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and the first instance in which it was conferred occurred in Sept. 1619.
By the respective unions between England and Scotland, Great Britain and Ireland, the baronets of Scotland and Ireland have been granted precedence according to their dates of creation among the baronets of England and of Great Britain ; the whole order became thus consolidated, and the dates of creation of all baronetcies conferred subsequently to 1801, naturally placed them after all other branches of this hereditary dignity.
Of the whole existing baronetage, Scotland furnishes one-sixth, and Ireland about one-seventh, while the main bulk of the order is British. These proportions hold good likewise with reference to the extinct baronetcies.
TITLES BY COURTESY.
“ Barely in title, not in revenue.”
King Richard II. act ii. sc. 1.
Numerous as the aristocracy of this country may appear, and various as are the degrees amongst them, yet the entire aggregate do not comprehend more than half as many individuals as are included under the head of those enjoying titles" by courtesy.” Peers receive their dignities by writ of summons, or letters patent; the knights of the several orders are nominated, invested, and installed; barodets receive patents of creation ; bishops and arch
are nominated, elected, and consecrated ; privy councillors are sworn in; and in fact every dignity which is " of right has some ceremony that authorizes and publishes the title by which it is designated. But the gross amount of individuals included within these classes does not much exceed two thousand, while there are upwards of four thousand persons who enjoy titular distinctions of which usage is