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Author Topic: Lords and Ladies
mr_porteiro_head
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I've been reading the Horation Hornblower books, and I realize that I don't understand what the Peerage was. (I also don't understand the vast majority of the the nautical terms used in the books, but I just substitute in my head reversing the polarity of the deflector dish and diverting power to shields and I'm good to go.)

Now, HH first became, if I understood it correctly, a Knight of the Bath, Sir Horatio Hornblower. Something of the sort still exists, and people are still knighted by the titular monarch of Enland for, I guess, being awesome. Besides having people call him "Sir Hornblower", and occasionally having to attend boring ceremonies, I don't see how it affected much.

Then he became a Peer of the Realm, a Baron of the United Kingdom, Lord Hornblower. I really don't know what that means, but people called him Lord instead of Sir, and after his death, his son would become Lord Hornblower as well.

Does anything of that sort still survive in modern days?

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jh
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Don't they still use those titles in England.
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mr_porteiro_head
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That's exactly my question.
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cmc
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I know they still do in Scotland because a friend of mine bought 'the man' a square foot of land (in a conservation area) there for Christmas and he can now be called 'Lord'. Sort of a cool idea - on a couple of fronts.
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rivka
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Wikilink
And another
And a third

These days, other than additional honor being associated with being a Lord (peer) rather than a Sir (knight), there is not much difference.

However, before the makeup of House of Lords was changed, one big difference was being a peer automatically meant one had a seat in the British government. Earlier still (until a bit more than 100 years ago), peerages came with lands.

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Bella Bee
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Hornblower wouldn't be called 'Sir Hornblower', though. While he was a knight (as opposed to a peer - Lord) he would have been addressed as 'Sir Horatio', or 'Sir Horatio Hornblower'. You can leave off the surname if you want, but never the first name. As a Lord, he would have been called Lord Hornblower. As a peer, he would have been entitled to sit in the House of Lords, the second chamber of parliament.

Today, as Rivka says, most of the hereditary peers have been removed (in 1999), though about 90 were allowed to keep their seats. There is still ongoing controversy over whether any hereditary peers should be there, and when or if they should be kicked out also. I personally can't wait to see the back of them.

There are still plenty of recently created knights flying around out there, like Sir Elton John, Dame Judy Dench, Sir Mick Jagger or Sir Ben Kingsley. A lot of US presidents have been awarded honorary knighthoods although being foreign nationals, they couldn't officially use the title and probably wouldn't want to anyway.

There are also other honours, lower than 'Sir' or 'Lord' available, such as OBEs and MBEs. Terry Pratchett, and I think Hugh Laurie have both quite recently been awarded OBE (Order of the British Empire - yeah, slightly out of date).

cmc, it's a fun gift, but your friend isn't really a lord.
linky.
If you own land in Scotland, you can, if you really want to be pretentious, call yourself a Laird - which means that you own a patch of ground. This means that almost everyone in Scotland is a Laird - including my mother.

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imogen
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quote:
There are also other honours, lower than 'Sir' or 'Lord' available, such as OBEs and MBEs. Terry Pratchett, and I think Hugh Laurie have both quite recently been awarded OBE (Order of the British Empire - yeah, slightly out of date).
And then you have the honours awarded to the "colonies"... we have the Orders of Australia (OA). We used to get knighted, but that stopped in the 1970s. But the honours list is still a pretty important thing.
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anti_maven
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I like the story of the works engineers working on a railway locomotive that was to be named "Knight of the Bath" nicknamed it "Friday Night"...

Sir Harry Secombe, the rotund colleague of Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, was asked how he would like to be addressed on being recently knighted: "Sir Cumference" was his reply.

One good thing about the House of Lords are the Lords Temporal, which are made up of religous leaders and leaders of various professions. Despite being unelected, I like to thnk that this gives a breadth of view that might be lost in a purely elected house.

The "laird" thing is like buying acres on the moon, fun but of no real value...

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Mucus
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Off topic: I thought you were talking about the show from Max Payne [Smile]
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A Rat Named Dog
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Mucus Same here!

"My lord!"
"My lady!"
"My lord!"
"My lady!"

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PrometheusBound
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"One good thing about the House of Lords are the Lords Temporal, which are made up of religous leaders and leaders of various professions."

The Lords Temporal do not include clergymen. Rather, they include all members of the House of Lords except clergymen.

The two Archbishops, the Bishops of London, Durham and Winchester as well as the 21 most senior of the bishops are members.

This applies only to Anglican clergy. However, the Royal family can and does apoint other religious leaders, for example, the former Chief Rabbi of England was a peer (his successor is a knight.)

The Lords Temporal include members of the hereditary peerage, higher-ranking judges (the "Law Lords," by far the most influental and important group, function much as the American Supreme Court does) and life peers.

The whole system is almost impossible to understand. With the possible exception of a very few judges and professors of law, I don't think anyone truely understands the British constitution. Those that claim to understand it often disagree on what it says and it changes multiple times every year as it has done since 1215 or possibly earlier. To make things completely incomprehensible to outsiders, the constitution is mostly unwritten.

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Survivor
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Eh, writing your constitution down is just asking for trouble anyway.
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