English Feudal Baron - Title or Dignity?

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Stephen Lautens
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English Feudal Baron - Title or Dignity?

Post by Stephen Lautens » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:40 pm

I have been researching the narrow question of whether a recent purchaser of an English feudal barony is entitled to be addressed as "Lord X", or whether - like manorial dignities - he is simply "Mr. X, Baron of Y".

I am assuming the barony was legally extant and intact through a traceable chain or ownership (not a "revival"), however it was acquired by purchase from the previous baron and not through bloodline succession. It is not part of the Peerage. The sole question I have is the proper form of address for this individual.

It appears that not even Scottish baronies entitle to holder to be addressed as "Lord X".

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I am a lawyer, so any references, citations or caselaw would be most welcome.

Moderators - please feel free to move this post to a more appropriate forum sub-head.

Many thanks,

Stephen

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Stephen Lautens
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Re: English Feudal Baron - Title or Dignity?

Post by Stephen Lautens » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:52 pm

I am grateful to the moderators for pointing me to this section of the The Armorial Register website:

http://armorial-register.com/acceptance ... olicy.html

English and Irish Feudal Baronies

The Armorial Register Ltd. declines to register English and Irish Feudal Baronies. In regard to English Feudal baronies, whilst there has been at least one legal opinion which asserts the continuing legal existence of the feudal barony in England and Wales, namely that from 1996 of A W & C Barsby, Barristers of Grays's Inn, this opinion does not have widespread support and is not considered to be a suitably reliable authority.

I would be pleased to hear from any others.

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Martin Goldstraw
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Re: English Feudal Baron - Title or Dignity?

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:58 pm

Stephen, a very good question which can be answered by precedent using but one of many examples of the Funeral Certificates issued by Officers of Arms and recorded in the records of the College of Arms.

Here is a facsimile of the entry for Thomas Venables, Esquire, Baron of Kinderton recorded at his funeral in 1605. This was a time when English baronies had actual and real substance and were not mere shadows of their historical selves. Here you will see quite clearly that those in the know have most certainly NOT recorded the holder of the barony as Lord Kinderton but have correctly recorded his name along with his rank of Esquire and his barony thus, he is Thomas Venables, Esquire, Baron of Kinderton.

Holders of English baronies (if it is accepted that they still exist and if they are genuine) are never addressed as Lord X.
kinderton.JPG
kinderton.JPG (148.46 KiB) Viewed 377 times
Martin Goldstraw

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