, sometimes improperly called Dinant, and afterwards Dinham and Denham, are known to have been originally of Dinan, a town in Britanny. They had a castle in that town, and founded there a monastery, endowed, among other possessions, with lands in Devonshire in which county they were originally settled and had large estates. Oliver de Dinan of Cardinham, was summoned to parliament as a baron, from the year 1295 to 1298. The immediate descendant of Oliver, Sir John Dinham, was summoned to parliament in 1464, and, in 1485, was made, by King Henry VII., Treasurer of the Exchequer. He died in or about the year 1501, leaving no surviving issue. His sisters and coheirs married Sir Foulke Fitz-Warren John Lord Zouche, Sir Nicholas Carew, and Sir Thomas Arundell. A younger branch of this family, calling themselves Denham, continued the male line at Wortham, in Devonshire, and were, for some time also, of Nancallan in Gorran. The Dinhams married the heiresses of Hydon and De Arches, and a coheiress of the Lord Moells.

Arms of Dinan or Dinham: — Gules, five lozenges conjoined in fesse Ermine.

The baronial family of Tyes appear to have had a castle on their manor of Alwarton, near Penzance. Alice, the sister and heir of Henry Lord Tyes, who was executed for being concerned in the Earl of Lancaster's rebellion, in 1340, married Warine de Lisle, whose heiress married Thomas the fourth Lord Berkeley.

Arms of Tyes: — Argent, a chevron Gules.

Sir Serlo de Lansladron, of Lansladron, in Cornwall, was summoned to parliament as a baron, in the reign of Edward I. The male line of this family became extinct by the death of his grandson. The Arundells of Trerice became eventually the heirs.

Arms of Lansladron: — Argent, three chevronels, Sable.

Archdekne or Lercedekne, of Shepestall (supposed to have been the original name of their castle at Ruan Lanihorn) (fn. n6). John le Archdekne was summoned to parliament as a baron, in the reign of Edward III., he married the heiress of FitzStephen of Haccombe, in Devon his father the heiress of De le Roche Warin, son of John l'Archdekne, married a coheiress of Talbot, and left three daughters coheirs, the elder of whom married Lucy, whose coheiresses married Corbet and Vaux the second brought Anthony and Haccombe, through the Courtenays, to the Carews the third married Arundell, and died sine prole.

Arms of Archdekne: — Argent, three chevronels, Sable.

Sir Nicholas D'Auney, of Sheviock, is said, by Dugdale, in his baronage, to have had summons to parliament in the year 1327 but it appears that his summons was to attend with horse and arms at Newcastle-on-Tyne, and that he was not summoned to either of the parliaments of that year. This family became extinct in the male line of its principal branch, in the reign of Richard II., when the heiress married Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. The heiress of a branch of the D'Auneys, at an early period, married Archdekne, by which match the lastmentioned family became possessed of Anthony.

Arms of D'Auney: — Arg. on a bend cottised Sable, three annulets of the field.

The ancient baronial family of Bottreaux had their residence at Bottreaux Castle in the parish of Minster, having settled in Cornwall in or about the reign of Henry I. They were first summoned to parliament, as barons, in the year 1367, and became extinct in the reign of Edward IV., when the heiress married Hungerford. The barony having passed through this family, and that of Hastings, is now vested in the Earl of Moira, as heir-general. This noble family had married the heiresses of Corbet, St. Loo, Moel, Daubeny, and Thwenge.

Three differents coats (fn. n7) have been ascribed to the baronial family of Bottreaux and they are all quartered by Hastings in the following order: — 1. Arg. three toads erect Sable, two and one. — 2. Checky O. and G. on a bend Az. three horse-shoes Argent. — 3. Argent, a griffin segreant Gules, talon'd Azure.

Sir William Bonville, who resided at Trelawney, in Pelynt, having become possessed of it by gift of his relation Sir John Herle, heir-general of the Bodrugans, was summoned to parliament, as a baron, in 1449. His son and grandson died before him without male issue. The male line of this ancient family had been long settled at Shute, in Devonshire, having married the heiresses of Shute and Pyne. Lord Bonville's son married the heiress of William Lord Harrington. The granddaughter and heir of Lord Bonville married Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset.

Arms of Bonville: — Sable, six mullets pierced, Argent, three, two and one.

Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire. — On the accession of King Henry VII., he gave this title, which had long been in the Courtenay family, and had been forfeited by the attainder of Thomas, Earl of Devonshire, who fell at the battle of Tewkesbury, to Edward Courtenay, son of Sir Hugh Courtenay of Boconnoc. Henry, the grandson of Edward, who had Boconnoc for one of his seats, was created Marquis of Exeter by King Henry VIII., but beheaded in the same reign. His son Edward, who was restored to the earldom of Devonshire, dying without issue, the descendants of the four sisters of the first-mentioned Edward became heirs-general of this noble family. Matilda, the eldest, married John Arundell of Talverne, whose immediate representative is Thomas Jago, Esq. of Launceston Elizabeth married John Trethurfe, from whom are descended the Vyvyans of Trelowarren, the Bullers, &c. Isabella married William Mohun and Florence, the ancestor of the Rev. Sir Henry Trelawney, Bart.

Arms of Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire: — Or, three torteauxes, with a label of three.

Crest: — A plume of feathers Argent, one, two and three, issuing from a ducal coronet.

Supporters: — Two boars Argent, bristled Or.

Robert, Lord Willoughby, who was summoned to parliament in the reign of Henry VII., had a seat at Callington, where he died. His monument is in the church of that parish. The chief seat of this noble family was at Bere-Ferrers, on the opposite side of the Tamer. Robert, the second Lord Willoughby, died without surviving male issue: his grand-daughters, married to Grenville, Dawtrey, and Blount Lord Mountjoy, were his heirs.

Arms: — Or, two bars Gules, charged with three water bougets, two, one, Argent.

Sir Henry Marney, whose ancestors possessed Colquite, in St. Mabyn, by descent from a coheiress of Serjeaux, was created Lord Marney in 1523. The title became extinct by the death of his son John, the second Lord Marney, in 1570. His two daughters and coheirs married George Ratcliffe, and Lord Thomas Howard, afterwards Lord Howard of Bindon.

Arms: — Gules, a lion rampant guardant, Argent.

Crest: — A chapeau Sable, turned up, Ermine, between a pair of wings elevated, Argent.

Robartes, Lord Robartes, and Earl of Radnor.—The first of this noble family, of whom we have any account, is Richard Robartes, a merchant at Truro, grandfather of Richard Robartes, who married a coheiress of Hender, of Bottreaux Castle, was created a baronet in 1621, and in 1625 (fn. n8) a peer, by the title of Lord Robartes of Truro. His son John was, in 1679, created Viscount Bodmin, and Earl of Radnor (fn. n9). The title became extinct in 1757, by the death of John, Earl of Radnor, son of the Hon. Francis Robartes, who was the elder son of John, the first Earl of Radnor, by his second wife. The heir-general of this noble family is the Hon. Mrs. Agar, relict of the Hon. Charles Agar, daughter of the late George Hunt, Esq., of Lanhydrock, and grand-daughter of Thomas Hunt, Esq., of Great Mollington, near Chester. The latter married Mary, only sister of Henry, Earl of Radnor, who died in 1741.

Arms of Robartes, Earl of Radnor: — Azure, three estoils, and a chief wavy Or.

Crest: — On a wreath, a lion rampant Or, holding a flaming sword erect, proper, the pommel and hilt of the first.

Supporters: — Two goats, Argent, ducally gorged Azure.

Mohun, Lord Mohun. — A branch of the ancient baronial family of Mohun, of Dunster, in Somersetshire (fn. n10), became possessed of considerable property, by a marriage with the heiress of Fitzwilliam, in the reign of Edward III., and fixed their residence at Hall and Bodinneck, near Fowey they were afterwards of Boconnoc, having purchased that estate of the Russel family. Sir Reginald Mohun, of Boconnoc, was created a baronet in 1612 John, his son and heir, was created a peer, by the title of Lord Mohun of Oakhampton. This title became extinct in 1712, by the death of Charles, Lord Mohun, who fell in a duel, which proved fatal both to himself and his adversary the Duke of Hamilton. This branch of the Mohun family, from the time of their settling in Cornwall, had married the heiresses of Fitz-William and Hayre, and the coheiresses of Courtenay Earl of Devonshire, Horsey, and Reskymer. A younger branch of the Mohuns, settled at Luny or Lithney, in St. Ewe, became extinct by the death of William Mohun, Esq., the last of the name and family, in 1737.

Arms of Mohun, Lord Mohun: — Or, a cross engrailed, Sable.

Crest: — A dexter arm embowed maunched Erm. in the hand proper, a fleursde-lis, Or.

Supporters: — Two lions rampant guardant Argent, crowned with Earls coronets, Or, the balls, Argent.

Granville Earl of Bath. — This ancient Norman family came over with William the Conqueror. Richard de Grenville, who married Isabel, daughter of Walter Giffard Earl of Buckingham, was common ancestor of the Grenvilles of Devonshire and Cornwall, and the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire. The former were originally settled at Bideford, in Devonshire, and appear to have had a seat at Stowe, in the parish of Kilkhampton, from a very early period. Sir Richard Grenville, the brave naval commander, who married the heiress of Beville, appears, by the pedigrees, to have been the fifteenth in descent. His grandson was the celebrated Sir Beville Grenville, whose son, Sir John, was, in 1661, created Lord Grenville of Kilkhampton and Bideford, Viscount Grenville of Lansdowne, and Earl of Bath, with a warrant to use the foreign titles of Carboil, Thorigny, and Granville. This nobleman, and his descendants, wrote their name Granville. His younger son, John, was created, in 1702, Lord Granville of Potheridge, in Devonshire, and died without issue, in 1709. Charles, his eldest son, who succeeded him, was killed by the accidental discharge of a pistol before his father's funeral so that it was observed that there were three Earls of Bath above ground at one time (fn. n11). William Henry, son of Charles, became third Earl of Bath, but dying without issue in 1711, the title became extinct. The last of the male line of this noble family was George Granville, the poet, who was created Lord Lansdowne in 1711, and died in 1734, leaving issue only daughters. Dr. Borlase observes, that the family may be said, like the swan, to have sung most melodiously just before it expired (fn. n12). The aunts and coheiresses of the last Earl of Bath married Sir William Leveson Gower, Bart., ancestor of the Marquis of Stafford, and Sir George Carteret, afterwards Lord Carteret, of Hawnes. The younger of the coheiresses was created Countess Granville. The sisters and coheiresses of her grandson, the second and last Earl Granville, married Thomas Viscount Weymouth, father of the present Marquis of Bath and the Earl of Shelbourne (after Marquis of Lansdowne), father of the present Marquis. The Grenvilles of Stowe married the heiress of Beville of Brynn in Withiel, and coheiresses of Burgherst, Whitlegh, Beville of Gwarnick, and Viell.

Arms of Granville Earl of Bath: — Gules, three rests, Or.

Two Crests: — One, a griffin's head Or, the wings elevated the other, a griffin passant Or, the wings elevated.

Supporters: — Two griffins Or, wings elevated.

Digory, third son of Roger Grenville, who married the coheiress of Whitlegh, settled at Penhele, in Egloskerry, which was inherited by his third son this line ended in an only daughter of Sir George Grenville, who was ten years of age in 1620. Thomas Grenville, second son of Digory, was of Aldercombe, in Kilkhampton, and left two daughters coheiresses, married to Cary of Devonshire, and Proute of St. Stephen's, near Launceston.

Arundell, Lord Arundell, of Trerice in Newlyn. — The account of this family by Collins, as descended from a younger branch of the Arundells of Tolvern, who were a younger branch of the Lanherne family, is very erroneous. It is a doubtful point, whether they were at all connected with the Arundells of Lanherne we think it most probable that they were at a very early period, but have not been able to ascertain it. Both Tonkin and Dr. Borlase (fn. n13) assert the contrary, on the authority of a pedigree formerly at Trerice, which Dr. Borlase speaks of as having seen. He says that it was drawn up from original documents at the Heralds' college, by which it appeared, that they were a distinct family, and that their ancient bearing was, Gules, a lion rampant Or.

Tonkin says, that this pedigree was drawn up by Camden himself. That learned writer does not mention the Arundells of Trerice in his Britannia. On inquiry at the Heralds' college, we cannot find that any thing is known there of the bearing before spoken of, or of the pedigree of this family, beyond the match with Trerice.

The Lords Arundell of Trerice bore latterly, Sab. six swallows, three, two, one Argent, (the same coat as Arundell of Lanherne,) quartered with the arms of the ancient baronial family of Lansladron (Sab. three chevronels Arg.). It seems probable, nevertheless, that the Arundells of Trerice, in the sixteenth century, bore either the lion rampant or some other coat different from that of Arundell of Lanherne. Leland says, that Arundell of Trerice gave no part of the arms of the great Arundells, and that he told him that he thought his family came from the Arundells of Normandy. The coat, with the lion rampant, was put up over the chimney-piece in one of the rooms at Efford (fn. n14). The first Arundell of this family, whom we find mentioned in any well-authenticated pedigree, is Ralph (described as of Kenelhelvas, Lord of Kenelhoke), who married Joan, daughter and heir of Matthew Trerice the father of which Matthew married the heiress of Goveley, and eventually heiress of her grandfather, Sir Serlo de Lansladron, one of the barons of Edward the First's parliament, whose male posterity failed in the third generation. In Edmondson's pedigrees of the peers, Ralph Arundell, who married the heiress of Trerice, is described as son of another Ralph or Randall. If so, it must have been Ralph the elder, who, in 1346, had an estate at Trekening, in St. Columb for this Ralph, in a record of 1351, is called the son of Oliver. We think it extremely probable, from the frequent recurrence of the family-names of Nicholas and John, that the Arundells of Trerice were descended from a younger son of Sir Nicholas Arundell, of Hempston-Arundell, in Devonshire, the elder branch of which failed by the death of his son Sir John, in the reign of Henry III. and as the arms of the two families of the Arundells in Devonshire (the one of YewtonArundell, and the other of Hempston-Arundell) differ only in colour (the coat of the latter being, Arg. six swallows, three, two, one, Sab.), there is every reason to suppose, although we do not find any pedigree setting forth the connection, that they were originally of the same stock. The immediate descendant of the Arundells of Trerice was created Lord Arundell of that place, in 1664. The title and the family became extinct by the death of the fourth Lord Arundell, in 1773. The Arundells of Trerice married the heiresses of Trerice, Pollor, Durant, St. John of Pennark, Thurlebere, and Coswarth, and the coheiress of Beville. The younger branches of Arundell of Trerice are treated of amongst the extinct families of the gentry.

Arms of Arundell, Lord Arundell of Trerice: — Sable, six swallows close, three, two, one, Argent, quartered with Sable, three chevronels Argent (the coat of Lansladron).

Crest: — On a chapeau, Gules, turned up Ermine, a swallow, Argent.

Supporters: — Two panthers guardant Or, spotted of various colours, with fire issuing from their mouths and ears.

Godolphin, Baron and Earl of Godolphin. — The pedigree of this noble house is involved in some obscurity. It appears pretty evident that an ancient family, who, from the barton of that name, were called De Godolghan, became extinct in the male line about the year 1400. The heiress married Rinsey, who took the name of Godolghan. Hals says, that John Knava, who possessed Godolphin, by marrying the heiress of Stevens, first assumed the name of Godolphin in the reign of Henry VII. but Carew, who lived so much nearer to the time, says nothing of this, but observes, that the family had softened the name from Godolghan to Godolphin. It is certain that, from the reign of Henry VII., the name of Godolphin was continued uninterruptedly through six descents (the family being of much note in the county), to William Godolphin, Esq., who was created a baronet in 1661. This title became extinct at his death, in 1710: his nephew, Sidney Godolphin (who became prime minister to King William and Queen Anne), was created, in 1684, Lord Godolphin of Rialton and in 1706, Viscount Rialton and Earl of Godolphin. These titles became extinct in 1766 but Francis, the second Earl of Godolphin, having, in 1735, been created Lord Godolphin of Helston, with remainder to the heirs-male of Dr. Henry Godolphin, Dean of St. Paul's, Francis, the Dean's son, succeeded to that title, and, on his death without issue, in 1785, that title also, and the male line of the noble family of Godolphin, became extinct. The daughters and coheiresses of Francis, the second and last Earl of Godolphin, married the Dukes of Newcastle and Leeds. The elder branch of the Godolphins had married an heiress of the Killigrew family, the heiresses of Bonithon and Sydney, and coheiresses of Trenowth and Glynn.

Arms of Godolphin, Lord Godolphin: — Gules, an eagle with two heads, displayed, between three fleurs-de-lis, Argent. At one time, the family bore, Argent, three dolphins, embowed, Sable, the coat of Rinsey.

Crest: — On a wreath, a dolphin naiant, embowed, proper.

Supporters: — Two eagles, reguardant, with their wings displayed, Argent.

A younger branch of the Godolphins settled at Trewarveneth (fn. n15), in St. Paul's, about the reign of Henry VIII., and became extinct in 1689. The heiress of this branch married the ancestor of John Godolphin Nicholls, Esq., now of Trewarveneth. Another younger branch of the Godolphins, the first of which married one of the coheiresses of Gaverigan, settled at Treveneage, in St. Hilary, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and became extinct after two descents. The heiress of this branch married the ancestor of Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.

Pitt, Lord Camelford. — Thomas Pitt, Esq., Governor of Fort St. George, common ancestor of Pitt, Earl of Chatham Pitt, Earl of Londonderry in Ireland, and Pitt, Lord Camelford, purchased Boconnoc a few years after the death of the last Lord Mohun, and fixed his residence there. His grandson, Thomas Pitt, Esq., was, in 1784, created Lord Camelford, Baron of Boconnoc the title became extinct by the death of his only son, the second Lord Camelford, in 1804. Boconnoc is now the occasional residence of the Right Hon. Lord Grenville, who married Anne, his only sister and heir.

Arms: — Sable, a fesse checky O. and Az. between three bezants.

Crest: — A crane, proper, beaked and membered, Or.

Supporters: — Two Cornish choughs, proper, regardant, with wings elevated.

The following instances occur of titles taken from Cornish places, by persons who have had no residence in the county: — Sir Ralph Hopton had the title of Lord Hopton of Stratton conferred on him in 1644, and Sir John Berkeley that of Berkeley of Stratton in 1658, in memory of their signal services in the battle of Stratton. Charles Berkeley, Lord Botetourt, was created Earl of Falmouth in 1664 the title became extinct, by his death without issue, the ensuing year. The title of Viscount Falmouth was given to George Fitzroy when he was created Earl of Northumberland, in 1674 it became extinct in 1716. Viscount Launceston was one of the titles given to Frederic Prince of Wales, in 1726, as Viscount Trematon was one of those given the same year to William Duke of Cumberland. When the Right Hon. Thomas Erskine was created a peer on receiving the Great Seal, in 1806, he took the title of Baron Erskine of Restormel Castle, in the county of Cornwall. It may be observed, that this distinguished ornament of his profession had no residence at this place, nor any connection with the county, except that he was some time Attorney-General of the Duchy of Cornwall.

Noblemen's Seats.

The present noblemen's seats in this county are, Tregothnan, the seat of Lord Viscount Falmouth Boconnoc, the occasional residence of Lord Grenville Port Eliot, the seat of Lord Eliot Trefusis, the seat of Lord Clinton and Say and Tehidy Park, the seat of Lord de Dunstanville the last mentioned nobleman keeps also in his own hands the barton-house of Bennetts in Whitstone, which he occasionally visits. The old mansion at Cotehele, the property of the Earl of Mount-Edgcumbe, is occasionally visited by His Lordship. The late Lord Graves, of the kingdom of Ireland, had a seat at Torpoint, in the parish of Anthony, now in the occupation of his relict, the Dowager Lady Graves.

Mansions of Extinct Peers.

There are very few remains of the ancient mansions of extinct peers. At Bottreaux Castle there is only the mount of the keep. Colquite, built by John Lord Marney, has been wholly pulled down. Trelawney, the seat of Lord Bonville, was nearly rebuilt by Sir John Trelawney, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but the old towers remain. Trerice, the seat of the Lord Arundell, is now a farm-house Efford, another seat of the same noble family, in the parish of Stratton, is occasionally inhabited by Wrey J'Ans, Esq., as lessee under Sir Thomas Ackland, Bart. Not a vestige remains of Stowe, built by John Granville, Earl of Bath, and esteemed the most magnificent mansion in the west of England. Godolphin, the seat of the noble family of Godolphin, is now occupied as a farm-house!

In England, surnames are also commonly known as last names due to the practice of writing the given names first and then the family name or surname last. However, this is not necessarily true of other cultures, where the family name may be written first as part of a person's full name. It is, therefore, not always strictly correct to use the terms "surname" and "last name" interchangeably. Although most British last names are surnames, this website generally sticks to the term "surname" in order to avoid ambiguity.

Other common synonyms for "surname" include cognomen, patronymic, metronymic and matronymic.

History of English Nobility Titles

English nobility can be traced back to last thousand years. It is not exactly knowing when it started. The ranks were developed gradually and were different in different parts of English societies and countries. After the formation of Great Britain in 1707 and the United Kingdom in 1801, successful establishment of peerage in British was made.

Moreover, nobility could be seen in feudal worrier classes where knights and nobles were considered mounted warriors who took the oath to serve and fight for the sovereign in exchange of land.

In Spain the countship developed under Visigothic influence in the kingdom of Asturias-León and under Frankish influence in Catalonia and in the country immediately south of the Pyrenees. By uniting the Catalan countships, the counts of Barcelona made themselves into near sovereign princes, comparable at least to the powerful counts of Flanders and Toulouse and the Carolingian countship of Aragon was the nucleus of the kingdom of that name. The countship of Castile, on the other hand, from which the kingdom of Castile emerged, was originally a frontier district of the kingdom of Asturias-León. Here the official character of the counts as district administrators appointed by the kings was preserved until the end of the 11th century, when the principle of hereditary lordships of one sort or another emerged and ultimately prevailed. Under the Spanish monarchies of the Renaissance and later, the title of count was infrequently conferred.

In Russia, where the title of count was not introduced until Peter the Great’s time, it came to be given usually to officials of a certain rank in the government service. In Poland there were no counts before the partitions of the late 18th century, when the title was introduced by the Russians, Austrians, and Prussians.

British Titles and Orders of Precedence

The British title and its order of precedence is the most baffling, yet simple concept on the planet. Children of nobility and those who wished to become a part of it had the following concepts drilled into their heads from birth. Since neither of us are lords or ladies, we generally have to muddle along in hope of getting it right. Below you’ll find the order of precedence directly from a book of heraldry published in 1910. Things have obviously changed since then, but this was the rule of thumb for harried hostesses throughout the 19th century.

  • Duke: The highest rank and title in the British peerage, first introduced by Edward III in 1337 when he created the Black Prince the first English duke. A Duke is “Most Noble” he is styled “My Lord Duke” and “Your Grace” and all his younger sons are “Lords” and all his daughters “Ladies” with the prefix “Right Honorable”. The coronet of a duke is a circlet, heightened with eight conventional strawberry leaves, and encloses a velvet cap.
  • Marquess/Marquis: The second order of the British peerage, in rank next to that of the Duke. Introduced in 1387 by Richard II. A Marquess is “Most Honorable” he is styled “My Lord Marquess” all his younger sons are “Lords” and his daughters “Ladies” his eldest sons bears his father’s “second title”. The coronet is a golden circlet heightened by four strawberry leaves and as many pearls, arranged alternately.
  • Earl: In Latin, “Comes” in French “Comte” or “Count.” Before 1337, the highest, and now the third degree of rank and dignity in the British peerage. An earl is “Right Honorable” he is styled “My Lord”, the eldest son bears his father’s “second title,” generally that of Viscount his other sons are “Honorable” but all his daughters are “Ladies.” The circlet of an Earl’s coronet has eight lofty rays of gold rising from the circlet, each of which supports a large pearl, while between each pair of these rays is a golden strawberry leaf.
  • Viscount: The fourth degree of rank and dignity in the British peerage. Introduced by Henry VI in 1440. A Viscount is a “Right Honorable” and is styled “My Lord.” All his sons and daughters are “Honorable.” The coronet has a row of sixteen small pearls set on the circlet.
  • Baron: The lowest rank in the British peerage. A Baron is “Right Honorable” and is styled “My Lord”. The coronet is a golden circlet topped by six large pearls. An Irish baron has no coronet. All children of a Baron are “Honorable.”
  • Baronet: A hereditary rank, lower than the peerage, instituted in 1612 by James I, who fixed the precedence of baronets before all Knights, those of the Order of the Garter alone excepted.


The Sovereign
The Prince of Wales
The Younger sons of the Sovereign
The Grandsons of the Sovereign
The Brothers of the Sovereign
The Uncles
The Nephews
The Archbishop of Canterbury
The Lord Chancellor
The Archbishop of York
The Premier
The Lord High Treasurer
The Lord President of the Council
The Lord Privy Seal

The following Great Officers of the State precede all Peers of their own Degree–that is, if Dukes, they precede all other Dukes if Earls, all other Earls, etcetera.

The Lord Great Chamberlain
The High Constable
The Earl Marshal
The Lord High Admiral
The Lord Steward of the Royal Household
The Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household
The Master of the Horse

The Peers of each Degree take Precedence in their own Degree, according to their Patents of Creation.
Dukes (a) of England, (b) of Scotland, (c) of Great Britain, (d) of Ireland, (e) of the United Kingdom and, if created since the Union of Ireland.

Marquesses (vide Dukes)
Eldest sons of Dukes
Earls (vide Dukes)
Eldest sons of Marquesses
Younger sons of dukes
Viscounts (vide Dukes)
Eldest sons of earls
Younger sons of Marquesses
Bishops of (a) London, (b) Durham, and (c) Winchester
Bishops, according to Seniority of Consecration
Barons (vide Dukes)
The Speaker of the House of Commons
Commissioners of Great Seal
The (a) Treasurer and the (b) Comptroller of the Royal Household
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household
The Secretaries of States, when not Peers
Eldest sons of viscounts
Younger sons of earls
Eldest sons of barons
Knights of the Garter, Thistle and St. Patrick, not being Peers
Privy Councillors
The Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
The Lord Chief Justice
The Master of the Rolls
Lord Justices of Appeal and the President of Probate Court
Judges of High Court
Younger sons of Viscounts
Younger sons of Barons
Sons of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (Life Peers)
Knights of the Grand Cross of the Bath
Knights Grand Commanders of the Star of India
Knights Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George
Knights Grand Commanders of Indian Empire
Knights Grand Cross of Victorian Order
Knights Commanders of the various Orders (in the same order of progression)
Knights Bachelors
Commanders of Victorian Order
County Court Judges
Masters in Lunacy
Companions of the various Orders
Members of Fourth Class of Victorian Order
Companions of Distinguished Service Order
Eldest sons of the Younger sons of Peers
Eldest sons of Baronets
Eldest sons of Knights
Members of Fifth Class of Victorian Order
Baronets’ Younger sons
Knights Younger sons
Esquires: Including the Eldest sons of the sons of Viscounts and Barons, the eldest sons of all the younger sons of Peers and their eldest sons in perpetual Succession, the younger sons of Baronets, the sons of knights, the eldest son of the eldest son of a Knight in perpetual succession, persons holding the King’s Commission, or who may be styled “Esquire” by the King in any Official Document

The precedence of WOMEN is determined, before marriage, by the Rank and Dignity, but not by the Office, of their father. All the unmarried sisters in any family have the same degree, which is the degree that their eldest Brother holds (or would hold) amongst men. Thus: Of the sons of an earl, the eldest alone has an honorary title of nobility and is styled “My Lord,” while all the Daughters of an Earl have a similar honorary Title and are styled “My Lady.”


The Queen
Princess of Wales
Princess Royal
Other Daughters of the Sovereign, according to birth
Wives of Sovereign’s Sons, according to seniority of their Husbands
Granddaughters of the Sovereign
Wives of Sovereign’s Grandsons, according to seniority of their Husbands
Wives of the Sovereign’s Brothers
Nieces of the Sovereign
Wives of the Sovereign’s Nephews
Wives of the Sovereign’s Uncles
Other Princesses of the Blood Royal

Wives of eldest sons of Dukes
Daughters of Dukes
Wives of eldest sons of Marquises
Daughters of Marquises
Wives of younger sons of Dukes
Wives of eldest sons of Earls
Daughters of Earls
Wives of younger sons of Marquises
Wives of oldest sons of Viscounts
Daughters of Viscounts
Wives of younger sons of Earls
Wives of eldest sons of Barons
Daughters of Ваrons
Maids of Honour to the Queen
Wives of younger sons of Viscounts
Wives of younger sons of Barons
Wives of Baronets

Wives of Knights of the Garter
Wives of Knights of the Thistle and St. Patrick
Wives of Knights Grand Crosses of the Bath, Knights Grand Commander of the Star of India, Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George, Grand Commanders of the Indian Empire, Commanders of the Bath, Commanders of the Star of India, Commanders of St. Michael and St. George, and Knights Commanders of the Indian Empire
Ladies of the Crown of India
Wives of Knights Bachelors
Wives of Companions of the Bath
Wives of Companions of the Star of India
Wives of Companions of St. Michael and St. George
Wives of Companions of the Indian Empire
Wives of eldest sons of younger sons of Рееrs
Daughters of younger sons of Peers
Wives of eldest sons of Baronets
Daughters of Baronets
Wives of eldest sous of Knights of the Garter
Daughters of Knights of the Garter
Wives of eldest sons of Knights Grand Cross of the Bath
Daughters of Knights Grand Cross of the Bath
Wives of eldest sons of Knights Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George
Daughters of Knights Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George
Wives of eldest sons of Knights Commanders of the Bath
Daughters of Knights Commanders of the Bath
Wives of eldest sons of Knights Commanders of St. Michael and St. George
Wives of eldest sons of Knights Bachelor
Daughters of Knights Bachelors
Wives of younger sons of the younger son of Peers
Wives of younger sons of Baronets
Wives of Esquires of the Sovereign’s Body
Wives of Gentlemen of Privy Chamber
Wives of Esquires of Knight of the Bath
Wives of Esquires by creation
Wives of Esquires by office
Wives of younger sons of Knights Grand Cross of the Bath
Wives of younger sons of Knights Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George
Wives of younger sons of Knights Commander of the Bath
Wives of younger sons of Knights Commanders of St. Michael and St. George
Wives of younger wins of Knights Bachelor
Wives of Serjeants-at-Law and Queen’s Counsel
Wives of Gentlemen entitled to bear arms

By marriage, women share the dignities and precedence of their husbands, but the strictly official dignity of a husband is not imparted to a wife (except in India) in the case of the Archbishops and Bishops or holders of other offices. The dignities which ladies have by birth or by right of inheritance, are not imparted by marriage to their husbands, nor does marriage with an inferior in dignity in any way affect the precedence that a lady may enjoy by birth, inheritance or creation–both her own precedence and that of her husband may remain as before their marriage, unless the husband be a peer.

To whatever precedence she may be entitled by birth, the wife of a peer always takes her rank, and therefore takes her actual precedence from her husband. The widow of a peer, so long as she remains a widow, retains the rank she enjoyed whilst married, but should she contract a second marriage, her precedence then is determined either by the rank of her second husband, or by the rank that was her own by birth and which she enjoyed before her first marriage. The wife of the eldest son of any degree precedes all her husband’s sisters and also all other ladies having the same degree of rank with them.

A peeress by marriage who is also a peerage in her own right signs first her husband’s title, adding her own afterwards: The Countess of Yarborough is Marcia Yarborough, Cauconberg and Conyers. The daughter of a peer if married to another peer takes the precedence of her husband and relinquishes her own, but she retains it if she marries a commoner, and one of the anomalies of the English scale of precedence is to be found in the following circumstances: if the two elder daughters of a duke were to marry an Earl and a Baron respectively, whilst the youngest daughter were to run away with the footman, she would, nevertheless, rank as the daughter of a Duke above her sisters ranking as wives of an Earl and a Baron.

The Hannoverians are best known to Americans for King George III (1738-1820) on whom much of the Declaration of Independence (1776) was focused. This lineage came to the throne when Parliament searched far and wide for a new monarch based on religious preference. They found a German-speaking grandson of King James I (1566-1625) through two maternal lines who was dubbed King George I (1660-1727). This dynasty put five (5) members on the throne and traces back to George of Brunswick, Germany (1582-1641).

There is not a Y-DNA signature publically identified for the Hannoverian lineage. However, there are a number of living persons whose genealogies link them to this lineage. For instance, the living male descendants of Ernst August von Hannover (1914-1987) are good candidates for testing. 16

The Marquesses and their 100,000 acres

England’s Marquesses own nearly 100,000 acres of land and received at least £3.5million in public farm subsidies in 2016, Who Owns England can reveal.

Marquesses are the second-highest rank in the Peerage, below Dukes but above Earls, Viscounts and Barons. There are 34 extant Marquesses in the UK, 14 of whom own land in England (the rest have their estates in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, or else no longer possess lands at all).

These 14 aristocrats possess between them 95,803 acres of estates and farms surrounding large stately homes. Last year, £3,575,200 was paid to them directly or to their companies and trusts, thanks to the UK’s farm subsidy system. Notable Marquessates include:

  • The Marquess of Salisbury, whose 10,300-acre estates are registered offshore in Jersey, as written about on this blog previously
  • The Marquess of Cholmondeley, the Lord Great Chamberlain (with authority over parts of the Palace of Westminster), who also owns his estates in Norfolk and Cheshire via an offshore company, Mainland Nominees Ltd
  • The Marquess of Bath, who is the famously eccentric owner of Longleat house and safari park, part of his 9,226-acre estate in Wiltshire
  • The Marquess of Exeter, whose extensive estate in Lincolnshire and Rutland is owned by the Burghley House Preservation Trust
  • The Marquess of Milford Haven, whose Great Trippetts Estate in West Sussex appears to be registered offshore in the Turks & Caicos Islands, according to Private Eye’s map of offshore ownership.

It’s been possible to map most of the Marquesses’ estates with the generous help of a local historian who wishes to remain anonymous, who’s been painstakingly digitising maps of aristocratic estates deposited with councils under the Highways Act 1980.

Here are the estates for ten of the Marquesses mapped in Google Maps:

Other data sources allow us to get closer to a complete picture for example, here are the (as yet un-digitised) Highways Act s31.6 maps for the Castle Ashby and Compton Wynyates estates owned by the Marquess of Northampton. (Much of his land appears to be registered in the name of wealth managers Rathbones Trust Company Limited, but that’s a story for another time.) And below is the land forming part, or possibly all of, the Marquess of Abergavenny’s estate in East Sussex, as shown on this map of the recipients of Environmental Stewardship payments:

Source: mapped by Anna Powell-Smith. Data from, used under the Open Government Licence. Data last updated November 2016. © Natural England 2017. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2017.

As for the farm subsidy figure, I arrived at the total of £3.5m in 2016 by looking up the Marquesses and their estate companies, trust and charities on DEFRA’s CAP payments website. The full details, alongside further notes on each of the Marquesses, are in this Google Spreadsheet. A summary table is below:

Title Acreage Farm subsidies 2016
The Marquess of Lansdowne 4,000 £61,431
The Marquess Townshend 7,000 £349,583
The Marquess of Salisbury 10,300 £271,349
The Marquess of Bath 9,226 £50,888
The Marquess of Hertford 6,500 £315,548
The Marquess of Downshire 3,983 £163,352
The Marquess of Exeter 15,355 £1,161,670
The Marquess of Northampton 10,000 £212,925
The Marquess Camden 2,450 £172,276
The Marquess of Cholmondeley 4,374 £535,317
The Marquess of Normanby 13,865 £28,722
The Marquess of Abergavenny 3,000 £193,697
The Marquess of Zetland 4,965 £22,588
The Marquess of Milford Haven 785 £35,854
The Marquess of Lothian ? None listed
Totals 95,803 £3,575,200

To conclude: England’s Marquesses own only a tenth as much land as the highest tier of aristocracy, the Dukes – though to be fair, much of the 1 million acres of land owned by the Dukes is to be found in Scotland as well as England. It seems likely that the ‘lower orders’ of the peerage have fared less well than the Dukes in keeping their estates intact since the heyday of the aristocracy in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Even so, possession of nearly 100,000 acres is hardly to be sniffed at, and our present system of farm subsidies does much to prop up the Marquessates.

And this is barely scratching the surface of aristocratic landownership in England. There are only 24 non-Royal Dukes (22 of whom own land) and 34 Marquesses (14 of whom own land in England). But according to Debrett’s, there are currently 191 Earls, 115 Viscounts, and 435 Barons – some 800 peers in total. Some may own little or no land, but many will be men and women of broad acres, and drawing ample subsidies from the public purse. Mapping them all from existing sources would be a nigh-on impossible task. Unless, that is, the Land Registry opens up its doors – and shows us just how much of a feudal country England remains.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Arguably the most visible nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Brazil today is the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), or Movement of Landless Rural Workers. Now with some 500,000 members, it began organizing the occupation of large unproductive estates in the mid-1980s after the federal government was slow to follow through on its promised program of land reform. A convoy of vehicles invade an estate at night so that by dawn too many people will have occupied the land for the police to be able to evict them. Such land occupations have escalated since the mid-1990s, enhanced by the Brazilian media's sympathetic portrayal of the MST as supporting a just cause.

Partly in response to the MST, by the end of 1998 the federal agrarian reform program had settled nearly 290,000 families on eighteen million acres (7.3 million hectares) of land, and Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso had promised an acceleration of the process.

Over the last decade or so many other Brazilian NGOs have been established dealing with the problems of street children, rural poverty, hunger, ecological issues, women's issues, and indigenous rights. Some have received international attention and foreign support.

Part I: Introduction

1. What is is an unmoderated newsgroup created for the purpose of discussion of all aspects of royalty and nobility of any time period anywhere in the world. There is no mailing list gated to this group. Please remember that one cannot subscribe to or unsubscribe from via a mailing list, as is the case, e.g., for soc.genealogy.medieval . was first proposed in December 1994 and was created in February 1995 (according to:

Despite the FAQ compiler's efforts, it has not been determined who began nor who is responsible for composing its charter.

The charter states: "The group is oriented to discussion of royalty and nobility of all nationalities, both present day and historical. Discussions of the British royal family, the possibility of a restored Russian monarchy, Henry VIII's foibles, and the forms of address used in the Spanish court would all be appropriate. Advertising and commercialism are not welcome, especially since everyone knows that involvement in retail commerce results in attainder!"

All those who have access to and are interested in royalty and nobility are encouraged to participate. (Before interested individuals "discovered" and began posting to it regularly, they posted their questions in rec.heraldry .) The scope of the group encompasses topics such as the sovereigns or rulers of nations, royal and noble genealogies, vital statistics (births, marriages, deaths), lines of succession, royal residences, biographies, current events, pretenders or claimants to thrones, mistresses and illegitimate children, so on and so forth. is not here for the glorification of royalty. All views, positive, negative and in-between, are permitted. We are here to talk about royalty and nobility. You will find, however, most people who post to talk in favor of royalty and that they are not anti-royalist. You can express anti-royalist sentiments, but it is a fair assumption that you will get a heated and vociferous response. Royalty discussions can bring out the best and the worst in people they engender strong emotions and opinions. has in its midst authors, genealogists, historians, journalists and other such posters (and lurkers). Some of our members post to the group while others prefer to lurk. Our members are international: as of this edition of the FAQ, the majority are from the United States, while the rest are from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

2. How do I access is an Internet (or Usenet) newsgroup. To access it, you need a "client" (software application) on your computer and access to a "news (or Usenet) server". The client will connect to the server, retrieve the posts, and send your own replies. The server will then disseminate your posts to the rest of the world.

If you have access to the Web, your web browser can serve as client, and you can access a server over the Web. See Yahoo directory for "Usenet servers" for a list. Google Groups ( also offers access.

Alternatively, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ask them if they have a news server and what software they provide to connect to it. Again, your web browser can serve as a news client to connect to the news server.

3. Welcome to!

This purpose of this chapter is to provide useful information for new members of . First-time users, or even those who've been here a few times, have found the newsgroup's atmosphere intimidating. When posting for the first time, some people find themselves the object of criticism or downright abuse. The new-to-the-group poster might not understand that that kind of behavior happens with regularity in newsgroups. And so, at the suggestion of some regulars, the FAQ compiler and maintainer has developed this section which will hopefully explain the personalities of the regular members as well as provide tips on how to "survive" in .

One of the first things that is noticeable about is that it has a dual personality. Some days, it has a pleasant, quiet, stress-free atmosphere, while on other days it can be testy, noisy and combative. Some days, it can be academic and instructive in tone, yet gossipy and disruptive on other days. It has been suggested that, generally speaking, the male members of are competitive (with some positively thriving on this), while the female members seem cooperative. For the most part, 's members are pro-royalty/monarchy. What sets us apart are our personal perspectives and biases. has quite an interesting mix of people. While we can't tell you about the lurkers (they obviously prefer to remain anonymous), we can tell you about those who post with some regularity. There are authors (Greg King, author of The Last Empress Marlene Koenig, author under the name of Marlene A. Eilers, of Queen Victoria's Descendants Peter Kurth, author of Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson Ted Rosvall, author of Bernadotte-Attlingar William Addams Reitwiesner, author of The American Ancestors and Relatives of Lady Diana Frances Spencer , Guy Stair Sainty, author of The Orders of Chivalry and Merit of the Bourbon Two Sicilies Dynasty , Daniel Willis, author under the name of Daniel Brewer-Ward of The House of Habsburg: a genealogy of the descendants of Empress Maria Theresia ), art dealer (Guy Stair Sainty), author (Grant Hayter-Menzies), lawyer (Patrick Cracroft- Brennan), librarian (Noel McFerran), medical doctor (Sam Dotson), university professors (Stephen Stillwell, Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, and Jeffrey Taliaferro, the last two political scientists), some who share ancestors with royalty or are descendants of royalty (Frank Johansen and Grant Menzies), and even an aristocrat or two (Gilbert von Studnitz and Eric von Ehrenberg). Of course, there are also the average, everyday type of person who posts to .

If one observes for some time, individual types become obvious and one finds that they usually view and respond about royalty/monarchy in a predictable way. For example, there are the absolute monarchists (Louis Epstein, Noel McFerran), the genealogists (Sam Dotson, Marlene Koenig, Steven Lavallee, William Addams Reitwiesner, Darren Shelton, Paul Theroff, Daniel Willis), the historians (François Velde), the legalists (Paul Johnson, Guy Stair Sainty), the legitimists (Dimitry Macedonsky), so on and so on. One can continue to categorize 's members into those types who enjoy the gossip/daily lives aspect of royalty, those whose only interest is the British royal family enthusiasts (with a subset focussed on Diana, Princess of Wales), those who view royalty from a religious aspect, from a political aspect, so on and so forth.

Some of 's members use an alias, but most post under their real names. Some posters have obvious favorite areas and share willingly their knowledge. Other posters are more generalists, but share their knowledge with the same generosity. Some posters will only post or reply when their favorite topic comes up for discussion. Other posters will reply to just about everything and anything. Some of the regulars always provide references for their replies which can annoy some people, while others feel it useful and informative. Other posters never cite their sources. Some posters reply to questions succinctly while others provide mini-essays. Some posters will point out spelling and grammar errors while others never do so. Some posters reply to others in a light- hearted way while others are business-like. Some posters will criticize another member's question for whatever reason, while other posters will reply kindly and helpfully. Some posters have strong beliefs and won't budge an inch when discussing a particular topic, while others seem flexible and willing to see other points of view. Lastly, some of the nastier posters (and they are only a handful, thankfully) almost always use foul language, are rude and hurtful and seem to be in only to disrupt the group.

New members and not-so-new ones will probably realize at this point that given these types of personalities, it would not be easy to post with confidence in . The FAQ compiler and maintainer has received emails from people who feel they've been poorly treated by the regulars. Because of this, they chose to lurk instead of posting in the group or vow never to return to . Some posters almost always behave in a certain way and their criticisms shouldn't be taken personally because that is how they behave to just about everyone. It is almost guaranteed that when a person posts to a newsgroup he or she will eventually be criticized or abused. Please don't be intimidated by the bad manners of some and leave too soon. There are lots of us who welcome newcomers and we appreciate your ideas and input!

4. History of the FAQ

There was talk in early 1996 of creating a FAQ for and some work for one had been started by members of the group. It did not materialize into a finished product, however. A few months later, in August 1996, another member of the group (Mark Odegard) posted a titles FAQ to the group. It was called "A Glossary of European Noble, Princely, Royal, and Imperial Titles". (It can now be found on the WWW at:

Nonetheless, remained without a general, all-purpose FAQ until May 1997. At that time, a rough draft version of a FAQ was posted to the group it had been created by Yvonne Demoskoff with the help of several members. A number of additions, corrections and suggestions were made over the next few months and by November 1997 the rough draft was replaced with an official first version.

In June 1998, the FAQ was posted once again to the newsgroup but this time it was in two distinct parts: one was called the Brit-FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions for - British Royal & Noble Families) and the other was called the non-Brit-FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions for - Non-British Royal & Noble Families).

In August 1998, François Velde took over the maintenance of the various FAQs.

5. Basic newsgroup "netiquette".

Before posting to any Usenet group, please read the introductory articles in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers . There, Emily Postnews will help you through some netiquette you need to know before posting.

We highly recommend "lurking", that is, reading messages without posting anything for a few weeks so that you get an idea of how people typically phrase their postings. This will also give you an idea of the flow of the newsgroup, the personalities of the regulars, and the like. The easiest way to learn how to post in a.t.r. is to watch how others do it. Start by reading the posts and try to figure out what people are doing and why. After a few weeks, you will start to understand why certain things are done and what things shouldn't be done.

Occasionally, you will see trolls (strong worded postings intended only to provoke a lot of replies), flames and off-topic posts. The best way to deal with these kinds of postings is to ignore them. If your newsreader program allows the use of a kill-file make use of it to filter out undesirable postings. Alternatively, if you see a blatantly offensive message, do not respond with another post. Instead, send a strong complaint to [email protected]> and [email protected]>.

One last point to remember concerning inappropriate behavior: our newsgroup, in common with other newsgroups, has its share of people who seek to disrupt the group collectively and/or its posters individually. and its FAQ might not have an official policy as to how one should deal with such disruptive behavior, but it can suggest the following: DNFTEC . This stands for " Do Not Feed The Energy Creature ". An energy creature's favorite feeding tactic is to try to hurt people's feelings or get them angry. The Energy Creature can then feed off the pain and anger it has generated. Its second favorite tactic is to hurt one person or the group's feelings while gathering the sympathy of others. That way, when the injured party lashes back, others will jump to the Energy Creature's defense. The Energy Creature feeds off the attention and the negative energy generated by the people fighting. Newsgroups will never be completely rid of such obnoxious, offensive and ill-mannered beings, but much can be done to keep the situation under control by remembering this simple formula: DNFTEC . If the Energy Creature gets a response, it gets stronger. If it is ignored, it will eventually weaken, wither and go away. Remember: do not to feed the energy creatures .

6. What kind of postings are appropriate in

Attachments, whether they are text (batch files, system files) or binaries (audio, video, pictures such as .JPGs, .GIFs, .TIFs and the like, programs, and "web" files such as HTML, HTM, SHTML) are also inappropriate. Binaries must be kept in groups with binaries in the name they cannot appear in . If news administrators find binaries in a.t.r., they could kill the group and move it to the alt.binaries section. A better way of dealing with binaries is to post the binary in a binaries group and to write a note in a.t.r. telling the group where the particular binary can be found. In other words, do not post anything other than plain text in our non-binary newsgroup.

Posts which refer to royalty and nobility in a negative way (such as suggesting that one monarchy in particular, or all monarchies in general should be overthrown), while not off-topic, will usually get no response. Most of the posters in are fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of hereditary systems, and are participating in this newsgroup to explore the intricacies of these systems, rather than to engage in flamewars with persons who are opposed to the idea of these systems.

Patently offensive remarks are inappropriate.

7. Examples of "good" and "bad" posts.

"Please tell me EVERYTHING about Princess Diana."
"I need to know ALL the people in line to the British throne my homework is due tomorrow!"
"I'm looking for information about the kings of England." -- these types of posts are usually met with well deserved sarcasm or risk being completely ignored "So-and-so is an idiot and should be shot!" -- personal comments or attacks on a.t.r. members have no place in a royalty newsgroup take it to private e-mail, if you must "This is a test." -- there isn't any reason to test , the system works fine. If you have to test something, do it in a group with 'test' in it such as alt.test or misc.test . And now "good" posts : "Who succeeded King George II?" "Why does Queen Elizabeth II celebrate her birthday in April and in June?" "Where is King Henry VIII buried?" "Can someone tell me how King George V and Tsar Nicholas II are related?"

(these "bad" and "good" posts are examples only and will not be necessarily found in the FAQ)

  • when the topic in a post has changed, please reflect that in the subject heading by indicating the new subject and including a reference to the old subject heading
  • we suggest reading all the existing responses to a query before posting one's own response maybe the question has already been answered, and the name of the game is not to show off how much one knows
  • people don't like to read things again and again therefore, try to avoid large quotes quote only what you respond to
  • please keep the lines of your messages to under 70 characters long lines will overflow when quoted by others and become very difficult to read
  • remember, it is generally considered rude to post private e-mail correspondence without the permission of the author of that mail
  • be careful about infringing upon copyrights and licenses when quoting, do not use more of the work than is necessary to make your commentary for more information on copyright, read "Copyright Myths FAQ: 10 big myths about copyright explained" found at the following URL:
  • posts may be in any language, but will probably be understood by the largest audience if in English

8. Are there archives where I can find older posts on a subject?

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not keep posts for more than one or two weeks. Therefore, to find older posts, head over to the WWW and check out "Google Groups" (formerly known as Deja News) at:

Once there, you will be able to search old posts back to April 1995.

This is also a good starting point to see what questions have already been asked in our newsgroup. It's possible that your particular question has already been asked.

9. What other newsgroups and chat groups are there?

  • alt.gossip.royalty
  • rec.heraldry (discussions of coats of arms and of the honors they can depict)
  • soc.genealogy.medieval (discussions of genealogy, royal or otherwise, mainly of the Middle Ages)
  • soc.history
  • soc.history.ancient
  • soc.history.medieval

N.B.: not all ISPs carry "alt." and "clari." newsgroups however, they can be accessed by visiting the Google Groups web site at:

We suggest that you find out more about these newsgroups by reading their FAQs, if available, or by lurking, so that you post your queries in the appropriate group and not haphazardly cross-post to all of them.

America Online (AOL) features chat groups about royalty for its members. The royalty chats meet almost daily and the topics range from discussions about the late Diana, Princess of Wales to the Romanovs to the Tudors.

10. Can I sell or advertise in this newsgroup?

Usenet procedures heavily discourage advertising in newsgroups not specifically designed for commerce. Having said that, one-time offers to sell or buy books, and such, about British royalty and nobility, will be tolerated. Those who wish to regularly advertise should post their messages in the appropriate newsgroups (for example, alt.genealogy.marketplace ).

11. Where can I get the latest version of this FAQ?

You can obtain the latest version of the FAQ by visiting its web site at:


The German equivalent of baron, Freiherr, or “free lord” of the empire, originally implied a dynastic status, and many Freiherren held countships without taking the title of count (Graf). When the more important of them styled themselves counts, the Freiherren sank into an inferior class of nobility. The practice of conferring the title of Freiherr by imperial letters—begun in the 16th century by Emperor Charles V—was later exercised by all the German sovereigns.