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You can take this benefit once or double, but not thrice. Do not underestimate the value of a title. Higher titles are neigh impossible to gain in game, unless you've gained the gratitude of King and country for some extra ordinary feat. Being a peer comes with extra Rights & Privileges.
Daughter or son of a knight or esquires (other gentlemen/gentry):-1
Son or daughter of a baronet: -.5
Son or daughter of Baron: 0
Heir of a baron: +.5
Baron or wife of one: +1
Son or daughter of a viscount: +.5
Heir of a viscount: +1
Viscount of wife of one: +1.5
Son or daughter of an earl is counted as +1
Heir of an earl: +1.5
Earl of wife of an earl: +2
Son or daughter of high-ranking foreign noble: +2
Being a peer (male titles only) will also add you automatically to the political circle. All higher titles than Earl, as well as titles for a woman who is a peeress in her own right, must be earned in character. Your PC can have only one title at the start. Note that your preferment may be higher or lower depending on how well connected your family is, important family relatives etc. There might be opportunity to buy additional titles in character, provided you have funds.
The ordinary ranking of the English Court, disregarding various offices, parents, patents, or orders of knighthood is as follows:
|King (x)||Queen (x)|
|Duke (x)||Duchess (x)|
|Marquis (x)||Marchioness (x)|
|Earl (+*)||Countess (+*)|
|Viscount (+*)||Viscountess (+*)|
|Baron (+*)||Baroness (+*)|
|Baronet (*)||Baronetess (*)|
|Knight (*)||Knight's Lady (*)|
|Esquire (*)||Esquire's Lady (*)|
(*) = playable, (+*) = playable as a benefit, (x) = not playable at start
English_towns_for_titles - This is a potential list of towns to use for titles.
Royalty refers only to the monarch and his/her immediate family.
Princes/Princess is a title for royalty that is equal to Duke, but without the legal and monetary benefits. Prince merely indicates the royal status. Thus Lady Mary is a Princess, but only named Lady. Charles II made it a point to call all his acknowledged children Princes/Princesses, as they descended from royalty.
The term Peerage refers to the collective body of English, Irish, and Scottish nobles, known as Peers of the Realm. Peers are barons and above.
Nobility refers to peers and their spouses.
Gentry refers to anyone gentle but untitled, usually descended from nobility (sons and daughters). Gentry has access to Court circles.
Knights are not noble. They are knightly. An ordinary, undifferentiated knight is a Knight Bachelor. Knight Banneret is an honour conferred on a man who distinguished himself on the battlefield in front of his monarch. It is a battlefield promotion which permits him to cut the tails off his pennon (making it a banner) and permits/requires him to lead a company of his own men under it. Knights of the Garter outrank all the other knights.
Esquires rank below knights. They usually indicate gentry rank for gentlemen.
A peer of the realm is one who holds one or more (of five possible) title(s) of nobility and ownership of the estate(s) bestowed upon him or his direct ancestor by the monarch. Although other members of his family might be addressed by "Lord This" and "Lady That," none of them are peers; their titles are all courtesy titles, including his wife's, although she is, by courtesy, called a "peeress". A duke or duchess is addressed as "Your Grace" by social inferiors, and as "Duke" or "Duchess" by social equals. All other peers and peeresses are called by "Lord" or "Lady" prefixed to the title, for example, Lord Trefor or Lord Chesterford.
In the game your title will be indicated below your avatar. While a knighthood or a baronet are easy to gain for a commoner, higher rank will require extraordinary effort to gain the gratitude of King and Country. It is better to start with a title if you aim to be part of the peerage.
Prevalence of Ranks
Since dukes hold the highest precedence, it should make sense that dukedoms have, historically, been the rarest English/Scottish/Irish/British noble title. There have never been more than 40 non-royal dukedoms in being at any one time, and ordinarily there have been far fewer than that. Barons, being the lowest rank of nobility, have usually been the most numerous of the five degrees. The next most numerous dignity has usually been that of Earl; Marquesses and Viscounts have always been comparatively less numerous, though not so rare as the dukes.
In 1675 there were only fourteen non-royal dukes, six marquesses, 156 earls, thirty-six viscounts, and 160 barons. These numbers reflect only historical numbers, however, and do not take into account the numerous original PC peers being played in the game - nor do they take into account subsidiary titles, i.e., only the highest title was counted. They do, though, include peeresses in their own right.
How Titles are Derived
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There is always a distinction between the name of the peerage and the surname. For almost all peerages above viscounts, they are different, but of course it's very easy to get them confused, especially since there are several exceptions.
Territorial titles are derived either from the name of a county (Hertford, Sussex, Essex) or the name of a town. They are not derived from the name of a person's dwelling. See chart for further detail.
|Peerage Type||Uses "of"?||Surname?||Or Territorial?|
|Dukes||Always||None, except for three in the peerage of Scotland: the Duke of Hamilton (also the Duke of Brandon in England); the Duke of Lennox (also the Duke of Richmond in England); and the Duke of Gordon||Always (the three surnames to the left are also territorial place names.)|
|Marquesses||All, but: Marquess Camden (territorial), Marquess Douro (territorial), Marquess Wellesley (surname), Marquess Conyngham (surname), Marquess Townshend (surname)||None, but: Marquess of Cholmondeley, Marquess of Hastings, Marquess Wellesley, Marquess Conyngham, Marquess Townshend||Generally|
|Earls||Usually, but usually not with a surname||Occasionally (and usually not with "of"): Earl of Coventry, Earl of Cowper, Earl of Middlesex, Earl of Ashburnham, Earl Grosvenor, Earl Talbot, Earl Bathurst, Earl Fitzwilliam||Usually|
|Viscounts||Never in the peerages of England and Ireland, but often a territorial addition is made to the title, e.g., Viscount Leinster of Taplow. Almost fallen out of use in the peerage of Scotland, but still correct, e.g. the Viscount of Arbuthnott, and the Viscount of Oxfuird||Often, e.g., Viscount Courtenay||Often, e.g., Viscount Melville|
|Barons||Never, but often a territorial addition is made to the title, e.g., Baron Holland of Foxley;||Often, but often a territorial addition is made to the title, e.g., Baron Trevor of Bromham||Often (occasionally from another source, e.g., Baron Holland of Foxley)|
There are three types of peerages to consider when talking about peers: peers of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This makes a great difference in precedence, and in some cases, privilege. The higher the rank, the more likely it is that the peer holds several peerages, which may be distributed throughout the three peerages, depending upon their dates of creation.
For more information, see Precedence.
A baronetcy is a dignity that passes down from generation to generation within a family, like a hereditary peerage. But, a baronet is not a peer; he does not sit in the House of Lords or enjoy the privileges of peers. In the Table of Precedence, a baronet is below barons and above knights. His style would be, for example, Sir Adolphus Ware of Rufford, Bt. This is distinct from a peer, who would be styled "The Lord Sale" (if a baron, viscount, earl, or marquess) or "His Grace, the Duke of Sale." It is similar to the style of a knight, but unlike a knighthood can be inherited. Baronets are not lords and are never addressed as "my lord"; however, their wives are called "Lady" prefixed to their surnames only, and can be called "my lady".
Knighthood is a non-hereditary honor bestowed upon a man for service to the crown, either military, or civil. In 1675 there were two orders of knighthood recognized in the British Isles:
- The Most Noble Order of the Garter (English)
- The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (Scottish)
An ordinary, undifferentiated knight is a Knight Companion. Knight Banneret (Also known as a Knight Commander) is an honor conferred on a man who distinguished himself on the battlefield in front of his monarch. It is a battlefield promotion which permits him to cut the tails off his pennon (making it a banner) and permits/requires him to lead a company of his own men under it. Knights of the Garter outrank Knights of the Thistle.
His style would be, for example, Sir Henry Pratchett, K.G. This is distinct from a peer, who would be styled "The Lord Sale" (if a baron, viscount, earl, or marquess) or "His Grace, the Duke of Sale." Knights are not lords and are never addressed as "my lord"; however, their wives are called "Lady" prefixed to their surnames only, and can be called "my lady".
Esquire is a courtesy title per definition, by birth or office:
- the eldest sons of knights and their eldest sons in perpetuity,
- the eldest sons of younger sons of peers and their eldest sons in perpetuity,
- esquires so created by the king,
- esquires by office, such as justices of the peace and those holding an office of trust under the crown. Besides those Esquires who are personal attendants of Knights of Orders of Knighthood, this title is held by all attendants on the person of the Sovereign, and all persons holding the Sovereign's commission being of military rank not below Captain; also, by general concession, by Barristers at Law, Masters of Arts and Bachelors of Law and Physic.