[ANSTHRLD] looking for historic info

Haines, Paul PHA at allseas.com
Fri May 16 06:13:06 PDT 2003

I found some useful (for me anyway) information at

*courtesy title*: strictly speaking any honorific prefix, whether 'Hon',
'Lady' etc, extended by custom to the near relative of a peer. (For such
lesser prefixes, see the individual article baron, duke, earl, marquess,
viscount.) It is here proposed to concentrate on the major ones. Many a
holder of a peerage (1), especially if of senior rank such as an earl,
marquess or duke, has more than one title. He usually 'lends' one of his
lesser titles to his eldest son and sometimes one to the latter's eldest son
as well. Thus the eldest surviving son and heir of the Duke of Marlborough
(qv) is called Marquess of Blandford and the latter's son is called Earl of
Sunderland, the two titles being among the Duke's lesser substantive ones.
Such 'loans' are called courtesy titles since their bearers are not
substantive peers but only commoners in a relationship of expectancy to
their father's (or grandfather's) genuine peerages, and although they may be
addressed as titled personages it is by courtesy. The lesser title so 'lent'
may not necessarily exist, or if it does may not necessarily be one of the
substantive peer's actual titles, for example the Barony of Clinton on past
occasions in the case of the Earldom of Lincoln, though at present the
eldest son of the latter does not use it precisely because it is not a title
held by the immediate family. Again, on the death of the 10th Earl of
Huntingdon (qv) in 1789 his subsidiary titles passed to his sister but the
Earldom passed to a cousin, who became 11th Earl. The 12th Earl's eldest son
was known by courtesy as Lord Hastings till he succeeded to the Earldom,
even though neither of the two Baronies of that name were held by his branch
of the family. And his son, the future 14th Earl, was known by courtesy as
Viscount Hastings although that title had not only never been held by the
family at all but had never even existed. It is customary to refer in
writing to a courtesy marquess, earl or viscount, baron or lord, as
'Marquess of Blandford', 'Earl of Sunderland', etc, without the preceding
definite article ('The'). In the body of Burke's Peerage & Baronetage
courtesy titles are printed in italics.

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