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the only foundation, and courtesy the only authority —which are never granted them in legal documents, or in the official publications of the government.
The persons to whom these observations apply are the sons, daughters, and in some cases grandchildren, of peers and peeresses. Possessing in society rank, precedence, and titular designations, it is perhaps hardly fair that the young nobility of England should enjoy only by sufferance the titles by which they are known : in law, the sons of peers, old and young, are entitled merely to the designation of “esquire," and they are thus described in the gazette when receiving any appointment, with the addition of “commonly called the Hon. -,” or “commonly called Lord -."
These courtesy titles are, however, of some im. portance to the reader, since they are invariably used on all occasions of ordinary intercourse in society, or by letter, and their assumption is regulated by certain rules, without a knowledge of which anomalies are constantly appearing, and mistakes not unfrequently ensue.
The following may be taken as a general view of these rules, as far as a tabular arrangement can conveniently express them ; but there are many irregularities, requiring a more detailed examination.
Dukes' eldest sons bear a marquisate by courtesy,
under limitations to be hereafter explained. younger sons bear the title of Lord, prefixed
to their Christian and surnames.
Dukes' daughters bear the title of Lady, prefixed to
their Christian and surnames. eldest grandsons, or rather the eldest sons of their eldest sons, bear an earldom, by
courtesy younger grandsons, being children of the Duke's eldest son, bear the prefix of
Honourable,” before their Christian and
granddaughters, being children of the Duke's eldest son, bear the title of “Lady,”
prefixed to their Christian and surname. other grandchildren, whether issue of his younger sons or of any of his daughters, enjoy no such titular distinction.
earldom by courtesy.
younger sons bear the title of “Lord,” prefixed to their Christian and surnames.
daughters bear the title of "Lady," prefixed to their Christian and surnames.
eldest grandsons (being eldest sons of the Marquis's eldest son), bear a viscounty, by courtesy. younger grandsons (being children of the Marquis's eldest son), bear the prefix of Honourable,” before their Christian and
granddaughters (being issue of the Mar-
younger sons, or of any of his daughters, have no title.
Earls' eldest sons bear a viscounty, by courtesy.
younger sons enjoy the title of “Honour.
able," prefixed to their Christian and
surnames. -- daughters enjoy the prefix of “ Lady," before
their Christian and surnames. grandsons, elder and junior (being children
of the Earl's eldest son) are styled “Honourable,” before their Christian and sur.
names. granddaughters (being children of the Earl's
eldest son) are styled “ Honourable," before their Christian and surnames. other grandchildren, whether issue of his
younger sons or of any of his daughters, bear no title.
Viscounts’gons, elder and younger, bear only the
prefix of Honourable." daughters are also entitled to the prefix
of “ Honourable.” grandchildren, whether issue of the elder or younger sons or daughters, bear no title.
Barons' sons, elder and younger, bear only the
prefix of “Honourable," before their Christian and surnames. daughters are also entitled to the prefix of " Honourable."
Barons' grandchildren bear no title.
From this statement it will be seen, that if we meet a Marquis he may only be the son of a Duke, if an Earl the son of a Marquis or the grandson of a Duke, if a Viscount the son of an Earl or the grandson of a Marquis, if a Baron the grandson or perhaps son of an Earl.
Those who bear the prefix of “ Lord,” before their Christian names, are either
The younger sons of Dukes, or
The younger sons of Marquises. Those who enjoy the prefix of "Lady,” before their own Christian names, are either
The daughters of Dukes,
The daughters of Earls. Men who bear the prefix of “ Honourable," before their Christian names, are either
The younger sons of Earls,
The sons of Barons. Ladies bearing the prefix of “ Honourable,” are either
Daughters of Earls' eldest sons,
Thus much may serve for a general view of these courtesy titles; but there are several rules which a tabular arrangement could not conveniently comprehend, and some details and qualifications required, for even the foregoing attempt at classification.
The eldest sons of Dukes, Marquises, and Earls, bearby courtesy one or other of the various secondary titles which their fathers enjoy, and in general assume that which is next in degree to the highest, except in cases where the first and second, though of different degrees in the peerage, are identical in name. Thus the Earl Stanhope is Earl, Viscount, and Baron Stanhope ; his eldest son, therefore, cannot bear one of these titles, lest mistakes should arise as to personal identity; but in con. sequence of his father being Viscount Stanhope of Port Mahon, the son bears the courtesy title of Lord Mahon. In the same way Archibald Acheson is Earl, Viscount, and Barou Gosford, and his eldest son assumes the title of Lord Acheson, after the family surname. The Earl of Huntingdon has no Viscounty or Barony whatever, and his eldest son usually styles himself Lord Hastings, a title also derived from the family surname. Then again the eldest sons of the Earls of Annesley bear the courtesy title of Viscount Castle Wellan, not because such a viscounty is vested in the Earl, for that peer enjoys only the viscounty of Glerawly; but the Earl is Baron Annesley of Castle Wellan, and the eldest son is styled Viscount Castle Wellan in preference to the title of Viscount Glerawly. The Earl of Carlisle is not Viscount Morpeth (though his eldest son bears that title), but Viscount Howard of Morpeth ; as,